All my pre-Badminton events are done and final preparations are underway. My season got off to a rocky start at Swalcliffe where we had a slightly tense dressage and a cheeky moment when Corey reminded me that I need to steer into every fence on the cross country. Then we rode at Stafford (the deepest ground I’ve ever run in, a great lesson in nursing a horse round a course) and got a fantastic result to finish 2nd – and having jumped the 100+ course there I’m more confident that I’m going to get through the show jumping at Badminton without being sick. I must applaud the Stafford team for managing to keep the event running despite the ground too, a massive effort that was very much appreciated. Then we chose to make our last run at Hambleden; a very long drive made worthwhile by a beautiful setting, a technical show jumping track and a tough cross country that was perfect to get my confidence high for Badminton. Plus we had the opportunity to meet in person many of the new friends I’m meeting through twitter and this blog. I’m looking forward to seeing them all again at Badminton itself.
So now, with just two weeks to go (and even fewer get-ups, eeeeeeeek) it’s all down to the final preparations. My tack is getting extra attention, I’m doing washing, washing and more washing (I didn’t realise I owned so many numbnahs and I also didn’t realise I was so incapable of making a decision about which one to use) and Corey will be getting a little bit of beautification each day. The physio has been out to give him the once over (and point out that Mum and I are just paranoid and there is in fact nothing wrong with his trot), the dentist has checked his teeth and the farrier has put his ‘Badminton shoes’ on (slightly cheaper than Jimmy Choos thankfully!).
I’ve got a couple of lessons planned, including running through the test with a local judge who is a member of our riding club and I might go show jumping once more next weekend. A quick tune-up over a few more technical fences on the cross country schooling field, and then there will be nothing more I can do. I’ll just be praying that Corey doesn’t injure himself – I’m sad to see a couple of people have had minor scrapes and aren’t sure if they will make it or not and I can imagine how depressing that must feel. I spent a few days in Paris for a conference and as great as it was, I did find myself checking with Mum everyday that Corey was ok… I returned home to find he had at some point cut his face, but hidden it well underneath his long forelock (idiot horse) so I’m hoping that is the worst he’ll do. Best of luck to everyone trying to keep/get their horses sound and I hope to see you all at Badminton in two weeks!
I hope to send an update on how I’m feeling (definitely excited and probably sick, most likely) just before we set off and keep everyone updated through the week itself, but as always in the meantime you can follow me on twitter @EventerBrook.