This year's event wasn't the best, but we we always turn it into something special. Even if the number of vendors is down or the clinicians aren't ones we want to see, we dig down and find things of interest to make the day worth the time it takes to drive down. And while the shopping was weak this year, I still managed to spend a small fortune. The clinicians were a bit sparse, but we still managed to stay until after dark.
Here's a sampling of the day ...
The best takeaway for me was her explanation of weighting the outside seat bone in the leg yield. She explained that when you weight the inside seat bone when pushing with your inside leg, you actually make it harder for the horse to step forward and over. If we weight the outside seat bone, we encourage the horse to move over and under us.
After seeing Jane Savoie, we wandered through the buildings looking for things to buy. It's not as though I can't just buy anything that I'd like to during the rest of the year, but there's just something so satisfying about finding some new product and handling it before actually paying for it. I found a clever new pair of white polos (the velcro comes off for washing), a pony tail bun thingy for my hair, a bottle of Equus Survivor Detangler, and a new can of the Beeswax conditioner that I use for my boots.
After eating lunch, we wandered over to listen to Dr. Max Wilcox, DVM discuss lameness exams. It was actually quite an interesting lecture as he had a horse there who was slightly lame. He walked us through his exam procedures and explained why and how he conducts the exam.
My biggest takeaway was that he placed as much emphasis on examining the "sound" parts of the horse in order to get a baseline with which to compare the "unsound" parts. A second take away was that often times the lameness that presents itself is actually compensatory for a different initial lameness. Unless the initial lameness is diagnosed, the true problem won't be addressed. Finally, every horse will show wear and tear, but it's important to eliminate those issue in an effort to find the cause of the lameness that you're examining.
I have seen her books before, but it was quite interesting to see her in person. As she rode, she showed us good riding form as well as incorrect riding. The visual of her suit really helped the audience see how her position influenced her horse's movement, both positively and negatively.