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05 March,2019

A Double Barrel Month by Steffi de Bootman

With equine flu it seems all around, Laura Rose and I decided that as much as we wanted to go out and compete we would be sensible and stay at home.  So we did an online dressage competition, probably the best thing that I could have done as my confidence level has hit an all time low.

So what was the reason for lack of confidence? It may sound completely stupid as I wasn’t even riding Indie when the incident occurred. I was getting her in to get ready to ride, when she turned and said “I don’t think so mum and I got double barrelled…” Why is it that when you need your phone for some ridiculous reason it’s not with you..

I crawled back to the car feeling a bit shaky but mainly, and I know many horse riders out there will recognise this, I was totally furious and that I was to get on that b…ing horse as soon as I could.. grr”  As ever, with the patience of a saint, Laura appears on the scene. She convinces me that I really need to clean the cut up on my arm and then get the pony in. Again I know many of you will use these tried and tested method: salt water (in everyone’s first aid kit) and the obligatory vet wrap.  Sorted.

I got on and rode and everything was fine. Then I decided perhaps that I should go to A&E and get checked out.  Do other hospitals staff have the same reaction when horse riders arrive at A&E? You can see the slight pursing of the lips of the amazing staff, shaking their  head and saying “you blooming riders, honestly..”

After being examined the cut was rather deep and I had to go several times to the doctors to have dressings changed. Oh yes and I had a broken rib..Ouch!

Since the accident and even riding my lovely Eek, I’ve been a bit shall we say wimpy about everything.  Indie, obviously who has issues herself with confidence doesn’t really understand what happened to her “gun ho” mother…

With lots of help from my awesome friend Laura, we are slowly getting our confidence back. Good job too as we have to be part of our new Team Quest group AllFourFun and our first outing is in March.

As I’ve said so many times before I work in Westminster and it’s been quite eventful recently. Votes, not voting, breakaway groups or not and something called Brexit…As we enter March I’m still not entirely sure what’s going to happen and work is getting even busier.

I was given the opportunity to do a piece for my local regional Sunday Politics Programme on BBC1 all about bridle paths and access rights. If you do hack out and use bridleways, check out your local BHS Access Officer and see how many paths you ride are on the Council’s Definitive Map. All paths need to be recorded by 2026 and it can take a long time to get them on the map.  For more details contact the BHS.

Happy riding everyone as the mornings/evenings get lighter. Let’s ride more and have fun!


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