"Hi everyone. Competition wise it's always quiet at this time of the year, but with my husband Simon away this week I've been trying to do six horses as well as look after my two children, who've both had stomach bugs. Fortunately I have had my in-laws up here to lend me a hand."
Mr President (Rimmer) has been back in work for a couple of months, but he’s being a complete monkey at the moment! I was leading him out to his grazing corrall and he gave me both barrels, so he’s in the bad books. The plan with him is the Myerscough Premier League dressage in March, if he's ready. He is 18 now and though he's older, he's fit and happy and still loves what he does. But I don’t want him to come out and get 52% in a dressage test, I want him to be remembered for doing high-60's tests. So if I think he's no longer enjoying it, it'll be time to stop.
Mr Hyde has qualified for the British Dressage regional championships at Medium and Advanced Medium level, so that's the main aim with him. It will be interesting to see how he handles the atmosphere, as he’s quite a nervous horse. I’m trying a new calmer with him, which works as long as he eats it! I'm having to resort to bribery, so I'm getting him used to the smell and taste of garlic to mask the taste of the calmer to trick him into eating it.
My broodmare Ancie went to her first competition recently, though someone else has been riding her for me as I can't ride in any qualifiers up to Medium level, whereas Adam and Ancie can compete at Prelim and Novice. Ancie had never been anywhere except the vets to be AI'd and the stud, but she’s so laid back at home I thought she'd be easy. But she went into the arena and nearly had a heart attack! So she'll need a good few outings to get her used to the idea of competing.
We watched the live streaming of the World Dressage Masters in Florida, and the Brits did a very good job – they're really up against it with the Americans on home turf. But it's phenomenal to be beating the Dutch and the Germans, and long may it continue. Though Team GBR has had some great results recently, we need to keep working and pushing in the run up to the Olympics, and to become more consistent. But we're very strong at the moment, and I believe there's even more to come.
Bye for now,"