It was unusual to drive south from Northumberland to find that spring was also late at Badminton with slow growing grass and no swallows in the main arena on the Friday.
However, sun, blue skies and a fresh wind made perfect conditions for course walking.
Nick started by saying how well and fit all the horses had looked at the initial trot up the previous evening and that he felt that this year’s course was for a thinking rider but horse friendly.
The fences were discussed in terms of approach, lines through combinations, stride options and the effects of various landings.
Gear changes were mentioned often (we’re talking Porsche not Minis! ) The need for the powerful, hock engaged canter cropped up several times.
An awareness of time versus the terrain and the ability of the rider to make up their time on the open places after the inevitable steadying effect of the combinations.
Riders making decisions and committing to their line but ultimately riding with their eye and reacting positively to what is happening underneath them.
Thank you Nick for giving up your time and Ann for organising such an educational and enjoyable afternoon.
Report by Sally Robinson