Audi was a bit perturbed on the second day and had a bit of a meltdown. I think the combination of asking him to be more attentive to my aids, containing him a bit more than he would like and the audience just caused him to lose it. He tried every trick in the book but neither Debbie nor I fell for it. I kept riding, though I thought my right arm was going to fall off, and Debbie kept teaching. He lost the battle, oh how he did lose. Debbie and Scott were both really complimentary of my composure during the tough moments. I do think that despite my deep desire to be able to show off more, and have rides that contained less disobedient moments, it's my hope that the auditors got to see two lessons that they might be able to relate to. The idea being, that not every ride is going to be perfect and it's important to know how to ride when the going gets tough. Among the large audience were some special people who came to watch me ride including: Nancy Murray who bred and raised Audi until he was 2 years old, Kathy Adams and her boyfriend Danny Margolin made the trip down from Stockton, NJ, and JJ Tate and Ashley Perkins, also stopped by.
The two days were great fun and oh so very, very educational. I got to watch Debbie teach a great variety of really nice horses and riders, hang out with some of my favorite people, and get a huge dose of inspiration and insight. Since returning home after the clinic I feel as though I've made so major progress. My focus since the clinic has been only on getting Audi quicker off my leg, in particular the left, and that he doesn't run through my hand. As a result, his balance has gotten better and so has his self-carriage. I have been able to start riding more counter canter, doing counter canter on a 20 meter circle with transitions to true canter, and I've even started to play with flying changes. His trot work is ridden with many transitions both within trot, so shorten several strides then back out, and also walk and halt transitions. I've been using raised trot poles and working on half steps. It's been a good month of December. I am extremely excited about 2012 and will keep my fingers crossed for a healthy and successful year in the saddle. Audi turns 7 in March and Hootie will be 21 in April. Hard to believe, but time flies when your having fun!