Saturday afternoon, Nancy made it out to western Indiana to hold a clinic at my barn. While Guinness was out of commission for the day, I made it a point to be at the barn and ready to help everyone else get their learning on. What a day!
The one fun thing about my barn is clinic days. Everyone comes out to watch and audit, there's really no such thing as a "private" lesson. It could be intimidating, but no more so than a horse show with an audience. Plus, with everyone watching, you don't miss a thing. Someone can fill you in on what you missed! Needless to say, the bleachers were an active and fun place to be all day.
This being Nancy's first visit out to see this group, I was interested in how everyone would react to the instruction. I love Nancy's style. She offers an almost constant stream of feedback during your ride, not really giving you time to let things sink in, but instead helping you feel how your horse reacts to your changes in balance or aid. I find that I usually take a week or two after riding with her to process everything I picked up in a lesson, there's just too much information to get it all at once. Sometimes that isn't right for everyone, but luckily ever lesson went well and we're looking forward to having her back soon!
The clinic was running a little forward from the schedule, so I ended up missing parts to help some of the riders get ready. By the end of the day, I'd groomed four horses. Each one was right in the middle of a heavy shedding phase, and I think I ingested/inhaled enough hair and mud to possibly turn me into a horse. But, everyone was shiny and pretty when they got to the ring!
The one overarching theme of the weekend was establishing the actions of the inside rein and outside rein, and controlling the shoulders. Every horse/rider combo worked on this to some degree, and seeing how Nancy approached each with similar, but personalized, ideas was really interesting. Not all of the ideas transfer to Guinness and I, but some of them were certainly good refreshers!
It's so fun to watch a rider completely change from the beginning of a lesson to the end, and see the horses try to figure out new aids or work harder at a specific movement. Do you guys ever audit clinics in your area? You're welcome to join us for the next one!
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