I hope everyone has go their Badminton Mitsubishi Cup entries in! Although I knew I had entered I did do a last-minute check 10 minutes before entries closed just to reassure myself that my entry was in and I was relieved to see my name on the list. I cannot believe how fast Badminton is coming up, I swear it is approaching faster than it did last year.

This year I have definitely ended up taking a different approach to my preparation for Sara (Donner Sara B). This is somewhat enforced as work has very kindly sent me to work in London four days a week, which has wreaked havoc with my preparation. Last year I was able to have lessons and train midweek and then compete at the weekend. I found myself out competing almost every weekend and sometimes on both days, although I’m not going to lie this was both physically and financially draining. If I am honest, I think that approach left both me and Sara exhausted before we made it to Badminton, though with the lack of competition time this year I am starting to feel under prepared.

Sara

Sara and I have had showjumping lessons on the past couple Fridays. Last week I was reminded why I don’t let mum tack up. She not only managed to have both the rubber bit guards on one side but had also managed to put Sara’s front boots on her back legs and vice versa, which is really impressive when you realise that Sara’s front boots are open fronted tendon boots (I am going to gloss over the fact that my mum used to compete at novice level eventing in her younger days).

Sara is starting to ping and those snappy feet are definitely improving which is a welcome relief after the little blip a few weeks ago when she was not jumping very well. Now it is just a case of finding time to get to a showjumping competition to try it out when competition nerves are present.

Last weekend we went out on a farm ride. We managed to time our pace at Stafford horse trials, but Sara was not as fit as I had wanted and knowing that the course at Badminton is much longer than your average BE90 and it is hilly, it is time to really crank up the fitness work — she is starting to look less like a hippo!

This weekend we had a dressage lesson. It is really scary realising that we only have one (possibly two) lessons left, and I don’t feel anywhere close to good enough yet.

Continued below…

The next step is to practice in a 20x60m arena as for some reason I always find that my 20m circles in a 20X60m arena end up more like 30m eggs!

I am finding that both my dressage trainer and showjumping instructor are telling me the same thing which is to shorten my reins. I have decided that the best approach to this is to go old school and I now have lovely green bands of electrical tape on the reins. I think that my old Pony Club DC would be proud. Now I am just wondering if I can keep them on for competition.

Love,

Carrie (and Sara)