Kirsty Short’s Badminton first-timer blog: so near, yet so far away

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Explore the 2016 Burghley cross-country course exclusively with free runners 02:56 Riders' first reactions to the 2016 Badminton cross-country course 03:06 Ian Stark walks the toughest fences at Badminton Horse Trials 2016 03:31 Walk the Badminton 2016 cross-country course 21:51 Lucinda Green: how to string cross-country fences together with a young horse 04:50 Lucinda Green: How to tackle coffins 04:13 Tim Price’s top tips for your first cross-country school of the year 01:33 ‘Repetition is key’ — Jonelle Price’s top tips for solving cross-country problems 01:31 What is day-to-day life like on Piggy French's yard? 04:44 Jonelle Price: I'm a bit of a thrill-seeker really 01:31 Tim Price: the scariest thing I've ever done 01:32 Caring for your horse's legs after cross-country: what you need to know 03:00 Ruth Edge: How to ride the perfect 10m circle 01:18 Harry Meade: ‘Life is about challenges — we don’t know what’s ahead of us' 02:54 Walk the 2015 Burghley cross-country course with Blyth Tait 03:34 How to fall off a horse as safely as possible 00:12 Yogi Breisner: How to jump a sunken road on a cross-country course 03:32 Yogi Breisner: How to jump ditch combinations on a cross-country course 02:09 Yogi Breisner: How to ride ditches 02:42 Yogi Breisner: How to ride safe turns across country 02:10 Yogi Breisner: How to tackle water when riding cross-country 02:16 Yogi Breisner: How to use your horse's gears while riding cross-country 01:33

As I write, it is exactly 14 days until the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials trot-up. I have my drawn order number which is 55 if we get in, which will sit me bang in the middle so hopefully we’ll get a Friday dressage or late Thursday. I sort of hope for late Thursday as then I get to have one more glass of champagne on Thursday evening!

Bouncer (Cossan Lad) has been shod ready for Badminton and my farrier Fiddie will come back to check them before we go if we get in.

 

Earlier this week we also did something different — I had offered Polly Jackson Griffin up for auction at our Pony Club ball (Puckeridge Western Hunt) back at Christmas. All the proceeds went to the Hannah Francis Willberry Wonder Pony charity. Our pony club made a fantastic £4,500 and I think it was a little more in the end. The lovely Ashley and her daughter Kitty came for the day that they won the bidding on and had lessons and a lunch (which I prepared — domestic goddess!) with us and picked everyone’s brains for the day.

We have had another busy week although I have been going through the motions and it took me ages to get over my cold. We had a lovely Easter and even though it wasn’t much of a break I managed to have a few roast dinners!

We took the boys showjumping to Field House where Cortage jumped a super round in the 1.10m and Bouncer jumped a fab round in the 1.20m. They both had an unlucky pole. Bouncer had the last but I think this was rider error — the distance came up quite quickly and I had it down. Bouncer was very displeased with his mother as he enjoys jump-offs.

We do need rain I can’t believe how hard the ground has become so quickly. We are at Kelsall Hill Horse Trials this weekend and I’m hoping for lots of grass coverage. If the ground is hard it is very likely we will only run Bouncer half-way round the cross-country course to preserve him for Badminton, but we will make a decision on the day.

I have also managed to break in one of my lovely Monart Sale purchase babies this week. He was so well behaved and he is now trotting around like a grown-up, which is very exciting. Each step with a young one is just so pleasing and I find myself smiling the whole time. As I own mine, I get to take my time with the breaking process and I do this quietly and calmly. My secret weapon has to be treats — my horses will do anything for food!

Continued below…

Bouncer is feeling on fantastic form and he has had his last gallop. I tend not to do any excessive fast work now we are into the last few weeks prior to a three-day. The horses are either fit now or they would never be ready in time. Obviously each horse is an individual and you need to work out the correct programme for them, but I work on this general rule.

Bouncer will still be cantering every four days, but just not as strenuous as I have done the past week. Catch up next week and I will let you know if I make it in — so near, yet so far away.

Kirsty

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