It feels like only last week that I was writing my last updates. I can’t believe how quick these months tend to go. There is a big positive to that though…summer!! Bring on the sunny, warm days, they couldn’t come quicker. I know we had only a few days of snow but it’s so disruptive and frustrating. I end up being stranded in my house as my manual wheelchair is useless in snow (likes to try and get me to face plant) I need a lot more help to get to my Mybility electric chair, Once I’m in that though I can go wherever I want. It’s amazing that the equipment available these days allows you to get out in all weathers. I did have one scary moment on black ice on my ramp going to my house, my wheels kept spinning round. It was a little awkward, but I managed to get in a position to ring my mum to come and save me. There was a conversation of ‘don’t panic but……..
I was most frustrated by the snow in the fact that I was due to do my first competition on Jools but quite rightly it was cancelled. It was only right to do so with the conditions and safety of everyone involved. Trying to plan the next one isn’t easy as a lot are so far away and we just don’t have the equipment yet so need a lot of people to come so takes a lot of organisation.
We did manage to take Jools and Diamanti to Stretcholt with Isobel riding them and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. Diamanti has improved so much and is less tense as she is getting used to the party’s and is stronger in herself. She came home with a first and second, that’s because Jools won the class they were both in together. This was Jools first competition with us, so we were looking forward to seeing what he would be like. He absolutely loves his job and is a bit of a fidget where he just wants to get on and do it. As soon as he went in the warm up it was ears locked onto Isobel and doing his job. He was just fantastic and won both his classes.
I’ve been managing to have training sessions with Nina which have been so worthwhile. I am really starting to get better reactions from the horses and even have managed to get medium trots out of them now. I really need to work on being clearer with my aids so they don’t get confused. I am also finding it a lot easier to move the horses by using my hips. This is so important as it is keeping them soft and supple underneath me as well as keeping them into the corners and balancing round circles.
I couldn’t be happier with all the progress in the last few months and just feel like we are getting stronger and stronger.
I’ve been getting regular updates on Houdini and he is starting to really get stronger and work out where his legs are so really hope he will be out at the beginning of the season. We took his half-sister Bella of to school this week as she really needs to get on and do something. We backed her last year and turned her away to grow. They couldn’t believe the size of her as she was there last year and looks so different. I honestly don’t know why all my homebreds have grown so big as I bred them for me to event before the accident and I’m only 5’2.
I had a very exciting delivery a few weeks ago. My direct muscle stimulator! A lot of you will be going what is that? This is a very important piece of rehab equipment that I have been trying to get for two years. There are so many more complications with a spinal cord injury than just not being able to walk. One of these is muscle wastage on your legs. The standard machine which is used by most called FES doesn’t work on my level of injury, so I had to look into something else. I basically have to strap pads round my thighs, calf and foot and my gluteus and then send a current directly into my muscles. I have to use this machine a minimum five days a week to see any difference and by doing this I should get at least 3cms back. Not only will it build my muscle back but increase the circulation in my legs. This may not seem a lot but currently my legs bruise extremely easily where they are so weak and by having the extra muscle it will protect them. Also by getting more ‘padding’ on my bum I will have less chance of creating pressure sores which are so common for spinal patients. Especially riding this will make things a little more comfortable!
So, bring on the muscle and next competitions and fingers crossed I will be out soon.