A Peaceful Wednesday

It may have been a busy week but today was my day off and I managed to spend it doing not a lot.

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I did ride the ponies though and we had a lovely time pottering about the lanes. Autumn is most definitely here now but I enjoyed spotting all the signs of summer that are still hanging on.

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There was even still some honeysuckle left in the hedge but it did not photograph well!

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I brought the post back down to the house with us and delivered it through the window.  Galahad was not at all sure about that but he was happy enough to get a polo!

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A Tiring Week

Not a lot from me today as this week has been pretty busy and somewhat stressful.  For one thing, our kitchen was flooded by a tap left running!

I have spent today running a stall at a book fair.  I had a great time but it has been a long day and I am pretty tired now.

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I did pick up Christine Pullein-Thompson’s autograph though.  It has been a pretty good day!

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Jungle Riding

Galahad and I recently went for a hack along a route we don’t take very often.  You could definitely tell!

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It was so overgrown that Galahad refused to let me ride through it and I had to lead him.  He looked very fetching afterwards!

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We had a lovely ride though.  It was a beautiful day and there was very little traffic.

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We got to meet our new neighbours too which was good.  They have moved into a house which has had empty stables for years.  It was great to see horses there again!

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Rain Stops Play!

I pride myself on not being a fair weather rider but the weather on Wednesday was a bit much even for me.

Sorry about the video orientation! 

I had been planning to film my next online dressage test for BHS Somerset but I definitely was not going to film in that.  It’s not like we would do a good test in those conditions anyway.

I  gave up for the day, turned out the ponies and went indoors for a cup of tea.  Of course, within ten minutes the rain had stopped and the sky had cleared. I decided it was still too dark to film, plus the field was probably pretty slippery,  but there was no reason why we shouldn’t go out for a hack.

Galahad had other ideas though – I had turned him out and he had no intention of coming back in again!  It took me at least five minutes to catch him but I managed it and we went out for a lovely ride splashing through the puddles.

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It turned into a beautiful evening!

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Cloud spotting

One of the many good things about riding is the opportunity it gives to watch the nature around us.  I always love looking at the animals we see – things we would probably miss if we were driving past.

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I also really love to look at the clouds.

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This week seems to have been particularly good for clouds – every evening the sky has been stunning.

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Of course, sometimes the dramatic clouds meant that we were about to get very wet!

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Days like this really make me realise how lucky I am to live here.

Galahad Needs a Hairdresser

I have to admit that I do not brush Galahad’s mane very often.  Partly this is because it always looks more or less smooth and tangle free.

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Partly also it is because I only ever brush his tail when we go to a show.  It is so thin anyway that I don’t want to make it worse!  However, this week I realised that the bottom layer of his mane had got rather matted and it was really time that I did something about it.

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Luckily I have recently stocked up on mane and tail conditioner so the job wasn’t as difficult as it might have been.  Even so, it took me a while as his mane is so very thick – I had half of it pushed over the other side of his neck and the bit I had left was still thicker than the average mane.

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As you can see, it was high time that the job was done.  I couldn’t believe how much loose hair he had!

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It was a very satisfying job and it always nice to spend time just grooming a pony.  It is a wonderful bonding exercise!

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Brilliant Burghley

I am just back from Burghley Horse Trials and I had such a wonderful time!  We didn’t book early enough to stay in Stamford itself but the railway makes it easy to get in every day.

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We arrived on Wednesday for the trot up and thanks to a miscommunication with our taxi driver we had all our luggage with us and were very nearly too late.

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I still enjoyed it though and it was good to get our bearings a little bit before the event proper started.  We  found a lovely little gate which saved us a lot of time!

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The two days of dressage were excellent.  I find it very encouraging to see that the professionals don’t always score eights and nines – there were even a few ones!  The leader board was changing right up until the end of Friday which always makes things more interesting!   I was surprised though at the number of people who thought it was okay to move about during the tests.  I have always been taught to stay still and be quiet until the test is over.

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There was also some great lunchtime entertainment.  On Thursday we got to watch a gundog display which taught me that my dog will get madder as she grows up.  Very encouraging.

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Friday had two masterclasses with Chris Bartle and Richard Waygood.  Ros Canter and Alex Postolowsky were the riders and I found it so interesting to watch.  Hopefully I learnt something too.

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Saturday had blazing sunshine all day long but since there were only sixty cross country starters we had to hurry a bit to make sure we got round the course.  It was so hot!  Several times I had to stop from a rest in the shade.

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It was a fantastic course and I had a brilliant day.  I’m sure we could get closer to the fences than at Badminton which was a great treat.

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The only downside was that we could only hear the loudspeakers when we were somewhere near the main arena so we didn’t really have much idea of what was going on.  I only knew something (I didn’t know what) had happened to Michael Jung when I heard that Izzy Taylor had gone into second behind Gemma Tattersall.  I never realised Andrew Nicholson had fallen until I got back to the hotel!

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It was a great day and apart from the jumping I was very pleased to find a vintage tea shop for breakfast!

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Sunday was another good day, with exciting moments right up until the end.  It was fantastic to have a British 1-2-3-4.

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Again,  the lunchtime entertainment was great.  I always enjoy watching the military band but the racehorse to riding horse class was really interesting and I loved all of the donkeys from the Donkey Breed Society.  They were so cute!

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Part of the fun of a big event like Burghley is just wandering around the grounds absorbing the atmosphere and looking at the tradestands.   I was very restrained when it came to shopping but I saw this gilet and given the tag line of this blog I just had to have it!

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I had a wonderful week and I will definitely be going to Burghley again.