Aiken So Far

I am sitting here at the barn in Aiken looking at the beautiful (and very snowy) winter wonderland, waiting for Pine Top to decide if they will run their event this weekend. They say they are definitely going to do something this weekend, I’m hoping they will do a one day tomorrow. In the meantime we have to wait and keep checking their website every 15 minutes until we are told what the plan will be.
It’s a good time to update everyone on the great things I’ve been up to here in Aiken.
I had two wonderful days of team training sessions with Oded Shimoni (the dressage specialist helping the eventers). Arthur was spectacular! His body feels so healthy and strong. We had amazing power and movement in his work. I am thrilled with how he is going!
We then had Full Gallop one day. I rode three of Nancy Winter’s Connemara ponies and they were all super. It was so incredibly windy I could have gone para-sailing off of them- that would have been an entertaining side show!
On Thursday I had a xc lesson with Lucinda Fredericks (the brittish born Australian rider who won Rolex last year). She gave me great ideas as how to ride Arthur better xc. He is super at the fences, but can be tough to keep focused galloping. She said he needs to be much more reactive to both my hand and leg. She suggested I use a different bit that I would get a quicker response from and that I could use less (because it was stronger). She also made him be very up, forward and straight in the shoulder (a no brainer, but not always easy to accomplish).
I loved the lesson, her enthusiasm and the way Arthur went at the end.