Monday, June 13, 2011

PD Academy Camp - "Come On" Dressage!

I love camp! I love camp! I love camp! I don't want to ever go home!

In case you can't tell, day 1 was pretty fabulous. But, before I get to all today's news... when you're done reading my blog, be sure to check out the PD Eventing Academy on Facebook - Lee Lee Jones has posted some video there from today, and she said she'll be out taking pictures tomorrow. Thanks Lee Lee! :)

Phillip arrived back from Bromont at 4:30am this morning. He met me in the indoor ring at 8:00 am sharp. He was alive, awake, and fabulous. As if he didn't already have it, he's officially earned superhero status in my book! From 8:00am-3:30 pm, Phillip rode each and every camper's horse. He worked 13 individual miracles, and still showed up on time for dinner!

Today's catch phrase was "come on!" - we all heard it. Some more than others. Phillip explained that the horses must be committed to their work... it's not good enough to just plod along sort of going through the motions. You must inspire the horse to commit himself to forward power. Katchi got inspired real quick. In fact, all the horses got inspired. When I got back on Katchi, I couldn't stop giggling for almost 2 trot circles - he felt GREAT! One camper's horse (who came to reform camp for always being behind her leg) - he's been renamed "VROOM!" I was able to watch almost all the sessions with Phillip, and at the end of every one - the rider was smiling from ear to ear, and the horse looked like he needed a cigarette!

What kind of idiot posts a video of Phillip Dutton riding their horse, immediately followed by video of them riding that same horse moments later? I'm taking the plunge... enjoy...

The other half of dressage day was spent with Ryan Wood - who now has 13 not-so-secret lady admirers! Back at the stables, everyone was a flutter about how lovely Ryan is! Evie joked tonight that they set us up with the "good cop, bad cop" routine, and we fell for it! But, I'm not sure if Ryan was really the good cop - it took all my will power tonight to sit down and start this blog instead of crawling down to the hotel hot tub! When Ryan said to me, "okay, cross over your stirrups" - I almost replied, "Ryan, I'm an adult, and you can't make me do that!" - but instead I said "ah, shit." and mumbled something about not being in pony club any more! But, it's was good for me - and I survived, and hopefully when the pain and exhaustion wears off, some new muscle strength might show up in its place. After the no stirrup game, Ryan really helped me a ton with Katchi's counter canter work (i.e., my positioning and balance). Bring on that Second level test!!

Kim Clark and Willie, aka "will-he or won't-he" with Ryan.

Before dinner tonight, we got to check out the new WisAir saddles - very cool! I know I can't do justice to all the cool details Phillip and Ronald have put into this saddle, so I'll just tell you to check them out! They're beautiful and pretty special - and great to sit in too! Ronald said he has demo saddles if anyone wants to try one, and then he offered up some demo horses... Woodburn was the first on the list, to which I promptly threw my hand up to go on the list! Ronald said 8:00 tomorrow morning. Katchi, I love you dearly, but YOU CAN BE REPLACED! :) Speaking of loving a horse dearly - wow, Ronald is a man who loves his horse! After the demo, he took me out to the barn to meet Wise Guy - I tell Katchi he's a "ham and a half" with all his faces and begging and general shenanigans for attention. Katchi has nothing on Wise Guy. He's "2 hams and a half!" He actually smiles whenever he sees Ronald (pulls up his lip and shows his teeth) - and Ronald just eats it up. Treats, treats, and more treats! Watching Ronald and Wise Guy, I sort of felt like a deprive Katchi a little! HA HA HA!

And finally, today ended with the welcome dinner - and we all officially met! What a great group of cadets - and all with such interesting stories! We have 2 fox hunters, a hunter jumper (who has never done this eventing thing, but thought it would be fun), my friend Kim Clark (with 25 or so years experience galloping race horses, and just 3 years jumping poles and logs), a mother-daughter team who were 1/2 campers in 2009 (Alyssa, the daughter had so much fun in 2009 - with her mom as groom, that they're back this year with mom riding too!!), and even one camper with a modest goal of jumping a log before Friday! We each have our own unique reasons for being here - and we'll all hit different milestones by Friday - but no matter where we come from or where we go to this week, it's bound to be one hell of a ride!

8:00 am tomorrow morning, if Woodburn fails to arrive as promised, I guess it'll be me and Katchi facing those painted poles together, with the mean little Australian miracle worker on our tail.


  1. did PDutty make Katchi do a canter half pass to a counter canter or was I seeing things? :D

  2. Yep! Half pass to counter canter!! We've been working on the counter canter, but he'd never done a half pass before! Fun!!