After a very busy week, work and otherwise, the girls and I went to Miami (OK) on Saturday for a clinic presented by the NEO Equestrian Team. Alaina/Sunny were in the advanced group while Ivy/Sister and me/Splash were in the remedial group. Since we had one-on-one instruction in the first riding segment, we were A-ok with the grouping. Alaina’s group also included Melodie B and Sheryl H. After starting with grooming and show trimming/spiffing, we had burgers with the team and homemade goodies for desert before the real riding began.
The team includes Chelsea L and Mandie H – two of my favorite young women. Mandie, Chelsea, the rest of the team as well as their coach Chelsie H did a fantastic job teaching us about show grooming, Western Pleasure, Horsemanship, Trail, and Western Riding. Alaina and Sunny did well in WP, WH, and Trail. Sister made progress in WP and WH but really amazed the group with her very elevated flying lead changes in WR as well as her amazing speed.
In the WP segment, Splash and I concentrated on trot work; in particular, addressing our usual problems – dropped outside shoulder and resistance to rein pressure for turning. We practiced using both inside and outside legs to maintain bend, elevate shoulder and work on spiral circles. When we moved to WH, Splash was very resistant to canter departs (we usually do patterns after a long session of w/t/c with lots of lateral work so, without much warmup, Splash was still in the “stand is my best gait” mode). But, we made improvements. Then for the trail obstacles, we worked backing L, then trot poles fairly well. Had some trouble with canter over poles which were set at 6 feet – very difficult for Splash. Worked the gate both ways but for some reason, the bridge was very scary. We finally got over it – whew. WR was interesting. Alaina and Sunny skipped it but Splash and I tried it without lead changes. Splash held canter/countercanter through the long side of cones, dropped out of canter at the end but then cantered the big serpentines holding counter canter when needed. Not bad and really fun to ride.
Patty was in Shawnee at the ODS recognized show getting inspired. But Sunday afternoon was lovely so Ivy and I went to the Rocking C to work Splash, Blue and Sister meanwhile, back at the ranch, Alaina worked with Sunny on a little trail and western pleasure. Blue was a handful, with a bit of buck in her but Ivy worked on jumps. Splash and I did a little work in between socializing with my friend Nancy and figuring out how to use my new, purple, “da brim” (see http://www.dabrim.com/html/products/equestrian.htm for info) – it stays on at the canter but would likely cause liftoff at a gallop (luckily, gallop is not my usual plan).
So, no ride night this week but the first YaYa ride of the season on Wednesday night – YeahYeah!