Where to even begin this time! My time back in Australia has not been the mini-holiday I had hoped it would be! Yesterday I went in for my wisdom teeth surgery. Like everything else, the surgery was a complicated one. My two bottom ones were completely sideways with the roots wrapped around a major nerve, and my top two were so high up that the surgeon ended up going through my nose to get them out! Ew. I have never seen so much blood pouring out of my nose before.
Given that this is no operation number 24 (or 25?) I should be well used to it by now but I was absolutely terrified! The surgeon was great, and ironically his son is an avid equestrian competitor also. He told me just as they were putting me to sleep “Don’t stress. I won’t be as careful as your leg surgeon. You don’t need a face to ride!” Apparently I muttered something about needing to look good when I come home with all my medals.
Ultra looking very good and fat!
My leg surgeon came to see my in recovery as he couldn’t quite understand why I was there. His exact words were “I put you on a plane three months ago… why are you back here?!” He couldn’t help himself though, checking my recent surgical sites on my ankle/leg over as he bustled past. Apparently there is some debate going on between my three surgeons and GP as to who gets to claim the award of ‘piecing me back together.’ I am so lucky to have such a wonderful team of doctors who have really done everything they could to get me up and riding again.
The horses here are going very well. Ultra is super fat, and has ballooned out to using the biggest dressage girth you can buy! I couldn’t understand why she had become so huge, but after speaking with my brother who was her babysitter, he claims she was looking sad so he was feeding her more hay to make her happy! I think she just has the “I’m hungry, feed me” face sucking everybody in. All three ponies will get lunged this week whilst I am looking a bit like a chipmunk. I tried to get my helmet on this morning but failed!
Pea is growing by the day but no sign of a little baby just yet. The girls at the stud are absolutely fantastic and keeping me updated with pictures and reports every day. I am missing my baldy faced chestnut pony.
Still no foal..
Last Wednesday I got a very excited phone call from my dear friend and work colleague Louise. All I got was “It’s a bay filly!!!” before she hung up excitedly. Zoe, the mare, was due just two days before Pea at the end of December. Zoe however decided that the foal was going to come almost three weeks early, much to the surprise of all. Louise was absolutely certain that she was getting a chestnut colt. Instead she was surprised to get a healthy, leggy, little bay filly. ‘Twiggy’ as she has now been named is just beautiful, and made us all so excited for Pea. Hurry up Pea! I shouldn’t be too upset, she isn’t due for another 13 days!
Beautiful little Twiggy at 8 hours old.
In other news, the first qualifier was on down at the Dressage Festival for the Para riders. I watched the tests with interest via my computer and wished I was there! Unfortunately the timing was poor, and Ultra was just not fit enough upon my return from Germany to go. We received an information package not long after detailing the plans for Rio starting from now, where we will stay and a look at the Athlete village and stables. The competition arena is amazing. It’s hard to imagine that I might just be riding in there one day soon. It’s all starting to seem real now!
The qualifiers for us in Europe don’t start until April. I am very happy with this because I feel those three months of preparation before the first one can’t hurt at all. Lotus is still very young and whilst her training is advanced, I don’t want to push her and burn her out. She has hopefully a long competition career ahead of her. She is training very well back in Germany, but there were a few hiccups after I left. I think she was testing the waters a bit because she had a relatively easy training program with me in the last few months and Briana is the big boss!
These are the qualifiers we will be aiming to get to:
April 7th, 2016 – Deauville, FRANCE
April 22nd, 2016 – Waregem, BELGIUM
May 5th, 2016 – Mannheim, GERMANY
May 12th, 2016 – Roosendaal, THE NETHERLANDS
In the short time left before we head back to Germany, I have certainly got a lot to organise!