This was my first clinic experience as a rider rather than spectator. Hawley had us do cross-country both days which was great; some other clinicians had their group doing stadium one of the days. There were about 7 riders in our group. I was expecting Hawley to ask each of us about our experience and goals and so forth – nope, she just had us get going out on course!
Interestingly, for the first time ever, we activated racehorse mode! In other words, I got run away with!! Hawley had me come to a jump with more speed, and on the landing I came to find that I was not in control and we were careening away. I did what ever 6 year old is taught to do with their naughty pony – circle. It worked and I regained control, but Hawley jumped on me to not do that in the future, less a turn might cause him to trip. She said next time to just be patient and half-halt with outside rein while trying to avoid hitting people or jumps.
We did lots of different jumps throughout the property, including some I knew to be Novice questions. We did one jump – a large log that looks like a wine bottle on its side – which I had thought might be a Training jump. So I did what all eventing nerds do and looked up videos from their last HT. Turns out we did almost the entire Novice course, and did THREE training jumps!!!!
I had a wonderful fan club there to support me and I could tell by their grins that they were as proud of Hemie and me as I was. It was a wonderful weekend. At the end of the clinic each participant asked Hawley for general feedback and advise. When it was my turn, Hawley said simply “clearly he’s the best horse of the group.” SQUEEE!!! Talk about a confidence boost.
|Thanks to my cheering section!|