The weekend after the Three Counties we were back on the road (minus Smugmore Ronan who was enjoying his time off!), and this time headed for Wisbech St Mary up in Cambridgeshire for a one day duo. As Ronan was having time off Becca was going to be vaulting on Navvy, I had Tinker, and Amy and Tim were there doing their parts too. Having wiggled our way along the A14 to the site we were pleased to see some familiar faces - Martin from Xtreme Falconry who'd been with us at the Three Counties the week before, these bird men get everywhere! On meeting the organisers we were surprised to find out that the show was actually on for two days, and they might be requiring us to stay an extra night and perform on the Sunday too!
Having set everything up and settled the horses down it was time for bed, but it was very strange to look out of the window and see a black horse where there is usually a white one - quite disconcerting for a second! It rained and rained and rained throughout the night, and when I woke up in the morning it was to discover that the lorry roof had leaked and all my bedding from my knees down was sopping wet - again, quite disconcerting for a second until I realised why!!
It was in the morning that we realised we were missing two vital things for the show - treats for the horses and our schooling whips for the dances, eeek! So we sent Tim off to see if he could come up with anything. He didn't disappoint! He very quickly returned with two enormous carrots (kindly donated by the mysterious Pearl) and some very long birch sticks. Having chopped the carrots into titbit sized morsels he then set about whittling the birch down to make us some brilliant sticks! Well done that Timothy!! I think I might even prefer my new stick to my old one... I also managed to use some good sized twigs to beef up our ribbon sticks - we'll definitely be able to grab them easier now at the end of the show, hopefully no more fumbling around for them!
We also spent some time in the morning practising the Roman riding with Tink and Navvy as they'd not done it together before, and they were really good! We were hoping to do it in the show, but just in trot for the main part, then into canter at the end. Fingers crossed we'd all survive that far! Luckily it didn't rain throughout the day, but the wind was something else. We were warming up in the adjacent fields, and the wind was causing all the surrounding fencing, signs and everything else to bang and crash around a huge amount. Unfortunately it managed to wind both the horses up (they really did get the wind up their tails!), so we went into the first show with trepidation. Which proved unfortunately to be totally justified! In conjunction with the wind, the sound system didn't help with the boys' states of mind. There was one truck at the end of the arena with a massive bank of speakers on. As you came round the top end of the arena the music was so loud it was literally shaking the ground! Navvy spent the whole show whizzing round at a thousand miles an hour, and I'm amazed that Becca managed to do anything on him at all! Naughty Tinker (who by now is old enough and wise enough to know better) used Navvy as an excuse and also spent the whole show going as fast as he possibly could - I was having flash backs to his early seasons when that was a normal occurrence, but that doesn't mean I enjoyed it! I pulled out all my superfast safe moves though, even if it was like vaulting on a motorbike around the corners! Needless to say we didn't attempt the Roman riding!!
The second show was a slight improvement in that we had requested fewer speakers be employed - the earth was no longer moving beneath our feet! Tinker slowed down (I think he'd worn himself out earlier!) so I was able to do a full show, but Navvy stayed at top speed meaning Becca had a very difficult time - and again no Roman riding! It was a real shame he was going so fast as he'd been brilliant the previous week at Malvern, but he was obviously having an off day!
Following the second show we still didn't know whether we were going to be packing up and heading home or staying on for an extra day. After talking to the organisers they decided not to have us stay on. Unfortunately due to the weather they'd had a smaller attendance than they'd hoped for and couldn't justify the extra expense. Although it was a great shame not to be staying I was actually quite pleased - I'd only packed enough knickers for the one day!
We'll definitely be practising the Roman riding again during the week as we've got quite a busy weekend coming up. There's a duo show on the Saturday at Pymoor followed by a drive up to Yorkshire for a solo show at Howden on Sunday - Navvy won't know what's hit him!
I'll let you know how we get on...
Lots of love,