|Posted by Emily Bertrand on August 1, 2014 at 6:55 PM|
Recap of Clinic with Blyth, Grandview, our adventures and what I was reminded of along the way!
Last week we were lucky enough to leave for a full week and participate in the Blyth Tait Clinic and then attend the event at Grandview near Barrie on the weekend. The trip was full of laughter and good times it was a trip I will not soon forget! I brought Harry and Mick to ride and a few of the girls joined me as well; Emily Reedman with Woody, Emily Laroque with Dreamer, and Sonja Laing was our super groom for the week! Jacqueline Whalen and Jewel along with Mikayla Smith and Providence also joined us later in the week for the event at a Grandview.
We arrived at Pomelee Acres in Tottenham, on Monday. We got the horses settled and took them for a hack to stretch their legs. Tuesday and Wednesday was the clinic with Blyth. Tuesday was stadium fences and Wednesday we jumped cross country. Blyth was a fantastic clinician he has the perfect balance of being positive yet also providing great feedback, and a bit of humour when things didn’t go as planned. He is someone that I would certainly love to ride with on a daily basis I wish he wasn’t so far way! He was very quick to assess the horses and the riders and really had them pegged (including some hilarious comments about riders personalities in a fun light hearted way). Everyone walked away with huge smiles and homework. All the riders did great and progressed well over the two days.
The clinic was a great prep for Grandview and for myself it was really helpful in getting to know Mick. Mick is a very cool horse, he came just a few weeks ago from Tenesee and is owned by Megan Woods. He has a superb jump, and when he’s in the ring at home relaxed and working on his own he’s the easies horse to ride, but take him out to a new place with lots going on and he gets very stressed and becomes a very different ride. I learnt he has one heck of a quick last second run out and when it comes to skinny’s he would much prefer to look for the alternate route around them. I was really taken aback the first day as while I had only had a handful of rides on Mick I found him to be very easy so expected him to be the same away from home. The clinic really helped me to figure him out and we had a good first event at Grandview in the Open Training because of it. I feel with every outing I will get to know him better and will be able to give him the ride that he needs. He was far from easy to ride but boy can he ever jump, he gives you an incredible feeling over fences and I can’t wait to build my partnership with him!
Blyth got on Mick twice during the first day of the clinic. It was very helpful. Blyth had the exact same issues that I had when riding him and was able to really provide me with great feedback on what to do and work on with him. After Blyth got a couple of run out to the skinny with him he told me “I thought you were giving up a little in the last two strides but now I take it back and see he’s not an easy ride but he will be worth the time and effort for you” it was a huge reminder to me how important it is as a coach to get on my students horses to actually feel what it going on. Mick is one of those horses that is very deceiving, he’s a very different feel from what you see on the ground. I do hop on my students horses from time to time more so in the winter but it was just such a great reminder that it doesn’t always look the same as it feels. So from now on I may be hopping on my students horses more often so I can feel what is going on and better able to guide and instruct them.
Stephanie St. Pierre wrote a great article about the clinic that very accurately cover’s the emphasis of Blyth’s teaching during the clinic. Well worth a read: http://eventingnation.com/home/stephanie-st-pierre-blyth-tait-brings-his-expertise-to-ontario/
Harry was his usual self he is slowly starting to improve in the show jumping and as usual was excellent cross country. Both Emily’s rode in the Pre-Training group and really looked fantastic they even tackled some skinny’s and corners and got a lot out of the clinic.
On the Thursday we gave the horses the day off, they got a bit of turn out and went for a horse hack to stretch their legs, and then we decided to venture off to the Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto.
I have a big truck because I pull a large trailer and driving a big truck or really driving at all in downtown Toronto is not really advisable!!! Finding parking was quite the adventure in itself. Most of the parking lots were either; full, way too small to fit the truck ,and some of the parking garages were too low for the truck (note -know EXACTLY how tall your vehicle is!!) We finally found one that was high enough but was it ever a close one with literally 2 inches to spare from the concrete roof. My antenna was dinging all the pipes and signs but we made it in and out with ought a scrape and managed to get a parking spot just big enough to park in. I am learning that I seem to have a knack for getting into very tight situations!! Despite our wild parking adventure, the aquarium was lots of fun and it was great to get out.
Friday we packed up and headed off to Grandview. It’s my favorite event in Ontario and we had a fun time. We met up with Mikayla and Jacqueline and her parents, and both Emily’s parents came up as well. It was fun and so awesome to have so much support and help over the weekend. I’m proud to say we have one fun bunch and such a supportive team, they made the weekend a fantastic one.
All the riders did a great job at the event, they all put in some great riding and made a few mistakes that they learnt a great deal from. Mistakes can be such a great thing because once you’ve made the mistake at a show you’re likely not to do it again!!
For example; when you go in the show jumping ring and forget your course half way through (cough cough Emily L) your proabably not going to do it again next time!! HAHA but don't worry it happens to everyone at some point! I might add Emily L may have forgotten where she was going and incurred a lot of penalties in SJ but she still pulled it off and managed not to get eliminated which was quite the feat as she was REALLY lost!!
What I loved though was her amazing ability to stay positive and not only did she remain positive about her own riding she was so positive and supportive with all the other riders. Cheering for them at the top of her lungs like they just won a gold medal, Emily L made everyone feel like a superstar. It was a great reminder to me while I was riding to not sweat the small stuff and to have a great time. I appreciated her attitude and enthusiasm and will work hard to try to be as positive as she is with myself and with others. Perhaps minus the wild cheer leading. While I absolutely love it, she’s so great at it that I think I’ll leave that part up to her.
I was really proud of all the girls. The divisions were very competitive and they held their own. You can check out our placing’s on the farm’s website at: http://www.royaleequestriancentre.com/horseshowresults.htm
It was a fantastic week; we all had lots of fun and took away some great memories, stories, and came home armed with more knowledge and experience!
Check out our movie trailer with video and pictures from the week on you tube; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwaQYTwrjB4
Lets kick on- keep working hard, having fun, and learning from one another.