Despite the wet weather, we are all smiles here at the Shannon Eventing yard this week! This time last week, Elmtree Construction arrived here to break ground on our new yard.

A week on, and everything looks so different! The arena will finish being dug out today, and the landscaping that Elmtree are doing with the excess soil is looking great. The guys on the job are obviously very good at what they do — I’ve been shocked to see how quickly they work and how tidy they are as they go.

We knew starting a yard at this time of year would mean a certain amount of mud and mess, and we haven’t been disappointed on that front, but it’s amazing to see how quickly it comes together.

The only downside is when I am trying to walk down the fields later on in the day, once it’s gone dark. There are piles of soil in lots of new places, and I’ve already fallen over a fair few times! I have been told that the safest option might be a head torch as I am known to be quite accident prone…

Aside from exciting groundworks, everything is ticking along nicely with the horses. The older mares are off for more dressage lessons next week, and have jumping lessons booked in for the end of this week. We are then off arena eventing next month for a bit of fun! The younger horses have been to Vale View Equestrian this past week to do a bit of jumping. I am so pleased with how they are coming along, it’s quite remarkable how quickly they strengthen and develop with work.

I also had a visit this week from Dawn Blackwell, who runs Mindset for Success. I found sports psychology really helped me when I started using it while on the World Class programme, and Dawn is certified in the science of neuro-liguistic programming for sport.

She is also a qualified hypnotherapist, which we are experimenting with at the minute. A lot of people dismiss this aspect of what we do, but competing on a live, reactive animal is challenging so I think anytime you can look into new ways of keeping yourself prepared is time well spent.

So, lots of lessons — both being taught and instructing — to do in the next week, and they we’ll be about ready for more dressage and jumping shows. It’s going to be a busy next couple of months!

Lauren

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