Rem’s show jumping at Fair Hill was nice, though I feel like she has to be a bit softer across the jump. I also thought she was good cross country, but I need to be a lot more accurate, holding my lines and creating the balance while still going forward.
Janie Mussleman's Dyson (Duke of Diamond) was great in the dressage, and I was actually quite pleased with the way I rode the test. I was a little disappointed in the show jumping, though, because I knew the line where I had the rail was quite tight, and I needed to do a better job to keep him together. Even though I had the rail in hand, you still want to jump clean. The thing I was most pleased with was his cross-country, because I felt like we were really on the same page and it was just flat-out fun.
Every year, if I’m not competing, I go to Rolex to spectate or coach, and I got to do both this year. I like to make sure I stay current, and watch and learn so I can come home and practice what I've seen and work at adopting new ideas. I have better pictures in my head of how to try and be smoother, be more accurate, calmer—all the things you see when you watch someone like Michael Jung. I was also fortunate enough to warm up Maya for the cross-country, talk to her about the course and just be there as a quiet supporter.
I told Maya and Dawn (Cody’s owner) in my ring in August of 2014 that I was pretty sure they had an Olympic horse. Watching her improved dressage, even since Carolina, as far as the overall quality and softness in the work, was great. Her composure was, as always, remarkable. And if she didn’t have the mistakes in the rein back and halt and two of the changes, she would have been close to being in the 30s. I thought the second half of her cross-country in particular was amazing, and her show jumping was the most consistent and best I’ve seen him jump yet. I’m so proud of Maya, Cody and her team. It’s a pleasure to have coached her and had her work for me six years ago, and off and on for the last couple years.
All in all, I thought the Americans did a great job at Rolex, and I would say Lauren Kieffer stood out as an absolute pleasure to watch ride; I could not be more happy for her and her team.
So for the next week I’m going to be practicing my inner Michael and Lauren as I get ready for the CCI2* at Jersey with Rem. I’m not sure if she’s quite fit enough, but Jersey will only add to her fitness and the overall plan for the next couple years.