As someone who both rides in and teaches clinics, I know there are two kinds: the kind where it’s riding lessons, sessions between a coach and a student to benefit the rider; and the kind where it’s theater, a riding lesson for the rider as well as a demonstration for a crowd.
And I’ve got no problem with either. But I’ve participated in a few symposia over the years, and sometimes it’s helpful, and sometimes it’s a session where you ride around doing your job, and the crowd goes ooh, and the clinician talks, and that’s it. So if I’m going to do a public clinic, it’s going to be on a horse who would, if all else failed, make me look smart.
Elvis makes me look smart. And when it was announced that Isabell Werth, the best rider in the world, the most accomplished rider in the history of the world, the QUEEN of dressage, was coming to the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (Florida), I thought to myself, “Golly, wouldn’t it be neat to debut this horse to the public in front of Isabell Freaking Werth?” And with hubris in my heart, I applied, got selected, threw my back out, panicked for a few days about what to wear (10 days of not being able to move enough to reach for my painkillers perhaps was not the best thing for my waistline), got back to work, and off we went.
Read the rest at The Chronicle of the Horse!