Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Chilham Castle - From the groom's side!

So this is  blog take over!! We thought it would be great for Sian to guest blog about our day out with four horses at Chilham Castle! Sian had a much deserved day off the next day!

Over to Sian.....

So Chilham Castle this week for the BE100 and Novice with the three girls (Boo, Arabella and Rosie) and Hector (lad of the day) and it was another busy one!

Whenever I have to wake up at 3am I always wonder why on earth I decided that I wanted to be in Eventing because I am very rarely a morning person (in fact I don’t think anyone is a morning person at 3am, it’s just a silly time to be awake!) never the less! With my three alarms I managed to pull myself out of bed and be out the door by 3.30am to be at work for 4am, although with the roads being so quiet (I wonder why) I did get there before 4am and all the ponies were wide awake ready for breakfast (I wonder when they woke up..)?  What was quite exciting was trying to find Rosie in the field, in the dark and in the rain with only my phone torch…so as I trundled round her field in the rain clicking my tongue to try and gage where she was ( I didn’t want to shout….bit rude)! After walking around the whole field, I heard her galloping around the top half of the field trying to find me…cute but I was wet and wanted to get her in. Anyone who has met Rosie will know that she is a very inquisitive horse and my shortness of stature plus her head height when she is being nosy and looking up at something does make for somewhat of a problem when trying to put anything on her head. Finally she was in and eating, I inspected the damage to find she was clean and all plaits were still firmly in place!. Harriet came out just after I bought her in and helped get them all booted and suited and on the lorry and we were off at 5am ( after a brief panic as to where the sat nav handle thing was).

I would like the say that the journey went without a hitch but then that wouldn’t be very exciting! Anyway after a while Harriet and I had both fallen asleep (which I always feel a bit bad about leaving poor Justine awake and driving on her own!) About an hour and a half into the journey I was woken up by Justine saying that we had a problem, so we pulled over (on the motorway, of course) and the haynet cupboard was open and haynets were hanging out! Luckily we caught it in time, the door remained on its hinges and we didn’t lose any haynets or Justine as she struggled to get everything back in on the side of the motorway! We arrived at Chilham (still raining) at about 7.15am and everyone re grouped and woke up a bit before we started.

Harriet then announced that she was going to run around both courses and on went her running gear (yes I know, RUN! And Chilham is a very hilly, undulating course too! I then turned to Justine and said ”Only Harriet could run round two courses, ride four horses and then intend to go out clubbing!” (To be fair Harriet clubbing is a rare event and you can probably see why! So off she went and that left Justine and I trying to stud Rosie. Now people who follow my blog will know that Rosie isn’t the most helpful of horses to stud and can be very trying, so keeping her mind occupied and keeping her quiet and relaxed was our plan of action….it didn’t work…  We were parked next to some loud and stressy horses and two horses next door escaped too, so we decided rather than stressing Rosie and possibly hurting herself (and us) she was to go studless for the dressage and we would try after. When she was all ready to go, I went down to lunge her before Harriet got on. Lydia (Rosie’s owner) and Justine then went with Harriet to the dressage which left me to get Bella ready and studded up (she is a dream to do!)

Fred Ford by chance was parked behind us and came over and said “hi”, he asked me how it was going. I told him the story of Rosie’s studs and he very kindly offered to do then for me! Which was a blessing because he is much stronger than me and she was a dream to do when she realised what she had to do. She is just so inexperienced and doesn’t really fully trust anyone but is learning to slowly.

As Justine and Fred did Rosie’s studs, I lunged Bella (still raining) and Harriet got on did her test. Next was Rosie’s show jumping and bless her cottons she went clear! She pulled a very nice 28.8 dressage and clear cross country as well as Show Jumping! (See she’s a little star really). Arabella also did well only had one pole down and went clear cross country and did a 25.5 dressage! (Back on track Bella).

Then we had a mad dash as (groom error) I thought I had waaaayyy more time between Rosie finishing her cross country and Hector doing his dressage, (I didn’t) with all hands on deck he was still ready and lunged for his test in time whilst Lydia was very kindly walking a very tired Rosie around. When she was done and on the lorry (thanks again to Fred who de studded her and put her up) I made sure that I had Boo ready and looking beautiful. This time I had a chance to sort and clean the lorry, wash the cross country boots ready for the next lot to go (by this time it has stopped raining and was beautiful sunshine).

Boo and Harriet then went to do their test whilst I got Hector ready for show jumping. Thankfully we had a fairly long break as Harriet and Justine came back with a reporter from An Eventful Life magazine who had been filming and taking pictures of her and wanted to do film an interview! So Justine made everyone lunch, drinks and served up cake whilst Debbie the reporter talked to Harriet. I had my lunch on the step staying out the way, so I didn’t say anything embarrassing or fall into the living of the lorry (Definitely something I would do). I think Justine and I may have been caught on camera at the end!

When that finished Hector went jumping and came back with one down show jumping, clear cross country and did a lovely 30.8 dressage. Boo jumped last and after a smashing 27.5 dressage, had a clear show jumping but got tired round the cross country (which is very hilly).

So a good day at the office with Arabella placed 3rd ( I got a bit over excited about her winning a bucket), Rosie coming in 9th and Hector in 14th, YES we are back on form!

I managed to get all the tack cleaned before we left (this is a big plus), we were finally on our way around 6.15/6.30 and got home around 8.45/9 (Still cannot believe Harriet went out) and I got home at about 9.30/9.45 so it was a looooonnnnggg day.

Next week is Harriet 19th birthday, she is taking a couple of days break away, so we’re not eventing but after that we’re heading back up to Aston Le Walls with Boo, Arabella and Hector (He loves going out with his girls) so until then….