Cracking Birthday Present…………………

Well the horses gave me a great Birthday Present (it as my birthday on the Saturday at Burnham)- This week has been all about our competition at Burnham Market - They all did good tests, and double clears all round.

So good weekend :)

We had a good run up to Burnham - 4.5 hours - we learnt from our mistake last year of arriving at the end of Thursday and having to set up in the dark.

This year we arrived at lunch time so it gave me time to ride the horses and set up all before darkness.

Over supper in the lorry Mum and I planned the timings for Friday as all three horses were competing and as it was just the 2 of us we needed to be super organised.

Friday was predominately dressage day with V.I.P Vinnie starting the day off 3rd in in his section.

He produced a PB at 4* level, 28.9 - and this included some tension which we still need to work on removing from the test -so great to know there is more to come - we will practice stringing more movements together at home so he starts accept going from one movement to another in a more relaxed manner.

We have to be careful not to practice the actual test with Vinnie as he will land up anticipating it!!

The Partner was next on and he is the opposite to Vinnie in the fact that he doesn't like surprises and needs to know exactly what is happening next so we manage this by repetition in his warm up.

I was pleased with his performance and his score of 34 was fair and closer to the top mark than usual.

We continue to work on his relaxation which will in turn increase his ride-ability.

He is improving bit by bit.

Ballycoog Breaker Boy was in his 2nd dressage of the season (novice) and considering he is 17.2hh he coped well with the small unlevel arena, although a spook at the far end caused by a spraying tractor in the next field didn’t help!!!

Overall I was very pleased with him. He then went on to jump a double clear which was a good start to the season but more work to be done on strengthening his core so that he will be able to bascule over the fences. We cantered round the cross country as planned.

It’s nice to know if we had gone inside the time he would have been 3rd.

Saturday was a day of rest…….! No competing but all horses had to be exercised and cared for, both courses walked, social media content collected, join guests for lunch at the lorry and then go out for dinner in the evening. So not really a rest day!!!

Sunday was a good day at the office - and I managed to put some of my psychological demons to bed caused by having not had the best start on V.I.P Vinnie this year - I needed to go well at Burnham.

I was beginning to question my ability but I now feel it is restored and looking forward to the rest of the season.

Both horses jumped double clear with a few time penalties - these would have been lost in setting up or not make the odd turn really tight but the plan for the weekend was clear rounds not speed. I was very pleased with both horses and Vinnie finished 11th in the 4* in a competitive field.

We had a large support group over the weekend and it was great to see them all and have them participating in horse walking and grazing, washing down and general deputy groom duties!!!

It is greatly appreciated by us all.

We missed our domestique (Dad) who keeps the lorry in ship shape and drinks supplied to all. He was away on business and due back Saturday AM but his flight was cancelled so he didn’t arrive until Sunday AM - in time to watch Vinnie.

My sister, Missy, stepped into cover for him and is a great asset in keeping me relaxed and positive.

Despite the freezing wind Musketeer Event Management put on a hugely successful and well organised event with a relaxed atmosphere which was very enjoyable. A huge thank you to the whole team.

Spring has sprung……..

Field Maintenance is well and truly upon us and 1/2 the fields have been fertilised - we now have to leave them 2 weeks before the horses can go on them but we leave it for 3 just to be safe. Topping is starting this week and then the other fields will have to be done.

Lorry protectors…...

We have at last got our mats for the side of the lorry so the horses can’t damage it whilst they are tied up. They came from Brat Matts who have done a great job and not too pricey. We look forward to tying them up now rather than having to hold them.

Ted’s first outing………….

Before we went to Burnham we went to Wickstead Horseplay with some of the horses for some course practice and Ted came for his first outing. He was such a well behaved young horse and learnt very quickly. He was even introduced to steps once he had finished around the SJ arena.

He seems to learn quickly and once he has worked out the question he is happy to do it.

Osteopathy for me…….

A couple of days before Burnham I realised my hips were out of line as I had managed to stay on a horse that spooked - luckily I was able to get an appointment to have them treated - however, it was suggested that I shouldn’t ride for 48 hours!!! HaHa…...I managed 24 so now need to return for a follow up.

First Trip across the water…………..

We have been given the go ahead from BE to enter Tattersalls in Ireland which is great news - we are planning on taking Ballycoog Breaker Boy for the CCI2*YHL and The Partner for the CCI3*U25L.

This will be the first time we have gone “abroad” so lots will be learnt about what we have to do booking ferries and health papers etc.

We have a weekend off this weekend to go to a great friends wedding so looking forward to a mini break over Easter with the weather forecast being good.

Next journal will include our competition at Withington.

Happy Easter to all.