“Yesterday was -4°C and I spilt a bucket of water over myself – things can only get better, right?”

Sarah looks ahead to the 2019 season with the return of her horse Woody.

Welcome to my first blog for a brand new year! Though it’s only January I, like many of you, am already counting down the weeks until the event season starts. 
 
This year I’ve made a conscious choice not to participate in the ‘New Year, new me’ revelation. Instead, I’ve decided to adopt a ‘New Year, more awesome me’ approach to 2019, which is already looking very busy for me. 
 
But before I get into that, let me start with some sad news. Those of you who followed my progress last year fell in love with Hugo, who is quite possibly the most beautiful boy on the planet, and I firmly believed that he was all set to come out this season and wow us all. 2018 was his introduction to eventing and, although there were a few bumps (or should I say puddles?) in the road, we had a cracking year. The scope and willingness to learn oozed out of Hugo, turning heads with his golden dun coat wherever we went. 
 
Some of you may remember that alongside being a horse mum of two, I also run an equestrian performance brand, Apt Cavalier, which has taken off like I would never have imagined and is now a successful, internationally recognised brand. 

Sleep deprived and constantly running around like a headless chicken, I forced myself to make the heart-breaking decision to choose which dream I wanted to chase for now: my career or my eventing. I screwed my sensible head on and made the tough choice to focus all my energy on my career, so sadly I am waving goodbye to my precious Hugo, the most talented horse I have ever sat on. He has now been reunited with his owner and I’ll miss him terribly. On top of that, I know I will always have that gut-wrenching ‘what if’ feeling when I think of his sweet little face and all that talent. 
 
However, I don’t want to bum you out too much, so I’m thinking positively and am looking forward to an exciting year of touring the big events with the AC tradestand and super cob’s return to eventing. Hurrah! 

By the time the first Scottish event is due, it will have been a whopping 20 months (!!!) since Woody has touched down on BE soil. Woody last evented in the 2017 season and I occasionally struggled to mount because he was so excited, therefore I dread to think how he’s going to behave at that first event. The comments in the dressage might be interesting and I can’t imagine I’ll have many breaks on the cross country course, however we do have plenty of training booked in before Dalkeith Country Park in April, so hopefully we won’t make total fools of ourselves. 
 
January has been very quiet so far. Woody came back into full work mid-2018 and competed a couple of times on a surface, so he has had a casual January to give him a mini-break before our eventing bootcamp starts early February. We haven’t got any snow yet, however it’s freezing cold and we’re struggling to get any riding done due to ice and a frozen arena, so his mini-break was well timed. Yesterday morning was -4°C and I managed to spill a bucket of water over myself, so things can only get better right? 
We are booked in for some dressage and arena eventing in February, so hopefully the weather is kind to us and next month’s blog/vlog will be action-packed with pre-season prep! 

Read Sarah's last blog and watch her vlog here!