Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tracy's Friday Rolex (just a little bit late!)

I feel like the M.I.A. blogger!! Due to a series of epic FAILS, I find myself sitting in a McDonald's writing my Friday blog on Saturday!
First and foremost, I hope that everyone has safe clean rides today and also a whole lot of fun!
Walking the course with Jessica Hampf yesterday I realized many things about the sport I love. Not only do you need to be incredibly fit to ride these horses but you need to be incredibly fit to walk a four star course! Jessica was FABULOUS about explaining the jumps, the quality of gallop she looked for between fences, and the canter she wants before her take-off point. Jessica made me feel like a friend, not a guest as she patiently answered all of my questions. I asked her what she thought of the course and she told me that it was a "Trevor" kind of course.

While my experience yesterday did not go the way I planned, I learned that it is impossible to have a bad time at Rolex and sometimes plan B is better than the best laid plan A. I did not see a single Dressage ride in it's entirety, but I spent a lot of time in the warm up. Spending time there gave me a better feel for what the riders are like as people, not just the well oiled machines we see in the arena. Some spent the entire time with lots of warm up, perfecting every movement that would be asked while some worked for a shorter time and let their horses relax. I watched grooms and coaches bustle around while horses patiently stood for the final preps. Sinead Halpin was especially nice, chatting with people and allowing a few to pet Tate before she finished her warm-up. The rest of my Friday experience was spent doing large amounts of shopping and helping to support our equestrian economy! Festin will be so happy when I come home with all of his new gear, especially his new ECOGOLD cross-country boots!

Sinead Halpin & Manoir De Carneville (Tate)
Oh and I almost forgot to mention one of my other highlights, a personal introduction to Peter Atkins and a nice chat about his riding & his amazing horse Henny.

I will add an album to Facebook once I stop at Wal-Mart for a new card reader, just another one of my epic FAILS yesterday!

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