Monday, December 6, 2010

Goodbye Portland Oregon, hello California!

We had another fabulous clinic at Rich Fellers farm in Portland Oregon! The Fellers family is incredibly kind and ride beautifully! Rich, his wife Shelly, and their son Chris all rode in the clinic! It was great to see such a phenomenal and brilliant rider still ride in a George clinic! There are many professionals out there today that would not and do not ride in such clinics....who knows why...but my theory is there is ALWAYS more to learn! Kudos to all the professionals out there that DO in fact ride in clinics! It was just refreshing to see both Rich and Shelly ride in this clinic!

Oregon is a beautiful state! Very green, but also cold! We were outside in just a covered ring for this clinic and it was quite cold!! The footing in the ring was a type of mulch...which was interesting.  It was great footing, but was a bit loose as it was still new and needed more riding on it! The horses in this clinic were stellar! FABULOUS jumpers with lots of scope! The riders were all great as well!

The courses and exercises were tough and required riding every single stride...there were no "freebie" jumps that you could relax to...each and every one of them required an active ride.
Here is a diagram of the course on day 3 of the clinic:

The outside line was set at 77 feet...riders jumped this back and forth working on being loose to the oxer and getting to the vertical and shortening...this really helped the horses jump quite round! Jumping it vertical to oxer, riders had to be cautious to not get to the oxer too soon and too deep.

The skinny (fence 2 in the diagram) to the water was a 4 stride bending line. It was a great set up because riders could not think about the open water until they had jumped the skinny.  If they thought about the open water too soon, then they had the skinny down.

The quadruple on the outside was quite a line! Set as a comfortable 1, long 2, SHORT 1 and with 2 wide spread fences in the middle of the line.  The riders and horses handled it well...some horses stopped at either the triple bar or the final vertical (which was pretty solid looking since it was 3 planks and no poles).  Some horses got to the triple bar, knew that one was SUPER tight and would just stop, others got over the triple and stopped at the vertical...however, every horse and rider was able to work it out and that last 1 stride sure got horses to be quite careful and handy!

I rode quite a few horses in this clinic...
My favorite was this fresh/hot bay mare that is totally my kind of ride. I love the rides that you can just sit against them and let them take you to the jump. She was a super fun mare to ride!
I rode this cute gray a few different times...a couple times were to make him lighter to my leg and get him in front of my leg and once was to demonstrate some things on the flat work.  George was very very very complimentary of my flat work on this horse.  He said my position was impeccable, that I really understood dressage and how to get a horse to come round from back to front (he even clapped for me after this ride!!!).  Later that evening he continued to compliment me on that flat demonstration! It was great to hear him say such positive things about my riding! I rode another gray a few times to get him in front of my leg and help the rider prevent him from stopping...a chestnut I rode to demonstrate more flat work and demonstrate a proper automatic release. A super cute bay horse was tentative to some jumps due to lack of impulsion, so I got him to school him a bit.  He was not a fan of me riding him with more leg and he took off with me!! Thankfully there was a rail for me to run him into so we would stop! He ended quite nicely though and was a fun little horse! One horse i did some jumping on and he said that I was not Beezie or Mclain, but that I am a prospect and with experience and the right horse, I could be just like them! That was the most incredible comment to hear ever! It was unbelievable that he said such a compliment!! 
After this clinic, I am up to 33 rides since I have been gone! LOVE getting so much saddle time on such nice horses!!

Anyone that knows me, knows I am the worlds pickiest eater!  However, I discovered that I can eat at a sushi restaurant, a Thai restaurant, and that I do in fact like crab and fish! WHO KNEW?!?! hahaha! The Crab is what really shocked me! I really didn't think I would like it since I have always hated seafood...but it was DELICIOUS!

We had a rough flight last  night flying from Portland to LA...LOTS of turbulence, I had a screaming child right behind me, it was after a VERY long it made for a long night! We didn't get into the hotel until after 11 (so 2am in Ohio!)...I sure slept well though! We had breakfast outside (in a t-shirt and light fleece) in Hollywood this morning! LOVE people watching and this was a perfect time to do so! It was a fabulous relaxing morning!  We are off to Pasadena today where we will stay this week! We will clinic at Archie Cox's and Karen Healey's farms this week.  SIX straight days of clinics...I better rest up well today!! Luckily, the weather forecast is showing everything from 68*-75* and sunny every single day! I could get used to this! :)

George has 2 ideas that he has put into my brain!  The first is that he wants me to start a pony hunter breeding business of my own.  He has seen videos and pictures of my 2 current ponies and really thinks this would be an ideal business for me! He talks about it daily!!  The second idea is that he wants me to sell my current jumper, Guinness, and buy a young jumper that is the hotter type with more scope.  He knows I LOVE that kind of ride and he said that is the ride that will take me to the next level! Sure gives me a lot to think about!

2 weeks from today I will be heading home!  It will be a busy next 2 weeks and I am really looking forward to it! Also REALLY looking forward to getting home to my mom, family, friends, Bailey, and my horses!

I will blog again later this week!


  1. I loved reading this blog! It made me laugh! Also, great comments from George! You should be very proud of yourself, I surely am! Love you! See you in a couple weeks! Mom

  2. Thanks mommy!!! I am SO proud of everything I have done and accomplished the past week and a half...2 more weeks then I am home with you! :) xoxoxoxo

  3. What an incredible opportunity and a great experience! 25 years ago, I would have given an arm and a leg (of course, that would have made the riding a little difficult) to have had that kind of experience. And what a great series of compliments you have received! Coming from George, you know that they are all completely deserved. Congratulations and good luck on the rest of your adventure.

  4. Am following your blog with interest. Thank you so much for sharing. As a blogger myself, and having covered a few GM clinics in my time, I know how hard it is to get all of this down in a format that can be shared. So, I want to thank you for taking the time to do so.

    I love hearing all of the complimentary things GM is saying about your riding and the encouragement and advice he is giving you about your future. That is one man I would listen to.

  5. Thanks everyone!! Anyplace is quite difficult to get all the details down...I am no where near getting every detail down...I forget so many things he says by the time I get a chance to blog, i take notes when I can, but I am so busy all day and absorbing so much that it is actually a little overwhelming! and to put it into words is difficult!

  6. What did you do before your AMAZING journey with George? are you going to continue that when you get home or go into the horse business? This is an awesome experience and i am soo jealous!

  7. I worked full time, and rode my own horses and worked with my young pony hunters....I plan to go back to doing the same thing when I get home, but expanding my pony collection per George's advice...also selling my jumper to get a new one!

  8. What did you do as your full time job?

  9. Medical type billing for county boards that serve MRDD consumers.