Well Solo is in Canada and Selena and I are in the USA so his life is fairly quiet right now. I am helping Selena drive Colombo down to training camp at David O’Connor’s farm in Ocala, Florida. En route, we had a two day stop with Bruce Davidson at Chesterland Farm in Pennsylvania and yesterday we drove another three hours south to David O’Connor’s home farm in Virginia. Selena and Colombo are working hard with the best trainers they can possibly have access to.
It’s wonderful watching these two top international trainers and riders ‘at home’. Both the barns are quite beautiful with the high level of stable management that you would expect. I watch as much of the riding and training as I possibly can and look forward to applying what I have learned to Solo and the other horses at home. More ‘sideways’….lateral, lateral, lateral, is the message taken home from Bruce at Chesterland and ‘clean transitions’… crisp, precise, high quality from High Acres, Virginia and David. I cannot wait to have the opportunity to put all of this into practice when I get home. It’s not that it’s new, it’s just a tighter focus on the things that matter. I find watching and listening to these world champions very inspiring indeed.
Solo meanwhile is being lunged mostly. Unfortunately he is really not the kind of horse (yet) that you can let loose schooling or jumping with someone who doesn’t know his wily ways. It’s not that he is nasty, he doesn’t have a nasty bone in his body, but he is OPINIONATED and if he thinks his opinions are worthier than his rider’s, he gives the issue his full attention, AND, he is mister athletic, so just a bit of a hop and a spook, which might be nothing more than a giggle on a nice big fat cob, is an exciting rush of adrenalin when you are riding Solo.
As a result, when we are not there he is ponied or lunged until we come back. On previous occasions we have either moved him down to our bottom barn which is close to the lunging areas, or someone on foot or from another horse has led him down to be lunged in the Pessoa lunging equipment. This time Selena and I are confident that he will be just fine for someone to get on him and hack him up and down. So what? I hear you say… well… this is a big step forward! Solo is actually ready to be ridden ten minutes either way by whoever needs to do it… hooray, it has only taken us a full three years to get to this stage… don’t know whether to <giggle> or <sigh>.
Selena is hoping to write a bit of an Olympic blog while she is away with the team. I know it’s not Solo, but it’s a prep for when his turn comes (London?).