Weekend off! Blair Horse Trials #equestrian

This weekend was possibly the last blast of summer, and I felt I deserved a weekend off to enjoy it, so I finally managed to go to an event I’ve been trying to visit for many years, but never quite found the time: Blair International Horse Trials.

One of the premier equine events in Scotland, it takes place in the glorious grounds of Blair Castle, where, along with other rich historical events, Queen Victoria fell in love with the Scottish Highlands.

Blair castle, seen from the roadside,

Blair presents one of the most testing Horse Trials in the country, courtesy of its steep inclines, and we saw more than one horse wisely retired as a result of lack of fitness, but there was also much quality competition, including UK Olympic team gold medallist and individual silver medallist, Tom McEwen.

Here’s a flavour of the events:

With several show rings in addition to the Horse Trials, there is always something to watch, from Show Jumping to Showing classes, and even Pony Club Mounted Games. Not to mention the shopping, which was such a pleasure to wander after 18 months of restrictions. Many of the food outlets ran out of supplies…

Such a glorious setting, and the sun was high, one of the hottest days of summer 2021.

The big crowd is gathered around the water complex – always a favourite spot on cross-country, waiting to see if any of the riders gets a ducking!

That’s a brief flavour of a fantastic day out. Several friends camped on site for the entire 4 days, its that popular.

For me, my last bit of exercise (hiking up that hill) for a couple of weeks – this morning I had steroid injections into both my hips to try to improve my comfort, and my ability to sleep, which has been almost non-existent for several months. I have to sit around for 48 hours and not do any serious exercise for 10 days – very odd in my life – so planning to try wrapping up The Prince’s Heir first draft before getting stuck into the equestrian book – working title ‘100 Exercises for Dressage’.

20 comments

  1. Fabulous share Deb, definitely worth the fun. Loved the little vids and the photo of the horses splashing in the water. Arg, sorry about your hips, I’m living the same dream. Perhaps I should look into a steroid injection too! Glad you had a great day! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Deb. And I should get your hip pain investigated – steroid injections help some people but not everyone has a good result. This is my third lot, they give me about 4 good months almost pain-free before they start twinging again. By 6 months I’m ready for more, but because of Covid this set were 6 months overdue 😦 Really hoping they work well this time, but I’m starting from a much worse place than I was before the last time.

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      1. Arg Deb, I’m sorry to hear. You aren’t the first of my friends complaining of hip pain. Isn’t aging fun? LOL I hope this shot gives you a long comfort. ❀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Have to admit, growing old isn’t much fun 😦
        It’s little wonder by the time we reach this sort of age, many of our conversations revolve around out ailments. I guess we just have to be grateful we are still alive to do so!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Exactly! You said it, all the grunts and such we heard as younger folks are all real lol ❀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful share, Debby. Thank you. Healing love for your hips. ❀ Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jane ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Glorious photos and videos, Debby! So glad you got to attend such a great event at such a beautiful venue. But then, you LIVE in a beautiful venue, don’t you? 😁 Sighing with envy, here, though to be honest, there are are beautiful things here in Florida, too, so I’ll try to be grateful for them, instead of wishing I were in Scotland! 😁 One of these days, maybe I’ll be able to leave my house again and actually SEE some of our native beauty!

    In the meantime, please take care of yourself, and I hope your pain disappears soon! Will be sending love and healing energy your way. I need you well so I can dream of visiting one day. (There are men in kilts I still need to admire.) πŸ˜‚πŸ’—

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad to have shared a little of my gorgeous country with you (sounds good, saying ‘my country’ as it certainly feels that way now). I’m so sorry, I meant to take photos of men in kilts – there were plenty there, but I got distracted by everything going on.
      And the pain will go one way or another. At some point it will involve replacement hips, its really a matter of deciding when. Our health service is in such disarray after Covid, I will almost certainly end up paying for them myself, (I can’t wait 5 years!) but at least that means I get to choose a convenient date.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m sorry to hear you’ll need hip replacements, so I guess the thing to do is be grateful that it’s an option, and that you’ll find a way to take care of the problem, one way or the other. Still sending you lots of love and wishes for a lack of pain! Pain stinks! 😫

    And I forgive you for no pics of the men in kilts. Honestly, with that much gorgeous, castle-filled and horsy scenery, who needs knobby knees? (Say that last bit fast three times. πŸ˜‚ ) Just take good care of yourself, Debby, and hopefully, things will fall into place just as they should. πŸ’—πŸ€—

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, my friend. You keep taking care of yourself too, hear me?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I will if you will. πŸ˜€ ❀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s a deal!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. What an amazing trip, Deborah, but I got completely distracted by the steroid injections in your hips and that you can’t sleep at night. Me too! Well, the pain wakes me. I’m not as far along as you. I didn’t think of the steroids. I look forward to hearing how it works.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the pain wakes me up every hour or two, after struggling to get to sleep in the first place because I can’t find any comfortable position to lie in 😦
      This’ll be the third time I’ve had the injections. For me, so far they have given me 4 -5 months of relief during which I can come off the full-time painkillers. I’m scheduled to have them done every 6 months, which is safe for a few years, but not everyone gets a good (or any) result, you just don’t know until you try.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A pretty serious level for you. From riding? Or just bad luck (my reason). I’ve had steroid shots. Some work, others not at all. It’s good to hear this is a decent maintenance for you. Any consideration of surgery?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Probably a combination of bad luck and serious over-use from my pro riding days. It also doesn’t help that I’m hyper mobile, which makes for far more wear 😦
        I’ve been told the damage according to my x-rays is ‘not that bad’, but that doesn’t help the pain levels! As our health service is so behind (more than a year behind on wait lists) and they’ve said they won’t consider replacements until I’m walking on a stick, I’m going to end up paying for them myself at some point, to fit them in at a convenient time. Expensive, but I’m not prepared to waste my last decent riding years.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. It looks like a wonderful event and a beautiful day. I’m glad you got out there. Sorry to hear about your hips, Deborah. A good excuse to take it easy and get some writing done. I finished The Prince’s Protege yesterday and will be looking for the next one soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Diana, on all counts. Re book #4 I will have first draft finished by the end of this month, and planning on a late November or early December release. You’ll hear all about it, I promise!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha ha. I expect I’ll be ready by then!

        Liked by 1 person

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