Thursday, 23 February 2017

Galloping back..

So it has been a while since my last blog post but it is time to come galloping back. After a few years of injury and too much going on at work that left little time for riding or blogging it is great to be back out competing on the horses and to be expecting the birth of two foals on our farm in Fife in Scotland in just a few weeks from now.
During this time away, one of my work projects has been to help launch EQy magazine which has been a very exciting step for me. EQy is Scotland's only dedicated equestrian magazine - it is published annually and comes free with the July issue of Scottish Field magazine.

EQy magazine - THE magazine for Scotland's equestrians

We are currently putting together the 2017 issue and also working hard to build up the website to contain more articles, photos and blogs including my own and some from guest writers.

Back to my own horses though, I have six at the moment, including the handsome bay chap that appears on the beach cover above. That is Fast Ed my warmblood 8-yr-old who was a complete superstar during a photo shoot we did on St Andrews' West Sands with Game of Thrones actor Clive Russell. He is riding Tom, who belongs to one of my livery clients. We needed two quiet sensible horses that day and Fast Ed and Tom behaved like old pros. I never quite know what some of my horses are going to be asked to do in the name of my job at EQy, which keeps me and them on our hooves.

The day of the photoshoot, luckily the sun was shining, it had been freezing the day before

I even dragged my long-suffering husband into a photo shoot for the last issue - he posed as a dodgy dealer for a tongue-in-cheek piece on the perils of buying a horse from an unreputable source.

My poor, long-suffering husband nearly choked trying to puff a cigarette hard enough to look shifty

Not only did the poor chap not shave for several days to make sure he had that slightly unkempt look, he also nearly expired when the photographer asked him in the name of the perfect shot, to puff vigorously on a stream of cigarettes so that the smoke looked just right in the finished image. He was a bit green by the time we finished but we got the great shot pictured above.

Three of the horses in the photo above are my own and, far from being dodgy-uns, as the photo would have you believe, they include my two super broodmares, Amelie (far right) and Scarlett (second from the left). Amelie is a homebred mare who some of you will know about from older blog posts. A lovely scopey mare by Secundus she is due to foal at the beginning of May to the Brendon Stud's Grand Prix jumping stallion Caretino Glory. Scarlett is another ex jumping mare of mine with good old Irish and warmblood lines in her breeding and she is also due to foal in May, this time to Balcormo Stud's Corraghoe Storm.

Amelie in action. Photo Adrian Sinclair Photography

It is a few years now since I have bred horses here at Airdits so I am really looking forward to foaling time with all the expectation that comes with it. The two stallions were carefully chosen to suit the two mares but now it is just a case of wait and see. Both mares are blooming and looking every inch expectant mothers. By the time the foals arrive hopefully this winter weather will have disappeared and the grass will be green and growing.

The fun video below show the fabulous Scarlett in a training session - you can see why I am excited about her foal

Meanwhile, I am fully recovered from an ankle operation just ten weeks ago in which a ground breaking new technique called the #internalbrace invented and developed by Scottish surgeon Professor Gordon Mackay was used to fix my ruptured ligaments. I ruptured pretty much all of them in my left ankle which would normally have left me hobbling about in a cast for about 12 weeks (very frustrating if you have 6 horses, a full-time job and a livery yard to run as well). However, Professor Mackay operated and used internal bracing to fix the damaged ligaments which meant that not only was I back on a horse within 6 weeks but amazingly, in just under 10 weeks, I was back out at my first small showjumping competition at the weekend. As none of my horses are fit I begged and borrowed a horse from a friend without having to steal it.

Borrowing the fabulous Ard Pharoah to get out jumping last weekend. Image Adrian Sinclair Photography

In our next issue of EQy we will be covering the even more remarkable story of Nikki Corstorphine, a horse rider and groom who was left with a truly horrendous knee injury after a fall left her lower leg detached below the knee, with all her ligaments ruptured. Traditional surgical techniques would have left her struggling to walk again with little possibility of ever riding again. Nikki however, also underwent internal brace surgery with Professor Mackay, we will tell you her amazing story of recovery as she looks towards the day she can get back in the saddle again.

If you have enjoyed reading this come back every week as I will be blogging about life with my horses and how they fit in around my family and work on EQy. I would love to have your comments.