Last weekend Jack and I zoomed our way down to Shorter, Alabama to judge a dressage and show jumping on the Saturday and teach a clinic on Sunday at Lorna,Duffy and Erika Aho's FANTASTIC Bare Bones Farm.
It is a PERFECT venue with great footing,similar to Paradise.Duffy has built super jumps. WE had tons of ideas for new banks and the future cross country course. Lorna has her sights on stabling and ALL SORTS of stuff in the future.
Lorna and I have been great pals for over twenty years. WE have blasted through England together,bought out Badminton,and traveled extensively together while eventing in the past.She has a n excellent eye and was bread to event. Her auntie is Dame Maxwell of famed Badminton dressage commentary'.
Lorna knows her stuff.She put on this show with aplomb,managing all the secretarial stuff as well as the layout etc. Duffy does GREAT FOOD and all the mowing and all the other STUFF.Erika rides around like a mini Lorna. Look out world ,she comin' on strong, getting the BEST experience on millions of hairy ponies.(the best kind!)
The dressage classes were great. Lorna brilliantly left enough time for me to pop out after every test and elaborate on the goods ,bads, and how to get betters.A great group of people and nice caliber of horses too! Great Fun for me. I LOVE travelling around seeing all these different places and people enjoying their horses.A few brave dressage riders even opted to have a chance flat lesson the next day. They were GREAT!(And very very brave....)
The Show jumping was fun. Courses were challenging enough. There was a fault and out class,Power and Speed and jump off rounds . Lorna also had a super derby class that had a few extra questions(bonus fences and skinnies). She plans to have lights up so evening classes can be a great addition. Her Show Jumping is in a natural amphitheater type setting, so there is ample room for all sorts of banks and terrain questions.There is a super flat place for a Hunter Ring ,that can double for a large dressage arena. She already has one super large arena now.
The clinic was well attended. Everyone worked very hard on my usual themes. Safety,Balance ,Control,Confidence and FUN!Gatorade was the word of the day.I had them jumping over the ice chest so they could only drink if they went clear!(Just kidding)
It is always an honor and a pleasure to be invited to Judge and then teach. It is as much fun for me as for the people.It is very inspiring to be able to give back to the sport.
So stay tuned for news of this great venue. I have ridden all over the world and I can recommend this place!
Thank you Lorna,Duffy and Erika! Thank you to all that came to support Bare Bones Farm and me.