It‘s been a long week with hardly any room to breathe! No time to write on my blog, workout, soak in the hot tub or barely even eat!
Last weekend I had a great clinic in Vancouver WA on Saturday and Sunday. It was an easy clinic with a great group of riders who made tons of progress with their horses and their riding (those two are closely related).
On Monday morning I left for the airport at 4:30 am, arriving in Denver at 10:30, just in time to meet my film crew and make the three hour trek home to Salida. After the crew had a chance to look around the place and find all the good filming spots, we all sat down for a meeting over dinner to coordinate the next three days of filming, during which we would film five episodes of Horse Master.
It was absolutely wonderful to have the help of some of my best friends at this shoot. Twyla, who worked for me for years and helped me teach and train, helped supervise the practice sessions for the participants. My dear friend and neighbor, Cheryl, organizes my wardrobe and keeps me dressed right. Lucy, a close friend of many years, was there to meet and greet the participants in the show and do what she does best—keep everyone in good spirits and be the ultimate cheerleader; she also helped get horses ready. Allie, a young friend of Cheryl‘s was drafted into being a “grip“ (show biz term for go-fer) and helped take care of my horse for me. She and Dually fell madly in love with each other; in fact, Allie asked her father if he would buy Dually for her if she promised to never have a boyfriend (she‘ll grow out of that soon!).
We also enjoyed (and abused) the help of two representatives from our sponsors: Tara from Nutramax Labs and Anne from Circle Y saddles. They both jumped in and got their hands dirty and helped with some valuable input on the show.
Of course, as always, I relied heavily on my professional crew. Heidi is the show producer and calls all the shots. She points me where to go and tells me what to say (not that I always listen). I fondly refer to her as my slave-driver and this week, she lived up to her name fully! Our camera crew was Bo and Steve; two highly talented videographers/editors, whose technical assistance was critical to the quality of the show.
Last but not least, I relied heavily (as always) on Brenda, my office manager. She was the “logistics queen“ and kept everyone together, made sure we all had food and drink and all the props we needed. This on top of running the office at the same time. And of course, my dear husband Rich was busy grooming the arena, fixing fence, hanging banners and being the all-around fix-it guy. It takes a lot of people to make a TV show!
If you haven‘t seen the show yet, it‘s about a horse owner and their horse and how they might fix problems or improve their performance. Check it out each Wednesday at 5:30 EST or reruns on Thursday and Saturday nights on RFD-TV (Dish 9398 or Direct TV 379).
The show is the horse equivilant of the show called Super Nanny. We film five episodes at a time, starting with getting some “before“ footage where they show us the “problem.“ Then there is an interview with the “cast member“ during which the “B Roll“ of their before footage is inserted. In the next segment, I work with the horse to sort him out then show the owner what they need to do to resolve the problem. Then the cast member has a day to practice (with Twyla supervising and making corrections); the next day we come back and film the progress they‘ve made and talk about where to go from there.
We had five really cool episodes in this shoot and all of the horses made dramatic improvements (partly because their owner made dramatic improvements). There was Karen, whose cranky mare was a kicker and tried to bite and kick horses around her. Then there was Zeke, a young man with a very spoiled pony who dragged him around and walked all over him. And Shawntel, whose new horse had a “going“ problem, not standing still for mounting and walking off without a cue. Dave, president of NVRHA (see the C Lazy U editions of my blog for more day by day stories about NVRHA) brought his show horse and demonstrated all the phases of versatility ranch horse competition. Dave needed to work on refinement in his riding and in particular on his flying lead changes for the reining pattern.
And finally there was Linda and her horse Stinger, who were quite possibly the most interesting episode of the week. What initially seemed like a training problem turned out to be a physical problem caused by an ill-fitting saddle. Once I put my Circle Y Flex2 Reining saddle on him and he transformed right before our eyes into a completely different horse!
Until then, ride hard but ride safely!