Wednesday, April 24, 2013

My Clinic with Buck - by Honey - Day 3

Day 3 – April 21, 2013

Can I just say that this clinic has been the most fun EVER? He-he! It’s fun to be a princess! There are two or three people grooming me every morning when we get ready for class. Do you know how cool it is to have SIX hands grooming you at the same time?! And, I get to eat a LOT – seems like I get to eat every time I turn around. And the best thing of all – today Buck had all the people clap for us horses, for a very long time, while we were supposed to stand still and enjoy the clapping. I felt SO important! Now, I know he was really trying to help the horses who were upset by the loud noise of the people clapping. A few of the horses were really, really upset and they were jumping and twirling around and kind of freaking out. I don’t get that. The people were clapping for us! They like us! I just stood in the middle of the arena, did not move a foot, and enjoyed every moment with hundreds of people clapping just for me. I love this!

Yesterday in my report I forgot two important things. The first thing is I wanted to say a really special thank-you to my DreamPower sponsor, Dyan Adinamis, who paid the tuition for me to participate in this clinic with Buck. Thank you so much, Dyan, for making this clinic possible for me!

The second thing I forgot yesterday was Martha’s “win” for the second day. This is important. Martha’s “win” on the second day was that we achieved our goal. She set riding in this clinic as a goal for us back in December and we’ve worked together pretty hard since January to reach that goal. And yesterday we did it together! It feels good to set a goal, work hard and then achieve that goal.

Today Buck was talking about learning horsemanship and he said, “Don’t work at it and make yourself miserable. Work at it in a way that you enjoy it. Work at it – but make it a joy!” I’m glad Martha and I have had fun working together this week.

Today I spooked for the first time at the clinic. Martha and I were riding along the outside of the arena and she didn’t realize it, but we stopped directly in front of one of the loudspeakers for the P.A. system while Buck was demonstrating working with a tarp on his horse. He flapped the tarp hard and the crackling noise of the tarp came through his microphone to the loudspeaker and it sounded like the world’s largest tarp was crashing down on us! I jumped and ran off about 4 steps before Martha reminded me to stand still with a one-rein stop. We have practiced so many one-rein stops, all I needed was a little reminder to stop and I did.

Martha’s biggest challenge today was remembering the riding drill where I move my hindquarters to the left and then move my front legs over to the right. She told me she used to do this with Nick years ago, but it had been so long she didn’t remember what to do and it was seriously awkward today. I hope she figures it out soon because her confusion confused me!

We practiced backing in a circle again today. It was better than yesterday, but we still make a pretty pathetic circle. Buck said, “If it makes you feel any better, I’ve had Olympic level riders in my clinics who couldn’t back a circle.”

My biggest challenge today (beside the loudspeaker) was tilting my head (a LOT!) when Martha asks for a one-rein stop or flexion to the right. Buck told her to wait until I make a change toward the correct position and then release. I did make her wait what seemed to me like a long time, just to see if she really meant it, but then I did improve my position. It actually feels better to hold my head properly!

Buck’s understatement of the day was, “Riding with refinement and quality – it’s a lot of work and there’s a lot to think about.” No kidding. Buck said all he is trying to do these four days is give the humans a lot of information, so then they can go home and practice everything with us horses. I hope Martha and I keep practicing when this clinic is over – we are having fun learning new things!

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