So, coming off the back of the last clinic which was… *ahem*
a disaster interesting… I would be lying if I said I wasn’t going into the 2 day clinic with Simon with a small level of trepidation.
What if I got the same feedback?
I don’t think my ego would have been able to take it.
As one of the organiser’s of this clinic and masterclass, however, I was also dealing with the high levels of stress (and several stomach ulcers) associated with trying to organise horse people.
We’re really need to pull our shit together when it comes to time management.
Horse people trying to get their entries in.
Anyway, Tuesday was show jumping day.
And he couldn’t have been better. We tackled our first small course of jumps, worked on canter grids and ended up doing jumps far bigger than I had ever shown B before, which he just took in his stride.
Bumper: “What the hell is this?”
Of course there were green moments where I said “wait”, and old mate said “no” and a the top rail went flying, but all in all I don’t think I could have asked him to be better. It was his first time at the venue and he settled into it really well.
Homework from the show jumping phase is making his canter more adjustable. Admittedly, after three months in work I still haven’t been doing that much canter and have been trying to consolidate picking up the right canter lead (which is about 100 times better post clinic – nothing like trial by fire). Now that it is becoming more reliable, it’s time to start playing with how many strides we can fit between jumps.
The bonus of this exercise is it’s just as important for his flat work so everyone wins.
Apologies for quality, it’s gone through so many programs to get it on here it’s come out the end pretty blurry.
Wednesday we headed back to the cross country course. Yes, the same one from the last
He doesn’t mind the chance to stretch his wee legs
I am floored at how much effect a different clinician will have on you, your horse and your confidence.
Hello drama queen, my old friend
The last clinic I felt like we couldn’t even approach a log on the ground confidently.
Triple log fan jump
Intro level trakenher
This time we were tackling jumps I never would have thought to attempt and he was tearing it up.
Intro level brush
It seems in the first 10-15 minutes when he is seeing the first few jumps he gets a bit worried and can stall a bit coming into the jump, but if I can support him over those first few it clicks into place and he realises the only job is to get from one side to the other, and he is more than happy to oblige.
Slightly dry water complex
Still a slightly dry water complex
This would be his 3rd *proper* cross country school, and I have faith that with more practice this initial hesitance will disappear, because he is one brave little fella (with an adorable squishy nose).
We had more great feedback from Simon and I left the two days feeling like everything was on the right track again. I was so proud of B and just floored by how quickly he is cluing in to the eventing game.
As for me, I need to work on B’s adjustability and worry less about being perfect and more about making sure I control the line of approach and the quality of the canter.
I was planning on entering Barry Hillier HT this weekend until…
So this happened.
On the Thursday before Easter so naturally – couldn’t call anyone about it as it wasn’t really emergency status. There is still some minor swelling so we are off to the vet tomorrow just to be sure everything is ok (even though I am pretty confident doofenschmirtz whacked it around a little on the Wednesday as he figured out where his legs were).
This means our first competition is likely to be in May at the Wagga HT unless any small and local PC events pop up between then and now.
I guess we will see how it goes!
And if anyone has made it this far, feel free to throw out suggestions for where to buy a nice stock tie – I am on the hunt.
A big thank you to Petrina White for all the videos and photos!!