I’ve been busy packing up for Hartpury Festival of Dressage, where I’m taking Abira in the small tour and Ollie in the big tour.

I haven’t competed for the past week but went to a World Class monitoring day last Monday with Abira and Nemo, where I worked with Erik Theilgaard polishing things up before the up coming internationals.

We worked on getting Nemo to use himself more, so I don’t have to carry him around. I score sevens and eights if I hold him together, but long-term he needs to carry himself. He’ll be doing the pre-young riders Europeans event at Hickstead next week.

With Abira we worked on activating his hindleg too, and doing lots of lateral work to get him crossing over and so loosening up.

Gloria Leveret came to do all three horses backs last week. She comes over once every six to eight weeks when the horses are competing. I find it makes a huge difference as if you have the horse completely comfortable you know it is down to the rider if anything that needs improvement.

On Sunday I went for a one-and-a-half hour run. This was off the back of something Amber de Savary’s father said to me at the European championships last year, that too many riders don’t see themselves as athletes.

With that in mind I’m also giving up alcohol between now and after the nationals in September. Then I can at least eliminate the possibility of anything not going well on account of me having been drunk the night before. I don’t know if I’ll be able to stick to it, but telling people on here will be a big incentive as I’ll be embarrassed if I don’t manage it!

Charlie