A year without a Barrel of Fun | An Eventful Life

A year without a Barrel of Fun

   Read about the connection between an iphone and Charlie Bristers thigh ...

With my 3* horse Barrel of Fun (otherwise known as ‘Shamus’) still out injured I was going to have to turn to my younger crop of eventers to keep me in the winners circle and out at events. Yet as all horse riders know life has a way of throwing a spanner in the works of the most well laid of plans. Not that I had a well laid out plan for the season but you get the drift.

Along with my own eventers I had begun to break in couple horses after Christmas and took up a ride on a dressage horse up the road. His training had been progressing well and he seemed to get better and better each day. I was told that he had bucked before, although after two weeks of riding he never once gave me that indication. Then one day he decided to let rip, bolted, then put his head between his legs and to make matters worse I didn’t have my feet in the irons when I hopped on.

Somehow I managed to stay on for 30 metres or so but quickly realised I wasn’t having much luck pulling his head up or slowing him down. It seemed like a good idea at the time so I bailed out as he was starting to head toward the road. Unfortunately I didn’t roll quite as I would have liked and landed flat on my side with my iphone in my pocket taking the brunt of the impact. This left me with an iphone shaped imprint in my thigh which was great to show off at parties and a slight groin strain which I didn’t take much notice of.

   Rae-Louise Charlton and her charge both look in fine shape!

Being too sore to ride I took the weekend off and headed to the beach before flying up to the Gold Coast for the Magic Millions. This is always a great week as they really now how to put on a good show. I work as a big spotter in the auction hall, keeping an eye on the crowd and potential owners to see when they are bidding and notifying the auctioneer by yelling at the top of my voice and making strange waving motions with my arms - similar to that of a person landing an aircraft. There was a plethora of cracking types going through the ring, especially several of those from Widden Stud, expertly prepared under the care of Rae-Louise Charlton.

After a week at the Gold Coast I was a little weary to say the least but no time for rest as it was onto the Coonabarabran Horse and Rider summer camp. This camp is always well run and the kids are always super enthusiastic and eager to learn. Unfortunately there were bushfires quite close to the showgrounds, which almost resulted in evacuation halfway through the camp. Luckily for all the kids it continued and it was excellent to see improvement in both horses and riders over the three days. Thanks to the committee for doing an excellent job and keeping the show running in the face of a devastating bushfire. Special mention must go to Trish Knight for kindly hosting the Tinneys, the Twomeys, Andrew Barnett and I. A benefit for me being involved with a clinic alongside some of Australia’s top riders and coaches is being able to talk to them about all manner of things from horse selection to giving group dressage lessons to dealing with the over zealous parent on the sidelines … things that don’t normally come up in conversation.

Coming back from the clinic I thought my body was up for riding, unfortunately I discovered it couldn’t cope with a breaker going to town on me. I stayed on but it exacerbated my groin strain to a point where I could barely walk. Luckily I am back to walking and swimming (for 50 metres or so) but will need six weeks off riding. I can ride in a straight line but when the horse goes sideways I have no strength to stay on which is kind of important.

This came as really bad news as I was just about to receive three horses for training and therefore had to turn them away. Luckily the owners are great and have decided to keep them on hold until I am injury free. With all this spare time on my hands I will go back to being a stablehand at the racetrack, 4am starts are not the most glamorous but it pays like any other job and is keeping me away from the deep fryer at Maccas or a dreaded office job.

   It hurts here

Unfortunately my horses were just coming back into work for the season but will now have a little break before I do some in hand work and lunging to get them fit for when I return to riding. As frustrating as it was I know there are plenty of people out there who are dealing with much worse. I was just reading about Megan Jones and her back injury, which makes mine seem quite insignificant. So I hope by the next blog I am making progress with my groin stretches and am a bit closer to being back in the saddle. 


love the auction photo, fantastic blog again Charlie!!

Maybe design a iPhone case with an impact detecting airbag?