I’ve been running all over the country with a horsemanship clinic in Massachusetts last weekend and a lecture in Denver Monday night. Both events were well-attended and very successful!
We had a full house at my first clinic of the year in the Berkshire mountains. It’s a beautiful part of the country, although it’s hard for me to think of them as mountains. Something about being surrounded by 14,000’ peaks at home makes me think of them as foothills. The Berkshire Equestrian Center is a beautiful indoor facility and a perfect spot for a clinic. There’s a lovely country inn on the property with exquisite accommodations and gourmet breakfast. Some of the clinic participants stayed there with me and it was fun to spend some casual time with them at dinner and breakfast.
We had a house full of spectators to watch 15 horses and riders and there was a lot to see! Most of the horses were pretty fresh, after not being ridden much over the winter. But by the end of the clinic, they were all perfect angels! We had an abundance of “witchy” mares (spell that with a B) who had never learned the rules about riding in a group—absolutely no herd behaviors or gestures allowed. No kicking, no biting, no pinning ears or threatening other horses in anyway. This is a fundamental rule that all horses should learn at the youngest age. I’ve written about this in my blog before and we’ve even done a TV show on it. It is a really important protocol because it relates to human safety.
Quite a few horses really benefitted from the ground work during the clinic and learning to control their tempers and impulsiveness. And as always, the riders made great progress in improving their riding and gaining better control of their horses. It was a great weekend and although I was thoroughly exhausted by Sunday night, I really had fun.
On my way home on Monday, I made a detour to Brighton CO (just north of Denver) to one of our best tack stores in the state, Brighton Saddlery. It was their annual Horse Owner’s Workshop, a free event sponsored by Purina, and I did a talk on horse behavior, my favorite subject, to a packed house. The Power Point presentation, called “A Part of the Herd,” was complete with incredible photography by Heidi Nyland and video clips from Horse Master. I had fun and I think the audience enjoyed the presentation as well as the incredible food that was served.
Enjoy the ride!