Winter may be here, but there are no fair-weather Pony Clubbers here! The Shepley Hill USPC Riding Center team has been busy at work. In addition to mounted lessons, pony clubbers have been soaking in tons of horse knowledge as we prep for Quiz Rally.
On Saturday, Shepley Hill USPC Riding Center team members attended the first regional clinic with presenter Lorre Mueller, hosted in Westford, MA. A great clinic for our junior members as well as our Horse Masters, we all loved the opportunity to learn so much about horse anatomy and its impact on movement and soundness.
A big takeaway from the clinic was that if a horse is misbehaving, don't forget to rule out discomfort! Make sure your horse understands what you are asking it to do, that the horse is capable of doing it, and that it doesn't make the horse physically uncomfortable to do it.
Inspired to become more effective riders, we returned to the barn for some riding. Some of our older riders learned to longe, using their new skills to assist with a bareback longe lesson for our younger riders. Our younger riders enjoyed learning to ride with a relaxed, independent seat at the walk, trot, and canter. We even had some brave riders choose to canter with no hands!
Lastly, the older riders finished their day by riding in their own mounted lesson with Lelo, in which the group focused on learning to balance when riding your horse in long and low carriage, engaging from the hind-end to have a light, reaching front-end. The mounted lesson connected nicely to the clinic's discussion of helping horses use their backs and hind-ends properly in order to promote soundness and proper muscle development.
It was a long day of hard work for all, but we are feeling great after a fun day of team bonding and learning together!