Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Canadian Team Training Sessions by Stephanie Rhodes-Bosch

Hey everybody, and welcome to your front row seat to the Canadian Training sessions! We are down in sunny Ocala, Florida for 10 days of fine-tuning and final preparations with the help of our Team Advisor David O’Connor and Chef D'Equipe Graeme Thom. After our weekend at the AEC’s in Georgia, the selectors didn’t waste any time letting us know about their decisions. I think it was about 3:30 when they came marching through the barns passing out our envelopes with the Canadian crests in them. I can hardly wait to put mine on my coat!! The horses all had their final treatments from Dr. Ober done by the end of the day on Sunday in plenty of time for a celebratory dinner!!

On Monday afternoon, Ollie and I arrived at Mrs. Mars’ beautiful farm here in Ocala, which is a bit of a home grounds for us, as we have spent the last two winters just across the street. We are both very comfortable here, which probably has as much to do with the amazing facilities as it does with the familiar surroundings. Ollie has a large paddock filled with something he hasn’t seen in a while… green grass!!! Florida is one of the only places that remember what rain is after this hot dry summer, so the ground is nice, and Ollie goes out for a few hours each morning and munches away happily. I’m so grateful that our horses really have a chance to chill out here before the WEG’s and after traveling so much over the last few weeks.

This morning, we had a lighter dressage school with David and I’m about to go out and bring Ollie in so that massage therapist Jo-Ann Wilson can have another look at him before she goes back home to Maine. Jo-Ann will be joining us at the Worlds, which is super, because I really think that she is going to be a big part of our team that will help the horses to go as best as they can.

After that, I think us girls are headed down to the Paddock Park Mall here in Ocala to figure out how best to also score major points for fashion on the jog strip!! Hawley took the reins on that one after the idea of khaki’s and blouses was suggested to us for our jog outfits… I’m sure we won’t be sporting anything over the top, but maybe just a different direction than Khakis. Maybe all of you following the PRO blog will get a preview??

Thanks a lot for reading, I’m excited to be with you guys for the next 17 days!!!


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