Thursday, September 9, 2010

Dressage Day One by Sinead Halpin

This place is mad!!! Barns, horses, dogs, trailers, campers, tents, RVs, sponsor tents, vendors at every end of the property, mini bikes, golf carts, 4 wheelers and even a bar! Get the picture!! After wondering around the property for a few hours I think I finally have the lay of the land but this property is huge! Everything does seem to be going fairly smoothly. The one thing that maybe was not thought out well was schooling for the horses competing tomorrow, pretty much all fit upper-level horses, was in the middle of a cross country field with training horses galloping around. I saw quite a few that would have rather been in their jumping gear than hanging on in their dressage tack. There were high performance lessons going on all day, and with some competitors you can visibly see the pressure mounting and some are very much putting on a calm front. All in all, the bit of the top horses I saw looked good and they are certainly getting exposed to a big atmosphere here at the AECs. I walked around the advanced track and it looks quite nice. Actually, the lower level courses looked quite challenging where the advanced looks like it will hopefully be a good confident run for horses carrying on to FEI destinations. I saw David O'Connor out on the aerator, so again everyone doing their part to take care of the horses welfare. The advanced dressage tomorrow runs from 8am to 5pm with every top horse in the country taking their turn and it should be quite exciting. Tate takes center stage at 3:06 pm. He was happy to do a bit of work today, but after the long trip we just had an easy ride. I'm excited to be able to spend the morning watching as there is much to be learned! I will try and keep things updated through the day tomorrow and definitely catch up in the evening.


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