"Don't panic Mr Mainwaring!"
This was it, I was booked in for an ODE at Offchurch organised by LandS Eventing and although some people had commented "you are taking Bodie to an ODE, isn't she too old for that?" I ignored them and thought, no, she might be 29 but we can do this. I had set myself up a 6 week plan with the help of the yard for getting fit using a local lady called Kylie Bates - SweatFit. The yard owner, Jess Moody, had put loads of prepping clinics on for us including poles, dressage, jumping and even express ODE's that we could use to compete against each other at the yard. I'm fortunate that I am on a yard where people are often going out competing in various disciplines, which had made quite a big change from my old yard. I am also fortunate that there are times when Ashtree Sport Horses go on mass, such as when we went to Dallas Burston at Christmas for LandS Arena Eventing. There is always a buzz around the yard as the excitement builds and plenty of support. Me and "excitement" don't actually go well together, it usually ends up with me making myself ill. Also I rarely feel excited, it is usually dread, fear and nerves!
Ashtree at Dallas Burston LandS Arena Eventing
On our latest yard ODE, our dressage was pretty fighty and in particular on the dressage sheet one of the comments was "SWEARING", we got one pole down in the showjumping, but for the XC, Bodie absolutely blasted it and we ended up being one of the fastest horses on the course. I was actually super proud to come 2nd. I remember saying "I'm sure they have forgotten my name, I'll speak to Jess when they have finished the prize giving" as they were reading out the results from last to first place. I was in disbelief, it might just be an inter-yard event, but it actually meant a lot.
ODE at Ashtree Sport Horses
Anyway, in the build up week to 1st August, I had managed to give myself an almighty panic attack during one evening when thinking about the 'real' ODE. I found myself starting to feel very sick, I was having a hot flush, shaking and my heart was beating rapidly. I rushed out of bed to the toilet, had that sensation that you get where you mouth fills with saliva before you are about to vomit. Anyone that knows me, knows I have a deep seated fear of being sick. So picture this, it's 2am, you look out your bedroom window because you can hear a noise and there, in her pyjamas is your neighbour stood with a hose pipe having a cold shower in what can only be described as waterboarding. My logic is if I can scare myself the panic attack will no longer exist. Bingo, it worked and I managed to get back to bed. I am hoping that this is setting the scene of how nervous I was feeling for the event.
Photos by Piston Photography - https://www.pistonphotography.co.uk/