My Time on the Side Line

It’s not very often I sit on the sideline, to be honest I don’t think I’ve ever sat on the sideline due to my own injury. I’ll rewind back to April this year, I had the most amazing holiday planned in May to Botswana. Unsure what to do with Arnie during this time, I decided to send him down to the AquaGait at Menangle along with one of our race horses for some cross training.

My time on the side line

Arnie was most upset that I had left him! I had this horrible image that kept replaying in my mind on the other side of the world, that look he gave me when I dropped him off. That sad, bottom lip, long face look.  I knew deep down I didn’t have to worry as he was in the best hands. But it was still replaying in my mind over and over again.

my time on the side line injury

The 1st of May rolled around quickly, and I was boarding that Qantas flight to Johannesburg, sparkling wine in one hand and a smile on my face ready for that 14-hour journey. Once we landed in Johannesburg it was time to refresh ourselves for a good night’s sleep before our flight the next day to Maun, Botswana. Excited was an understatement, I’ve been on safari before in Botswana and absolutely loved every minute of it. In another life if I didn’t have horses (which mind you is totally hard to imagine!) I could honestly pick up and move to that part of the world.

on the side line

One of the things I love about being on safari is the small planes, flying to and from the airstrips into the different camps is an experience in itself. In total we had 12 nights on safari, 6 of these nights were at two different camps. The last one we were out on a mobile safari for 6 nights, which is honestly the best experience. Bucket showers, no power, tents. Amazing. Truly back to nature, well, as close as possible. With a glass of bubbles to finish the days journey.

on the sideline

We saw so much wildlife, elephants, giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, hyenas, wild dogs, honey badgers, baboons, kudu, impalas, jackals, leopards, lions, hippos, mongooses, sables… and soo much more including an incredible amount of bird life. Which I feel is a little hidden interest of mine! I could honestly write pages upon pages about my holiday in Botswana, but I might make that a totally separate post.


Very much into the safari groove with only another 2 nights left in the amazing Okavango Delta is when I fractured my collarbone, I’m thankful it was towards the end of my holiday not the beginning. A little mishap at approx. 4:30 am when a tree decided to fall onto my tent and give me a little squash! Enough to scare everyone that’s for sure. I am incredibly lucky to walk out of it with what I did, but I’m also appreciative for all the help and support from the people on safari helping me that morning and the days after while I was recovering in Maun.

When I arrived home a fair few days after the incident, sore, bruised, stitched up and perhaps feeling a little sorry for myself. The first thing I did when I arrived back at the property was to go and see Arnie, I still had that horrible image floating around in my mind when I dropped him off at the AquaGait. He was excited to see me, which was a massive relief. As if that weight was lifted from my mind. He was a bit concerned what was wrapped around me, I’m lucky he is definitely a sensitive kinda guy and didn’t knock my shoulder.

While it has now been just over 6 weeks since my little accident, stitches out of my ear, CT scan being cleared of any fractured skull, X-Rays showing I’m going to live, but its healing on a very slight angle. My appointment with the orthopedic surgeon assured me I could start riding again in another 2 weeks time after another X-Ray. If feels amazing to be able to do ‘normal’ things again,! Look out horses, 2 weeks of lunging and I’ll be back in the saddle again soon!

It’s so easy to get deflated, become unmotivated while sitting on the sideline. And frankly easy to get unfit and a little chubbier!

injury on the sideline

My Trip Across The Ditch

My trip across the ditch


Earlier this year the family purchased 3 lovely fillies from the Yearling Sales in Christchurch, all 3 lovely fillies and 3 very different fillies! Making our latest team 5 Kiwis in total, sounds like we have an addiction! I was fortunate enough to hop back on the plane across the ditch and see how they were going after the breaking in prep. With New Zealand winters not favouring the horse training, a little too cold and wet. It was nice to see the fillies back in work after their winter holiday, still a little scruffy with their winter coats.

trip across the ditch


I arrived in Christchurch on a beautiful Friday afternoon, sun shining, spectacular clean crisp New Zealand air. We are so fortunate to live in this part of the world, especially when Middle Earth is only a 3-hour flight away.

We were in for an absolute treat on the Friday night with Addington races having a table in the members room with beautiful food and watching an action-packed race night. It was a spectacular experience, especially witnessing the running of Heat 3 for the Sires Stakes series. It was amazing to see Chase Auckland get the win in the heat, who went on to win the final. You can see Chase Auckland’s Heat win here on Harness Racing New Zealand website.

We retreated for an early night after the ninth race knowing we had a jam-packed Saturday!

trip across the ditch addington

Two reasons for the trip across the ditch, first one was to see our fillies and how they are developing after their breaking in prep. But also, to have a peep at Equidays NZ and to sit in on an incredible masterclass with Kyra Kyrklund. You can read all about the recap here with Kyra in my earlier blog post here.


With Christchurch weather still on our side on the Saturday morning, it was time to drive some fillies! We watched Spider (Betterthencheddar) a nice little compact filly with a striking part white tail- workout first. At this point with her training she can be a little head strong and is a little opinionated!

trip across the ditch spider

Next, it was Libby (Sportswriter) and Misty (Shadow Play) turn to work out, I managed to steal the drive on Misty. I became rather attached to this big black girl this trip. I had an amazing experience driving Misty first up on Saturday, pushing her through a few gears with Libby. Who might I add was exceptional to watch, Libby has an amazing turn of foot. She really does look impressive when she finds that next gear!

trip across the ditch misty

I defiantly chose the right horse for me, managed to get the phone out for a quick snap on the way back in!


Trip across the ditch Misty Shadow



We also had a treat to see a filly who was only born several hours earlier! This stunning little girl is half sister to Spider.


To top off a wonderful horse day in Christchurch we visited Equidays, a pre- visit to Kyra’s Masterclass on the Sunday and to do a little shopping. I purchased a snazzy new Spooks vest and bought a matching pink one for my mother who was unable to join us on the trip. We finished off an amazing day with an absolute feast at the local Tai Tapu pub! If anyone is travelling to that area, I highly recommend the pork belly. ?

Kyra Masterclass



As it was only a short trip across the ditch, when Sunday rolled around, yet another beautiful clean crisp day. I knew it was going to be a jam-packed day. First up we attended Kyra Kyrklund’s Masterclass at Equidays, full details can be viewed here on the previous blog.

I was excited to take the reins on Misty again on day 2, she is such a straight forward filly to drive. Leading the way out on the track with Libby on my tail we pushed the fillies through the gears. We were extremely impressed how the fillies worked today. I was very chuffed with Misty, we both performed better together today over our first drive together on Saturday .


trip across the ditch
Misty and Libby

I just can’t believe how wonderful Christchurch’s weather can be, we were incredibly fortunate to experience sunshine over the weekend. Some of our previous visits all we have had is rain, wind and more rain!

Can’t wait for the next trip next month to take the reins with the fillies again! 🙂