Eric started by getting into our minds by making us think about being on a horse of our choice. Then asked us to think about whether the horse in question runs out left or right? There was a shout from the group “both”!!! This is when the Irish humour started.

Whilst walking the course with just one particular horse in mind, we were able to clearly decide which route we would take.

First question at the second water fence 7 double of brush bounce direct route. Fence 9 to 10 two choices of corners with both being tight angles offering runouts to the left.  Fence 13ab ditch brush looking as big as ever with no let up with b element on three strides to very narrow brush arrow head. Fence 15 abc ditch rails asking if you can hold a straight line. Fence 20 abcd 21 five jumping efforts last of the water jumps which will pose a few questions as horses start to tire. Fence 29 abc rugby World Cup theme.  Then two fences and home. I’ve only briefly mentioned some of the fences but there is no let up on the questions asked around the whole course.

Eric explained lines, terrain and fences but even though we got to see the fences close up he kept us off the riding lines, great respect!!  I found it motivational due to being off for ten months with back surgery and soon to be back in the saddle.

Thank you to Eric Smiley for the course walk and Ann Bostock for organising.

Report written by Alec Miles