Yes, they do let this pair of weirdos out in public. Sometimes.
For those that don't live in New England, Equine Affaire is a big shopping and clinic extravaganza that goes on from November 8th to the 11th. It's held in western Massachusetts, specifically Springfield. I've applied to clinics for the past couple years with no luck. Same thing this year, I got an e-mail saying that we weren't selected.
But then I got an e-mail yesterday saying that the lineup had changed and they wanted me and Fiona for one of the clinics. So the princess and I are off to Equine Affaire.
The clinic is with Julie Goodnight, a Natural Horsemanship type trainer, on straightness and willingness and stuff. It's a long title, but seems very well suited to what Fi and I are working on. I'm ho-hum overall from what I've been able to dig up on the trainer, but I think this is a good opportunity to work on sitting down. I don't expect any earth shattering results or even major changes, but it's only $50 for the clinic and the stall and I love taking Fiona out to try new things. You can learn something from absolutely anyone, and I did learn a lot when I was at a Western Pleasure barn. I'm open minded. I've seen enough of Goodnight to know that she's got a good dose of common sense, she's not going to be a danger to me or my horse, and she's not going to pull a Parelli (bonk Fi on the head or something else equally violent). Natural Horsemanship overall leaves me cold but that's mostly due to the marketing machines that so many of them become. I tried watching her show, but it was nothing but ad copy. Even if it's products I use myself, it still made me roll my eyes.
More importantly, I just want to take Fiona to Equine Affaire for the miles. It's going to be a great experience for her and I don't think crowds around show jumping will ever bother her again after this. I'm going to keep applying for the more eventing and dressage-centric clinics so getting her used to the hubub is a good idea. I'm highly motivated by anything that makes the princess more bomb proof. Is this the best reasoning for attending a clinic? Probably not, but it's a good enough reason for me.
So now I'm organizing a trailer ride and a dog sitter so I can scoot off to Springfield for a weekend with my girl. If she's being good, I'll wear my jacket with the barn logo across the back. If she's being a puke? We'll just leave that in the car.