Tuesday 7th May
Wednesday 8th May, 2024

With 3 weeks to go – Sarah Ruffles shares her April diary!

It’s been a busy few weeks since my last diary, and we have managed to get in one and a half events, despite the British weathers best attempts to thwart us!

First up we went to Lincoln and had a great day out. We did a 32.5 dressage, and I was really pleased with him as he was very rideable and sensible. Showjumping was not my best round, I let my nerves get to me in the warmup and had a pole and some time faults. Cross country he was brilliant, and we went clear inside the time despite me deciding that I wasn’t going to try and get the time. Overall, it was a positive first run although plenty to work on and improve on (as there always is with horses / eventing!)

A few weeks after Lincoln, we headed to Norton Disney and things did not go to plan at all. Unfortunately, although we managed the Showjumping warm up a lot better this time, the round itself was a disaster of chipping in strides, poles and eventually a stop and I decided to retire… After a few days of reflection on this, I am putting it down to the fact he didn’t like the deep sticky ground (being 17.2 and a big chunky boy he just felt like he was sinking in the mud, he also did a pretty poor dressage test which I think was for the same reason) and he felt very lack lustre in general from having changed his routine to keep him out 24/7 the week before. So, we live and learn, he’s come back in at night for his beauty sleep and is having extra feed to improve his energy levels and I’m back on 6am mucking out duty!

After Norton Disney we headed to Simon’s for a showjumping lesson, to try and rebuild some confidence and get us back on track. Thankfully, Otis felt back to his normal self and was jumping really well, so we slowly built things back up and I left the lesson certainly feeling much more positive than when we arrived. I have entered Badminton, and we have a couple more events pencilled in (subject to weather) before then, so will just focus on trying to keep our confidence levels high leading up to those. 

In between our events, we have also done a few trips to the gallops, doing lots of interval training to try and up the fitness levels. Usually, we can do some cantering around the field at home, but unfortunately, it’s just been too wet which is a shame. We’ve also been for another xc lesson with Katie at Barrowcliffe which was brilliant, and we worked on turning and bending lines as I felt at Lincoln, he was a little bit difficult to turn. He’s feeling fabulous in our training, we just haven’t quite been able to replicate that at a competition, but I’m sure we are not the only ones feeling like that!