Before I start reeling off my life story let me introduce myself – My name is Wayne Clarke and my horse is called Casper (Lobinstown Rock to his posh friends). I have been riding since the age of 13 and have owned Casper for almost 2 years. My aim this year is to BE him at BE100 level and finish the season off at Aldon three day event (although October does seem a long way off at the moment).
What a mixed bag this spring has been – I am sure that I am not the only one who utters the proverbial “well it can’t be any worse than last year?” phrase at New Years; but in all honesty, we all seem to be in the same boat so we may as well aim to enjoy every second with our horses (and make work a second priority) – this is something that I always seem to struggle with.
Casper has had a busy winter/spring this year compared to last year (he had the majority of 2012 off recovering from injury and spent time growing). He has faced a move to Kingfisher Equestrian Centre (I got fed up of riding in the dark and longed for an indoor school); the Area 12 dressage qualifier (and in the process he was dressaged, competed and schooled to death by my new trainer and myself – our scores have drastically improved as has his shape); fantastic XC clinics with Jo May; Showjumping up to new heights (no more 90cm for him) and trips to the gallops – all in prep for the new season!
Ah the BE season….Well it all started off promising – Moreton was fantastic and he was 10th in the BE90 (great considering he had done no XC since April 2012 and he bronched and reared most of his dressage warm up) and even though Aldon was an absolute washout (congrats to the Battens for doing a sterling job) he was 14th in his first BE100 – making it feel ridiculously easy! Onwards and upwards I thought – well – as with horses there was a catch (but in his defence he was not to blame – his father was!) It is always tough managing a full time career and eventing and this year for my college (and my job) it seems to be harder than normal – what with the pressures of Ofsted, redundancies (again) squeezing of departments and an increase in workload I struggled –and eventually cracked! And we all know what happens – the riding goes tits up! I promptly withdrew from Bicton and West Buckland (citing a nervous breakdown – of which it wasn’t) and hastily found my inner rider with the help of Sally @ Kingfisher – don’t worry I am now back on track (after an extended detox at Badminton HT – wasn’t it amazing) and I am entered up for Pontispool, West Wilts and I think we’ll give Nunney a stab – the course looked amazing last year!
This goes to show we all put up with so much (and it seems to be a ubiquitous trait that all horse riders must take on far too much work than everyone else).We are most definitely not bionic, and aside from horses we do need down time! I recommend a good hack or gallop – schooling can be far too stressful at times J
That’s enough from me; get praying for better weather, softer ground and less wind! Till next time…Hopefully see some of you out competing
W and C