It has been a very busy month! Lucinda Green clinic in the beginning of the month, Fox River Valley Horse Trials in the middle, and hosting the Kim Severson clinic at the end!
Lucinda is always an amazing clinician. She teaches something no one else teaches-- how to ride when it all goes wrong. And it so often does on cross country, that I think what she teaches ought to be required learning for anyone who wants to go out on a cross country course, at any level! Lucinda was very impressed with the changes in Baby Z during the last year! She did up our bit to a gag, which really helped us, but I'm pretty sure that using it even a couple times was enough to remind her she is in fact supposed to listen to me! By the Kim clinic, we were back in the Waterford with more obedience than ever before!
Fox River Valley was a bit of a weather rollercoaster. Hot and dry, then pouring cats and dogs, then hot... rinse and repeat! Z was a star, breaking into the 20s in dressage (my first time ever in the 20s!), double clean show jumping, but a bad jump into water cost us some time, and frazzled me enough that I went the wrong way for precious seconds! The footing was deep enough that we weren't going fast enough to make up for any mistakes, so we ended with 9.4 time penalties, dropping from 3rd to 7th. But at least Zahra doesn't know we didn't finish on our dressage score! She was such a star in the toughest conditions she has ever run in so far. Check the helmet cam to see how chewed up it all was by the time we went! Thanks to Adam for all the great pictures!
The Kim clinic had a very rocky start, with Kim's plane being cancelled Friday night, and delayed again Saturday morning. She finally made it in after 11, to O'Hare, and we got the first group started by 2:30 back in Madison. We rode all afternoon, some through rain, getting everyone in, although the last group ended at dusk! I can't thank the awesome volunteers/co-organizing cohort who got things set up while I drove Kim from Chicago... and drove... and drove.... did I mention I took a wrong turn and we took I94 through Milwaukee? With all the construction and delays going up I-90, we only lost about 20 minutes, but still, a lot of miles covered that day! Everyone had great rides, and those that rode in March had all made obvious improvements in the past 3 months. It was great to see!
Sunday was finally a gorgeous day! The only gorgeous day we've had for Kim, I was afraid she was going to start hating Wisconsin! She started us off by making a galloping path for 350 meters per minute, 400mpm, 450mpm, 500 mpm, and 520mpm. This is the first time I'd ever timed myself to figure out my pacing, and it was hugely educational! Zahra covered the training speed without exertion, so I can stop fretting so much about time! This is definitely a tool we will come back to! Then we warmed up over a galloping oxer, did some serious gymnastics with the ditch, utilizing the very narrow triple brush on an off-set 4 stride line. After some work with the water, we were ready for our big trip to Ohio!