Nearly, nearly | An Eventful Life

Nearly, nearly

 

So close!

Nearly, nearly! Mighty Will the boldest pony in the world and I dipped our toes into the scary waters of three star and we were a whisker away from making it to shore... a whisker!

Will was feeling the best he ever has, he was jumping boldly and cleanly, I was confident (and for those who know me would understand that this is a rare occurrence... queen of self doubt right here!!) so off to South Australia we drove with a few ponies in tow, Sasha Cantwell and Oscar.

Dressage was good and I felt like it was a solid attempt for our first go at that test...I still expected to be last due to some green mistakes, so you can imagine my surprise when I ended up leading on a score of 61! Wow! We then show jumped on the Sunday morning and Will jumped brilliantly, just taking a rail in each of the triples (which are his nemesis) so I was thrilled and still managed to hold the number one spot!! XC looked tough but fair and I was feeling okay about riding it.

We started off awesomely... we nailed every distance and it felt seamless! Tough angled brushes... huge apexes... narrows through water on curving line... big tables and houses... Will felt incredible! Then we just had a relatively simple, but tall, rails to negotiate as our 13th fence. This is where we ran into a bit of trouble as Will chested the fence and we both had a big crash. I can only put it down to the fact that I misjudged Will’s reaction to the creek bed on the other side. I suffered a severely dislocated shoulder and Will was very lame.

 

   At Kia Ora .... before the crash!

 

Thanks to the wonderful Naracoorte event committee and some lovely Victorian riders both Will and I were able to get to our relative hospitals in good time and Sasha and the other ponies could get back to base at Kia Ora Performance horses as soon as possible. Will spent a few weeks at the Ballarat Vet Clinic while we tried to isolate what was making him so lame but thankfully there is no lasting damage on either of our behalves and we will both recover fully and be back again!

So now the thinking process begins. What would I change if I was placed back in that situation and do I think I was ready? My mind has been at full steam ahead trying to organize my thoughts rationally and make sense of it and to look at the scenario from the outside. If I was placed there again tomorrow I would obviously ride more positively as I do believe that was a contributing factor and I would anticipate the spook. Whether I was ready to do the class or not is trickier but I do think that I was and that the much harder combinations beforehand should have pulled me up if I hadn’t have been ready.

I think it’s a really positive thing when you step outside yourself, trying to look at you and your horse as someone else would. It’s really hard, but it think essential when you are competing. Either a good weekend or an interesting one, you learn so much from analysing your performance as a team. Then after having this discussion with your coach, and family you gain a real feeling of where you are on your long term plan. Sometimes plans need to be altered, but in the end your goals remain the same and your self-belief strong in the team underneath you.

 

 

So where to from now? Well Will is home with a full recovery on the cards. He is enjoying his well deserved break and is improving every day! I ended up coming off a bit worse (which I am so glad for! I’d much rather I went under the knife than him!) and I will be going in for surgery on my shoulder in about 3 weeks. But I will heal and we will be back again fresh and competition again by the end of the year!

In the meantime I will scale back a bit (maybe get a real job again for a while!) and work on the flat with my lovely young horses.

I am down, not out and will be back again soon with my wonderful team of horses who are very much enjoying their break (especially Smash )!

So until next time,

Alice smiley