I am feeling much better now that the dressage is over and done with. I really felt quite nervous before I went in as the reality of being at Badminton, doing what I have always dreamed of, finally hit me. I kept telling myself “just keep smiling and try to enjoy it.”
We scored 53.2 which I thought was quite good considering we had a Thursday afternoon slot and Patris Filius was still extremely full of himself, despite being ridden twice before the dressage. I was pleased with his trot work and did enjoy myself once we were in the arena. I know he can go better than he did — he dropped at little too much at the poll and came behind the vertical — but considering how hyper he has been, he managed to contain himself in the arena.
There is so much more atmosphere here than there was at Burghley last year. Looking back, Burghley seemed really quiet by comparison. The stables here are lovely, but much more busy with everyone going to and fro. Filius is loving all the hustle and bustle — he thinks being here is brilliant!
I’ve walked the cross-country course three times so far, including once with Ian [Stark], and I know what routes I’m planning to take. Every fence on the course involves a big effort, but it is particularly intense from the sunken road through to the hollow. I feel better now I’ve got my lines decided and there isn’t any one fence I’m more worried about than the others. I’ve just got to keep focused and do my job so that Filius can do his. I’m determined to ride him really positively and go for it.
Having got the dressage out of the way yesterday, Filius has enjoyed an hour grazing this morning and I’m about to take him for a decent hack to keep ticking over ready for tomorrow. Hopefully this afternoon I’ll get a chance to watch some dressage and take a trip round the trade stands. It’s the only chance I’ll get to do any shopping while I’m here, so I had better make the most of it. Then it is going to be an early night for me tonight.
Keep your fingers crossed for us tomorrow. Right now I’m taking it just one day at a time.
Bye for now, Olivia