Monday, April 19, 2010

Joining Up

AhD and I attended a small private clinic (two participants) with trainer Chris Lombard today. IT WAS FANTASTIC! Chris spent well over two hours with each horse/human pair, and we were encouraged to ask questions. I took full advantage of that. :) The first horse was a coming 5 year old QH which acted like a 3 year old TB at best. AhD and I were next. I led him into the round pen, and Chris and I chatted about our issues. AhD promptly proceeded to roll four times – and I had had him looking so spiffy, too! Chris asked me if I wanted to be under saddle or do groundwork, and I chose groundwork. I have always had a longing to have AhD join up with me…and today I got my wish!

First, Chris showed me how...AND IT WAS WONDERFUL! Ok, I’m not signed up for the groundwork portion of the RAC, but I just had to share with all of you just how thrilling it was, and how glad I am that I went to this clinic. Apparently, I’m actually doing a lot of things right in my journey with AhD, working through my confidence issues since my bad accident on (off?) a young Arab. Chris had never worked with a Curly before, and these are some of the words he used to describe him: thinking, confident, tuned-in, intelligent, curious, and get this, folks, RESPECTFUL OF MY SPACE. We’ve sure worked hard on THAT one! ;) Near the end of our time together, I lunged AhD past Chris doing some very scary stuff, and AhD and I passed this test with flying colors. I felt great and very loved by my Curly, who trusted me enough to behave and stay focused on his task even though he was scared. A very rewarding day for horse and human, and AhD was a fantastic ambassador for the breed to boot!


  1. Susan! You didn't break the rules because in the main core program you can count clinics for points...even if you aren't riding. It is a great promotion for the curlies! I am glad you shared and had such a wonderful time! Yay AHD and Susan! AHD looks fantastic!

  2. I loved reading your post. I would love to go through the same thing with Linus and have someone teach us to "join-up". Are you finding any changes in your relationship AFTER the join-up?

  3. Hmmm...Donna, there sure is a change in ME, so there is a change in US. For example, I rode last night. AhD was completely calm when I tacked up,ready and willing to go out and leave his buddy at the barn, and I was not nervous at all. Usually my first few minutes are a bit nervewracking; they were not. During the ride, once my Lab Grace startled him, but, get this, all he did was stop trotting, turn around and look at her - no spook, no scoot, and the turn was slow. Another time, something in the woods startled him, and all he did was, boom, stick his ground and look - no movement in the spook. On the very last leg home, I could tell he was very nervous about something that had recently crossed the trail, but I stayed relaxed, and we spent quite a bit of time there, going here and there and back and forth. Again, no spook or jump, no sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, etc, and no sass from AhD. So, I was able to communicate to him that I understood that he was scared, but everything was ok, and go ahead, and he relied on my leadership. AhD was very tuned in to me and responsive the WHOLE ride. I'm LOVING the changes so far, Donna!
    Denise, yes, he he sooo handsome! You should have seen him doing his big floaty trot around the ring with Chris; it took my breath away! I realized AFTERWARDS, ladies, that Chris is quite a handsome guy, but as usual I only had eyes for my horse, HA HA! :)

  4. Sounds great!! Awesome that you are so much more comfortable out on a ride. I'm hoping by the time Linus is ready to ride I will be that confident. The horse I used to have had only 2 paces: walk and walk a tiny bit faster. I've never really been on a green one, but at least he will be mine and I will know his quirks! Thanks!


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