We had a wonderful clinic with Mike Henaghan this past month. So invigorating and positive, yet tough and demanding all at the same time, he made us want to ride our best, not just for him, but for ourselves, and most importantly, our horses.
The first day of the clinic followed a cold snap that had frozen the snow that had fallen that week. The ground was frozen which created a late start, despite this we got all three groups in, including the gratis professional group that started the clinic. The weather progressively improved, and by the last day even the first group of the day could use the exercises set up on the shady side of the ring. The gymnastics set were to encourage us to continue to work on the four basic concepts that according to Mike needs to be worked on for walk trot to Olympic level- – Whoa , Go, Right and Left. Forward bounces to a tight four stride, followed by a roll back to a bending Triple one stride, hand gallop to a smooth halt had everyone working hard.
The concepts weren’t new, but it was telling when he repeatedly asked our groups for self analysis how critical we are of ourselves and our riding. We finished the last day, of the last group echoing a powerful sentiment; ” We rode VERY VERY VERY well…” and I know we did. We hope to have him back next year, when we will ride even BETTER!