Friday, 27 April 2018

Ian Roberts Clinic Day One

I am falling so behind in basically everything right now! It has just been a blur of house showings (which means constant frantic house cleaning because a family of four plus animals can destroy a house in minutes) all the while trying to do real life with kids, meeting the demands of an ever-increasing work load and sneaking off to visit my horse.
My fluffy yak pre-body clip :) So. much. hair.
 Have you ever headed into a clinic with a clinician you did not know? I have been to enough clinics to know that the experience can greatly depend on the style of the clinician and how that meshes with you personally. Honestly, I just need a clinician to simply be nice. I do not learn from tough love--I am more likely to crumple into a fetal position and cry.

Post-clip pony! Do not look too closely--the clip is sketchy :P
So when I found myself on a horse that was possibly doing a magnificent piaf (if only this was a dressage clinic!) mixed with canter sidepass, I was happy to discover Ian Roberts was indeed nice.
He took Shiraz by the rein and led us around some scary things just to get her moving forward. That was enough support to get us both a bit more settled and I was then able to get Shiraz trotting around with the rest of my group.

Trotting through the scattered poles with some pretty cute springs!
Once everyone was warmed up, we started with an exercise over scattered poles. This was geared to getting the horse thinking about their own feet. We were to ride on the buckle and allow the horse to lower their head and figure out their own path. We progressed to riding down the row of poles with our eyes closed to emphasise our role of setting direction and pace, and then leaving their horse alone to do their job.

Settling and thinking while I leave her alone.
Then we tied in a log jump with the pole exercise. Shiraz settled nicely and I noticed the more we jumped, the more relaxed she got.

Heading towards the first jump of the day (AND happens to be the biggest jump we have done together!! What is that, like 2 feet high?!! HUGE!!!)
I was impressed with Mr. Roberts' ability to quickly assess a horse and rider, know how far to push and give clear instructions without making anyone feel overfaced or stupid.

The result for me was a feeling of pushing past my boundaries and seeing real advancement in Shiraz while not ever really feeling like what we were doing was too difficult.

By the end of clinic day one, I was completely exhausted but smiling from ear to ear because we had done the thing, no one got hurt and best of all there would be a day two!!


  1. Yay! Look at you two go!

  2. Sounds like the perfect clinic/clinician for you guys and really like that scattered pole exercise for getting the horse to think on their own where to put their feet. Glad it went well!

  3. I can't imagine doing all that you are and doing a clinic at the same time. You are amazing.

  4. You are a badass for jumping that log! Sounds like you had a great clinician. Selling a house and juggling horse stuff/life is not fun, I feel you!

  5. Yay this is awesome! I’ve been super far behind with everything lately too, but that’s life sometimes I guess. Shiraz looks great in the video and I love that this clinicians style worked so well for you. Also man looks like you lucked out on the weather!

  6. The scattered pole exercise looks really cool!

  7. I love when clinicians actively help instead of put people down.

  8. I’m the same way with learning — don’t yell at me bc it won’t sccomplish anything but shut me down

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