So I’ve been meaning to write an update for some time however time always seems to be in short supply.  Anyone know where I can get some more?

Cindy and I made our way to Little Whittington Showcross on time and with all the right things packed up, horse clean, tack clean and I wasn’t too sweaty and stressed so I took that as a win!  It turns out Cindy gets so excited when we get somewhere that she doesn’t like to stand quietly in the trailer – she’s like ‘Let me at it!’  Luckily a lovely friend, Pip, went and got my number so it was left to me to tack up and get on (borrowing Pip’s mounting step, thanks Pip😊).

It was then time to head for the collecting ring – I don’t remember them being places of terror!  There appeared to be people on horses going in eleventy billion different directions, mainly at high speed and often involving me in their shenangians!  Was it like that in the past? Have I just forgotten as it was such a long time ago and I’m now so old? Worse, was I one of the muppets (may have called some of them something else!) who galloped up Cindy’s backside?  However once we got settled in and I wasn’t elevated to level 4 of terror anymore, I came back down to level 1 and was quite happy.  I’d already checked in for the showjumping and cross country just so I knew how much time I had when I got called to the showjumping early. Terror level swiftly ramped up to 5, then packed down by me pulling on the brave pants and giving myself a big girl talk to just get on with it!  The lovely steward had asked if I was ok to go early and really what difference was it going to make, I just had to do it, however Cindy was AMAZING! I know it was only 80cm and a local unaffiliated class in a field, but it felt like we were jumping round HIckstead, and I loved it! Cindy did too and kept me right, what a girl.  We rattled a couple of poles but we went clear!  I was so pleased, and then I remembered to breath!  I came out of the ring and was knackered – how on earth would I manage the XC if I’m out of breath after the showjumping – note to self, breathe whilst you jump!

So back to the collecting ring, check in with the XC steward and told that I’ve a good hour to go so that gives me time to recover from the SJ, happy days.  Walking around on a long rein, having a chat to people was lovely.  I’d not realised how many people I’d know there and forgotten that the social side of it is one of the best parts, horsey people at a competition are just the best.  Realised after about 30 minutes that I’d better check times again and was told I’d be about 10 minutes as they were catching up – better jump a couple more then. So another couple of pops and we were ready to go again.  Yet again the nerves as I waited for the starter to say go were elevating the terror level however once we were off, things settled down and this time I remembered to breathe!  Cindy is so alert and always looking for the next jump that it was so much fun!  I’d forgotten how much I love doing this – felt so great to be out there.  I did have a couple of fences that I was concerned about that we hadn’t been over when schooling but while we had a very sticky moment over a Trakehner (thank goodness Cindy stayed straight!) we were clear but definitely not very stylish!  I could tell Cindy was definitely thinking ‘Mum, I know what I’m doing, just let me get on with it!’  Once back at the trailer it was into the washdown and cool off routine and water and a haynet for Cindy and a quick diet coke and mars bar for me!

I couldn’t really believe we’d gone double clear on our first event, especially at 80cm, I was absolutely delighted with Cindy, and it was so much fun, she just loved it!  I had left early so checked the results later in the week to give me an idea of how we’d got on.  We were 8th in Showcross and 9th in the Hunter Trial – amazing!  So pleased with her and as I knew she needs to get fitter and with a bit more practice we can have loads more fun – I just need to decide what to do next!

Due to the farmer’s wife side of things though we haven’t done so much lately, weather has been rubbish here in South Northumberland and OH has needed to prioritise jobs to get things done before we head off on holiday this week, however I’m having a lovely time riding out with a neighbour, Jane.  Cindy is loving her rides with Nick the ex-racehorse and it’s lovely to have someone to chat too and means I don’t get caught up with other things and give myself 30 mins of riding.  I haven’t managed to get to any events again, but as we head on holiday this week (Centre Parcs so hubby can get home to the farm if needed!) then a wee break for Cindy is fine and we’ll pick things up when I’m back – and by then there will be silage fields aplenty and it’s not long till we get stubble fields as well – heaven!

In other news I’m always trying to find quicker ways of mucking out so have tried the compressed straw pellets for Flash.  I reckon anything that helps speed up my life is worth it, however Flash thought he was in an all you can eat buffet!  The reason they are in everyday is because I have never seen so much grass.  I am struggling to keep Flash’s weight down and a combination of in during the day, a small electric fenced pony prison and a muzzle are all in use.  I need to increase his workload so think I’m going to be lunging him at 10 at night soon to fit it in but I’m going to have to do something!  Any other tips gratefully received!

I’ve swapped Cindy onto the Horslyx Garlic Balancer from the Pro Digest Balancer.  She was loving the Pro Digest, however she is quite an itchy mare, and has rubbed a bit of her mane out which I don’t think is sweet itch as it’s never got any worse and is growing back but the flies here are pretty bad and this definitely seems to be helping.

So after I return from holiday rested and ready to go again, heck who am I kidding I have two children, after I return from a week of madness in a different location, the next plan is to get Cindy going again and find something else fun to do before harvest kicks in and I see OH occasionally when he needs fed!

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