Chemaine did a really good job of describing each rider's ability while also letting the audience know that each horse and rider team would perform the exercises differently, depending on the horse and rider's level of training. Knowing that the audience wasn't going to expect Speedy and me to look as good as Jackie on Chemaine's Grand Prix horse was very liberating.
Chemane started things off by giving a quick introduction of each of the riders. This clinic was titled, "The Horse You Rode In On," so Chemaine had a variety of breeds and disciplines represented. There was me on an Arabian who had started life as an endurance horse; Marie on her Quarter Horse, Frankie; Shauna, a jumper, riding Van; and of course Chemaine's assistant, Jackie, riding Chemaine's horse, Belle.
This exercise is challenging. First of all, getting the geometry right is harder than it looks, Secondly, if you don't get a correct change of bend, the horse will pick up the wrong lead. While riding the exercise, I didn't stick to the structure of the exercise as much as I focused on getting the bend and the correct lead. Chemaine didn't hassle me about it even though I am sure she wanted the audience to see it done correctly.
It was great fun chatting with the crowd. I met two blog readers (Hi, Ladies!) and a mother with her two young daughters. The youngest girl rode dressage while her slightly older sister was a jumper. They were simply adorable. I spent quite a bit of time asking them about their own horses as they stroked Speedy's neck and face. He ate it up, the little diva.
All I can say is what a weekend. I can't thank Chemanine enough for giving me the opportunity to ride in such a "big" atmosphere. It was a great learning experience for both Speedy and me. Now we'll be ready for the big time!