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Alan The Hero

Today is a good day, yesterday was a good day, life is good and for that I am very thankful and very grateful. Yesterday It's For Alan came good and won for us for the first time at Fontwell.

alan winning at fontwell

As I wrote in a previous blog, Alan has always been a difficult horse to train, he is very sharp and very nervous with a rider on. We had gotten him to relax a lot more at home and he had improved a lot in his attitude but he ran so badly at Warwick last time, I knew we had to get to the bottom of his issues, horses are very very rarely difficult unless they are in pain.

My Chiropractor and Physio had both agreed that his neck was not right, however we were all sidetracked by the hind end, sacroiliac, which was secondary to the neck. Trevor injected Alan's SI joint and scanned the neck at the same time, where we found a bad fracture that had not healed properly.

What happens is that the fracture makes the body think it needs new bone to be laid down and therefore there is massive inflammation around the joint, this in turn causes an impingement of the nerve, which as any of you know is horrendous pain.

As we had injected a massive amount of cortisone into his SI joint, so we couldn't inject the neck until a month after that. Once we had done his neck I started to ride him out with the aid of some sedative, just to help me get his brain to relax and therefore allow me to mobilise his neck whilst ridden. He has also had extensive physio and chiropractic treatments, which have helped to keep the neck moving. Alan has gradually improved each time he has been ridden, even walking home on a long rein, which is a massive step forwards. I may have blagged my way through my riding life as brave, however I would say that I have always been windy, just very arrogant in my not wanting to admit it. Which has made me brave in a strange way, however Alan has tested my nerve to enth degree. He has also decided that I am the one he wants to ride him and is a complete idiot with anyone else, cheers Al!

I have tried to palm him off several times but our Trace is the first to admit he finds him "trying" and he just bounces everywhere when any of the jockeys ride him. I suppose in a way I am grateful to Al as he makes me practice being present every minute I am sitting on him, I can't let my mind wander at all, which is rare for me!

I decided to run him back in the front yesterday as he had settled so much at home, I thought he was ready, also the last thing he needed was to be grabbed hold of, which would have made him pull harder, which in turn would have aggravated the neck. If you read the racing post report you would have thought we had been messing around with him, for one I'm not clever enough to do that,secondly his owners are the straightest, most genuine people who are the rare breed that are in it for the horse and the fun.

So I would like to say a big thank you to everyone involved with Alan's rehab and treatment, long may he continue to improve.

We may run Ken's well on Saturday, now for anyone who likes to bet, this horse has been ill for nearly 2 years, he has bled at home and in races and although he is flying at home, I have no idea how he will run. However if he doesn't bleed he should be very well handicapped. I shall be having my ten pounds each way!

Miniature Daffodil is back in work and doing lots of trotting, I am so pleased with how good he looks after his break, I will do a month of trotting then get his leg checked, at the moment it feels amazing. I think I may have been a little over cautious but that is far better than taking any chances. We will do another morning for the #TheseGirlsCan club, they are a great bunch of ladies and I am very much looking forwards to seeing them all again.

patsy schooling

Patsy (Into the Mist) has been schooling well, she still needs to stop the teenage "don't tell me what to do, I've got this" at her jumps, so she won't run until the end of May now, more schooling is needed to get it 100% right at home.

Starfoot has been back to his fresh and sharp self, he will go to Market Rasen next Sunday for another Chase - oh how I love that drive!

Marmont gave himself a nast splint on the outside of his leg, whilst I was skiing and although it is nearly ready for him to run, I still don't think he is quite ready for this weekend, so we will wait for another day, he may well got to Market Rasen with star, ground dependant.

Our babies are coming on well, Gem is a superstar who I would like to sell to a nice person to stay in the yard, I will keep a share if necessary.


Eddie is class and will be aimed at fillies bumpers next year.

Dave (Sagazza) is ready to go, I just want to do a bit more strength work with him before he sees the track, he is a bit weak through his topline, he is probably the classiest horse I have trained at home.

Jack is on his hols and he is still obsessed with his tongue!

Finally I bought Ella another pony for her to do more flat work and jumping on, he is 14 and been there and bought the tshirt, he just has given her so much confidence, I am so proud of them both. Bucket is still with us and she rode him beautifully the other day, in fact she actually got him going really well.

Her confidence has grown so much Bucket has to have a rethink with his cheeky behaviour, no more taking the mickey out of the small one!

Ella and Olly

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