Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mark Rashid clinic

Warning: This post may be a bit discombobulated. I have so much going through my head right now, it's hard to channel it all with any coherency. So much learning I didn't necessarily expect!

At one point, Mark asked if there were any questions and me being, well me, said, "Nope, you've managed to answer one with each session so far."

I did actually ask some questions, though.

Like... we were trained to ride with super loose reins, so how do we balance that with picking up contact and boundaries. Answer? Depends on the horse. If I interpret correctly (which mind you is very easy to do with Mark), it means if you're getting softness and collection on a loose rein, you're good. If you're not, you have some work to do.

We all have some work to do. Steve, Lena, Bar, and me. All of us.

For example, if we have "issues at the trot," well, we have issues. But not issues I'm particularly worried about now. One of us just has to be clear and definite and I don't mean the big, brown ex-racehorse. Oh, and patient. That, however, goes for both of us.

Steve learned that escalating with Lena is a sure way to get into a non-winnable argument and that patience will be a better path.

Separation anxiety: while watching a set of sister ponies who hadn't been apart for sixteen years, I got to see an example of how to deal with Bar's slight over-dependence on Lena for alpha-dom. Returning him to his Lena safety net while he's frantic, while human nature, is not the best plan for any of us.

So much to learn, lots to practice.

Oddly, I can't wait.


Unknown said...

I'll be riding in a clinic with Mark in about three weeks. I'm nervous but really looking forward to it. Do you think you'll try to ride in a clinic next year?

Jessica Boyd said...

I'd really like to, yes.

Part of my hesitation with lessons (at least with most trainers) is they are not paying attention to the horse.

Mark is totally different. He's not telling you to use this aid or that aid or do this or do that.

He's really watching your horse and you. And teaching based on that, not his own ego or some set of parameters you have to pay for to get to some next level.

We were really impressed, so yeah. If I can pull the funds together, I will definitely take Bar next time he's in the area.

jill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jill said...

you will learn so much! have a great time!

Anonymous said...

I find that auditing these clinics is a great way to learn a lot - when you have your own horse there you often get busy with that and don't necessarily get to closely watch all the other riders.

Mark's by far the best horseman I've ever had the privilege to work with. No flash, no hype, just solid stuff. I hope you get a chance to ride next year. I'm planning to ride at least one and possibly two horses in a clinic next spring in Wisconsin.