A quick status update on my progress, rehab is going really well! I am walking around without my cane or crutch almost all of the time and have stopped wearing the uncomfortable/unwieldy brace unless I am moving around on a lot of uneven ground. I have pretty good muscle control back in my leg and yesterday was able to go all the way around on the stationary bike without stretching my knee first. WIN! My biggest issue right now is weakness in the muscles around the knee, I have a very hard time going down stairs or down into a squat as I don't have the strength yet to hold myself as I go down. It is coming though.
This past weekend I volunteered at a USEA Horse Trial that was being held close to me and had a great time. Saturday was jump judging a cross country fence and that was awesome. RB3 came with me and for the first half of the day we were in a very good position to watch several jumps. We got to watch horses go up banks, over ditches, through bounces and over some nicely sized jumps. The Intermediate division didn't do so well as half of the competitors were retired before they reached us but the ones we saw were impressive. Prelim had better success and while there were eliminations, we got to see a number of horses jumping. The Training division was fun as we were set up to watch a triple combination of a jump, coffin, jump the over to us at a bounce and then over to a corner. We saw a several issues at the coffin and corner though we didn't have anyone have problems with the bounce we were judging. Novice and Beginner Novice weren't super impressive as for the second half of the day we were in a field where we literally saw a horse run to us, jump our single, easy/boring jump and then run away to another field. It was jump number 2 on the course so of course it was an easy one but it made for a slightly less exciting afternoon. The only other compliant was that it rained/sprinkled for 3/4 of the day and got pretty cold in the afternoon, I was glad I brought my rain suit!
Sunday was amazing as I was a timer for stadium jumping and got to sit right next the the judge and Technical Delegate. I was spot on the entire day and only missed getting 3 of the 147 times, but that is also why the judge times as a backup so in case there is an issue. They seemed really happy with my work and were very pleasant to be around. I also was able to learn things! I learned you cannot have a running martingale without rein stops else you will be eliminated. I learned you cannot say a bad word in the ring, if you do you better be pleasant when being talked to about it else you will be eliminated. I learned you cannot jump a fence twice if it isn't part of a combination after a refusal (ie jump 5 and 6A, refusal at 6B. Can't jump 5 again). I learned the time allowed for Beginner Novice and Novice is enough that you can trot a good portion of the course so don't rush! Take the extra time to prepare in front of the jump, 50% of the time cross cantering will bring a rail down.
It was interesting watching the activity and I certainly got more out of the stadium jumping this year over last year when I was jump crew. It also drove home that appearance certainly does matter and you certainly set yourself apart when you look crisp and nice with nice, clean tack. It may not get you more points but will definitely get you noticed and remembered. I am really looking forward to trying a horse trial out next year.