As they say time flies when you’re having fun and as always that has been true for me over recent weeks.
After mentioning in my last blog that we were starting to think about finding Oki a new home I was contacted by a few people including a lady from my Riding Club who came to see her the following week and fell in love with her despite her getting rather excited at being allowed to jump. A vetting was organised for the following week.
Now my Husband was due back on R&R (Rest & Recuperation) from Afghan on the Monday but true to form that didn’t happen. At one point he was actually due back early on the Sunday but got bumped justifiably off the flight by a soldier who’s wife had just gone in to labour, his original flight was then delayed so eventually he made his way back to arrive on Tuesday the same day as the vetting. Not being able to take the full day off from work I could not collect him from Brize Norton and as his Mobile wasn’t working it was anyone’s guess what time he would actually turn up at home. The vet was delayed having to attend an emergency so I headed home for an hour for 15 minutes later Husband to walk in the door I’ve never been happier for a vet to be late!!
Had to be very apologetic to husband (to be fair had warned him about vetting in advance) and soon departed but not before showing him a fridge full of his favourite foods because as they say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach so he soon forgave me!
Can I say now I know why I don’t have more projects as vettings are stressful even when they don’t find anything and I didn’t even own Oki! As the vet works almost silently from head to tail poking prodding and writing notes you are left wondering if there is something majorly wrong with the horse you were unaware of. Thankfully poking, prodding, flexion tests, lunging, riding and a bit more poking later Oki was given a clean bill of health and ended up leaving for her new home the very same evening. If only selling horses was always that easy I didn’t even advertise her but I know it’s not normally that simple! Her new owner is keeping me updated and I’m reliably told the smile has still not left her face, they really are a great pairing and I was so pleased to find her such a great home. She has even already been to her first dressage competition and a fun ride 😀
Poor Fleur though was officially heart broken that she has lost her best buddy. It’s now a few weeks later and she has accepted Oki is not coming back but she still checks the field they shared whenever we hack past it which is rather sweet!
So I got my husband back for nearly 2 weeks which was lovely just not long enough, thankfully we only have 2 months till the end of his tour or actually now nearer 1! 😀 During the two weeks Fleur had a bit too much time off as well having not seen husband for 4.5 months it was only fair he was ranked top priority for a short while at the least 😉 plus there was lots of family and friend visiting to fit in to effectively 10 days and only one weekend so it was always going to busy without adding riding into the mix! It was another hard goodbye when he went but at least the tour is nearly over and he keeps reminding me he then gets a ridiculous amount of time off afterwards, sadly though I do not. Jealous? me? never! :p to be fair he will have more than earnt it but I still wish I could have more myself!
Fleur now though is getting my full attention (well as full as I can with a full time job, part time fledgling business and other commitments!) and I’ve actually entered a competition!! Ok it’s not eventing although I did consider entering Wellington which is a fabulous (new last year) event but she would only be just fit enough for the XC so rather than spend £100 (after diesel, entries etc) to be an also ran having not been out for several months due to my fault rather than hers I stumbled across Cricklade show. It is billed as Wiltshire’s premier county show and although I haven’t been before I have heard from friends it is a really good show. They have various affiliated showing plus a good collection of unaffiliated showjumping including a 1m local grand prix, a top score and a puissance.
I will start now and admit that I perhaps didn’t read the schedule properly when I quickly wrote my entries and sent them to get in before the closing date so I might have accidentally entered the junior and senior grandprixs. Whoops! I have emailed the secretary to apologise profusely and ask to transfer to another class I am eligible for with the same entry fee. I had thought it odd to have two grandprixs I could enter so I really do feel like a muppet! Sorry secretary!! We are getting a stab at the puissance as well and as long as I keep keep Fleur’s excitement in order we should have a good stab at it as I’m yet to find her ‘ceiling’ despite previously jumping 1m50 at home last year.
I have actually been jumping some ‘proper’ fences as well. For ages with nothing planned for her plus the fact I have to be wary of putting out too many fences because of my bad back we hadn’t jumped more than a few of the 2ft3-2ft6 XC fences on the farm so entering Cricklade has been the motivation I needed to jump some proper fences, add to that there were a few fences already set up in the field albeit at about 80cm. Monday I chucked them up to 1m10 except for a warm up x pole and a 1m upright (I don’t like to get off unless I have to so prepare in advance 😉 ) and got on with it. Twice over the cross and to check I could still see a stride once over the small upright then round the short course we went and soon a beaming grin was appearing on my face, had forgotten how awesome her jump is. I then practised my brilliant technique of putting the fences up whilst still on her back (I stuck them at 1m10 for a reason as that puts them at easily adjusted height 😉 ) to 1m20 and she flew round again never in danger of even breathing on a pole. Bring on the weekend now is all I can say, ok it may well fall apart due to lack of match practice but at least I am doing some prep ha.
I need to find more time to actually compete her as she has taken a back seat this summer, with the scabby heel (which is now long gone), having two horses, lots of work (most recently Hartpury and a fabulously friendly wedding) and then hard ground it was easy to make excuses to not enter up but with now losing basically all those excuses she needs and wants to go to parties. Had hoped to be at Blenheim but due to belonging to a Riding Club full of capable combinations (well after all as a club we are defending our title!) we are currently reserve and wouldn’t wish ill on any of those on the team so am now looking at some alternatives and further on into the autumn. I will be at Blenheim and Burghley so those weekends are no goes, I am still half pondering Gatcombe novice but would need an unaffiliated run at BE100 the first weekend in September. Anyone know of a suitable event nearish Wiltshire that weekend? Daunstey and Larkhill could then round off the season plus possibly Aldon as well. This is all on the presumption of course I don’t make other plans as I seem to be quite good at that recently but in my defence most have been in the name of expanding my fledgling photography business.
So yes things are as busy as ever in my household and my next weekend off is currently some time in October IF I’m lucky!