November has been an agonisingly long month waiting to find out whether we had been lucky enough to be reselected or not, the new squads will be announced next week, so you will have to wait until then to find out…………sorry.
In the meantime we have been practicing really hard on our turn on the haunches, trying to improve them, and slowly but surely they are coming along. prince pretty much knows what he is doing now, but it still really difficult to co-ordinate all of the parts of my body to do what is necessary to make it happen, particularly on the one side as my right leg is a pain. Working in the walk has been really beneficial too because I have been suffering with quite a lot of hip pain again for several weeks now, because I load my left side so much due to my right side being so weak, my hip joint gets really inflamed. Its really painful and Louise (Physio) has been giving me acupuncture and soft tissue massage etc to try and release it, plus at home I have maintenance exercises to do, along with the horrid foam roller. It sounds quite soft and in offensive doesn’t it…foam roller?? but let me assure those of you who haven’t used one, it is in fact a terrible piece of equipment designed to inflict maximum pain and is adored by Physiotherapists and S&C Coaches alike.
Reflecting back on my last 4 years on the Program, it is in this area where I think I have made my biggest improvements, and looking at video footage and photos of me riding now compared to a couple of years ago even, I think my position and posture is really beginning to look far better and enable me to have a more positive influence over the horse, especially since I started training with Leonie Smith, because she is so hot on biomechanics. Considering I started riding basically because of trying to avoid doing my physiotherapy exercises, I now can be found in the gym usually 5 days a week, many times by 6.30 in the morning before work, and I really don’t know how I would cope without seeing my physiotherapist each week, because I feel so broken each week when I go to see her.
I’m not sure if I told you before , but I recently started a new job at a company called Steps 2 Sport who support PE provision to Primary children, both in curricular and extra curricular activities, and their aim is to engage more children to lead active , healthy lives. This is something I feel really passionate about now, because I know how big a difference exercise can have on you mentally, as well as physically, through personal experience. Especially for disabled children that most likely need an alternative way to coax them into doing physio, plus with health and safety being such a huge thing nowadays, in my experience many teachers were scared to allow myself and my friend with brittle bones take part fully in PE sessions, either that or I was forced to attempt to jump hurdles wearing my splint, resulting in sores all over my foot and leg. I would love to see more being done in schools to help sort this issue out as I think it can have such a positive affect of the effects of a disability.
Anyway back to horse talk…….Prince and I competed at Hartpury College on the 26th November, which concluded our competitions for this year, not our best tests to finish on as with my hip and the bad news I had received that week, my head and body just weren’t in the game unfortunately, however saying that I was still pretty pleased with the fact that on a bad day, with John Robinson (scary judge) judging I still achieved 68 and 67% scores which would have been a good day for Bongo, so I’m not disheartened by that at all.
Plus Prince was looking extra smart in his new bridle that we bought for him from Your Horse Live on the 13th, I was really looking forward to the event because I was intending to either buy or order some smart new competition boots, but not one store there had any of the boots I wanted to try. It was great to see my fabulous sponsor The National saddle Centre’s stand so busy though, I went over to say hello to Jo, but couldn’t get near her for the crowd.
Speaking of fabulous sponsors, I have had a meeting at the beginning of the month with a local company ION who innovated shoot/share technology, specialising in action cameras to experience life -then relive it, they have very kindly agreed to sponsor me, so watch out for more news on this as they join my existing sponsors………BettaLife, National Saddle Centre, Countrywide, Miasuki and Showerking
If anyone is interested in joining my team and supporting me, you can head over to my website to find out more information on how you could help Ashleigh Jones Para Dressage
So that is me done for November, I am busy packing my bags at the moment, ready to fly out to Paris tomorrow with my boyfriend, Sam to celebrate my 21st Birthday on Sunday the 4th December, so no doubt will have lots of exciting things to tell you next month.