2018 Time to Reflect, 2018 you were a funny one. From house selling, job searching, immune diseases and a whole load of photos and website building! As expected, some huge highs and some pretty low lows. 

The spring started nice and slow, it was really wet, miserable and to be honest the photography scene was pretty quiet. I did a little shout out for someone who’d want to do some bluebell pics and Gemma got in touch. On a damp (there’s a surprise) Saturday a merry troop of us headed into the woods. Gemma glammed up in her wedding dress, Tavish her highland pony, was primped and preened and being led by two friends. Very very good friends especially as one of them took a tumble in the mud! 

Cue loads of giggles and one of the best photoshoots I’ve had. The pictures turned out fab and we had such a fun morning. You can read all about their shoot here. Another highlight of the spring was meeting the winners of a competition I ran on Facebook. Nicola and Choccywoccy, a gorgeous and stupendously photogenic dun gelding that was simply stunning. Nicola and he posed up a storm and again left me with so many pictures to choose from. Love it when a plan comes together. I was delighted when her mum got in touch to order a canvas for Christmas and Nicola was pleased as punch with it. Moments like that make it so worthwhile.

A trip to Royal Windsor meant the showing season was underway and Vicki, from 21stCentury Rider, and I made a road trip early. We enjoyed a huge range of shops and I snapped so many pretty ponies! RIHS and The Derby meeting remain firm favourites and this year was no disappointment. I just adore these shows and the weather was cracking. I tried something new with the gallops and really liked getting lots of different shots around the showground. This year didn’t involve sleeping in the car and instead Tara and I did it in style at Alexander House. Defo on the plan for 2019. 

Eventing Season Kicked Off

The eventing season kicked off in spectacular style with a trip to Tatts. After a bumpy start with my flight being cancelled and two trips to the airport before leaving Gatwick. All the stress disappeared when I meet the Braggs and the boys that I’d followed for the past season. It was a great show and I even got some of my Kinder Bueno ice cream that I’d dreamt about since Tatts 2017. The Braggs and I got on famously and the week flew by. My FB page grew in likes and the videos I did of course walks, and jumps were super popular. I was sad to leave that event but excited for the summer. 

Tattersalls 2018-Team Bragg-Frog and Field

I headed to BEDE events Osbourne House and had an awesome time on the Isle of Wight. One for next year for sure, if you want a fab event to go spend a weekend at, I highly recommend it. It did help the weather was amazing and by this point I was even getting a tan. The spectacular summer weather did cause a bit of havoc with photos. Harsh sun is not great to shoot in and it was challenging to schedule shoots. When we did manage the flies drove the horse mad and many shoots become shortened. Still though I met some fabulous partnerships and made some amazing memories.  

Braggs at Barbury 2018

Barbury was its normal EPIC self. Scorching hot, loads of horse action and far too much sun and wine! We also attended the wedding of Si and Tara and what a gorgeous day that was. Blenheim followed along with Hartpury and I met some amazing characters. One of these was Chloe Gunn and the hilarious Cow Pony. The Festival of Eventing was AMAZING. Lots of celebrations, many bubbles and the most eye boggling fences. 

The cow Pony

Health Dramas just for fun

In the middle of all of this an Immune condition (Urticaria) I had 8 years ago flared its ugly head and I battled trying to get my condition under control, alongside managing my low thyroid. I had weekly bloods for months, numerous trips to London to see a specialist, Kidney Scans, X-rays and two A&E trips. Then at the Polo the condition escalated, and I ended up in atrial fibrillation. This scared the life out of me, especially when Cardio-Version was discussed. Plus it made attending events quite challenging. I wasn’t able to do what I wanted to do, and I really had to watch what I did. Thankfully by November I was on the right treatment and was able to wean myself of Prednisolone. Now the process of losing the Pred-weight starts and I’m starting to feel more like me! 

Let’s just throw in a house move into the mix too! SO, in the midst of health crisis our house sale went through and we moved to a rented house in Reigate. Deciding home owning wasn’t really for us and we would rather live where we liked over owning a house where we didn’t want to live. Those of you that know me will know that there were a few stressors going on and in all honestly the summer hadn’t ended how I thought it would. The move to Surrey was probably one of the best things we’ve done. I’ve met some amazing new friends and I’m riding again which has helped hugely with me getting back on track. 

During the low points I really questioned why I was trying to even attempt to run Frog and Field. Like I said the summer didn’t end in the way I expected it too and I learnt a very hard life lesson throughout it all. Still there is no such thing as a pointless bad experience because you’ll always learn something. Just can take a while to realise this and also keep in mind you can’t change other people. Only the way you react to it. 

MSFD Meopham 2018

I skipped Olympia and followed the local drag hunt a lot which I really enjoyed! December has been spent making plans and really focusing my energies on the direction I want to head in next year. Lots of intentions to make which I’ll share with you next time.