I am not sure if I mentioned it here but I recently had the chance to watch an Anne Gribbons clinic at Quailhurst Stables near Dickie barn. It was amazing. If you ever have the chance to see her run there. I missed part of the first ride but managed to catch the rest of the rides for one day. There were mostly upper level riders with one 2nd level rider on a schoolmaster. I loved how one thing just flowed into the next. The person would say "I want to work on piaffe" and they were start on something that appeared unrelated and it just flowed. They suddenly they were doing piaffe without stress or fanfare. One rider wanted to work on more expression in the front. Anne said that she saw Totilas as a youngster and he didn't have that exaggerated front end movement. She said the rider's horse was going correctly from behind so getting more in the front would be easy. Then she gave some very very simple instructions for how to use her seat and BOOM that horse was transformed. Another horse came in and I was impressed by how the rider warm her up relaxed and stretching forward. She almost looked hunterish in the warm up. While it was nice to see a horse warmed up so relaxed I didn't see any WOW in the horse. By the end of the ride you wouldn't recognize that horse. They channelled all of that elastic relaxation into a dynamite horse. Anne told her this was a Grand Prix horse.
Here are some photos from the clinic: Anne Gribbons
The week after watching Anne Gribbons Marina Parris-Woodhead came to a local stable called Lake Oswego Hunt Club. She is a Grand Prix rider who spends some of her time here in Oregon. The owner of my barn helped coordinate getting her to the area and now she makes regular trips. Here is a article in the local paper about Marina Parris-Woodhead
The riders at this clinic were more at my level. There were a few upper level riders, some good riders on young horses, and other mid level riders. Marina also had a very simple approach to problems. She showed how simple exercises like voltes can be used to strengthen anything from canter lengthenings, to half pass, to helping a hot horse relax at the walk. I was shocked that we had such a wonderful clinician and there were almost zero auditors. There wasn't even an audit fee!! I learned so much at her clinic that I am planning on riding with her in January. I love riding in clinics. I am not someone who likes a weekly lesson. I like to have time to process information and work on things independently. I also like to ride with different people so I can get new perspectives. There were several really young horses in the clinic so I feel like it will be a great setting for our first under saddle trip away from home. If he ends up being a handful baby brain it will be great to have someone give me guidance on how to work through that. Even better it will be at a place were we plan on showing.
I am nervous but really excited. It is crazy to think a year ago he wasn't even under saddle!!!