Ollie went for another week of training with Richard at the beginning of March and it was a very interesting one. Richard normally rides him for the first few days to help set him up and iron out any problems we have been having, then for the rest of the week we take it in turns riding. This usually works really well, but for some reason we have now reached a stage where I am finding it quite hard to ride him after Richard. I think that Ollie is now so strong in the base work that Richard can now push for work that is now out of my league! He can create so much power, without force, and because he has such an amazing seat he can hold him together with the lightest of contact and it just looks spectacular. When I then get back on, because I don’t have the same strength or skill, I lose some consistency. Whilst this annoys me intensely that someone can ride him better than me, it also drives me to want to get better and is great to know how much potential Ollie has!

The following day he came home we went to a qualifier at Arrow. It wasn’t our best performance, partly because of the reasons I just mentioned, and partly because he was just too tired. It had been a long week of training and it was simply one day too many. We still managed to scrape a respectable 70% and 71%, so it can’t have been all bad…

It was then a few weeks of training at home with my home trainer Beth Butler and then back to squad training for my review weekend. This all went well and everyone seems so pleased with our progress. Richard came for a morning so he could show Eric, one of the squad trainers, how we train at home. Eric will be our travelling trainer in Belgium, so it is important for him to know exactly what makes us tick. Fortunately he is on a very similar wavelength, so it made it much easier.

Since we have been home, Ollie seems to be determined he is not going to Belgium! He has run into a fence, leaving him 2 cuts on his front fore arms. He then got spooked on the yard, pulled back, galloped down the yard did an emergency stop and span, twisting his shoe taking most of his foot with him! Then on the way home from Squad he fell in the lorry, wrenched his back and moved his shoe again! Because of all this I have missed a few vital training sessions and thoroughly annoyed the farrier and physio. I have 2 days of training left before Belgium so fingers crossed!

We leave for Belgium on Tuesday and I will fill you in with how it all went when we get back hopefully in 1 piece!