dancing horses

dancing horses

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Jacqueline Brooks Clinic Recap: The Day Before

Despite my worries I was able to get the trailer loaded, packed multiple layers of clothes (the weather was supposed to wildly variable) and hit the road. These days when I go to load Carmen she sees the trailer and is just says 'all right' and makes a beeline. I have to stop her to throw the lead line up over her back and she pretty much rolls her eyes.

The GPS found Clay Hill Farm without difficulty. I put Carmen in her stall and then took my suitcase into the house. Julia, the owner, kindly offered me a room to stay.

After getting organized and learning where to find water etc., I tacked Carmen up and brought her into the arena. It's a coverall arena with kkckboards around the side. There are mirrors on the ends which is wonderful.

hmm, I see that I have some dirt on my neck, you better get that cleaned before tomorrow
Carmen was quite excited and wanted to be very spooky. What I found was that I wasn't nervous about that at all. I simply kept riding her and keeping her on task. I was with other riders and one by one they all left. The last one (Brittany who owns the most wonderful horse 'Spiderman', an appendix QH who she's trained to a very high level), asked if I was okay with her leaving and whether Carmen would get upset.

I said the she probably would but that was fine. So yes I was brave but I also know that Shanea was coming with her lovely mare and would be there soon. I could feel Carmen being quite jazzed so I asked her to canter and let her work forward instead of sideways/backwards/etc. I realized that I have stopped being worried that I might be hurt or have a horrible ride. This means that I can just go to work. It's not that she won't spook - in fact she found some dead grass between the kick plate and the canvas wall that she thought was horribly dangerous. I didn't make a fuss- I just ignored the plant and settled on the work. I was really happy with how quickly I was able to get her settled in and relaxed.

I was quite struck by how friendly everyone at the barn was. Everyone there seemed to be happy to there and welcoming to strangers. The people riding were focussed and seemed to be enjoying their horses. Later that evening Jacqueline Brooks arrived and we sat around the kitchen table chatting. She really is laid back and friendly with a great sense of humour.

I headed to bed. I would love to say that I was ready and confident about the next day but the truth is I wasn't. But I wasn't losing any sleep over it either. I figured that I needed to trust the process. 


  1. Carmen may always find something to spook at but the way you handle it is wonderful. Can’t wait to hear about the clinic.

  2. You have come so far with her. I hope the clinic went well

  3. Love the quote. I really needed it. I was also pondering the nature of mistakes/problems during rides, and realizing that without them, I'll never have a chance to learn to trust the horse. See, I don't yet know how bad his bad is. He has to be naughty for me to finally see what that entails. I hate to say it, but it is probably the truth. Kicks at trees (4X), attacks other horses (2X), nips other horses' butts (countless), bucks under saddle (2X), threatens to rear (4X). And yet, he's easy in comparison to most horses, including your pretty mare. I wish you the best, I can taste your success!

    1. All horses are different. Carmen does not have Mag's hijinks.

  4. Yay for confidence!! I hope I can find mine again when I actually have time to ride again.

    Carmen is so beautiful!

    I'm trying to get back to reading blogs, but I won't have time to get caught up on the things I missed. I hope all is well with everyone.

  5. i know i'm already pretty behind, but am excited to get caught up. sounds like a promising start!


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