Since my last post it’s, quite frankly, all gone to pot!

I’m not too ashamed to say that the cold dark nights have dampened my enthusiasm to ride of an evening. I’ve been struggling for motivation for a month or two and our training has become a little sporadic.

As a result Abbey’s fitness has gradually decreased and then last week I caught a cold. So  I have declared us on holiday! I think it will do us good.

I’d noticed that she hasn’t been tracking up with her left hind and the lack of left bend has been getting worse.  Just by running my hands over her muscles I can feel that she’s some tight spots. She’s no other symptoms and I don’t think it’s anything serious.

I doubt it’s a coincidence that those muscles that are tight on Abbey are also the muscles that give me grief.

Abbey’s now seen a physio who’s supported my theory so far; her left glut and all the muscles on the rights of her neck were tight. She’s treated those muscles and freed them up.  And I’ve booked in another session for early in the new year.

I will also be having physio in the New Year and I’ve signed up for a course of equi pilates.  Together with a New Year’s resolution to take up running again, we’ll hopefully get off to a good start and build our fitness together  from January onwards.

Instead of riding  this week I’ve been snuggled up on the sofa watching Olympia (thanks to the BBC and it’s red button!).  There have been many highlights. Flat and hunt jockeys going head-to-head in a showjumping relay race, the pussiance and,of course, Valegro’s retirement were among my favourites.

It’s inspired me to look at the calendar and get some training and competition dates in the diary. I’m going to try and qualify for Trailblazers again.  The first round qualifiers are already underway at the local riding clubs. Depending on how Abbey goes I may try for the combined training as well as the dressage.

While on ‘sofa-rest’ with this cold, I’ve been doing some more research on the Connemara breed, successful show ponies (including her grandsire, Cloonisle Cashel), and Abbey.

Some members of the ever-helpful Horse and Hound forum pointed me in the direction of this blog: https://ardcru.wordpress.com/. It’s a mine of information and inspiration so there are also some showing clinics and shows with Mountain and Moorland classes now penciled in the diary.

So here’s to a successful 2017!