Archive for August, 2000

PostHeaderIcon JR’s Journal – Clinic Journey

At official yearling status…exactly one year of age, JR attended his first clinic at Pine Dell. It was his first time to ride in a trailer by himself, to be in a barn, and to be in an indoor arena. He was just a LITTLE upset when we arrived at Pine Dell. I heard a lot of yearling whinny during the first part of the day…most of it right in my ear.

BUT, he did just great! He had the least problems of any horse in the clinic. Of course he hasn’t had the time to develop many opposition reflex habits. We played all the games. I discovered he knows how to follow the feel of the rope and he moves when he feels pressure. At the end of the day, we had many barrel and pole obstacles to walk, trot and canter across, over or go between. We finished all the tasks before anyone else and we were in our stall eating our late lunch. The bigger horses got to stay and be rode for another hour.

About a month later, we went to another beginning clinic. He did even better this time. He certainly didn’t whinny like he did the first clinic. He grew up a lot that first clinic and bonded with me. After the second clinic was over, I felt like JR and I shared the same skin. His general inclination is to stay close, no matter how many times I shoo him back.

So why am I paying to take JR to a clinic when he is too young to ride? Easy Answer! These two clinics got him in an arena with nine other horse…all running around with their humans. He certainly got used to being in a crowd. He hasn’t had a chance to develop opposition reflex yet, so I was easily able to do all the tasks assigned. He is easy to convince to do what I ask of him. I feel that I’m developing a much better horse by taking him to these clinics. At a delicate time in the building of his personality, I’m in an arena with an expert trainer…my safety net.

Besides, we had a good time!!!


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