Rider: Jenny Blades
Horse: Waymark's Ice Queen
It was the morning of the Jim Baker Clinic, I had decided the night before to stay over at Diana's house so I could get up early and walk out to the barn to get Greycie. I got up, and headed downstairs for a cup of coffee to get myself ready. I stared out the window admiring the view from the house, the barn that I loved looked so quiet and calm. A ding went off in my pocket, I opened my phone to see a message from my mom. "Good luck today love!" She was always sending me her love before any show or clinic. Such a loving mother she was!
I arrived at the barn, Noah was taking up in the crossties, I waved at him, he waved back. I walked down the hall of main barn and Greycie was in her stall happily munching away at hay. "Hey girl" I said and reached out to pet her. It was a bit of a chilly day out so I shivered a bit to myself as the barn was cool and felt damp. I clicked the leadrope on her and brought her out into the aisle to get ready. I prepped her the night before, so all I needed to do was a light groom, polish her hooves and clean her main. Greycie has the habit of making a mess with her hay, but oddly today she stayed relatively clean . "Oh Greycie your sew clean" I sang to her.
Once ready, I threw her saddle on her, and her baker sheet on top, the clinic was taking place locally so the drive over wasn't too long, roughly 10mins. She loaded onto the trailer and off we went to the grounds. I unloaded her, and put the rest on her tack on. I was wearing a jacket but underneath my ice fill shirt, keeping me warm on the chilly morning. I arrived a bit early, but I guess so did others. It has been a while since Greycie had been off property, she was coming off of a lameness injury. I hopped on her, and slipped her baker off onto the fence post. Greycie walked with passion in the ring, I think she thought she was at a competition. She nickered as if to say "I'm here b*tches", what a sassy mare she was. Jim was talking to some other riders, so I just went around the edge of the ring warming her up. Greycie was being a bit naughty, not listening and a tad spooky when coming around the corner near the pole shed. Luckily after a few laps she settled in.
The clinic began and Jim had us work on some poles to get the horses hind ends moving and engaged. "Now I want a nice even rhythm between these poles Jenny, go to fast and you'll knock, too slow and you will loose the rhythm." Trotting through was easy, Greycie was on the bit and lovely. Cantering however.... She has a tendency to rush things. Clink Clink Clink I heard as she nicked the poles. I cringed, Jim didn't look too pleased either. "You can't let her get away with that! Sit her back on her hind and move her as if you are going uphill, she should be nice, easy and flexible! Now again!" This time when I approached, she went to move forward but I sunk back down in the saddle, compulsion built and made her bounce through the poles at a nice even pace. "That's the way! Lovely" I felt pretty accomplished, smiling ear to ear, the other riders gave me smiling nods.
After that exercise a couple times, Jim had us ride up to a fence and back down, I used the technique for the poles and Greycie was actually calmly jumping. No crazy jumper mare today, no, Greycie was fab for the clinic! I loaded her back up after the clinic was over, popped myself up onto the step on the trailer, opened her window and gave her a big air kiss! "Greycie you were such a good po po!" Now I can't wait for show season to begin!