|This pic from day two. No day one pics need to exist.|
The first day we spent a lot of time on pace. It was like learning a new language--I guess I didn't realize that H/J folks have their own words and definitions for everything. In case you are wondering, it's like this:
Walk is 4 mph
Collected trot (is ALWAYS sitting) and 6 mph
Rising trot is 8 mph
Canter is 10-12 mph
Hand gallop is 14 mph
We also had to work on the four different seats:
Light - doing courses, downbeat of post, sitting trot
Half - up beat of post, jumping
Full - walk, canter
Driving - at a sticky fence
|Day two, but I love his expression|
I'll be honest. Cuna completely lost his marbles over having horses chase him and all he would do was fling his head and prance on the forehand while trying to race. While an 8mph trot is not normally had for us, we struggled. Badly. And didn't do well at all. I was beginning to question the point of the whole thing, when we finally started jumping.
Cuna was a nutter. His brain was pretty fried from all the "racing" we'd been doing, so pretty much all he would do was dance around and then CHARGE anytime I put the slightest bit of pressure on him. I was hoping we'd jump through a big, built up gymnastic that would settle him, but not so! Instead we trotted over a crossrail, 4 strides to an oxer, 3 strides to a vertical, headed towards home.
I was like, "Well, this is why we're in a clinic. Either she can help us or not." And wouldn't you know, she did.
Basically, she said that I have to change the rider's balance in order to change the horse's balance. Instead of holding Cuna up and pulling against him, I have to completely let go after the jumps, regain my own balance, and then try to influence his with a big half halt on both reins.Given that I knew I wouldn't screw my horse up if I tried,I gave Julie's way a shot.
Wouldn't you know, it worked. He certainly didn't settled, but I was able to be a lot softer and more effective with him.
|Giant bit making things smooth|
On day two, we talked about releases. I've read George Morris' book on them, but honestly? No one has ever demonstrated them to me, taught me what they feel like, or explained how to do them correctly. The closest I'd ever gotten was being told, "We don't give releases on XC" in an attempt to keep beginners from launching their upper bodies at solid fences on green-at-best horses, haha.
|Cantering over the wall|
Mane - several strides out, put both hands in mane. Keep them there until several strides after the jump. It's the most basic and it allows the most freedom.
Long crest - Once horse commits to jump, put your hands about 2/3s of the way up his neck. Keep hands up for several strides past the jump. This allows horse to move up after the jump.
Short crest - Hands about a third of the way up the neck. Less loop in the rein than the first two. This gives control after jump and is the most common release on course.
Automatic - Keep contact with the horses mouth, hands off the neck for upper body balance is independent. This release gives rider the most control, but is the hardest to do.
Oh, and in case you are wondering, a simple change is through the collected trot or walk, 3-5 strides. Only ever. This may have come up. Ooops.
|Only spooky if you're chicken|
|Nothing to run away from|
|Long release over the tiny oxer. My fav shot of the weekend.|
My take away? I would love to ride with Julie again. I audited the sessions I wasn't riding in, and she taught something different to every group. As an auditor, that makes a clinic 100% better. Different ideas, different exercises. She was direct, but when riders did as she said, their horses improved. She has an excellent eye and a sympathetic view of horses.
I will say that if you think you're hot stuff and you don't actually want to learn, but just want to show how awesome you think you are, don't bother signing up. ;) Not worth either of your time. If you come to ride and learn, she is great.
I think that last part goes without saying for most clinics with BNR/BNTs. They can tell an ego from a mile away and will help you deflate it by showing you you really don't know it all.ReplyDelete
Did not know the fancy pace language. Interesting!ReplyDelete
Nice! Staying soft after the fence is one of my BIG flaws. The horses go great when I give them a loopy rein to rebalance -- SO WHY DON'T I DO IT? Duh.ReplyDelete
If you want to talk about pace, come ride w/ me and BFF in our endurance cross training, LOL. That's a 15 mph trot, baby! Even Solo still loves to lift his back and flip out his toes for that one.
Sounds like a great experience!ReplyDelete
Wow. I feel like I just learned a lot and I wasn't even there!ReplyDelete
I always think it's so interesting to clinic with someone of a different discipline (no matter how similar). Sounds like it was a GREAT clinic.ReplyDelete
Sounds like a great clinic. I've audited a GM clinic, its amazing what you can even learn from just watching. Sounds like you learned a lot which is the best feeling.ReplyDelete
Agree on the last part for all clinics. That sounds very educational and glad it helped you!ReplyDelete
Yeah for a great clinic!! I love how much you an glean from auditing! Without the nerves for me haha!ReplyDelete
See? Hunter Land is really scary, it's just sort of confusing... We're sorting it out still.ReplyDelete
The whole sitting/collected trot thing I don't quite have. I keep getting yelled at for "less trot! lessssssss Trooooooooootttttt"
I'll figure it out eventually I guess.
Cuna looks like a pro!!
Very interesting - the pace thing is totally new. I'm always amazed at a good instructors ability to quickly figure out each pair. How do they do that?!?! Love the pics - you guys look fabulous!ReplyDelete
Awesome photos. I'm always amazed by how quickly clinicians can pick up on how each horse/rider pair works.ReplyDelete
Oooh more of the H/J mysteries unraveling bit by bit! Great clinic review - you and Cuna look fabulous!ReplyDelete
Awesome pics!!! You guys look great!! My old (well almost) barn owner's son is an intern for Julie. She is also a strong anti-drugging and "horses should have some life/spunk" spokesperson in the hunter world. When I was struggling with Savvy, she reasured my barn owner that she will get past it...a previously drugged horse is like a green horse. They have to relearn things in a non-drug state. Patience is key! I would love to ride with her!!ReplyDelete
I had no idea! Now I like her even more.Delete
What an awesome clinic! I'm glad she explained releases so well. I've been working with a rider at the lesson barn who's struggling with them, so I'll try these words instead of the words I've been using to see if that helps.ReplyDelete
I'm glad you had so much fun, and thanks for writing this clinic report! I love to read them.
Sounds like a great clinic! I love the pictures! You both look great. I'm glad you had so much fun and learned a lot. :)ReplyDelete