This week has been quite quiet as Sara (Donner Sara B) had a few days off. She had the chiropractor out on Tuesday (nothing serious just a check-up) which meant that she got Wednesday and Thursday off, however we were set homework consisting carrot stretches which she thoroughly enjoyed. I was quite grateful for the few days off too as I have not been feeling 100%.

We went to a friend’s house for a dressage lesson on Friday. The arena is about 20m from a railway line and Sara now has absolutely no excuse for not being able to concentrate at Badminton — if we can manage leg-yield down the long side and do a half turn on the forehand with a high-speed Pendolino whizzing past at 100mph, then she really should be able to cope with anything that Badminton can throw at us.

>>> The road to the Badminton Mitsubishi Cup: My mind went completely blank

Another useful lesson learnt that day was that maybe I should consider my underwear selection more carefully. A poor choice of underwear in the morning resulted in a very uncomfortable lesson as I felt like I was sitting on cheese wire. All I can say is that there is a strong chance that I will be sporting a Bridget Jones style VPL at Badminton.

I did have a sudden realisation this week that I really do have to start thinking about competitions AB (after Badminton) as there is actually still most of the season left. This meant a last-minute entry into Reaseheath dressage last week to pick up our final points for the British Dressage summer regional finals. I think that this is the first time I have managed to get all my points together with more than a week to go.

>>> The road to the Badminton Mitsubishi Cup: Not going to plan

The first test was novice 39; the one that we attempted at Aintree but this time there were no hidden monsters and we came a fairly respectable fourth. The second test was novice 24 and despite my best efforts at messing up transitions and the counter canter Sara won the section and was third overall (so drinks were on her — as long as it was orange juice).

image3 (1)

On Sunday we were supposed to be arena eventing on grass to get some practice in at 1m. Showjumping on grass seems to be like gold dust, so whenever I find some I try to get there.

>>> The road to the Badminton Mitsubishi Cup: Learning important lessons

Unfortunately the weather had other ideas and after 13 hours of constant rain the organisers were forced to move it to their surface. This did leave me with a quandary of whether or not to go as I was still not feeling 100% well. I decided there is a strong chance I will not be feeling 100% at Badminton as I will probably be sick with nerves so decided it was a good test run. When we arrived I realised that I had left Sara’s bit butter at home, so I had to sacrifice my own cocoa butter lip balm — I’m not entirely sure Sara appreciated my sacrifice!

Heading into the arena I was feeling a little dizzy, but Sara strutted her stuff for a fab clear. This time she got the carrots without the need to stretch first.

Love Carrie (and Sara)