Life After Blenheim

Straight back to it!!

Having unpacked and washed out Immy’s lorry on Sunday night Monday was back to normal routine. Vinnie looked as though he was relaxing and coming down off his high from Blenheim.

I took him for a hack, which I always do the day after a competition with all the horses, to see how they feel both from a soundness and muscular point of view. He felt really good just a little flat which would be natural after such an intense few days at Blenheim.

He then had a couple of days off followed by another hack and he felt back to normal and feeling as “fresh as a Daisy”!.

He will now have a well deserved holiday - plenty of chilling and relaxation!!!

My overriding thoughts on Blenheim - 1 week on - is that I was really pleased with the overall performance, although annoyed about the XC blip, but knowing we could have had a top ten finish gives me lots of confidence going forward into next season, which I can’t wait to do.

World Equestrian Games

What an achievement from all Team GB in the WEG Eventing.

Double Gold Medal and automatic Olympic qualification is a dream result.

The team seemed so mentally prepared and they performed extremely well in all disciplines. This feel good factor will definitely filter through to the bigger squad and makes me strive even more to one day achieve the same.

More Development

My other horses all continued where they left off before I went away and we have worked them through the week in preparation for their upcoming events.

There are no really major competitions for us for the rest of the season but they all have goals to achieve which is tied in with their long term development, before they get their holidays.

The Partner and Ballycoog Breaker Boy are off to Osberton this coming week. BallyCoog Breaker Boy is in the 6 year old Championships. We are looking for a solid performance and this is part of his long term education for bigger and better things as he grows in strength and ability.

The Partner is in the CCI **. We have no expectations as he currently seems unsettled cross country and not in the good place he was in earlier this year. We are therefore just going to take each day as it comes and will try to keep him as relaxed as possible.

We have asked for an end stable for him at Osberton as he is a loner and we felt at Houghton he didn’t like being surrounded by other horses.

Luckily these stables are American Barn Style so he will be able to look out and not have that horrid fully shut door that he had at Houghton.

He is a very sensitive sole and we haven’t quite got into his head recently.

Stardom and V.I.P Vino had an average day at Moreton Morrell on Friday.

Vino was very wound up by the wind so his dressage result reflected this which is a shame as it has been so good recently. He actually jumped really well and was unlucky to have 2 poles but there were only 4 clears in his section so that keeps it in perspective. He did a lovely steady clear XC which I was very pleased with.

The XC start is right by the lorry park and he can be a little knappy so I walked round the start box as usual but trotted into it with a good contact to make sure he didn’t repeat his performance there of a couple of years ago where he knapped really badly.

He did drop behind the leg a little before fence 2 but nothing serious. He really does love his XC and I just need to periodically have competitions where I slow the pace so that he doesn’t get in the habit of running through everything. Stardom did a nice test for where he is at at the moment.

He jumped so much better in the SJ and was really unlucky to have a pole - I actually thought he had jumped clear and apparently had a very late pole at the second last fence. He kept his energy from start to finish and actually got quite feisty at times.

He gave me a very good confident XC and this will build his confidence for going up the levels next season.

The Partner was to go to Bricky on Saturday, for a quiet run in the IN. However, as it was 3 hours away and the weather looked as though it was going to be really bad we decided to withdraw and go to Lyneham Heath XC training.

It was important that he had a good experience wherever he went. I am very thankful to Samantha for supporting me and making me a sponsored rider at Lyneham Heath for this part of the season. It is a fantastic facility and the choice and combination of XC fences is incredible - there is something for everyone and there are alot of intermediate combinations as well as beginners. The ground was good so both he and Ballycoog Breaker Boy had a good spin.

Next week will be all about Osberton where the weather looks stable but fresher than in recent weeks. Autumn is definitely upon us and as I write the horses have their stable neck rugs on for the first time ( and all competitions are entered for this year.