CROSS COUNTRY DAY!
Day Two of Lucinda's clinic put us to the test on the cross country course (in the rain)! I realized after my Day One post that I counted wrong - this was my 5th clinic with Lucinda, so I pretty much know what to expect and what we'll get in trouble for and why! But there's always something new to learn from her and always some new way to "think you had it" but find out that you didn't, compliments of a run out or stop - hopefully without falling off! Lucinda says no matter what, don't fall off and never think you had it - feel it and know it!
Lucinda was full of fantastic quotable quotes all day long - I know I won't get them all written into this post, so if anyone reads this who was there - add your favorites to the comments!! Above all, her very best quote of the day came during my group - the last of the day - she definitely saved the best for last! Her victim was Byron, who selected as his jump line of choice: over a log/bank into water, out up a bank, 2 strides to a chevron. Oops! Missed the chevron! And Lucinda says, "Byron, why did you just sit there and pray?! God doesn't help riders who pray - God only helps riders who ride!! START RIDING!" It took him a few more tries, but we all cheered when he navigated his stunning white steed right over that chevron! Prayers not needed!
My other favorite quote of the day was more of a descriptive visual/feeling. Lucinda compared riding green horses XC to riding in a car with square wheels. They bump, hop, pause, go, bump again. You have to expect it and allow it - that's how they earn round, smooth, lightening fast race car wheels one day. My report on Katchi's day is that he doesn't have square wheels any more!!! He's not a race car yet, but I'm riding something more like octagon wheels - little bumps here and there, but they're tiny and gone quick! Katchi was awesome (no more sleepy Katchi, and he was allowed to downgrade his spurs to about 1/2 as big as the first day!) - and the biggest victory is that he didn't throw a single tantrum all day - not a single rear, spin, or stomp. It was wonderful!! He was pretty tough galloping as he was so amazingly happy to be out on a XC course again (doing his infamous tuck and roll gallop which sent me scrambling to get his nose out of his chest more than a few times in front of fences), but there wasn't a single jump that fazed him for a second. He looked, computed, and went - never with a doubt. And, as Lucinda described him - very sensibly. He's careful and cautious - and now he's brave too! It was very very cool. I almost want to call him a cross country machine (when his rider does her job!).
But the real stars of the day had to be Kerry and Atticus. It's hard to put into words how much they both changed in 2 days. It was amazing! They jumped jumps (successfully!) that I don't think Kerry ever thought she'd do in a lifetime of trying. If you watch the video of Atticus on Day 2 in the post below - check out Kerry's huge smile at the end. I think that sums up their clinic experience! It was nothing short of life changing - Eventers for life now, I think!
A HUGE thank you to Lucinda for giving us all such a wonderful 2 days - and an equally huge thank you to Margaret for organizing everything - and of course to Win Green for hosting us!!! Also a special thank you to Karson Morton whose mom drove about 4 hours roundtrip to deliver and collect her from the clinic so that Karson could groom and audit for Kerry and me - we had the very best help at the clinic and were so thankful!! It's a little depressing to know it's all over - but exciting to already start dreaming of April 2012 when we'll get to do it all over again - only better!