As I mentioned, Brian has a great sense of humor. He's so quick that sometimes it's hard to think of something even slightly witty in reply! Once, someone else's clinic report had a collection of her favorite quotes from the clinic, which I thought was an excellent idea. Here's my favorite quotes from Brian.
"Loved your first fence. It was beautiful, absolutely perfect. Your second fence made me want to grab a bottle of Drano and pour it in my eyes. Go do it again."
I told you he was blunt. Heavy on the praise, equally heavy on criticism!
"Good riders ride the approach. Great riders ride the landing."
Similarly, "Good riders ride the front legs. Great riders ride the back legs." (Referring to his mantra that you must worry about keeping the hind legs pushing forward, NOT about when the horse picks up his front legs to jump.)
He told us about how McKinlaigh, Gina Miles' Olympic horse whom she just won Silver on, took more than a year to understand that the correct takeoff spot was NOT 13 feet away from the base of the fence. "He really, truly believed in his heart that this was the right thing to do. It took SEVEN trot poles in front of the fence to teach him how to wait. Once he figured that out, he was unstoppable."
"I'll ask you this question, because you're young and you'll probably answer wrong." (This was directed at me. I answered wrong.)
"She's afraid of the horse in the space suit." (Pandora was wearing her fly sheet, which is a shiny silvery mesh, complete with neck cover. My buddy and I went to stand and watch the last XC lesson of the day, where one girl's Preliminary/Intermediate level mare became very distracted by my terrifying astronaut-horse.)
Of course, my other favorite quotes include when he told me I had an excellent position most of the time, and when he said if he still had a working student program he'd take me on. Who doesn't need a little ego-stroking, anyway? ;-) I try not to let it go to my head.
I have had good rides the past few nights. Yesterday, I worked hard in the arena and headed out to the field to hack around for a bit. Well, you know how things go - one thing led to another and we ended up galloping for a bit. Faster than I've gone in quite awhile, probably since Lily Glen back in May. I had to pull her up before she got too quick because there are some sketchy areas of footing, fine for cantering but best to not go galloping through.
The sun had just slipped down behind the trees and the breeze was cool, but I was still warm from our workout. We went flying across the field, nothing out there but cold wind in my face and Pandora's muffled hoofbeats in the grass. She didn't want to pull up and I didn't either, and it made me remember why I love galloping.
First day of school tomorrow. Hopefully my long summer has rejuvenated me enough that I do all my reading and homework!
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