Anyway, back to last weekend. There was a clinic at another barn that I wanted to go watch, so I did what any horse obsessed person would do when they have guests in town. I compromised and drug my parents to the second day. The first day we went to the beach, so it was a compromise.
Thankfully, my dad sleeps a lot, so it didn't bother him to sit and
Overall, I really liked John Mason's teaching style and I would ride with him. I would need to get Stinker more consistent and accepting of the leg before I would feel ready. Right now Stinker doesn't do so well when he is put under pressure, it has improved drastically, but I think it would be a little too much for us right now. But in the future it would be someone to keep in mind if he comes back to the area. Here are his centerline scores (and yes I always google them along with videos) and the farm he is based out of if you are curious.
The first ride we watched was a friesian mare. They were working on training level things. I liked how if the mare got rude and tried to rip the reins out of the rider's hands, John had her add leg and tighten everything up. This is something I have been struggling with, Stinker gets irritated and he roots (especially at the walk). And this gave me something to think about in terms of how to handle it better than I have been.
The canter was also rather interesting. The mare likes to trot bigger and not canter. Basically the game plan was to get the canter and ride the big forward canter to tell the mare, "yes, I want you to canter." Then, start asking for her to bring it back by half halting and almost asking for the trot but keep the legs/hips saying canter. If she breaks to the trot that is fine, but they need to rebalance and go right back into the canter. The horse tired the lady out quickly and she tended to let the horse walk when she broke from the canter. This was basically teaching the horse to break. Obviously, Stinker and I don't have this problem because his favorite evasion is add more speed. John also suggested that she canter out in the big open field for awhile where she didn't have to worry about turning so quickly. This mare had a huge stride and the corners of the arena came up very quickly on the short side.
The second ride was a spicy Dutch mare. This one was working on 2nd/3rd level I believe. She was a lot like Stinker (well better trained) but they quite a few similarities. The mare liked to be tight and curl and use speed as a way to get out of work. Hmmm...yep that sounds familiar. John actually ended up getting on, so he could feel things out. The mare was braced on the right side and pretty much faking everything. Yep sounds familiar. It pretty much boiled down into ride them forward into the contact and he utilized a lot of shoulder in/fore, haunches in/out, and leg yields on circles to get her to loosen up and really start accessing her back.
No new media so there is a kitten in a bag...
The third ride was nice, but it was mostly focusing on flying lead changes. So, I didn't focus on remembering much from it. The fourth ride, was my favorite pony ever. This pony is so spicy and sassy. He is super cute and can jump. I always wish I could ride ponies when I see him. Anyway, he is for sale, so if anyone is interested in a dressage or jumper or eventing pony (he can get quite strong on XC), let me know and I will put you in contact with his owner. They mostly worked on getting him steady and not fussy.
The clinic was quite interesting and I always like watching other people ride. Sadly, I don't have much media from the clinic, because I feel weird posting videos/pictures of people I don't know. Like I said before, I would happily ride with John. He is quick to correct, but isn't mean about it. He was German trained and I have heard some horror stories about Germans, so I was a little leery.