Here there be dragons...

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

Two words, for now...

Posted this image on my author FB page today and was going to write my answer there...  But then I realized that, as with the 6-word stories, there are too many options.   So here goes -- please feel free to add to the list in the comments :)

Have fun
Trust yourself
Love yourself
Enjoy life
Waste time
Work hard
Play harder
Heels down
Slow down
Drive carefully
Travel everywhere
Carpe diem
No worries
Enjoy insanity
Friends count
Family too
Mum's right  (New rule - contractions are one word *g*)
So's Jen
Love fully
Eyes up
Why not?
It's okay.
Normal's boring
You can
You will
I promise
Promises count
Always forgive
Never forget
Accept truths
Challenge ideas
Question everything
Study everything
Learn to count
Forget calculus
Stay warm
Avoid winter
Travel more
Bend rules
Be brave
Be scared
Be smart
Be kind
Be young
Be wise
Be free
Be loved
Be yourself
Dream big
Think deeply
Take risks
Fear not
Speak up
Save money
Achieve goals
Remember childhood
Hold hands
Read lots
Write lots
Write late
Sleep later
Sleep in
Take photos
Take naps
Take baths
Take time
Give time
Travel again
Gets better
Keep riding
Run occasionally
Just breathe
And above all else:  Wear sunscreen

Okay I might've stolen that last one.   But I had to end this insanity somehow.  And that was avoiding all the "don'ts" that came to mind.  Going for positive here.  And pg ;)  And ignoring the completely silly things *g*  

Your list?

Hyde Moffatt Clinic

Last post in August??? Oh dear... Somewhat traditional at this time of year though I'm afraid -- maybe next year I'll make it farther *g*

Regardless - it's October now and I'm back :) Summer was a blast, show team did an awesome job and we find ourselves already at our fall clinic!

Hyde Moffatt came to play on Sunday. We had a great turnout -- every class was full! And, while a little chilly at first, reasonable weather all day :)

The groups were divided ostensibly by height, but Hyde's focus was on accuracy and effectiveness, so the jumps stayed low for all. The first half of each two-hour session was flatwork. The rule was simple - when you put your leg on, the horse must go forward. End of story. Simple, yet surprisingly difficult in some instances to implement ;) Lots of work on transitions - both between gaits and within the gait.

The idea is, there is no randomness in riding. Everything is predictable and should be repeatable. And if you do the same thing the same way every time, it's fair to expect the same result. It's just that easy. And just that hard. So Hyde discussed what the aids should be, and got the riders to focus very specifically on what they were doing every time they asked for a change. I was pleased to discover that most were very aware of what they had done -- if not necessarily able to correct it. Which is totally okay. Hyde made a point of noting it's our mistakes we learn from. When everything goes beautifully, you rarely stop to analyse why. But when things become horribly disastrous is when we tend to smarten up. If only to avoid the repeatable response >;-P

Once everybody had forward installed, we got to start jumping. The exercises varied slightly from group to group depending on rider skill level and which exercises best suited the horses involved, but throughout it all a focus on the four requirements of jumping: Rhythm, Balance, Energy, Straightness. Anything that didn't work perfectly was treated as a learning opportunity -- which of those four was missing? And how can it be fixed? Rhythm and Straightness were the two most people had challenges with. Energy had mostly been addressed on the flat, and most of the horses playing today were quite naturally well balanced. The exercises were set to challenge the other two as turns were in strange places that made for very awkward lines. Unless, of course, the rider managed to get the right combination of Rhythm, Balance, Energy, and Straightness.

With noticeable improvement in every horse/rider combination, the clinic was deemed a success from all. Hyde's approach was practical and positive and he taught the cross-rail group with the same (or possibly even more!) enthusiasm than the 3'+ group. At the end of every group, he spoke to each rider independently and gave her homework. So now everybody knows what to work on until the next one. That, and, when all else fails, "be the rhythm"!

Sadly most of the photos were blurry, but you can view them here.

What would you say?

New experience today -- I was interviewed.  Hahaha, a first for everything.  Woohoo!   Thanks to Aaron Speca for the experience.  Fairly entertaining.  Slightly awkward.  And now my answers are forever online.
Oh dear *g*
Forever grateful the interview wasn't on camera!
The writing and book related questions were no problem.  I had to think about a couple but it's all fairly factual.  The personal ones though, made me pause.  Some related to writing -- what was I most surprised about?  Which of my characters would I want to meet?   The first one had multiple answers, so I went with the one that's struck me the strongest.  The other would depend on my mood at any given moment *g*   But most interesting was the rapid fire "10 + 1" questions at the end.  How would you answer these?  Really, I want to know -- comment or fb answers!
  1. What is your favorite word?  
  2. What is your least favorite word?  
  3. What turns you on?  
  4. What turns you off?  
  5. What sound or noise do you love?  
  6. What sound or noise do you hate?  
  7. What is your favorite curse word?  
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?  
  9. What profession would you not like to do?  
  10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?   
  11. What question have you never been asked, that you wish someone would ask you?  
My answers are published here -- are you brave enough to share yours?