Monday, October 4, 2010

One under the belt!

Hi All,

Today was QUITE busy! The jog was scheduled for 8:30am, but as host nation, we would jog last. The arenas were open for riding prior to the jog, so we planned to ride beforehand to get Dylan loosened up and in a good working frame of mind. That meant we had a pretty early morning indeed. I had a good ride, just worked him over his back and evenly into both reins, and really tried to settle his tempo.

It has been quite chilly here the past two days, and the jog strip is located above the cross country, in a big, open, exposed field. Needless to say, it got cold. I did my best to stay warm, today I used moxa hot packs to try and stave off the muscle spasms.

All the US horses passed the jog, and everyone certainly felt a lot better after it was over.

We had a chance to take a lunch at the athletes cafeteria, where they are serving really good hot food. I have missed a few meals on this trip, so I feel a bit like I am "catching up". The cute ariat jeans I had to stuff myself into for opening ceremonies now don't stay I know I can probably indulge in a few extra snacks!

After lunch, I got myself into my whites for the warm up test. This was a chance for the riders competing as individuals to show their team test in front of 3 judges, but the scores don't really count for anything. The purpose is really to allow the individuals the same amount of time in the competition ring as the team riders.

Dylan was a little behind my leg in the warm up. He looked Ok from the ground, but he just didn't have the "quickness" to my aids I wanted. He was quiet and obedient, so in hindsight, I probably didn't push quite as hard to get the activity I needed. They have it arranged so that you have 4 minutes of final warm-up in a ring across the street from the competition ring. When we moved over, Dylan came to life a bit, but as he was not quite in front of my aids, he was spooking a bit. So, time to direct the energy!!

Once I had things put together, it was time to go into the competition ring. It is a very nice ring, and for a large ring, it feels very close. Unfortunately the liveliness we had just generated in the warm-up faded a bit, and I just didn't quite have Dylan on my aids. That being said, he was quiet, calm, listened, and we put in an Ok test. I made some mistakes, and there were some decent moments.

The score reflected the mistakes, and I felt it was fair.

Tomorrow, our team riders take the stage. I have a "day off" of sorts. I will train during the lunch break, when Jenny can take a break from commentating. Our plan is to make it like a show situation for Dylan, warm up and ride through the test, ensuring we have what we need in the ring.

I will compete "for real" on Wednesday afternoon!

Not sure when I will get to posting until then, ride strong, and go USA!!