The clinic was incredible and I was quickly reminded why we love John so much. He brings such a wealth of knowledge and his ability to teach and make things simple and easy to understand are just amazing.
North was amazing as well. He now trailers like a pro with no hesitation walking on or off the trailer. We didn't ride until 2:30p on Saturday, but we hauled him over around 10a so he would have time to settle in and get comfortable in a new environment. He was a little nervous and looky stepping off the trailer, but after only 10 minutes of walking around, he had relaxed and begun to graze. The entire day he just took everything in stride. There were lots of people, kids, a few dogs, different horses being hauled in, coming and going. He was a total saint!
My ride on Saturday wasn't that great, but it helped A LOT. I explained to John what my current issues were - consistent contact, impulsion, and transitions. North was SO hard to keep in front of my leg and I was having to REALLY work to keep him forward, so it was super difficult to establish a good connection. John gave me great instruction, and we would have our moments, but it was not where I wanted it to be.
After our ride, I hung out letting North graze while I watched the other rides and he spent about 30 min just hanging out and playing with some little girls. One is the little girl that boards with us and has the mare that's his pasture mate. He was so incredibly sweet and gentle with them.
On my way home that night, my old trainer called me just to tell me that she was so glad to finally see North in action and that he had an incredible temperament and she was so happy for me.
When I got home that night, I watched the video from my ride over and over taking in everything John was telling me and what I was doing wrong. Today (Sunday) was an entirely new ride!
Me and North KILLED it! Just taking the tools he gave us the day before and really focusing on applying them and being quicker and more consistent with my aids. It was like night and day! The ride felt amazing and John gave us such great commentary. Although she didn't get to ride, Helen was right there to support us for both rides, and giving John information on both North and my development. He covered so many amazing things and said he was really surprised by how round and uphill North was despite being croup high and still growing. He said that we were doing a really good job with him, that even though he was a baby, North REALLY took care of me and I did good by praising him so much. At one point during our ride, a dog jumped into the ring in our path. I semi-panicked, but North just stepped sideways and kept going, totally unphased. John said he was worth his weight in gold.
There was SO much great video from today, it was hard to choose, but I chose these because they contained not only good stuff from me and North, but really good stuff from John. We've already booked him to come back at the end of March and already, it's FULL, and I can't wait!!