THE COUNTDOWN TO BOLESWORTH INTERNATIONAL

I've been looking forward to the para showjumping starting and it begins at Bolesworth on the 18th June.This is a huge International show and last year they helped me out by organising a special day for a good friend as a thankyou-so it's very fitting.Her name is Shannon Roe and she helped me cope with some difficult medical procedures by sharing her experiences.So to actually compete there this year is unbelievable.I'm not just going tomtake part though,I seriously want to win.

It's my first year competing on horses and I've managed some good prep even though I've been in and out of hospital with ongoing problems.Since January I've been sick and we don't know why.I've had a barium swallow and endoscopy this week which shows my food pipe is extremely inflamed as if I have an allergy.(but I'm not aware that I have).Because of this it's very difficult to stay hydrated and it has an effect on my catheterisation and ACE working.The ongoing plan is that I go to my local hospital for hydration(drip)whilst it's investigated by QMC Notts.So I'm praying for some diagnosis soon as I've had to start eating babyfood to reduce the irritation and stinging.

I think I'll be more prepared for staying away at shows this year after last years experiences! It's always a worry wondering what facilities are available to me for doing my ACE as sitting in a toilet area for upto 3 hours can be grim(and smelly).The good thing about being open about my needs is people can try to cater for me.If they're not aware it's impossible.One show last year pointed me to a disabled portaloo with no running water.This year they've arranged on site accommodation with a bathroom facility because they now know what my needs are.That made me realise how important communicating is.It can still be a struggle if things are in place as my body is unpredictable and white jodhpurs are very unforgiving-but we always have a rucksack and I'm well practised at a quick change.One thing I love is dressing in really smart clothes so it's been great to be supplied with a gorgeous new riding jacket by Musto-I asked for red as I love standing out especially on a white horse.I think mentally it helps me if I'm feeling poorly to at least look as good as possible.

I'm looking forward to doing some more talks on living with hidden disabilities and all its difficulties-Especially as I look normal.My next one is at the 'young farmers' so it'll be good to see how they react!

Just for fun I'm having a t-shirt printed that says either 'Para divas on tour 2016' or 'Para babes on tour'
my friend Flossie a co para rider will have a matching one so I'll post some pictures soon x