Monday, November 29, 2010

Chicago Clinic is a wrap!

Holy Cow! Diane Carney puts on one HECK of a clinic! TOP horses and riders at a fabulous facility! We bulit some tough, big courses as well! I will try to figure out how to add diagrams of the courses to this blog...

Day 1:

Outside line set at 53 feet...brush vertical to oxer with barrels under it...both jumps were set 5 feet off the rail.  The opposite side of the ring was the open water about half way down the long side up against the rail.  on the short side there was a little vertical with flowers on both sides.  There was a white oxer with walls under it on one of the diagonals and the other diagonal was a copy of the famous Bert DeNemethy Shooting Star vertical that is currently on display at the USHJA Headquarters.

All 3 days focused on forward, responsive to the aids, and up into the bridle.
Group one was the 3'6-3'9 group. They all rode very well and had fabulous horses!  I sat on 2 during this group.  1 was a lovely big gray horse that was a bit on the dead side on landing after the trot jump. So I got on to get him to go forward after the jumps.  The 2nd that I sat on was this nice big bay horse that is normally used in hunter derbys. This horse was quite difficult to keep the energy on the short one, so I schooled him on that for awhile. He was a very fun horse to ride!
Group 2 was the 4ft group and once again, had LOVELY horses and riders! Nothing sticks out to me about that group that is worth reporting!  They all rode super well though!
Group 3 was the big group that got up to 4'3+ and had some Grand Prix horses and riders in it.  Some of these riders swapped to other horses for days 2 and 3.  Kate's horse, a big chestnut stallion, was just LOVELY to watch go. Actually, theres wasnt a single horse in the whole clinic that wasnt lovely to watch go!

Day 2:

The outside line got turned into a tripel set at 35' (brush vertical to barrel oxer) then 33' to a vertical with a spooky wall set up. across the diagonal was 22' in and out oxer to vertical. The vertical was the cool Chinese wall from the Hong Kong Olympics. The Denemethy jump was set at a 5 stride bending line after the open water and a little vertical was set so there was a 4 stride bending line to the middle oxer of the triple combination.

All groups were fabulous again! There was a super cute chestnut TB that was in the middle group that reminded me of Hopper, my retired jumper.  Quick on his feet, small and dainty, but heart of gold!

I rode the same 2 as the first day... The gray I schooled over the open water, and the bay I worked on getting in front of the leg.  I also rode a black horse in the first group to work on its half halts as he was strong for the girl riding him.  Then I got to ride a super fun cute bay horse in the 3rd section...I got on him to school the triple combination as they were adding and doing the 3 to the 3, which was quite short.  The horse had a LOVELY lofty big jump, and the shorter we got the rounder he jumped and was a bit difficult to stay with. He was a fabulous horse to ride though! A LOT of fun!

Day 3:

The triple combination got turned into a 67' (I believe thats what it was measured at) line set up the same as the first day, just with one more stride in the line.  We reversed the open water so it was jumped off the left lead.  The Denemethy jump stayed the same (5 stride bending line to the water).  there was a short 2 stride set up off of an awkward turn (had to turn RIGHT around the oxer of the 67' line) so it was quite a blind turn and presented plenty of problems. The head of that line was a spooky looking triple bar...hard to describe it, so I wont! :)  the out of the triple was a simple white plank vertical...but the planks were skinny so it ended up creating problems there.  Next to the Denemethy jump was a big airy oxer...riders were to do 3 or 4 off of the in and out...the 3 caused quite a few bobbles at the oxer!  the chinese wall stayed in the same place...riders got to that jump by riding through the in and out.  Then there was a vertical that was on the diagonal with 2 strides on the landing before the rail/corner.  It had 3 natural rails on it (as in branch type rails) with one flower box under it.

Today was a very tough course and we had quite a few riders fall off! 1 was a nasty stop at the water, 2 were jumped off (horses were jumping VERY well!), and another fell off in the corner after the vertical in the corner...she wanted to go straight to the corner to halt, horse turned, off she slid!
I rode the same gray and bay this day.  The gray I got on to demonstrate releases and the bay I got on to demonstrate jumping ahead, dropping back, ducking, and a proper position.

George taught all of the girls a lesson...he said "Boys are dogs! If they aren't dogs, they are Boars!" That got quite a few laughs from the auditors!

George rode a few horses this weekend...2 were ones that I wanted to blog about.  He rode this big hot bay in the 3rd group...he was a super cool horse, but very sensetive.  George worked him for quite awhile, working on the horse respecting the aids without being so hot and sensitive about it.  To see the transformation in that horse was INCREDIBLE. It went from  super hot, sensitive, and spunky to perfectly content with anything that was asked of him.  It was just amazing to watch.  The 3rd day, he rode Caitie Hope's chestnut that was in the 3rd group.  He was a big of a stiff horse, but George worked him for probably 10 minutes or so and really got the horse to be soft, supple, and relaxed.  The horse's expression after he rode him was that of content...he was so loose and supple and jumped so freely after George rode him.  George has such an incredible touch with the horses and it is awesome to watch!

I had a lot of fun at this clinic, learned a TON, and met a lot of fabulous people!  This clinic was also a trainer certification clinic, so there were over 100 auditors each day! HUGE turnout which was great to see!

We flew to Sacramento today (which is gorgeous!)...we clinic here tomorrow and Wednesday before flying to Portland Oregon.  There, we clinic on Friday Saturday and Sunday and fly to LA Sunday night.

I am having a blast and learning a lot! However, today was a down day after we arrived so I have had a lot of time to think about missing home and my mom.  My mom is my best friend and this is the longest we have been away from each other...during clinic days all is well since I stay busy, but on days like this, I am homesick!  Oh well...this is the opportunity of a lifetime and I am SO greatful for this experience!

3 weeks and I will be HOME! :)


  1. Im really sad we can't like this post cuz i would love it! Although I already know all of this, I still love reading it and knowing you are doing great and having so much fun!! Love u big sis!

  2. Great post, thanks for sharing! As for course diagrams, I usually draw them using paint or a similar tool and then upload them like you would a photo onto the blog. Would love to see pictures of some of these jumps too, if you ever get the chance!

  3. Nice job Megan! You will feel better tomorrow, just stay focused on your goals and opportunities! And of course I miss you too! Love, Mom

  4. So, I have to ask, I was at the Clinic for auditing but I missed group 2 on day 3. Were the spills and thrills in that group?

  5. only one of the spills was in group 2 the last ady! thanks everyone! Marissa, I wish I had the chance to take pictures while at Dianes, as her jumps were gorgeous. just no time !I will try harder the rest of the time! I edited to add about George riding 2 horses...

    Mom, love you so much! and miss you! 3 weeks...countdown till im home then its mom and daughter time to get ready for CHRISTMAS!

  6. Hey! This sounds amazing and this is so exciting for you! I was at that clinic last year and it was AMAZING!!!! I had so much fun and Capone loved it!

  7. MEGAN! youre amazing, this all is fantastic. i love living this vicariously through you :)) what an experience! i love and miss you ;))
    <3 -helene

  8. This is indeed such a great opportunity, although I know it has to be hard to be away from home. I'm sure your mom will keep your spirits up. Good thing is, you have a busy schedule and nothing about being around horses is ever boring or easy so I'm sure the days will tick by very quickly.

    Keep all the great info coming! We are all glued!!

  9. amazing megan! Have fun in the rest of your clinics!

  10. What an amazing opportunity you have! Love all of the updates and insights. Thanks so much for taking the time to keep us all informed.