Finally I can reveal my secret….I hate tempting fate so I have been uncharacteristically tight lipped for a while, but since signing on the
dotted line makes it official, I can let you know that I am MOVING!!! The only downside is that orchestrating moving both yard and house whilst competing internationally (I head to Compiegne in France the week of my move for a show) is like juggling fish…that or herding cats. Whichever is
worse. Unfortunately I also have to leave the pseudo Greek god that I currently share the yard with behind - his presence has boosted not only staff morale but possibly my horse sales during the warmer weather. He’s perfected a Lady Godiva impression of sorts – with Ray Bans on and cantering around topless in skin-tight beige breeches, I’m convinced my clients head home with the feeling they have just viewed a horse through rose tinted glasses! He’s probably none too happy that I’m whisking Sophie away with me, but I’m sure he’ll be inundated with offers to soothe the beating of his lonely heart in her absence; after all, he was highlighted as ‘Horse and Hounds’ top totty during his Badminton vet check….
My new base is in Essex, back near my family, near to where I grew up and close to my boyfriend’s new job at Newmarket Equine Hospital, which
means I get to see even more of him. There are 2o lovely boxes, two ménages, sand turnout paddocks, fantastic grazing and heaps of off road hacking. I have known the landlady Annie since I was a child, she is a wonderfully kind and generous person, so I feel the summer will feature plenty of BBQ’s and champagne toasts once afternoon teaching is done.
A long term pupil of mine Georgina Weedon is coming to work for me
alongside Sophie, so whilst it’s a period of change and possibly new beginnings, the sense of familiarity makes it feel like not only the right move but very much like I am going home. Pictures to follow for next
My horses have all been training well at home – my thumb is mending slowly (vet wrap makes the best bandage) and B is finally out of the dog house. I have taken to replacing his very mild French Link bit with a Waterford. My reasoning is that he doesn’t show a very healthy respect for me and this must change, the bit is only as severe as the rider’s hands and with this substitution I’m able to keep control of his head and neck instead of being flung around like a rag doll. I’m quietly confident that I am winning…..
Wiesbaden in Germany was the next port of call for Pasoa and I felt hugely excited in the run up, she’d been on fire in training and I reallywanted to capitalise on our performance in France. It’s an unbelievably beautiful show – set in parkland with the backdrop of a huge pink castle and if my memory served correctly a very generous champagne sponsor! On arrival I wasn’t disappointed. Except with the weather. I attended the same show a year ago, bathed in glorious sunshine (also complete with a million mosquitoes, give or take) so perpetual rain somewhat dampened our spirits. Our first test was the Grand Prix on the Saturday. P felt wonderful in the warm up, light and easy in the bridle and very biddable. We made a small mistake in both sets of changes and could have had more expression in the piaffe which lacked a little energy, but she had some
fantastic moments and finished on nearly 68% - still taking some decent scalps despite the errors. Determined to improve our mark in the Special on the Monday she trained like an Olympic Champion inbetween….but on Sunday afternoon the rain began in earnest. The arenas are basically sand dumped on top of sheets of rubber matting on grass. Not so slowly the sand began to wash away from the mats and a pond formed in the main arena. The organisers desperately tried to dig trenches to release the water but to no avail. Worried that I would have to ride on slippery surfaces I began to ask the showjuming contingent to lend me studs for
her shoes – a somewhat crazy plan but borne out of desperation to keep her upright as she lacks the webbed feet that are a prerequisite to cope on such surfaces. Thankfully by the Monday morning the show admitted it would have to cancel. What a debacle. I have to admit that driving for a day and a half each way, and taking a week away from home only to perform in one class rather tested our stoicism on the journey home. Chocolate helps. However, deciding to take a ‘glass half full’ approach, with my show in Holland in March being a non-event, then Addington in April and now Wiesbaden falling foul of the weather, that is three things that have gone wrong so there can’t be any more….positivity is the key.
I have sold a few super horses as well recently and bought a rather interesting project for myself, a 12year old gelding by Sandro Song that is nearly at Grand Prix. He’s a complicated character to ride but has huge ability so by next time I write hopefully I can give him a proper introduction. Sadly for now, back to packing