Gallop day! I took Colombo out for a hack early in the morning. We trotted up the hill and went for a tour. I wanted to jump and gallop around 2:00 p.m. when my family could come and watch.  Over lunchtime we went to Marlborough, which is the town just down the street.  So, in the “people catcher” we went off to town. We walked up and down both sides of the main street and went into Boots pharmacy and Waitrose grocery store where I found crunchie biscuits! Wow! I will be sending them home on freight with Colombo. YUM!

Then when I got back to the farm, Jen, Zoe, Daniel and Jennifer were there. Hurray, family visit! We tacked up Mr. C in jump tack while Hawley and Natalia set up a few of the Badminton cross-country exercises I am worried about – very kind of them.  I did the bounce on an angle as well and a chevron, 3 bending strides to a blue barrel on its end with white blocks on top and two standards on each side. The two corners that caused so much trouble last year are on the course again this year – two left handed corners, two strides apart, so I practised those as well.  To finish, I jumped a vertical on a bit of a left to right angle, then 5 strides bending left to an in and out of a vertical to an oxer one stride apart.  He was on the ball, so I was really pleased I finished after Hawley suggested I repeat the angled bounce in the opposite direction with a better quality pace. Thanks Hawley!

I took my family out to watch Colombo gallop two times up the hill on the woodchip gallop. It was a brilliant track, very straight and narrow, which was great for his straightness.  A good hill to it and the boss (David) had emailed me to say twice up the hill and take it easy they are already very fit.  We took him back to the barn and gave him a bath and a little meal.  Then we applied Sore No More poultice to his legs and wrapped them.  We sprayed his long back muscles, neck and joints with Sore No More liniment to make sure he is as comfy as possible.  He went outside for a little grass, and then late at night we packed his front feet with Epsom salts and Sore No More sauce overnight.

We finished off the day with another trek into town with my family. We went to the tea shop and stuffed our faces.  Was a meal full of laughs and great food and friends.  I am going to leave it there for today am a bit tired.


Had an early start this morning. I rode at 8:00 a.m., as we had plans to pick up Steph’s mum and head to Greenwhich Park (Olympics site 2012). I had a lovely ride, took him up the hill again in walk. I could feel already he was going to be good. He was straight and focused as well as soft in his neck.  When I got to the top near the old barn, I turned right and walked around the fields…met a nice black lab on his walk with his owner.  We walked back down the hill to the ring to do a short flat school. Mr. C got his tongue over the bit so Graeme tried to help me get it back into place. Eventually, I had to climb off and undo his bit to shove his tongue back.  When I worked him it was in a lower frame to start, pushing his shoulders around a little to make sure he was supple. Then when I picked up canter, I shortened up my reins to lift the frame a little bit. He felt great so I moved in counter flexion and some counter canter with flexion.  A little half pass and one or two pirouettes each way to halt. He was FAB! I was so pleased with him I let him finish there.

Steph’s mum ended up coming in on a later train because she had to pick up Lisa’s suitcase. Long story, but the flight left Lisa’s suitcase behind and wanted to charge her 100 pounds to get it delivered. NO WAY!  Needless to say we all bailed on the Olympic site. Many of us suffer from motion sickness and it was recommended that we take the train due to traffic and parking.  So, instead we all went to pick up Steph’s mum and then headed into Marlborough for lunch at the Team Room.  It’s a heavenly place with magnificent cakes and pastries surrounding you. Potato leek soup to start, then baked brie wedges in rosemary and garlic with cranberry sauce – OMG so tasty.  We headed back to the farm to Google the nearest big tack shop. Old Dairy Tack in Swindon is 24mins away. Apparently that was too far for us today so we all went for a nap…did I mention I LOVE Canadians??

So, I think tomorrow we will venture out to Old Dairy tack shop. Colombo is happily munching away in the field, and we are off to have yummy leftovers in the house. Ta Ta for now.