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Ups and Downs (literally!)

Well the last few weeks have been trying to say that least! Captain Flash had schooled outstandingly over fences and we went to Warwick with high hopes and a certain amount of confidence, however horses make fools of us all the time...

Now Flash is the type of horse that needs you to tell him that there is a jump coming and to give him a good chance to see said fence, he likes to run at the front on the outside so he has all the time in the world to see his fences…So at Warwick when he ended up on the inside behind horses he would have been running along merrily watching the horse in front’s bottom until he got the fright of his life and spied the open ditch, causing him to launch a stride early and land on his head. Luckily there’s not much going on in his head so he really didn’t realise that he had fallen.

We took him to Lambourn today schooling and he was brilliant, no clue that he had fallen and in fact he jumped better than ever, dancing with his feet when he was short and showing more scope than ever when long. A good day!

Last Wednesday we took John Biscuit to Wincanton for a run round over hurdles to get his confidence back after he unseated and knuckled at Ludlow, where he tore some muscles in his quarters. Gavin Sheehan rode him and I told him to be positive and just let the horse jump on a long rein, it was a joy to watch. I knew the ground was too soft but to see the little horse have fun and jump from hurdle to hurdle was just brilliant, I know that when he gets some better ground he will not disgrace himself.

We also schooled Heroes or Ghosts this morning, I was disappointed with the way he jumped at Huntingdon and he pulled some muscles in his back as a consequence. I am working on his straightness at the moment and trying to get him to carry his head and neck straight from his body, instead of it being curled round to the right! Therefore it was a relief to see him jump so fluently today, straight as a die and we will aim at a handicap chase at Exeter with him in a week or so.

Finally Hannah finished working for us a week ago and Liddy came from Ireland to work for us. Liddy has evented and ridden all her life, she has never ridden racehorses but is such a good rider that Jo knows she will be going up the gallop in no time. Jo has had her cantering around the school with shorter stirrups and apparently her leg muscles actually hurt to touch…Hahaha But joking aside Jo is delighted to have such a keen, bubbly and helpful new member to the team.

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