Tuesday 7th May
Wednesday 8th May, 2024

Sarah Ruffles Rider Diary – March 2024

Otis and I are still pretty much on track with our Badminton preparations, and we’ve been pretty busy over the past few weeks going out and about for lots of training. We have also been doing a lot more hacking now that we have lighter mornings and evenings and I can squeeze it in before and after work, so Otis is pleased about that as it means he is spending less time in the school! We also went over to a friend’s yard to play with some poles and gymnastic exercises, which was useful in helping to sharpen us both up and make us react quicker.

We’ve had quite a few showjumping lessons, focusing on staying in a nice rhythm with the right canter and not panicking / pushing for a stride too much. Recently I’ve been having a bit of a confidence wobble with showjumping which I think has come from putting too much pressure on myself and overthinking things. Last week though I had a great lesson with Simon which really helped my confidence and self-belief and reminded me that I need to enjoy the journey and that we won’t always get things perfect, but we are doing all right, so I’m hoping we can put that wobble behind us now.

Otis has now got stud holes in his shoes, and we managed to get over for a cross country session with Katie Barber at the fabulous Barrowcliffe Cross Country course which we are lucky to have nearby. Otis was so excited and happy to be back out on grass and made his feelings quite clear with some squeaks and leaps at the beginning.  He jumped really well though and we came away from our session both feeling super confident and ready for our first event of the season at Oasby….. Which then didn’t happen! Sadly, after a 5am alarm and setting off and getting 10 minutes away from Oasby we got the notification that it had been abandoned because of the overnight rain, so I turned around and managed to book a last-minute early morning hire of an indoor arena nearby, so at least it wasn’t a completely wasted journey. I am now on weather forecast watch for our next event which is supposed to be Lincolnshire horse trials this weekend, which I really hope we can go to as I have never competed there before… Praying for a dry week, but not feeling too optimistic as it is currently tipping it down!

Otis has had a bit of a pre-season MOT over the past couple of weeks – he had his teeth done, he had a massage, and he had his flu jab, so he’s all ready to go for the season ahead. Now I just need to book a spa day for myself so that I feel the same…!