Sunday, 18 May 2014


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House-keeping post for Bloglovin

Monday, 12 May 2014

Why do I use Wheels?

Today, 12th May, is ME Awareness Day.  So I thought it would be a good time to explain why I use wheels to do agility.

I have not always been ill.  Prior to the onset of ME I was very active, and enjoyed many outdoor hobbies such as riding, cycling, gardening, swimming, walking and....

Well, you get the picture - I led a normal busy, active life.

This is me on my daughter's horse with some junior Pony Club members - probably around 2010:

Unfortunately Myalgic Encephalomyelitis stole my active life in March 2012.

Suddenly I was unable to work, or to function normally.  I kept expecting to "get back to normal" but every day I felt drained!  I just couldn't bounce back and kept asking "Why?"

Sadly there are few medical answers for ME and no realistic treatment options, so I was just left to get on with things.

And, this is how I still am!  I run out of ooommmphfff very quickly.  I also make myself permanently worse every time I try to push my boundaries!

For the first year of ME I was still able to walk enough to train my terrier Patsy. It was our first competitive year, and I attempted to send her away from me on course, so that I could take short cuts!

I even used this rather loud fleece, with the idea that dogs see blue and yellow best, and maybe she'd understand me better!  It was a marginally successful tactic!

As the year went on, I recovered less and less quickly after each competitive round, and with my abilities declining, I faced the very real thought that I might have to give up agility altogether!

That's when I thought of using wheels.

At last, I could move quickly again, and I could once again "walk" the dogs each day.

Psychologically, this was an incredibly scary move, yet the scooter gave me back a sense of freedom - one that I thought I'd lost forever!

To be honest, using wheels has opened my world back up again!

Don't get me wrong I can still walk.  Yet I've found, if I walk more than about 600 paces each day that I make myself very ill.  So, I use a wee gadget called a Fitbit to monitor what I do.  This seems nerdy, but it has helped me to stabilise my health.

Now, when it comes to wheels,  I've discovered that there are various types of wheels, and that really a little red granny scooter does not feature highly in the wheels credibility league!  

So....  after much debate, and with the realisation that my health was still not improving... 

... I finally got some SERIOUS WHEELS earlier this year!  

My new Aztec Scooter can go places that the wee red Rascal never could.  At last I can get out through our trees again.  I used to walk the dogs here each morning before work, but since becoming ill, I had been unable to do so.

The dogs love this too and I often pack coffee, nibbles and a book when I head out to the trees. 

I guess there are parts of my new life that I've come to love.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

More links to blog posts written for #May12BlogBomb can be found at:

PS... And a more recent video of me doing agility with Finn can be found in this post:
First Proper Competitive Outing for Finn.

PPS - Check here for another update at the end of 2016.  An improvement in my health means that after 3+ years using wheels, I am now on my feet again. Not quite recovered, but doing better:
More than a year!

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

New Agility Training Field!

Castlereagh DTC are moving their agility training field - and they are going to move here!  

We are lucky to have space around us, and I was delighted when the club took us up on the offer to use our "wee field".  Part of the ground was a bit damp, and the surface a bit lumpy in places, so a bit of work needed done first.

So here are a few snapshots of the work getting done.

The area has now been re-seeded. 

and I imagine it will be autumn before it is ready for use.  Roll on the autumn!!

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Training Sequence - Feeling Proud!

Today's session at our puppy agility class gave me some real encouragement for the future.

Louise set up a course of jumps and tunnels for us all. The others were doing a front cross after the first tunnel, but obviously with me using wheels, this sort of waltz-like dance move wasn't possible! 

So first time through, I started with Finn on my left and just sent him away to the first tunnel and back towards me and on to the second:

This worked, except the first attempt he ran past the last two jumps looking for his ball!  Second attempt worked a dream!

Later the rest of the class were trying a different technique, so Finn and I also tried something new.

To my delight he achieved a nice wait and then did exactly as he was instructed.  

I've got to admit I felt very pleased with this achievement.    Of course, the route was always the obvious one straight ahead, but it felt wonderful that he understood what I was asking of him, and confidently dashed off to do it!

Actually, everybody did well at this exercise, and we all left with our confidence boosted.  

Chilling in the Trees

Two quick pictures:

MY new wheels now allow me to head out round the trees at home.  The company is good, and "Yup!" that's a mug of coffee hanging off the handles!   I've also my Kindle packed too.  ;)

Earlier this week, it was also a certain pup's 1st Birthday on 29th April, and Amy arranged for Finn to get a card from his sister Pixie.

The Bonios were delicious!