Lauren Shannon’s eventing blog: is all-weather the future of eventing?

  • We’ve had a busy week here on the yard, with the weather making things feel a lot harder than they should!

    We haven’t suffered too much with the rain, but the wind last week was unreal. I can’t believe we didn’t lose parts of our barn and I also can’t believe I’m still alive after riding some very fresh horses in that weather.

    Despite this, we all braved the disgusting weather last weekend and took a big lorry load of horses to Aston-le-Walls to try out their new all-weather cross country course. It looks very impressive, and it was a great exercise in practising skinnies — there seemed to be hundreds of them. All the mares went exceptionally well and I had a few students with me who all blew away the winter cobwebs brilliantly.

    I am starting to wonder if places like Aston are the future — with weather conditions becoming more erratic, it allows them to run in a lot more trying conditions. While it was a great, fun day out, it wasn’t quite the same as cross-country schooling on grass and I would hate to think we are going to have to move away from that!

    Having said that, I have made the decision with my owners not to start competing the horses until April. I don’t think it’s fair on the horses or their owners to start planning for events that are being cancelled or rescheduled all the time.

    I am in the lucky position where none of my rides are chasing early qualifications, so we can spend an extra month showjumping and dressage training before heading out. With the current cost of British Eventing competitons, it makes a lot of sense to run when you need to, not just for the sake of it.

    Here at home, the build of our new yard is moving quickly (pictured), despite the wet and windy weather. The first concrete for the American barn is being poured today, and the site is looking more and more like a yard by the day.

    I still cannot get over how tidy the guys from Elmtree Construction have kept the site, especially considering how quickly everything is going. We live down the bottom of the drive, so they’ve had to keep access open for us the whole time, which is no small feat in the winter with what seems like 1000s of tons of soil to move!

    Hopefully if the weather perks up from here, we can all start having a bit of an easier time.


    Lauren’s H&H blogs

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