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Sarah-Jane Brown February Blog

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This may be a slightly shorter blog than usual as shortly after writing my last blog I had a little issue that involved me diving onto concrete.

It’s that age old problem of being a working rider with limited light in the week, it means at the weekend I try and give them a good hack or box them to a school. On this particular Sunday it was windy, ok let’s be honest there was a weather warning for wind and being only a mile or so from the coast we are pretty exposed. I decided to plough on and ride both regardless, I had survived a ride on Ellie but on mounting Fliss she spooked with me half on causing me to kick her on the backside next minute I was hurtling toward the concrete with the knowledge this was likely to hurt. It did and it ended up with a trip to casualty where fortunately no breaks were identified but soft tissue damage around the ribs. It may only have been soft tissue but it was extremely painful and I lived in fear of something making me sneeze!

I was unable to ride for 10 days and then only sit and pootle round the block it was nearly four weeks until the sharp pains had subsided enough for life to be fairly normal. Luckily the girls were fit and going nicely so a break wasn’t the end of the world. We also timed it well as we had a few days of snow, but you can see Ellie had fun.

I am lucky I have enough grazing for both girls to not to be too short in the winter. Also huge thanks to Suregrow for helping maintain the grass and keep it in great condition with a good root structure. As I have no schooling facilities I also use Ellie’s field to ride in through the winter and it is looking great still.

We did manage one outing a jumping show at Bicton Arena. I cannot believe the weather we had, warm sunny weather and perfect for some jumping at Bicton. It has been a while since we have been out. I decided to just take Fliss although I kept my brave pants on and entered the 1.05 and Newcomers rather than stepping back as was sorely tempting.

The Bicton jumping shows at the beginning and the end of the season are some of my favourite jumping shows, with just one arena running and everyone gathered around there is a great atmosphere, it is well organised with great competitive jumping. I was sensible for once and went for consistent quality rounds without getting carried away for fast times. I am very excited about Fliss's future and don't want to spoil her jump at this stage by rushing her.

She was fab and over two decent tracks jumped two nice double clears. In the Newcomers she jumped her first treble albeit rather greenly managing to add a stride but was very honest. It was the only mistake she made in either round and she had the ability to get away with it. 

As I write this we are preparing for a big road trip with a journey to Northants (seven hours in the lorry) to Aston Le Walls for the BRC Arena Eventing Championships which both horses qualified for in the Autumn. I am really looking forward to representing Threewaters Riding Club in this great competition. As we have travelled so far we are planning a couple of days of boot camp on the way back with a stop at the fabulous Attington to have some lessons with International Irish Event rider Austin O’Connor. He is a fabulous trainer having first taught me 30 years ago when based in Cornwall. My lessons with Austin this time last year really shaped a huge improvement in both girls and very excited to be going back.

Hopefully plenty more for the next blog if you want regular updates do follow me on my website www.shoestringeventing.co.uk

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March 8, 2019  |   Share: