Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cooler Horsemanship Trail Riding Clinic

My daughter attended a Cooler Horsemanship Trail Riding Clinic last Saturday from 9am - 1pm.  She is a new rider and I liked the idea of her ground working Oberon and preparing him for trail riding with a guided group.  Classes are never large and each individual gets one-on-one time.  James and Kate Cooler walked around and helped with advice and hands-on help if needed.

The horse above, Ben, is one who has not been ridden for a while.  The owner had a fall and is not sure if she will ever mount up again.   But I watch them do ground work and enjoy each other almost every day.  I watched them once in the round pen doing a bit of freedom work... I think that is what it is called - no halter or lead rope and hope to get to that point some day with my horses!

This sweet Haflinger mare is Sonder and I think these two are perfect for each other.  Saunders had issues and her owner has worked patiently with her and since I've been at the barn (a few months) I see a well behaved horse ... and smart!

Everyone said Oberon would be the star of the show as I take him out on the trails by myself all the time.  Well, we were jinxed!  My daughter who is tiny and sweet, was doing cutbacks with him on the ground.  Oberon started shaking his head and showing attitude.  Granted, it was one of the first chilly days and we all know how that can get a horse a bit squirrelly.  Well, Oberon was so squirrelly, he got loose from her grasp and high tailed it all the way back to the barn.  James Cooler rode his 22 year old horse, Moonshine (below - isn't he beautiful?) and worked Oberon's feet ALOT and showed him such behavior wasn't worth the price!

Above:  Moonshine - the young looking "Old Guy".  Jeanette got Oberon back and showed him who was boss.  We did put the bridle on him and I walked next to them holding a lead rope on the trails as she has never been outside the ring before.

Ben enjoying a "rest".  Isn't this a picture perfect spot?  Believe me, I've taken many here :)

I didn't get as many photos of the actual riding part of the clinic as I was dealing with working Oberon on the ground.  We did join up with the trail ride half way through.  The free Cooler Horsemanship newsletter I introduce below will go into further detail, I believe.

Seven students with James and Kate 6 & 7th in line.   There will be a free newsletter HERE from Cooler Horsemanship and I was asked to be a contributing photographer!  :)  Click and signup!   They also have a Facebook page:  HERE


Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor said...

Great shots! Looks like fun:)

Edward said...

Hi, interesting post as always, you said freedom work, here in England free schooling, but as always that is just what we call it over here and things may be different where you are. Yes Moonshine is a very beautiful horse he’s got odd colours, he looks like a strawberry roan but has black points like a bay, very nice. Here’s your turn to tell me something, you said Oberon was doing cutbacks I am perhaps being a fool but what is a cutback? Anyway glad he didn’t hurt himself with his mad getaway. Now I must be off love the photos you got some cracking shots.

Kim said...

Looks like a great clinic. I'm glad the groundwork is going well. We watched a video of Clinton Anderson last night that we remembered seeing when we first started training. It was of sidepassing on the ground. We didn't think we would ever be able to do that but now some of our horses (and us) are ready for that. Won't it be great to get to the freedom someday!