Things are in full swing as we continue the lead up to the 2012 Games. We are 13 days away from the first trot up, and we are busily attending to every detail in preparation for this competition.
We galloped the horses yesterday at Jackdaw’s Castle, a 500-acre racing facility that has excellent hill gallops and breathtaking views of the Cheltenham countryside. The horses proved their fitness by answering to the demands of the hill and recovered well, showing that they have been well prepared in their fitness up to this point.
Earlier in the week, Michael Barisone, dressage coach extraordinaire, was here to help with every detail of the horses’ dressage training. Michael was a member of the 2008 US Olympic Dressage Team and coaches Boyd’s wife, Silva, on a regular basis at home. Michael could have had a former life as a football coach at the Superbowl in the way that he furiously inspires and motivates everyone around him, and we were incredibly lucky to have him here to motivate our team. I sat beside Michael and listened to his advice as he coached Boyd, internalizing the idea that every last detail matters. In this world where it is so easy for people to say that things are never good enough, Michael was a breath of fresh air, screaming “Right on!” as Boyd rode according to Michael’s instructions
Although the work and training of the horses has been intense, we have found ways to enjoy the local culture and the people of Gloucestershire. The local pub has offered to cook made-to-order meals for our team and the bartenders have given us tours of the village and surrounding area. Boyd, in typical fashion, makes friends wherever he goes, even getting a ride to the barn on the neighbor’s Harley one morning.
We will keep you posted on our adventures and the happenings in England as we get closer to the Games. Stay tuned.