Manu Mclean Clinic

Tuesday and Wednesday we had Manu McLean from AEBC came over from Melbourne for a clinic.

Manu has come out a number of times before and every time I have lessons with her, Coolie and I improve a huge amount so I have been really looking forward to having some more lessons.

Tuesday I had my first lesson, I rode Coolie fist so that my coach Bec could watch and know what to work on in our regular lessons.

The very first thing that was corrected was my position. I have been forever trying to sit up straight, not arch my back and not lean forward. Apparently I have achieved these things as I have now been sitting too heavy in the saddle. Manu had me lean forward slightly, put my heel under me and really make sure I was cuddling the saddle with my thigh. It felt all kinds of wrong, but apparently I was straight and in a good position. I needed to make sure I was rising from my thigh, not my feet, and i had to scoop a ball with my pelvis.

After we got me sorted, we worked on Coolie not changing his pace or rhythm when I take a contact. Inside leg for quicker, outside leg for longer! I also have to make sure I steer his outside ear to keep him on my line. We did the same exercises in walk, trot, and canter. The time seemed to fly by and we were done.

Next up Henry had his first lesson. Henry hadn't been to the property before and I was a little nervous. We tweaked my position again, and I found it much harder to maintain on Henry, as I am a little bit defensive because I don't 100% know what he might do. Henry of course took it all in his stride and worked wonderfully. We did similar things with him to what we did in my lesson with Coolie, working on adjustability and straightness. Henry is REALLY crooked so steering the outside ear is very important.

Manu really like Henry, saying he was very cute, well put together and had nice paces with a trainable temperament. I will take those compliments any day!

Wednesday we were back for 2 more lessons. I rode Henry first this time and he had a HUGE fright not long after we got started when 2 dogs started running up a fence line. He cantered sideways very quickly and when I managed to turn him to face the dogs his eyes were on stalks. We sorted the dogs out, Henry let out a big breath, and we got on with it. Manu was very impressed at his attitude after getting a big fright.

We worked on the same things as the day before, consolidating and the adding some sideways. Henry was much more consistent, my position heaps better, and Henry was far straighter.

Coolie and I also consolidated and got some amazing trot work, including extensions. Manu was really happy with his lateral movements, I just have to make sure he maintains the rhythm and pace. Coolie and I have to have a massive argument in the canter but when he stopped arguing and gave to me, it was amazing. Manu said we just have to keep chipping away and repeat flexion and counter flexion every 3 seconds. So we have to flex correctly until he gives, go neutral, then counter flex until he gives and then repeat 3 seconds later. She was very impressed at how much he had improved though.

Overall, I have a lot of homework with both of the horses but I am so excited with how well my 2 boys are progressing!


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