Sunday, March 30, 2008

Clinton Anderson Clinic

My purse was turned in at the restaurant, so I headed out to Prineville, Oregon a little later than I wanted to, but I had my ID and all my credit cards and every penny was still in my purse, so I was a happy camper. The passes up by Mt. Hood were pretty treacherous, so it was slow going. I arrived right after lunch and there were 22 clinic participants and lots of auditors. They were working on passenger lessons which basically means you pick a gait and ride on a loose rein and allow your horse to go where ever they want to go and the only time you shut them down is if you feel in danger. There were a lot of really scared people, most were afraid to canter. I cantered Maddy on her "test" ride, but haven't done it since I bought her. Of course the fracture was a set back, but I realized as I sat there, if I was on Maddy in that clinic, I would probably be one of those people. So I had a little revelation within the first couple of minutes. I need to start putting some miles on my horse! I learned a lot about collection and lots of things to work on now that I am riding again. At one point, they blind-folded a horse to test how much the horse truly gave to pressure. If you look at the sorrel horse in the photo, she has a t-shirt covering her eyes. It was interesting to watch her process what was going on and learn to trust her owner. I saw the participants make a lot of progress in the two days. As I sat in the audience, I heard all the "know it all auditors" make all sorts of negative comments about the "ugly horses" and "clueless riders" and I just kept thinking...at least these people are here. These horses are the lucky ones...these horses have owners that care enough about them to want to learn how to build a better partnership. I wish all owners put themselves out there like these folks and pushed themselves to be better. I think everyone in that building took home something to build on. I look forward to getting back to work out at the barn. This week....the canter! Here is the requested "Clinton Anderson butt shot" for Kara, our barn manager who has a crush and could not make it to Prineville this weekend:-)

18 comments:

Molly said...

You must feel so much more confident in "trying." I bet your beautiful Maddie will love something new.

Callie said...

It sounds like a great learning experience. People can be such "jamokes". I find the people that think they know it all are really the dumb idiots and are dangerous to both their horses and themselves and others around them. There's something to be said about over confidence. And ugle is just a matter of opinion. Good for you. I'm glad you made the journey. I'm heading to Madison in three weeks with Steve to the Midwest Horse Fair, not only to support the Mustang trainers that will be there, but to grab as much knowledge from the pros and clinics offered!

Lulu said...

So? The people auditing the clinic were basically heckling the riders??? This makes me sad. Those folks were there for HELP, and yet they were made fun of.

Why are so many horse people so catty?

Kristine said...

Sounds like you have a fabulous learning experience! Loved reading all about it. :)

learninghorses said...

Love the butt shot! I would have totally gone, but we were on vacation, just got back last night. For future reference learninghorses@yahoo.com.

So now for my real comment:
I have seen a lot of beautiful horses, ones kept clean, out of the mud who live with their ears pinned back and bite at anyone who comes close.

I have seen nicely collected blue ribbon winning horses that are ready to buck when asked to yield too much pressure or who cannot perform with anything but a tight curb chain and shanked bit ridden with tight contact.

I have also seen beautiful halter horses with perfect moves who are on the verge of founder that are not allowed to socialize because they may get a bite mark.

There are people who spend thousands on lessons, tack, equipment, boarding who have horses that might do what they ask, but they are always afraid and will sell on a whim when something goes wrong.

Those people who were at the clinic are making the best investment they will ever make in their horse. I don't care how ugly or muddy they are, you are right, they ARE the lucky horses. Ones who will have a future at a beautiful relationship.

Pony Tail Club said...

When I moved to my new barn, the new owner said that he only had one big rule. The rule was that no one can ever criticize someone else's horse or their riding. I think those rules should apply to clinics!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I'm glad you made it to the clinic. The know-it-alls were just displaying their lack of class. I often get stuck in bleachers at ball games and get annoyed listening to people make negative comments about the kids playing ball without any thought to the fact that their parents are sitting within hearing range, not to mention that the people they are criticizing are just kids trying to have fun. If anyone says anything negative about my kids, I'm sure to tap them on the shoulder and introduce myself. That shuts them up in a hurry.

Deanna said...

Wow, what a great idea to blindfold the horse. I'm going to have to try that.

Glad you got your stuff back...

Deanna

20 meter circle of life said...

sounds like a good clinic sans a few barn b's
I am glad you came away with some good stuff...
so Devonwood this weekend???

Rising Rainbow said...

I'm glad you got your purse with all your stuff intact and were able to make it to the clinic.

Those people who have to cut others down to make themselves feel big make me sad. They are the real losers.

Nice b*tt shot.

I kinda remember that you hadn't loped Maddy yet. I'm glad that you now have the inspiration to do so.

Foster Communications said...

Now I don't know horses, but I know a great butt when I see it. Nice! ;)

Anne said...

So much great stuff in this post. First, there are some nice people in the world -- you got your stuff back. Too bad the folks in the bleachers don't fall into that category.

Wouldn't it be nice if all of us onlookers tried to think of good things to say about people? (I could use this lesson.) Groups of people can be like dogs in a pack -- they might be nice alone, but together they get mean.

The T-shirt is very interesting. I would try it but I don't think I know enough to not make it a negative experience.

And your barn manager is right. That's a worthwhile photo!

EquineSpirit said...

Sounds like you had a great time! And thanks for sharing that last photo...that made my day! LOL! :)

gloria said...

I was one of the "clueless riders" at the Clinton Anderson clinic in Prinville Oregon. I really had a wonderful experience and felt like my horse and I learned so much in the three days that we participated in the clinic. I am the blond with the Paint horse in the first picture of Clinton on this site. I was so surprised to see our picture when I stumbled on to this blog site. Thank you for the postive comments about the riders in the clinic.

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