Saturday, July 21, 2012

Hello again from London! - by Adrienne Lyle

Hello again from London! 

 As the final countdown approaches, the excitement is starting to ramp up. Originally, the whole US dressage squad had planed on going to compete at Hickstead this weekend. But unfortunately mother nature had other plans, and the relentless rains had completely flooded the show grounds and the stabling. So a meeting was called, and we came up with a plan B: we would hold our own mock horse show.

 We did everything just like a regular show: horses braided, people in full show attire, riding at a scheduled time, warm up inside then go down centerline in outside ring. And in the end, I think this was still tremendously beneficial. It is always good to have to put that pressure on yourself and figure out how to ride everything in that moment you are in the test, even of something doesn't feel just exactly how you would love it to in schooling. After a day of test riding we had video review in the evening.

TEAM WIZARD: Adrienne, Debbie, and Ruben
Wizard in a schooling session 
 We all watched and critiqued our tests in a group, with the other riders and our team coach, Anne Gribbons, (and of course Debbie there too to add another set of expert eyes on my rides). This was a great opportunity to go over every little thing in the test, and really tear it apart and analyze each step. Then we repeated to whole drill the next day. All the horses and riders are looking fabulous, and I think we are all ready to get this show on the road!

On Monday we head to London for "team processing", where we get our credentials and (yippee!!) our official Olympic gear!! Then it is back to Hadleigh for a few more days of training before we head down for the Opening Ceremonies on Friday!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Arrival in the UK - Adrienne Lyle Olympic Dressage Rider

Unloading Wizard and Rafalca in London

Wizard's Stall

Well, we made it across the big pond!  Everybody arrived safely and we are getting settled into our new routines.  The horses all arrived in excellent shape, and I think they are really enjoying the cool weather, after two weeks of near 100 degree heat and humidity in New Jersey. 

 Wizard is fresh and happy and was eager to get to work.  The first day was rest and recover from the trip, for both the horses and the riders.  Then we had a light day of long and low and stretching work, and today was our first real schooling session.   

Wizard feels fantastic and I can honestly say that I think he is going better than he ever has!   We are staying in the little countryside town of Hadleigh, about 2 hours north of London.  The barn we are staying at is Linda Keenan’s gorgeous “Layham Hall”. 

 It is a beautiful facility with great arenas, and miles and miles of scenic rolling hills adjoining it.  Wizard is thoroughly enjoying his post-work trail rides through the lush countryside here.

Fitness Bootcam

The riders and grooms are all staying at a charming bed and breakfast in town, I have been biking to and from the barn every day.  We have all been having a wonderful time together, with lots of fun dinners out and plenty of laughing going on. 

 Every afternoon we have rider fitness sessions, aka “bootcamp”, led by Steffen Peters.  It is not only great exercise, but also great fun and a good team building experience.  Everyone, even the grooms and veterinary staff, participates.  If nothing else, we are all laughing so hard the whole time that we get a good ab workout!  J

Anne Gribbons, our team coach, arrived yesterday and tomorrow we start official training sessions with her.  So far, we have been lucky enough to be able to ride outside every day, but the weather is supposed to turn a bit wetter here soon so we may be moving to the indoor for tomorrow’s training sessions.

Layham Courtyard

Outdoor Ring

2012 USA Olympic Dressage Team Video Created by: Brandi Roenick

2012 USA Olympic Dressage Team 

Created by: Brandi Roenick.. 


This is a fun youtube video  that Brandi Roenick, a young rider, did! Check it out.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Rest and Preparations

New Jersey:  Rest and Preparations

After the intense two week selection trials, we finally had a minute to slow down and take a deep breath.  There was such a whirlwind of activity and logistical planning right after the trials, and I stayed in Gladstone that following week to make sure we had everything in order. Wizard enjoyed a well deserved week of rest and trail rides through the rolling hills at the USET headquarters in Gladstone.  Then I was able to make a short weekend trip back home to Idaho.  I hadn't even set foot in my home state since last November (we had been on the road, at Linda Fowler's Epona Farm in California, and then at Betsy Juliano's farm in Florida), and it was so wonderful to finally be able to return home.  I got teary eyed as I watched our beautiful little mountain valley come into view out of the plane window, and I realized just how much I missed that place.  My first order of business was to stop by River Grove Farm and say hi to Peggy and Parry Thomas, and scratch the muzzles of the rest of the horses that I hadn't seen since California.  Hugs and nickers all around!

One of the best things about living in a small town is that the hometown support is amazing, and everyone I ran into was so excited about Wizard and I going to the Olympics.  Jane Thomas  threw a wonderful BBQ dinner party in her incredible gardens, nestled up to the beautiful Big Wood River.  It was so nice to finally have a chance to catch up with friends and family that I hadn't seen in a long time.  After the BBQ it was off to a night on the town for another wonderful London send-off party planned by my amazing friends, and then a night of boot-stompin dancing at the local bar.   :-) 

The weekend flew by and then on Monday morning it was back on a plane to New Jersey.  Debbie McDonald re-joined us this week and we have begun to ramp up Wizard's work again, and get him back in the swing of things.  The weather has turned quite hot, which means early morning rides before the scorching sun comes up.  Steffen Peters, Jan Ebeling, and Heather Blitz have all stayed at the USET headquarters in Gladstone as well.  It has been great having everyone together.  And when the day's heat begins to relinquish its grip, we usually fire up the grill and have a barn BBQ in the evening.  We are now approaching our last couple of days on U.S. soil before packing up and heading across seas.  We fly out this Sunday, and all the U.S. dressage riders will train together at a barn north of London for the next 3 weeks.  Stay tuned!

Adrienne Lyle       

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Adrienne Lyle London 2012 Olympics - Pictures of Adrienne Lyle 

 Adrienne Lyle has earned a spot on the US Dressage Team and will compete with her equine partner Wizard at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Three years ago Adrienne Lyle was not even in the conversation for being a top American dressage rider.

And the Olympics? Forget about it. But Lyle surged into 2010 aboard Wizard, a dark brown Oldenburg gelding, and instantly made her name known.

At 28 years old, Lyle is still very young for a sport that frequently produces Olympians double her age. The youngest member of the team by over 20 years, Lyle said she is excited to take cues from some of the more experienced members of a team that will get underway on July 28.

"We are so thrilled for Adrienne and Wizard, words can hardly express how happy we are that she is going to London. Adrienne is a talented and amazing young woman and Premier is excited to be part of her amazing story as it unfolds. Her partnership with Wizard is spectacular and we can't wait to see what happens in London," said Heidi Zorn, President of Premier Equestrian, LLC.

Lyle, 27, hails from Ketchum, Idaho, and grew up on a small cattle ranch. The call of dressage proved powerful, and during the summer of 2005 she became a working student for two-time dressage Olympian Debbie McDonald at Peggy and Parry Thomases' River Grove Farm in Idaho. "It was a life changing experience for Adrienne," Zorn said. "Under the tutelage of Debbie and her classical theories, along with the pairing of Adrienne and Wizard, a new dressage star has been born."

Friday, July 6, 2012

Pictures - Fun Times - Adrienne Lyle 2012 Olympics

Wizard and I ready for a schooling session

Wizard enjoying a trail ride

A hometown celebration

An evening barn BBQ with the team