Former international pony dressage rider Katy Willings’ latest update on her progress training for the Mongol Derby

The weekend saw my competitive re-debut in the dressage arena on Tucker, after five years in the equestrian wilderness. Not exactly Derby training, but in a way it’s working out well as I am compelled to get out of bed at strange hours of the morning and ride. Getting into a good working routine which goes something like this…

7pm: leave work, scuttle over Waterloo Bridge, catch train home to folks in Basingstoke

8.15pm: home, change, goose-step across yard in new and very stiff riding boots, quick brew while tacking up.

8.30-9.30pm: work Tucker. He’s a good humoured little guy which is just as well, with 15 hours of daylight it IS a bit perverse to be finishing up in the dark….

10pm: dinner, Horse & Hound, a few bends and lunges to beat the new boots into submission a bit further.

11pm: bed

5.40am: up, out, tack up

5.50am: back on board Tucker. Play chicken with a particularly territorial pheasant who has taken up residence on the centre line of the arena. Run through a few sequences from the tests I will be doing.

6.50am: off, hand T over to waiting Mum who cleans him up and turns him out. That’s him done for the day. If only I could say the same. Shower, race for the station, back on the 7.29 back to London. Avoid hairy moment when train pulls in and Slavic barista is still faffing with my cappucino… dash for it… make the train!

8.15am: scuttle through Waterloo, pick any remaining hay or shavings from hair, back at desk in Trafalgar Square for 8.30 on the dot. Seamless!

I’ll be looking to build on this routine, just as soon as i can actually get through the rest of the week at work without nodding off c. 5pm… watch this space.