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  • Writer's pictureOllie Ratcliffe

May Blog

May Blog

This month has been full of training and full on; working towards the Gold Semi Finals that are next month. I hope you are all enjoying the hot weather that we currently have. Let’s hope it’s here to stay! Read on to find my very exciting news that I have announced this month.

I started off the month in Nottingham at the National Water Sports Centre for a Backing The Best workshop.  I had an incredible day; thank you so much to Sports Aid and Sport England. I had such an enjoyable day and learnt so much. I cannot wait to put all I learnt into practice. It was also great to meet top athletes, who have achieved what I want to; an inspirational day. We had a fantastic media session which I really enjoyed. I was so much more confident this time in front of the camera still need more practice though! Amazing nutrition session so much new information and ideas to try. We had a very interesting and insightful Q and A with Richard Hounslow, Maggie Alphonsi and Rebecca Adlington. Had a really helpful performance lifestyle management session and so much more. I met a fantastic group of athletes too, the future is looking very bright!

In terms of training we have really been making use of the white boards being out. As the arena at home is massive so when the boards are out it’s a perfect opportunity to practice my 20 X 40 tests. It has been really good for Sky in particular as he does not like change and likes everything to be left in the same place. So when the arena boards are out he gets quite spooky and cheeky as he knows they’re not normally there! But we have overcome this and he has been going fantastically. As Bear is so big it has been fantastic to have him in a smaller space and still really get him to walk out and then to ride the movements of the test in the correct size arena.

My lessons have been going really well with Rob and we make a really good team. We are getting to know each other much more and I am becoming much more confident in my riding especially with Bear.  Have found another new button with Sky; even more power and a bigger more expressive walk! I love riding Sky so much; was fantastic to have a lesson on him this month as haven’t had one in a while; as been focusing on Bear. Sky has really muscled up on his top line to, becoming much stronger. Hard work pays off!

My gym work has been going really well and I am booked into performance Herts with Fiona for next month. I had a Physio session this month with one of my sponsors Tracy Crook of Chiltern Vet Physio. It is great to be working with Tracy.

Bear still needed a few points to qualify for the Gold Semi Finals so we took him to Mount Ballen. The outing was a learning curve! We forget that Bear is still a baby and has a lot to learn! He wasn’t naughty just in attentive! Ok first test with lots to work on but we hit the 70% barrier; first ever time riding the team test with Bear! Second test not so good, kept the activity and the up contact but Bear was in his own world! Massive thank you had to go to Rob and Dad for being brilliant. To give Bear his due he was a good boy considering the circumstances.

Extremely excited to say that I have had confirmation that both boys have qualified for the Gold Semi Finals next month.

This month mum got back on Bear he was an absolute superstar; she had a fantastic lesson with Alice. Was a great sight to see, could not be prouder of them both. Especially with everything mum has gone through recently, made of hard stuff! It also means that he can now go around the gallops again which he loves.

Was fantastic to see my sponsors Protexin Equine Premium this month; stocked up on the boys gut balancer and they also have some new treats (Gut Lix) to try; only the best for my boys.

Delighted and so excited to say I am being sponsored by KASK equestrian. Massive thank you to Giulia Mazzalupi, so pleased to be part of the team. Absolutely love my hats the Dogma Star Lady; is so light and comfy. They are going to make such a big difference to me and help me out. I have always found finding a hat so difficult due to my condition and the hypersensitivity that I have. KASK hats give you everything that I have been looking for and need in a hat. So looking forward to wearing my Swarovski one in competitions.

I gave Hand cycling a go for the first time and was hooked! Tried a different type of riding; hand cycling. It is much harder than it looks! I had a great fun going around Stoke Mandeville stadium and cannot wait to do it again soon! I wasn’t too bad either actually I think I was rather good! Gave me such a big sense of freedom as I could go as fast as I wanted! My legs were not very happy though so think they need to be strapped down in future as they kept flying off! Love a challenge. Even better I had a KASK hat on that was so light weight didn’t even realise it was on my head and felt totally safe at the same time!

Look forward to updating you all on another busy month next time!

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