A Clinic with Carl

Last weekend, I went to Grand Rapids to help Carl with a clinic.  This was something new for me because Carl tends to do a lot more single lessons than clinics (just because that is what the northern Michigan economy demands).  When we went to the horse show at Windsong that I wrote about in my last blog, however, a trainer saw Carl working with us and asked if he would do a clinic for his riders.  Carl was thrilled by the idea and  ended up giving a clinic to 12 riders for two days.  Everyone had a blast and learned so much.

Here is Carl teaching one of the green horses to do a turn on the forehand. He would have the rider cue him while Carl pushed on his hind end - pretty soon he had the gist of it!

The first group in the arena was the green horse group.  Carl spent a lot of time teaching them basic ring figures that will help the horses learn how to respond to the aids.  Second was the novice rider group and he did a lot of similar work with them in order to teach the riders how to properly coordinate their aids.  Last was the advanced group and Carl had fun working on details with them.  Carl got on several of the horses to demonstrate some maneuvers and also had me get on some to help out.  I rode seven horses interspersed throughout the two days.  Everyone left excited and ready to apply everything that they had learned.  They plan on working with Carl next summer too!

Here I am on one of the horses in the clinic. (That's my arm anyway.) Carl was having me demonstrate turn on the haunches.

The past few weeks of school have been pretty average, I’m happy to report – just a lot of homework, a few exams, and some papers.  I did, however, finish my first budget as equestrian club treasurer.  When it was finished, it was 22 pages long!  (In fact, it was such a big file that Microsoft Word froze every time I tried to scroll!)  When I brought the budget into the Campus Programs office, I could see the shock on their faces.  It wasn’t just the budget itself that was so long, but the pages of proof of costs as well!  (When we request funding, we’re required to provide proof of what everything costs – and I did!)  It paid off, though – literally! – when we ended up being offered our entire budget with no cuts, which was really exciting since that doesn’t happen very often.

This weekend we had a wonderful event at the barn.  Sporthorse Saddlery brought in their trailer and we went shopping!  The best part was that if we tried on breeches and gave our opinion to the rep from Ariat, they would give us a free Ariat coat.  Of course when I went in there I fell in love with another Ariat coat – a soft shell out of the Ariat red, white, and blue collection.  So I tried it on just to see what it looked like and I was sold!  (Well, at least I’m from northern Michigan where you can never have too many coats!)

Next weekend is fall break and our first horse show with the hunt seat team.  I can’t wait to spend some time with all the girls on the team and start our season!

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