Sarah’s Belated Clinic/Riding Journal

It has been so crazy around here! I haven’t been able to post in what feels like forever!

So, this post will be a  belated clinic/riding journal I had two days ago, with Phillip Dutton. It was a gymnastics clinic, which consisted of “S” turns, adding and taking out strides in a line of jumps, and mainly focused on the adjustability of your horse.

We started out with simple leg yielding. Something he emphasized was getting your horse from your inside leg to your outside rein, and vice versa. This will create a steady contact, while you keep bend throughout your horses body. After leg yielding at the walk and trot, we continued onto a trot exercise, in which you first must create a steady contact, then send your horse into a very forward trot, getting their front legs out in front of them. Then you bring them back to a super collected trot, having them almost jog on the spot. Then you repeat! This teaches your horse to respond to your leg when you ask him to extend, but will also have him pay attention to your hand, when you half half to keep him in a very slow, collected trot whilst keeping your leg on.

Jumping wise: We started with trotting a vertical, making sure you got the correct number of trot steps in before your horse took off. After a couple of goes at this, we did the first turn of the “S” turn exercise, which was a nice four strides, if you didn’t cut the turn (unfortunately I have a bad habit of doing that in this exercise). After that was over, we did the whole “S” turn! This has always been one of my favorite gymnastic exercises, as it helps you become very accurate in your turns, and like all gymnastic exercises, will help you in competitions when you have to execute sharp turns or a bending line. Next we moved onto direct lines, jumping the three jumps we used for the “S” turns in a row, but on an angle. You had to keep your horse very collected to get three strides between each jump, and I usually got a three stride to a two stride because I struggle with keeping Watching compact throughout a three-part jumping exercise. After that, we went onto a 4 stride line. After we each got 4 strides, we had to go back through and get 5 strides. Jumping into the first jump of the line on a short stride was necessary to complete the exercise.

As soon as I got back to the barn, I put Watching and all of my tack and equipment away and got Houston ready to ride. For those of you who don’t know, Houston is Daniel Clasing’s horse, who competed at and completed the Rolex Kentucky **** event this past April. Currently he is gearing up head back to Rolex this year! I am lucky enough to be able to ride him from time to time, and I got to hop on him last night and flat him! As you would expect, he was wonderful, and I can only keep pinching myself to make sure that I’m not living in a dream!

Here is a quick video of my clinic with Phillip Dutton and my ride on Houston: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8H08ULpy9CU

I would like to give a HUGE thanks to Maryland Saddlery, who hosted the contest that allowed me to ride in the Phillip Dutton clinic free of charge. They are truly an amazing group of people, and the owner, Hope, is one of the nicest people out there! Kerri and Katie are two of my favorites as well!!! Their consignment store has amazing deals, and I buy almost all of my horse supplies from their store, located in Butler, Maryland. Go check them out on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Maryland-Saddlery/191090095932?ref=br_tf

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Sarah

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