….wow, we promised that by 1 April we would be able to ride in the outdoor arena and we were true to our word. In fatc we were even a bit earlier than promised because on Saturday we were having lessons in the outside school. This is as well as riding in the field in lessons because of our fabulous weather.
So I have not been writing the blog recenty, but that is because I have had no time. And now I will give you all a full update.
My last post was on Tuesday, Wednesday was a really busy day. Rab arrived at 7.30am on Wednesday to start working with the excavator and began scraping the old surface off the arena. He started at the gate end where the surface was deepest. At 8am Neil arrived to drive the dumper and then the two worked all day digging out the arena and taking it out to the field. And while this was all happening Katie and I were desperately waiting for the glue I had ordered to stick the sheets of liner together and the liner itself. At lunchtime the glue arrived. The plan was to get as much of the surface lifted and the liner down in time for the first delivery of surface. Unfortunately, the liner didn’t arrive on Wednesday.
Here’s a picture of Rab and Neil at 10am.
By the close of play on Wednesday all the old surface had been lifted from the top 2/3 of the arena. But the day was so nice that the evening lessons were in the field. And Wednesday night is polocrosse night and the weather was so nice and the horses still coming into boxes at night so we had polocrosse in the field and mounted. Everyone was very rusty and our passing was pants (a polocrosse technical term). So we are going to have to practice really hard if we are to have as successful a season this year as last. Once the arena is complete we will be able to have Sunday practices at ours.
And a big hug goes out to Charlotte and Hannah, you will be back to riding in no time at all.
So Thursday came around and Rab and Neil continued to dig out the arena and we waited for the liner. Once they had started on the bottom end where the surface was replaced last year they moved it to the indoor school so we could recycle it. The first load of surface arrived and we still didn’t have any liner. Arghhh! The surface got dumped in the car park.
So Thursdays lessons were very uneventful with the 4.30 going out for a hack around our fields in the glorious sunshine. I then had a two hour break before the 7.30 lesson. I had been planning to spend the two hours laying liner and glueing it together. But no liner so no glueing.
Friday arrived and so did a box of ribbon material so I could make rosettes for the gymkhana on Sunday. But by lunchtime there was stil no liner and a second load of surface arrived which had to go into the car park too. And just as the lorry left the liner arrived.
So away I went laying liner 27m down the length of the arena and gluing it together until it looked like this..
We were really lucky then because Harry came down with his big bucket on his tractor and then spent three hours moving the surface from the indoor school and the car park into the outdoor arena so that by Friday night the car park was empty and the liner on the arena was full.
So Saturday morning I couldn’t really use the arena because it was all bumpy and so the first lesson went out in the field while Garry dragged our gate leveller around the arena flattening all the bumps out so that by the start of the second lesson we could ride on the arena and the ponies could go out in their field. And we did…
And we even had our first fall to christen the surface. Apparently it was very bouncy..
And so Saturday night saw me making 54 rosettes for the April Fools Gymkhana today. It was great fun and we rode in the field. The first class was a scurry but ass it was April Fools day we set the course up and numbered it correctly and then made everyone jump it backwards (in reverse actually) so starting at jump 10 and then moving to 9, etc. I even placed the number on the wrong side of the jump so everyone had to really learn the course inside out and backwards/
Then came chocolate pairs. Everyone wants to win the huge bars of chocolate. As the teams raced around the jumping course trying to get the quickest time. At lunch we put the bending poles and games equipment back in th e field and ran three games lanes in the pony field just like at Pony Club this week. And after that and lunch we got back to showjumping. So that was the week so far and tomorrow we have the first day of the first of our Easter Mini Camps.