July 21, 2012 — Hello again from London! As the final countdown approaches, the excitement is starting to ramp up. Originally, the whole U.S. dressage squad had planned on going to compete at Hickstead this weekend. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans, and the relentless rains had completely flooded the show grounds and the stabling. So a meeting was called, and we came up with a plan B: we would hold our own mock horse show.
We did everything just like a regular show: horses braided, people in full show attire, riding at a scheduled time, warm up inside, then go down centerline in outside ring. And in the end, I think this was still tremendously beneficial. It is always good to have to put that pressure on yourself and figure out how to ride everything in that moment you are in the test, even of something doesn’t feel just exactly how you would love it to in schooling. After a day of test riding, we had video review in the evening. We all watched and critiqued our tests in a group, with the other riders and our team coach, Anne Gribbons, (and of course Debbie there too to add another set of expert eyes on my rides). This was a great opportunity to go over every little thing in the test, and really tear it apart and analyze each step. Then we repeated to whole drill the next day. All the horses and riders are looking fabulous, and I think we are all ready to get this show on the road!
On Monday we head to London for “team processing”, where we get our credentials and (yippee!) our official Olympic gear!! Then it is back to Hadleigh for a few more days of training before we head down for the Opening Ceremonies on Friday!
For more from Adrienne’s coach, Olympian Debbie McDonald, check out Riding Through, a book that details Debbie’s system for dressage success.
Read more about Adrienne’s Olympic experience in the Olympic dressage coverage.