2 Clinics down, 1 to go for a mixed bag of ...........
These past 2 weeks have been a complete whirlwind. Seriously, why didn't anyone tell me i'm an absolute idiot when I decided to do 3 Clinics back to back, all in different locations... Seriously, where are my friends at?!
Well.. I don't know who reads this blog, and given my position in the local horse community I may need to keep my brutal honesty at bay.. I will just dive right into it and try and keep things neutral as best I can.
The first clinic Coral and I ventured to was a Jumping Clinic at a local, private facility about 45 minutes away. Let me say that initially we were under the impression it was a jumping clinic; we later found out it was more of an "introduction to Jumping" clinic and therefor it was extremely basic.
I was in a Beginner Horse group given that Kidd has only jumped about 10x, so on Day 1 we did 1.5 Hours of ..... 'interesting flatwork' with a few trot poles thrown into the mix. The overall goal was to build steady rhythm throughout the minimal exercises, which was essentially just going large and circling when riders got congested. A few comments were made that had both Coral and I considering not returning for Day 2, but we figured what the heck - we spent the money, we get to hang out with people we don't see very often in a beautiful facility and hopefully take at least 1 valuable lesson home.
On Day 2 we suited up for second day of interesting-ness, which started with a quick recap of the day before, and developed into a Cross Rail on each side of the arena. There really isn't much to report, as I said prior - it was very basic. Kidd was by far the most correct and experienced horse in our group, so we spent some time being a balance of guinea pigs and lawn darts... BUT, for me being on a green horse - it was still worth the time and money.
The following weekend, I hosted the first Clinic of the season through the society of which I'm the founding president. We welcomed back Sergio Velez, an FEI Certified instructor residing in the lower mainland of British Columbia. Sergio came up to the North multiple times last year, and we all had a fabulous time.
The second Kidd unloaded at the facility his entire demeanour changed. To say he dislikes the local indoor is quite the understatement. The only thing that I can chalk it up to is he doesn't like it there because he's spent so much time boarding there. Regardless, too bad so sad - time to buck up buttercup!
Our first lesson was junk, due to no fault of Sergio. Kidd and I just weren't on the same page and we couldn't seem to put things together. At some point, I've developed a bad habit in the past few months and Kidd has been trying to tell me "mom, you're doing it wrong..." but I just wasn't picking up what he was putting down... or in this case, what he was throwing out to the left lol.
Regardless, we worked on collected trot - lengthen trot - collected trot - canter on the open circle at E/B. Kidd was so fired up, we couldn't nail the Collected Trot or a superior Canter transition, but we did pave the path for plenty of information to overload our brains the rest of the weekend.
The purpose of the exercise was to build the power and engagement behind to begin setting him up for further engagement required to continue improving. Kidd was seriously struggling with this not because he can't do it, but because he was completely off focus. Regardless, we survived and moved onto Day 2.
Day 2 was all about Leg Yield because I mistakenly said I absolutely despise it... lol We ran into some issues Leg Yielding off my left leg to the Right, but once I watched the video I realized my micro-managing was a little overkill which pissed Kidd off. It felt like he was just taking his shoulders and dragging me to the rail, so when I tried to straighten him he got annoyed with me, but it looked far better than it felt.
Regardless, once Sergio pinpointed my issue which is leaving Kidd without any support on the outside when tracking to the right it's helped me sort some things out. Next weekend we go to another Dressage Clinic with someone I've never rode with before - I can't wait!