Greetings from the Phillip Dutton Eventing Academy! All cadets (and their ponies) have arrived - boots are polished, tails are show sheened, and tack is clean! I think I heard that Phillip is driving back from Bromont tonight - maybe I should bring him a cup of coffee to our 8am dressage lesson tomorrow morning! wow.
It never ceases to amaze me how much crap one horse requires to "survive" for 5 1/2 days. I felt a bit like the Beverly Hillbillies packing up for camp - someone suggested that I put my mom in a rocking chair on the top of the truck! :)
We arrived a little later than I had hoped, but safe and sound - and were immediately met by a welcome crew of happy faces - with water, snacks, the camp agenda, AND a 20% coupon to Bit of Britain!! Love it!
And just to the left of the jumping ring is the cross country field! Notice the galloping track that runs just outside the fence line.
(with my ride times in parens)
One-on-one dressage lesson with Phillip (8:00 am)
One-on-one "rider position and exercises to achieve dressage goals" with Ryan Wood (1:00 pm)
5:00 WisAir saddle demonstration (this is the new saddle Phillip designed with Ronald Zabala - have you seen it?? Way cool!)
6:00 Welcome dinner
Show jumping with Phillip (8:00 am - 2 riders in each group)
2:00 - Riders choice! Either XC pace and position with Ryan, or dressage with Kate Brown (I'm going for the XC pace - mostly because I'm dying to have another spin around Phillip's track)
5:00 Wine and cheese - and trunk show with Equifit
Wednesday & Thursday are XC schooling days - groups and times to be assigned on Tuesday night. Other activities are...
12:00 lunchtime Flair nasal strip demonstration/discussion
2:00 Grooming tips with Emma Ford
3:00 Exercise class for riders (too bad Jennie Brannigan is off in Germany - I would have liked to have seen her repeat her 7 minute plank that she did during a USET training session earlier this year!!!)
6:00 POOL PARTY!!!
1:00 lunchtime Hit Air demonstration
3:00 massages! (for the riders, not the horses!)
6:00 Mexican Fiesta farewell party (OH NO, is it already time to say goodbye?!)
Dressage tests in the morning, 12:00 walk jumping course with Phillip, and jumping tests start at noon.
Katchi has already conned my mom into much grass - and I think everyone at camp has already given him a treat! Total beggar!
I always find it difficult to write this blog when it includes news or stories or words of other people - I always hope it will be perceived right and that I won't cross any lines of "privacy" in this world of blogs, tweets, and facebook where there just is no privacy! I'm sure everyone reading this wants to know how TPF is doing after the fire... I'm not going to say much as I just don't think it's my place. But, looking around, you can't ignore that things have changed. For one... Boyd has got the spooky abandoned vet clinic stabling looking NICE! The place looks fantastic - so spic and span that I'm sure even Silva must be impressed by it! But, every so often you catch a whif of smoke from something recovered from the old barn. And then you notice something out of place for a normal barn - a table of flowers with cards and pictures of horses. A single large rosette hanging in the grooming area. Its long ribbon says - 2011 Rolex, 9th place... it's discolored and covered in ash. It broke my heart. Driving past the top entrance to TPF tonight, I caught a glimpse of the barn. I cannot put into words the magnitude of its presence. I lost my breathe for a moment.
So, that's today's news. Boot camp starts at 8:00 sharp tomorrow - so long as Phillip gets a BIG cup of coffee after his long drive!