With the demo only two days away I am looking forward to it with some excitement and a little apprehension. I am hoping that as soon as I get a pony under my arm I'll be fine as they seem to ground me better than anything else. We've sold over 150 tickets with a few more to go on the door and we hope we covered everything from food, to seating, music and ponies! We've got six for the demo: two miniature Shetlands, Tigga and Bella, one of which objects to being clipped and the other is frightened of bicycles, a Welsh pony, Lily, that was sexually abused (??!!), and lovely Ori, the Arab cross Thoroughbred that I have worked before that we hope to introduce to long- lining. Finn the RDA pony bites like a shark and Sunny won't load to go home from events. Whilst I am hoping that everything we do will be interesting, I am keen not to try and copy either Kelly or Monty and will just use IH techniques to do dramatic things in a non-dramatic way. I may also be able to show some clicker training where it would help.
Back at home, I am making plans to restore myself to good health. I have just been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia which seems to stem from both physical and mental exertion. I have certainly had a hell of a winter with three horses coming in for supposedly six weeks and then not going home for twelve. Inevitably there is an element of emotional involvement with every horse and owner I meet and this can tax my brain at 4 a.m. while I try to work out which way to go for the best.
So, the plan is to get myself off to a chiropractor and a nutritionist a.s.a.p. and to work with them and the doctor to minimise my symptoms. I shall continue to work with horses on a freelance basis and get my additional exercise through pilates, the gym and riding my own horse. David thought it would be quite novel for me to go walking with him rather than at the end of a set of long-lines for once. We used to walk absolute miles at the weekends and once worked our way through the Jarrold Book of Lancashire walks all in the right order - which is a bit sad actually.
I took Petra Perkins to a saddle-fitting clinic by Dave Siemens at the weekend where he found that her saddle was bridging ever so slightly. I hadn't noticed this because I always check with my palm down rather than palm up (which makes your hand flatter). We also tried her in a western saddle and she looked fabulous. Dave gave her a chiropractic treatment which wasn't too dramatic and she does seem to be moving better. Kate Barnett came out to give her physio yesterday and will come again next week. I am hoping that my lessons with Amanda Barton will continue to persuade Petra not to be "on a mission" all the time that she is ridden and that she will watch out for me going out of a shoulders, hips, heels alignment. With a corrected saddle, lots of stretching exercises, pole-work and long reining I am hoping that Petra will stay fit enough to ride throughout the year.