This year has been a whirlwind of activities up to now and I know we’ve still got three very exciting months left. Let me give you an update of what’s been going on up to now, including a new instagram account!
Competitions & Training
For starters, Mickey and I have contested two regional championships in the UK. We did a winter one in February and a summer one in August. Both had Mickey behaving impeccably with no spooks or spins of any kind. However, my rider nerves were probably a little bit tense which resulted in a few minor but costly mistakes in both shows. Regardless, they were a great experience for both of us. Most of all, I am pleased with how calm and confident Mickey has seemed to become in competition environments.
Other than that, we have been working hard at home to get his changes established. They started with quite some exuberant leaps! His head and body also overheated a little bit with them. Now, nine months later, I’m happy to say we are 90% there. There are almost no more leaps and heat, which means in a month or two they might be competition ready!
The biggest news is that we are about to relocate to France! This has come on quite suddenly but has also been very welcomed. To give you a bit of background, my husband and I purchased a holiday home in France about a year ago. Since then, we’ve been spending about a week a month there as we’re both fortunate enough to own our own businesses and be able to work flexibly. We found ourselves rarely wanting to go back to the UK after our time in France. Also, whenever we were in the UK, we were simply counting our days to when we could go back to France again. Our new love for France, combined with my husband selling his business last month, meant that we had little holding us back in the UK. Hence, we decided to come to France for a one-year sabbatical!
Year of Writing, Riding & Wellbeing
My husband is taking a year off work completely and I am calling my year “The Year of Writing, Riding & Wellbeing”. My writing will be focused on my next book and a few monthly articles. Riding will be focused on simply enjoying it but also hopefully getting up a level or two. In reality, I think they go hand-in-hand. The more you enjoy it, the more likely you are to succeed.
I have found a lovely little equestrian centre a 20-minute drive away and have already met the resident trainer Pierre who was trained in classical dressage in Portugal. He will be training me in Portuguese initially as I’m fluent in that from growing up in Brazil. However, I will also be working on my French as it’s a language I want to also speak fluently. The best part about this yard is that I’m able to ride every single day! This is quite a contrast from the last two years when I’ve been riding two to three days a week.
Finally, my wellbeing needs some attention to. I am healthy and very happy, but a tad tired 😉 A long time living in hectic London combined with long commutes to ride have taken their toll a little bit. In France, I’ll be going back to basics with plenty of time in nature, the sunshine and cooking fresh, nutritious food. I have to say I’m quite excited about this one!
I already arrived in France last week and the house is now clear of boxes and everything has kind of found a corner to live in. Mickey is due to arrive the end of this week with John Parker International and I can’t wait to be able to ride him again, especially with the indoor having a view of the local vineyards 😉
A Massive Thank You
I want to say a massive thank you to Emile Faurie and his team! They have been incredible in getting me to such a good place with Mickey over the last two years. Without their help, I might not have the confidence I have today to move countries with him. I am incredibly thankful for Emile’s experienced help and also that of Tom Goode. Tom, the head rider at Emile’s, has had a huge role in making Mickey stronger and calmer. I have never seen anyone ride as beautifully and calmly as Tom. Watch out for his name climbing the international charts soon!
I’m on Instagram!
Finally, as you might have noticed, I’ve barely had time to blog here. Training combined with competing combined with life and work has been quite busy. Oh yes, did I also mention I got married in May?! 😀 It’s been a very fulfilling year for sure. That’s why I created an Instagram account for SH Dressage. There, I share quick, short snippets of my adventures with Mickey. Simply follow @Sh.Dressage if you want to keep track of what’s going on 😀