Ah, Worcestershire life!
This morning I had breakfast in bed.
The Lovely S woke me with a mug of tea and a bowl of porridge. I don’t want you to think I’m pampered. Because I am. 🙂
Fed, showered, shaved, dressed and smelling sweetly clean we went shopping in Bromsgrove.
The tally was:
A new sidelight bulb for my car
A five litre container of battery water for the lorry
A heavy duty battery charger (see lorry above)
Various food-related things
Flushed with the success of shopping we went to Costa where we did those things that The Lovely S and I do very well.
She drank coffee, I drank hot chocolate, we read newspapers and we people watched.
Bromsgrove is a great place for people and chav watching, it’s not the capital of chavdom – which is Worcester.
But we discovered a new subcategory today:
Wannabe chavs.Â These are very young schoolgirls who dress as if they’re chavs, but everyone can tell from their young-girly-but-not-chavlike behaviour that really, deep down beneath their badly applied tarty makeup they’re respectable girls.
Which makes me want to ask why such girls would to dress like wannabe chavs, but I guess that’s an unanswerable question, here and now.
Much watching and reading time later a visit to Blockbuster beckoned. Evan Almighty was duly selected. A trip to Greggs for lunch and then home to eat.
About 15.00 I changed in to riding clothes and drove to the yard.
To be met by Christine who asked if she could borrow my power pack because her lorry wouldn’t start.
We coupled it up and tried again; bloody thing still wouldn’t turn over. I offered her the use of my newly-acquired heavy duty battery charger which we connected and turned on, then Christine rang Gary the lorry mechanic that we both use and I went to groom and tack up.
Vin took one look at the slice of apple in my hand and whickered just like Beech used to. Bless!
We jumped today; flushed with success from some gridwork last night, I thought Vinnie would be ready for a little undemanding jumping.
The minute I mounted in the arena the heavens opened and it pissed down.Â I thought ‘oh well, we’re here now’ and carried on.
Perhaps – with hindsight – that wasn’t the greatest piece of thinking I’ve done this week. Or month.
After working in (flatwork) and establishing all three paces and doing a little work on transitions we cantered in to the first fence – a small crosspole.
I should preface all further comments with this piece of information…
Jumping Vin scares me. He’s a big, fit, strong and powerfully fast horse. And he was bred to race and trained for racing for two years. He jumps fast and although he and I have a brilliant partnership on the flat (we’ve been placed in our last four dressage competitions), our jumping partnership has barely been established.Â
Anyway, on with the day.
The first fence was a simple crosspole, we cantered in to it at a steady, balanced pace and…
He put in a dirty stop on the take-off stride, we skidded forward and he knocked it over.
Christine rebuilt the fence, we came in again, met it on a perfect jumping stride and pace and sailed over. Jumped it three more times.
However at the more challenging staggered upright we came in just a little too quick, landed much faster and with each of the next three strides, got much, much quicker with every footfall.
We were at the end of the arena, I steered him around the corner, even though we were much too fast.
Vin put in a little buck as we were motorbiking around the corner and with me so far out of position and still trying to get speed under control he unseated me. And I hit the deck.
Slightly winded with a bruised leg I climbed back onboard.
He was totally hyper, I could feel how flashed out his head was.
We flatworked to re-establish some kind of rapport then came at the fence again – this time I was prepared for him to tank off on landing.
I took a firmer contact than I would normally like and rode him up to the bridle.
We circuited and jumped that fence five times, gaining more control, balance and rhythm each time.
Then we called it a day.
I was soaked through, Vin felt very pleased with himself and my leg felt less sore.
Back home I stood inside the front door and peeled each sodden layer of clothing off then naked, dashed up to the shower.
The Lovely S had tea ready. Then Evan Almighty was watched.
What a day.
And now I’m sitting here wondering what the weather’s going to be doing tomorrow. If it’s good I’m going to jump him again.
Feeling brave, obviously.