We're going to our first ever clinic on July 16 and 17 at Hobby Horse Farm. Lynda Southam, Dressage Canada M judge is giving a test riding clinic. We ride a test, she critiques it with us, and then we ride it again trying to improve our score. We do this both Sat. and Sun. I'm riding training level 2 and 3. I was thinking of doing level 1, test 1, since it isn't a show and is meant as a learning experience, but since I didn't have Joan to get me ready I scrapped that idea :( Oh well, we'll get to it soon enough.
It's going to be a fun weekend. We arrive Fri. night. There's a big house there which our club has rented and then rented out rooms to riders and auditors (Doug and I are staying in our trailer with living quarters). We're providing all the meals. One of our board members is a great food organizer, and we'll all pitch in with prep and clean up. Sat. night several us us are cooking for - it will be a dinner for about 26 people. We'll bring wine, etc., and afterwards there's a Q & A with the clinician and then a talk - De-mystifying Dressage - by Jane Fraser.
I'm really looking forward to it - all the learning and being around dressage people that you get at a show, without all the pressure and anxiety that I impose on myself. Also, camping with Doug, great people, evenings of dressage talk, good food and wine - heaven!
Rogo is coming along nicely. I've been re-focusing on getting him working more from his hind quarters and coming on the bit. Walk is very good, trot is aaaalmost there, and canter gets a couple of strides on then several with his nose way out. I think the canter will come and Joan says not to force it. She wants me to ask for a bit of collection on and off to help him get the idea. His canter must be getting more balance - he can counter canter circles and canter 15 m circles and smaller - all quite easily. Also it doesn't feel like it's on the forehand, so I'm thinking we're making progress.
I've never worked too much on sitting trot with him, figuring it would be much easier once he got round. My last ride I had several good intervals of sitting trot with him, a real break through. At one point he just felt so good I spontaneously thought "I'm going to sit" and wow, what a feeling. His back was up and he just carried me in a great big trot. I didn't even have to 'try' to sit. Normally I've found it very bouncy to try to sit, which is why I've waited. I think if this keeps up we'll be doing fine in sitting trot in a few months. The thing I need to remember is to keep him very forward and connected. I think he's becoming a dressage horse ... :)
I've been crazy busy planning our new horse property. Our new tractor should be here any day, Doug is getting an RV ready to put on the land for us to stay in while we're working on the site, I'm writing funding proposals, trailering our partner Megan and her clients to shows, etc. My blogging has suffered, but I miss it. It will get better soon.Let me know if you have any questions for our Q&A session with the judge!