It was finally time to bring Mia to a clinic! I was actually, in a small way, happy that the May 4th show had been cancelled. Happy for Mia anyway, devastated for TWH but I couldn't change it. The clinic comprised of both a dressage and cross country lesson with 2 different instructors. The dressage instructor is a fairly well known classical dressage instructor, I haven't had a real dressage lesson with a dressage instructor since I had moved over 3 years ago and was actually excited for their comments.
I started getting ready for the clinic by trailer loading training on Saturday. I certainly didn't want to fight Mia into the trailer on Sunday so after I hooked up and got the trailer loaded, Mia got to learn to load onto a trailer properly. Needless to say, I found something she wouldn't do for a treat! There was a lot of standing at the trailer door and then putting one foot in before she said No. Then she just refused. Oh mare! After a lot of strong groundwork and a dressage whip later, she decided to try again. While pointing her into the trailer I tapped her rump with the whip. After a few taps she decided to run me over as she ran between me and the trailer. A hard correction later, we tried again. After a few taps, she decided to again run me over but this time she failed as I was able to block her. She got some pretty stiff whacks with the whip to learn running people over is NOT okay and we walked to the trailer again. I presented her, tapped her rump and she literally JUMPED into the trailer! Yay mare! We practiced unloading and loading a few times and called it a day. Not a bad way to end a session though I would of preferred less trampling lol.
I was very pleased to NOT have to get up at 4a to get to the clinic and hauled out at a comfortable 9a with RB4. Loved my ride time! We got there in plenty of time and got Mia settled. Or tried anyway. She was eating and fairly calm but would NOT stop screaming for everyone/anyone. She was much worse than when we went xc schooling, apparently I have 'that' horse who doesn't hush up. Oh fun. Some slaps did get her attention a tiny bit better and we saddled her up. I had 20 mins to our ride time but if this is how she is acting, I wanted every second to calm her down. Ugh, green horses!
We walked her over to a spot for me to hop on and Mia let out another bellow and jumped on top of me, she body bumped me and stepped/scrapped down half the length of the outside of my boot. In doing so, the damn mare also broke my HS spur!! OH was I mad! I took the reins and went off on her, we had JUST had a conversation about running me over and now she also broke may GOOD show set of spurs?!? I gave Mia to RB4 as I went to the trailer and switched my spurs out. When I came back, Mia was much more relaxed. Maybe all she needed was a beating?
We made it to the dressage area with 15 mins to go and we walked around okay so we trotted. The trot was horrible. Fast, up, crooked, dropping shoulders, diving in/out, no relaxation at all. I tried some circles, transitions and laterals and when that failed I did the best thing I knew, I cantered to wear her out so canter we did. For a solid five minutes!!! Once she started, it was all I could do to keep her from taking off so we just started cantering big circles, little circles, serpentine lines, anything to burn up time. Finally she relaxed and stopped pulling on me to go faster so after a few more laps I asked for a trot and got it and had a very happy, quiet, relaxed mare under me. I can only assume she shipped separately from her brain and we had to wait for it to catch up with her lol.
The dressage lesson went quite well. the clinician really liked Mia's conformation and attitude (Ha! Her attitude NOW). Mia has a very free, natural walk that would get a 6-7 on a test as it is now. Her trot has a lot of movement and we were able to get Mia to relax and really swing through her back fairly quickly, about halfway through the lesson. Her canter has a good amount of drive and while we need to work on connection, she has a good foundation and is at a good spot considering her training. Yay! The most interesting thing about the lesson was the instructors critique of me, she really liked my upright position but actually wants me to lean forward a little to help Mia out. Leaning forward is something I worked hard at fixing all winter grrr!! She also said she would like my hands lower and wider until I reach at least training level. SERIOUSLY?!?! The 2 things I worked really hard to 'fix', this gal says to revert back. Ugh, you can't please them all I suppose.
We went back to the trailer with a much mellower mare and relaxed while we waited for cross country. SO was nice enough to bring us lunch which made it even better! Finally it was time to get ready, let's see how Mia does in a group.