Badminton Blogger

Badminton Blogger – Cancellations, Preparations and Spotty to the rescue!

Another early start, kit loaded, hay nets hung, toast stacked on the dash board and coffee at hand. Then the 6am check of the website confirmed our fears, with water logged ground, Hambleden International was cancelled. Luckily Nellie was none the wiser as she was still standing oblivious in her field. Pleased with her early breakfast, we de-camped back to the house. I was quietly not too disappointed, Nellie didn’t need to lose confidence in bad going and wasn’t in need of another run. Mum needed to catch up with work…never mind sleep, and I needed to get to school for AS revision sessions.

tetSunday was my turn to release my inner athlete! The National Triathlon Championships 2016 in Solihull were never going to be cancelled! A lie in, relative to the BE starts, saw a 10 am departure and a quick registration before I was in the pool. I was reasonably pleased with my swim, 2.19 a little way off my pb, but respectable for training done. This put me into 5th going into the run, shoot phase know as the combined event. Managing some good shoots and a very average run, clearly Nellie’s fitness has been a higher priority than my own. I managed to pull up to 4th and had a small trophy to bring home for my efforts…if only it was that easy to get the Mitsubishi Trophy….To check out what else I do, go to:

To check out a video showing my other life: Youtube Video

Travel time is my opportunity to work: I chat to Mum about our plans, lists are made, ideas formulated and then it is down to work: blogs written posts planned and then, if time, I settle to some revision! This close to Badminton most of our preparation has been done, some according to plan, some last minute rushes!

spotEarlier in the year worm counts were carried out and measures taken. Teeth were checked by the one and only Pete Ravenhill of B and W Equine. Nellie even had a green filling for a chipped tooth but otherwise all looked good. Maintenance of the trailer and car hopefully sorted since our earlier disasters. Meanwhile, Alexander Hall has made huge improvements to Nellie’s feet, and gone above the call of duty with a scheduled check a few days before to make sure she is perfectly balanced. Mum does all Nel’s physiotherapy and more importantly her core stability and strengthening programme. For myself I receive specific massages and strength and conditioning programs from Jason at Stroud Sports Clinic, great to keep me straight down the centre line! Vaccinations were a bit of a rush to fit in as they had lapsed with Nellie’s stop start career, but all is up to date now. Training has gone very smoothly and I have taken great care not to over load Nel in my eagerness to be prepared. Nellie has had a mix of flat work, gymnastic jumping and gentle hacks and of course days off carefully planned around my training and AS studies. Not to mention Mum’s availability to provide my transport to Burrows Court and Summerhouse where I can get good local training/competition facilities. However, the preparations for the day always came back to the same problem, getting Nellie to Badminton on time and unstressed. Going in the trailer is not the problem, leaving other horses is. I really didn’t think Acco would appreciate being tied to the trailer for the day so desperate measures were taken and reinforcements called up.

spot nelSpottie to the rescue! Spottie was my first ever pony, given to me when I was 2, little did we know that he was also 2 at the time, as I rode him at local shows where our combined age was under 5! Not sure who broke who in but we were a good team from day one. Now out on loan a quick text and within 5 hours he was bonding with Nellie grazing side by side. The moment of truth came when we loaded him to take Nellie for dressage training. We wondered if poor Spot was so small Nellie might not recognise him as a worthy travelling companion. Luckily she was delighted and walked straight up. So chuffed with her new escort Nellie then refused to go to the arena without him. Not wanting another battle so close to Badminton and knowing Nellie loves the hustle and bustle of the warm up arenas, I gave in and let Spot spectate for my lesson to avoided Nel’s attempts at another back flip. Spot was immediately promoted to head coach and will be at Badminton on the day should Nel need any advice on how to behave.

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