Nana Dalton’s Burghley blog: ‘Miley’ thought we were skipping the dressage phase

Nana Dalton

Miley (Absolut Opposition) does make me chuckle — I have just hacked him over to the main arena to do some arena familiarisation ready for his dressage test tomorrow. The problem was we had to ride past some cross-country jumps and the road crossing stewards blew whistles when we were coming. Not unreasonably, Miley thought we were skipping the dressage and going straight to the main event, so was extremely pumped by the time I tried to do some circles!

So his dressage test tomorrow (Friday) could go either way…he’ll either pull out his usual consistent calm test…or it’ll be extra ‘expressive’ and on the wild side! Either way, it’s just lovely to having him here feeling so happy and well.

I walked the cross-country course for the second time today – this time with a wheel to give me an idea of where I should be when my stop watch beeps every minute. It is 570 meters per minute at this level and although I certainly won’t be focusing on the time, it’s always very useful to get a gauge on where we are on the clock at each minute marker so if all being well in every other front, I can react accordingly.

Captain Mark Philips has given us lots of options at various fences and although I’ll be keeping an open mind at a couple of them. The plan is very much to take on the challenges of the course and go the straight routes everywhere. Obviously anything can happen and things don’t always go to plan, so I have also been paying keen attention to all the alternatives should they be needed.

Article continues below…

You might also be interested in:

Today (Thursday) has also been a bonus opportunity to watch my niece, Anna, competing in the Pony Club showjumping competition this morning — this is a local event for them so it was lovely to see her riding and for Toby to catch up with his cousin.

On the social front, we are about to head to the champagne reception at Burghley House this evening — always a unique occasion to see inside the exquisite house and mingle with owners, riders and friends….although with my dressage at 10.26am tomorrow morning, I obviously won’t be drinking too much!

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday