Time to reflect and reboot

Reboot and just to double check

Having got back late on Sunday night Monday was reboot day.  Luckily we had unpacked the lorry on Sunday night - there is nothing worse than getting back from a weekend and having to unpack on Monday morning - not a good start to any week.  We trotted Vinnie up to check all was ok after his weekend at Chatsworth. Unfortunately he was very slightly lame on his right fore, we weren’t totally surprised as he had lost both front shoes on the course the day before.  We treated him for a bruised foot as there seemed to be some heat in it. Lots of hosing and icing for three days. He progressively got better and was back working by Thursday. We did get the vet out on Thursday just to double check all was ok - we were hoping it would be a wasted visit - which it was - he gave him the all clear and told us to crack on.


Visit from my sister

My sister, Missy came home on Wednesday for a few days in order to work on the last bits of her dissertation. It was lovely to see her as she hasn’t been home for a while. She is at Performing Arts College in London which she will finish at the end of June. It was lovely to have her home and Mum took 1 1/2 days away from the yard to spend some time with her.  Immy came and helped in the yard for the day and this gave me time to start collecting bits together for the weekend and have a quick visit to the dentist. On Wednesday Milo went home to his owner whilst Emma continues to recover from her broken leg.


Quick Visit to the Gallops

Thursday seemed busy and I took Conquer to the gallops, on his own, to continue his fitness before his CCI** at Houghton next weekend.  We decided not to take Vinnie as he had only just recovered from his bruised foot. He will have a run on Monday next week before his competition also at Houghton. The day seemed busy for all of us at home and when I got back I went off to do the food shopping for the weekend at Rockingham, whilst Mum did some cooking, Missy continued work on her dissertation and Dad went into his office to work as he had been in meetings all day.  I took the chance to put a few extra treats in!!!


Off to Rockingham International Horse Trials

We headed to Rockingham horse trials for V.I.P. Vino’s first international competition. The day didn’t exactly start how we envisaged as Vino wasn’t game for leaving his friends when we were loading him and thought it was great to pull away from me and have a run round the yard a few times!! This caused a leaving delay of 30 minutes and we wondered how he was going to be staying in on site stables which was a first for him.  He can be such an affectionate quiet horse but at other times very single minded and you can’t always tell which you have.

Luckily we had a really good run up and only arrived 10 minutes later than we planned. Mum always allows for a little extra time in our journeys for the “just in case” situations. Vino was able to have a relaxed time eating the grass and generally chill as we only had the dressage on Friday.  We had decided not to put him in the on site stable until after his dressage test just in case he got stressed. He then had the massage rug on for 35 minutes before we tacked up. I allowed 45 minutes for the warm up as you have to have your horse’s passport and microchip checked and I wanted Vino to be able to mooch around and get accustomed to the atmosphere. He was exceptionally well behaved and stayed very relaxed and wasn’t phased at all. He went into the dressage arena area and stayed relaxed  - in the test he just had a few moments where he became unbalanced due to his lack of strength, we were extremely pleased with his test (31.9) and he put in a performance beyond where he is at in his development at the moment. John Bowen, my coach was pleased as one of the judges commented ”Promising test showing correct training”. Once he had some chilled time we put him in his stable where he was super chilled.


My Aunt lives 10 minutes from Rockingham so Mum and Dad stayed there and I went back for supper on Friday night.  We had asked a friend to keep an eye on Vino to make sure he was ok in the stable and lovely to get texts with updates of a relaxed horse!!! It was great to have a catch up with my cousins who both happened to be at home.  A great BBQ to finish off a lovely relaxed day.


Saturday brought the  showjumping and cross country.  I had stayed on site with the dogs so was up early to feed, muck out, dog walk, horse walk and walk the show jumping.  The course was big and very twisty with very smart brightly coloured jumps. Vino has never seen anything like it and it was right in the centre of all the shops - plenty to be distracted by!! Despite 3 fences down Vino was jumping really well and I was very pleased with him, although disappointed that we had them down but again it is due to  lack of strength where he just can’t quite maintain his jump in some combinations. As a result of this we decided just to take him steady round the xc, he learnt a lot and gave me such a good feel at times. He will have learnt a lot over the weekend and no doubt grown up a little. Only having one horse meant we could enjoy having friends and family around and have a relaxed lunch after the xc enjoying the weather. We had a great journey back home and were all unpacked and home by 7.15pm.  A quick change and walk across the road to our local pub for supper, where John Bowen my coach joined us as he was staying the night before a day of training on Sunday. We hadn’t been to Rockingham for a couple of years and it has really grown and developed into a great competition and plenty to do and watch for all those that come.


Learn Learn Learn

Sunday we had lessons all day.  Kate came to help for a few hours at both ends of the day - First lesson at 8am - all the horses had a dressage lesson including Vino.  We always work the horses lightly after a competition so that we can feel how they have come out of their it, they then have the second day off.  All horses worked very well and Ballycoog Breaker Boy (William) was particularly cheeky - he is so happy to be in full work and wants to rather bound on - this causes a few discussions between us both but he is getting there. He has grown so much over the winter and is very opinionated now. A teenage 6 year old!!! Vino was so relaxed after Rockingham and continued his good work. He didn’t have a jump lesson but the others did.  Again they all jumped very well even William when he actually focused on jumping rather than how big he could get his stride!!!!


TJ, a Picnic Syndicate member, came and watched the afternoon lessons bringing Neve, a 9 year old girl and her mother Sarah who are on the same yard as her.  Neve is mad keen on eventing and absorbed as much information as possible during her visit. We look forward to hearing how she gets on with her little grey pony. They were great company and it was lovely to be able to share everything with them.


Next week is all about Houghton as we leave early on wednesday morning.


Lindsey Hopkinson