“This week started off on a difficult note after the tragedy at Belton; I can't remember ever feeling so low. After a couple of days, I felt better but I was still slow and it took me longer to ride my horses.
On Wednesday, I took Jasper (Tankers Town), Joe (Jorrocks Curtis) and Harry (Azeb) for dressage lessons with Ian Woodhead. He is incredibly good on test riding and knows Jasper well, so I decided some input from him would be very beneficial.
I was up early the next day and schooled as many horses as possible before leaving for Addington with Jasper to compete and Bruno (Ultimate Opposition) to practise. The first test was Medium 73, which was in an indoor school. Jasper was good – there are always parts that can be better, but I am a perfectionist! I schooled Bruno between classes and he is settling so well now. Jasper did a better second test than his first I thought, but got a slightly lower percentage. He won both the mediums though, so the journey was worthwhile.
On Friday, Yogi Breisner came to give me some help. I jumped Joe first and worked on angles, which really helped him and gave me some great ideas. Jasper was superb and feels fully focused.
On Saturday, I left for Nurstead with Beanie (Breeze IV), Harry and Romeo (Romeo Z), who were all competing in the Novice. I like Nurstead cross country because it is so educational; there are lots of turning questions, angles and a steep slope with a fence at top and bottom. Harry and Romeo both did very good tests. Beanie had a fence down, but the other two jumped clear which left me in good positions for the cross country. Romeo jumped a super clear and won, Harry did too and was fourth. Beanie was also clear and finished just outside the placings, so a very good day.
I spent the evening with Harry's new part owners, David and Sue Howard, and we enjoyed a few celebratory drinks. Overall, I am getting very excited now – the countdown for Badminton is on!”