Photo Heavy Cathy Clinic Wrap-Up!

"Where do we go from here, Cathy?"

"Up and out!"

A lot has changed since the last time Cathy saw us, in March.  He still approached fences like they were going to eat him, I still was just a passenger, we weren't really talking to each other yet.

March 2013 Cathy Clinic
Cathy saw a huge difference in him this time.  She said we'd (my trainer and I) really done a good job with teaching him to carry himself and to step underneath himself behind, and that she was happy with where he is right now.

September 2013 - really carrying himself and stepping underneath now!

In the beginning of the clinic he had really tuned me out:

Dressage llama is not playing your reindeer games right now.


So Cathy had me canter one end of the arena, trot the diagonal while asking for a leg yield (or walk if he wasn't listening) and then pick up the other lead, rinse, repeat.  She really made me get a good leg yield out of him, and it took a while, and she said we need more lateral work so that he respects my leg aids better and engages that inside hind.  Noted.

After that, we looked like this:




Over fences, the biggest thing she had me change was his head position.  I've been so focused on packaging up that canter, I think I've been giving him more of a Dressage ride over fences than I should be.  His head position has been low, and he hasn't been seeing the fences as well as he should.  She had me add leg and float my reins just a bit (I think I am explaining that right) in order to bring his head up, and boom!  He was suddenly very confident over fences.

My husband came to the barn (!!!  I am so excited about this! First time in 3 years!) and took all of the jump photos from the first half of the lesson, before we implemented a lot of the changes Cathy had me make, (camera card filled up halfway through) so there's a lot of this:







Things got better after some corrections by Cathy, and when we went flying through a gymnastic.  I mean locked on and flying, it felt so good and he felt so confident after his head came up:



 But that was the angle he took the photos of the line from, so...butt shot!

I am so thrilled with how the clinic went, and how Cathy talking to me about the inside hind dovetails perfectly with what Nancy told me about the outside shoulder.  I see a winter of lateral movements and gymnastics in our future...not that I want to think about winter yet.

And today, pony got a well-deserved walking-only hack out:

They told me it was futile, but my mane-training I've been doing all summer is working!

What a good boy!

21 comments:

  1. Glad that the clinician saw your improvement! You guys have come so far and are looking great! :)

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    1. Thanks! You should make the trip up and clinic up here sometime!

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  2. What a difference, you guys look great!

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  3. Congratulations. I love the feeling when your horse is really taking you to the fences! I love the pictures to! Your barn is super gorgeous, talk about picture perfect.

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    1. Thank you! The barns are older, but the BO insists on keeping everything really nice, and is also good at woodworking so he always makes repairs quickly. It's my only option for training/boarding geographically, so it's an awesome bonus that it's so nice to look at.

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  4. Wow - sounds like a great clinic! Connor is so flippin' handsome! :-) I'm glad to hear that you guys made some more good progress!

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  5. he really Looks Great! You have Improved So Much This Summer And It Shows!

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    1. Thank you so much, so have you, seriously!! I hope to run into you and Steady still sometime before the season is over!

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  6. You guys are sure keeping me inspired!So glad you had a great clinic. The leg yielding is something I was taught to use on Ginger as well when she's not focusing - silly cobs :)

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    1. Silly cobs indeed! I think more than ever what I'm learning is that maturity and experience mean a lot with these guys, and it takes a while to attain. So, patience, you're getting there! :)

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  7. Replies
    1. Thank you! That means a lot coming from a hunter, you guys make it look so smooth and I'm still just trying to make it safely to the other side ;)

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  8. What a hunk! He just looks better and better!

    This post really made me feel better after a not-so-successful, very passenger-y jump ride of my own...thanks for the reminder that it takes years to bring a green jumper along.

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    1. I am so glad, you are exactly right. It really does take years. This is my first green bean, and I really struggled with him even a year ago, skittering on the approach to fences and taking oxers like they were huge and losing his mind in an open field when a motorcycle went by. It has not always looked good, but that makes these days when it's beginning to come together mean a lot more.

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  9. Love that pony mane, so glad it isn't me maintaining it. ;)

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    1. Haha! This got a good laugh out of me. Note that it is long for exactly that reason...

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  10. That is awesome that you remembered you and your improvement! You look great!!

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  11. You know one of these days we will learn how to ride and take pictures at the same time :) I have the same problem.
    Love seeing the change in you both from the spring to now. Gives me hope for Rosemary.

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