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Monthly diary — November

Lucinda Green

My US teaching trip proved successful in several ways. I was worried places may not fill due to the economic downturn, but bookings were good. In fact, the one clinic that was cancelled (for other reasons) meant I visited a site in North Carolina earmarked for development as an equestrian competition complex.

The owners expressed interest in me designing the lower level cross-country courses. It's something I've thought about doing as I'm keen to help shape the sport's future and can't think of a better way. While teaching, I watch plenty of horses across country and see how their education can be improved – and how logs, roll tops and 'roof' shaped jumps are overused, boring and don't develop thinking horses. I'm uncertain how imaginative I could be though. But fellow Olympian, Ian Stark, a brilliant course designer, has encouraged me to put my name forward, starting at the lower levels.

As for the horses, CF, who is at my sister's, looks fabulous. He's finally clear of ulcers and has regained his weight and muscle. Unfortunately much team chasing has been cancelled so he's missed several trials by interested riders.

Bill has settled well with Jo, hunting in the Mendips and I'm delighted he's whinnying to his new temporary 'mum' – I would hate to feel he was miserable. I've decided to let him go.

A get-up-and-go young rider would have such fun with him and there's so much happening next year, it would be difficult to compete at his higher level. Among other things, I've been asked to commentate for all three equestrian disciplines at the Olympics – it will take much preparation but is fantastically exciting.

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