Alice and that dratted shoulder ..... | An Eventful Life

Alice and that dratted shoulder .....

An  impromptu trip to Buller before all the snow disappeared - but that wasn't where the injury happened!


It’s been a while since my last blog simply because I have so much happening but I don’t know if it WILL happen! So in short, I am on the mainland again. Possibly for three months. Eventing. With a dislocated shoulder. Woo!

Due to Sizzle’s injury, Will has taken the reins (pun intended) as my main horse again for the first time in nearly three years, essentially since he and I took our tumble at Launceston Show in 2013. So there has been a massive upheaval of my plans regarding the major events I was planning on attending. Which also means a drastic lack of qualifying events under my belt, with the Victorian season looking sparse (for 2* and above) and the Tasmanian season non-existent.

What to do, what to do.


      Will going into the water at the Victorian Championships


Well. I somehow managed to pull together a trip consisting of two events, Friends of Werribee and the Victorian Eventing Championships, found someone crazy enough to join me (Phoebe McIntyre), dragged my quite willing sister (Bethany Hirst) along too and off we went with four horses in tow! Disaster nearly struck before we even left the property with Phoebe’s horse coming out of the paddock with a fat leg and then realising the truck had no fuel and we had left as little time as possible to get to the boat (to save the horses from being on the truck any longer than needed), so I redlined the poor old girl all the way (breaking records on how fast she can go!) and thanks to some wonderful people and a surprisingly understanding Spirit of Tasmania… we made it. Just.


      Poppy and Will pretending they love each other for one second...


We stayed a night at Elcho Park (massive thanks to the guys that run the place! It’s just ideal!) and then with all the ponies settled and rested, we pottered out to Werribee.

Bethany and I were competing our Intro horses only on Friday and Saturday which I actually really liked as it freed up Sunday for me to focus on Will. Bethany had a super event on Pretzel doing a very solid three phases and ended up 5th in her big class FULL of 4 STAR RIDERS (so she tells everyone excitedly) which was a brilliant effort on a cheeky Welsh x.

Poppy (Kilara Park Valkarie) finished on her dressage score for the first time in her life which was very exciting! However there is lots and lots to improve about her way of going and general attitude to the whole thing, as we should really only start galloping XC jumps when we hit 2** and above… not Intro! Phoebe had a solid run in the Pre-Nov to finish 13th after a disappointing dressage, so was very happy to climb 11 places!

Will was a gentleman as per usual! We did a mediocre dressage… some very good parts and some not very good parts. But if that had been me three years ago, not only would I have been ecstatic to be 15th in a large-ish class… I also wouldn’t have held it together and it would have been ten times worse than it actually was! So it was a massive improvement in some respects but I know we definitely can do better. He then jumped a brilliant clear SJ round in the scary indoor (scary for me I might add! Not him!) which showed how all our hard work over the last few months getting him softer and more adjustable is working. The XC was a beautiful course with enough questions to make it 2* but not so bad as to totally scare the pants of the poor Tasmanian. He ate it up like it was nothing, only me over-riding some of the harder elements and him saying ‘Alice! Calm down! I got this!’

We made it all the way around to the second last fence without a hitch… unfortunately I didn’t realise that the ground had bogged up a bit behind the quite simple fence. We took it at a decent pace due to being under the pump for time a little and on landing he took quite a stumble. He found his legs again merrily galloped along to the next fence with me really only a passenger as my right arm was hanging awkwardly out of the shoulder socket. This was the arm that I have broken my humorous, collarbone (with the pin still in it) and ulna. As he stumbled he must have wrenched it or I landed awkwardly on his neck… I’m not really sure as it happened very fast. I thank the gods of adrenalin and shock for allowing me to grit my teeth and violently roll my shoulder a few times to get it back in with a bit of foul sounding popping and grinding! I managed to jump the last fence (a bit messily) and pulled him up with one handed (I am so glad he isn’t a puller as I was only in a snaffle!), then handed him over to my little team and went and saw a medic.

I want to say a HUGE thank you to the lady who gave us a bale of hay as you allowed me to go straight to the hospital to check for breaks rather than find somewhere that sold hay, drive there, and then drive back and THEN go to the hospital! As it was we got back at about 8.30 – 9.00pm so you are a life saver! Thankfully there were no breaks, just some nerve and ligament damage which will improve with time. And the best part is… Will is totally fine! Not a hair hurt on his so very honest body. And to top it off… we came 4TH!!! Nothing like some satin and prize money to lift the spirits!


       Will at the THT Sydney depot. I love the little photos they send me to show me he is ok!


Which leaves me in my current position. I am living in my truck, looking after three horses (thank goodness Phoebe is here as Bethany and Mum had to go home) with an immobile right shoulder and another 2* in two weeks! Agh! So I have stocked up on rock tape, You Tube videos on how to apply it and a couple of physio appointments (they are going to hateee meee!). Poppy will be scratched as she definitely IS a puller, and I will be going quietly around the Victorian Champs searching for a qualifier only. Then I will be heading up to Heath Ryan in NSW for the next two months to do a few more events to get some all-important runs in and hopefully some qualifiers so that I can finally make it to Adelaide this year! Eek!

Back home the injured are recovering and will be ready to go when I get back to go again next year. All three of my main horses (Sizzle, Will and Smash) have made it onto the Tasmanian Eventing Squad and Sizzle won the Tasmanian Eventing Association Horse of the Year for last season! Clever little man! I am so sad I can’t run out and give him a big hug and carrot to say well done!

So until next time, cross your fingers that my shoulder stays where it’s supposed to go… it’s going to need all the help it can get!

P.S. Quick update -

Vic Champs went very well for Will and I with a solid test (just lacking the accuracy and pizazz needed to be right up there), another super solid SJ with only one unlucky rail in the Werribee slush. And then a clear XC around (what I thought to be) a tough course! I had some time  (on purpose) which landed us mid field but I was so happy to finish in one piece and with everything where it should be! With that being a qualifier it meant that I was Newcastle bound. I had a 10 day gap before the fabulous Tasmanian Horse Transport trucks were headed back up to Sydney, so I got to spend some time with the lovely Fox family! Thankyou so much again for having Will and I!!

And then I was off to the Ryan's! It took me 10 hours to get there... Considering it really only takes me 3 hours to get from one end of Tassie to the other... I was a little out of my depth! But I made it safely and Will got there the day after as fresh as a daisy! My next event is Goulburn and in the meantime I will be working flat out and trying to absorb as much information as humanly possible!

Hopefully my next blog will have just as good news... Wish me luck!

Alice smiley