I'll start this post with a bit of personal reflection...last year I was browsing about on Facebook (which I know some people are not all excited about) and a link came up for an opening/timeslot for a clinic with Catherine Haddad-Staller. I was in a slump from attempting to rehab my bum ankle and the horses were fresh as daisies, so it was a 'Why Not?' sort of decision as we had seen Catherine rock it out at Dressage at Devon the previous fall on Winyamaro. So we loaded up Wyatt, the working student and made the 6 hour trek to VA.
One superduperfantasticaloutrageoustupendous hour later, I talked with Stubben N.A. who was onsite, made a commitment to change my riding, my position and tough it out.
Sort of one of those moments when you know there are big changes to make in your life - you know it when you feel/see/hear/taste it, take a deep breath, grab your checkbook and don't look back. :) Since Catherine teaches from the same manual that mom has raised me under, it all makes perfect sense, the horses understand the language, and it flat out WORKS. The horses are happy - that is the best part!
In the late summer, we journeyed up to Hawk Hollow Ranch in NJ and got more help from Catherine (aka The Big Boss). I'm going to confess - I'm like an addict and if it was possible, I would go live in her barn to be like a sponge and soak up all she has to teach. :) If you think it is silly, well, you don't understand how hard it is to find a trainer who speaks the same language and how refreshing it is to have your natural instincts reinforced consistently.
Autumn saw us making the trek to Randi's one more time for the acquisition of 'homework' and then winter arrived. The horses stayed in full work, the training has progressed and we saw TBB in April. That clinic was extra fun as she was kind and rode Wizard for a few minutes!
So now it's June 2012, I'm Stubben-ed up with my Genesis Special, the horses are going better than I ever anticipated and I am beginning to think it is time to compete them - which means competitions are a few months away barring any injury for us.
|Wyatt June 4th
So that's a bit of wrap up of the last year. There are more photos here in the blog and summaries of the clinics with Catherine, if you want to scroll back to see what we've gotten up to under her watchful eye. And if she's in your area teaching - get thee to the arena and AUDIT!