Well, the event season is truly underway now, and we seem not to be allowed to event unless it’s in two feet of mud!
Oasby became so muddy it was laughable, but at Lincoln last weekend everyone’s humour seemed to run dry.
This may have had something to do with my poor new lorry. We had four horses ready and loaded on the truck at 5am to go to Lincoln last Saturday. I put up the steps on the truck and went round to the driver’s side. In the meantime, my working pupil Jess and my partner Tom jumped in the passenger side. Or so I thought. If fact Jess jumped into the living area through the side door and shouted for Tom to put the steps up, which he didn’t hear.
I turned the ignition on the truck and there was a horrible buzzer going off. I checked all my gauges and that the air was up — everything was just fine. I figured in my naïve and impatient mind that it must be some electrical fault that was setting it off. So what do I do? I pulled the buzzer off the dash and yanked the wire out the back!
Little did I know that the buzzer was to warn me that the steps were down. It’s a brilliant idea, to have a buzzer for the steps… when you know what it is for! So off we trundle for about half a mile before I am slowing for a junction and we hit a lamp post. Needless to say, I was not in the best of moods and I couldn’t see the day going too well from this point!
Luckily, the steps were only damaged, and the lorry is now with PAC Horseboxes (www.horseboxrepairuk.com) for a bit of TLC before Great Witchingham this weekend.
More withdrawn than running
Lincoln on Saturday ended up being a bit of a wash out for us. Purdey (Quality Purdey) went brilliantly in her first novice, just fetching a few time-penalties across country. Holly (Riffala Du Buisson) did a fab dressage and showjumping, and was flying across country until the back of the course, where I think the deep going just rocked her confidence as it was her first novice as well.
I didn’t run Arthur (Silver Birches Arthur) and Smartie (Smart Lady) as they are (or will be) for sale and as their times weren’t until the afternoon, I didn’t it was worth the risk. Being able to see a horse’s record when you buy them is great, but it does mean you have to make safe decisions sometimes when selling them.
On Sunday, we went back with Louie (my Badminton ride Zero Flight) and Crunchie (Kilcannon Watlings Crunch) for the open intermediate. Louie did a great test, I am really pleased with the progress he’s made this winter. I didn’t feel it was worth running him on the ground though, so he didn’t jump. His jumping is pretty spot on anyway, so I’m not worried!
Crunchie went in for her dressage in the driving snow, which she was not at all happy about. I showjumped her too, just as more of an education, and she jumped well considering the conditions and the fact she is only seven.
It was nice to get home and dry after Lincoln, but poor Louie didn’t get much respite and he had to go swimming yesterday in what was slightly colder than average water! He is swimming alongside his galloping work, and he is a very natural swimmer (despite having to walk around puddles on the yard). He won’t swim again this week though, as the weather is getting too cold to allow for it, so hopefully the ground is nice at Great Witchingham and he can run round there instead.
Full report from Lincoln in H&H out tomorrow, 21 March.