The road to the Badminton Mitsubishi Cup: forced to put my brave pants away

  • Last Wednesday I had shuffled some work commitments around so that we could go cross-country schooling on grass. Unfortunately the cross-country field was closed as it was too wet — second attempt failed! However, it was a nice day so I thought that I could take Sara (Donner Sara B) on a hack instead.

    I got to the stables and she was in her field happily munching away. I had got about as far as the kitchen when I heard mum scream. Somehow Sara had managed to get her back leg caught in the cross surcingles on her rug and was attempting to career around the field on three legs. I managed to run out in my socks and rescue her — she seemed none the worse for wear just a little bewildered. I am starting to think that she knows when I am writing my blog and is making sure that I have enough material to go in it!

    I had a full weekend of lessons booked in — showjumping on the Friday, a third attempt at cross-country schooling on grass on the Saturday and dressage on the Sunday.

    We got to our Friday lesson and she was just not quite right — she wasn’t jumping with her normal enthusiasm, in fact she was not jumping at all! Maybe she pulled herself slightly more in the incident with the rug than I had first thought. Cue a panicked phone call to the physio, who was on her way home but was willing to come out to us on Sunday, so that was third attempt at cross-country schooling failed and our dressage lesson too.

    I took the time off however to meet up with my grooms (friends that have very kindly offered to come to Badminton with me). Last year it was just me and mum and as mum with two dodgy knees it was basically just me (though I did have an extra pair of hands on the Wednesday, competition day).

    I was shattered — I clocked up over 40,000 steps one day on my pedometer by the time I had walked to and from the stables, grazed Sara in hand, walked the cross-country course and all the other little bits of running around that you have to do, and that was before I had even competed. I was very jealous of my friend who had her entourage of three completely able people.

    So this time I had not even got back from qualifying at Oasby and I had already lined up three friends to come and help (pictured top with me, second from left). Sara is going to be looked after like a queen and there will be enough people to cater to her every need without me running around like a headless chicken.

    Continued below…

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    The physio came out on Sunday and Sara was a little sore but not as bad as I had thought she would be. I think the extra few days off had helped. My physio does a great package deal for horse and rider and having mentioned my fall she took a look at me too — she had already noticed how bad my posture was. It appeared that the whole of my right side of my back was in spasm! After some pummelling and almost swearing, it started to feel much better. I have come to the conclusion that Sara not jumping on Friday was a mixture of her being a little sore but also me being out of balance and tipping forward because I was sore too.

    After not being able to train last weekend, my brave pants have had to go back in the draw and I have downgraded to the BE90 at Stafford where I was originally going to compete in the BE100. I am a little disappointed but this is the first competition I am going to solo and decided that I didn’t need the added stress given we have not managed any training. Oh well, I am keeping my fingers crossed and I will tell you all about it next week.


    Carrie (and Sara)

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