So if anyone else’s preparation is not going quite to plan for the Badminton Mitsubishi Cup then join the club!

I have definitely started my new job at the right time of year; there is just enough light to get a quiet ride in after work. After our slightly disastrous dressage competition last week I managed to sneak in an after-work lesson with my dressage trainer and no flood lights were required. After a minor melt down and a crises of confidence I was given the kick up the backside that was required and remembered what my hands and legs were supposed to be doing. Sara (Donner Sara B) was nearly looking like a dressage diva.

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

During the evenings I have had my BE (British Eventing) calendar (pictured) sprawled across the floor trying to work out the perfect pre-Badminton competition schedule. How many events are too many? And how many are not enough? I have spoken to a number of people and they all have differing opinions. I guess at the end of the day you are the only one that knows you and your horse and you just have to go with your gut.

That brings us to this weekend at Stafford Horse Trials which was our first one-day of this season. I had forgotten how many things you have to remember to pack, and I knew I had forgotten something. The team at Stafford had done a great job with the ground given the weather. The warm-up for dressage was a little sticky but the arenas had held up really well. I had forgotten how different riding on grass is to riding on an arena and I rode my test a little too tentatively. The showjumping ground was fairly good and they had moved the fences onto a slightly different line from the Friday competition meaning that we had the best of it. Sara jumped a fab clear.

>>> The road to the Badminton Mitsubishi Cup: Welcome to my new blog

Getting ready for the cross-country I realised what it was I had forgotten. It is a good job that medical armbands are no longer a required item!

It does not matter how many times I go into the start box I still feel sick. But when the cross-country stewards say “three, two, one, go” and you kick on that feeling just disappears.

We were having a great round until we got to the top of the hill where the ground got a fairly soft. Sara is not a fan of soft going and was backing off coming down the hill to a fence at the furthest part of the course. We had our first stop cross-country in nearly two years. Sara took a little bit of convincing but I got her over it on the second attempt and then we sailed home. When I got back to the horsebox I jumped off and as I was half-way down I realised with a bang (quite literally) that I had forgotten to undo my air jacket and it fully inflated.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will all start to come together soon, but on a better note the Mitsubishi Cup entries ARE NOW OPEN!

Love,

Carrie (and Sara)