When it comes to competing, I’m hugely superstitious! I won’t even walk over three drains on the pavement in case it brings bad luck and show me a ladder and there’s no way I’ll walk underneath it. I also have a thing about finding four leaf clovers. It’s mainly because the day before the first British Eventing competition we won I found one out hacking and now I always keep an eye out, to keep the luck topped up. Maybe I should start looking for one now, I really need it.
I call Indi a ‘professional competition horse’. She’s a pretty grumpy chestnut mare at home, stamps her feet and puts her ears back. But the moment the lorry ramp comes down to load, she transforms into an angel pony. Her ears prick and she basically loads herself. Oh yes, Indi loves a party, so much so she sometimes takes a few attempts to load on the way home! When we arrive I always put her back massage pad on. This isn’t necessarily superstition but more the fact that the one time I didn’t use it she nearly bronked me off across the car park! She’s always way more supple and relaxed once she’s had it on, and as I don’t work her in for very long before our dressage it just helps to get the muscles warm without too much work. There are few other weird things I do, like putting my left boot on first, well not just my boot but also my glove, sock, basically everything goes left first! Wow, it’s not until you write these things down that you realise how weird you really are. Another thing we do is make sure I don’t see the dressage marks before I go show jumping. Adrian will go and have a look but he won’t tell me. Mainly because if it’s a rubbish mark I get upset and if it’s good I get flappy and push her. I’m better just not knowing!
In other news we have had a bit of a traumatic time at Eventing Mum HQ… Firstly the weather has just been horrific. My stables have been flooded out twice and the fields are mostly under water. Not what you need when you’re trying to get fit. We have been out to an Eventers Dressage which went well, she came second with 28.5. I was really pleased because I was able to put into practice what we’ve been learning with Anne at Appin Equestrian Centre. We also managed to get all four feet off the ground with a lesson from local event rider Steven Renton. Last year Steven came and rode Indi a few times for me before I got back on after having Flossie. I also had lessons all summer with him doing lots and lots of grid work. He has been amazing and has really helped to improve our rhythm and boost my confidence. I did wonder if we would remember our summer training after our winter holidays, but she was great and even though it was freezing cold and sleeting sideways we had a really good lesson.
We did, however, have a little set back. We tootled off to the vets for her jabs and to have her teeth done. She needed quite a bit of work done on her teeth, so I thought I’d give her two days off. I went to bring her in two days later and she was hopping lame. The farrier couldn’t get to us until the following week so we headed back to the vet. Luckily, they have excellent facilities only four miles down the road. She couldn’t find anything wrong, yes, she was lame but no heat or obvious issues. To make things worse she had swapped legs overnight, diagonal lameness. After tubbing feet all weekend and still not much improvement or signs of an abscess, Mary, my chiropractor, arrived and after watching her walk she spotted a blockage near her pelvis which was causing her to move awkwardly and therefore making the movement painful. After a bit of work and adjusting she was free and loose, walking out beautifully and sound. Phew!
We have missed 10 days work but we are getting back on track. It’s still raining, and we can’t get much canter work in but I’ve had a dressage and a jumping lesson recently so we’re moving in the right direction. Onwards and upwards!