Apr22collage.jpgSelena’s five cent’s worth:

Well dressage day is definetly not my favourite. I woke up this morning and found it difficult to choke down my bagel.  I rode Mr. C in his new double bridle this morning at around 9am.  He was wonderful. I schooled in long and low to start… then moved on to practise a few of the movements from the test.  Debbie Furnace and Graem Thom were there and said his changes were clean.  It always helps to have someone on the ground to tell you if they are clean or not. 

Debbie arranged to come and put in his fake tail for dressage later that day.  He only has three hairs in his tail and maybe two in his forelock.  Shhh don’t tell anyone.  You would not believe how expensive a fake tail is.  He has had a fake tail since Rolex 08… we don’t always use it because its not easy to put in.  Debbie is the Canadian Team’s stable manager for big international events… having worked for Bruce Davidson for many years she is a HUGE asset.

I got on with about 40 mins to walk down to the warm up rings and school a bit.  Colombo always goes as well as his mummy can ride him. So I will say that I didn’t ride him with enough sparkle today. He was obedient in the ring… however there were no extras.  First time I have ever done a test that didn’t have at least one 8???  I am disapointed I would have been happy to be in the 40’s.  I try to adopt the “over, done with, gone attitude” otherwise it eats away at me.  Yes I will work harder with some dressage coaching and hope to improve that score.  No I will not let it get me down, hold me back or stop me.

Only having Colombo to practise the feeling of collected work and some of the other four star movements slows down my learning curve. Colombo and I lost some time this winter due to shoe problems. I missed out on lessons, events, training camps and HITS… so I feel we are not as together in the dressage as we have been. Now that he is back in such good form we will get to practise together until we are giving the dressage riders a run for their money.  I am so lucky that Colombo and I have a great partenership… despite our missed events ect. this winter he galloped around the Fork a few weeks ago like we nover missed a beat. I look foreward to Saturday. I walked the course today with David and the rest of the team.  Looks big and inviting.  Maybe not as technical as last year?  It’s best I don’t say anything about what I think of the course before I ride it. I don’t want to eat my words.

Morag here….

I had no problem with my bagel…..

Well the dressage test didn’t sparkle, but it was accurate, obedient and extremely well mannered.  Yes, it could have been better, but dressage is always a work in progress, and Colombo’s shoe problems, abcess etc. (excuse number three hundred and forty three) did mean that he and Selena did not have as smooth a run up to Rolex as they could have wished for.  It also makes me want to second guess the decision to change his bits the day before Rolex, but I bow to David’s superior experience.  Still a very competitive score, and it’s not a dressage show!  Diana Burnett and Manny were in fourth place at the end of the first day, way to go Diana!

Leslie and Lesley’s baby Liam entertained us with some spectacular tap dancing on the table during lunch.  Check out the cute suit with the ears.

This evening however, was a real dressage show.  The freestyle was in the main arena this evening and Selena, Pam and I managed to make it in time to see the last three rides. We were very lucky as the second last horse was the winner, and he was great to watch.  Selena was wishing she had been able to watch it the night before her dressage as it was truly inspiring.  Canada’s own, wonderful, friendly, outgoing Jackie Brooks was third.  As someone who has had a brain haemorrhage from a ‘walking’ fall while I was wearing a hat without a chinstrap, I was impressed to see Jackie wear her crash cap, plus chin guard with her shadbelly.  Go Jackie, you rock!  We also watched Jaimey Irwin do a very good job with Dover.  Sunday night we get to watch the show jumping.  I am not sure what Canadians are here to show jump, but I saw Mac Cone at one point.

We have been really fortunate in being sponsored by APF.  They helped us last year and repeated it in a bigger way this year.  APF is something we have used for nearly 12 years and although it’s expensive, we have always felt it was a necessary expense.  We first started using it on Selena’s tiny Advanced TB mare, Be Bold Juliet when she began to tie up repeatedly.  It gave us two whole extra years with Juliet for which we cannot thank APF enough.  We have had Colombo on it for the last year, as a natural immune system booster.  Now that APF have been kind enough to extend sponsorship again, we are going to start Solo on it too.

Solo is not terribly impressed by everyone walking past his stall on their way from the tack room to Colombo. He has already kicked one board through into the next stall with his bucking and leaping up and down shenanigans.  As soon as you groom him, take him for a walk, lunge or ride him or in any other way, pay him the attention he thinks he deserves, he is as good as gold, but when we ignore him closer to Colombo’s ride times, he gets quite frantic in his efforts to catch us on the way by. He is looking gorgeous and getting lots of admiration, but not enough physical attention as far as he is concerned….in his own mind, he is SO ready to do Rolex LOL! After I lunged him the other day, the NZ stewards were grouped around admiring him (he loves it) and asking if I had worked him hard because he had a big show a week or two after Rolex.  I had to admit that we just work him into the ground as a matter of course and if he had been at home, he would probably have had the same lunge session followed by my riding him.  I am slowly realising that we work our horses quite hard, I personally think they like it.

Tomorrow Selena schools a few jumps and we might go shopping, after all, what would Rolex be without shopping.