Thursday, April 23, 2009

Clinics and Snow Storms


It’s been a crazy couple of weeks! I’ve only been home for six nights this whole month, with trips to OH, SC, WY and KS. The fact that I’ve only managed to ride my horse once so far this month doesn’t seem as bad when I look at it like that. If the weather holds, I may get a ride in today too!

The big snowstorm that hit Denver last week caused me a lot of headache and stress with two cancelled flights and the fear I might not make it to a clinic. I’ve never missed a clinic and the thought of what I would do if I couldn’t make it was enough to keep me up all night and travel with a stress-headache the next day. But, as luck would have it, I was able to standby for the next flight and made it to Topeka just in time for the book signing and rider’s reception! It was held at a fantastic Western Lifestyle store in Topeka, and we all had a great time shopping before getting to know each other during the excellent dinner.

Last week, I had a CHA Instructor Certification clinic at Central Wyoming College in Riverton. It was a very easy clinic with qualified and enthusiastic participants, all of whom received a certification at a level they were happy with. I’ve done a lot of CHA clinics over the years—back when I was the Program Director, I did as many as seven one year!  But now, because of the demands on my schedule, I can only do one a year. I enjoy going up to WY and working with the dedicated students there. As a bonus, I get to spend the week with two dear friends, Polly and Patti, my colleagues in this endeavor. Even the 7” of wet heavy snow we got on Thursday wasn’t enough to dampen our spirits (thank god for heated indoors).

But the snow did wreak havoc on my travel, but I made it to my clinic in Topeka nonetheless and we had a great clinic! There was a nice variety of riders, horses and issues to work on all weekend, and everyone had success. I love the variety I get in clinics—dressage, hunt seat, gaited horses; cutters, trail riders and mounted shooters; novices and experienced hands; well-broke horses and ones that need work. The more variety the better for me, because it challenges my teaching. The days went so fast, I could  hardly believe when I looked at the clock on Sunday afternoon and saw we had run out of time.

This weekend I am headed to Richmond VA for another clinic tour stop. I am looking forward to the clinic and hope that I’ll meet some interesting horses. Then it’s on to TN next week for the AQHA QuarterFest.  I am excited about that event—not only because I’ll get to see a lot of friends and colleagues I haven’t seen in a while, but also because it is shaping up to be a very cool and power-packed event! Go check it out online and come if you can.

Now, I’d better get some work done so that I can squeeze a ride in this afternoon, before I leave town again.

Enjoy the ride!


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  1. Your schedule sounds overwhelming. I hope you get to ride your horse tonight. What riding style do you use with your own horse?

  2. Hi Julie, I really related to the homeward bound episode this week. My horse is like this so I was only going out on Hubby's horse when riding alone until last fall. I have about 6 rides under my belt out alone on my horse. The latest was yesterday and I wasn't able to let him stretch out his neck the whole ride for fear of his getting enough rein to spin. He was constantly testing the rein. I usually ride him in a loose rein with other horses and he goes where I look. But riding him alone I have to ride with a concentrated rein. He is a dominant horse that I have done alot of ground work with but apparently not enough to be his leader. Should I start from scratch again with ground work and is it OK to ride for an hour and a half with a concentrated rein? I hope you see this question. :)

  3. Thanks Pepper! I did get to ride that day and I am glad I did. ALl weekend long as I rode other people's horses, it made me appreciate what a great horse he is. I ride Western performance-- Versatility ranch horse and reined cowhorse.

    To anonymous-- you should be riding on a relaxed rein on the trail. Sounds like ground work would definitley help. My lead line leadership dvd would be a good program for you to gain confidnece in your authority over your horse. good luck!


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