Rancorrado, Splendor and Echo Beach arrive in Basel tomorrow morning. It's the first time the four-star event will be held there and it promises to be a world class show.
Following this, I will compete at the World Cup show at Leipzig, Germany and in the first week in February we will travel to Abu Dhabi. I've often spoken about planning and the importance of it. Now I find myself in a situation where I have decisions to make and sometimes the less obvious one may be the better choice.
After Olympia I secured 17 World Cup points and I believe if I wanted to chase the World Cup shows and get to the Final this could be achieved, given Rancorrado's current form.
I, however, have decided that this would not be the best thing to do insofar as my main goal with this horse for 2010 will be the World Equestrian Games. I will therefore give all my horses a six-week break following Abu Dhabi, possibly do one indoor show in early April and then go back outdoors and build the horses back up to top level for the month of May.
It's extremely difficult to have horses in top form all year round. I used to give them long breaks in the winter but I've found it doesn't work well and takes the horses too long to get fit again. Instead I try and give a series of mini breaks throughout the season, like two or three weeks and even during their six week break that's coming up they'll be kept hacking and lightly working.
There's always the temptation following such good results like those at London to keep asking the question. I, though, have always taken the long-term view and in planning a horse's season there must be one main goal and every decision must be a build up to that event rather than trying to have too many irons in the fire.
That's my theory anyway - let's hope it works. Here's to the medals in Kentucky!!