So I’m back and not with good news…
Pull up a chair, get a cup of something and maybe even a tissue because this blog is as heart felt a blog as I have ever written..
I’m sure everyone reading this blog will be aware that 2 weeks ago we lost Jimmy Shoo, a accident XC schooling cruelly cut Jimmy’s life short.. Whilst we had our moments together he still was a very capable horse horse with tons of ability and he leaves a massive hole in the yard. We went XC schooling to give Jimmy a pop in to water before Hartpury CIC3*, we jumped a drop in to water that me and Jimmy have jumped many times.
We were on a great stride and he jumped in brilliantly, then it happened, he just didn’t put his landing gear out.. Something Jimmy has never ever done before, being a horse who is always looking after himself it’s a mistake I never ever dreamed he would make.. But he did and there was nothing I could do to help him to stand up on landing.. His owner was standing at the fence watching and was fantastic, I felt and still feel so guilty.. Could I or should I have done something/anything differently but she reassured me what in my heart I already knew.. It was one of those one in a million things that happen, it was a freak accident.
As soon as he got up off me I knew it wasn’t great and I ran to him so I could get his tack off and make him more comfortable..
The vets came to him at the course to make him more comfortable and after a trip to the vets they found fractures in a knee.
Not just because a horse of his ability is hard to replace but secretly I was very fond of him and having been in our yard for 10 years it seems a very odd place without him..
Jimmy had his own ideas on life but I shared some fantastic days with him, not just eventing but also hunting and team chasing.
I am more heart broken for his very loyal wonderful owner who doesn’t deserve the bad luck she has had..
But life has to go on does it???
But this does leave me short of a top horse..
As soon as I got the news about Jimmy I decided this would be my last season eventing..
The fairy tale of Phoebe Buckleys eventing career had come to a end..
So I prepared myself to tell my owners, not anyone else as it really wasn’t anyone else’s business, but then I decided to hang on till the end of this season.. Why upset the apple cart you are still pushing? I wanted to ride at the last few events of the season so it seemed silly to say anything to them with less than a month to go till the end of the season..
I have always said that if I didn’t have a horse to wear a navy coat on eventing I wouldn’t carry on, I love riding and producing young horses but I still have ambition, I still want to ride at top level and haven’t lost my bottle or that will to win that some people do as they get older etc..
Is my mentality spoilt? childish? defeatist? Maybe.. Maybe not.. But it’s my mentality and I won’t pretend to be anything that I’m not..
I spent 4/5 days pretending I was fine, but the last week I have been quite open with my close friends that I’m not ok about it at all.
But look I’m also a realist.. Jimmy was a wonderful horse but he was a horse not a person, no one died and he had a fantastic life and even in the end he received top class care and was in as little pain as possible..
Speaking to Jimmy’s owners husband about it all brought me to the reality of it all.
He said this – Phoebe it is heart breaking but from my point of view you weren’t hurt in the fall, last April there was a moment when we thought the coloured horse had killed you and an even longer moment when we thought you were very seriously injured.
When you compete horses as much and to the level you guys do it’s the risk you take and no one did anything wrong, it just wasn’t ment to be.
This weekend I was ment to be going to Blair to spend the weekend with my amazing Scottish family (they are more than friends)..
Sadly I haven’t been able to go as one of my horses has injured himself, nothing major but I can’t be 8 hours from home with him injured..
But honestly a little part of me was pleased I couldn’t go, I mean watching people compete at the level I want and never will ever compete at again would have killed me.
I believe in fate and him getting a minor injury that stops me from going is gods way of saying ‘yep I think it’s best you sit this one out’
But I managed to do loads of jobs at home like pressure washing and painting..
Whilst doing these boring jobs something hit me – I can’t face going to Blair because eventing still matters to me, I hated having a big yard of eventers and don’t miss that at all but the idea of not eventing at the top level and having to watch others do it bothers me so much I feel sick and angry at the thought..
So why the hell am I about to walk away from it?
When I teach I am the most positive, anyone can achieve there dreams type of person you will ever find, I honestly think in my lessons I could convince people to believe there horse could fly!!
But I am not and have never been thought like that about myself.
A girl from my back ground was never ment to achieve anything, other than being a good wife and mother, not that that is a bad thing..
But it’s how my family think or I should say what they thought..
Then I came along!!
I remember them calling me the ‘horsey girl’
I was almost a joke, kids are cruel and some of my community’s kids where very cruel to me..
But I just plugged along ‘doing my thing’ I remember hearing people whisper about my back ground right from pony club even until I got to Badminton..
Look I’m not feeling sorry for myself, 90% of people were amazing and frankly didn’t give two hoots about my back ground but I guess I have never escaped that 10%
I remember a top event riders dogs going missing and her owner approached me at an event and asked if I could ask people in my family if they had stolen the dogs and if they had could they return them!!!
I was dumb struck.. This is what people I spent most week and weekends with thought of me..
I’d like to add the 2 dogs had just run off and safely made there way home once they had no doubt finished chasing a rabbit.
Then there was to 2010/2011 when I received loads of press attention, not that I am complaining but it was unwanted and I hated the fact my back ground was a big deal..
I’m neither ashamed or proud of my back ground.. It just is what I am!
What I am massively proud of is the way my parents have brought me up and how they have adapted there life style to fit in with mine..
To start with coming to events was a difficult experience for my patents, they just felt out of place.. But as my friends and owners got to know them they saw them for what they were.. Not gypsies but just great, soul to the earth, lovely people..
With the unbelievable press attention came (no jokes!!) the offer of a book deal, some presenting work and even a film deal..
I turned it all down because I was reading all the bad things the press attention brought me.
On one very well known forum I read one girl saying she would be locking her lorry up tight now she knew the ‘type of people’ that were competing and coming to support at Badminton.
So there it is… That is the reason I have never thrown my heart, body and soul in to eventing or anything really..
Because of the 10% of people I will never be good enough for or fit in with..
Why bother? People are waiting for me to f**k up and if I don’t really try, if I just ride my luck doing my little thing then there is less to judge me on isn’t there?
It has taken the idea of giving up my career to admit why I just drip along not taking myself or my riding seriously.
But eventing and being the best I can be is what I want..
I’m not ready to just ride at the lower levels or not event at all.
This last 2 weeks there isn’t a day I haven’t thought about not eventing anymore.. That speaks volumes..
So there it is – Miss Buckley is making a proper comeback in 2016.
No big yard but a small select team of nice horses to go to war with, there is no place I’m more confident than when I’m on a horse so why the hell have I let narrow minded people stop me from doing what I do best and make me feel like this for nearly 15 years??
My best might not be good enough but I feel I’ve held my own eventing without applying myself 110% in the fear of failing and being judged for trying and failing even more than I am being judged just for who I am…
So there it is.. A couple of months to lick my wounds over losing dear Jimmy then I am going to find a select few horses to kick start my career again..
Time waits for no man and I’ve wasted far to much of it already…
Remember your fairy tale only ends when you decided..
To Jimmy.. Rest in peace, as much as I called you a few names I equally respected you for challenging me and my ability to out think you.. Life without you over the last 10 years would have been a damn sight more boring and that double clear at Barbury was you at your very best..
Over and out all..