Well… We did an event!! As I explained on my last blog Siren has had it pretty tough recently and it was a bit touch and go as to whether he would be ready for Kelsall. But after everything he had been through we thought he deserved a good ‘fun run’ and to blow away a few cobwebs. We hadn’t been anywhere to practice dressage, we hadn’t been showjumping and he hadn’t been cross country schooling … Who says practice makes perfect!?
To say it was hard work is an understatement!! He was throwing in all sorts of freestyle movements in the dressage warm up, but managed to keep it together for a very pleasing mark of 33, even with a few silly mistakes. Unusually the cross country was next, and, you guessed it…. Was a nightmare!! He set off out of the start box like he was in the Grand National. He didn’t listen to one single instruction from me! He set his jaw and ran. Parts were bordering on dangerous, but he knows his job and he was clear, with a few time penalties due to me attempting to pull his back teeth out. He finished full of running and ready to go again. He then showjumped really nicely, just knocking 2 poles which I think is due to lacking a bit of ‘match practice’. Overall we finished 9th, and we were all totally thrilled with him!!
Since then we thought cross country schooling would be a good idea. So we headed down to Somerford and he was much better. I’m putting his slight erratic behaviour at Kelsall due to over excitement. Saturday we headed down for another dressage lesson… Things are slowly starting to improve. It will be a while yet before we see any drastic improvements in our score but I really feel we are getting somewhere.
Luckily my dad usually comes with me to my lessons and drives the wagon. This allowed me to watch Badminton cross country all the way home! For the first time, I’m glad it’s a 2 hour trek. The course looked amazing and I really hope one day I get to compete there. Michel Jung is a hero!! I’m sure no one would bet against him for winning Olympic Gold. But for me the real success story isn’t the people at the top of the leader board, but it has to be Mulry and Ben. They have had an enormous amount of press, and they deserve it all. To battle cancer and yet be back at the top level a year later is unbelievable. I also have a slight bias towards Mulry, not only because he is Siren’s fellow ‘cob’ but because he used to hunt and complete with his owner, Sallie, and Siren and I. We officially have famous friends!
So inspired by Badminton I am really looking forwards to Chatsworth this weekend. We are still slightly off ‘match fitness’ but Siren is fit (very fit) and raring to go, and we will both try our best. Chatsworth is one of my favourites, and this year we have a fair few friends and sponsors (most of which fall into both categories!) coming to watch and support us. After Chatsworth, Siren is going for a gastroscope to hopefully rule out stomach ulcers. We have struggled with his weight for some time and last time I was talking to the fab team at Topspec they suggested his eating habits (or non-eating habits!) are familiar to horses suffering from stomach ulcers. After speaking to Louise at Aireworth Vets, he is booked in. Hopefully he is just a ‘fussy’ eater but it’s something I have suspected for a while. For now, hope you all enjoyed the sunshine whilst it lasted.
Much love, Charlotte and Super Si