Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Better Riding Through Knowledge Clinic

In putting together some sort of flyer to announce clinics ,we had to come up with some sort of name.After going round and round we came up with the name Better Riding through knowledge(and not luck!)

I feel there are to many people out there that throw their legs over a horse ( any horse ,any discipline) thinking its all going to be alright and take care of itself.These clinics are about the most basic principles of general riding and horsemanship. We have people and horses of all levels come to play.We have people that have a huge fear of open spaces,jumping on unlevel terrain,cantering,steering,,,you name it. We have Fox hunters, trail riders and eventers.It simply doesn't matter to me. I only try to help people gain an understanding of how to better communicate with their horse in the hopes of creating a safer,more confident ride.I want people to know HOW to create that feeling of security with their horses.

This past weekend,twelve brave riders faced the heat. My house was chock a block full of bodies that slept EVERYWHERE so they could be ready to ride bright and early.There were air mattresses and two coffee pots. People were ready for the onslaught.

This time we had two videographers come and tape the sessions with the help of their handy dandy flip cameras. At lunch we were able to review position and the application of the aids over and over on their fancy computers. There were lots of AHA moments for all.It was terribly helpful for the riders to be able to really see themselves and play back moments of their lessons over and over. The general theme of this session was to teach everyone the importance and the How to get and "uphill balance" and maintain it throughout their rides.Out came the pencil on the videos ,where we could show the riders,see that's uphill.....that is not.......It is very beneficial to see oneself rather than listen to me all the time. My job was to INCESSANTLY be a bug in their ear to create enough muscle memory to help them do their respective jobs.

People came from everywhere. We had representatives from Louisiana,Georgia,North and South Carolina. I only wish more Aiken people would come to these clinics as they are right in their own backyard.But.........Hopefully they will one day.

Sometimes I hear,I do not want to work that hard. Or I am sitting up straight,or he is light,he's not pulling. "Oh yea?,then why is his mouth wide open?" .........."Oh yea,,,,,,that"

More often than not we work on straightness,which is far harder to maintain than one would think.The ability to adjust the stride plays a huge role in confidence and safety.

I receive constant messages from God and often create incredible scenarios for the riders in order to achieve a point. Most of the time the messages become quite clear.After two or three sessions the riders are able to leave with some great tools and concepts.It is my hope they can retain these concepts and return and build up their riding repertoires,so they can learn and know how to fix situations in their futures.

I was please with the improvement I saw in every lesson.The use of the video and lunch in the cool office was also helpful. Can't wait till the next one July 16-17.The heat is tough but we made it through by getting up early. None of us have time to waste......Stay tuned!

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