Last Clinic Day

Yesterday was the last versatility clinic.  We skipped the week before and opted for the makeup session so we could attend a local competition.  The clinic has helped- Jigs and I had 3 clean runs with times good enough for 5th place.  Angel took 2nd!

It was a beautiful day yesterday and we trained in the outside ring next to a major highway with lots of motorcycles and trucks rushing by.  Oh, yeah, and behind the farm is a parachuting school.  You could see the jumpers floating down through the trees.  In short, there were a lot of potential distractions that did not seem to bother Jigs. (And  yes, we loped both directions!)

What did freak him out were the horses cantering around the ring with the flag.  Who knew? So we worked it.  He definitely was freaked when Angel’s head disappeared beneath the flag. After a few minutes he was comfortable with the flag hitting him all over.  It’s amazing how the little things can be approached with patience and a calm voice.

Jigs is a steady horse though. Not much fazes him.  We were fooling around with the obstacle that has the wet noodles coming up from the ground.  One of them got caught in the rear cinch and came away with us.  I didn’t notice it because Jigs never complained. The only clue that I had something was off were the folks on the sidelines laughing at us.

But the reason for attending the clinic was to learn to side pass left and do the gate.  We are still weak on the left but have made improvement and we have new tools.  To the right we are stronger. Yesterday we learned a new way- back through the gate.  We did it,  not gracefully, but we did it twice.  Again, we have another tool to apply.

trying the gate

The dreaded gate

In June the clinician is running a versatility.  Angel was already entered.  She really is a good competitor, but I am not. Yesterday I was talked into entering the novice division. Speed will only be one factor unlike the local competitions we normally attend. In this event correctness is more important.

It’s a tall order for us, but we have a few months to improve!

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