This year started with serious levels of motivation. Alex and I viewed some houses and started the process of buying our own home. Pea and I went to our first competition since my hip replacement which also happened to be our first away from home and in an indoor school. I also spent a lot of time sorting my blog into pages.
The defining feature of February was the glorious snow we had and the equine flu scare which pretty much grounded most activity. I also spent a lot of time doing my “Swedish Death Clean” and clearing things out in preparation for moving house!
We moved into our new house at the beginning of March. The joy of living in the same village as Pea still hasn’t worn off although I have to say I don’t walk to the yard as much as I did then! We did a lot of painting, shopping and gallery wall creating but Pea and I also got out for a lesson once the flu scare had calmed down.
We went out completely again in April. This time my parents came to watch which was really special. My mum was able to see the difference my new hip had made to my riding – I hope it made it worth all the weeks of her putting anti-embolism socks on me when I wasn’t allowed to bend! It was also the month when our sofa arrived which made our house really feel like a home.
By May the weather was much improved and the month started with a wonderful (and expensive) trip to Badminton! It was a month of good riding weather and Pea’s super snazzy Derby House fly rug.
The summer dressage on grass started in June. I had a stinking cold and doing two tests on such wet ground (because the May sunshine hadn’t lasted) was all a bit much. Nevertheless, it was a good month for riding and a month of decision making in terms of my job. At the end of the month Alex and I went to Noah’s Ark Zoo for my Christmas present of an elephant keeper experience.
At the beginning of July I managed to secure myself a teaching role at my school for September and have a fairly successful show with Pea. I also started going to ballet classes. The rest of the month involved a lot of stressing out over her health. She was fat, she was shuffling, she cut her chin. She also got put on a new fitness regime which involved a lot of cantering up the hill by our yard. It ended with a cancelled dressage competition due to a local strangles scare.
August was mostly wonderful – it was an entire month of summer holiday after all! We had weekends away in Devon and Scotland but the rest of the time was spent at home, with Pea or sorting out my classroom for my new job. We did have a bit of an issue with a screw in Pea’s foot but it thankfully healed without drama.
The first day in my new job coincided with our last competition of the summer – talk about biting off more than you can chew! Pea was feeling pretty good and I managed to establish my new working and riding routine.
October was quite a month! Alex asked me to marry him (I said yes.. of course). Pea and I had a super disastrous dressage competition, I barely survived clipping her but then we went to the Riding Club Area Qualifiers at Hartpury and it felt like I was achieving a dream. Then my new baby nephew was born!
It is hard to feel positive when every day is dark and most days are muddy or wet! In November I took a step back from schooling and competing, taking the pressure off completely but enjoying chilled rides and hacking. I spent more time with family which was really nice.
December was a tricky month at the beginning. Pea and I had a lesson which just proved how unfit and out of practise we are. I got swiped by the end of term lurgy and so missed out on our competition plans and several Christmas dinners! Since I’ve been off work things have improved and I had a lovely Christmas with Pea, Alex and my family.