Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Return to the Scene of the...Clinic

Monday is my riding day with K.  We could not go out on the trails that are now covered in almost two feet of snow and possibly larger drifts. It's hard to believe that last week we rode in shirts... no jackets needed! 

This week I decided we'd take the horses back to the scene of the clinic. We loaded the horses and took them to the indoor arena about 15 miles from the house. Everything was clear, except their parking lot... but the truck handled the slick, packed snow, even with the chunky guys in tow. (And what the heck, if we'd gotten stuck, I could have put the guys to work hauling their own tow vehicle out!)

Dreaming on Pippin

We each had an opportunity to ride both horses. It was great fun to see someone else on my guys! It was even greater fun to see how Pippin has already responded to new things I learned in the clinic! Wow! He was a different horse altogether! Of course, we can attribute at least some of the change to this being a repeat visit to the arena. Also, it was just Pippin and Doc in the arena, not 9 or 10 horses, and since Doc was with us, he wasn't neighing plaintively outside the arena as he did during the clinic. But, there was no getting around it... Pippin was listening to me and he is learning! 

K on Doc

During the clinic Brent worked with us on communicating changes in speed with our bodies. He asked us to work on transitions and if the horse doesn't get the hint by using our seat, then we should ask them by using verbal commands and if necessary, we can tell them by using legs for impulsion and reins for slowing or stopping. After a few minutes of warming up Pippin and I went to work. The outcome.... I had a horse who easily moved from a halt to a walk. He would speed that up, or slow down. He performed nice, calm transitions to a trot and changed speeds at the trot. He slowed to a walk and halt.... without my having to use the reins! I was so excited.... I almost fell off!

Sure... we can still use a ton of work, but I'm so pleased with how Pippin listened and responded. 

A good day was had by all!


  1. Yay! So happy for you and the boys! Good work! :)

  2. I had a question about objecting to the blinders on my blog. Just wondering what exactly that means?

  3. They are getting better with practice and some fine tuning! What fun for you to see progress:)

  4. Sounds like a good day. I used to ride a horse that did everything by soft,vocal commands. I got lazy legs back then! lol

  5. Sounds like such a great time. The boys look awesome as always of course

  6. Looks like it was worth it to haul them through the snow.

  7. What a great time! I'm jealous and so hopeful that Lew and I can have some similar good times soon. You go girl! (But don't fall off-
    even from joy & excitement!)

  8. You are very brave driving in all that snow. It had to be worth it tho. Good for you and the ponies. Clinics can be so inspiring when you are able to put what you learned to use.

  9. Don't you love it when you get progress? I love clinics, we are hoping that the local arena here will bring in at least one trainer this year.

  10. Wow, you must be so happy with the boys! Treats!


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