Clinic and Corgi weekend
Every weekend is a corgi weekend. But last weekend was also a clinic with Deb Rosen. This was the second time that I had ridden with Deb and the first clinic this year with Rainmaker. Day one consisted of finding a steady rhythm to the jumps on bending lines and tight turns. What I really like about Deb is that we build up to more complicated questions rather than repeat the same exercise over and over. If we jumped a fence well, one time is all that is needed. There is no need to keep repeating the question if the horse got it right the first time, rather add on to exercise. Deb discussed the importance of understanding how horses see and how a rider can set the horse up for success by looking to the next fence at the appropriate time but not too soon and of course, not too late. There was also time to watch the other groups and learn from observing.
Hannah got some good auditing time too!
Day 2 was XC and cantering up, as well as down, a real hill. Not just a mild incline but a real hill. This was Rainmakers 2nd time on a XC course and he did quite well. Also first time ever canter down a pretty good hill, with a roll-top fence in the way thus jumping downhill. Great time for me to be sure my heels were down and was sitting tall on the landing side. Cantering up hill also a new thing for Rainmaker and we learned to ask for a bigger canter when going up the hill, especially in a related line. Adjustability really is important in such situations, if not all situations! Rainmaker had a few opinions on XC day and it was nice to hear that Deb considered him a highly trained horse, just needs to work harder if he is opting for less than acceptable behaviors. Highly trained horse - probably one of the best compliments I have received recently as all of his training after the track has been with me as his only rider!