Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Day Seventeen: A Birthday Party

Day 17:

"typhoon coming our way, grade 1 but may escalate into a grade 3 when it hits here in sha tin" said the weather man this morning. With that, buck and I made our way to the barn hastily to beat the approaching weather. Buck rode reggie first in the flat which went well aside from a few spooks here and there in the new arena. I was next in al and was getting a lesson with buck. We worked on really getting al in front of my leg by performing extended canter and then bringing him back to a working canter from my seat and lots of leg while holding his balance in my back and by abdomen. After an hours worth of work, al and u were officially "pooped." the weather became so hazey and humid that it looked as if it were an la smoggy sky. The air was so thick that it felt as if we were breathing under water. The press was so heavy that it made it difficult to navigate a path into the barn entrance while dodging 30-40 cameras.

After riding we headed back to the hotel where I took a 30 minute run to work off what I had for lunch. When I returned to the room, mom felt a little sick so mom and I took a few hours nap. When I woke up, a pounding headache greeted me. Nevertheless, I got ready and mom and I headed to the barn for the practice jumping round in the main ring.

When we arrived at the barn, captain mark philips was there to greet us, along with the infamous klaus balkenhol, which gave me a fulfilling feeling knowing that everyone has arrived. It was dr obers birthday so fiona and sara brought a tasty cake which we dove into as soon as we sang a very loud and on-key rendition of "happy birthday."

with that, thw rain came down as if it was angry. As soon as it began to dissapate, Buck, mark, and I walked our course and made a plan for what was to come.

The rain held off for the show jumping rounds thankfully. Buck and reggie had a flawless round which really impressed all of those who had the pleasure I'd watching it. More than anything, buck is a true professional who knows how to supress his nerves and highlight the true showmanship he so elegantly portrays. Everytime I see him in competition, it really helps me because he displays what I work so hard to emminate in the competition ring.

My nerves worked on me a little more than necessary. I felt the pressure of pre-competition which stifled my riding to the third fence causing me to have a stop. However, I got it together and finished my round free of any rails a d ended positively which mark pointed out. I was very upset about my mistake but buck and mom assured me that its better to make my mistakes now rather than on Monday when it counts.

It was the first time al had jumped in lights do it gave me a feeling of how he will be on Monday. With that, we headed back to the hotel where mom, grandparents and I met for dinner. Having a little food helped to reduce the incessant pounding in my head. Happily, by the end of the night it was gone, like my disappointment. I learned that no matter what, you have to move on and learn from your mistakes.

Despite my youthful age, my inexperience on the international front, my confidence (or sometimes lack thereof) all are things I must put behind me all of the weaknesses and focus on the strengths that got me here. I look forward to greeting tomorrow positively! See you later!