2018 - Part 1

It's that time of year for reflecting, working out what exactly happened in the 12 month whirlwind of 2018 and planning for next year. Turns out 2018 was INSANE for me and the horses. Get yourself a cuppa and settle in, I split this into 2 because there is just SO much to write about.


We started out on a not so good note, spending January 1 in hospital having surgery. That incident saw my confidence at a low point, and we started out the year with low expectations. Turned out I broke my skull too, so much for no broken bones! At least we could only go up from there.

17 days after the accident I was back on a horse. I felt at the time I could have got on sooner but I kept my sensible head on and waited to get all my stitches out and healed properly. It also rained a lot for summer, we got 90ml in a day which is more than we get in winter!

My first ride back on both horses went well, and Henry was a good boy for having time off. We were cycling and running a lot, really working on our fitness. I had a lesson that picked on my position a lot, we finished painting and making jumps. Coolie was very wary of the new jumps and gave them plenty of air the first time we jumped them. My leg bloody hurt jumping and I was quite worried it would be a lasting pain. Henry was much braver about the new jumps and trotted over like he'd done it his whole life!

January was a very busy month, mostly taken up with healing. My accident was horrible and left me with physical and mental scars that I spent longer than I thought healing from.


February started with me checking in on my goals because I was smashing them out. Coolie and I had a great jumping lesson, a XC outing with a friend, and then a XC lesson. Our lesson was super productive and we smashed out some great jumps. Early in the month my confidence was starting to erode with Henry, and I was starting to get nervous, even if I didn't realise it at the time.

Henry and I had our first lesson, and he was fresh but settled. His self carriage was non existent but we got it by the end. The same day Coolie and I had our first competition, we went jumping indoors. We were entered to do 75 and 90 but he was fresh and I was nervous so we stuck to 75. We ended up coming 4th and had a really productive, fun outing.

Next up there was some dressage training, where Coolie and I got some valuable pointers from the judge, then I ran my first 5km, went XC training again and jumped Henry. Henry and I had our first lesson with Jonna, and it was very encouraging and beneficial!

Coolie and I had some great rides, including a fantastic lesson where my coach made things harder and harder and we just kept nailing everything.

Our eventing season started earlier than usual when we headed off to Capel where we had a really fantastic weekend, finishing in the placings!


After our first event, the first few weeks of March saw me doing lots of jumping and bush rides because flatwork seemed too dull! We headed back to the beach leaving Henry at home and had a really great day out.

Coolie and I had a SJ and XC lesson with Craig Barrett. We jumped some decent fences and got a huge confidence boost, tackling some decent sized fences.

Coolie and I also went to the vet because he had mysteriously swollen legs, but nothing was found and they eventually returned to normal. Henry and I had a really productive lesson and then Coolie and I went to a dressage and SJ training day where we had a discussion about how we do not get tense in dressage and had 2 fabulous jumping rounds.

Andrew took over the blog for a post that had one of the most hits, I continued to have wobbly confidence with Henry, Coolie and I had ago at camp drafting, and then Coolie and I had our second event of the year. Dressage was average but SJ and XC were a blast, and I got a video of our whole round.


We started off April the right way, with a ride out with Emily. Henry jumped his first oxer with some style and a lot of air, and Coolie and I killed it XC training, jumping some solid 105 combinations.

Manu came to Perth and the boys both had amazing lessons, we introduced the neck rope to both of the horses and I saw huge improvements in my position. I had to focus on lifting Henry's shoulders, and maintain self carriage. We had a similar message with Coolie, and my position was improved greatly in the space of the 2 days.

Coolie and I had our first event at 95, and while our dressage and SJ were average, XC was amazing. We stormed around clear, having a great time!

Henry jumped his first XC fences, and celebrated a year retired as a racehorse.

We headed to Moora on my Birthday weekend We had 3 amazing phases, and finished in the placings! I think this was a high point of my year!


May was another busy month, starting out with a dressage training day with Coolie which was really helpful. Our score were good and we had constructive comments from the judge.

We had a show jumping lesson with Craig and we jumped some big fences, Coolie was adjustable and I had a great time. I made some mistakes, but overall we had some awesome progression.

Henry had his first big deal outing at the Off the Track Clinic at the state equestrian center. Henry was a super star and took it all in with minimal fuss. He was nervous but tried really hard and we had a good lesson in a group environment.

Andrew and I volunteered to jump judge and had a very busy day out and Henry and I had another lesson, where he was a lot more grown up since his clinic. The difference was noticeable and we really worked hard on self carriage.

Henry had another first, his first dressage test. He was such a clever boy, he stayed clam and was very cute. He was wonderful in every aspect of the experience.

Andrew bought me a fancy new jump, and we jumped it! We rode in the rain at pony club, jumped some more XC jumps and I ran my first 12km run and set a great time!


June started out with a jumping lesson with Coolie, and then Henry cantered his first course! I took both the horses to the Walliston Combined training day and it was a mixed bag. Henry did a test and he was tense, but the test scored ok despite choosing not to canter. Coolie did a good test, and two really great show jumping rounds to win the combined training!

Coolie and I did an eventing grand prix and while I had high expectations, Coolie was over excited and not paying much attention so we had a stop at a fairly simple fence. I wasn't very pleased about it! We went XC training the follow weekend and proved that there are no holes in our training, I just have to get onto Coolie a bit sooner and ride the horse better.

I celebrated owning Henry for a year and looked back at his achievements to date. Coolie and I went to a dressage and SJ competition. I pencilled for dressage for the first time and Coolie and I placed in all our classes. I was very pleased with our dressage test.

Jonna came back to Perth and Henry progressed in jumping, and Coolie and I worked on landing on the correct lead. We got heaps of homework!

We went to Dryandra CNC, And had a good weekend over all 3 phases, especially XC!

Are you tired yet because I think my near death experience pushed me to want to do ALL THE THINGS!


  1. this was great to read, esp since i didn't find your blog until mid year! what a way to start, but then such a strong finish!! looking forward to part ii ;)

    1. It's been a year of challenges for sure :) I'm glad you're along for the ride


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