When my wife was a child her passion was for horse riding. Suffering from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, type 3 – hypermobility (EDS) means that because of her health issues she never thought she would be able to ride horses again.
However, following a brief tentative pony trek on holiday a few years ago, she has gradually got back into riding and it has, luckily enough, turned out to be good physiotherapy for her and helps to keep her as active as possible despite her chronic pain and unstable joints.
The show was hosted by the Forest of Dean Riding Club, and held at Speech House near Cinderford and had 17 classes including sections dedicated to dressage and to showing.
First up was dressage. My wife and her trusty steed were entered into the first two classes, which were British Horse Society tests BHS Introductory A and BHS Introductory B. A very nervous pairing set off into the arena for the first test – with husband, children, dog, parents and friends looking on and rooting for them.
Feeling that it had gone reasonably OK, it was then time for a quick revision session before undertaking the second test.
Afterwards there was much anxious waiting around before the scores came in. We were delighted, and very proud, that she achieved Second and Sixth (on equal points with fifth) placing respectively for these tests (there being seven and eleven entrants into the two classes).
There was then some much-needed downtime for both horse and rider to recover, during which I took the dog for a sightseeing wander around the adjoining Cyril Hart Arboretum.
Then it was back into the saddle and into the ring for the Hunter class of the showing section. Despite a very strong showing only Fourth place was awarded this time but both myself and others felt that a top three placing would have been a fairer result.
Nonetheless, my wife was very pleased with how things had gone and the rest of us were, again, very proud of her efforts.
Ahead of the show a good period of preparation and organisation was required, and now an equal period of recuperation will be needed as so much mental and physical energy and strength will have been used. I would be very proud of my wife’s achievements anyway but with the pain etc. that she has to deal with each and every day I am extremely proud of her and pleased that she has been able to take part in today’s show…