Jump Start the Show Season with a Clinic
By Wendy Deans
Horsemanship is a lifelong journey evolving as the rider’s ability progresses and changes with the rider’s focus on their sport. To get the most out of true horsemanship, it should be a lifelong journey. The first thing a rider accepting this journey must do is realize that to improve and progress you have to have an open mind and be willing to learn from every horse, rider, trainer, book and video. It’s not always an easy journey. Pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone can create frustration. Having said that, it’s what I believe to be the most fun, rewarding and empowering thing a person can choose to do with their life.
Learning to be a better rider will teach you patience. It will allow you to be a more confident person in every day life. It can open doors for you that you never thought possible.
Reining clubs offer clinics as a means of continuing education for their members and also as a chance at possible fundraising. A clinic gives you that chance to reach outside your comfort zone, learn drills that will advance your timing, balance and feel, and observe others experiencing the same challenges as you are. There’s nothing better than being in the middle of the arena for getting that up close and personal experience with a professional trainer. You have the best seat in the house when you are on a horse’s back in the arena. Not only will the trainer work you through issues that you are experiencing, but you will get to watch other riders being coached through things that have either happened to you in the past or will happen to you in the future.
During down time you can take notes to look back on after the clinic. It’s not easy to remember everything you’ve heard during a two-day clinic and notes let you review a day, month, or year later. Feeling intimidated and overall expense are two things that prevent riders from attending a clinic. It seems like a lot of money for two days of riding. I can assure you that a clinic is worth every penny and then some. The opportunity to learn and advance as a rider is fantastic. It allows you to get another step closer to being as good a rider as the folks you have admired. As far as being intimidated about riding in a clinic, don’t ever forget that every single rider, even the trainer, was right where you are at one time. Dreaming about being a better rider, being more balanced, more confident is what every rider at every level wants. Even the riders that grace the cover of the Reiner magazine continue to get advice from their peers every chance they can.
So if you’ve never ridden in a clinic or haven’t in a long time, there is no better time than now to do it. YRHA and MRHA will be offering a number of clinics this spring and summer for riders of every level. These trainers will be here for YOU. Forget buying that new lamp or TV. Come join the fun of a reining clinic!