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  • Writer's pictureLisa Marshall

A manic yet fantastic day playing stressage!!

You'll need a cuppa or a glass of something and some snacks for this one! Pull up a chair and take 5....

So Sunday was supposed to be a party for Donald & Rumba. Donald sadly became poorly at the beginning of the week and has been carefully monitored and on his concoction of drugs for the week. He is pretty much back to normal now, flirting with the polo ponies next door. Rumba, is a story for another day. For now, he is a wonderful boy with a very high flight drive and worries about the world. I have absolutely fallen head over heals in love with him, he reminds me of my one big forever heart horse 'Chuki'. He just has the most wonderful way about him, he truly loves his people and has just the similar mannerisms as the big man himself.

I digress...

Due to Donalds set back, big boy Boris has to step up. He has been going through a lot of physical changes again and has had lots of love, attention and cranial sacral work from the wonderful Nicola Wiltshire. (It's taken him 6years to allow Niks to treat him, but he is in love with both her and the treatment now, which is an absolute god send as he thrives from it and it makes him a very happy and healthy boy). So, after treatments and lots of slow work (not even much trot), I decide to take him for a party. That's if he goes on the trailer. (Yes, we had to buy him new wheels as he isn't comfortable at all with the lorry and it's still very touch and go with the trailer(another constant work in progress).

Well, first things first, attempt to load... It's a slow process, after one small panic (me then thinking that was it, he's scared himself and we're doomed), Matilda & myself persevere and he goes on!!! Whoop... I'm buzzing! We pop Rumba next door and off we go...

We arrive with 2 very relaxed horses which I'm so pleased about, as these two have never met before. We sort Rumba (our little Ginger Watsit) out first as I wasn't sure what his reaction would be to the warm up or the situation. Then we see his 'Mummy' in the car park and we have a 5 min pretty lovely and emotional reunion (we're useless).

Time to get on whilst Madi is trying to keep a hold of big boy Boris as he's wanting to take her for a walk around the car park - funny for us, maybe not so for her....

We're on and heading to the warm up and he's pretty settled. We walk past the show jumping arena to not take too happily to the filler leaning against the fence, so we stop, process, work out if the filler is going to kill us/him and work out that we're ok! The world isn't going to get us just yet!

Into the warm up we go, it's nice and quiet and he's being super, a little tense, but relaxing by the minute, which was amazing, especially as it's running 15 mins early so minimum warm up. We head on down into the dark scary arena which clearly has sabre tooth tigers in there waiting for him... He's in, with a lead from lovely Linda and he/we're ok. Wow! Bell goes quickly and we're off. We're a little tense as expected, Matilda is filming and she has morphed from a tiny ginger person to a mahousive horse eating dragon!! We have a spook, but so happy that we gather ourselves in an instant without running from me (which is his go to). We have another blip where my stirrup catches the wall, but this time even less of a panic which I'm even happier about. We have a lovely serpentine, not as tense as he has been and a very inattentive halt. I was so close to asking him for more attention, but decided to stick with what we had, be that right or wrong. He is a happy boy and chilled which is wonderful!

We go to sort big boy Boris and see if he can hold his stuff together and not launch himself, anywhere really...

We're on, warming up. First few steps were terrifying as his back end feels like it's about to protrude through my seat. Ride positively, ride forward (always easier said than done). We get a rhythm and we're having a pretty nice time.

It's our time, we're in and we're off to the sound of the bell. Oooo, he feels nice! I feel comfortable and we just ride like we're at home (maybe a little better, which is unheard of for me)! I am over the moon with him, much more balanced, much stronger behind, another inattentive halt (more rider error) but again I chose to stick with what we have and finish enjoying my ride. Not often I've been able to say that!!

We now have to get home unload and reload another 3. Glenda, Mr P and Rocky...

What's the chances of BBB going back onto the trailer with all of the now distractions?? Well, dare I say, good!!!! Rumba went on, waited patiently and Boris was on in minutes! The day is complete for me on a selfish level, I am so pleased with both of the boys. Madi shoots off to get the results before we go, looking at the wrong end of the table for the results as our little ginger Watsit has come 2nd with a super score of 68.26% and Boris takes the win with 72.61%!!!!! OMG!!! As if the day couldn't get better! I had no expectations from either of them and they were just so good!!

Ok - get myself together, if not still grinning like a Cheshire cat. Home we go...

Wow frantic, doesn't even cut it. Everyone steps in to get unloaded, repacked, & loaded again. Even with Glenda going onto the lorry first try (there must be something in the air).

Off we go again, Glenda in first with the big Ging 'Madi'. Oooops, we have a slight issue of no pedals... (stirrups are not there) everyone has to be mounted at the same time and Big Ging needs to be on. Matilda rallies around the car park and we find some - phew! Massive thank and shout out to the stirrup saviour. On she gets. Glenda has been struggling with his canter transitions (we know his weaknesses and have been working really hard to help him and set him up properly for his work. This is a pretty new combination and they are learning how each other tick, their main aim is to keep the nerves at bay. Madi is super with him, just loses her nerve when it comes to going down that centre line which Glenda feeds off. Competetion nerves are awful, I still suffer now, It's just learning to cope with them. They still produced a lovely test, just needing a little more relaxation from them both which will come from frequent outings and consistency. They did super well and come home with 2nd!!!!!!

We now have the little Ging 'Matilda' & Mr P in the Novice. I think she had a tough time in the warm up with him wanting to do his own thing (he likes that). She's in nevertheless and heading down the centre line, Mr P chatting as he goes to the outside world. A lovely test, a few accuracy issues with circle sizes, and super end centre line and halt. Them coming away with 1st place with 69.79% Sooo pleased for her.

We've now got Terri & Rocky the little pocket rocket, but can he hold it together for his grown up test, this is the question? Well, it seems he can! He looked super chilled and keen to strut his stuff. They had a wonderful test for 3rd place with 68.96% What a fantastic result for both of them.

It's now Matilda and Patricks turn to step up to their very first grown up test, Elementary 49.

They head straight as a die down the centre line for a super halt. Proceed, but... aaargh. Little Ging forgot to salute. So the bell rings and she does the manoeuvre again, this time not so perfect, but still good to go. He's a big horse to hold together, but they're doing well. They have a few inaccuracies of circles varying in sizes, a little weak on the leg yields (which they normally boss), but in all a great first attempt! She took 2nd place with 63.16%, You cant be disappointed with that, that's for sure!!!

What an absolutely fantastic day, with fantastic horses and people. Massively hectic and I am exhausted. I also had my session in the box writing for the lovely Tiffany Tasney, what a super if not freezing time we had. We thought we were going to have to do a Ranolph Fiennes with our fingers... Eww!

A blooming marvellous day had by all. Thank you GDRC for yet again another great show with wonderful support for everyone!!!

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