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 done...now 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!