June 2009 Clinic in Maryland

Myself and a group of other side saddle enthusiasts met at Woodwind Farm near Westminster Maryland to take part in a Side Saddle Clinic. On Saturday, lessons were given by Jeannie Whited, an ISSO Level 2 instructor from Centreville, VA. (Jeannie is also the treasurer, historian of ISSO and the ever giving soul behind so many demos and clinics!)

Robin Scarborough, her mom and sister made us all very welcome. The horses that stayed overnight had wonderful green pastures to luxuriate in when they weren't being ridden. The view from the area where we (Tom and I) camped near the barn was amazing. From atop the hill, it seemed like you could see all the way to town. Some ladies stayed at Alice's beautiful home, while others trailered in on Saturday morning.

Robin's horse Owen, treated those of us sitting outside our trailers to a lovely demonstration of his collected trot after his workout in the ring. What a handsome boy. Wow. If you've never seen him in person, there isn't a way to describe the sheer power he oozes from his pores. Justin Morgan would be proud.

Robin and her family served up a lovely lunch for us that included some really special goodies. Robin even made a lemon cake shaped like a beehive, complete with little candy bees! Too cute. I wish I had captured a photo of it before it was demolished! (It wasn't just cute... it was GOOOOD!)

At lunch we had a watched an instructional video from an Austrian instructor who stressed the importance of having a horse trained to Level 2 before beginning to ride that horse aside. I'm still debating that after 15 years together, I'll have to tell Beau, (20), he'll have to embark on a new training adventure. I don't have the heart to tell him, he'll have to train to level 2 or we can't go trail riding again.

I for one, need to remember to keep my shoulders level, and my left hip/leg forward and relaxed. Years of trail riding without coaching have taken their toll on my form. And, a few years of not watching my eating habits, made my saddle shrink...and I only thought that happened to my blue jeans in the wash.

When lessons and lunch were done, many of us dressed in historical attire to ride over to beautiful Cold Saturday Farm for a photo session. Not only was it a nice little trail ride, that property is AWESOME! I'd love to just walk around inside the house and explore. Cold Saturday is on the list of historical properties in Maryland. It has a history that dates back to the 1700s.

It'll be a worthwhile trip to go back and check it out in more detail. I had a great time and I'm sure everyone else did, too!

Thank you Robin, Alice and Sissy. You ladies truly made this a special weekend for all of us!

Lessons from Jeannie ranged from basic instruction, saddle fit and then onto some more advanced work on position and preparation for jumping. Her students varied in experience from beginners aside to those who have ridden aside for years, but we all agree, there is always something new to learn.

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