Blog 22: Reading my tea leaves
Wowsers, the weather has been so changeable. Earlier everywhere was frozen and it was really difficult to keep the horses ticking over, and now we are drowning in mud with the forecast of more snow and freezing schools. Harrumph, looking forward to Spring!
The Four Elms January clinic was a great success in their lovely indoor. We had planned for Lily to go to the Merrist Wood JAS90 that day but as she had not jumped particularly well at Duckhurst BS over Christmas we changed our minds and Martin took Little Lexi instead. Now this caused me a sleepless night as the JAS is always very full on and the Bomber is still very spooky. Not only that but she has barely schooled over skinnies and the JAS is full of them. Anyhow, she coped and although slightly lacking the Style part of ‘Jumping and Style’ (Martin that is, not Bombie obviously!) she only had one fence down and finished in the top third. Wowee, clever Bomber! We also bit the bullet and took the decision to XC school as planned at Munstead in the rain. It actually wasn’t anything like as bad as forecast, everyone was well up for it, and it was a good reminder of how to ride in wet conditions. Something we don’t do very often any more. All the horses went really well and we were particularly pleased (and just a little bit excited) with young Millie who was exceptionally brave, if rather green!
Next up was Ehren’s turn to go out for the first time in three months. I packed my parachute and crossed my fingers. Ehren was a little light on work and therefore quite bright but it wasn’t quite as wild as I expected. The first test was pretty awful. She was out of balance, really strong and I wasn’t allowed to touch her let alone ride her. The second test was considerably better, not great but not the car crash I was expecting and more rideable than the first. I could at least suggest a movement here and there. To come away with 65% in an Advanced Medium qualifier after three months at home was a pretty good effort I reckon, especially considering how bright she was. Plus (or so I thought) it’s done now, first one out of the way and we survived!
Jasmine’s Lottie had an abscess over Christmas and then could barely be worked as their school had been frozen so we aborted both the Stilebridge and BlueBarn plans for her. We also had to cancel both WobbleFlat days, my Char lessons, and the first WobbleGrid of the year. The second WobbleGrid session turned into flatwork but that was productive and we did all get to meet up in the pub for a chat about the basic rules, registering and things to start thinking about for the BE season ahead. It was great to get everyone together.
Ehren then had a trip to Merrist Wood BD as a practise for the regionals. Well that WAS a car crash! She was a little light on work, and being a 5 or 6 day a week girl this certainly has an impact. Plus she came into season that morning for the first time of the year with what can only be described as a whoosh and a bang. Add this together with a lack of match practise and we were the laughing stock of Guildford! Oh the shame….. That morning I was quietly plaiting Ehren and we heard what sounded like something cantering down the road outside. Up the drive bounced a ginger pile of froth in passage (never believe Lily when she says she can’t do dressage). So Ehren is now slightly agitated and I am thinking how much easier things are to get done in the peace and quiet of mid-week. Martin then ties the wild one up next to us. Lily is waving her backside in Ehren’s face and threatening to kick him every time he attempts a sniff. Martin grabs my bucket of clean water and sponge, washes the Ginger Rocket down, and gives me back a bucket of sweaty water! I won’t repeat my response, you can use your imagination! However it obviously hit home as he wandered off to refill it, at which point Lily grabbed the opportunity to break loose and make a run for it. So there I am hanging onto a plait like it’s a magic control halter while Ehren is rearing up, boxing out and having a bit of a breakdown about the whole affair. This rather set the scene for the rest of the day, and if as a friend said, I had read my tea leaves properly I should probably have stayed at home! However you can rest assured that all my planned outings before Hartpury are back in the calm and serenity of mid-week…..
Four Elms February then came and went, only one more Winter clinic left here and we are outdoors for the Summer series. We then XC schooled at LMEQ in very wet conditions with lots of puddles everywhere. This was also an educational day for everyone with lots of steps, banks, ditches and the water to think about. We took a very excitable Ginger Rocket who zoomed about like a little racehorse. It was nice to see her so up for it but she wasn’t exactly what I would call rideable! Also on fire was the Black Bomber who looked a lot more confident than at Munstead so that was great fun for both of them.
Then we get home and find that Ehren wasn’t feeling herself. Frustratingly she has a virus and that means no Regionals on Monday. I am pretty sure that she wasn’t keen if the practise run was anything to go by, she really didn’t need to move back into sickbay. Oh well, we will wait for her to feel better and get as many outings as possible to get her confident in the arena again before Hartpury in April. Gulp!
Coming up we hope to beat the weather forecast and school at Tweseldown, Tiny comes home after 8 years with Clare, we have WobbleBerry clinics galore, the last Four Elms of the winter, and then dum dum dah……the Munstead pre-season combined training on grass. Time to get some BE entries done!