I rode Monk for the first time since arriving in Gladstone today. He was pretty good. He's lost some weight (and those of you who know him, know he isn't heavy to begin with), so right now he's kind of like riding a cross between a giraffe, a racehorse, and a greyhound. I didn't want to work him too hard, just did some basic suppleness and activating work and some changes on the diagonal. I don't want to overdo the piaffe/passage work, but it helps to activate and loosen him if I do it right. He also loves to throw in one-times (mostly in the PSG), so I've decided to spend some time the next week riding lots of diagonals with single changes or 3 changes every 5 or 6 strides, to keep him with me.
Afterwards we went for a "trail ride", also known as the trek from the warm-up arena to the show arena, over the bridge and through the woods. Monk's not much of a trail horse but he decided it was fine after I insisted that he needed to do it. It looks like the indoor arena next to the show arena is closed to members of the "Gold medal club", whatever that means (probably means you have to spend a bunch of $$$ to be able to warm up there). So one of my projects this week will be clocking the time from the warm-up arena to the show ring. It shouldn't be a problem, it isn't that far. I had to face a similar issue a number of years ago at one of the Arabian Regional Championships at the Puyallup, WA, fairgrounds...the warm-up arena was easily 5 minutes from the show arena, and you couldn't see the horse in the show arena so you had to really watch the time to make sure you'd get over there when you were supposed to.
We spent much of the day resting in our new lounge chairs. I decided after getting here that we needed some chairs (since I hadn't brought any, being paranoid about how much stuff I could or couldn't bring on the plane) so we went to Target and bought a couple. Those of you who know me are familiar with my fantastic and much coveted horse show chair. Well now I have another one!! The juniors and young riders (and especially their mothers) were running around frantically getting ready for the jog and vet inspection, and Lana and I spent the time reclining in our chairs. We got several comments. LOL
We ended up missing much of the jog; all the GP horses had gone by the time we got there. We did see some of the Juniors and YRs. Luckily we did get to see Steffen schooling Legolas in the indoor, which was amazing and beautiful to watch. That combination is currently in #1 position going into this weekend (since Ravel isn't here) and I think they are the combination to beat. He didn't do a whole lot with him today, but lots of basic work on suppleness and ridability. In San Juan they were unbelievable. Can't wait to see his tests over the next 2 weeks!
The GP starts tomorrow at 8am. Lana and I are going to be sure to get over there early and take care of Monk beforehand, so we can watch the class. Should be awesome!