This week eventer Lucy Wiegersma brought one of her advanced horses, Porloe Alvin, to Talland for me to ride for three weeks.

Alvin’s a lovely horse but he gets tense at competitions, so the plan is for me to get him out a lot so he relaxes and doesn’t predict going cross-country. Our first outing will to be to Burrows Court on Saturday.

He’s a very good mover for an eventer and is perfectly happy in trot and canter. But when you ask for halt he acts like he is in the start box and wiggles like a worm. He’s a different kind of challenge to all my dressage horses.

This was the first week I can remember when I’ve been home everyday, so I’ve had more time to get the horses ridden — all 9 of them — before teaching all afternoon.

Relaxing and rugby

On the weekend I went out for a few drinks on Saturday night and had an old friend from school over on Sunday to watch the rugby. England played well to start and utilised France’s mistakes, but we were complacent in the second half. I used to want to play rugby professionally so I still really follow the sport.

It’s never enough just to watch something on TV, (like when you see Formula 1 and it makes you want to get in your car) so we went out and played some rugby after the game. We have this rectangular field on the drive up to Talland, which is just perfect for it.

It was mum’s [Pammy] birthday on Sunday. Her only request was to be allowed a peaceful day where she had very little to do. We let her have a lie-in and then looked after her for the rest of the day. She attempted to do a bit of sunbathing, but gave up on that pretty quickly since it was a nice day, but not quite that hot!

Charlie