2019 Re-Cap: The clinics
As it is nearing the end of the year, thinking a re-cap of 2019 is in order. To start, a re-cap of the wonderful clinicians that I was able to learn from this year. The year started when I registered for the Lucinda Green clinic that would take place in April 2019. After I submitted my registration, I was excited but also had a feeling of dread. Lucinda Green, a world class rider! I was in way over my head.
The Lucinda clinic was at Skyline Eventing park so arrived a day early to get Gus settled in a stall, the trailer hooked up and to have some time to breath! Lucinda Green- way over my head! The first day of the clinic, I watched the group before mine. Such great riders and lovely horses. I went back to the trailer to get ready and had to take a few minutes to breath. It was my ride time and Gus/I were ready to learn. What an amazing clinic! Her instruction and style really worked for me and on day 2, my riding style had already improved. Gus and I were jumping over skinny verticals, down a bank and up over another skinny with ease. Over, under or through but never around! Plug in ( your seat), tube (legs wrap around), and chest up ( actually, there is another work that works better for me but wont state it here!) Amazing clinic and a wonderful equestrian.
Next up was the Jock Paget clinic in June. Another world class rider that had me wondering if I would be in over my head! But I had Lucinda's words still fresh in my head and was so happy that everything that Jock taught built on what I had just work on with Lucinda. I learned more about 'gears' with Jock which is another term that really works for me. I have heard go forward, or collect but Jock used the term 'Gears'. He also emphasized the concept of pressing up to the jump. Again, more terms that stuck in my head and helped me improve. Now I had plugin, tube, gears and press!
June was a busy month as next was the Golden Spike Horse Trials which also meant a clinic after with Wayne Quarles. I have the utmost respect and admiration for Wayne. I have ridden with Wayne for many years as he has come to Utah about 2 -3 times a year. He has helped me with a variety of horses and his instruction is always spot on. Everyone one, if the opportunity presents, should clinic with Wayne. He covers all the basics that every rider should have and emphasis is put on flat work to prepare properly for jumping. After the horse trials, the pony club arranged to have a clinic with Wayne on Monday. I was a bit tired from Gus giving me some challenging moments during the event but I knew that Wayne would help me discover where I went wrong and show me how to correct. And he did. I was so happy to be able to ride with him once again and to fix areas that were problematic from the day before. Wayne seemed pleased with the improvements that I had made recently in regards to my position so he was able to refine my position even more. When he did this, I was able to overcome some areas of weakness that I had, that came out at the event, with Gus. I am hoping the Pony Club arranges to have Wayne provide instruction again after the 2020 Golden Spike horse trials. I will be the first to sign up!
Next up was Yoga and riding! Lisa Bauman came back to Utah and is helping us find our OM. What a fun clinic! We started each day with Yoga and then some XC after. Lisa's instruction was another fabulous layer to add to the great instruction I had received so far this year. I had my tube, my gears and now with Lisa, the focus on riding the hind end to develop a strong canter. With this strong canter, Gus could handle even more difficult XC questions! Lisa is offering more yoga and riding workshops and they are a must attend!
In October, Lisa brought Deb Rosen to Utah. I was not that familiar with Deb but as I read her profile, I knew she was also a must to clinic with. The first clinic day, Deb asked me about Gus, his health and checked my saddle fit. Anytime I can talk about Gus, I welcome it! She noted that my dressage saddle fit could be better so we worked on that and then we worked on dressage. Deb was the icing on the cake! I had my tube, the gears, the press, the hind end and now with Deb's help, it all came together. We worked on Gus being more responsive and just half way through my private lesson with her, Gus was picking up his canter instantly when I asked. And staying collected! Then the following 2 days we continued to work on his forward. Gus gave some attitude but that was good. When you attend a clinic, you don't want to be perfect, you want to solve issues! So Deb got to help solve some Gus-isms! On the third day we were asked to ride some really tight turns and not get sucked into the jump. Deb has a great method- Look for the jump to be between the horse's ears and then you can look forward to the next. Love that! Helped me not get sucked into the base and trust Gus to do his job. It also made it so I would not look forward too soon. Another must ride with clinician!
Even if you ride regulary with an instructor, coach or mentor, riding with great clinicians is a must. It is another set of eyes to help solve issues and help us improve. Riding is always about improving!