Posted by: eventer4life | July 3, 2010

7/10 Buck Davidson Clinic:Day 1

Sooooo the first day of the Buck Davidson clinic was today.

In classic Montana fashion, the day started out a little chilly but sunny and then got progressively colder until my ride. When it started pouring FREEZING rain, blowing wind, and hailing.

Yeah, it hailed during my ride. Of course. It was lovely 😛

It wouldn’t have been that bad if it hadn’t MAJORLY pissed Dawkins off. He went from decent-pretty good for not being ridden in a week-when it was chilly, but dry, to a MADMAN after it started hailing.

But back to the start of the clinic! When I first got on, Dawkins was slightly pissy, which I attribute completely to his back (I did get the Mattes pad back and it’s helping a lot but not enough) and kind of crazy. I was okay with that because I haven’t ridden him since Sunday! So I just rode him around with his head flung straight up in the air while he kicked out and ran around and was generally stupid, asking him-in vain-to settle down and put his head down. He never really got round today for whatever reason, I think it’s still his back, but he did settle down.

Then we got started with Buck! The first exercise he had us do was to go over 3 poles to a small oxer and then circle in the square of jumps directly after. It was harder than I thought it would be! Usually Dawkins has enough balance on his own that I thought I would be fine, but today not so much. The first time we did it he spooked at the poles, spooked at the jump, spooked at the jump after, then I turned him and he spooked and leaped away from the jump I was trying to get him by. Buck thought it was funny because he knows Dawkins so that was okay, haha. The next time was better, but a couple turns later he started slipping on his hind end a lot and was jabbing his head up in the air. So of course Buck had me do it 3498573498 more times until he was a lot better.

Then we had to do the same exercise, but after the circle jump another oxer.  This went a loooootttt better for us because he circled better and then was in really good balance so he jumped the oxer really well!

After that we just started doing different lines and courses around the arena. He was pretty good-my riding was not so good haha- until the rain started. He got a little jumpy when it first started and by the time it was pouring and hailing he was kind of wild. On the courses, he’d be flying around and wouldn’t really listen to me. There was one line where we first went down it in 5 strides, then did a couple other jumps and came back to the same line, but this time did it in 6 strides. That was reallyyyyyyy hard for me! Probably our hardest exercise of all because by then he was COMPLETELY tuning me out. And since he was really up and quick, if he didn’t listen to me he’d take the 5. I finally got the 6 after a couple times through and it was not so pretty :/

At the end, we did a really simple course. A four stride line to an outside line, all set at normal distances. No bending, no nothing. And it had stopped hailing! (temporarily). So it should have been easy. And it was, for every other horse. Dawkins, however, was still slightly wild. I got him REALLY forward before the 4 and then collected him (that had been one of Buck’s critiques of me, that we had no power or we had wayyy too much) so we jumped that really nice. But it was a long canter around the arena to the outside line and during that time Dawkins managed to completely work himself up so that by the time we got to the outside line he just flung himself over the jumps completely flat and then bolted at the end. Buck had me do it at least 3 times and he finally got a little better by the end…not great though.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better! I ride at 9:30 and (knock on wood) no rain is forecast. Of course, no rain was forecast for today….

Oh, Buck said he really doesn’t like my saddle either. So we’re really going to make an effort to get an Amerigo jumping saddle as soon as we possibly can. I know Dawkins is still hurting, the Mattes pad just makes it bearable. And Buck DOES think that the Mattes makes it rideable. Fingers crossed we get a saddle soon and survive Whidbey!

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