Lauren Shannon’s blog: final pre-Badminton Horse Trials run

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Hi everyone, I hope you are all enjoying this very British weather we are experiencing at the minute!

I have been trying to find time to breathe in between events, schooling, teaching, paperwork, sponsorship work, getting to the gym and sleeping. Unfortunately, sleeping seems to be the first thing that doesn’t get done!

I shouldn’t complain though, all the horses are going well, we are Mitsubishi Motors Badminton-bound in under two weeks and the ground is definitely not going to be too hard! Final preparations with Louie (Zero Flight) are going well – he only has a handful more canters to do (big sigh of relief from him there) and his last run at Weston went relatively well.

Weston proved a bit of hard work for me, as we had to hack through the cross-country course to get to the dressage. Once the horses are in the ring, they can see the edge of the course and the older horses were very excited by this!

Crunchie (Kilcannan Credit Crunch) and Gentel Lux both performed well – Lux was entered in the novice HC as she was balloted from the intermediate, so replaced one of my novice rides. She did a 29 double clear, so I think her awkwardness from Belton has gone away now. Crunchie went well in the novice, again showing everyone cross-country why she is going to be a superstar.

Louie and Mikey (McFly) were both over the moon to go cross-country before their dressage and neither was happy when they found out they’d have to do a test first. Louie didn’t walk more than one step the whole test and I’m thankful he won’t see any cross-country going on in the dressage at Badminton.

Mikey did his first advanced with me, doing a good test and storming round the cross-country, but the bit I have been riding him in proved too strong in the showjumping, so we’ve had to make a change there.

All in all, the horses went very well, everyone seemed in the groove and pleased to be out, although I wasn’t so happy with my riding. Luckily, I have recently started to see a sports psychologist through the World Class programme and she has really been helping me to get my head in the right place to be competitive. Weston was the event for me to figure out how I’m thinking now so that I can plan things for Badminton and beyond. I’ve learned lots already and noticed a difference in my riding.

Aside from that, I’ve been trying to stay dry in this changeable weather. Every time I get on a horse because it’s stopped raining it decides to start again! Oh well, I don’t think its doing the ground any harm, I’m sure lots of ground crews at events are giving a sigh of relief, while others are wondering if it’s going to ever stop. You have to love eventing in Britain, never a dull moment…

Lauren

Full report of Weston Park in H&H this week, out yesterday (19 April). H&H’s Badminton preview, including course-walk with former Olympic champion Blyth Tait, is out next week (26 April.

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Lauren Shannon’s diary