I talked to Missy about Laura and how she thought Laura was doing. I could see that Laura had improved in her riding since I had seen her on a horse last, and Missy agreed. She said that Laura's main problem with her position was the she was too bent over and that Laura thought she could not sit up straighter.
But with Missy working with her she has been able to be more straight in the saddle and more able to look up. She is also pleased at how much Laura's confidence has improved in the past few months. She feels that Laura's biggest challenge for her test will be accuracy.
I also spoke with Trudy Phillips, who owns Carlingford JD, the 11 year old Irish Sport Horse that Laura will be riding. Trudy got JD from Missy as a young horse and trained him up to fourth level dressage. Originally wanting an event horse, she tried to event JD but he didn't like it much. He'd either come in first or be eliminated. Dressage seems to be a much better fit for JD and he is very patient and willing for para-equestrians. JD is the second horse that Trudy has offered up to the para-dressage program. The running joke is that Trudy trains them and Missy steals them for the program.
Before we left Laura did a very nice interview for the local NPR affiliate. Brenna Angel of WUKY radio spent some time talking with Laura, and I got video of the interview.
I also got video of Laura's training ride, this time using my friend's camera. I burned the video to a DVD in the camera and put the DVD into my computer. Now, true to form, I'm unable to to move those files to my computer and they no longer exist on the camera. So, while I'd really love to share all that footage with you, it's just not going to happen. Sometimes technology is very frustrating. I think Craig might be able to fix it when I get home.
After the trip to KER we had lunch with Laura then headed over to the Horse Park for some light shopping and the reining freestyle exhibition in the evening. This wasn't a judged event, but just a fun thing where some of the top professional and young riders from all over the country did reining routines to music. It was really fun, although I have to say I was a big disappointed with Stacey Westfall's ride. She's well known for her reining without a saddle and bridle, but tonight she just came out and did a standard musical reining ride with all her tack. I found her performance at Opening Ceremonies so much more moving and powerful that I'm sad she didn't do that one all over again. I'm sure there were lots of people there tonight that missed the Opening Ceremonies that would have loved to have seen her ride that horse without any tack and do such a great job with it.
Last to go was Anky Van Grunsven from the Netherlands. She started her freestyle with some leg yields and some flying changes every fourth stride. The horse did a pretty decent job for a reiner. She had good spins too and decent slides, but I was just kind of expecting something more from her. Something a bit outrageous or something.
Then we had a nice dinner with some friends and headed to the hotel.
Tomorrow – A trip to a bourbon distillery and dressage freestyles in the evening! I think it's one of the very few events that has actually sold out so if you don't have tickets now and you want to go I think you're out of luck.