Rosie Thomas, a rider on Shires' new Performance Rider Programme has written a blog entry about her preparations for Badminton!
Preparations for Badminton have gone really well, I think that the training that British Eventing has given me has really helped along with the British Dressage Classes he (Barry's Best) has done and even won at Medium and Advanced Medium Level. We started the season at Tweseldown in the Open Intermediate, which he did a fab test and jumped a good double clear and came home 3rd. Gatcombe he unfortunately pulled a shoe off in the cross country but the dressage and show jumping were great. Weston Park he did the Advanced and I decided to give him a steady run cross country and not push for the time. We went down to Powderham Castle and he did a cracking test and show jumped really well, with only two weeks before Badminton, we didn't want to risk him cross country, so we withdrew him. Which I don't think he was too pleased about as cross country is both of our favourite discipline.
At home we have been doing plenty of fast work, we have got some really steep banks on the farm and the ground has been just perfect to work him on them. He's been doing plenty of dressage training and we have marked out a 20m x 60m grass arena with all the white boards so we can practise the moves for our dressage test. It's surprisingly different on grass, we all get too comfortable with our all weather arenas! We have been BSJA jumping and have jumped some good rounds, at home we have been doing lots of grids, to keep him supple and to really make him work.
At Badminton I'm number 91, I would prefer to be earlier as there is less hanging around, but more time to get him settled. I just want to get there and get on with it. I will be leaving for Badminton on Tuesday lunch time, I still have the lorry to clean and pack! I will meet Tracey Garrett my groom for the week there and she will help me unload and get everything organised. My family will drive down each day that I am competing, they have to go back and forwards to do all the work!
The two horses stabled each side of Baz, Graftons Jackpot and Watzmann, have both recently won classes at Sapey, so we have told Baz no pressure but! I think he knows all this build up is for something special, He's just the kindest horse that always tries his hardest for me and I love him to bits no matter what.
Rosie will be writing another blog for us when she returns from Badminton...GOOD LUCK ROSIE!!