Well Blenheim week is finally here! It’s Monday morning and t-minus 48 hours until we arrive at the event as I write this. Vigorous lorry packing takes place for a three-day event, so it’s no wonder the amount of kit taken to WEG (World Equestrian Games) by my fellow equestrians was so much.
Preparation couldn’t have gone any smoother for Pom (DHI Paparazzi) and Obie (OBOS Colombus, pictured in the open intermediate at Richmond recently), who had great spins around Somerford and Richmond as a warm-up. So it’s now just down to hoping that luck is on our side this week and that the horses feel as good as they have been. Both boys had their final canter work on Saturday and will be taking to a bit of schooling today and tomorrow, with a little jump in-between. They also had a final pre-Blenheim physio session this morning, so I hope they feel the benefits.
Our Shires rugs are being packed en masse for every weather eventuality and we also had a special delivery from Baileys Horse Feeds to send us off with. You’re always better to take too much stuff for the horses than have to panic buy when you’re there. The girls usually pack the lorry and worry about the horses’ equipment and wardrobe, while my responsibilities involve stocking the fridge and feeding them for the duration. Usually if the wine fridge is not sufficiently stocked, I come under a lot of scrutiny.
My wife, among other things, holds the responsibility of packing the clothes for the family to wear. I have learnt now that during this stressful time, the kids remove everything she’s packed away neatly into a massive pile of destruction on the floor. This is usually not the time to ask her “have you finished yet?” or to “look sharp”.
My punishment for this on a few occasions has left me resembling a Beatrix Potter character for a week or a New Kid On The Block.
Matthew talks us through the three moods he can end up in after an event
I’m excited to see what the horses are capable of and I’m keeping everything crossed for a positive result, but what will be will be and I just hope to bring them home safe and sound. I’m feeling anxious to be at a big event again and I hope it will leave me feeling optimistic for next year. I’m sure the pre-dressage nerves will set in later in the week and I’ll let you know my honest thoughts afterwards, good or bad!
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