Reed Kessler: Ready to Go!

In her Olympic preparations, Olympic show jumping team member Reed Kessler demonstrates that even Olympic show jumping riders have to go without stirrups.

July 17, 2012–I can’t wait to go to Chantilly tomorrow (mostly because I believe I will have my stirrups back–one can dream)! Wilton and I had a jumping lesson on Patriot and Goose yesterday without stirrups. Poor Wilton unfortunately has to ride without stirrups like he’s going to the Olympics too. I cannot apologize to him enough! I had to do the same thing when I came over here when I was 13 years old. Henri Kovacs was training with Katie and preparing for the European Championships. I remember one day we had four-hour-long lessons without stirrups. I tried pointing out that I in fact was not going to the European Championships–I was doing the junior jumpers–to no avail. I couldn’t walk when I finally finished. My legs had just gone numb! Again, I’m sorry Wilton!

Stacey trying to pet and love Cylana who in return pins her ears back as far as possible. | Photo courtesy Reed Kessler

I jumped Cylana over a pretty big combination and she was fantastic. She finally put her ears up for the first time since she did her last class. Two things make Cylana happy: food and showing. Katie put her on a bit of a diet, so now that she’s been cut back a little bit and she’s not showing, she has become extremely cranky. I don’t recommend going in her stall without some kind of protective head gear and food in hand. I think the nearest hospital is far! Onisha jumped some little gymnastics and was very good too. Wilton jumped Pal and his new horse Pascale and they were great also. Katie did her horse V over a little gymnastic and he was very good.

Today, I finally had stirrups on Goose (huzzah!) which he appreciated almost as much as I did. Wilton got to keep his on Patriot too. We jumped a bigger line and the Goose was jumping out of his skin. At one point he jumped one oxer so insanely high I almost got jumped loose. That’s the worst because mid-air in slow motion you’re thinking “No! Please don’t take my stirrups away again! It was just one jump! Have mercy!” Katie’s signature line is, “You look like a wet noodle.” If you’re in big trouble, she’ll say you look like a sack of wet noodles.

Onisha just flatted and Mika jumped some little jumps. He was worked on by the chiropractor the other day so he’s a day behind the others. His bigger school will be tomorrow before we ship to Chantilly. Katie flatted Cylana and she looked super.

It was sunny for about half an hour today! | Photo courtesy Reed Kessler

Last night, Katie had a huge barbecue for 20 people. They have lots and lots of cousins around here! The food was amazing, and by the end of the four-hour-long dinner I was absolutely exhausted. After a quick Skype with Tim, I was out like a light. Now I’m about to go on a little run, even though it still looks gross out, and then I have a lot of packing to do. Can’t wait to get to Chantilly tomorrow and see my mom!

For more about Reed Kessler’s Olympic show jumping experience, go to the show jumping coverage.

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