NUMBER 2 – The One with the long drive!

So here it is, Number 2!

The late entry into the BE90 at Bovington, Dorset (RAC Saddle Club Bovington) on Easter bank holiday weekend was our challenge. Now for anyone that knows me, I’m not overly keen on jumping around somewhere that I’m not overly familiar with, stupid eh?! But I like to have had a school round to feel confident enough to know the ground and at least a few of the jumps. Bovi for us, is about 2.5hours away, I was crapping it!!! Not just about the long journey but the unknown territory and the impending death.

I’ll quickly roll back to Wednesday where we had a super session with my new hero, Russell Cooper. Long story short, I cracked the Pat Pony code that I’ve been trying to crack for 5 years!! Albeit nearly getting launched out the saddle in the interim!!

Now I thought as a reward he could have a couple of quiet days and when I came to hack on Saturday, he was awful!! I mean awful awful!! Spooking at EVERYTHING!!! argh!! You can’t get mad or upset, it just makes it worse. But it meant that the day before our BE day and I was feeling violently ill. I was scared again 🙁 really bloody scared.

I got everything loaded and the pony plaited the night before ready for our 6.30am time to leave on Sunday. All was well, and we went to the pub for a ‘last glass’ – much like the last supper, only I couldn’t stomach food! We got home around 10 to the bloody electric having ran out… I mean FFS, what [email protected] day and age do we live in!! We have a key meter, yep, you heard it! A key that you take to a shop and top up with whatever spare change you have lurking!! Only Daddy Carrot ? forgot to do this and on bank holiday it meant at least £100 worth of meat and fish in my freezer was going in the bin and I couldn’t have a shower or find anything by candle light!! GAH!!

Our 5.30am alarm sounded and off we set! Loaded and on the road by 6.30. The journey was swift and straight with barely any traffic. Pulled in at a Londis (lucky it had a monster car park) and bought some cigs and supplies before arriving to walk the courses and use the poo facilities. Which I did… thrice!! ??

The course looked ok, apart from the biggest, scariest corner I’ve ever seen!! Bloody crapper jacks… I’m going to ACTUALLY die at this jump, that’s it. We barely heard any of the first 20 get round without penalty which only added to my terror!

Showjumping looked fine too, it was in a nice big arena with not too many dreaded fillers!

I felt marginally less terrified now, I wanted to try and enjoy it as much as possible. Tacked up and went down to the dressage, they were running quite a way ahead of time so after a short warm up of 15 minutes I thought – bugger it… just enjoy it, no pressure. And that I did. I enjoyed it. I rode around humming a tune, smiling away. It was great. For once I didn’t care about my score or trying to squeeze every last mark out of each movement.

Into the nemesis phase…. I just don’t know what the bloody hell im doing here! But today, I felt like I almost did… it was almost a clear round too, we rolled one silly pole that’s all, I felt great and functional rather than a foetus in a sack of milk. My usual ‘dead pigeon body’ was lifeless no more!!! Hurrah! And I tell you something else for nothing… (shhhhh..) the jumps at 90 actually felt quite SMALL!!! ???

Back at the box we learnt that my dressage was a 29 so we were heading onto the course of doom on a 33. I wasn’t bothered about the numbers today, I just wanted a happy (ish) and safe day but this was a delight to hear!

Down at the XC warm up my guts were churning and I really needed another poo, but with not too many to go, there was no time so I warmed up and got ready for the countdown of death. “You have one minute” [email protected] do I?! What until I die?! Yep!! Now I bloody hate it, the start box, I hate it. I would love to be counted down from the lorry, just amble through the start and the time ticks from the first jump (if and when you make it there!), first fence we stormed, he stood off the second a touch so I smacked it! He hates a smack too so I found myself apologising to him all the way to number 3 -the mushroom of much doom… he backed right off, I kicked for my life and we scrambled over it! 4, 5, 6, 7 fine… we were flying, to the corner… it had an alternative but I wasn’t going to let it get me!! Lined him up, tapped his shoulder and we bloody flew it!!!! We cleared it, but I actually couldnt see number 9 through the tears of joy that were streaming down my face!!!! Round the corner to the… Oh Crap! Pat clocked the water 5 strides out and put in the best spook he’s done in 5 years!!! I was hanging, literally almost straight over the top, both stirrups missing, I quickly shuffled my chubby rear back into the saddle, found my stirrups and kicked like stink! He went through and over the jump no bother!! We sailed round the rest of the course, spooked a bit at the double of brushy ones but flying, we galloped through the finish line for another bloody clear!!!!!

Bursting with pride for my absolute bloody pleasure of a pony. He is by far the most rewarding horse I have ever ridden. We nailed it today but… By gum he makes you work for it! We did it, we did it AGAIN!!!

Washed off, pictures purchased and chips eaten, we set off home absolutely ecstatic. Another notch on the Eventing bedpost and we are confident and consistently getting mid-low 30 finishes!! Can you believe it, (banging the same old drum) that less than a year ago I couldn’t even get the saddle done up out of fear. Now I’m actually out here doing it, I’ve never felt achievement so wonderful.

Thank you so much to everyone we met today, the Wimpy family is growing so much and for everyone’s words of encouragement. You really are brilliant, without you, I’d be no where near as brave. Huge thanks to my yard family who mucked out so I didn’t have to, to my sponsors, and to my wonderful husband. Going out making memories with Pat and Daddy Carrot is just wonderful.

Love you all very much,

Vic and Pat

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Vic Brant

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