"The month has been non-stop as always. I have been so lucky to have been back to more squad training this month, being on the world class squad really does open doors to great opportunities and training. When we are at squad training we have visits from vets, dentists, physiotherapists and so many more, it's not just rider training! As part of the media training we have been encouraged to start posting videos to our social media, which has been a bit of a challenge.
You know that feeling when you hear your own voice, yep that! However thanks to super groom Clare they are getting easier and we are getting more confident. You never know one day we might post the out-takes.
Tika has been going really well, it is always such a hard time before a major competition and imminent selection, half of me wants to just wrap her in cotton wool but the other half knows that to have a happy healthy horse we have to stick to the routine, including her usual turn out. So it's business as usual on the yard especially when the sun is shining. It's great to see the horses out without rugs and the sun on their backs! You never know how long it will last in Yorkshire.
As well as riding and training I have been so lucky to go and do some coaching and public speaking this month too, it always feels great to put something back into the industry I love. I have always enjoyed teaching and knowing that I can inspire other riders from my journey is a good feeling. I have started to run a regular clinic on the Isle of Man, a weekend of training clients where a warm welcome always awaits. It's a great part of the job watching the riders and theirs horses progressing.
I went to give a talk at a local primary school which involved talking to lots of local young children about what I do and how I got here, you are never quite sure with young children how they will listen or take on board what you say, but to receive a thank you letter from the teacher saying how much the children enjoyed my talk was lovely. They do say never work with children or animals, but talking to children about animals seems to be working. No hecklers yet!
I have also recently been to do a talk with Wakefield RDA centre, the RDA really are a huge driving force behind the Para dressage team. We all appreciate what they have not only done for us as riders but also for what they continue to do behind the scenes at all levels.
On the competition front, I took Tika on the long trip south to Wellington Riding in Hampshire. She went really well, I am always so pleased with her but I feel she has improved so much and really gives me her all when we compete together. This was a very high profile competition and we certainly were in good company with many of the other squad members also competing.
Final nominations were submitted to FEI for the Rio Olympic teams, I was thrilled to have made this list, only the riders nominated can be considered for final selection. It is such a huge achievement to train a horse and compete to any level but to work together and be nominated for Team GB at an Olympics is really a dream come true, still one show to go before the announcement is made, so for today we are packing the lorry and preparing to leave for the Festival of Dressage.
until next time...