Daisy Jackson: A Tumultuous Second Half for 2016
What a year it has been! I have had a break from writing my column for a few months due to some tumultuous events which started to unfold in the middle of the year. Thankfully after a really difficult time things have started to settle down again so I must first apologise for my absence.
Just to fill you in on the dramas; After taking on a yard full of training and full liveries at the beginning of the year I found myself suddenly without any staff! This meant that as well as riding 6 horses on the yard, I was also without help for the day to day care of 11 horses as well as teaching, schooling and fitting in my regular clinics. It was a struggle and working 16 hour days became the norm. I am blessed to have a great group of friends and clients who pitched in when they could and managed to cover me when I was out of the area teaching.
If that wasn’t bad enough at the end of July I had a car accident which resulted in me breaking the windscreen with my fist and loss of consciousness. Thankfully I was ok but my car was written off and I had only just had it back for a week after it being vandalised, the tyres slashed and windows broken – so on top of everything else I was now without transport and biking to work and home again each day. I had family who would drive me to various locations for teaching which I was very grateful for but it is quite difficult freelancing without transport. I am yet to replace my car. I have been 5 months without it but. when I saw the crumpled mess of my Astra, I decided that I was going to save like mad and get a bigger more substantial car! It was pure luck that the crash was with a 4 x 4 and my car ended up under it saving me from more serious injuries. I am hoping that by early next year I will be back on the road but in the mean time, I am on my bike!
Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, the actual worst possible thing happened and Tango got sick. It all started off mid August with what should have been a simple procedure to remove a fractured tooth. The tooth was too difficult to remove the normal way so after several hours trying the vet abandoned the procedure and 2 days later he had the tooth removed by going in through to cheek. The tooth extraction had left an inevitable hole between Tango’s sinuses and mouth. He came home but we were not happy with his recovery. He was taken back into the vets and an infection was discovered. Unfortunately it wasn’t responding to antibiotics so he was given a trephine (a hole drilled in his head to drain and flush his sinuses) To cut a very, very long story short, Tango went back and forth to the vets and on his last visit stayed for over a month, he ended up having 5 procedures including 2 trephines and months of antibiotics to fight very stubborn sinusitis. Mr Orange (Tango) finally came home for good in October after what had been the most stressful few months of my life, ever!
I am relieved to say that our new grooms started at the beginning of November, although at the moment I am still covering at weekends until we find someone.
So, what have we managed to achieve in between all the drama and stress. Actually looking back I am not sure how but quite a lot! I have backed 3-year-old Leo, aka Larkshill Divinity, who is co-owned by his breeder Heather Stack from Larkshill Stud, with help from the ground from the brilliant Lizzie Milham. He is now on a Christmas break and will be kept ticking over with walk hacking until we start his prep for young horse classes next year. I have re-backed the lovely Halle aka Larkshill Hallelujah owned by Harriet Bennett. She is now doing big girl training and coming along beautifully. Standing at around 17.2hh her size could be a challenge but I am finding her really fun and love the progress we are making. I took Laura Durber’s Rudeboy aka Donnie to his first ever competitions and he won both Gold sections despite some very acrobatic spooking on both outings!
In October, Premier Into The Black (Blackberry), who is owned in partnership with her breeder Tracey Bywater, contested her first high profile show at Vale View. Despite some tension I was delighted that we had excellent behaviour in the arenas and no spooking at the banners. Considering at the U25’s at Sheepgate we had to retire several tests due to spooking and very sharp behaviour but, I was so happy with her progress. We came first in Gold section in the Medium and even had try at our first Advanced and with a clean line of temp’s and a pilot error we came 3rd! We are now working on Blackberry’s strength to get the pirouettes small enough for our first PSG.
In November Blackberry and I were invited to selection for the Equine Pathway which was very exciting. Unfortunately on the day Blackberry was tense and we didn’t manage to show what we can do. It was a great training experience and I have had very exciting comments from my trainers about our future so I am focussing on that and looking to next year.
So, all things considered it hasn’t been a bad year as, despite the stress and me at one point being so tired that I fell asleep at the kitchen table, it has all ended ok and I still ticked off quite a lot on my ‘to do’ list.
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!”
I would like to end 2016 by giving a massive thank you to Everything Horse for sticking with me when I have been flaky which is very unlike me but, I have never been pushed to breaking point before. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! I would also like to thank my wonderful sponsors, owners and clients for their ongoing support. I am honoured to be working with Everything Horse, TopSpec, Wolds Exclusive Bling, Bespoke Bandages, JS Elite Equestrian Wear, The Balanced Rider, Caroline Bennetts Performance Massage, Kate Boe Equine Physio, Del Viento Horse Hair Jewellery, Lisa Theron Saddle Fitter.
I was asked to let you in on my Christmas wishes, well they are very simple and always the same. They are for my mum’s health to improve so she can enjoy her life again; for there to be peace in the world and for my horses to all stay sound and achieve our goals for next year! Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and hope all your Christmas wishes come true.