Sunday, June 21, 2009

Day 5: The Stadium Test

The last day of the clinic, Rainey set up a stadium jumping course for us. She asked the first group to treat it like a real SJ event—which, of course, put the pressure on. Geesh. So I got a little performance anxiety.

I’m afraid to say that Wrong-Way Rickly reared her ugly head, causing a little meltdown in the middle of the course…so we were eliminated.


We were allowed to do the course again, and we finally got it right. But I didn’t ride PC very well, and we had some…interesting…jumps. Rainey told me that he’s athletic and he’s going to try to do it…but I need to be more conscious of having him in front of my leg and balanced.

I got to do the N course w/ Paddy, and even though I *almost* forgot the course again and brought him in VERY crooked to a two jump line, he saved by rear by jumping big, then calmly finished in a nice rhythm. MAN, I love that horse. I love BOTH of my horses!

Overall, what a fantastic experience! I love the camaraderie of the “more experienced” (aka “older) riders. I loved that EVERYONE was there because they loved horses, eventing, and they wanted to get better. I loved that I felt ok about having a marguerite every couple nights. I loved that we had FIVE DAYS of instruction. I love that we could have private lessons that reinforced what we learned in the larger group. And I love that Rainey was so accessible, so knowledgeable, and so “right on” about everything she told us—even when she yelled at us!—and that she taught with a wonderful mix of criticism, praise, and “how to/why we do it”.

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