In the torrential rain I drove down to The Deer Park cross country in Gloucestershire to walk the show-jumping and cross country track in preparation for tomorrow’s two-phase competition.
My first thought was that unless there’s some fences hidden that I couldn’t find they’ve got a pretty crap cross country working in area.
My second thought was that the grass was a bit long in places, and with all the rain the surface was very slippery.
Then I thought that Vin’s shoes haven’t been fitted with stud holes!
I walked the track.
I also wondered how Vinnie would take to the course.
He’s young and green and some of the fences are mentally challenging as well as physically demanding.
Then I walked it again and thought it wasn’t quite so bad. Really.
But still scary.
And I’m still worried about Vin.
Then I drove back to Bromsgrove with a quick stop-over at Morrisons to do a little emergency shopping.
Soph’s parents came round for tea so I cooked a kind of (minced Quorn) Shepherd’s Pie with lots of veg; cream cakes for desert. It seemed to go down fairly well.
This evening there’s been a lot of off-course activity.
But first you need to know that tomorrow’s two-phase is a Team competition and each team has four members.
The three best scores go forward, the worst score is a discard.
My team (The Warriors – very aggressive. I wondered if we should get together before we compete and do a Haka!) consists of two people I’ve never met before as well as Sue from the yard and me.
Back to this evening.
Sue sent me a text saying her horse has had his back treated by the chiro today and as a consequence she’s pulled out of the two-phase.
So our team has no discard and consists of me and Vin – a novice pairing and threfore not exactly a short-odds bet on completing the competition!
Then I received another text saying that Christine from the yard has pulled out of an earlier, lower-height class – and asked if I’d like her slot.
Well yes, was my immediate reaction.
Given the difficulty and complexity of the track a lower height would probably give Vin an easier ride; could also give us more opportunity to gell our partnership.
But before I could do anything about it the organiser rang asking me not to drop out or shift to a lower height â€“ because that would bring The Warriors down to just two competitors.
I’m still nervous as hell about the whole thing but I’ve decided that we’ll go down and look at it.
If I’m not happy with anything ‘on the day’ we can always pull out; yes it would mean disappointing people but Big Vin’s safety and welfare comes first in my book.