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Rider Recap: Deb Rosen and Toasted Marshmallow

Thank you to our Austin Eventer Jess O. for her rider recap of the Deb Rosen Clinic!

In a word ‘Awesome’. That pretty much describes everything about the Deb Rosen Clinic weekend with the exception of the weather. Everyone did so well – even those that had challenge; they rose to the occasion and were successful.

My weekend actually started Thursday night when I helped load the horses into the trailers. I know arranging for 16 horses to be hauled was a major feat. A big thanks to Sabrina and the other polo ladies for changing their plans so Sabrina could haul horses from MEC. Thanks to Sabrina’s monster 4-horse trailer, Jazz and two other MEC horses had a ride to MCP along with the eleven bales of hay we put on the top of the trailer. Go team AE!

Friday morning I loaded food and my personal gear in my car. I had momentarily entertained the idea of trying to carpool with someone until I thought about the clothes bag, ice chest, bags, saddles and tack trunk I would be taking. So much for carpooling – my RAV4 was full.

I arrived at MCP with plenty of time to unload, store personal gear in the bunkhouse, put up tack and do a little socializing before my 2:15 dressage lesson. Wow, my first major challenge was finding a place for the food I brought. You would think we were feeding an army.

My dressage lesson went well. Last year I had just started dressage and my lesson with Deb was mind blowing as so much was new and I felt my first steps ‘on the bit’. This year, I went into my dressage lesson with a more trained horse and more experienced as a rider. This lesson was more about reinforcing what Lisa had already been teaching me, setting the tempo for the rest of the clinic and Deb getting to know me and Jazz.

Friday night was a blast. A group of us led by Glen, quickly set up the stadium course for the next day and then after taking care of the horses for the night it was off to the guest house. The quantity, quality and variety of food was amazing. The wine and company just added to it. I probably should not have enjoyed the evening quite so much and gone to bed a little earlier, but what the heck – I was having fun.

Saturday morning started early with feeding the horses at 6:00 am, but with so many people working together the chores were quickly done and many of us went back to bed. I awoke the second time to the wonderful aroma of grilled cheese sandwiches. The bunkhouse chef was kind enough to offer me one which I savored while still lying in bed. Then it was up to watch the first stadium jumping session. Jazz and I are still getting to know each other and this was my first time to do stadium and XC with Deb. I was a little intimidated by a few of the exercises, but watching another group go first made it much easier for my group. Having already learned the patterns and pitfalls from watching the first group, my group was able to go through the exercises pretty smoothly. This is where Jazz started being a rockstar. It was amazing. Everything that we had been working on in lessons at MEC clicked in place and we exceeded my expectations. It was so cool. I was balanced, his canter was beautiful and rhythmic, and everything went right. My new saddle (Albion K2) no doubt helped with my improved balance. One of the ‘take-home tips’ for me: Deb talked about when and where to look (and not look) with regards to the jumps. It really made a difference when I looked at the jump until it disappeared from between Jazz’s ears and then looked at the next logical functional point – where I wanted to land/go and then the next jump. Sounds so simple, but I really did it and it made a difference. My position over the jumps was great – I wasn’t ahead or behind.

I thought Saturday’s lesson was awesome and was surprised when Sunday’s cross-country was even better. It was my first time to ride Jazz XC. Everything that we had working in stadium carried over to XC. It felt great to have this steady rhythmic canter as we did the XC. I focused on my position and where I was looking between and over the jumps. Everything was still clicking in place. Jazz surprised me a little when we walked down the bank and he cantered on the landing. I expected him to walk or trot away. Even that canter was okay – still controlled and not wild. So we weren’t perfect. Lol.

Jazz and I racked up on those magical moments in time that are special and I want to remember how they felt. I want to repeat them every time I ride. I love my Toasted Marshmellow.

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