Sue C partnered up with Eleven at the March Joel Conner clinic, and had the following to say about their time together:
“I was fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Eleven at the March 2023 Joel Conner clinic. Eleven is a lovely 24 year old Percheron cross mare, sweet and largely untroubled. She can be nervous about handling, and had little exposure to ground work, but was a willing and interested partner. I started the clinic looking for small gains but she exceeded my expectations in many ways.
Our overarching challenge was to maintain life throughout the work, and thanks to timely reminders from Joel, I learned that getting in and out quickly after getting a change, or even effort, was key to this. She was nervous about the use of the flag to begin with, but settled in, and moved nicely through unified circle to hindquarters. She is surprisingly nimble when engaged, and her front quarter move was much better than I expected. She preferred having me on her left eye, and sometimes anticipated the move to front quarters when I was on her right. On the right we did a lot of unified circle to hind quarters and back to unified circle to help with this. Backing was difficult for her, but when interspersed with other movements she responded more willingly. I thought we improved most with leading on a float, in particular from the offside. She had little experience with this, but at the end was comfortable and with me in both directions.
Overall, I was proud of how well she engaged with me, and how little I could do to get a response when I focused on asking and getting out appropriately. She is a lovely partner who will make a good team member for groundwork.”