After our lovely holiday I finally felt properly strong and recovered from my hernia operation. All the horses are back in work and I have a new four year old, Lima hof ter Zeedycke, who has come from Shane Breen and Michael Quirke. She is absolutely sweet, with a fabulous jump and excellent movement, but she is rather like a big orange giraffe, being quite tall and very green.
The whole team have now been to two shows, a first ever trip to Parwood, which was a perfect first show for Lima, and a good place for Luendi and Doonaveeragh Emma to start again. Lima jumped a lovely clear round and went well round the British Novice, Culana Z jumped well, if slightly rustily in the British Novice and Discovery, Luendi jumped well in the Newcomers and Foxhunter and Doonaveeragh Emma jumped a good double clear hors concours in the Foxhunter. It was a long cold day and I was lucky to have Steff Gibbs helping me as they were all either amazed to be at a show, or in Emma's case excessively pleased to be there. The following Friday saw me troop off to Crofton Manor by myself. Luendi jumped really good double clears in both the Newcomers and the Foxhunter. Doonaveeragh Emma was wildly enthusiastic and very nearly bucked me off in the car park, but jumped well to be 4th in the 1.20 and just have a silly pole in the 1.30. Lima went very boldly round the British Novice and Culana Z did a fantastic double clear in the Discovery. Hopefully this has set them all up for a trip to Addington in the New Year.
We have had a really lovely Christmas with Anna and Sophie home for the whole 10 days, Mark and Sophie have ridden nearly every day and the whole family rode on Boxing Day. Sadly we are mostly restricted to the road as it is so wet underfoot in Sheffield Forest, but Sophie and I have taken Doonaveeragh Emma and Luendi for a proper canter on Ashdown Forest which blew away the Christmas cobwebs.
We had a lovely Christmas night with Mark's father and sister and Molly from Zimbabwe who is caring for my father-in-law, and have spent several evenings catching up with so many friends. My sister, Polly, and her two lovely daughters Ellie and Nina have spent two days with us, and my family all get together after New Year. We are certainly very well fed and the biggest challenge next Monday might be getting into my riding kit rather than getting up at 4.30 to get to Addington.
A very Happy New Year to everyone. Hopefully we will all rise to the challenges that 2016 presents and all have some triumphs along the way.