So we have very exciting news — we are off the wait list. I received the phone call on Monday and we are officially going to the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials. I must admit I did actually cry with excitement. Let’s hope it now runs!

The cross-country course photos look fantastic and I can’t wait to tackle it. I am meant to be running at Belton although if the ground is not perfect for Bouncer (pictured) we will save him for Badminton and go cross-country schooling instead.

This week we had some more exciting news with Champion joining the team as sponsors. They are kindly sending me some goodies that should arrive in time for Badminton. Redmills Horse Feeds are due to come on Monday to check all the horses and help suggest if I need to change their feed at all too. They provide a fantastic service and are very easy to get hold of on the phone for advice whenever you need it.

We’re in!

It’s been hard motivating myself to get out of bed at 6am every day when it’s been so cold and damp — how can it feel like November in April? It’s absolutely insane. Luckily my athletes’ diet of chocolate has helped me get through the week.

We have been working on the dressage test and my young horses have been doing their own variation of the CCI4* dressage to help me to learn where to go. I like to ride the test on other horses so Bouncer doesn’t become to familiar with it, otherwise he starts to anticipate the movements and stress.

Bouncer has also had a few jumping sessions in preparation for this weekend. We jumped on Saturday and Thursday working on courses and gridwork for him to stay flexible. I have to keep giving him rewards for all the flat work we have been doing. He worked really well on Monday so we cut the schooling session off early but carried on doing canter poles instead — this really helps with his fitness as you can sustain a canter for a long period of time keeping, the heart rate increased.

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He has been to the gallops this week too, with friend Helen Bates and I enjoying a nice canter together. I worked on my core strength this week as well although in a different style — we had a group of us at the Readyfield Bloodhounds Hunt Ball and I got made (forced) to go on the bucking bronco. I have actually also been swimming for my fitness and going to the gym to help build up my strength to make sure I’m as fit as I can be.

Well I will let you know how I get on at Belton. I then have Kelsall Hill the week after so we do have a few more runs before Badminton.

Kirsty and Bouncer