Monthly diary — June

Lucinda Green

Bill's career path has continued upwards but not without its blips. At the Intermediate at Withington Manor I was shocked to find us leading the dressage. Bill had summoned all his confidence, stayed in front of the leg and hadn't spooked.

Entering the showjumping arena, he looked in horror at the fences but then jumped well. We had the last down though so went steady cross-country, finishing sixth overall.

It was then Brigstock Advanced Intermediate or the Advanced at Chatsworth. I chose the latter - a big ask. The dressage test was difficult but the arena featured no geraniums, so he began to relax. He's the first horse I've had for ages who loves flying changes and half passes. The showjumping was huge, with unusual colours and dartboard patterns everywhere. Bill was very impressed, so I rode strongly into the first – which he then knocked, having not spooked after all and flattened instead. With a quieter approach he flew the rest including an enormous treble.

The first half of the cross-country was ready to bite less experienced horses. Bill found the questions hard, stopping dead way before several fences, then climbing over. Midway he found his feet – I was so proud. Having finished, Bill went lame. It seems he has a knee problem not related to the original thorn.

An arthroscopy showed no bone damage although there is a little cartilage wear. So it's rest, IRAP therapy and wait and see. But whatever happens, he's already achieved more than I ever expected. Only four years ago he notched up 14 time penalties on his first outing at Intro due entirely to spooking so badly…

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