This is my fourth time riding with Lucinda, and this year, I admit that I gave it some real thought about whether the cost was still worth it. Without a doubt - YES!
I've put Katchi to bed, and gotten myself back to my hotel - showered and fed, and I'm starting to fade. So, I'm sure I will forget lots of things about this wonderful day! Unfortunately, I'm on my own for this clinic, so no video or pictures of me. But I did try to take a few clips of others, because if you haven't ever seen what Lucinda puts us through - words just don't do it justice. I'm pretty sure video doesn't either - maybe next year, I'll get one of those helmet cams!!! That would be too cool!
Lucinda has two main objectives in these clinics - 1) To get riders and horses communicating (fast, clear, and accurate). 2) To make horses (and riders!) faster in their reaction times - quick quick with their feet. And it's amazing how good she is at accomplishing both. I think next year, when I start getting excited about the show season starting - I should take a deep breath, and stick to dressage and jumper shows, and wait to hit the HT season until after Lucinda knocks off our dust - it's the smarter way.
The phrase of the day - "I thought I had it!" And Lucinda's response - "don't think you have it, you better be sure you have it!" My problem of the day - I would get so happy about how well something went that I'd forget to ride the next challenge. Oops, start again. Poor Katchi - he was jumping like a rock star - and I loved it! A little too much, I guess. I kept throwing a party instead of finishing the line. But my very best moment of the entire clinic came during the first two lines. I went down the first line, all good. Came around the corner, and for the first time in 4 years of clinics with Lucinda - I could not find the line she wanted jumped. I was the first one to ride the line, and I stopped and said "which skinny?" - Lucinda pointed - and I said, "which skinny?" She pointed again. This went on about 10 times, until I almost said - that's impossible. I caught my tongue, and just then remembered where I was, and I went and jumped the seriously screwed up line. That Lucinda! Seriously, my students should be so thankful for how generous I am when I make them do stuff like this! Holy Cats.
Katchi is jumping better than ever. And he really has a new style to him, which I need to adjust to. He's coming into the jumps perfectly, but he just needs a bit extra umph support right at the take-off. When I did that - wow! I also really need to tune-up my reaction times. I think I've been thinking so much the past few months about riding the jump - staying up off his back and landing properly - I've forgotten how to DO SOMETHING in the air - like look at my next jump, whoe, turn... We did all that stuff today. And I sure was rusty! I think the hardest thing for me today, you'll see several other riders doing in the video below. It was two logs on a blind turn, downhill. Lucinda described it as a 1'9" fences, with an Advanced question. She was right too. We did 1/2 this exercise last year, sort of coming around the bush to jump just one log off the blind turn. This year's exercise certainly had an added challenge!
And here is the WAY cool news of the day - Lucinda Green rode Katchi!!! She was really curious about my saddle, so at the end of the lesson, she asked if she could hop up and feel it - and Katchi thought he was done! She cantered him around for about 30 seconds, and even though she wasn't riding Katchi, so much as testing out the saddle - I was so excited, I went nuts! And I don't have a video or picture or anything of it! Lucinda is a Devocoux person - and I am not. So, we definitely have different opinions of saddles. But it was good fun to talk to her about my thoughts comparing the two, and hear hers. She made some interesting comments about how I ride in mine, that I think will be really helpful to me as I try to strengthen my position. Damn, I sure wish I had a video of those 30 seconds. Good boy Katchi for not doing anything stupid while Lucinda was up top!
Katchi says Lucinda always brings him the best grass!
That's about all I can think of for tonight - and sleep sounds so good! Will try to report on Day Two just as soon as I can. I'm staying at a Holiday Inn Express tonight, so surely I'll be one hell of a XC rider tomorrow, right!? :)