Monday, February 20, 2012

Clinic Recap

Had a good clinic this weekend! I was super nervous about it, like always whenever I plan an event for the dressage team I stress incessantly all throughout the night.

The clinician was super nice (I'll call her TS) even though she had to fill out a ridiculous amount of paperwork through the university which I felt bad about, but I have no control over unfortunately. I feel like trainers and judges dread working with the team because it's so difficult! But TS was a good sport about it.

I did mess up with the ride scheduling unfortunately. TS said she wanted 45 minute lessons so I scheduled them for 60 minutes so that no one would feel rushed and there would be time for warm-up and cooling off since there was only a small indoor arena. Oops, I guess that was not what she wanted! But it ended up running smoothly, especially since I was hauling three horses so we all rode in quick succession so we finished earlier than originally projected.

I have a three horse trailer but I've hauled three horses in it a grand total of three times (including this weekend) and all of the horses were from different locations and lots of backing and turning around in small spaces was involved. But I handled it like a pro if I do say so myself :) ML moved to a new barn, which I'm not a huge fan of because it's pretty far from my barn and there's no turn around, it's at the top of a tall hill = not fun at all! Essentially I have to back up a large hill to turn around without falling of the cliff. With three horses in the trailer. Yikes.

The hauling all went smoothly, though Jetta did get nicked on her hock, but I believe that was from her trying to kick the gelding in the slant next to her. Mares...

When it was my turn to ride, we warmed up on the loose rein like usual but didn't get a whole lot of time. TS had me work on getting her to slow her rhythm down and have a lower neck set so that she'd use the muscles in her neck closer to her withers which is where she needs development. Jetta wasn't awful, but she was trying to rush around on her forehand and I think if I had just given her a couple of half halts, it would have gone a bit better.

She really liked Jetta. She thought she had good conformation (she commented that she had good bone!) and that I had found a good horse. I'm proud of my $750 horse :) And, get this, she told me that she believes that Jetta has FEI potential. Wow. That is the best compliment that I have ever received about Jetta, though everyone who sees her tends to like her ♥ I've never even thought about ever being able to go that high. I was hoping to get to third level! And this is coming from a Grand Prix rider. She commented that she had amazing gaits and her movement allowed her to mask her improper carriage - holding her head correctly and tracking up, but not lifting through her back.

We worked on getting Jetta off of my left rein as she tends to hang on it in both directions. With lateral work, she had me do a shoulder-fore down one long wall to prepare her to do a leg yield down the quarter-line on the opposite long wall, keeping her inside hind leg engaged as well as slowing her rhythm.Another helpful tip on the cantering front - transition up as I go towards a wall, which will help back her off and not rush as much into the canter. She thinks that her sloppy transitions are just due to a growth spurt which is why we have so many ups and downs in our training. Not that its a good excuse for her bad behavior though!

The neat thing about TS is not only does she have Grand Prix experience and has worked with trainers of international fame, but she's also a veterinarian who does chiropractic work and will do minor adjustments during your lesson. She told all the riders in the clinic that she wants them to do carrot stretches, tail pulls and pelvic tucks on the horses on a regular basis to help keep them in top form. Unfortunately, probably because of this, she's quite expensive. She regularly charges $100 per lesson, though she reduces her rate to $75 for the dressage team. Definitely not something I can afford on a regular basis! But we've got three clinics left with her, so I'm really looking forward to them.

I did get some pictures of the other riders during their lesson, but apparently I've exceeded the picture storage on this blog??? Has anyone else had this problem and what did you do?


  1. Congrats on your wonderfull compliments. That's awesome.

  2. So exciting to hear about Jetta!

    I had to pay the $5 to get more storage for my pictures.. I think it's $5 for a year? Grumble...