Welcome to the dressage spot, a place for the young (or young at heart) dressage riders wanting to gain information on the sport of dressage, training tips, equine health care, maintenance and fun!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Jan Ebeling Clinic

So after last week’s quick run-down to Las Angeles I had only three days at home until a quick turnaround to fly out to Sacramento to stay with Genay for the Jan Ebeling clinic.  I was really excited to go because after meeting at working with Jan at EDAP in January I was interested for a longer, full three days of spending time getting to know his style a bit better; but also I wanted to spend time with my ‘big’ sis.  Although Genay and I have met at several competitions it wasn’t until EDAP that we realized how alike we were.  We even agree that our moms are freakishly similar; both unable to sit still, both extremely capable of getting so much done in little time! 

 Anyway when I arrived, Genay was away at school and wouldn’t be back until the afternoon.  So I got to sleep in and really wander around Starr Vaughn Industries facilities.  AMAZING!  The barns (which are of course the first thing we horse people care about) were amazing, and the pastures seemed to be endless green rolling hills.  It made me think about the “California Cows” commercial.  You know the one, where everyone wants to be a California cow and not a Wisconsin or Texas cow because in California the grass is always green, the sun always shines, and everyone is always happy.  Looking around I just felt happy and peaceful.  The main covered arena had Euroturf footing and almost made me sigh in happiness.

On Friday night Genay, her mom and I went to Leatherby’s.  We shared the most gigantic ice cream ever.  Check out the picture on my Facebook page!  Saturday I watched some really great riding.  A few things I wanted to share with you about the clinic was sometimes if “you have to change direction, you might as well do a half-pass;” and to “help avoid disrupting the horses balance, try to do as little as possible with the hands.”  He also noted that you control the speed and tempo of the horse with your seat and leg.  To slow down, slow the movement of your hips.  Finally, try to give your aids to the horse in conjunction with his rhythm. 

Saturday night I had the great privilege to go to dinner with Jan, Genay ,her mom and some friends.  It was a really fun and happy group.  They particularly laughed when we were walking to the parking lot and in my too high heels I almost bought it!  I was definitely not graceful and looked like Bambi on ice. 

Sunday was the last day I would get to bask in the California sun.  Early Monday morning I would be headed home to cold Kirkland.  In the morning clinic I learned a key component to Jan’s training: TRANSITIONS.  He is all about transitions.  He can’t get enough transitions.  On a funny note, when something doesn’t work out he said a few times “ahhh Buffalo.”  At first, I thought this was a German word I couldn’t quite understand; but I called my dad (a fellow German) and asked. Maybe that meant when things weren’t right the horse looked like a buffalo?  Or maybe he just likes the sound of the word.  My dad was like that when he learned English.  He liked the word turtle and would say it over and over for different things.  I don’t know why that was so funny to me but, we all have our quirks.

Sunday afternoon Genay and I got time to vegetate in the sun by the pool.  She has three GIGANTIC Rottweilers.  They literally looked big enough to eat you.  But luckily they were just really big teddy bears; or I might not be here writing to you.  I did lay out a bit too long and got badly sunburned.  I am so thankful for Aloe Vera.  

As I headed home Monday, I had visions of the future that looked bright.  Genay and her mom made me feel so welcome and a part of something special.  I really appreciated their amazing welcome and their energy.  I felt motivated for the next few months.  As I closed my eyes for a much needed nap I started to see my first enter, halt, salute of the season; soon to be upon me.

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