My enforced break from the saddle | An Eventful Life

My enforced break from the saddle

      An addition to the Mackenzie equine family



Apologies for the blog silence - it’s as usual been a crazy year.  The last time I updated you all, I asked for support in my bid to win Equestrian Australia’s award for Administrator of 2017 - so thank you all for doing so (wish my kids were as obedient!)  and I now have two lovely glass ‘thingys’ on the mantelpiece.

The activity since my last blog has been:


  • Going to pony club camp with about 250 (maybe more) kids and their ponies - it was in fact here at camp that I found out I’d won the award, and frankly  have never felt more undeserving of it when surrounded by evidence of how much work must have gone into getting a zone camp up and running.  Eventers are a much less complicated bunch to organise!
  • Adding another pony into the fleet - my youngest daughter had well and truly outgrown our 9hh shetland, so we now have a 12hh welsh pony who is frankly very sweet and I’m quite besotted. 
  • Helping Jim Scobie get the newest event on the NSW calendar organised - entries at Gundagia exceeded all expectations - and I reckon the population of Gundagai almost doubled over the weekend of the event!  The pub was most certainly packed, which I think is great as country towns need our support, especially when the majority of the state is gripped in drought.
  • Running a mid-winter hunter trial type competition using our brand new 45cm XC course.  As usual - the water jump needing the layer of ice to be broken prior to the start (and part way through!)
  • Having a 7 week break from the saddle. 


      Butter wouldn't melt ......


There’s a bit of a story about my enforced break from the saddle.  If you’ve not poured yourself a cup of tea (or glass of wine!), grab one and get prepared …….

It all came about on cold winters day.  I had organised a XC clinic, and right at the end of the 2 hour lesson Chaka was rather exuberant over one of the smallest jumps we’d done that day.

I’ve learnt that if I get unseated, Chaka panics (Sidenote - it seems that when he was a youngster - on the track - his trainer who was riding him at the time, died of a heart attack - so Chaka had a body flapping about. He charged through the rails of the track and was found a while later - somewhat distressed.  Anyhow - I feel that if he feels that I’m not in control - he freaks out and buggers off)

So - he freaked out and buggered off.  I flew through the air after he threw in a few bucks and thud, I landed on the ground.  As soon as I landed, I knew something wasn’t quite right and said a few choice words.  I couldn’t get up off the ground without extreme pain but tried to convince everyone that I’d be fine and would not need an ambulance.  However, after a while when I still could not move I relented, and one was called.  The weather by now had turned from grim to downright hideous - it was about 4 degrees and drizzling.  Someone covered me in a horse rug and I did my best impression of a turtle huddled into my “shell”.

45 minutes later, my friends with the good drugs arrived, and I didn’t feel much pain anymore!  It was a bit disconcerting to find my clothes neatly folded beside my bed and me wearing only a white gown when I came out of my drug induced haze. The rest of the evening was spent going to have X-rays etc.

Walking was incredibly painful and by 11pm I was ready to come home but given that Mack was at home dealing with the children with a gastro bug I decided to stay put. The next morning I was discharged with a pair of crutches and told to start physio in a few weeks. By Monday, I was still in pain and lo and behold, received a phone call later in the day to be told “We’ve looked at your X-rays, and you’ve actually got fractures in your L2,3 and 4 spinal processors”.  So THAT was why I wasn’t a happy camper!  For a good few weeks I couldn’t drive or do anything much which, given I’ve got self-diagnosed ADHD, this was not ideal, and I started doing some crocheting!  Ironically, during my recovery, the trophy from Equestrian Australia arrived, and when I unwrapped it my 7-year-old daughter asked “Is that an award for falling off?”

Fast forward to now, nine weeks later; I have been riding for a few weeks and have entered SIEC Spring Classic.  Hopefully Chaka doesn’t throw any acrobatics.

The NCHTA CIC event is looming - less than 4 weeks to go - and we are running 1* and 2* CIC classes, but not a 3* this year. With the FEI making recommendations for the profiles of XC jumps to be altered, and due to the disappointment of the small numbers in the 2017 CIC3* class, we are regrouping and hopefully in 2019 we will have more support.

I hope everyone else enjoyed the coverage from Burghley with the live streaming on Facebook - what a treat to not have to yell and scream at FEI TV!  I wonder if WEG will be that stress free?  I will be of course cheering for the Kiwis as well as the Aussies (covering all bases) and increasing my chances of supporting the winning team!

Might try and blog more frequently if you want to read about my very ‘eventful life!’


      More of this coming up soon and less of the enforced rest! Chaka and me at Gundagai