I had an eventing friend, Erica (http://theimperfectperfecthorse.blogspot.ca/), visiting from out of town so we took a drive and I showed her around the area. We stopped by my barn, I showed her around, and then we stopped by the Victory Tack Store. Made a pit stop out at Alhambra Stables to show her the cross country course, and walked all around and saw some of the stuff they are working on. I'm trying to convince her to move down here because it's awesome, and the horse heart of Alberta, I think it's working;)
This morning Erica and I got up early and headed over the Mane Event! Got some awesome seats to watch George Morris, who was absolutely AMAZING!!! Holy cow, now I'm really regretting that I didn't make a point to go watch all 3 days. He was super tough on everyone, and extremely blunt and to the point, but I didn't find him rude or offensive at all actually. He tells it like it is and doesn't sugar coat things, which I absolutely loved. George was very quick to find each rider's weak point, and gave them a lot of good feedback to improve and build on. All his talking and explanations were so well worded and concise, it's very obvious why he is THE MAN and has coached so many riders to the high levels. I wish I would have taken a notepad and paper too, so many awesome things to take away and apply to my own riding!
He did some really excellent exercises too, and since my coach was riding with him, I'm sure these exercises will be popping up in our lessons coming up, so I am super excited for that! One exercise he did with the one group was a short course in sort of a figure eight that you could keep just riding through, a big wall, a one stride combinations, then the next part was 2 fences in a 5 stride line, he had them go around the first one, do the far jump, then you'd roll back toward the rail, jump the next, rollback toward the rail, etc. And as the riders were doing this he'd call out how he wanted them to ride the fence, comfortable distance, deep distance, etc, and they he had them open it up a little and gallop around and do the same thing. He had the riders really focus on bending around the corners, lots of inside leg to outside rein, looking around the corners and using a opening inside rein to guide the horse around on the rollbacks. He also had them relaxing 5 strides out from the fence, staying up off the horse's back and using a nice following hand instead of a big throw away release. Here is a quick diagram to better illustrate:
Such a good exercise! All the riders showed a LOT of improvement at the end of the sessions. Their rounds all got smoother and the riders quieter on the horses, it was incredibly cool to watch. The man definitely gets results!! If you ever have a chance to see him, I would definitely recommend it!
I got some awesome shopping done this weekend as well!! The trade fair at the Mane Event always has tons of booths and lots of great deals! I FINALLY FOUND TALL BOOTS!!!!! I have been looking for tall boots that actually FIT for a long time now, and I was absolutely shocked to find a pair of last year's Ariat Heritage's that actually zipped up!! I have large calves and they are so difficult to fit properly. They were on sale, 30% off, I am still so excited!! I have not been able to find boots that fit me right out of the box, every other pair I've tried on in the past couple years I would have had to get altered, so I an incredibly happy! I'm wearing them right now, around the house to break them in. Picked up an orange sparkly jumping crop and to my sparkly dressage whip:) Got a couple cheap dressage pads, and an awesome wider girth with double elastic for 25% off!! I'm pretty happy, I got most of the stuff I was looking for at great prices, now all I need to get is a dressage bridle and I'm set!!
All in all, a great weekend:)