Winter is DEFINITELY upon us now, minus the snow this year apparently, which means back to full time training and not so many lazy, hot summer rides. It also means…. clinics!
Winter has always meant clinic season to me. Since living in the city, maybe not so much. You either have to haul or there are audit fee’s, or they are too far away to do either of those things. Mostly in my case, it is all of the above + no money +naughty pony = no clinics for me. That’s changed since little mare has grown up and the ladies I ride with clinic all winter!
I had a blog post earlier this year about one of the clinics I did with Sandra Donnelly – which was fantastic and I cannot wait to ride with her again in 2017!
Just recently, my coach hosted a clinic at the barn she is out of with Lizzie Gingras at Amberlea Meadows. I called dibs on a spot as soon as I heard and boy am I ever glad that I did!
We hauled in the Saturday morning, a couple hours before I rode. Luna had never spent a night in a stall before the clinic so I wanted her to spend as much time as possible at home. She loaded, hauled, unloaded and chilled in her stall like she had been doing this for forever! Proud mommy moment ! I may not have been as chill as her, but that’s what “magic juice” is for 😉
The beginning of the ride was all flat work. Flatworkflatworkflatwork. And Luna was FABULOUS. My mind was blown. She was just SO FREAKING GOOD and if that had been any normal lesson, I probably would have stopped right then and there because she was being THAT good. That wasn’t an option though so on we went.
We worked on a simple line of three jumps. First two jumps were easy peasy. By the time the third one went up (and to an oxer) we were both feeling pretty tired and my riding slid down the tubes. We did end on a positive note and I found out that I take my legs OFF down the lines. I always THOUGHT they were on, but I guess not!
On to Day 2!
Day 2 was course work. MUCH less flat work thank god because I sure did not have much horse left! She was wild while I was getting her ready and when I first got on but when we went to work that flew out the window.
First was work over raised poles on a serpentine which equals HARD work. I was happy with it, we were collected and patient (for the most part) and were getting our changes over the pole. Yippee!
Next we went straight to lines, with boxes AND boxes UNDER oxers! EEK!
That is totally how my face looked. But we did it. We were supposed to get 7, and I manged to get 8 strides a few times and SIX strides a few times. The first 6 strides I got made my coach go “Yay Luna!” since I am the QUEEN of adding strides! We did it several times until Lizzie was happy with what I got and moved on to courses.
Sometimes….I forgot how to ride. And I did that at a couple of jumps. I was feeling a bit defeated near the end, and when we were asked to put the whole course together I KNEW I had to get it done in one go or I would not have any horse left. And we sure got it! Straightness, forwardness and awesomeness just came right out of the both of us! I couldn’t be happier with how it went.
Ending the clinic with Lizzie saying “I am so thrilled with you right now” sure made my weekend (after the “I LOVE your position” comment the first day). The whole thing made my weekend. Luna was just a freaking superstar in the barn and in the arena. We came out of there after having learned so much! I was exhausted but I wish I could do it all over again!