As I sit here looking at my overflowing suitcase and wondering how on earth I am going to fit everything in it, it is hard to believe that I am nearly at the end of my European ‘tour’ and about to head to Roosendaal in Holland for our last show this trip.
On our return from Mannheim it was a bit of a shock for Don to have a large abscess burst out of his lip a day later. I knew that he didn’t quite feel his usual self at Mannheim but we couldn’t find a single thing wrong. The vet thought that something (perhaps a seed) must have gotten stuck and while I was disappointed with the marks we had achieved at the show there was at least an answer as to why he was a bit out of sorts. It really bought home how genuine and special Don is as it would have been more than understandable for him to have said ‘nope, I’m not doing this when it hurts!’
Fortunately it has healed quickly and we both had a nice rest and returned to work a week later refreshed and positive about where we are heading.
The goal has been to get more swing and thoroughness which has come about largely as a result of me not hanging on to my handlebar. While it is a challenge every day we have made a lot of progress and the improvements have been obvious. My goal for the show in Roosendaal is to not hang on to the bar at all (unless its an emergency!) and I am determined to achieve this, as is Bella! She has been very tough but fair at pushing me a bit each day.
I have also had in the past few weeks a chance to explore the area a bit, there is some really beautiful scenery and castles around. The only issue is that when they built the castles there weren’t many folk in wheelchairs around to consider, so access has been rather limited! I have enjoyed some nice time adventuring in the forest in my ‘town’ wheelchair and did manage to get up inside the Hohenzollern castle (in the car no less which was very narrow and nervewracking!) which has views for miles around it. Unfortunately 26 steep steps meant I couldn’t get inside it but I had a nice look around the outside which was very impressive. This castle is home to the Prussian family jewels and is still privately owned by the Prussian royal family.
The weather has been very nice, some blazing hot days where the indoor school was a bit of a sauna, but otherwise fairly settled and warm. We had a pretty spectacular electrical storm the other night which made it quite hard to sleep. Still I am not looking forward to returning to winter at home, it is going to be a bit of a shock to the system!
Bella, Don and I leave for Roosendaal in the morning, it is a bit of a hike but at least it is autobahn the whole way which makes for fairly easy driving! We have trot up tomorrow afternoon and then compete Thursday, Friday and Saturday before returning home. I fly out back to Christchurch on Tuesday night so have a couple of days to rest which will be nice.
I have learnt so much this trip again, can’t believe time has gone so quickly! Will report back after Roosendaal so keep fingers and toes crossed for a great result.