I got back from vacation on Friday night and was invited to go see a dressage clinic on Saturday. So early Saturday morning, I was up and out the door early in the morning. It was only 32 degrees out so I layered tights, wool socks, jeans, down vest, down jacket. I went with my friend Marie who owns an Andalusian. I have yet to meet her horse, but he sounds pretty cool. She was invited to this clinic by a friend of hers who owns a young Lusitano.
The trainer was Andre Ganc . The facility was lovely, with lots of good turnout and a nice covered arena. We were there all day and by the end, both of us were itching to get back to our ponies and try what we had learned. We were also ready for a hot bath and a glass of wine after shivering all day while 30 mph winds whipped the cold air through our jackets. I was cold despite having two layers of down and a hat and gloves on.
My favorite horse by far was the young Lusitano. He was hot, hot, hot! I caught a small video and this was the smallest of his tantrum. What I really liked about the trainer was that he just had the rider make small adjustments and keep riding forward and rewarding. He was really, really big on rewarding. At least once in every 20 meter circle he would say 'Pet him!'. With his accent this came out as "Pet heeeem. Yes, pet heeeeem." I wish I had gotten video at the end of this lesson because the horse was a different horse. He was relaxed and soft and supple. His owner said that he's super mellow on the trails and only hot for arena work, which I found interesting.
I had five more paragraphs ranting about clinics and people who ride in them and then make excuses or don't do what the clinician tells them to do or aren't fit enough to ride for more than five minutes at a trot without taking a break. I deleted it because one - standing on a soapbox is a precarious position from which you are bound to fall and two- because all of the people were lovely, nice people and I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings in case they stumble across my blog. We all have our stuff and our reasons.
The clinic really made me want a truck and trailer and some more money to spend doing clinics. I think Tessa and I are ready to make our way into the big wide world soon.