Phoebe Kett Blog Update - A Month of Mixed Emotions
A-level assessments have finished and it is time to get cracking with Evita and Missy. I have however made a huge change in my plans, after a long think I am now taking a gap year as I feel that I would really benefit of a year out with no educational pressures. I am also strongly considering a new career path, with no animal links so I have something to fall back on if the whole animal side of things doesn’t work out. So, the new plan is to spend a year competing, playing ponies and a little bit of travelling on the side along with definitely getting a job too! I think a goal would be to take both of my ginger girls to a premier league with Evita in the advanced medium and Missy in the 5 year old class but I am just going to take each day as it comes and not put any pressure on myself.
On 16th May, Evita and I made our BD debut, and it was my first attempt at an affiliated elementary as well. Evita was incredible (despite launching over a puddle into the warmup arena!!), felt amazing and to top it all off we came away with a respectable 64.5% in Elementary 43 to come 3rd in our section (silver) and 4th overall, we made some small accuracy mistakes where I am still learning how to ride Evita in the competition arena as it is only my fourth test with her, so it is still very early days. We have a few more BD competitions booked and now I have the confidence to ride Evita properly away from home we have entered the qualifier classes, so fingers crossed we can perform our best. A massive thank you to Horse Quest for funding my competition entries!
30th of May this year will also make one year since the passing of Rupert. I owned Rupert through a very difficult time in my life, I spent a lot of 2019 in hospital, and, in my eyes, he was the most stable thing I had at that point. I would go straight from hospital to the yard to see him whenever I got out. I remember waking up in excruciating pain one day but masking it so that I could go competing with him, only telling my mum what was going on once I had finished my test so that I could be taken into hospital. I am very open about my mental health on social media, my physical health not so much but it was my physical health which resulted in spending so much time in hospital, doctors’ wards, constant tests and specialist appointments, that triggered the decline in my mental health.
It was March 2020 when my mental health really started taking its toll on me – it was strongly affecting my day-to-day life. From January 2020 Rupert was living at home and despite my mental health, I had duty of care to him; some days he would be the only thing I would get out of bed for – especially throughout the first lockdown when I couldn’t see Cardi (my other pony at the time), so this puts Rupert once again as a stable thing in my life. It was only when I had to make the decision to let him go that I realised how much he really meant to me. Of course, I was devastated in the weeks that followed his death, but it was only when I truly realised that I now didn’t have the one thing that had always been there, the true extent of the grief that surrounded losing him really kicked in, which showed itself in my huge confidence knock with Evita. I once heard the perfect analogy for describing grief – 'the first time a weightlifter attempts to lift a 250lb weight it’s very hard and it doesn’t look easy'.
Overtime, the more the weightlifter tries to lift this weight the easier it gets until he can lift it without much physical effort but, at the end of the day it is still a weight, a physical object in his hands. This is how I see grief; it doesn’t go away. You just find carrying it easier.
Anyways, on that happy note (!!) I hope everyone is well and I’ll speak next month.