Here is what volunteer rider Lisa had to share about her time spent with Ben at a Horsemanship and Ranch Riding clinic October 6th:
This past weekend, Ben and I attended the Ricky Quinn clinic in Ellensburg and, yet again, this horse has blown me away. We started each of the 3 days in a Horsemanship class, improving the finesse of some seemingly-basic skills; balance, flexion, collection, and transitions. By the third morning, Ben was moving calmly and punctually off of my seat and leg on even circles and figure-eights, and up and down through transitions. Before the clinic, he was doing all of this, but it was just a little late, and just a little sloppy… what a huge change!
The afternoon sessions were a ranch roping & cow working clinic. On day one we worked on roping some dummies, including one that was drug around. Ben did just fine, following the dragged dummy and having a rope (poorly) swung over and off of him … despite the occasional flick on his ears! Day 2 was a whole new world- Ben saw real live cows for, as far as we know, the first time in his life! He did alright at first, following the herd around the round pen, until we were asked to come around the front of the herd and turn them. Ben was, at first, afraid of them, backing and spinning away, even nearly unseating me a couple of times. With Ricky constantly reminding me that I needed to have confidence so that Ben could have confidence, and that I had to support him to help him through his fear, we slowly closed in on the herd and (with a lot of me yelling at the cows) turned them. Ben became very focused and attentive, and we moved them back and forth several times, Ben getting quieter and less afraid with every pass. By the end of the clinic he even got to a point where he WANTED to approach the cows, and would even stomp a foot at them, just rarin’ ter go!
Thank you Jami Davis for capturing a few photos of Ben and Lisa working! You can find more about Jami’s work on her website: jamidavis.com