Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Shannon Peters Dressage Clinic!

The Shannon Peters dressage clinic at Traumhof was fantastic. Since it was mostly upper level horses and professionals, I didn't think there would be much that I, a rank amateur, could use with my own low level horses. Instead, I learned more than I ever have from any clinic, including those with riders of my ilk. Shannon is a remarkable person. Not only did she immediately spot where each horse and rider needed improvement, she explained clearly and simply how to make that improvement. I came home with a page full of notes and a head full of ideas to try with my own horses... should I ever have time to ride.

Above left is the flashy Grand Prix horse Pablo, ridden by Mike Osinski. On the right is Jessica's lovely Grand Prix mare, Elisienne, better known as Lily, ridden by Nicki Grandia.

It was also fun, of course, to see grandson Ian who is growing up quickly. He loves selling food and beverages at the concession stand they operate as a fund raiser during the clinic. Now, at almost nine, he can pretty much do it all himself, including make change. He stayed with his job all day both days. (I, on the other hand, watched the clinic all day both days.) When all was done Sunday afternoon, Ian and I played games. The kid never seems to get tired. Well, he looks tired here but he was faking it.

This was my first time to see Luna, Jessica's new foal. What a beautiful, friendly girl she is... and a big one for only three months old!

Kevin, Jessica and Ian, plus all the boarders at the barn, have been working for weeks to get the place looking terrific... flowers planted everywhere... lovely hanging baskets.. everything mowed and trimmed and weeded and pressure washed and tidy. Traumhof looked beautiful. A perfect showcase for the lovely horses.
Johnny managed to do chores while I was gone, but his back did not cooperate as well as it had for my Ashland trip. It's time for me to stay home and let him recuperate... before he heads out south to visit the Calif. kids and north to visit the Wash. kids. He can ride Amtrak both directions and enjoys that method of travel. But first, he seems determined to get the new goat barn project underway. We will hire the construction, but he is designing and planning. It looks like the long-awaited goat barn may actually become a reality.

I mowed the lawn on this, my first day home, while working on my riding skills (in my head). Shannon Peters' voice counseled me to sit my bum in the saddle, don't lean forward, tighten my abs, roll my wrists to soften my horse's jaw, keep my hands low, elbows at sides, think forward, and volte, volte, volte. The riding mower does not, I discovered, do voltes (small circles) well. It just can't bend properly from nose to tail.

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