Well, 2019 wasn’t supposed to look like that!
It started on a high with Tiger and I getting our highest scores to date…75% in the para test equivalent to PSG and Tiger felt on amazing form.
I was due to compete in the Para Winter championships in February but unfortunately we had an accident on the way. My dad had to brake sharply and swerve to avoid a car cutting across us and Tiger was thrown around in the trailer.
To start with, when we got Tiger out of the trailer, she looked okay but she started to stiffen up and looked really sore.
As soon as I got home I phoned the vets and they came out straight away to look at Tiger and work out a plan. She made a very thorough assessment and worked out a plan of rest, medication and rehabilitation. I also involved an amazing Vet trained equine chiropractor. It was critical to get her back to fitness as quickly as possible because Tiger and I had the biggest event of our lives in 3 weeks time…a 2 day interview for a place on the World Class Programme 3P.
I was very glad of Horslyx during Tiger’s box rest. She isn’t used to being stabled 24 hours a day. In the summer she lives out 24/7 and in the winter she goes out into a playpen for the day, only going into a stable at night. I really think she would have broken out or done herself damage if she hadn’t had her Horslyx to keep her distracted.
My dad fixed her holder to the stable door and we put an orange Mobility Horslyx in it. She did love it and was a lot calmer because she had something to distract her. Tiger’s favourite is the mint Horslyx but I thought that the nutrients in the Mobility one would support her recovery.
Between the vet, Geri and the equine chiropractor Angela Holland, they were able to make Tiger feel so much better and because I am very light and I only compete at walk, Tiger was ready in time for the interview.
The interview was intense and looked at all aspects of Tiger’s performance, management and suitability, as well as my riding, trainability, psych and ability to plan. My coach Claire Wyatt from So Very Sport Horses had to come with me for the interview and both of us were questioned and assessed.
It was a long month waiting for the results of the interview. I don’t think I realised how nervous I was until I got the email saying that I had been selected! I phoned my coach Claire at work to tell her, then couldn’t get my words out because I was half crying and half too excited!
After that, I started to have a big problem with my health and spent lots of the rest of the year in hospital. I had to have a jejunostomy, which is an operation to put a feeding tube into my bowel. The anaesthetic had a really bad affect on me and I nearly died on the operating table, which then lead to my autonomic system shutting down.
It was a very difficult time, especially spending my 18th birthday on resus but I finally seem to have worked out how to manage my system now and am improving every week. Team GB have been really brilliant, giving me lots of support and not rushing me. I have started back to hacking and training with my coach.
I am hoping that this year is going to be an exciting one. With the support from my coach Claire and the advice from Team GB I am hoping to take part in a 3* by the end of the year. The selectors believe that both Tiger and I are capable of a 3*, it all feels like the best year is to come. It looks like Tiger is going to need the best nutrition and all the micronutrients and minerals from her Horslyx (Tiger says particularly the mint one!)…I just wish Horslyx did ones for humans!