It’s busy here at the Shannon Eventing yard as we prepare for the season!
It hasn’t felt real until this week, when we finally got out cross-country schooling. I cannot remember leaving it so late in the year to get out, but after one of the wettest winters on record, I think everyone’s been in the same boat.
We took all the younger horses to Newton Cross Country Course near Nottingham on Thursday for a play around. They were all beautifully behaved, with me and two students schooling eight horses in just three hours. Hopefully that’s a sign we are working quickly enough for when the season comes around! The ground at Newton was superb. None of the take offs and landings even needed treating when we were there (although that may be changing with how busy these courses are at the minute!).
This weekend we also took Louie (Zero Flight) up the gallops for the first time before Badminton. I rode Crunchie (Kilcannon Watlings Crunch) as she is still strengthening up, and with a two star her aim this year, a few runs up the hill with Louie won’t hurt her! Jess, my new working pupil had the honour of riding “Fat Louie” and he didn’t disappoint, pulling like a train the whole way! I decided not to take offence when she said he felt like he had pony strides in walk and trot; Louie and I know he’s Valegro on the inside!
So all the horses are on top form for their first event at Oasby next week, although Louie will not be impressed when the lorry goes without him. He doesn’t need too many runs before Badminton, so will start at Lincoln the following weekend. Luckily he has my retired in-foal four-star mare Quixotic to keep him company, who is looking wider by the day. Her foal isn’t due until July though, so while the season steam rolls in, we still have a while to wait for her!