Sarah Higgins’ dressage blog: ‘Our test resembled the reining display I saw at WEG’

  • I am a little late with this blog, so to compensate for this I will fill it with stories of half naked muscle men, fast cars, a ballet dancer and tales of Radar being unbelievably badly behaved at my last competition. I can see now Alex is going to read the first sentence and panic that he is the ‘half naked muscle man’… he is not!

    After the British Dressage summer national dressage championships, Alex and I had a bit of an easier time, which has been lovely. Alex has been at home for a couple of weeks, which has been something of a novelty — we still seem to like each other so that’s good.

    This time of year, when the event horses are having a quiet time and my dressage horses tend to be at home consolidating, it allows Alex and I time to catch up with current sponsors and form new partnerships for the season ahead.

    We’ve had some very exciting news that our application to have our indoor school extended has been approved. This is great because it will then be 20x60m so will mean Alex and I don’t have to constantly argue over whether there is an arena or showjumps in the outdoor. We didn’t sight this as key factor in our application, but it is of course the main motivation.

    Onto the naked man… Last week I was invited to Bolsworth Castle, the home of the fabulous team that run both Bolsworth International and Liverpool International Horse Show, for the filming of the launch of Liverpool’s new title sponsor, Theraplate UK. It turns out Theraplates are not only great for horses, but also for oiled up muscle men! On arrival I was introduced to the team and had a briefing for the day. It was at this point muscle man took his tracksuit off and started posing on the Theraplate alongside a ballet dancer in the middle of the indoor school. Strange, but cool! I was then asked to do my first bit in front of the camera — luckily for everyone, I was fully clothed.

    The muscle man and ballet dancer

    The day was very interesting, not only because it was my first time in front of the camera without Alex, but because we got to try out a new product that could benefit our horses. The Theraplate is something that is being wildly used among most of the disciplines and, as suppleness and longevity is so important in our dressage horses, it is something that I will certainly consider adding to our yard.

    I managed to be on my best behaviour, brushed my hair nicely (which is quite a novelty), and managed not to swear on camera. BOOM.

    One of my horses making use of a Theraplate

    Alex is currently in China doing lots of work, he says. His latest Facebook post would suggest otherwise. Rather excitingly he has just announced a partnership with Aston Martin! This will be a big upgrade of transport for myself and Bodger (who apparently will absolutely not be allowed in the new car). It is Alex’s birthday tomorrow and I am at a bit of a loss as to what to get him when he is taking delivery of a new car next week…

    While Alex has been out racing cars, I have had Peter Storr here training. He hasn’t been for a while, which is always concerning as that usually means he has a lot to say! Anyway, the underlying theme has returned back to my legs. It used to be my right hand. My legs need to work quicker than they currently do. They are at the moment unwilling to do this, but I will keep practising. He also met Bunny and Arthur for the first time and was complimentary about both, particularly Bunny who appears to now have an official number one fan.

    We have done a fair amount of socialising too, which has been fun. I got told off for throwing cake around at our friend’s post-wedding party (they got married in Vegas). We also met up with my new favourite horse, Mr Frosty! He seems to have more in front of camera experience than me. Soon to change.

    Me with cake on my face

    A few weeks more of competing and then we are off to the Bahamas for a week — so excited! Apparently they have pigs that swim in the sea?!

    Continued below…

    On Monday I had an outing with Radar to Foxes in an attempt to get our last few medium points. We didn’t get them… He was so naughty. I was very mad because he has been going so well at home. Dominc, his brother who he lives in the field with, called to him constantly, so medium 73 was the last thing on his mind. The test resembled more of the display I had seen of reining out in WEG. Sliding halts, fast spins and sudden changes of direction. I don’t know why I was surprised that he was naughty, it is a fairly regular occurrence, but as he has been going nicely recently, I was a bit more annoyed!

    So we have a busy few weeks then hols! I will be more prompt with my blog next time.

    Until then,

    For all the latest equestrian news and reports, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday

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