Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Goodbye Sacramento!

Well another clinic is over!
After finishing up in Chicago we flew to Sacramento California...what a beautiful flight! We were able to see the mountains for part of the flight and it was gorgeous!

It is very interesting to be in different parts of the country and see different farms and facilities! Patty Ball has a fabulous facility! Her ring is phenomenal! A lovely, bit sand ring with a large bank in the center.  Things are a little different here then they are back at home in Ohio.  No indoor rings is a huge thing that is different.  I also noticed a trend during this clinic...LOTS of pelhams! I would say 80% of the horses went in pelhams! We swapped some out to double twisted wires...George's favorite bit! I also noticed that not many riders really rode from their leg...a lot of seat and backwards riding.

I got a LOT of ride time at this clinic! I rode 6 the first day and 8 the second day.  George was very complimentary of my riding and each horse presented different problems and issues. One big gray horse in the first section was a fabulous horse to ride. George said it was a "beautiful picture" with me on him...that made me happy because I loved the horse once I schooled him up a little bit and got him lighter to the aids.  A lot of the rides I did were to just reinforce the aids...whether it was making a horse go when I put my leg on, or whoa when I half halted.  Some were to make a horse bolder to the jumps, or to stop run outs (there seemed to be a lot of run outs during this clinic).

The horses here were all GREAT to the liverpool and open water. No real issues with that at all, which was great to see! It was a relief to see these horses had no problems with it, even with them filled with water!

Exercise wise, there really isn't anything to blog about...typical George exercises, nothing erally different or new.  One thing that he did which I thought was great was making the 3rd group take their stirrups off of their saddles.  They did quite a bit of flat work without stirrups.  He then made them jump up and down one side of the bank, with a short turn afterwards, then up and down the other side (which was a bit larger) with another short turn after.  They did this on a continuous figure of 8 until he told them to stop.  Most of the riders had great seats and really did well with this exercise.  One rider had issues with the exercise (her horse was quite bull headed and not a very pleasant ride) so I had to get on her horse and school the horse through the figure of 8.  The horse was a tough ride and just was NOT responsive to my hands. He had no mouth on him so when I pulled, he just pulled back! I did the bank back and forth quite a few times (all without stirrups) and got the horse more responsive before giving him back to his rider.

Here are some pictures of the jumps and ring here in Sacramento:

Here is a diagram of todays course:

I lettered the jumps so I can describe the courses that were that I am ready to do that, I realize I did not letter the jumps correctly! OOPS! haha! Oh well, it will work!

e-f-g is a snug 3 to a comfortable 3...reverse it and g-f-e is a long 3 to a shortish 3

the triple was set as a long 2 short 1
the triple to the water was a direct 5, followed by a steady 7 to the triple bar (d).

d-c-b-a was a BENDING short 6, to a less short 6, to a medium 4 or a direct 5, more direct 5, tight 4. This set of jumps presented lots of problems for the riders.

One course that the riders did was f to the triple in a steady 6, SHORT left turn back to the open water, slight bend in 7 to the triple bar, 6 to c, 5 to b, and 4 to a.

To prepare for the open water, the riders trotted and cantered the liverpool first.  Like I said earlier, none of the riders had an issue with the water or liverpool.

We are off to Portland Oregon tomorrow for a clinic at Rich Fellers' farm.  We clinic there Friday, Saturday, and Sunday then fly out to Los Angeles on Sunday night... Sunday is sure to be a LONG day since we do not arrive in LA until 9:30pm!

Thanks for reading...I will blog again after the Oregon clinic!


  1. Great post, thanks for the pictures and the diagram! Sounds awesome... wish I had a ring with a bank in the middle of it!!

  2. the bank was great! it was about 7 strides long, and one end of the bank was 1 stride wide, the other was 3-4 wide, varying heights all over so it was a very useful bank!

  3. Anne Caroline ValtinDecember 1, 2010 at 11:58 PM

    Great to hear you are getting to ride a LOT and he is still complimentary of your riding!! Great job Megan and thanks for the update!

  4. hey! glad you had a good time in sac =] it was nice meeting youu!

  5. Love love love the updates... you are amazing and I know your Mom is incredibly proud of you.

  6. Thanks Anne! LOTS of ride it has been AWESOME! was great meeting you! You rode super well! I felt bad for you guys when he said to drop your stirrups...then wanted to die when I had to ride Chris Anne's horse without them! LOL

    Mara...Thanks so much!!!! It has been an absolutely incredible experience and can not wait for the next clinic to start tomorrow!

  7. haha ya im still feeling that one let me just tell you! but such a good experience... learned SO MUCH!

  8. Saw the Chicago clinic - amazing horses, amazing tracks, tons of auditors, so professional. I only saw a few that didn't love the water and the experience helped some learn how to school for the water. Fun to watch.

  9. I audited the Sacramento clinic and thought you were amazing! I also took lots of pictures and video, and got some of you on that big grey horse from the first group. If you shoot me an email, I'd be happy to send them to you. My email is :-)

  10. Leslie...thank you so much! I really appreciate it...shooting you an email now!!

  11. Hey, I used to live in the Sac Area. Did you see a rider named Cindy on either a bay geldign named Irwin, or a bay mare named Siobhan? I used to work for her, and she always did the George Clinics!

  12. I do not recall a Cindy riding...but I could be wrong