All, Orla & Coco

The Coco Chronicles ~ Here we go again…

Horses are great levellers…one minute you’re sky high, the next you’re flat on your back.

My Instructor after my 3rd fall of 2019

…and ain’t that the truth! So there I was, doing a jumping lesson just one week after Coco and I absolutely bossed the AIRC Riding Club festival in Mullingar – check out my blogpost all about it – and we were feeling as good and confident as ever. The lesson was part of a clinic being run at our yard with my usual instructor so there was a nice tricky little course set up for the occasion, complete with combinations and fillers.

The amount of air she gave that puny little water tray is ridic…

The lesson started like all our lessons, a quick walk, trot, canter warm up, some flatwork to get the horses engaged and listening and then onto jumping. We schooled over every jump a few times which I was grateful for as I was slightly concerned about the little water tray underneath one of the jumps. When it came to jumping it Coco gave it a good hard look as she leapt over it leaving plenty of room to spare. I was actually thrilled with how she handled it to be honest..yes she had a look but she stilled jumped it first time! In the past she’d refuse first time and then jump it the next time so I was delighted to see the progress we had made..we had real confidence in each other. We jumped it a few more times just to get the wiggles out and after a while she didn’t even look twice. So on we went with the lesson as we gradually started piecing the whole course together. I was feeling great with how Coco was jumping and she felt like she was having fun.

So effortless and loving every second

It was time to jump the full course and my instructor put the jumps up another two holes so this was a nice 90/95cm course. The first half felt so easy, we just sailed through it. As we got into the second half, this is where things started going slightly pear-shaped. Coco was getting tired and I could feel that so I slightly reverted back to my old ways of throwing her into fences which resulted in a few off strides..BUT this is what these lessons are for. You make mistakes, you learn from them, you try again and do your best to get it right the next time. So I gave us a minute to get our shit together and we started again from the second half of the course. We were ok through the combination, definitely better than the first time so I continued on to the related distance which had the water tray. I brought us back to our calm, steady rhythm and Coco jumped beautifully into the first jump – 1, 2, 3 strides (with a slight drift to the left which wouldn’t be completely out of the ordinary for her) and BAM..Coco decided to dip out to the left of the water tray.

Big bold head on her…delighted with herself she was

My balance was completely gone as I fell over her right shoulder and my right foot held in the stirrup for just that bit too long as I tumbled down to the ground. As soon as I landed I knew I had done something to my ankle. I had hoped it was just a bit of a sprain but the pain wouldn’t subside so unfortunately we had to call it a day. I was raging I couldn’t get back up and get her over that jump at least once..I HATE ending on a bad note but there was nothing I could do. I hobbled back to the yard, using the boyfriend I had dragged to take videos (thank god!!) as a crutch. I got my boot off and started cold hosing my ankle all the while telling my instructor, “Ill be grand. I should be fine to do the lesson on Wednesday”. Little did I know that I had just landed myself with an avulsion fracture of the cuboid bone in my foot. Which is basically when the tendons and ligaments attached to a bone, pull a piece of bone off the bone (wow there’s a lot of bone in that sentence..bone. Bone. BONE).

So it’s been three weeks since all this happened. So far I’ve spent it building a solid case of cabin fever as my foot is stuck in a boot which means I can’t drive or ride (shocking). Coco in the meantime has been put out to the field for a holiday while I’m left hobbling around on crutches. I had my two week visit to the consultant on Monday so I’ve been told it’s going to be about 3 – 4 weeks until everything’s healed and I’ll need another 2 weeks or so before I can ride so it looks like I’m out of the saddle until the middle of frickin AUGUST #nocraic. I’m devising a plan of what to do with Coco when its time to get back to work so I’ll do up a little blogpost once I’ve got more details decided.

And that is all I have for you today so I’ll leave you with the below video of the fall. It’s not the most exciting video as you miss the actual landing but it is funny hearing everyone’s reactions.

I’m starting to laugh at it now…just a little bit

As always, thanks for reading

Orla

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