So...the JLC clinic. I'm feeling pretty bad about myself as a rider right now. I'm not looking for pity, I just know you guys are looking for a recap, and this is how I'm feeling about it right now. Someday I'll watch the videos and do a detailed recap, but not yet.
|All photos courtesy of my momma, who spent the weekend clinic'ing, and shopping, and eating with me!|
|Did I mention we had my entire barn plus outside visitors for spectators?|
|Him "Something important and helpful." Me: "I'm everything I don't want to be as a rider."|
The second day, he began my ride with a 10 or 15 minute monologue with us still standing at the mounting block, speaking directly to me. He talked about how we cannot force horses to do what we want them to do, that we must ask and keep them engaged mentally so that they enjoy the work.
During the entire monologue, I'm thinking "Is this what he thinks of us? Is that the type of rider I am? That's exactly the type of rider I have never wanted to be. I didn't think I was, but I guess I am. Oh my God." And he also said Connor is clearly a nervous guy, and gave a great belly laugh when Connor went from sleepy to nervous when I asked him to move off after the monologue was over.
We made progress (ending at the level of work we normally get by the end of lessons, which is what you guys last saw in the pictures from the last show) and he gave me a game plan for going forward, but the two ideas I can't get out of my mind are "You're making your horse lame," and "You're making your horse resent you." (Although he didn't say those exact words, many things implied both.)
I've ridden once since, trying to apply those principles, and ended up just paralyzed with tears in my eyes because I couldn't get him out of that discombobulated beginning-of-the-ride feeling, and I don't trust my instincts right now.
|We can do this. I swear we can.|
(Of course, after quitting the job I loved last week and moving into this crazy house, I am not the most emotionally stable person in the world right now, but still.)
So I have a lesson tomorrow at which my trainer and I are planning on discussing it all and figuring it out. She came out of the clinic happy and enthusiastic and full of ideas from picking his brain throughout the weekend on her students. I'd be lying if I didn't say I wanted to put him in full training for a month and just tell her to fix it, but in the end, I have to be the one that keeps him sound and happy in work, not her.
Oh also, I have an unrecognized one day event this weekend, so there's that.
Apologies for not giving you guys anything useful or interesting on the clinic so far, I'll get into the techniques and science behind what he did with us in another post!