Blog 2: Road to Badminton
After a quiet winter I have been gradually building up Libby's fitness in preparation for another attempt at the Mitsubishi Motors at Badminton horse trials at the start of May.
Our goal is to improve on last years results when we completed but Libby got rather bogged down in the mud on cross country day. It would be nice if the weather was a little kinder this year. As Libby is an experienced pony who knows her job well we are trying to get her there fresh and raring to go rather than to over prepare.
I have had a couple of dressage lessons with my brilliant trainer Tania who is working on Libby’s straightness and engagement as well as my core strength.
We had our first outing at Goring Heath 90 last weekend and I was thrilled with how she went. Despite only having had one outing to a mock B test at Felbridge and one cross country school at Littleton since September she was an absolute superstar performing a beautiful dressage test (harshly marked for a 32) and a foot perfect double clear jumping with 1.6 time faults to finish a very close ninth. We are aiming for one more run in the NSEA 100 class at Munstead before Badminton.
At the moment Libby is turned out in the field during the day but hopefully she will start to go out at night shortly. Libby eats Simple System Organic Lucie Stalks and Simple Balance + together with hay fed at teatime, 10 pm and in the morning before she is turned out. As Libby puts on condition easily we work hard to maintain her at a healthy slim weight but she is generally very easy to manage.
I have been gradually increasing hill work and cantering whilst we're out hacking to improve her stamina. As we are away on a skiing holiday next week Libby is also going to the Aqua Equine treadmill for a week of fitness Boot Camp ! I have also been working on my own fitness.
Libby has had her teeth rasped by the horse dentist recently and her saddles are due to be checked in two weeks. Her shoes have been timed so that she has a new set a week before Badminton to allow for them to bed in.
I am also very lucky that Gill Maybury chiropractor keeps a close eye on Libby’s back and neck by maintaining her mobility and making sure that her back muscles are comfortable and she is moving at her absolute best. We back that up with daily carrot stretches and use of our FMBs PEMF rug as close to daily as we can manage.