Thursday, March 22, 2012

We're going to a clinic!

Hellloooooooo spring.

I just sent my entry in for the Yves Sauvignon clinic! It's at Tulip Springs eventing facility, about 2.5 hours southwest of here, Saturday and Sunday April 14-15, showjumping Sat. and Cross Country on Sun. I'm a little concerned that there's only 3 weeks to get ready, fitness wise Jasper really isn't in shape yet. And of course the day after I send my entry in I get sick, so I'm now in bed thinking that I'm losing even more time. And it snowed last night and stuck. Helllooooo, spring! It's a good thing he's a young Thoroughbred that has a huge paddock and tends to run around a lot. I figure we'll go and do what we can do. The nice thing about clinics is there are a bunch of riders so the horses get a rest period between jumps.

And the best part? We're going with Serena and Roxie! Woooooot!

Serena loaned me this saddle to try and it seems to fit him quite well. It's a wide tree. The balance isn't bad either, I don't feel like I'm in chair seat like I do with a lot of jumping saddles. I have to say, though, it feels like riding on a postage stamp jockey saddle. I love squishy knee pads and thigh blocks. This has none of those. I think it looks quite elegant... it will make me a better rider, right? If I can stay in it that is.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Words of Wofford

Serena and I audited a Jimmy Wofford clinic today. She kept everyone up to date on Facebook throughout the day, but if you're not "friends" with her here's the scoop:



"If you get left behind jumping up a bank, your horse will HATE you!"

"You should know where your horse is going to land before he takes off."

"Horses don't WANT to jump badly! They jump badly because of US! Ever seen a horse get loose in a steeplechase? It jumps like a BIRD!"

"Close your knee angle as you approach the jump. Don't sit BACK as you approach. Most trainers teach that you sit back, but they're wrong and I'm right."

‎"I don't teach beginners. Mostly because my nerves are shot."

"I was riding in a warm-up ring with Bill Steinkraus--you know, the greatest rider America has ever produced? That Bill Steinkraus?--and I asked him, on average, how many fences on a course of ten does he get to accurately. He thought about it and said "Seven." I said "Oh." But I was THINKING: "Oh. What does that say about ME?!"

"You are not nervous. I will TELL YOU when to be nervous."

"I want to get to know your horse. It's your job to sit down, shut up, stay out of your horse's way, don't fall off, and don't refuse."

"We're going to do canter exercises! All you have to do is CANTER!"

"Oh, he was doing that last year? Then you should have fixed it!"

"Any rider can be accurate! You think Anne Kursinski got where she is because she always had great horses? NO. When I first met her, she was 17 years old and jumping spotted mules for Jimmy Williams!"

"You, on the grey. Ride over here and have someone pull your spurs off. We have lots of problems to work on today--creating energy is NOT one of them."

"Wait, wait, wait. Why is everyone talking? There is only ONE clinician out here!"

"It's a steady five. Just let your horse go. He's 19 years old and he survived a 2-star--he DOESN'T NEED YOU telling him what to do."

"What went wrong there? You were supposed to go 'one-two-three-four-five!' You went 'one-two-three-OHSHIT!"

"Generally speaking, I wouldn't encourage you to slow down in order to speed up."

"Your heel slid back, along his ribs! Did you feel that? Well, DON'T!"

"Oh! Hit her! HIT HER! She's a BAD girl! Aaaaaaarrrrrggggggghhhhhhhhh!!!"