August has been memorable not least because it marked the anniversary of the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. I am sure I was not the only one pleased to have so many pictures and highlights revisited... it brought back so many fab memories. I also had the chance to relive my own personal ones - not only of the Paralympics - but of the series of events that got me there when I gave a talk and presentation in Kent in aid of the Leybourne Grange RDA. It seemed well received - no one appeared to mind that I rambled on with anecdotes and observations and hopefully raised some needed funds - and more so, awareness in the locality with the local paper in attendance.
Less than 4 weeks after our last trip to Andrew's Rhaps and I headed back to Kent over the Bank holiday weekend. A combination of Rhapsody's improved fitness and strength through his back has meant that Andrew has been able to really move up a gear with our training. All the hill work combined with his schooling has him now feeling so comfortable in his body, and as a result Rhaps is responding in such a positive way to the next level of work.
As if we needed any proof of this latest development Rhaps and I headed to Hickstead straight from Kent on the 30th for two para classes - the only qualifier in the south for the winter championships. A first and a second - and a great feeling from Rhaps - not at all tired from his week training with Andrew - on the contrary he felt so energised and eager to work!
The typical timing of these things meant that we headed to Hickstead again on the last day of August... this time for the unaffiliated dressage championships that - despite only doing 2 shows there earlier this year we had qualified.
I was pleased with our test - and pleased also to learn that we were in the lead with the last mark to come...
alas we ended up reserve champion but we had our first mounted prize giving... very unusual these days which is a shame - but health & safety rules supreme it seems. Rhaps posed perfectly for the photographs - the hand shaking and rosette presentation - but when it came to the lap of honour it was obvious that he really wanted to be the one in front! He is such a show off - enjoying the attention and having a ball! I feel that this marks another turning point for us!!