Experiencing the Jane Savoie Clinic as a Demo Rider At Northwest Horse Expo

I have been working with Jane Savoie for 2 years now, via her video analysis of me
riding my horses on her Dressage Mentor website. But I had never met her
in person before.

Therefore I would like to thank ODS for the opportunity to be a demo rider at
the Northwest Horse Expo this year! I was also lucky enough to be able to take off
from work to be able to watch the other 2 clinics that I was not a demo rider in!

I probably enjoyed Saturday the most, as besides her lateral work clinic, she also
gave a very motivational speech about choosing to be happy vs.sad. The main
messages were not to allow negative people to bring you down and that anything
you set your mind to, you can achieve!

Also exciting- her Equisense SmartTack that senses exactly what mistakes the
rider is making both in position and use of the aids! (www.eqtrained.com)

I was so proud of Hindrik during this past weekend and think both he and I
learned a lot. He is usually tense around large audiences and I always have
my hands full with him at shows, but that ‘nervousness’ is also what makes
him a great horse and super responsive to light aids, once he’s warmed up!

On Saturday I rode him in the warm up arena with Mules knocking jumps over
right next to him, and all kinds of riders carrying flags and western
riders zipping all around him. I was so proud of him in that he could
remain focused on me, and stay rhythmic and relaxed! After those rides,
I will NEVER complain about any warm ups at dressage shows again!!!
I was hopeful that after those warm up rides, the Jane clinic would be a piece
of cake!

However, the large audience, loud noise, and new arena made him spook and
adopt a bolting type posture when we first walked in. Jane took good care
of us though, and instructed us to do one of her “relaxation” suppling
exercises. She realized I had to keep him moving and let us keep walking
and as she explained things, and she also asked the audience not to clap
and to do “silent applause” instead.

We got a lot out of being in this clinic, as it was probably the largest
audience Hindrik has been exposed to so far, and he ended up handling
it really well! The audience got to see how a really hot horse can be
calmed down and handled by suppling so it could be a good experience for the horse.

Sue Zoltner

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