Mother’s Day is a big event in our house. We are encouraged (no prizes for guessing who by) to treat it as a birthday, and are reminded lightly throughout that it is “her day”.

“Mummy, what’s for dinner?”
“Don’t ask me – it’s ‘My Day’. I’m not doing manual labour on ‘My Day’.”

We are delighted to indulge her, particularly when I think about all the opportunities and successes I have been able to have thanks to the invaluable and selfless help and support of my mother.

Susie cross-country schooling

Last year we gave her a stress ball, which she kneaded through many a tough time for the good of her blood pressure, but I am sad to announce that a few weeks ago the end finally came while doing the entries for Suffolk County Show. The online form is enough to test even the most computer savvy teenager, let alone an enthusiastic mother who considers herself to be middle aged. In her frustration, she stopped kneading the stress ball and instead bit furiously into it. Back to paper entries, I fear.

In other news, last week, my sister’s (who is pictured top) former cradle stakes working hunter pony (WHP) Kyregate Peter Pan (Jojo) and his current jockey Ruby Ward had a dressage lesson with Charlotte Dujardin. We have no doubt that Charlotte will have been very impressed with him when we think back to some of our own experiences when Susie had him.

Ruby, Jojo and Charlotte

The one that immediately springs to mind is at the Hadleigh Show, a very traditional agricultural show in Suffolk. JoJo and Susie, having gone champion worker hunter, took part in the grand parade. This was quite a spectacle, comprising the best farm machinery and livestock one could hope to see. The champion bull led the way, followed by the champion heifer, then the champion goat, then JoJo, who unfortunately was followed closely by the champion donkey. The donkey, presumably pleased at the excellent turn out for the parade, started ‘hee-hawing’ at a decibel level that only a Hadleigh Show Champion donkey can quite achieve. This was much to the surprise of poor JoJo, who began to passage with immense energy and expression, to the distress of seven-year-old Susie, who you could hear from the side of the ring pleading “thtop it pleathe, JoJo”. They then proceeded to the line up of all the champion specimens, where JoJo continued, now in a piaffe that we are sure Charlotte and Valegro can only dream of.

Susie cross-country schooling Percy

And finally, I am pleased to report that Susie (who yes, has now lost the lisp) got on very well at her first ever BE (British Eventing) event with Percy. Interestingly, although an experienced WHP, he was rather green on the cross-country and couldn’t quite understand why he was galloping away on his own. However we think the penny might be starting to drop.

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Facebook seems to be full of hat chat at the moment. We have really struggled to find one that doesn’t make Susie look completely ridiculous but is still very safe, which is why she was thrilled to find that Patey make exactly that — the PROtector COOL XCountry helmet. Even the lady on tagging duty at her BE event said what a good one it is. So in case you’re looking, we would highly recommend it.

Susie and Percy jumping double clear at Munstead horse trials Credit: Spidge Photography

Susie goes to Goring Heath horse trials this weekend and then we will be going off to our first WHP qualifier. I had a great lesson with Rachel Turner this week and we can’t wait to get out!

Lucy