Saturday, October 19, 2013

Lucinda Green Clinic

What do you get when you combine equal parts grit, experience, entertainment, knowledge and a fantastic accent? A smashing good eventing clinic with Lucinda Green, that’s what. I’ve been craving a Hungry-Man meal of learning and this was a delicious dish.

Add a heaping scoop of fabulous North Carolina weather, perfect footing,  good company, and you’ve got yourself a complete meal. Of course, I like a little wasabi with my appetizer so I spiced up my rides with a dash of naughty horse and an unplanned dismount (you’re welcome, spectators).

Day one incorporated stadium jumps to recreate the skills necessary for effective cross-country riding. Lucinda dotted the field in a seemingly random arrangement of skinnies (like, Jenny Craig skinny), barrels (of the horse eating variety) and standard stadium oxers.

Well, the genius of that “random” pattern soon emerged like the plot of a really good book. We were flipping pages like the library was closing in 5 minutes and we still hadn’t found out who killed Colonel Mustard (btw, it was Mrs. Plum . . . in the library . . . with the candlestick). Not only were holes in the horse’s education exposed, but rider weaknesses as well.

She was very quick to praise a well-ridden line, and equally quick to point out what needed help. I loved her style – blunt but kind.  Otie did a lot of growing up, as did I. He is a fantastic horse, “lovely” according to Lucinda. But he has had me a bit backed off of reinforcing some basic boundaries. She instantly pointed out that he has a very powerful hind end and I’ve got to learn how to ride it if we’re to be successful. His “stop” button was conspicuously absent, and when pressed for a prompt response to the aid he chose to change the subject. She did say she thought he would benefit from going over some really big jumps once in a while so he has a chance to use that power and feel like Superman. She thinks he could really be a top horse in the Jumpers or up to the 3* level in Eventing (“might be too heavy to make time at the 4*”. Darn, and I was just filling out my Rolex entry, too).

This video should have music:

This video is raw footage with Lucinda's voice heard:

Coby, on the other hand, was my serious fun factor for the weekend. He is constantly teaching me something new, even if it’s how to get off the ground with a smile and ride the line again. He is entering his retirement years and this was our last hoorah together. After teaching me so much he has finally said he’s ready to drink martinis and watch the ladies go by. Enjoy it Coby, well deserved (as the tears plop down my cheeks). I will be putting together a video tribute of our time together very soon. My unplanned dismount was a direct result of worrying about the skinny and under riding the oxer.

Next year I hope to be able to really show Lucinda how far Otie and I have come. Maybe I’ll even have another one getting started . . .

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