We are nine days away from opening ceremonies, and we continue to work away on the horses’ preparation for the Olympics.
After the horses galloped on Friday, they had a day off Saturday, and Boyd and I took the afternoon to enjoy some sightseeing in Cheltenham. As great as it is to have constant supervision of the horses and attention to all the details in the barn, it was a great relief to spend an afternoon off the farm doing things that “normal” people do.
On Sunday, Boyd did some light flatwork on the horses. They all looked wonderful, soft and supple as they took the opportunity to stretch their legs after their day off.
Lauren Hough, show jumping coach, was with us on Monday. All of the horses jumped really well as they worked on rideability between fences in a series of courses. Lauren always seems to have so many insightful suggestions and does a good job of keeping the number of jumps jumped to a minimum, in order to keep the horses happy and healthy.
Yesterday, we went to a dressage schooling show. Many Olympic teams were using this schooling show as their final dressage preparation in the ring before the Olympics. It was fun to see our neighbors, the Canadians, out there schooling their tests. It looks like they have some strong horse and rider pairs and it seems that their preparation has been strong. Christian Landholt was judging and will also be judging at the Olympics, so it was a great opportunity to get the horses in the ring in front of him and allow the riders a chance to go back to the farm to study his comments and suggestions in the coming week leading up to the Games.
The horses gallop again today, then the riders and grooms are headed to London for Ambassador Training and Team Processing. I’m off to take the horses out for a handgraze now. Neville and Otis have both been very wild during their hand grazing—a result of being fighting fit with limited turnout. Wish me luck!