Thursday, 21 April 2016

Day 3 Clinic Recap

3 full days of XC clinics? Yep, it's true! Sadly, our third day was the final day - all good things really must come to an end.

There was no pace clinic on day 3, so we went directly to our lesson. I got on at shortly before 9 with the plan of warming the (again overexcited) Midge up and having a few minutes for the ever so talented L to hop on and school the pony a bit over some bigger jumps. Due to a mistake in the scheduling, our clinician showed up at 9 and decided to just go ahead and start. Win for an extra half hour of coaching, lose for not being able to have L get a feel for our issues beforehand.

100 acres of XC, please can I just stay here forever?

Off we went to our friendly little logs from day 1. They rode well, and Bridget powered right on over them. I was beginning to think I had worried for nothing. As we finished up there, L came to find me for what she thought was her pre-lesson ride. Luckily, MD was completely agreeable to having L hop on during the lesson, so we sent her out over some large-ish houses to see how the Midge felt to her. And...pony threw in several dirty stops. I felt guilty for feeling vindicated that it wasn't just me getting caught out, but I have to take those small victories :) L, being much more gutsy and talented than me, just made her jump things from a standstill, and eventually pony seemed to get the memo that stopping isn't an option we approve of and jumping things is easier then stopping and climbing over. The verdict? Pony isn't scared or worried, she's just being a...pony. I hoped back on to tackle a different line and I think everyone expected a bit of carnage. Surprisingly, none was to be had and Midge treated me well by jumping everything I pointed her at, even some spooky ramp type things (I'm sure there is a proper word for them...logs arranged like a post and rail fence tilted away from you). We called it a win and ventured back over to the water complex. Again, all the horses were fantastic about jumping in and out of the water, so we added a little oxer about 3 strides out of the water. Jump into the water, canter through, up the bank to the oxer. No one had issues there, so we called the water conquered and moved on to the big steps (like 2' high, so HUGE to me lol) on the other end of the property.
Obviously not me, but this is the bottom step we schooled. I'm hoping to get the photo and video situation sorted this weekend so I can inundate you with XC media that will be out of context in future posts :) Photo borrowed  from the HTBC website

Up the steps was an easy concept, but I really struggled with going down. Midge was keen to canter and leap off and I never really felt like I rode it as nicely as I should. I'm not sure whether having steps on a steep slope is standard - the steps at this place are in a big mound above the rest of the fields so you ride up the hill, then have a stride or two at the top before you drop down a step, then a steep slope to a second step followed by another steep slope. The slope was an issue, because the horses would drop down the first step then want to race down the remainder of the hill! Still, we did it and it was fun and I managed to stay in the tack for the entirety of day 3:) We ended our weekend there, because time was up and I literally can't think of anything we didn't school. Ditches, water, drops, logs,  coops, rolltops, angles, ramps, combinations...super confidence building! MD thought our group was more than ready for Pre-Entry (2'6") or Entry (equates to BN) which was cool to hear, but I think we'll go with a Starter event first :)

This clinic was amazing. There was an abundance of information available all weekend long. We attended a couple of info sessions on Saturday - Steph Rhodes Bosch on fitness and planning your event season and my own coach gave the Intro To Eventing talk.  Since I was done riding by noon every day, I also had the opportunity to watch the upper level clinics. With 4 lessons running concurrently throughout the property until 6:00 there was no shortage of auditing opportunities. When I go next year, I'll bring a notebook and take copious notes - this year it was overwhelming amount of information to take in and retain for a newbie like myself, so there will be no further notes forthcoming here :) If you're within a few hours of the BC southern interior, I'd highly recommend this clinic - we ended up with 8 hours of excellent instruction for $230 including the pace clinics, stabling was $75, and camping was free.

The trip home was long and uneventful. We were all in desperate need of a shower and a good night's sleep, but I don't think anyone really wanted to go back to the real world. I know I didn't!
Filthy, exhausted, and happy. Midge sums up the weekend for us

Next on the schedule:
Clear Rounds Day this weekend (we're doing 2', 2'3" and 2'6")
Hunter/Jumper show May 7 (2'3" and 2'6")
Dressage show May 28 (aiming for First level Test 1)
Spring Horse Trials June 4/5 (at Starter!)


10 comments:

  1. Sounds like an absolutely fabulous clinic! I've always wanted to ride at Johvale, it looks like a brilliant place for a clinic

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    1. I don't know if we got lucky or what, but the weather and footing were absolutely perfect, and the grounds are super well maintained. The terrain would probably feel quite similar to what you're used to, lots of rolling hills and mostly open grasslands.

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  2. Very successful clinic by the sounds!! Also looks like you have some exciting times ahead of you!!

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    1. Definitely felt like this was a successful outing, can't wait for more!

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  3. yay i'm so glad you ended on such a positive note!! that clinic really sounds like such an incredible opportunity and i can't wait to see all your media!!! Bridget sounds like she's gonna be a great little eventer!! :D

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    1. I admit to being somewhat resentful when I paid the membership for yet another organization this past January...but HTBC really goes above and beyond by putting something like this together.

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  4. This sounds completely amazing! It actually makes me think of some of the music clinics that I played in when I was younger where you got to be completely immersed in that world for a period of time. I always loved those experiences! I really wish that someone would do the same thing for a dressage clinic!

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    1. Yes! Exactly that feel...eventing all day 24/7, everyone from grassroots to Olympians there riding and teaching. Super cool experience. A dressage version would be amazing!

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  5. All I can say is Wow. You both did wonderfully!

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  6. You did so many different things, and came out a winner! Good job, and your future looks to be pretty exciting!

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