I got a blunt message from a friend last week, simple and to the point. “Your blog misses you.” And coincidentally, anther verbal comment from a student “what happened to the rest of your California trip?”. Oops, I guess I did leave it hanging like a chad.
Gentle prodding works! Brief synopsis: We had a successful competition at Fresno Horse Park in April, we made it home quickly and safely. I put down Blueprint, after a lucky, gifted life. I stressed out about the EIHT at the Horse Park, but it all turned out just fine. Dom Schramm taught yet another fun and insightful clinic here at Polestar. And finally, we are caught up to today: I am flying home from teaching a clinic on the big island of Hawaii.
Blog over 🙂
All of those subjects deserved an article, especially Blueprint. And I can still do that as an eulogy. But, I don’t want to scare the guy sitting next to me on the plane by my happy-memory crying. So I will wait on that one.
Lets talk about Hawaii! It is the wrong time of year for me to really take advantage of traveling to this beautiful tropical island because Cochlear has a CIC* in 4 days. My friend Teresa said it perfectly: you are ballsy to leave. I didn’t get nervous about being AWOL for days prior to the most important thing that horse has done in the last 4 years, until she said that! But, I think Lear is really ready for this step up in level. He is being happily hacked through the woods and hills by Letty for the last two days, he will be ready to get back to work tomorrow and polish his bell boots for Aspen.
Hawaii was a quick trip, 4 days of great teaching at Horseplay Equestrian Center near Kona. I was very impressed with the riders that I taught, both kids and adults. If you don’t know my program very well, then you should know that I mostly teach adults. And by mostly, make that 98%. But I really enjoyed teaching well-prepared kids with huge smiles on their faces, bravely jumping all the exercises that I threw at them. The fun part for me was to learn afterwards that the barn is primarily a dressage facility and they really don’t practice jumping much at all. You could have fooled me! Not only were all the riders brave and skilled, but the horses were excellent. Some school horses did double duty for two kids per day, and they still were perfectly behaved. Apparently, every time that I raised a jump up, the head trainer Cindy DeMeter had a little heart attack! But isn’t that the beautiful thing about bringing in an outside instructor – I have no expectations good or bad about any rider. I just see the level where they are riding, and see their eager expressions and run with it. Clinics have a way of raising the bar for any rider to a level where they may not have known they could achieve. My hat is off to Cindy for giving me such good students with excellent basics.
My past working student, Dr. Kelleyerin Claybaugh is responsible for organizing the clinic, and it was really fun to see her ride both of her horses. Her favorite mare, Phena, was injured when she was at Polestar, and I never really got to see her in all her glory when she worked for me. Thankfully, I did this weekend though. She is the perfect OTTB – able, happy, forward but not crazy with a can-do attitude that really impressed me. Now I understand why she loves that mare so much and wanted to breed her. Kelleyerin also rode her 4 year old Shagya rescue. With only a few weeks of riding under her belt, she was awesome over pole exercises and small jumps to help get her forward. I was thoroughly impressed with Kelleyerin’s ability to create such lovely animals.
The plan is to go back next year when my schedule is a little quieter, like December or January. Then I can bring Mark with me and enjoy a few days of snorkeling.