November 16, 2019, Volume 14, Issue 43
When I asked our guests who just participated in the MMR eight day horsemanship clinic what the highlight was for them, I heard after a moment of thought, “ Well, everything!” Each guest had the same answer, which was pretty cool to hear.
They worked really hard from day one to study a feel and what their horse was thinking. It was probably one of the best sessions in terms of study, that I have been witness to since I have been at the ranch.
Staff and interns were able to take time out from our normal daily activities to ride with Shayne, Des and the guests and it was awesome! Speaking for myself, I learned more these past two weeks, or I should say I absorbed more, than I have in a long time. There has been a lot of discussion about what it takes to make a change. The first thing to realize is that the change has to be made within ourselves, before we ever can think about changing our horses. THIS is the hard part! Once you find a way to do that, everything else begins to fall into place.
Guests had a lot of fun working on getting their horses balanced, and moving them out. Tina gained a ton of confidence while cantering. This has been a personal goal for her and by the end of the clinic, she was cantering all over the arena and bringing Booker back to the trot and walk in a soft feel.
Ann rode her mare Brandy and Shayne couldn’t say enough about how far they have come together. Brandy was a challenge in her earlier years but you would never know it watching the two of them go through progressions, walk, trot, canter transitions, and the 180 exercise. Brandy was so relaxed during the demo’s that Ann had to keep walking her around so she didn’t doze off!
Norbert has been coming to the ranch for years, but something in his riding changed this time. He was riding much more relaxed and really waiting on his horses to turn loose to him. Same for Ray…Ray has his young colt Dusty here in training, but he wanted to ride a ranch horse so he could feel what things should be like on a more advanced snaffle bit horse. He rode both Catman and Jasper in away that they were reaching for him and feeling of him and it was very cool to see the evolution in his riding.
Lynn G. joined us again and she got to work more on her progressions leading up to the canter, and then cantering diagonals, straight lines and circles. Lynn has made a ton progress in her riding over the past year, and this eight day clinic really solidified several aspects. She and Norbert must have had fun riding because they are both staying to ride with us next week :-).
Shayne and Des really did a great job of coaching all of us through any trouble spots we were having and also to work on things that would bring us each to the next level. This eight day clinic came right on the heels of Buck’s Whitefish clinic and I have to think that they were a little worn from being on the go—but you’d never know it because their focus level just doesn’t change. This is perhaps the best lesson to be learned. Caleb, our newest intern, demonstrated that he can focus quite well. After only eight days of riding with us, his seat changed dramatically and his horses were moving out and looking happy.
We also welcomed back Roby this week after his stint on the road with Buck and he will be here until the ranch goes on ‘vacation’ for the months of December and January. There are still spots open for winter horsemanship in 2020- we will reopen Feb 16th and the program runs through Mid April. If you are serious about improving not only your riding, but the understanding behind what your horse is thinking, you’ll want to check it out.