Piggy part 2

We headed over to Wakefield Farm Stud today for a lesson with Piggy March. The first lesson in 2020 when she was the reigning Badminton winner. This time, she is the reigning Burghley winner. Amazing!

She said Buddy looked very well. And that we clearly have a strong partnership. She was very complimentary about him and my riding.

We tackled a mix of SJ and XC jumps. It was like a mini-Arena Eventing course. Lots of skinnies and some technical lines.

Afterwards he got to go on the weight bridge. He’s now 615kg. Again, the lady said he’s very well muscled and in perfect condition.

So happy with my little boy today.

Camp fun

I’m home after the second day of camp. And what a fun day it’s been. Woke up to thick fog. A total whiteout. So wasn’t sure how our XC lesson would go. I needn’t have worried as the sun burnt through and I was soon wishing for the cool.

I have to admit, I was a little apprehensive about taking Buddy out on the course. It’s been a few months since we had a run. And the last ODE we did there, we had to withdraw. But I needn’t have worried. We were storming round the fences before I knew it.

There were lots of positives to take. Just one blip where Buddy obviously thought there were lions behind the fence as he really wasn’t happy. One thing I know about my boy is that he doesn’t over-react without good reason. Got him settled eventually. And we carried on.

Came back with a huge smile on my face! When I got back I heard that there had reports of a puma sighting nearby, so who knows?!

After lunch, we did a grids lesson. We were both tired, but still got a lot from it. It was a very different grid – working on straightness and adaptability. I’ll be setting that up at home.

We’ll both sleep well tonight, that’s for sure. I do love going to training camps. I’ve met so many fab people that way. We have such a laugh too. Here’s to more next year!

Burghley Baby

I‘d forgotten just how stunning Burghley House is. It was definitely worth the 5:30am alarm call to get there for the final inspection. Having been away, I hadn’t had a chance to catch up on any of the XC action from yesterday. It seems like it was a tough track so there weren’t as many as I’d expected.

Got to watch some great show jumping and thrilled for Alice Casburn and Piggy March! Norfolk girls representing!!

It’s been an amazing weekend. I’ve driven nearly 400 miles. Spend some time with wonderful people. Achieved something I didn’t think I could. I’m now flopped on the sofa watching the Burghley highlights. I’m officially shattered.

Golden day

What a golden day it’s been. I decided to watch some of the Commonwealth Games with my breakfast. Kinda got sucked in as next thing I knew it was lunchtime! Watched the men’s gymnastics and more gold medals for England.

Tearing myself away from the action, I took Buddy out for a long hack. Got caught in the rain. After weeks with little rain, I’m not complaining at all!! Buddy loved checking out the combine in the golden field.

Finally back home to watch the Lionesses win in the Euros. And find out that the Young Riders won gold in the European Eventing. Well done everyone! Proud to be English today.

Still trying

Well our first ODE of 2022 wasn’t this shining success that I’d hoped for. I withdrew before XC as Buddy wasn’t right.

Dressage was an unusually calm affair. Except he didn’t feel like he was travelling in the trot. In comparison, canter felt amazing. Still we did all the right moves, in the right place and I was pleased with how it went.

I was disappointed with a low score of 44. But I can understand it having read the sheet. Got 7’s for the canter and walk work. But 4-6 for the trot. Canter is usually our worse pace. Go figure!!

Then onto SJ. He rode in lovely and was taking me into the fences. So set off feeling good. Sadly Buddy went to pieces in the ring. He hasn’t been like that for ages. Mr Nappy Pants was back in full force. Got him round but it was a bit of a battle. The positives are that I did get him round and we left most of the fences up.

Wasn’t sure what to do as he just didn’t seem right. I know he can go a bit feral. But this seemed different. Decided to take him up to the XC warm up and see how he felt. Even if I used it as a schooling round, it would be beneficial.

Well that was the theory. Buddy was charging around, not listening and wouldn’t trot. When I did get trot, it was clear there was a problem. So I withdrew. Better to save him for another day.

He’s sound in walk and canter but trot isn’t level. All very odd. I felt every inch of him when we got back and there’s nothing obvious. I’ll trot him up tomorrow and see how he looks. There’s something going on with him. Just not sure what. All healing vibes gratefully received right now.

BatBuddy

Tonight saw the return of BatBuddy. He’s thrilled as you can see. After a long hack, the bath / plait epic started. Boy am I out of practise. So they’re not my best efforts. Buddy got rather bored too. Even with food. Still it’s done now. Fingers crossed they stay in overnight.

I managed to lose 2 hours somewhere along the way. Usual faffing around or ‘yard time’. Checking and double checking that everything is on the lorry. It’s been a long time since we did an ODE so feeling slightly underprepared. We’re going to have fun. And we’ll see what tomorrow brings…

Houghton Hall

What a fab horsey day out at Houghton Hall. Feeling very inspired watching the action. Also feeling a tad tired after walking 6.5 miles round the course. Though I was ‘sausage dog’ assisted as I was towed round for a lot of it. Well when he wasn’t humping my leg. 🤦🏻‍♀️ What can I say, it’s my animal magnetism…?!

I shall sleep well tonight for sure! 😴

Camp veterans

Back home after another cracking training camp. After watching some of the Badminton XC yesterday I was inspired and intimidated in equal measure. As we headed out this morning, I’d decided that we’d stick to the 60/70s. Well we hadn’t been XC for 6 months. I wasn’t sure if Buddy would remember the drill.

I needn’t have worried in the slightest. He was clearly up for it! After warming up over a couple of 70s, we spent the rest of the time jumping the 80s and finished with a 90.

Couple of wobbles when I forgot to ride. And a terrifying ‘puddle of doom’ before the ditch. Mr Nappy Pants returned at one point, but I’m so much better at nipping it in the bud. Started with a smile and ended with a bigger one.

This afternoon it was grids. It was really hot and we were both flagging. Still we came, we saw, we jumped everything. And that’s no mean feat.

All in all, I’m so happy with my little boy. And I stayed in the saddle all weekend! No unscheduled dismounts for me. Not always the case. I must work out how many training camps we’ve done now…

Think we’ll definitely sleep well tonight. Buddy gets time in the field tomorrow. I have the lorry and my tack to clean. And a huge pile of laundry. Worth it though.

Rolex

This came up on my memories today. 7 years ago I was ticking another thing off my horsey bucket list. The Rolex, Kentucky. It was an incredible experience.

I was listening to a build-up podcast about this year’s event as I drove home from Birmingham. Sounds like it’s going to be another special event. I’ve been fortunate enough to go to Burghley, Badminton and Kentucky. There are a few more 5* events I’d love to go to. As well as WEG, the Olympics and HOYS to name a few.

So as I drove, I mentally created my updated horsey bucket list. And I want to do the Grand Slam in Eventing and Show jumping! Dream big they say. So that’s mine!

Pay it forward

What a fab day jump judging at Great Witchingham Horse Trails. It’s the first time in 3 years I’ve been able to do it and it was as much fun as ever.

There were some incredible horse and riders. It’s really inspiring watching top riders in action.

I got a bit emotional coming home. Sad that I’m not competing tomorrow. And sad that it looks like it’ll be their last BE season. So aiming to do the one they’ll be holding in July.

At least they’ll still be doing Unaffiliated Events so I’m aiming for them too. Watch out Buddy, we’re getting back out there.