Friday, 27 April 2012

A Day in the Life

This post has been a long time coming! Last week Claire of Miso Funky put the call out to her fellow bloggers for the next installment of 'A Day in the Life', a blogging project that sees bloggers each taking the same day and documenting it in detail. I chose the day this time and it was last Friday the 20th April.

It wasn't a typical Bonbi Forest day for me, in fact I had the day off to get ready for and head to the National Winter Dressage Championships!

Here is how it went:

7 - 8am...
I woke up, my alarm went off about 7:30. I'm not a great morning person and to me, waking any time before 8 feels like the middle of the night. I grab a shower to wash the sleep out of my eyes and set about gathering my stuff for the weekend.

Day in the life: 1 waking

8 - 9am...
Packing for these kinds of things is always hard. I need so much stuff! I have to take my dressage outfit (white breeches, white stock, white gloves etc) along with general riding gear - enough for two sessions - and clothes that aren't riding wear for the evenings, as well as all the usual washing paraphernalia. I put everything I think I will need out, then look at it, take half of it away and squash what I will actually need into my suitcase. Packing done.

9 - 10am...
I head up to my parents house which is a short drive away. The next packing task is gathering all of Pia's stuff together and strategically packing it into the tack locker at the back of our horse van. She needs even more than me - rugs, food, saddle, bridle, saddle cloths, grooming kit, buckets - it's endless and a tight squeeze! I also mix up her feeds for the trip. We separate them into individual carrier bags that can be easily emptied into her feed bowls while we are at the show. It saves us taking huge feed sacks with us!

Day in the life: 2 packing

While I am getting ready, Mark (my fella) who has been out cycling rides down for a chat. I kiss him goodbye and then realise that I have forgotten to bring my sleeping bag. Cue another drive home, say hello to Mark again before he drops me back at my folks place. I am rushing now!

Day in the life: 3 getting pia in

10 - 11am...
My mum and I get Pia and her stable mate Jack in from the field and we get her ready, all protective booted for the journey. We load her onto the van and set off. We have a short stop at the post office for me to send the last of the weeks Bonbi Forest orders and then hit the road...

Day in the life: 4 pia ready

11 - 12 noon...
On the road...it's a bit boring to be honest but I do like the views over Bodmin Moor. All this little ponies! I didn't see the beast.

Day in the life: 5 bodmin moor

12 - 1pm...
Still on the road, and we are finally at the motorway! It takes us an hour and 45 minutes to get to the motorway from where we live and as soon as we get there we have a stop over at Exeter services (they have an M&S dontcha know...) There is a HUGE hailstorm while we are there which rattles the van all over. It's so loud in there that poor Pia is a bit frightened. I stay with her until it stops and give her a bravery carrot. She seems to like that, and off we go again...

Day in the life: 6 motorway

1 - 2pm...
Still driving...it's a long way from Cornwall to Gloucestershire in a horse van. Boring.

Day in the life: 7 on the move

2 - 3pm...
We finally leave the motorway, hurrah! Now I have to employ my directional skillz and direct my mum to Hartpury College where the championships are. I don't have to do this for long though as we catch up with a very posh looking horsebox and just follow that. We arrive just before 3 and are directed to the car park and Pia's stable by the very helpful (and rather bored looking) stewards.

Day in the life: 8 we're here

3 - 4pm...
It's raining. Rubbish. I get Pia settled into her home for the night after tidying it up a bit. The previous occupant hadn't cleaned it out very well at all. She is stabled in some very posh temporary stables which are sited in a field, so she promptly digs up the bedding and nuzzles about looking for the grass underneath. Unfortunately there isn't much as we have arrived on Day 4 of the competition and it seems someone else got there first...Pia is not impressed.

Day in the life: 9 settling in

4 - 5pm...
The general exercise arena is open so I tack Pia up and go up there to stretch her legs after the long journey. It's quite busy in there with some very posh horses and riders all doing their thing. It's easy to become intimidated at these shows as people like little old me are warming up alongside some of the best in the business but you have to be brave and hold your line, otherwise you spend the whole time weaving out of the way of the professionals. Pia is great and goes really nicely for me. I cool her down and put her away and get changed for the evening. My changing room for now? The oh so glamourous horse compartment of the lorry. Nice.

5 - 7pm...
My lovely cousin Kerry and her man, Tony have turned up. We are going to watch the Championship Gala evening performance this evening. We find some food (a sad burger and chips as the canteen isn't open...boo) catch up on all the gossip and take our seats for the evening.

Day in the life: 10 waiting for the show

7 - 10:30pm...
I didn't take many photos between these times unfortunately (not any remotely worth showcasing on here anyway) but the gala was great. We watched demos by two of our best professional riders who are both vying for Olympic places, so that was a treat. A couple of silly displays, one involving a reining pony (think wild west style galloping about, very fun) and another called the leaping leprechauns, a couple of fence stewards who one day entertained themselves by jumping show jumps on foot at a show and have since turned it into an act...it's very silly but pretty impressive: http://youtu.be/pFWlwaNgT2w
We also watched the Freestyle Prix Saint Georges National Championship and watched my trainer Isobel Wessels win it atop her ENORMOUS horse, Chagall, which was very inspiring!

Day in the life: 11 isobel winning

10:30 - 11:30pm...
After the gala my mum and I said goodbye to Kerry and Tony before checking on Pia (who was perfectly happy, munching away) and then setting off to find our B&B a few miles away...

So there you have it, an unconventional day in the life for me!

...and the competition the next day? Well, things didn't quite go to plan. After working beautifully in the morning exercise, Pia got a bit wound up by the other horses in the busy warm up arena before our test and I wasn't able to get the best out of her unfortunately, so we weren't placed. Though her high jinks in the warm up entertained the spectators somewhat, someones gotta do it I suppose!!

We'll try again next year...

3 comments:

Briony jose. said...

Pis is absoloutly gorgeous, lovely eye.

Chloe said...

Ah! The Winter Dressage Championships, I used to go and watch this for a couple of years before it moved to Hartpury :) Sorry to hear your test didn't quite go as well as it could've but ditto the previous commenter, Pia is gorgeous :)

hello DODO said...

Pia is such a beauty!
My horse is a big hairy Welsh Cob! We gave up on any type of schooling let alone dressage quite a few years ago and just amble around the countryside now. I'm always so impressed by the patience and dedication it takes to properly compete :o)