So after 10 days of house sitting for Ma and Pa , I can officially say I was pooped! Riding, mucking out and feeding 3 horses , feeding, entertaining and walking 4 dogs (5 one day as had my fur niece too) is official at a full time job, letting alone fitting work in too. But I can safely say I loved it! I love keeping busy and also can’t wait to be able to have my own dog one day, so to be surrounded by my fav 8 four legged friends was the best! The down size was sharing your bed with two terribles (terriers for those not in the know). I’m a real wriggler and could not sleep properly for fear of propelling one across the room.
The first day of house sitting I thought I was doomed. There was hale stones, gale force winds and a fence in the field came down all within an hour of the parentals leaving to go on holiday. Then to top it off there was a power cut! The horses had all grown a few feet due to the spooky conditions. Even reliable, sensible Harv was showing the whites of his eyes and had grown even higher than his usual 18 hands! Buzz who likes to do hand stands in the mildest of weather was displaying gymnastics which are more familiar to a Lipasano than an Irish cob!
Luckily the weather brightened up for the rest of the week albeit a few showers here and there. Thank God!
Anyway the parentals came home Friday morning and were grateful to find the house still standing and all fur babies present and correct!
Saturday I had agreed to go and groom for my sister at Rackham Horse Trials. Papa Powell had kindly offered to muck Tigger out for me, so I thought I had escaped a day of yard duties. This was not true. Laura picked me up at 8.30am to take me to her yard. I then mucked out her two horses whilst she plaited and prettied Nessa. Then we loaded up the lorry and were on the road by 11am. Having later times is definitely far more civil. However this weekend has seen scorching temperatures. And we were starting to feel the heat. An hour and a half later we arrived at Rackham. Such a lovely venue and it was great to catch up with friends also competing there.
First we prepped for the dressage. I thought Nessa looked pretty calm compared to normal and produced a nice test. There was a few immature bratty moments half way through the test and in the halt. But her behaviour was far less diva ish than normal. The judge gave her 37.5 , gaining good marks all the way through but crucifying her for the naughtiness in the halt.
We had a bit of a break before showjumping so decided to have an ice cream break and walk the cross country. Moo enjoyed an ice cream too 🐶👌🏻🍦
The cross country was quite challenging with few let up fences. The first fence was shared with the intro and prenovice classes and had been causing a lot of problems. I think the artificial grass had produced a spooky glint in the beaming sunshine. Not the most forgiving fence for a first fence. There was a lot of combinations which required skilful riding but the ground was perfect.
We then headed back to the lorry to prep for the show jumping. The showjumping was proving very influential today. Typical of its builder Brian Lear. There had been few clears. I think this is good and how eventing should be. Most people say nowadays eventing is a dressage competition as this is normally the most influential phase. Not today that’s for sure!
Nessa warmed up lovely despite the weather now being in the high twenties. She entered and had what appeared to be a spook. She flew fences one to four. Then on the turn past the arena entrance to fence five she put in a surprising nap! Luckily Laura was quick to react and with a gave her a quick boot of her leg. She skilfully led her to fence five. But the messing around from Nessa had cause her to have a wonky line to the fence and have it down. They jumped the rest of the course with ease. I think the spook at the beginning had also been a minor nap in hind site. I think she was testing Laura out as she had never shown this behaviour before. She is still growing and by the looks of it so is her mind!
Anyway you can’t ponder these things. It was back to the lorry for a final kit change for the main event; cross country! Armoured up and nerves starting to show (me not Laura or Nessa) we headed to the warm up. My phone rang so I left them to it and headed onto the course. I had to cut my father-in- law-to-be off the phone as I realised they had entered the start box.
Then they were off. Your heart races so fast when you see them go off and out of sight. If then feels like the longest time until they come back into sight again. You are preying that they are okay. But luckily I could see the ginormous bay suddenly appear out of the woodland. She was flying round with out hesitation, no napping or backwards thinking now.
They completed clear and within the time, finishing 11th in a tight section.
Today was even hotter and it was my turn to pick up the team Powell batton! Papa Powell had kindly agreed to take me showjumping today despite being jet lagged, the weather being 30 degrees and it being Father’s Day!
I was sweating buckets just walking the course and was worried that the heat might be too much for Wigs. We got kitted up and went to warm up. Wigs had spotted the fences in the warm up and felt pleased to be out. Due to the heat I didn’t warm him up too much , a walk, trot and canter on both reins. Then a cross pole off both reins, an upright and an oxer to finish. He was pulling me to the fences which filled me with enthusiasm and reassurance. He wanted to jump today and wasn’t bothered by the heat. I had shortened my stirrups even more for jumping since my last lesson with Laura to help maintain a secure lower leg position and avoid flapping.
We went clear in the first class coming 5th and had a pole down in the second class. Watching the video back , I can see that I was not straight to this jump and threw his balance off by leaning the left. Rider error indeed, but we learn by our errors if nothing else. Here’s the videos …