Tuesday, February 9, 2021

clinic pictures

Y'all know I'm an absolute junkie for all things riding media haha -- and so I was just about giddy after tracking down photos from the gymnastics clinic we rode in a couple weeks ago. 

all photos here credited to Gabby at Bay Life Events ---- find her on facebook!!
I wasn't sure what to expect bc honestly while this indoor is straight up gorgeous, it's shockingly difficult to photograph in bc of the interior vs natural lighting situation. The photographer Gabby nailed it tho, and the pics turned out pretty great!! <3

Tho, uh, lol no amount of photographic artistry can truly change the subject matter. In case y'all thought I exaggerated about "kinda giving up on dressage"..... Well, uh, behold! Lol...

This is my giant long-legged brontosaurus cantering around on a dime LOL. 

For real, tho, I'm not going to go into all the detail of the clinic again, since it's all written out in that previous post. But Charlie was a very very good boy --- even tho the epically long lines of bounces kinda took him a bit by surprise!

You can see in this above shot how they all started as half-crossrails and progressed from there.

Apparently Gabby is working on building her Bay Life Events photography services so she spent a lot of time experimenting with different shots and filters etc. Looking forward to hopefully seeing more of her out and about at local shows and clinics!

Bc obviously I never get tired of seeing pics of the big guy <3 Who, again, was really super good. Indoors are kinda hard bc they naturally back a horse into a smaller stride. Plus we had all sorts of stuff on the ground (like those cones) to force us into using our corners etc. 

lol our matching faces
Which, for me and Charlie, we sorta need to find that holy grail of being able to stay on a very precise track --- without sacrificing the quality of our canter. 

In a way, having little jumps around every turn is great for that bc the jumps keep us honest about our canter. We can circle around all day long looking reasonably ok-ish, but then get to the jump and it's like, "oof, splat" lol. What I need -- esp for dressage -- is to keep cantering like there's always going to be a jump around the turn, even when there isn't.

Anyway, tho, Charlie really was aces --- esp at the other grid, a combination of bounces and one-stride distances. 

I really like this gif too, bc it really demonstrates why grids are so valuable in horse training. Charlie and Punky have very different ways of going -- Punky is extravagant where Charlie is constrained. But, the well-constructed grid sorta naturally guides horses into the same spots and positions to help them achieve an optimal form and technique. 

Tho, as has been the case lately, Punky 100% won the day's blue ribbon LOL. He was LOVING these big long lines of jumps!

Charlie, on the other hand, while he did very well -- he often needs a little more help to be tidy up front (like with V-poles, for instance) when he doesn't otherwise have his blood up. 

And let's be real.... aside from horse shows, Charlie rarely has his blood up lol. Just compare his jumping form in all the pictures from this post to.... his more subdued form in a recent lesson recap LOL. 

 this shot from earlier in the ride is my favorite tho -- i just love charlie's face and the light <3
And y'all wonder why I sometimes struggle to ride the horse who shows up at competitions despite all the lessons we take haha.....

Anyway, tho, super grateful to have all these shots and get to see Charlie's sweet concentration face lol. I'm honestly pretty happy with how this 12yo OTTB is looking right now in terms of his condition, weight, muscling etc. The hope is to just keep a solid base on him through the winter and then go from there. So far, so good! 


(*Also, brief unrelated side note: If you have contributed or plan to contribute to the fundraising effort to allow the Kentucky 5* (the pinnacle of elite competition that typically fields 35-50 entries annually, total) to run in 2021, please also consider either matching or diverting your gift to your local or area eventing association instead. Obviously your philanthropic interests are your own business and I support that -- but it just feels a little disingenuous of the eventing community to try to rally so hard around this single event (esp when it's absolutely expected the Fair Hill Maryland 5* will run this fall) that impacts exclusively the most privileged within the sport (and don't tell me people need Kentucky bc it 'makes little girls dream' --- running a 5* is a dream for most people the way winning the lottery is. Also, see previous note about there being another 5* later in the year already), after we spent an entire summer (not even mentioning the fall Plantation controversy) reckoning with the realities of a sport that already skews so heavily toward the privileged within society. Donating $100K, $400K, or $750K to Kentucky does absolutely nothing for improving accessibility to this sport, and those dollars could go so much farther within individual eventing communities. And I say this as an absolute LOVER of major competitions ---- idk about you guys, but I go to more big international shows a year than literally anybody else I know. They're great events and they're important for the sport --- but idk, in a time when we've all sacrificed so much and given so much, this really truly feels like a misplaced use of good will and cold hard cash. That's just my $0.02 tho (and tbh maybe I'm missing the point here -- lmk if you disagree)!!! /rant


  1. I love your aside, the top of the sport has sponsors, the rest of the sport does not and needs to be supported by us.

    1. thanks. on one hand, it's always important to support and encourage any sort of charitable endeavor. but on the other hand, this specific effort is honestly kinda shameful (shameless??) --- for a lot of reasons.

  2. I am so tired with me giving money to sport organizations to support elite athletes but having nothing for those of us who make up the bottom of the pyramid.

    1. agreed... it feels tone deaf and... jarring? idk, i have a lot of reactions here lol

  3. The pictures look great! And I hate half-crossrails!!

    1. thanks! i actually don't mind the half-crosses... and esp in that configuration they were MUCH more inviting than a whole line of verticals LOL (which we never actually did, i think we only ever did it with like 4 or 5 of the 9 as verticals and the rest half crosses)


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