Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Robin Walker Clinic

Last weekend we had Robin Walker fly in from Michigan to teach a clinic at Paradise farm.This was organized by Amy (AHHHHHHH can't remember last name will get back to you) primarily to A: get Robin to the East and B: so she could complete her ICP asssessment.So a batch of people came from various directions for two days of hard work.

And work they (we) did.Robin gave all the applicants private dressage lessons in the mornings while I ran around managing Paradise farm.I was unable to listen in but the horses looked great and showed definate improvement in shape and rythm from a far.

In the afternoonI jumped in literally to ride in the show jumping classses with each of the three devils.I hadn't jumped a fence since Pine Top several weeks ago and relied totally on Barbies preparation.

A small aside about that.I don't know which is harder ,setting up a horse trials or taking it down.But we are still suffering from major aftermath and rebuilding of "Paradise normal" (if there is such a thing)So Robins clinic was a good place to get going again.A good thing as I am competing at Rocking Horse on the next weekend.

Robin helped everyone on an individual basis.Each rider having different issues.So a small spate was given to all .Peter worked on sharpening up his front end.Pickles on his rythm and Harry was just a star and was so darned good I just had to get off him before something went a muck and I needed to fix it.Scary.So it goes to show I need to leave it up to Barbie more!

I do not often get to ride with other instructors and I was pleased to be given a new idea that I will use in further training.An octagonal construction of many show jumps all on a set distance that was very useful in establishing and maintaining rythm.I plan on praticing it again as my prep for Florida.

Cross Country was the next day.Again I jumped in on 3 rides with the devils.Peter was first and pinged around making Robin squeel and sparkle.Sadly as I zoomed back to the stable to hop on another one I said to anne Kinney this horse is lame.How quickly one goes from the top to the bottom again.OK 5 days till Florida......Lame horse.Great Reality Bites!

The SCARY thing about this story is I naturally picked all feet up .pressed and prodded all legs,pretending I know something about legs,saw nothing and went onto the next horse.I put my fingers in all 4 feet (white feet) and pressed around and saw nothing.Remember this part of the story.

Harry next.Jump Jump Jump.A star.I am so pleased with the way he is handing everything.Cheerful and confident.Don't need more at this stage.A BLESSING.No smoke or fire.Something I am not used to.

Pickles number three."what do you want to do with this one?"Robin asked.Gulp,"I guess since I am riding my first prelim in over a year I better do corners.But I don't want to do the big ones in case I screw it up before ther event,so I'll just do the training and be safe",replied chicken little.
"That sounds fine "replied Robin,thinking yawn yawn.

Off I went.With that old familiar feeling in my gut.All I had to do was ride a straight line.Duh!Pickles zoomed off and I tried to maintain a rythm as he flung his head all around and jumped the trainig corner perfectly both ways.

Oh no.Robin is now parked at the prelim little nasty corner by the fenceline that I always shake my head at and think is a bit testy on my own course.To be honest I have never even jumped my own prelim track as I am alone a lot and don't risk much on my own.Well of course I now have to jump the darn thing with all these people around and the event coming up.Wait, Wait ,Wait, PING!Gallop away ,roll back turn,wait wait wait PING!OK both directions under the belt.

Pickles is getting fired up and I am trying not to.So we went back to another waiting and control type fence,a brush to a drop to another brush table type thing,sorted out the smaller step ,waiting and finished up with the two corners again.Then I felt pretty good and went onto the last bigger corner,copied from Fox Hall Three day event.A nasty upright thing.Ping ,again but I think I took down the imaginary flag on the left(not straight enough)Again ,again,again till I owned it and put the stomach demons back down into my feet where they belong.

People think that professional riders don't get nervous or feel that dreaded intrepidation.I felt it very difficult during the two days clinic situation to watch the other riders and them have it be my turn.With the corners I was glad Robin let me get it all done at one time while I was switched on.With the other horses I felt it difficult to ride then sit then ride again.AsI teach more than I take lessons it made me RE realize the necessity of being properly warmed up before heading to a jump.Make sure your horse is switched on also! It is not fair to them!

All in all we had a fun weekend.Amy got her assessment! YEA! By the way she used RiverDance and I as her Guinea Pig for her test.Rivers horns (and my worms) showed themselves.Amy had her work cut out for her.So congratulations to Amy!Everyone learned a few things.

All the riders had fun and I was so pleased to use Paradise again for safe,effective riding.Thanx to Robin,Amy and Geoff for all their efforts.Now it's time to go to Florida!Stay tuned!

And the end of the scary story I forgot!Peter had a HUGE HUGE SCREW in his frog of his hind foot.I COMPLETELY overlooked it.NEVER saw it.VERY VERY SCARY!!!!I cannot imagine how I missed this.So you can NEVER be too careful.Barbie found it.So a quick trip to the angel vet on Sunday evening produce a BOX FULL of antibiotics .Lots of saoking and cleaning and attention later,it looks like we can still go.So go out there and check every horses legs and eyes and ears and EVERYTHING all the time!

No comments: