Olympus Ranch Stables

Saturday, February 21, 2015

My First Clinic

I had so much fun today! I rode in my first clinic! Let me start from the beginning:

I got to the barn at 8 AM and fed my horses. My scheduled ride was at 1:45 PM so I knew I had to plan my day carefully. After Varro got done eating I took him for a walk around the barn and into the arena to explore the scary corners. I lunged him for a few minutes and he was pretty good, almost bored. I put him back into his stall and the lecture portion of the clinic started at 9 AM.

The lecture was amazing. I learned quite a bit about the geometry of the arena; natural and mechanical aids; how to apply your aids correctly and how they affect the horse's movement. As part of the demo, the clinician had us all "trot" in a circle and tell her which one of our legs was bearing the most weight. Then she had us "canter" in a circle. I was SO surprised to figure out that the OUTSIDE hind is the one that is controlling the weight and movement in the canter! WOW! LIGHTBULB!

After the lecture there were several demo riders who showed examples of what she had talked about in her lecture. After the demo we broke for lunch. I took that opportunity to get Varro out and do a quick lunge and then put him back. Lunch was delicious! The barn owner/manager made some Mexican tacos/nachos with cornbread. Goodness!

Once lunch was over the first rider went. I loved watching and learning. Then, it was MY turn!

I got Varro out and tacked him up quickly. We did a quick lunge and then attempted to mount...He was SO fidgety at the mounting block. We started our lesson and BINGO, Varro started bucking and carrying on. Once we worked out the bugs, he settled right down and went to work! It was a wonderful ride! We worked mostly on moving forward willingly and doing trot/walk/trot transitions. I felt amazing after the lesson! I even got a round of applause for staying in the saddle while Varro was throwing his fit!

What a great day!