Para Equestrian Pipeline Clinic next week in Maine

I’m heading up Monday for a Para Equestrian Pipeline Training Clinic next Tuesday-Thursday at the Carlisle Academy in Maine. Here’s more information in a USPEA Press Release:

            The clinicians will be Hanneke Gerritson and Clive Milkens and I am looking forward to getting more experience in front of a couple of European judges and also, obviously, any pointers that might be useful. I think it’s also a fun opportunity to try another horse.

            Sarah Armentrout, Head of School at the Carlisle Riding Center, offered me a horse to borrow for the clinic. She has a 15.2hh Lipizzaner who has been trained to 4th level and she said he’s very safe but sensitive.

            I’ll have to readjust size-wise from where I am now because Biara is a whole hand bigger than Goldie was, and I’ve gotten used to a much bigger horse – she’s between 16.2 and 16.3 hands, a big Warmblood with big movement. Initially when I started riding her I was pretty nervous, because I couldn’t keep up with her gaits and she’s young enough that if you get after her you could end up airborne!  But now that I’m used to her I don’t put up with any of that!

Hannah and Goldie after a successful 3rd level test

            On a side note, Goldie is currently in Illinois at the Junior Dressage Seat Medal Finals. Michelle's student Hannah Neimy’s usual horse looked a little irregular a couple weeks ago, and he’s 20 years old, so Michelle asked if she could borrow Goldie. Lydia McCloud is 12 years old and leasing Goldie, but Hannah is borrowing Goldie for the championships. Hannah is 17 years old and in high school and she works at the barn sometimes. Her riding is around 3rd level and she’s a very good rider. They show tomorrow and Sunday and so far everything is going well with their travels and schooling.

            When I go to Maine, I’ve been invited to attend a dinner because I had contributed to the Jonathan Wentz Challenge, and they’ve reached their goal of $800,000. I’m looking forward to meeting Sara Ike and Bonnie Jenkins from the USET Foundation.

            As far as my riding goes, I’m working on using my leg, and then letting go, rather than leg, leg, leg until I’m exhausted and the horse isn’t listening anymore. Also when I turn from left to right, I’m trying to teach myself to give a little; my body is spastic and it’s hard to let go with my left hand. When you bend right you kind of shorten the right side and lengthen the left side but I need to control the lengthening of my left arm – letting my arm go a little to allow her to bend.