Everyone had warned me about the crappy weather here in New Jersey today. The morning was actually pretty nice, overcast and not too hot, but by the afternoon the humidity increased and it heated up significantly. By 3 or 4 o'clock it was in the mid 80s and 53% humidity. I'm told that it wasn't even that bad by NJ standards...I can't imagine what it would be like if it were 90 degrees and 90 percent humidity!
By late afternoon storm clouds were forming, and then we had the heaviest downpour I've ever seen! I'm from Portland, but I've never seen rain like that. The weather instantly went from hot and humid to absolutely POURING down rain in huge drops. Water was running down the streets in less than 5 minutes. It was amazing! I can't imagine riding a test in that kind of rain. Holy cow!
We watched the GP special today. All of the horses and riders were much better today, everyone looked like they had breathed a sigh of relief after getting through the GP and therefore rode their horses much more uphill, active, and forward today. Several combinations looked like they were riding different horses! Tina Konyot had an amazing ride on her own Calecto, she rode with tremendous power and expression while keeping the harmony and suppleness. She scored 76+% and seriously challenged Steffen and Legalos (who nevertheless won with 77%). 3rd through 6th continues to be very tightly fought, with any of those combinations more than capable of filling a spot on the Team (Todd/Otto, Jan/Rafalca, Adrienne/Wizard, Guenter/Fandango). Heather and Paragon were much improved today and broke 70 percent. Both Pierre St. Jaques/Lucky Tiger and Shawna Harding/Come On III also had beautiful and much more expressive rides today, coming very close to the 70 percent barrier.
We also watched a few of the early Junior rides. I was impressed by the seat and position on many of the riders, I think they must have come up through the Dressage Seat medal program. They had textbook positions and rode very quietly. Most of them didn't ride with enough half-halts, so their horses weren't as well balanced or prepared for the movements as they could have been. But the riders generally looked like they were on a good way.
Monkey is doing great, his body feels better because he is drinking and eating normally again. He doesn't feel like sitting on a stick horse anymore! He was great to ride again today, once again getting inspiration from the GP horses I suppose.