We have been ticking along nicely this week in preparation for the Mitsubishi Cup at Badminton. We keep working on Sara’s (Donner Sara B) flat work and have had some good canters around the forest after work (I really am loving not being sat in a hotel room in London).

I have felt a bit jittery all week. I couldn’t work out if I was more nervous about Badminton or the fact that I was doing the BE100 at Kelsall Hill. We attempted two BE100’s last year without any success. We had a stop at Llanymynech, and I fell at Kelsall Hill (2) when motorbike that was score collecting cut across me when I was landing after a fence. It missed us by a hairs breadth but it meant that Sara was very unsettled for the next fence that happened to be a double and although she tried her best to jump them she left a leg and catapulted me out the side door.

I had a jumping lesson with Richard Carruthers on Thursday. Sara’s feet definitely seem to be snapping more. Richard was putting us over some interesting lines and she was picking up really well. Then it was off to walk the cross-country course at Kelsall as I was competing on the Friday.

The course at there is always big and bold but built well and really encourages the rider to keep forward. I was pleased to see that the fence where our incident occurred last year had been moved slightly so the score collectors had a much better view up the track to check for oncoming horses.

On Friday I wasn’t competing until after lunch. I’m really not a fan of afternoon competing — I would much rather be up at 4am and done by 11am. I had decided to occupy myself in the morning by doing some house work, but in moving the TV I managed to slightly pull my lower back. Note to self, no more heavy lifting until after Badminton.

After a long morning of getting more and more nervous we were finally there. Sara posted a decent dressage in a class full of professionals including two Olympic riders to be lying sixth after the first phase. However those pesky poles got the better of me once again and Sara just tipped the only fence that I kicked for in the showjumping. Patience and waiting for the fence is really not my strong suit, but I really must learn. We had a clear cross-country round all be it with a few time penalties. Sara just didn’t feel her normal self, I was having to really kick and she was not taking me in.

Continued below…

I am a little worried, one of her studs did not screw in properly and I am also worried that there might be something stuck in her white line in her hoof. Our farrier is due on Friday however another local farrier called Jon Kirby has kindly agreed to come and have a look. He events himself and understands the sheer panic when you think that there is something not quite right (especially this close to Badminton.

Fingers crossed that I am just being a hypochondriac.

Love,

Carrie (and Sara)