Monday, January 4, 2010

Daniel Meech Clinic

Sorry for the lack of photos, the camera has packed up. There maybe a few pictures but you will have to wait. Overall, the whole experience was humbling I guess. I thought I had a reasonably solid grounding, but my word perhaps not. My problems all stemmed from my casual kiwi attitude to riding. I just don't do enough. The first lesson was on Rascal and it started with lots of flatwork, trying to get the horses really collected. I thought I had collected, but this as collected beyond that. Which is hard work, especially because my horses aren't fit to this sort of collection so I was working my ass off trying to hold her together.

I will in the next few days draw up the exercises we did but we started with trotwork over trot poles and then added a small fence to that so we trotted over the poles, 9 feet to a small jump, 9 feet to a rail that we cantered out over- making sure you get the right lead of course. The next exercise was a grid with a small bounce, short stride to an upright, normal stride to an oxer. My biggest flaw here is that my position has stared to collapse in front of the fences, which of course causes my horse to collapse. He wanted me to sit up all the way to the base and hold my horse collected all the way to the base. I normally allow the horse to lower it's head before the fence but he prefferd that I don't do that. This and my lack of eye to the fences were my biggest issues. He kept saying stop getting so deep- make your decision earlier, but I don't see my spots early enough for that I guess. He must have a phenomenal eye.

The next exercise was a figure eight over two fences making sure to get good spots and land on the correct lead. I really sucked at this exercise, it took me about a million goes to get it right. Finally, there was a line of 3 fences on a slight uphill slope. Short six from upright to oxer and then a flowing four to the upright out. I can't remember what problems I had here, mostly just a complete lack of organisatino to start out with. I would get my strides but it wasn't smooth. It doesn't help that as mentioned before my eye isn't super, but on Rascal it's absolutely terrible. Something about that horse hides your takeoffs. Rascal jumped pretty well, a little hesitant and slow off of the ground but the more I held her together the more confident she was. The last run through of the exercise I did it nicely and he said to me that I could have done that the first time. Haha no kidding.

Finally, we did the exercise the other way- flowing four strides to the oxer and a short six down hill. It was hard to get the 6 strides initially, you really had to collect early. Such a basic exercise and to struggle with it was a bit disheartening. I'm not sure why I couldn't do it better to be honest, apart from the fact I think I tend more to ride the canter and take off point I get instead of being organised and strong and dictating more what they do. I'm not disciplined is probably the best way to put it.


  1. dont be too hard on yourself. Clinics are all about learning what you need to work on. Even if you take one thing Daniel said to work on and get that going great.....its a start and then move to another pointer.I take mt hat off to you for even going to such clinics. You go girl!!!!!!

  2. There's nothing wrong with you so don't be hard on yourself - the whole point of this sort of thing is to sharpen you up and challenge you, and that's what it did. It sounds like you learned a lot and made some good progress. You came with what you had and where you were and left with more - that's a good outcome in my book!

  3. Aww, mate, don't be so hard on yourself!
    Remember that you did the clinic to learn, and so you need to find the weak areas in order to progress.
    And remember too that you're an amateur, it is just for fun! He's professional and full-time in the saddle, and I'm sure still has bad days too.
    Did he tell you to give your horses away, and take up lawn bowls? No? So be brave, take it all on board and be that bit better next time!
    Kia kaha!

  4. Wow, sounds like you learned a lot, which makes it a good clinic. It seems like you don't get a lot of lessons, so it might be intimidating to have that much information crammed into a couple sessions, but now you have so much to work on and blog about.

    I guess I'm a bit selfishly motivated. I love reading about you getting out there and doing stuff. Good luck!!