What a pleasant surprise — Toby had a good night’s sleep, which in turn meant that so did his fellow glampers! Historically the change of feng shui from his own bedroom to the lorry interior has resulted in very little sleep on the first night, so despite the rain hammering on the roof for most of the night, I am very thankful for our bonus zzzs!
Today’s itinerary was based around schooling Miley, going to the briefing, our first course walk and our first important phase of this three day event, the trot-up.
I stuck with the black and white theme to match Miley and not to be left out Toby was kitted out in a Harris Tweed waistcoat, handmade by granny!
My first impressions of the cross-country course…? Bring it on!
The logs at fence 15 and 16 remind me of a time when I was out hacking with great friend and Toby’s other Godmummy, Helen Wilson.
After the 1987 hurricane there were loads of ‘new jumps’ around – we came across a massive old oak tree that had been felled by the storm and dared each other to jump it. It was in the middle of a big field but would’ve been well over 4 foot high with a steep downhill approach, out of deep clay and obviously without any form of ground line or studs!
We were oblivious to the fact we or our ponies might not be the most talented and the nearest house or phone box would’ve been a good few minutes canter away if anything had gone wrong! Needless to say, we had a giggle as we jumped it and carried on our merry way.
Coming back to the Swindon Designer Outlet Mound, although it is one of the many challenges we face on Giuseppe della Chiesa’s course, somehow in relative terms, it seems a far friendlier fence than we jumped that day as kids. We’re also at a massive advantage as we’ll have instant access to vets, paramedics and any other required assistance if, God forbid, we get it wrong!