Monday, July 2, 2012

Lientje Schueler Dressage Clinic

Once again, I headed north last Friday to have fun with grandson Ian and to attend a dressage clinic at Traumhof, this time with Lientje Schueler. She is assistant trainer at Steffen and Shannon Peters' dressage barn in California. Although Steffen and Shannon each normally clinic at Traumhof during the year, the Olympics are keeping Steffen busy in London and Shannon busy in California, so they suggested having Lientje clinic this summer and fall. She came this past weekend and was wonderful and will be giving monthly clinics at Traumhof beginning in September.

Naturally, Lientje has the same objectives in teaching and training as Steffen although they phrase things somewhat differently. I liked Lientje's explanations of why she was asking a rider to flex to the outside on a circle or tap the inside shoulder or whatever it was she was asking the rider to do. Although one of the riders spoke to her in German, Lientje thoughtfully replied in English so the spectators, most of whom did not speak German, could understand what she was explaining to the rider. Lientje clinics most weekends around the country and the world... Australia is a regular destination... when she does not have shows. She obviously wants to help the auditors as well as the riders learn. She has an incredible eye and could see immediately what problems the horse and rider pairs had and what needed to be worked on first to reach the riders' goals. Here Lientje is directing Nicki Grandia, Traumhof trainer, on Elisienne (Lily), Jessica's beautiful Grand Prix mare.

Nicki also rode a black stallion she is training for another client. He was working on flying changes and made quite an improvement from the first day to the second. What a handsome guy.

After the clinic Saturday night, we feasted on a wonderful dinner delivered from a Mediterranean restaurant nearby. I wish I had taken photos of the many flowering hanging baskets and beautiful trees and lawn that border the huge patio between barn and arena where we dined. What a lovely place Traumhof has become. I remember when Kevin and Jessica and Ian moved there, before the new barn or the arena were built or the grounds were landscaped, before there were any paddocks. It is incredible how much they have accomplished. Next time, I'll take photos of something besides horses! I was too busy enjoying myself to think about it. I did snap a few in front of their house just before I left for home Sunday afternoon.

After Saturday's dinner, Jessica turned the barn mascot, Penny Pony, out into the arena where she raced and raced up and down. When Penny is tired of running, she rolls in the sandy arena, then walks up to Jessica to have her halter put back on. I quit filming before she quit running. Here are two of the youngest auditors walking Penny to cool her out after her run. Video of Penny's play time is on youtube.

Alas, I have no photos of my growing grandson from this weekend. Ian, as usual at Traumhof clinics, spent both days operating the concession stand. I'll make up for that lack of photos when he spends a week with us this summer. We did find time to play a board game and a few games on his XBox. Happily for me, Ian is becoming interested in birds and showed me where Red-breasted Sapsuckers like to make holes in the patio area trees. Sure enough, a female Sapsucker was busily tending her sap wells with horses and people roaming close by. I never would have seen her without Ian pointing her out to me. I can't wait to take him Black Oystercatcher monitoring!

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