Even though Hemie wasn’t ready for an outing this weekend due to his puncture wound recovery, I decided to still go and audit the Debbie Rosen clinic we had signed up for on Saturday afternoon.
Deborah Rosen of “Wild Ride Eventers” is a horse trainer, coach, and upper level event rider. She is based out of the lovely El Sueno Equestrian Center in Somis, CA. My trainer, Laurie Canty, was Deb’s assistant trainer before going out on her own, and they maintain a close relationship.
Turns out that several others had to cancel as well, so it ended up being myself auditing and one rider. The rider’s name is Cherie, on her gelding named Rocky who was very willing and quite handsome. This was his first jumping lesson in who-knows-how-long, and they went from ground poles to BN sized logs, ditches, and water throughout the course of the clinic.
|Deb giving Rocky a lead over the baby log.|
It was nice to watch them go. Basically their story is that Cherie is an accomplished dressage competitor, but her horse is lame and so she has commandeered her husband’s trail horse to have fun trying eventing. She was clearly a very skilled and confident rider. Rocky was, understandably, a little tentative to some of the jumps. But overall he was game, and surprisingly straight – no bulging or swinging of any kind.
Debbie’s manner was positive and encouraging, without being overly chatty. She gave concise instructions and succinct comments, keeping it simple and straightforward for both horse and rider. Every exercise was designed and expanded upon to build confidence. Debbie’s training approach is very similar to Laurie’s, but it was good to hear things being phrased in new ways.
Debbie had a few gems that rang in my ears:
“More leg than rein.”
“Don’t shove him with your shoulders.”
Especially useful when you feel your horse question the jump. How many times have I been reminded to sit back and wait, and keep leg on? But still, sometimes its hearing the old thing in a new way to make it stick. Debbie’s words kept popping up in my head on Sunday’s ride (I needed them!).
|Water complex. There was a horse-eating egret bird there.|
|Close up of egret.|
Overall I had a great time. Debbie was not only a good instructor but a warm and welcoming person. She is very humble and gracious. The derby competitions held at El Sueno will now have a dressage component, so I certainly plan on going back for their August 3rd show and hope to ride with Debbie at her next clinic.