Regrouping, a Clinic Story

Okay the final post from the shenanigans from last weekend.  My trainer is amazing and managed to convince the judge from saturday to stay an extra day and clinic those who showed the day before and a few who jumped in that day.

It was awesome.  Not really shocked seeing as the judge/clinician was the same guy from last November’s clinic, but I’m always eager for outside views of my horse.  Also, we had done a lot over the winter.  And then crashed and burned at the show, so I wanted all the help I could get.

Want this quiet, but all the time.

Want this quiet, but all the time. Ignore my ugly lower leg please.

We warmed up on our own while he got the run-down of who was who.  He looked at me when I walked by and said “ohhhhh yes.”  At least we made an impression yesterday.

O was quiet and focused on all the new stuff in the ring, as the jumps were leftover from the jumper rounds yesterday.  Since during the show her mind had been blown by the white boxes I made her stop and sniff all of them.

evil white box pic

Clear and present danger.

Today she didn’t give a damn about white boxes.  Oh lordy horse.

Anyway, we trotted to the first exercise.  A pole, followed by a crossrail, followed by another pole.  She stopped hard, and he immediately told me to grab my left rein (outside) and just hold it, not giving an inch.  I bumped her closer and closer to the jump and she finally just hopped over the jump from a standstill and trotted away with her ears pricked.  THAT was the reaction I should’ve had to her being bad in schooling.  The next time around she stopped but with my shorter reins and grip on her left side, I was able to move her right over the jump again.  Third time she didn’t even both looking at it but calmly popped through it.  Pats and we waited while he set up a 2nd half to the line.

First time down the 2nd jump O stopped hard and almost took the poor clinician out.  He actually said, “Wow, she’s fast.” to me.  Story of my life right now.  He also told me I’m giving her too much credit and allowing her to look for spaces to be naughty.  I need to be occupying her brain the entire ride.

Even more outside rein next time, I kissed at her  a stride out, and she popped right over the jump.  That was the last of our problems.  The rest of the lesson, including two broken lines and a bending two stride (which she hadn’t just before), was too easy.  She floated around as if she didn’t have a care in the world, jumped around, and NEVER looked at anything.

So feedback from clinician:

She is opinionated and strong on course.  She wants to do things her way. BUT she doesn’t want to fight.  It’s now my job to make the correct job the easiest option out there.  And choosing to be naughty should be way more work.  He said that she’s looking for my buttons to push, and see what she can get away with.  Once we deal with my riding, she will follow suit.  Case in point, as long as I kept by body straight and strong, my hands quiet (no up/down/wobbly), and my outside rein firm, she didn’t bother trying to stop.

He also told me that he likes her, that she’s really cute.

The problem lies with me….and the fact I own something with some attitude. Both of these are manageable, and in my case, fixable!

Video still of pony and I.

Video still of pony and I.

**Don’t forget about O’s birthday giveaway!! Make sure to enter by March 20th!

18 thoughts on “Regrouping, a Clinic Story

  1. Those tough and opinionated horses can be so frustrating, but if you’re willing to step up to the plate and take the on the extra effort they can be so worth it. Ask me how I know. 😉

  2. Awesome, awesome, awesome! So happy it was a success and the video looked great!
    That’s definitely how life is with a mare. The good part is once you work through it, you’ll definitely understand her and be able to work through it anytime. Mares can be super difficult to unlock but if you put the patience and time into finding the right key, it’s all good from there!!! And you both will be so much better for it :).

  3. My trainer and I have a standing rule: The first two times a horse stops at the same jump in a row, he is allowed to be taken in a circle and reapproach. The third time, he goes over. Even if it’s from a dead standstill, he’s going over. Even if he takes it down. If the jump is big enough that an overjump will frighten us, I’ll have someone knock the poles onto the ground (or even hop off and do it myself) and then walk over them, but that horse is going over whether he likes it or not. Usually this helps to clear the mind block and lets him realise that getting to the other side is actually fun.
    So glad you guys did well and went away with some tools!

  4. How awesome to be able to clinic after a show like that! And BTW her canter looks so amazing in your video–very rocking horse. She is cute!

  5. so awesome that you could get such great feedback so soon after a bummer show. in a way, it’s kind of empowering knowing that,as riders, we can be the make-or-break factors. good luck!

  6. Horses – one day something is a terrifying predator, the next day it is not worth the time of day. I sometimes wish they could speak to us, but then also fear what my horse would actually say to me. Glad you had a good clinic post show.

  7. Pingback: Blog Hop: F*%K Yeah! | A Gift Horse

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