YAY a 25 double clear! (only joking, obviously...)
April 22, 2018
So before we get into it, first husband was rather unimpressed to find out that his (very convincing) impression of a grumpy old man - it's almost like he IS a grumpy old man - was trending on #twittereventing after last week's post.
He joined #twittereventing to read the comments.
And yes, he read only the comments.
I asked him what his favourite part of my blog post was to make him feel uncomfortable and his response was "....the start, the middle and the end...but can someone buy me a pair of replacement trainers though."
Where o where art thou second husband.
Anyway, back to business and Horseheath BE100.
The day started as all days do, that is to say, with an unwelcome alarm going off loudly somewhere near my right earlobe.
Eventing or not, a girl needs 10 hours of ZZzz..s to be truly happy, am I right?!
Anyway, I got up and ready, making sure to wake first husband up several times. For fellow first husband owning eventers, here are my stealth waking up tips:
1) Turn on the light
Simple yet effective - "sorry baby I couldn't see and I was looking for my [anything will do but top tip - saying tampon or similar will guarantee no further questions]".
2) Stomp around / slam doors / move chairs / open and close multiple cupboards
If he sleeps through the noise, up the ante. Try turning on your washing machine (ours sounds like a helicopter taking off when the spin cycle reaches its peak) or utilising that recorder you were given in Year 4 - who knew Twinkle Twinkle Little Star could inflict such pain.
3) Wake him up to tell him you're leaving now and you hope he has a good day at football
Because nothing says I love you like a kiss goodbye at 4am in the morning. I think he wished me good luck but I can't be sure - the words could have been good riddance.
Off I went, making sure to shine my headlights at full beam into the bedroom as a 'farewell'.
It's so lovely to still be in the honeymoon period.
On arrival at the yard, I was pleased to find that Sid's plaits were fully intact.
I would call that my 'victory of the day'.
I arrived at Horseheath earlier than necessary and spent the next 40 minutes sipping on ginger beer (sadly it's non-alcoholic - I've never been more disappointed in my life) whilst being dragged around by Sid whilst he grazed everywhere BUT near the trailer and my seat.
Once the disappointment had faded, I headed to walk the XC course.
I immediately felt sick at the sight of the first jump....an astro-turf semi-circle. Our nemesis in jump form.
At Rackham Sid wouldn't go near it.
At Goring I flew over it (but sadly not at the same time as Sid) and we had our first fall at a BE competition.
In any case, I walked the rest of the course on the off-chance I wasn't eliminated at fence one. I have never seen so many combinations and skinnies (granted, this is my second BE100 so I'm hardly a seasoned eventer).
Not an ideal run for my HGV.
Nevertheless, we tacked up and headed over to the dressage area to begin our day.
Now, I've never been a huge fan of dressage.
We did an average test for an average mark (35) but you will all be very impressed to hear that I remembered the whole test like a normal human being and the judge remained in her car at all times.
I did, however, manage to leave my dressage whip in the grass.
That is the third whip I have lost in a matter of weeks.
I'm sure my local tack shop must wonder what exactly it is that I do with them........next time I go in to buy a replacement I will be sure to mention that I'm married. We all know married people are basically celibate.
I swapped over to show-jumping gear (no whips to lose this time!) and headed over to the warm up.
We then proceeded to demolish every single warm up jump. This situation was made highly embarrassing by the fact that I was eventing solo and, therefore, had no-one to pick up all of the fallen poles for me.
I can only apologise to my fellow competitors.
We popped into the ring and Sid felt pretty flat, knocking 3 rails.
Unusually, 2 of those poles were not from terrible striding. My trainer, who was competing too and shall remain anonymous because I am not his best advert, said that it was a smoother round than usual.
We trudged towards the cross country and I was kind of hoping not to fall off at the first jump, but also not too worried because the start box was really rather conveniently close to my trailer.
Sid warmed up really nicely and, I have to say, I was really impressed with the warm up jumps - the right size and there was even a double to pop over.
Too many times I have arrived at a cross country warm up to see either tiny logs (when the cross country is beefy) or massive great big jumps with no 'friendly settle those butterflies down' options.
Anyway, I digress.
We were called over to the start box and I took a good, long look at my nemesis.
I narrowed my eyes.
In my head, I was giving it large. I was talking trash to this jump like Floyd Mayweather. Bring it b*tch.
You can imagine how underwhelmed I was when I arrived at the jump, ready with my bright orange XC whip and my aggressive growling, and Sid just popped right over it without a glance.
I looked down at Sid as we galloped away.
We headed towards the second and I felt invincible. There was nothing we could not jump!
He carried on being awesome over a skinny raised log, a twisted broken-looking table to skinny roll top combination, the Horseheath log, a chase fence....you get the picture.
And then we got to fence 10, an innocent-looking raised cylinder on an angle to a skinny cylinder.
Before I knew what had happened, I was swerving to the left of the jump.
I circled and he jumped the combination and we carried on over the cross.
We then found ourselves heading to the double of corners. I had not liked the look of these earlier and Sid didn't like the look of them now, ducking out at the first.
I circled again and representing and he jumped the double.
Feeling a bit better now that those godawful corners were behind us, we picked up and carried on, jumping the next few nicely.
We approached the coffin and I utilised my handbrake, giving Sid plenty of time to freak out at the ditch...or so I thought. He surprised me again by jumping straight through and then flew through the water combination.
The remaining jumps were simple but wide (the saw table, flower bed) and Sid flew those like I knew he would.
We finished with a smile (and plenty of time penalties!) but I think it's fair to say that it's not been a great day when your score is over 100...
To cheer myself up, I bought a professional photo of one of the show-jumps we didn't totally demolish.
I got back to the trailer to gave Sid some treats, and then took a closer look at the photo...only to notice my trainer right next to Sid's arse! It was an unfortunate photobomb (photobum...?!)
Sid then finished the day off by going to paw the ground and instead striking his (full) water bucket, drenching me in cold water.