Friday, April 27, 2012

Another Fantastic Day!

Another fabulous day in Lexington, KY! A cold front came through last night, so it was chilly when we finally got up this morning--JUST right for a walk around the four star course! Donna opted to watch dressage, and she got to see the three top rides. Cynthia and I opted to go on the coursewalk with Ralph Hill and Eric Dierks, and it was FANTASTIC. I've heard so much about Ralph Hill; my first Rolex, he rode Bad Boy Billy, and was a hoot in the trot up, and sang on cross country. The My trainer, Kathleen Zins, worked with Ralph a long time, and I can certainly see the lineage even in the glimpse I got on this walk. Eric and Ralph riffed off each other a lot (and very well!). They talked a lot about terrain and how it affected the horse and rider; how the rider needed to prepare for a hard jump the fence before; how you needed to learn to "feel" the horse underneath you and use that information to make choices: which route to take, what speed to take it, how much encouragement to give, and so forth. It really was a lesson on how to ride!

By the time we got to the dressage arena post coursewalk, it had warmed up to the low 60's (and about 70+ in the front row of the dressage arena, after the sun reflected off that white sand!). I'm sorry that we missed so many fantastic rides--Donna said Allison's Springer's ride on Aurthur was amazing--but we got to see Karen O'Connor's ride on Mr. Medicott and Michael Pollard's ride on Icarus, so we still saw some pretty impressive rides.

I learned once again that a consistent test was a solid test--Becky Holder's thoroughbred Can't Fire Me was very consistent in all his gaits, solid in his transitions, and she got a good score. I learned that if the rider gets tense and leans forward, the horse responds (this was Buck Davidson on Titanium)....and that if you come back and relax, the horse does, too.

Not much retail therapy today! I bought something for a few friends of mine, and we picked up the halters we ordered from Quillin's.

I once again had a bit of a scare finding the fence judge briefing....for some reason, I did NOT bring the information with me today, and I was thinking two years ago, when it was held at the altech I went there first with plenty of time to spare...only to realize "something's wrong". So I asked another volunteer, who was pretty sure it was in the visitor's center...and, of course, that's right where it was.

I was able to get there about five minutes late, and I heard most of the briefing....thank goodness! My fence is #15, the Hollow. I can't wait!

Here's to a safe ride for everyone!

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