… and the bitter taste of something… bitter-tasting…
So, that scoundrel Tom.
Tom is nothing but a worry to his ‘dad’. He spends all day sleeping and eating and some of the time he’s more lovely than a lovely thing. But unfortunately, some of the time he’s less than lovely.
He’s not, to hastily clarify a point, nasty.
Oh no, I don’t believe for one instant that Tom has a nasty bone anywhere in his 17.1hh body – and that’s a big pile of finely-muscled body!
But he is… inconsistent.
And in a way, Tom’s inconsistency is his consistency.
On Sunday we competed at a British Eventing One Day Event in Berkshire.
The dressage test, unlike our dressage test the previous weekend, felt brilliant. Tom was alert, keen but listening. His attention was on me and him and not once did I feel his physical or mental gaze wander outside the dressage arena.
The judge’s sheet shows we were awarded lots of 6s, a large helping of 7s plus an 8 and a 9. These are good marks. Actually, given that Tom and I have been a working partnership for about eight months, these are very good marks.
During the working-in for the show-jumping Tom changed mental gear. He upped his speed, upped his game and upped the amount of riding I had to do. The working-in was, frankly, fast and furious.
But our actual show-jumping round was more controlled, better balanced and more finely-tuned than I could have hoped for. Yes, Tom had a pole down, but that was just carelessness on his part. And yes we had a run-out because I got the pace of approach and angle wrong in to one fence. But that was it. And at no time did anything feel ‘wrong’. Slightly too quick, yes, but not wrong. And Tom’s jumping speed can be reduced even further, without threatening his ability.
So far, so positive.
Unfortunately the cross-country was a disaster, I had to retire us at fence 3 for reasons of safety. And yes, I was bitterly, bitterly disappointed. It was a lovely cross-country course and, with the exception of fence 5 which was a nasty – and very technical – ‘corner’, every fence on the track was well within our capability; we would have flown round.
So here’s the plan.
Throttle back on the competing for the next couple of months.
I’m going to use the time to continue the improving trend in our dressage and show-jumping and, hopefully, find a way to reduce Tom’s speed in the approach to our cross-country fences.
This, I am declaring, is Our Way Forward.
Thanks for the concern. The 24-hour tummy bug lasted 12 hours. How’s that for a service improvement? But unfortunately my hand is still sore from car door closure incident.
I passed a ‘motorised bicycle’ today. No, really! It was a normal pushbike that had been fitted with an electric engine.
So I’m just wondering.
Would it have road tax and insurance? Or could it be ridden on the pavement/cycle-path?
You know the sitcom? It’s nearly finished. I’m at the stage where the palms of my hands are itching and I want to get the thing in front of the TV companies.
I need to be doing the playlist for this weekend’s podcast! I can’t hang around here all evening nattering with you – gorgeous though you are!