Recently I got to experience what it was like to ride in my first clinics. I had watched some and audited some but never got the chance to actually take part in one. For me hands on is a good way to learn what needs to be accomplished so when I heard that we were going to have two at our barn I could take part in I was thrilled.
If you are wondering what a ride-a-test clinic is you can pretty much guess that it means what it sounds like. What I did during this clinic was ride two tests, have them scored and then get feedback. After the feedback I re-rode the tests for new scores and saw huge improvements. This clinic was extremely helpful because at shows you just ride the test and get scored. You don’t get an opportunity to be one on one with the judge. This is a great way to have a peek into what a judge looks for and how they want riders to go about their tests.
Under Professional Instruction
The second clinic that I got to take part in is being able to ride under professional instruction. My trainer had her instructor come up and give lessons to those who wanted to improve their skill sets. For me this was a whole new experience and one I really benefited from. I really learned how to use my body and how to keep my horse motivated.
It’s funny because when I think about it these things I realize I am already being instructed to do them during regular training sessions but they really didn’t stick with me until now. It’s weird how that works!
Riding in a couple of different clinics taught me about self-awareness and how I ride. It’s interesting that in both of them I had some similar things to work on. I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in something new outside of training and shows. It again reminded me that there are more things to do with your riding.