As the saying goes… no good deed goes unpunished, but I think this weekend was an exception. I worked hard all weekend long teaching horsemanship clinics to benefit good causes and everyone had a good time and scored a few karma points in the process.
Friday evening Rich and I drove up to Parker CO, to the Colorado Horse Park, for the "Legends Maker" Versatility Ranch Horse clinic. It was a two day clinic, one day competition sponsored by the National Versatility Ranch Horse Assn, promoted specifically for youth riders.
I was impressed by the number of riders—12 youth ranging in age from 10 to 17—their interest in this challenging competition and the quality of their horses. While none of the riders had really fancy horses, they were all decent, well-trained, safe and reliable mounts. Anyone who's ever been a 4H leader know how remarkable that last statement is.
I worked the kids on their equitation, cueing, collection and improving their stops. The poor kids had been riding since 8:30 that morning and I didn't even start until 4:00! They were obviously hot and tired but they paid good attention and tried everything I threw at them and showed significant improvement. The kids and their parents were all polite and grateful and it made me feel really good about donating my time to a good cause.
Saturday and Sunday I had a general horsemanship clinic at Cactus Creek Ranch, just south of Colorado Springs; this clinic was to benefit "Renee's Friends," a fundraising group that provides direct financial benefits to breast cancer patients here in Colorado. Headed up by the feisty and dynamic Renee Coble HYPERLINK "http://www.reneesfriendsfund.com/AboutUs/AbouttheBoard/tabid/216/Default.aspx" http://www.reneesfriendsfund.com/AboutUs/AbouttheBoard/tabid/216/Default.aspx , a tough-minded and courageous survivor of breast cancer—still engaged in this ongoing battle, the group raises money mostly through horse related events and then distributes that money directly to those in need. Often there is only a week between when a person in need applies for help and gets it. Besides financial help, they offer support services and advocacy. . If you want to learn more about Renee's Friends or make a donation, please visit HYPERLINK "http://www.reneesfriendsfund.com/Home/tabid/211/Default.aspx" http://www.reneesfriendsfund.com/Home/tabid/211/Default.aspx .
We had 12 riders in the clinic and many auditors—all of whom were very pleased to know that 50% of the net proceeds were being donated back to Renee's Friends. It was a great clinic! We had a really fun group of riders—all of whom made great progress during the two days. Saturday night we had a fun wine and cheese party at the barn and gave away some great prizes to those who could answer the horse trivia questions.
It was a real joy for me to be able to take and ride my own horse at a clinic. Most of the clinics I do are out of state and I've yet to figure out how to get my horse on a plane. The way the airlines are going, I'll be lucky to be able to take my boots soon.
It was good to be able to demonstrate on Dually and give him at least some work over the weekend, rather than coming home to a fresh horse on Monday. Even though he didn't really have to do that much, for some reason he was dog tired by the end of the day. He could hardly hold his head up in the trailer. But today he is out in the pasture, stuffing his mouth full of green grass (a rare treat for our horses) and resting up. By tomorrow, he'll be back to his perky self, I'm sure.
I am excited to be staying home this weekend and have some time to relax with my horses and my husband (not necessarily in that order). Rich is going to pick up his new horse tonight, so we are very excited to get him home and start getting to know him. More about that later!
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