We went for a return trip to Parwood last Tuesday. The day didn't start too well with the M25 and the A3 being closed, luckily we started off early as a 1.25 hour journey took close to three hours. Askeaton got the day off to a good start with double clears in the Discovery and the Newcomers and 6th place in the Newcomers. We probably should have gone home right then! Khalissy felt very sharp in the warm up and I promptly fell off her. I dusted myself off, and the rest of the warm up, with helpful verbal encouragement from Pippa Funnell, went well. She started her round well, but got progressively more buzzy and strong, until I fell off her again after another misunderstanding. Not ideal, but she is currently being treated for ulcers, and in retrospect maybe I should have left her at home until she is all sorted out - hindsight is a marvelous thing. I can't say I was my bravest when I clambered aboard Arietta, but as always she saved the day. One circle when I was a bit disorganised, but basically a another very good round in the Foxhunter/1.20. It was lovely to see Pippa Funnell there, and feel that she is pleased with Arietta's progress. I got home to find my new airbag vest from Helite had arrived - a little bit late but hey-ho it's here now.
On Thursday BS Area 46 organised a clinic with Duncan Inglis at Golden Cross. I took Askeaton and Arietta, and this was a really beneficial morning. Duncan was very quick to see that I'm not sitting up enough, either before or immediately after the fence, (probably part of the reason I'm plopping off so easily) and this helped me so much with getting better distances down lines with both horses. They are both very long striding (which is great) but I need to be quicker to re-balance in related distances. I gave the Helite Airbag a good try-out - it's incredibly comfortable and very neat looking - and if I'm taking up falling off in my dotage it's a very good idea.
Preparations continue for the Sunshine Tour. The paperwork is unbelievable!! Thank you Brexit; but we seem to be jogging the right way. The first lot of blood tests for the horses have come back all good. By the time the lorry has had a check, and a few things done in the living, the horses have had an MOT and I've done enough physio and fitness work to get back to full speed the 26th February is going to come round very quickly.