I would also like to thank our host, Suzie Peacock, of Eastvale Equestrian. Our stalls were her own (and clients') horses' day-to-day living space. She moved the horses to another location so that the clinic's participants had the best of the best. Suzie also arranged delicious and healthy meals for the riders.
Marisa Festerling was the clinician. She is probably the kindest instructor I have ever met. For rider after rider she was supportive, encouraging, positive, and friendly. And it was really hot. By the late afternoon, even I was starting to get a bit cranky, but not Marisa. She smiled and continued to teach each new rider with the same energy with which she started the day.
Right away she "got me" on my left hand. I've been blogging about this for several weeks. She kept insisting that I make a fist and keep my thumb up. When I open my fingers and turn my hand down, Speedy escapes the outside rein and falls onto the forehand. Seeing and feeling the consequence of my poor hand position has already helped motivate me to FIX IT!
The next thing Marisa addressed is my tendency to let Speedy gravitate to the rail instead of just touching it at B or E. She pointed out that he's actually making a square instead of a 20-meter circle. By beginning my turns sooner, I was able to control his outside shoulder so that he didn't leg yield himself to the rail (Marisa's description).
The video isn't perfect, and it's a bit long at 31 minutes, but I am pretty happy with the work it shows. Speedy and I have definitely improved over the last few years. The first year that we tried dressage, we were still doing endurance races together. That was just three or four years ago. You would think that in nearly four years we would be further along, but this is a tough discipline to master. I think we're doing okay!