Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

Caledon Clinic

So it was an interesting horse-related weekend :)

Saturday is well covered in the entry below about Sienna's first show -- hahaha really don't feel the need to retype that here! Suffice to say, it was a blast! Sunday I went to look at a new horse for a client, that I really wasn't expecting much of. Well I'll tell ya, you can't lose when you go in with that attitude cause you're either proven right or pleasantly surprised. N I was thrilled. Horse was a rescue, so I was expecting what I see of so many rescues. But this one, besides obviously being well loved and cared for (this I DID expect because his owners are amazing people and have had him long enough to make a difference) has clearly had excellent training somewhere along the way AND enjoys being worked AND is entirely appropriate for the student I was searching for. And if she doesn't want to ride him, I will >;-P hahaha all he needs is some fitness and we're set! Summer plans continue to come together :)

Monday of the long-weekend I was coaching at the Caledon Clinic. 15 dressage lessons. Absolutely insane. But credit to the organizers, from a clinician point-of-view it was well organized (even scheduled breaks) and they fed us a great lunch :) hahaha yeah it's the little things that count. Somebody even brought me out water about the time I was starting to lose my voice. hahahha and I had amazing scribes for the day (thanks Suzanne and Fran!). Generally it was a really great day.

There's a bit of a different art to being a clinician from being a coach. Coaching you get to know your students well and you teach primarily for the long term -- have goals and set out to meet them, and you can take the time to develop skills in order and know exactly what's there and what needs to be there. In a clinic, that luxury doesn't exist. You need to be able to evaluate, quickly, what one thing needs to be fixed AND make it happen -- without any knowledge of horse or rider. There are great coaches who are not particularly good clinicians, and great clinicians who aren't as good at the long-term-regular-coach thing. Most can do both to some degree cause there is of course a huge degree of overlap, but I have definitely met both extremes before hahaha

Lessons at this clinic are half-hour -- they ride the test, you fix something, they ride the test again. So in the first three minutes you have to analyze and isolate the key thing that's holding them back from the next level (whether literally the next level or the move from middle-of-the-pack to top). Then you have 20-25mins (depending how fast they rode their first test) to make a noticeable difference. I love this challenge. Levels PE-T, which is, of course, my preferred audience to begin with. Had several who were close-but-not-quite on the bit who managed to make the leap to actually there, which is always amazing. Was pretty thrilled at that. As were they *g* Had one who I wish I'd had another 15min w/... Got her *almost* there -- n she was absolutely thrilled w/ almost cause I guess it's much closer than she's ever been, but I wanted to give her the chance to feel what *really* there is so she'd be able to recognize it when it happens again *g* Ah well, client was happy and organizers were happy cause I didn't put their schedule all out of whack sobeit. That one I even ate up the "2nd test" time cause it was more important to try and get that extra few mins in than to ride a second test. hahaha but like I said, she was thrilled so that's what counts. A few whose challenge was chilling out their horses (and their riders!) -- they all had significant difference by the end, so that's always good. Only one that was really not ready to be in the ring -- but the rider was aware of this and did the best she could w/ what she was sitting on, so there's definitely something to be said for that. A good example of the right attitude for riding -- she just kept trying and never lost her patience. Anyways -- was a long day, but once it warmed up the weather was gorgeous, n it was great to get to see everybody who I haven't seen in entirely too long!!! Even if not for very long :)

XC schools @ Gorstella and Checkmate this weekend! Should be a blast. Give me a call if you want to come! Could also use a photographer for either day if anybody's got nothing better to do :)



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