Back to work after Bicton
Quiet Start to the week
Mum had booked some time out of the yard on Monday and Tuesday so that she could have a serious catch up on admin for Dad’s business and also mine. Immy came to give me a hand both mornings and then Mum came up on Tuesday afternoon as I was XC training with Vino.
Busy End of the Week
On Wednesday Laurence the saddle fitter came to check the saddles for the horses - he always measures and records their shape and they had all changed for the better as a result of their training over the last three months. It is nice that this development is with all the horses regardless of their age and ability. Once we have checked the saddles on the horses I then ride all the horses in both their jumping and dressage saddles so that we can make any changes with the prolite shims if necessary. The saddles have to be in the best balance for both the horses and myself. This is to ensure they are moving as well and freely as possible. It is a time consuming process but all these small details add up to make a big difference to the horses performance. If anything is uncomfortable they will not work correctly.
The wind was up by the time William and Dom were to be ridden,the two young ones, they did not make it easy and were so badly behaved with bronking and generally being very fresh which was entertaining for a while but the novelty wore off by the end but we seemed to manage to get the settings right as they both worked well the next day.
Gavin Scofield, the horses Osteopath came on Thursday to give the horses their regular 6 weekly treatment, which was very timely as they are all feeling on great form but just needed a few adjustments to further their next development. This was particularly so with Vino, who has mentally and physically come on a lot over the last 6 weeks but just needed to relax his rib cage so he can start working through his body more correctly. We always feel very positive after Gavin’s visits and look forward to feeling the benefit of his treatment.
Bad head day
Friday was a day where I was paying the price for a good night out on Thursday. I was feeling a little worse for wear but strangely this benefited the horses as I was so relaxed therefore they relaxed to and we landed up having easy sessions.!!! This is not a regular occurrence and I am not planning to do the same anytime soon. John Bowen, my coach, stayed Friday Night. As he had been teaching elsewhere he didn’t arrive until 10pm - just as I was going to do late night checks. Luckily, this got me out of any night caps!!
Sharing the day
Saturday brought a day of training - all the horses were having a Dressage and SJ lesson - so full on day - also other riders from the yard were being trained by John so we started at 7.30 and finished at 7pm. A really good day and the horses all worked really hard - probably the best ever for all of them. It was great to have Tj with us (bought champagne) who has joined the Picnic Syndicate. She came to watch the horses in the Syndicate have their lessons which is part of what you can do as a member. TJ will surely be a great member of the team as she brought a bottle of Champagne to go in the Lorry fridge for our next competition. Sounds like we’re going to have fun and it was great to share the day with her.
After Vino performing well at Bicton the other weekend I felt he was still a little green in places on the XC, particularly the steps. I decided to pop over to Boomerang and just had a play with the steps and a few other fences, he was seriously well behaved and is in great shape for his next competition on Thursday at Moreton Morrell. Having said that he is obviously feeling a little too well as he seems to think its a free for all out in the fields and is jumping from field to field.
Patience is a virtue
As I write Ollie Townend has just won Land Rover Kentucky 4*. He won his first 4* 10 years ago and has now won 2 in the space of 6 months - Burghley 2017 and now Kentucky. It is going to be very exciting to watch him at Badminton this week to see if he can win the Grand Slam.
It just shows as long as you knuckle down and are willing to put the hard work in you will achieve what you set out to eventually.
Looking forward to being out competing next week again and then busy times ahead with Chatsworth, Rockingham and Houghton all International well run events in stunning locations.