Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wow, it's been awhile...

I guess I just really haven't been in a blogging mood lately.  Sorry everybody!  

First, I must tell you about the Clinton Anderson clinic because I think that is basically where I left off in my blog.  It was so awesome!  I would highly recommend going to one if he is coming to your area.  If for nothing else, the liberty demonstration that he does at the beginning.  It was amazing.  I now understand why his horse Mindy has her own cult following, what a nice horse.  There were also ample opportunities to go meet Clinton, have your picture taken and get an autograph.  All of which I did!  Really, how was I supposed to resist that?  Here is the photographic proof.

I hope my friend Sheila doesn't mind me posting her image on here.  She graciously allowed me to put my arm around Clinton.  Hey, us married folk gotta have a little fun! The first day of the clinic I took my little point and shoot digital but I didn't like the way the pictures turned out so the next day I decided to take my digital SLR to see if I could get any better pictures. Happily, I was able to.

Here is one of Clinton on Mindy bareback. He was demonstrating some of the tricks that he had recently started teaching to her.

Probably the demonstration that sticks out most in my mind was the trailer loading one. It could be that it sticks out because it was the last one that I saw but I don't think so. I think it sticks out because of the horse that they used. This horse was huge! He was big, dark bay and ornery. And of course the little blond thing that he drug into the ring with him was wanting to use him for barrel racing. Is there some requirement that I haven't read that every barrel horse must be batshit crazy in order to be a good barrel horse? I mean really people. Sorry, I'm not trying to bag on the barrel people but I have just seen so many that have no manners whatsoever but that is "okay" because he runs barrels. Anyways, moving on from my rant, this horse had a habit of rearing up and striking out when faced with getting into the trailer. His owner, who had just recently purchased this horse said that their method of loading him consisted of building a chute with panels and running this horse into the trailer. Needless to say, he made for an interesting demonstration. And yes, he got in the trailer willingly after Clinton worked with him.

I was also pleasantly surprised at the kind of people who came to this clinic. I figured it would be mostly middle aged women but it wasn't. The ratio was about 40/60 men to women which really surprised me. And the next thing was that there were all ages there from teenagers up to people who were retirement age.

Okay, that was February, now onto March. The excitement for March was the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo! Even when I lived here before I hadn't made it to horse expo. I made sure this time that I was able to attend. The first day which was a Friday, I took my daughter down so that she could see the horses. We wandered around the trade floor for awhile before heading over to the Events Center where the horse demonstrations and stalls were. We watched Craig Cameron for about a half hour. He is really good! I had watched the Extreme Cowboy Race before and a couple of his shows on RFD-TV before but I really liked him in person. He has a great sense of humor and explained everything he was doing. You have to really pay attention though, because he knows what he is doing and he does it quickly. After lunch we wandered down into the barn area to check out the horses stalled there. We saw some of the Norwegian Fjord horses, some Arabians and then we found Appaloosa Alley. They had some gorgeous horses (none of which I have pictures of, I didn't want to scare anyone with the flash and get yelled at) and they had, are ready for this? CORGI PUPPIES! They were so cute and my daughter loved petting them! There were ten when Expo started and by Sunday I only counted three. I'm guessing the others found new homes. Personally, I could have tucked one under each arm and gone home happy. Over the next two days my friend and I were able to catch clinics given by Craig Cameron, Jason Patrick, a trainer out of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Debbie Bibb from Florissant, Colorado and Art Kiger from Nebraska. They were all great and I wouldn't hesitate to see any of them or go to one of their clinics again.

One other person who I was able to see speak was Temple Grandin. If you have never heard of her she is a really neat woman. She is a professor at Colorado State University and teaches livestock behavior and facilities design. She is also autistic. I really wanted to see Dr. Grandin speak as I have a cousin who has Asperger's which is a high functioning form of autism. It is very encouraging to me to see someone with autism go to such high levels in life. I mean really, most of us "normal" people don't get achieve a doctorate degree let alone someone with a disability that can be socially crippling. Here is the link to Dr. Grandin's webpage.  I was also able to catch up with her at Blue Ribbons Books and get to sign a couple copies of her latest book for me!  I will sending one to my aunt for her birthday.  Even though my aunt isn't a big livestock person she knows who Temple Grandin is.

One last person I got to meet was Kim Starling who wrote "Get Out of the Ring" a wonderful book on the horseback riding trails in and around Rocky Mountain National Park.  She was very nice to talk to and signed my book for me.  I would have liked to have stayed and talked to her longer but we were late for our Craig Cameron clinic so we had to go.  Thanks to Brighton Saddlery for having her at Horse Expo!

Okay, well, I had better wrap this up, it has become quite long.  I will try to be better about writing in the future, I promise!


Pony Girl said...

Sounds like a great set of horsey experiences you have had! I would love to see Clinton Anderson! I have seen Pat Parelli and Buck Brannaman (the later being my favorite) but I'd be interested to see the Aussie from down-under, too. I think I pick up a little from every horseman's clinic I see. I don't follow any one in particular, I guess I'm eclectic that way!

OnceUponAnEquine said...

Sounds like you saw some great demos and got a lot out of the Expo. This was my 3rd year visiting the Expo. It seemed that attendance was way down, both in visitors and equine participation. Must be the rotten economy, but it was still a good time.

Rocky Mountain Yankee said...

I definitely could become a clinic junkie! I kind of get focused on one persona and then have to remind myself that there is something to be learned from everyone (usually!). This being my first year at Expo I didn't know what to expect in terms of people, I kind of thought it might be like Stock Show but it wasn't nearly as crowded as Stock Show was this year. I think people are really picking and choosing carefully where they are spending their money. I might be that way in a couple of years but right now I am just so excited to be back in an area that has ANYTHING going on, that I am sort of going hog wild and wanting to attend everything that I can.