Rio Prep: Red and Shadow Schooling Cross Country Jumps in the Arena

After Great Meadow I had a long drive home after a disappointing cross country round with a glance-off at the double corner on Blackfoot Mystery. When something doesn’t go to plan, you ask yourself a million questions like, ‘did he misread the fence?’, ‘did I ride incorrectly?’ or ‘have I focused too much on dressage and show jumping and forgot about the all important cross country?’. I think it was a bit of all three of those issues, but lucky for me I’ve got a big jumping ring with a big corner and lots of freshly-grown corn stalks to recreate the fence that I had trouble with.

Both Shadow and Red came out of Great Meadow unscathed, so on Thursday I gave them a light cross country school in my jumping arena at home in Pennsylvania, over cross country fences. I felt like they both jumped really well and read the corner and narrow fences perfectly. If and when we’re faced with this question, including at the Olympic Games in Rio, we will be better prepared.


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