Thursday Sept 14

It’s been a very long day so this one will be short. We went over and cheered on Sophia for her 2* test at 9:00 a.m. She did a lovely job and her horse was very obedient. Anne Marie had another short jump lesson with Bruce this morning. They warmed up over the logs first, then did a vertical with placing poles on take off and landing (10ft at a guess).

They repeated this until she could get the “revs” up without burying him at the base. It’s a tricky thing to try and get a bit of a long spot to a placing pole, trust me. I struggled with this at training camp a few years ago with the team coach. They repeated the five one strides this time with “V” rails to tighten his knees up a bit, at quite a height! After that was accomplished she did a very big oxer across the diagonal then a bending six strides to the skinny viaduct wall. Learning to come in with enough revs and then balance the six strides to give him a good take off spot for the wall. It was a super lesson. Tomorrow he will just hack so we can squeeze in one more jump lesson on Saturday since we leave on Sunday evening.

I lunged Woody in the Pessoa this morning just to loosen him up with no pressure or weight on his back. He looked really well and stretched nicely both directions. I watched Buck jump one of his 3* horses. He has such a fantastic “eye” for an easy forward distance.

Later in the day Fanny had a super test on her mare, big improvement from last year and she was so relaxed. I’m very pleased for them. Then we did “in barns” for Woody. They checked his microchip with his FEI passport and then I jogged him for them to make sure he is ready to rock. Dougie Hannum had worked on his body earlier in the day so Woody was feeling his best. Thank you Dougie for always keeping my family’s horses in tip top form.

Horses riding in an arena

Ring familiarization was from 5:00-6:00 p.m. so I took Woody up there and rode him around with Bruce watching to make sure we look the part. Plantation is one of my favorite events for many reasons:

#1 It’s the only FEI event you don’t HAVE to stable on-site so we get to stay at Chesterland Farm (Bruce’s beautiful place) where the horses are very comfortable with all the amenities you could possibly need. Plus AM and I are guests at his gorgeous comfy house, lucky us!

#2 They let you work in the ring for ring familiarization. Not just walk around the outside on the buckle, actually WORK INSIDE the rings.

#3 Wonderful cross country course, spectator friendly with rolling hills and TWO water complexes.

#4 Great venue, fun parties and yummy food. Plus this year we get to go to New Bolton Equine Medical Centre to hear and see how everything works. Can’t wait!

At the end of the day Usha kindly came to give Woody a treatment so he will have a good night’s sleep and hopefully perform his best tomorrow morning in the sandbox at 10:20 a.m.

Go team!!