Saturday, June 20, 2009

Jim Wofford Clinic

Last weekend I got to fulfill a lifelong dream: riding with Jim Wofford!! We snuck into the clinic at the horse park at the last minute, and enjoyed two wonderful days of his instruction. I really liked his teaching style, which was very direct and straight forward, asking us to get our horses into a forward, steady rhythm from which we could approach, jump, and move away from each obstacle without changing a thing. It was really cool to feel how smooth a round could get when performed in this manner. JIm also played with my sight line in approaching the fences, getting me to look at the top of the fence instead of beyond it; it actually made quite a difference! I've always been taught to look up past my fences so it will be interesting to try that out more in future.

The most exciting part of the weekend was Dually himself: he attacked each exercise with incredible exuberance and joy, the likes of which I used to take for granted but which have been lacking from our jumping of late. He was actually pretty strong in the show jumping, and kind of unstoppable at the beginning of the cross country school, but it was such a welcome change from the sucking back, unsure quality our jumping has been having lately. I couldn't have been more thrilled with him!

Jim, of course, loved Dually (who wouldn't?) and complimented us at the end of the weekend by remarking that he was sure he would be seeing our names in the Chronicle before long. What a treat!

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