Squirrel did some lovely work, but a few silly mistakes left us in 9th on 50. (33.3 in normal scores!)
After passing the trot up (always a relief!), we quickly got him home, unpacked, mucked out the trailer and repacked to take the babies XC schooling before their event on Sunday. We tried a 'horse hat' on Jungle and he was a lot more focussed and jumped brilliantly. Rigo was very excited and had a great time, jumping well.
We got back home quite late, quick tack clean and another unpack and repack ready for the morning.
Another 5am start on a rainy Saturday morning we were back off to Hambleden for 9:20 showjumping. The rain subsided and it looked a lovely day, albeit slippery ground now it had rained after 9 dry weeks. However, as we were tacking up, a massive torrential downpour came. We stood shivering in the trailer, Squirrel ear-to-tail in waterproof sheets hoping it would pass but it refused to stop, and just got heavier.
Warming up was a disaster; when it's sunny you don't really notice wear on the rubber on the reins, but believe me it matters in the rain! Poor Squirrel was trying his heart out, but it was so slippy and every time I went to take a pull, I completely lost the contact. He skidded into a fence, then stopped at another, but everyone was in the same conditions so we jumped one small one and went in.
Knowing what we'd just come back from, I was aware I couldn't give him a bad experience so the pressure was on and despite not being able to see the fences, he produced a second immaculate clear. We were all very emotional - so much could have gone wrong but all our hard work paid off!
XC he performed brilliantly with another clear but I took him steady because although the sun was now out, the ground was very slippy and he's a big horse to manouvre through tight woodland. Hambleden did a brilliant job with the ground and worked very hard preparing it for us and it was a great event, but I don't think anyone was prepared for those conditions!
With 8.8 time faults, we finished 6th, which we were delighted with as he's really starting to perform consistently now.