Well what can I say it’s already been twelve months since I started to share mine and Woodcroft Natalia’s story through the blog and hopefully given everyone an insight into the ups and downs of not only being a competition rider but with the additional difficulties thrown into the mix being a Para.
For me I have had a roller coaster journey from a horse out of work through gastric ulcers and me thinking I may never get her back to competing again – up to an amazing result at the weekend. Through a fantastic support team who have all played important roles in getting us back on track I am proud to say we achieved 2nd place in our grade IV at the Summer Festival of Para’s Silver Championships, with a respectable score of 68.7%. I could not be more thrilled with Natalia she was so brave and well behaved for the tack/compensating aid check prior to competing (in the past the sight of someone strange in gloves made her very anxious).
I had also chosen not to take her the day before or for the warm up classes. Instead I wanted to keep her relaxed which could have been a risky move but she warmed up like a pro and was not spooky in the arena. In fact, due to the sudden change in weather and it being extremely hot at 3pm she was actually on the quiet side. Again as a rider you have to make decisions and I knew she was capable of so much more but decided that I would keep her sweet and play a safe test, unfortunately this decision probably cost us the class because we only needed just 2% more to have won.
I feel that this is a rather fitting time to say I am going to take a break from blogging (at least I can end on a good note!). I want to work out plans for Natalia’s next adventures but also would like to try and find a loan horse to run alongside Natalia. I feel that I need to be out competing more to stay current, this is difficult to do with only one horse as I am mindful that a horse is precious and not just a machine! Hopefully this will also help with finding a much-needed sponsor.
So if anyone has a neddy sat at home (capable of advanced medium) that they think may enjoy joining a very dedicated, resilient and extremely ambitious Para rider, please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org