Vitall is all better now but has passed it on to me. Never the less, I continue to train with coughing fits in between. My boy has been a star since he has been back at work.

The first few days back, I just did easy work stretching and working on transitions. The key to training this past week has been working on suppleness so that I can bend him on a strait line with out his shoulder falling to the left or right. Sounds easier then it is. The second I bend him, especially to the right, he falls to the inside then outside then tilts his head. Once I get true flexion and swing through his back he feels great, then I take this into half passes and shoulder in. It’s all control. I keep his trot in “baby trot” as a gymnatising tool. The trot work is becoming much stronger and fluid. Canter work has been fairly easy. The 1 tempi’s are still a bit of a challenge but since I am gaining more control of where he puts his shoulder they are coming along. Piaff and Passage get more and more lift every day. As he gets stronger he is becoming like a piaff and passage machine which is a great feeling. Makes me smile every time! Also, in the extended trot today I FINALLY, for the first time, felt what he really has in there. Vitall came right out of the shoulder and lifted up, it felt like take off. It is amazing how much they change when you are patient and take the time to allow them to build their strength the right way.

As I’m sure you have all seen on the news Europe is all covered in snow… It is beautiful but very messy. The Dutch and the rest of Europe are not used to it like us Canadians. I still have summer tires on my rental car since the rental company hasn’t been able to switch my car yet. So, I am driving around very slowly and I even managed to get stuck on a speed bump. I was with a friend doing some xmas shopping and it was really slippy out and there was tons of traffic leaving the parking lot. I had to stop mid speed bump and got stuck but we manage roll back and forth to get off. All I could do is laugh for a moment since I am so used to driving my truck in winter weather rather than this silly little car. But one more push on the gas and we made it off. Certainly gave me a good chuckle.

I also went to a big music festival in Amsterdam this past week at the Rai arena where they have Jumping Amsterdam, one of the biggest shows its a huge stadium. The festival was fun music though wasn’t what I was expected but a cool experience.

The photos are of myself and a friend Marjolein, a fellow Dutch young rider, of us in the snow. The other photo is this mysterious sign I came across in the bathroom. I’ve never seen something so stupid and it made me laugh or think they had a lot of “blonds” coming through their hotel.

2 more days till I am home for CHRISTMAS :)!!