Reed Kessler: Our Own Opening Ceremony

Olympic show jumping team member Reed Kessler details her training with George Morris and the Olympic show jumping team's version of the opening ceremonies.
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Olympic show jumping team member Reed Kessler details her training with George Morris and the Olympic show jumping team's version of the opening ceremonies.

July 28, 2012--This morning I rode Cylana first thing. She flatted beautifully and I played over some rails on the ground alternating adding and leaving out. I finished with a good gallop. She was playful and very appreciative to really open up on the grass field. George rode Mika on the flat and he looked great. I rode Onisha without stirrups. She's had to put up with it so often lately that she's becoming a bit more used to it.

Reed Kessler schools Cylana.| Photo courtesy Reed Kessler

Reed Kessler schools Cylana.| Photo courtesy Reed Kessler

After that, I had a lesson on Goose with George. He set a really interesting exercise for Goose. He reminded me how Goose can be a bit cold outside the ring so he set an exercise that requires a lot of impulsion and push behind. He had me trot a vertical with a liverpool under it. I then started to canter it very slowly. He continued to pull the liverpool out further and further so that Goose had to really push to cover the width. It was very interesting. He also had me do his famous exercise of the automatic release over a one stride oxer vertical double. He had me put my hands low on either side of his neck as soon as I saw where I was. This was great for my balance and also for Goose. He had to pay attention and fend for himself without me helping him clear the jump.

After I finished riding, Tim and I headed over to the show at Zwolle 10 minutes away. Beezie is showing Vanilla there so we all went to cheer her on. She was second! While we were there I saw a very cute young horse. It's fun to go to a smaller show and watch. You never know what you might find! Later in the evening the whole team, including grooms, had a big dinner at a restaurant nearby. We then watched the first hour and a half of the opening ceremonies until everyone was exhausted. Tim and I came home and stayed up to watch the American team. Let the games begin!