Now it can't all be technical and about the corners and angles. Sometimes you just need a ruddy great big fence in front of you to get the blood up, and get you and the horse in the mood for the rest of the course.
My own forays into horse ownership have produced mixed results. All the horses I've owned to ride myself have been other peoples' cast offs, but I've managed to sell all of them well, except one. My current horse I've turned away offers way beyond his value, because I've finally become too emotionally attached to him. He's as much part of the yard as the indoor school or the cross country schooling field is.
Beyond this I have previously competed horses for others (in Europe) and owned numerous 'legs' in racehorses, eventers, and other such equines. Whilst I have experienced disputes within these syndicates, we have always managed to keep these very professional thanks to solid legal agreements (more on that in a minute). I have seen several friends go through the mill and legal system in ownership disputes, that have risen from all manner of issues, that have brought about nothing but misery and ill-will.
It's a month now since the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington staged it's closing ceremony, closed the gates and proverbially let the tumble weed blow across the Kentucky Horse Park. These games have not been without controversy, and much has been written to slate the games since their conclusion. This could easily make you think they were a complete disaster. I for one, say, "Not so"
I don't live in Lexington, Kentucky or the USA, so I'm a little surprised I haven't been more cynical about the games, but given scale of the task undertaken, and the order of magnitude putting on these games has been compared to any of it's predecessors, you have to admire the steely determination that the organisers have shown in getting it away.
Did you know there's a Peter Pan statue in Hyde Park (or rather Kensington Gardens to be precise), and apparently there's quite a tie-up with Hyde Park in the origins of this novel. 'Legend' has it Peter Pan sailed on an old birds nest across the serpentine escaping the small island there.
This is such a lovely setting, and the perfect opportunity to have a "let's slow them up" fence before the first water and early on the course, that I thought it might be fun to introduce 2 corners in the form of some pirate ships, and I was given some external inspiration for which I'm very grateful.