An early start - leaving the yard at 4am so up at 2.30am so that Vino could eat his food well ahead of travelling. Mum was driving so I managed to catch a couple of hours sleep on the way down.
V.I.P. Vino competing in his first Novice and first competition in a while. He certainly did not disgrace himself - in fact just the opposite. He behaved very well for him and was so much more relaxed than in the past at competitions and seemed to really try hard. Despite what felt like a very average test there are some obvious improvements to be made that will make his score in the 20’s rather than low 30’s. Show Jumping I was very surprised to have gone clear - this is his weakest phase as he tends to throw himself over the fences rather than basculing and using himself correctly. Not always the prettiest to watch but a clear is a clear!!! Cross Country he was a touch reluctant out of the box but once over the 2nd fence he was away and enjoyed himself. Not a foot perfect round but a good place to build on for the rest of the season - again a clear is a clear and just a few time penalties due to the slow start and not having a constant rhythm all the way round. Overall very pleased with him and looking forward to Morton Morrell.
Vino had to be on top form for a little photo shoot from the talented Sarah Farnsworth - she took some photos at Bicton last year and we have used them constantly for social media and advertising so it will be great to have some more in the bank. Her photos really are good so get in touch with her if you need some taking - www.sarahfarnsworth.co.uk
It was great to be welcomed by warmth and sunshine and the ground was in great condition and Helen West and her team did a fantastic job of running a cracking competition and fitting so many in with their huge entry - Thank you.
Due to the fall I had at Belton although I felt fine it became apparent that my body had been knocked out of line and my internal energies had also been depleted. This meant my balance on the horses and clarity of mind were not as good as they have been recently - this I found very frustrating as this affected the feel I got from the horses - they are affected as much by my body as I am theirs. I have been to see a kinesiologist who has put be back together so hoping for good things next week.
Sadly, the horse that came in for assessment/training has gone back home. Having done some cross country training it became obvious that the horse really had little confidence and no enjoyment in cross country. This was not a huge surprise to the owner but she had hoped that having been hunting and having some fun over the last few months that this may have helped. He was my stamp of horse and I really wanted it to work but you have to do what is right for the horse.
Always nice to have an unexpected bill for the Lorry!!! Thanks Conquer.
He is a horse who likes his own space and on the way back from Belton - a mile from home he decided that Vinnie was encroaching into his space and so repeatedly kicked the back corner of the lorry and managed to dislodge the panel from the frame - not the first time he has done this - but certainly hasn't done it for a long while. We will now have to work a way of travelling him so that this is not repeated!!!
Sunday 22nd we took the two youngsters - William and Dom out for dressage lessons with John Bowen. Both behaved very well and it was Dom’s first outing since he arrived in February. He behaved so well and stood on the lorry with not a care in the world. He is going through a period of change so much of the lesson was spent working on developing his strength by practicing movements for short periods of time with using transitions to maintain and develop his balance. This is so that he can learn how to use himself correctly without it becoming really hard work - He has always been strong and powerful behind but not in the correct way, he used to push through his chest, so having now undone this we are going through the process of building his strength up again in the correct way. William was good although somewhat fresh and feisty having not been out for a while as he is still recovering from pulled muscles as a result of being cast in January. This is a very slow recovery - we are nearly there but we mustn’t rush this process as he is a very talented horse and we need to work to the future not for the now.
My very good sponsor - Falpro Rugs (www.falpro.com) sent me some very smart embroidered rugs for the horses to be worn at competitions - this is to go with the stable drapes and guards. I am hugely grateful for their support and it is nice to work with such a good company with great products.
A touch of shopping
As it was my birthday at Belton we delayed a family outing until the Monday after and having ridden the horses in the morning spent the afternoon doing a lot of window shopping and a little purchasing. - It was lovely to have my sister with us who took the afternoon off and came down from London and then we had supper before she went back later than evening. We use our birthdays to ensure we all get together and spend a little time with just the four of us, as now we are all so busy it is a rare but happy occasion.