Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Wilbur flies again

Up, up and away we go!

Yesterday was quite a momentous day for Team White. Wilbur and I went showjumping in public after a long break. Having had lessons over the past few months to regain my confidence, I decided to bite the bullet - or should that be flap my wings?
The clear round at Addington Manor EC was my chosen event. However, this came with its own challenges since it was the first time I had been back following my accident there two years ago when I fractured my back. However, everything was indoors, the staff are always helpful and they have a great canteen selling cake!
My determination to jump was definitely tested on the day with hail, snow, and high winds as I packed the lorry. But, I trusted my gut instinct - this felt right. My nerves were good ones - my butterflies were flying in formation!
We have lift off
Wilbur behaved impeccably. He warmed up beautifully and I snuck in a first round before friend and supporter, Dawn, arrived. Wilbur pulled me into every fence and although I had to check his enthusiasm on occasion, I felt very calm, and didn't fight him. It was such a wonderful feeling. And  the grounding and breathing techniques I'm learning with Dawn made a significant difference to how everything went.The fences were big enough for me on the day - at 75 cm I knew I wouldn't panic if I lost focus and our striding was lost. I could hear Wilbur shouting 'higher' as we flew round. My aim is to feel confident jumping 1 metre and Wilbur definitely needs a bigger height to back him off!
And, just to round off a brilliant day, I had to retrieve a glove I'd manage to 'throw' over the side of the warm-up area while taking off my jacket. An Addington staff member held my feet as I nose-dived over the kick boards to grab said glove, while Wilbur hid his head in embarrassment behind Dawn's back!
The canter we had felt fantastic! All photos courtesy of Dawn Bentley.
Kathryn is owner and director of Cathean Ltd Writing Services. She is a published medical and equestrian writer with a passion for creating compelling text in collaboration with her clients from pharmaceutical, healthcare and equestrian businesses across the world.