On Sunday I headed to Firle for my penultimate event before Weston Park. We got there in time to grab my number and get on. I have never seen anywhere so packed! It was very busy due to the country fair being held at the same time! After preventing my dog picking a fight with so many to choose from on the way to the secreataries I was on board.
Ozzie was going beautifully until we went into right lead canter, at which point he decided he was going to pretend he was being chased by a scary invisible monster - thats what it felt like anyway! He did one of the worst tests he has done this year, but it shows how much we have improved as the judge clearly liked him to give us a 42.5, including starting off with two 8s!!!
The fact he was that mad made me confident that he was going to jump well. The frustrating thing was he did jump fantastically, but had 2 fences down for the first time ever at an ODE! One of them was complete rider error, I chased him to the combination, and he made up so much distance in the middle dispite being a pony, that he had the middle element. The other fence was just really unlucky - so not great on paper, but actually it was a great round from him.
Onto the cross country, although just before I had told Will Furlong I was getting all my bad luck out the way in one day. He assured me that I was going to go well xc and to think positively! Well maybe that was my down fall. Ozzie clearly felt my positive vibes and after jumping the first 2 fences he disappeared at high speed. We managed the third fence before me losing complete control and having to turn a circle after by passing the 4th fence. He was pulling like a train until fence 13 'Handbrake turn' at which point he decided he was tired and proceeded to be lovely the whole way home! Due to my circle 19 time faults were added which was a shame really as it wasnt that bad. However as I said - I am getting all my bad luck out the way!! The course caused plenty of trouble so I was pleased he went clear.
Then yesterday and today (Tues, Weds) I headed to Mark Corbetts base, Rawlins Farm in Hampshire, as the training days for the South East U18 team. I had such a good time. It was great catching up with everyone from last year and all 11 of us quickly bonded as a team. Which was cemented by team rounders in the evening (and the dark - which, with a brown ball was slightly more difficult than anticipated!) It got slightly competitive with Mark rugby tackling Sophie Miles to stop her getting a rounder! My team still won so it was all fine! The riding side was great, on Tuesday we ran through our tests which were videoed. We then watched them later and saw where we could improve, which was really useful. Then on Wednesday we jumped, I didnt do the show jumping side, however i used the cross country practice as a moment to test new breaks - which seemed to work! Fingers crossed
It was such a good two days and now I cant wait for Weston!!
Thats all for now
Just a quick post to say how sorry I am to hear about Brians accident at RIHS at Hickstead on Saturday. He was whom we bought Lily from and she has been exactly the way he sold her. She has been such a lovely horse, and Brian was so honest about her. It was only a couple of weeks ago that mum and I met him at Felbridge and we were chatting about his horses and he had just jumped one round the Discovery. Such a horrible accident doesn't deserve to be placed on such a generous, honest man. My thoughts and prayers with him and his family.
Also a note to everyone else - be SO CAREFUL with your lorry ramps. If the springs, or the hydraulics fail, it is a big piece of metal to fall on you. Make sure you stand to the side when you are pulling it down, and if it does start to fall, just get out the way!!
If anyone can think of a safety catch type thing - needs to work a bit like a seat belt, that can be attatched inside and to the ramp, so that if it falls above a certain speed, it locks and prevents it falling, you could make a good bit of money, and let me know - as we would love one for our lorry!