An overview of this years Parma Spring Clinic. Finally, I was slow this time I know!
From left to right; Terrence on MJ, Barb on Bones, Matt on Hugo, Ted, Julie on Sonata, Karen on Abbiroad, Kathie on Chloe, Beth, and Tim on Two-Feathers.
This photo is of one of the exercises which pushes many participants out of their comfort zone. Typically everyone is riding in the arena at once, (in this clinic six horses and riders), and no one is steering their horse! At some clinics the number of participants in the arena is modified for the ability level of the individual horses/participants but at this particular clinic it was everyone in.
Here Ted is explaining the next exercise to the group.
We spend a lot of time and effort teaching/preparing our horses for under saddle exercises with our feet still on the ground at Ted's clinics. As Ted says; 'Why wouldn't I? Any exercise that I can teach while I'm still on the ground makes it easier for my horse to understand when I am in the saddle and is a safer way for both of us.' Also frequently repeated 'It is our job as horse owners and trainers to make it as easy as possible for our horse to understand what we want him to do.'
This clinic we ended up with only four participants which allowed our teens Matt and Kathie to join the group. Matt was able to take Hugo through the clinic while Kathie took Chloe through. This was a fantastic opportunity for Matt and Kathie but significantly reduced the amount of time I was able to spend observing and photographing (without my typical amount of available assistance). In spite of this there are several pictures of each participant. Scroll down!
This first selection of pictures feature Karen Vining, returning from Grandview, Washington with her mare Abbiroad. Karen is a veteran participant and came mostly to make sure her own skills were staying tuned up. Karen had obviously done a great job maintaining Abbi's training and Abbi sailed through the clinic with flying colors! Karen says that she feels confident enough in the increase in her skill level after this clinic that next year she is bringing her other horse!
Next up, are Tim and Julie Morley, new clients who traveled down from Victor, Idaho where they own and operate a bed and breakfast. Tim and Julie chose to celebrate their wedding anniversary by attending a horsemanship clinic together.
Also joining us for the second three day weekend in a row was Barb Clow. Barb has gotten her boy off to a fabulous start!
The wind on day two enhanced the challenge factor on some of our arena embellishments for the clinic! Plastic grocery bags; a training tool that is simple, effective and a 'scary object' that many horses will encounter at some point. Don't let the first time be when you or your child are on top of the horse!
Our two lucky kids who were able to participate - Matt and Kathie. Matt participated for the full three days of clinic time with Hugo. The experience was a big confidence builder for both Matt and the horse. Hugo will be five years old next month and has developed a lot of confidence in himself and the world around him over this last winter. He is half Arabian and the reactive tendencies that typically come with the Arabian blood still dominate his personality. That said, correct training and handling have helped Hugo to develop a much larger comfort zone and he has gained confidence in himself all around. Even in his interactions with the herd his newly developed confidence in himself and the world around him has changed his life. Hugo is a super little horse who is on his way to a lifetime of positive interactions with little people! Matt has enjoyed working with Hugo and is only sorry that Hugo is not big enough to become Matt's regular mount.
Here Terrence is helping Matt and Hugo out.
Kathie is thrilled to be riding Chloe! Beth and Terrence (and of course Ted/Dad!) helped her out and got the little horse extremely well prepared and through her first three rides. Kathie is now doing most of the training with Chloe (with constant supervision and some help from Beth and Terrence). Kathie has continued to devote as much time as she can to progressing with Chloe since the clinic. She has set a goal of having Chloe ready to participate in an LD (twenty five mile endurance type ride) this summer.
Drinkers of the Wind Arabians (Helen Bonner and Robert T. Bouttier) had scheduled to pick up their horse Doc on this particular weekend and the timing of their arrival was fortuitous in that the clinic participants were about to go on lunch break. Thus most participants grabbed a chair and watched part of the presentation as Doc's training was reviewed for Archie and Helen. This was Terrence's first ever time of being the one responsible to explain, show, and coach a client and their horse through the training that the horse received here. I wasn't able to be out there watching for most of it so these photos were taken by Helen and sent to me - thank you Helen Bonner!