Monday, August 22, 2011

Horse Clinic

After my whirlwind trip to Saskatchewan, I soaked up some horse time.  On my way home I stopped in the small town where I used to live for a quick visit with the rancher I used to ride with.  At the time, I had no idea how lucky I was to learn from him.  His knowledge has given me a leg up and shown up in horse clinic after horse clinic.  At the time, I took what he gave me and used it but I had no real understanding of what major foundational training skills he was giving me.  Now I do.

The next morning I rolled out of bed.  Early, very early to load up the horse and head to a nearby arena where I would be attending day 2 of Geoff Hoar's Working Cow Horse clinic.  I spent the morning watching the "experienced" group ride and listening to Geoff's coaching.  At noon I hopped on my mare for the first time in a week and began to warm up.  I was prepared for a hyper tense horse and was pleasantly surprised with a soft, supple willing partner.

The "dry" part of the clinic left me feeling frustrated with no individual attention from the clinician.  I had a question I wanted to ask, so I circled, and circled, and circled him while he worked with someone else.  By the time he moved on (to the whole group) I had forgotten what I wanted to find out.  We quickly moved onto cattle which is the fun part.  Bacardi worked her cows fairly well, while I tried to figure out what I needed to be doing.  When I asked for clarification he didn't understand what I was asking and didn't answer it.  So I took the time during my second cow work to reframe the question to better get the response I was looking for.  The second work was much, much more useful.  I actually figured out what I need to work on and the direction I'm going to take the horse's training.

In the future, I won't take part of a two day clinic.  I not sure if the disconnect I felt was because I missed bits from the previous day or if the clinician was just not a good fit for my learning style.  Or maybe because the dog clinic the day before was stellar.  I don't know.  It's too bad because this is a person I've always held in high regard as a skilled horseman.  Perhaps a private lesson would be a better plan in the future.

On Sunday, I entered in the Ranch Cutting at the schooling show and had complete blow out rides.  But that's okay because the purpose was to learn.  I had someone tape me while I rode.  This I plan to show Jason and have him help me through some issues.  The clinic made it incredibly clear how lucky I am to have him in my life because I've learned so much from him.  He is truly providing me with a high quality foundation for my cutting aspirations.  I'm somewhat amazed at how much more I understand now, compared to the start of the summer.

Here's a couple of pictures from the clinic.

Not sure why I'm making that face... 


The Canadian said...

Awesome!! Looks like soo much fun! Even if you didn't get what you wanted from the clinician, time spent in the saddle is always good for the soul, isn't it??

Jennifer said...

It was great to see you this weekend Andrea, it sounds like you learned a lot about yourself! :) Thanks for participating! :)