Since my last blog there have been a number of exciting revelations, including qualifying for the Hickstead Para open summer championships and the KBIS National Championships, which will be held at Stoneleigh. I have also been lucky enough to secure sponsorship from B&W Equine Vets and I have many more exciting things on the horizon.

I keep on asking myself how my life has changed so much in such a short space of time. I am definitely putting it down to the truly incredible people around me, who have not only helped me to get my life back, but kept me going when everything got too much.

Hickstead bound

It’s only a few days until I head to Hickstead for my first open Para championships.

This is a big step up for me, but I’m ready and I am really looking forward to it and I know Abira and I will thrive on the atmosphere!

I always loved a big competition when I was eventing; the packing and the build-up gives me butterflies (excited ones!).

This will be my first trip away overnight since before my accident when I was eventing. Apart from my trips to various events with Lucy Wiegersma, Padraig McCarthy and Tiggy Fuller last year. At least if I need to sleep on a camp bed I have mastered the mounting procedure so it doesn’t collapse!

I have been practicing my dressage to music with Abira. Pammy (Hutton) rode through the music Suz and Abirafirst, in order to choreograph the test. It was incredible to see Pammy at work putting the relevant movements to the music. This is something I haven’t tackled before and the only music test I’ve ever ridden was on my 14.1hh event pony, Ben, when I was 12-years-old and I did a demo for the Cornwall dressage group in a santa outfit!

I had a little audience when I was practicing the other day and I even had a clap at the end. I caught myself smiling as I went up the centre line! It is so much fun, and you find yourself riding to the music and getting lost in it.

My first sponsors

B&W Equine vets, has decided to sponsor me and support me with my para dressage ventures and aims for the future. This is great news and I am so very grateful to them for believing in me. I am looking forward to promoting them while I am out and about competing on the dressage circuit.

I have got some very smart numnahs with B&W Equine on them arriving next week just in time for Hickstead. Why not check out what B&W Equine vets can offer your horse.

Very good horses and a lucky rider

I have had two very successful outings since my last blog. One which was at Vale View and the other at Mount Ballan.

Vale View was a home international competition, so it was great to get the feeling of what it’s going to be like at my first big international at Hickstead.

Both Amo and Abira were on great form. Abira (pictured top and above right) came first in the team test and second in the individual test. Amo came third in the team test and sixth in the individual test.

However, by my fourth test in the heat I had a serious lack of power on my part. Abira was great, although we did manage to kick over two boards in the arena due to me not being able to do as much steering!

Mount Ballan was one hell of a day. Abira won both tests feeling incredible and Amo was not far behind coming second and third in her tests, despite being less than helpful in the warm-up, spooking at everything. She went into her test as if she hadn’t been misbehaving at all!

Overall it was a fabulous day. It was an incredible feeling, even if I was totally shattered!

Amo and Suz Hartpury

Oaksey House

Recently I have been working with Dal Lucus at Oaksey House. Dal is a musculoskeletal physiotherapist. The reason I have been having sessions with Dal rather than neuro physio team for the moment is because I have unfortunately partially ruptured my adductor tendon in my groin, which is not particularly pleasant.

Dal has been working on specific exercises with me to strengthen that area, and also performing ultrasound on the injured area to help it heal. Fingers crossed it won’t take too long till it is heading in the right direction again!

Home sweet home

It had been a while since I had been home for a long weekend and not just a quick trip home for a hospital appointment and back again.

I had a very relaxing weekend with dad, my brother Jamie, his wife Sophie and little Jack, their Suz Kayakingbaby son. I went kayaking with dad, which was great fun.

In other news

It’s certainly been a full on few weeks, however, they have been unbelievable and I have loved every minute.

The next few weeks are going to be equally as manic, especially as I am moving house on 5 July to live in Tetbury with my great friend Ella Abbott, who also works for the vets. This is going to make my life a lot easier, as I am currently travelling at least 40 minutes to work and just over an hour to Talland when I ride.

Once I move I will be living only 20 minutes from both work and Talland. I am also able to bring my little terrier Tapi up to live with me, which I am particularly excited about!

I will leave you with a bit of ‘food for thought’:

“The best way to predict success is to create it”- Professor Greg Whyte.

Suz