When I read Hannah's incredible story it really made me realise how there was nothing 'real' stopping me from jumping and competing again. I haven't competed in a ODE or gone X Country for at least 10 years but thought that the Wobbleberry Challenge was the perfect opportunity to kick start my efforts whilst raising some money for a great cause.
Sadly my own horse isn't going to be ready to do anything resembling a competition for quite some time. In February this year he was diagnosed with grade 4 gastric ulcers. His was one of the worst cases my vet had ever seen outside of a classroom. Apart from not being a good doer over winter he had never shown any of the usual tell tale signs of an ulcer issue until he had intermittent colic type symtoms over a couple of days. I have had him since he was two years old, he's had a very stress free and easy life up til this point but it has come to light just how much stress and anxiety he was keeping in. My ongoing challenge is to work with him to enable him to be a relaxed and happy riding horse for the future.
The ulcer diagnosis seemed to put a bit of a spanner in the works for my Wobbleberry Challenge until a couple of weeks ago. My friend Jennifer offered to lend me her gelding to complete a BE80 on and I jumped at the chance. I have ridden Leo a few times over the past year but not since November 2016. I had a quick school on him the night before my BE event and hoped for the best.
I was very nervous on the morning of the competition but we warmed up and completed the dressage test for an ok 40.8. The showjumping was next and although I made the mistake of letting him switch off so we had an unlucky couple of poles down for 8 faults. The main event was the best fun I've had for a very long time. Leo very much looked after me and we took it steady on sometimes very slippy and boggy ground. We got quite a few time faults but were clear and thoroughly pleased with ourselves.
This challenge has really boosted my confidence to get out competing again and that I haven't forgotten how to jump after all!