2019, the year of... growth
Can you believe that 2019 is coming to an end? The year started with us immigrating back to Zimbabwe, a country in turmoil, to settle down for good. We decided when we came back that we would do what we had to do to make ourselves a life in our home country. There has been quite a lot of exploring, many big changes and we think we have finally (in the last month of the year) figured out the directions we will be taking. Craig is now working full time and will only be available on a consulting basis, while I will continue to treat horses and riders as well as offer some Strength related exercise programming
This year we have welcomed StrideFree Racing on board as a Sponsor for the Apprentice Jockeys in Zimbabwe. We have been WOWED by their saddles both racing and exercise and as an Equine Physio, I can say that we have noticed some improved form in horses using the StrideFree Exercise saddle. I have noticed when treating these horses, that there is reduced pain and reaction in the epaxial muscles, which we know improves stride length. SO THANK YOU STRIDE FREE!
We have also welcomed Fresh In a Box on board to ensure the apprentices receive the extra fresh food source that they require. We have noticed huge improvements in their ability to make weight, something that Rodgers particularly struggles with given his size and late admittance to the academy. This company sources fresh produce in a sustainable and eco-friendly way and we're delighted to partner with them. We would strongly encourage you to look them up if you are in Zim. They are GOOD people.
We planted 120 trees for our inargural tree planting initiative at Borrowdale Racecourse, and they were msotly donated by the most wonderful people. You can find more information about this on FB, and we hope that you will join us next year at Borrowdale Racecourse.
Of course, I have been working with Swanson Racing in an Equine Physio capacity, my usual two days a week (minimum) to prep horses for races, as well as helping them with their events, internship etc. The season hasn't been as good as expected so far, but of course that is life and we are always working hard to shift paradigms. We'll be back!!!
We have been involved with the new Zimbabwe Elite Showjumping Academy and have helped founder and coach Ricky Johnstone with the Functional Movement Screens of Riders. We are so excited that someone has taken some initiative to create a "safe"environment for young athletes to excel in a career in Showjumping. Ricky has done his homework, he is making riders accountable, and it really exciting to see where he goes with this programme. With our exposure to GB sporting systems and Ricky's experience in Europe and as a National Coach, we believe that we have a realistic system in place to expose local athletes to "the real world". Obviously like all things in Africa, it is a process of re-education. It requires parent buy in, a growth mindset, team education and athlete discipline. I have no doubt that over time we will create an elite environment that really develops Showjumping in the country which is exactly the aim.
In other news, you will be pleased to hear that I am back at Crossfit. It has been a rocky 3 and a half years since I fractured my back. I have done a lot of research and a lot of rehab and (although I have been a bit complacent about my rehab recently), I am excited to be back. My take home message is.... if you want to do a sport, find a way to do it. I'm not lifting heavy weights, and I probably never will, but I love going to the gym and not having to think about anything for 45 minutes.
I've seen a lot of bad form in Crossfit, and the gym. I would really encourage riders to be careful about their cross- training. A lot of professionals that push their clients too hard for results. A lot of lack of specificity.
Get educated guys, I love doing the foundation work, so if you are achey/ in pain, struggling with the correct sequence of muscle firing, struggling with tightness etc. get in for a sports massage and some re-education. We're all guilty of it, if your form is bad, REGRESS! If your coach doesn't make you regress (a high risk movement that you are executing with bad form), get a new coach!
If you are an elite rider who does Crossfit or gym, please make sure you are using the gym as accessory work/ supplementation for your riding. Don't risk an injury in the gym that could prevent your progression in riding.
As usual we're always excited to collaborate, educate, partner and grow with other brands and professionals, so if you have a great idea... Get in touch