5 June 2011

Week of Rest... Sike!

Sunday after the grand prix in Reims, we all drove to Henk Nooren's farm in Belgium where the horses would be laying over for the week. There are not quite enough apartments at the farm for all the riders and grooms, so all the riders are staying at a hotel about 15 minutes away near the Liege airport.  It was about 11pm by the time we arrived (thank goodness we found a gas station with a pizza hut inside!!) so everyone went to their rooms and fell asleep right away. We didn't meet for breakfast until 11am Monday morning! We all enjoyed the fresh-from-the-oven chocolate croissants and then took a few to go for everyone at the barn. When we arrived, most of the horses were out in the paddocks soaking up the sun and everything had been cleaned from the show already so there was not much to do besides enjoy the beautiful weather! Or, if you're a guy, play pool and make up games with the gravel! Haha

Jane and Kate
Asa and Jeroen
Really guys? :-)
Meg in the main barn
The outside stalls
The indoor
Nooren Mascot
Tuesday was polar opposite weather from Monday. It thunder stormed almost all day and it was freezing cold! We got the horses out as quickly as possible in the morning, then waited for our new chef, Michele Grubb, to arrive. Later in the day we took a road trip to find a grocery store. Eventually we came across a Carrefour. Carrefour's are great, they're kind of like Walmart. We managed to fill the whole trunk of the car with drinks and snacks for the week.

Wednesday and Thursday were dressage lesson days with Mr. Barnabas Mandi. Mr. Barnabas is from Hungary and he was a dressage judge at the Hong Kong Olympics. He was a little intimidating to most of us but he is a very good teacher as long as you can understand what he says! Reed was his first Victim. The rest of us got to watch and learn, but she had to figure out what he was saying all on her own. When he says "three and three," that means sit for three and stand for three. When he says "polish your saddle," that means sit deep. He also had other little sayings such as "stop that with your hands, you are not a dentist!" Everyone enjoyed working with Mr. Barnabas and he definitely improved our flat work greatly in just two days. 

Kessler and Barnabas
Kessler and Barnabas
Polle and Barnabas
Polle and Barnabas
O'Mara and Barnabas
Kessler waiting for Barnabas
Polle after lesson with Barnabas

Thursday night we are off to Switzerland to watch the senior team compete in the nations cup in St Gallen!

... To be continued 

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