As I write this I have four days to go until the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials. I am starting to get nervous, Bouncer (Cossan Lad) is wrapped up in cotton wool and I think I should also wrap myself up too! I managed to get knocked off my feet by my rather exuberant Labrador on yesterday’s dog walk — it came as such a shock and as I was on my own I think everyone missed out on a good laugh.

Have I got everything ready and sorted for the big week? Probably not. I think come Monday (today) I will be running around like a headless chicken.

The farrier came last Monday to do Bouncer’s Badminton shoes. We have been through the dressage test and have a warm-up plan sorted. Everything is slowly coming together and now what will, be will be. We have done the preparation and now we just need to enjoy the event when we get there.

We had a brilliant run at Kelsall Hill Horse Trials (pictured throughout) last weekend. We did a fantastic dressage — I couldn’t believe it, he was so chilled. I so hope that’s not my luck over with. He showjumped well and he felt on top form cross-country.

It was my other horse Kitty’s turn on Wednesday. She is a lovely six-year-old that I have backed and produced since she was three. She was from the 2015 Monart Sale in Ireland and I am excited about her future. We had a spin round Aston-le-Walls BE100 and she did a tidy dressage and had unfortunate pole in the showjumping but she was fab cross-country. Her days hunting in the winter prepared her well for the ground especially as it is only her second run of the season.

Bouncer had his final jump yesterday. We were just working on a jumping exercise in the school changing the distance from three to four strides making him listen to me and not take over to what he thinks he should be doing.

He had an easy day on Friday and on Saturday he had a little canter just to open his lungs and that marked the end of his Badminton fitness work.

Continued below…


Like this? You might also enjoy reading these:


So, what are my aims for this week? I want to complete, enjoy the experience and possibly aim to get the Glentrool Trophy, which is awarded to the combination that rises the most places after their dressage test. I have won a prize like this before and maybe that can be us at Badminton.

Bouncer had a little tidy today — he hates it and gets so angry at me pulling his mane so I thought I better do it a few days before otherwise he is going to hate me so much. So now for me it is packing and lots of washing.

See you all next week.
Kirsty and Bouncer

Read the full Badminton preview in this week’s Horse & Hound (issue dated 26 April 2018)

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday