Confessions of a Cool Kid

2009 USC Clinic
May 6, 2009, 3:35 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Snowy and I went to the USC Equestrian Clinic last Saturday for the second time. This year it was a two day clinic, but we only stayed for the one day clinic. We left our barn around 7:15. From what I can remember from last year, it was a pretty straight forward drive. We ended up getting lost, but it didn’t set us back by too much. We found it and arrived at like 8:45. It said registration was starting at 8:30, so we didn’t miss anything.


Of all the barns I have ever visited, USC’s One Wood Farm is the by far my favorite! It is gorgeous! Once we got there, I unloaded Snowy and put her in one of the stalls. My first riding session was at 9:30 so I got Snowy all settled in and began brushing her off and tacking her up. She was very pleasant and gave me no trouble. She wasn’t even as noisy as she usually is in a new place.


Our first riding session was just flatwork. There were four girls in the group with me. One of the girls happened to go to the same barn as my best friend! We warmed up at the walk, and the coach stressed that many people over look and underestimate the walk, which is true. Then we went into trot work. We did a lot of sitting trot. Snowy has a very big trot, so it was bouncy :). Then she would have us find an empty area of the arena and circle working on correctly getting our horses to bend. After, we asked our horses to counter bend. Snowy seemed to do that fairly well.


The coach commented on how so many people liked the trot better, therefore they would focus mainly on that, and not work as hard at the canter. This was true as our canters were definitely not as organized as when we were trotting. I have a tendency to not have a lot of contact with Snowy’s mouth, and the coach corrected me (which helped out a lot in our jumping portion). One of the exercises we did in the canter was work on our horse’s adjustablity. This was a very good exercise for Snowy and I. We have problems getting distances some of the time, and this is definitely going to help. Towards the end of our flat session, the coach had me raise my stirrups a hole. It made such a difference! My legs instantly felt stronger, therefore improving my equitation. We worked over two poles that were an average six strides. Snowy and I got the six strides easily. Then the coach has us shorten our strides to fit seven. This was more challenging for us, since our canter isn’t as organized as it should be. As I cantered up to the poles, I had Snowy in a nice collected cantered. I could feel everything going well, and I was sure we were going to get the seven. Right on the sixth stride she broke to the trot! The coach said I needed to find a happy medium between my hands and legs. We attempted it again, and this time it was a success. Snowy felt so nice and collected and at the same time forward. That was the last exercise we did before our flat session was done.


I had just gotten my new half pad in, which I was very excited about it. I used it at the clinic and it worked really well, Snowy didn’t sweat as much as I thought she would, and we worked hard! After I got her settled, I went to watch the other group ride. Then after they got finished we went to get lunch. We had Groucho’s Deli, yumm! This is when the coaches from the team talked to us about their team, how to apply, and what their looking for. They gave us some helpful tips on what they do and don’t want to see in the video applications. They also explained a lot of the NCAA rules, since there seems to be a lot of those.


Our group was the first group, so right after the lunch and discussion, we went to tack up. In my jumping session there was only three girls. When we went into the ring we picked back up on a few of the things we did earlier in the day. Then we did no stirrups, my WORST enemy! I was dreading it all day, but I did survive without making complete fool out of myself. We warmed up over a small crossrail before moving on to anything bigger. After doing so a few times, the coach said that she could see Snowy likes the bigger jumps. We worked on some lines and small courses after that. We threw in some equitation turns too!  Snowy did awesome!! She is the most amazing horse in the world. She wasn’t bothered by anything, and acted like a total angel, doing everything I asked of her. The last course we did was really neat. We had two really tight rollbacks, and Snowy and I handled those really nicely. I’m definitely doing the Jumpers at State 4-H this year.

usc-clinic-060I had sooooo much fun at the clinic. I am going to use everything she taught me when ride (yes even more no stirrups). With all of the things I learned that day, we are definitley going to kick some major butt at State 4-H this year! The coach remembered us from last year and said that Snowy had improved a lot.  I may not do the Maclay, go to Devon, Harrisburg, or Upperville (although I would kill to show at any one of them), but I would LOVE to ride for their team. I’m so glad I went, I would go again in a heartbeat.


I got lots of good pictures and videos, so enjoy =]