August 27, 2012
After having a few days off due to a massive stomach flu, I got back in the saddle and it felt fantastic.
Team USA had “ring familiarization” time yesterday. It basically gave us 30 minutes to let the horses see where they would be competing. All of our horses handled the atmosphere really well. As I was walking down the ramp and into the “big ring” for the first time (even though it was just for practice) I definitely felt the butterflies start to flutter in my stomach.
I think I was more spooky than Lolu; Lolu walked in to the ring like he owned it. Once I actually got into the ring I couldn’t keep the grin off my face. I glanced over at Dale and Donna and they had the exact same expression as I did. I think it finally hit us that after all the hard work and effort we are actually here and we are doing this.
Lolu has been a little tentative on the footing here at Greenwich Park. All of the arenas are raised off the ground to protect the turf of the park, so having the arenas up on platforms causes the footing to feel and sound a little hollow. Lolu was remarkably obedient and didn’t look at any of the scoreboards or arena decorations, he just felt a little cautious and slightly backed off in his way of going.
The “Queens House” is an impressive backdrop for these Games and I am excited to represent the U.S.A. We have another practice day tomorrow.