Again, I haven't posted anything for a while, but I did want to share the wonderful experiences and and the great time we had here at the farm on the long weekend of Canada Day.
Blue Heron hosted another Horsemanship Clinic with Chris Irwin. Unfortunately the clinic wasn't busy as far as spectators were concerned, we did have a full 2 days of Private Lessons and Train the Trainer Programs which were quite successful. The horses certainly got what they needed during those 4 days and I do believe people left feeling great about what they learned and what they could go home to with the knowledge to carry on the work with their horses.
What was wonderful for myself and my husband Rick, were the people that participated in the clinic. They began to arrive Saturday afternoon, much like young children come to spend a week at camp. Everyone getting to know everyone else, scoping out the sites, testing the warmth of the pond water, getting to know the other horses, settling their own horses in their stalls. We had a couple of families take part in the clinic and when the kids weren't watching dad or grama ride, they were off walking the trails or swimming at the pond in our back yard. The weather was absolutely beautiful the whole weekend, and the clinic was just small enough that it made for a really nice close knit atmosphere with everyone. The barbeques were wonderful, and yes, the wine was lovely.
As I sit and write this, I am most grateful that Rick and I are able to provide a setting in which people feel so comfortable and at home, knowing that their horses are looked after, even when everyone has gone back to their hotels for the night, that people can just be who they are, and no one is sitting around judging other people for whatever reasons. There were people with lots of experience in the Chris Irwin methodology and some learning this program for the first time. We all learned from each other and came away with wonderful friendships at the end of it all. The energy level at the farm was incredible and when everyone leaves.....well I get to bask in all the good energy that is left floating over the farm :)
I would also like to say to Chris..... this was one of the most rewarding clinics for me as I really got to see Chris in action as far as riding. Most people at these clinics are eager to ride their own horses and get Chris' help from the ground, however there were a couple of horses that he did ride and help get them through some issues that perhaps the owners would not have been as successful as fast as Chris could provide when doing this clinic. I knew he was a good rider, but this clinic proved to me that he is more then good... I truly was in awe of his commitment to what he needed to accomplish, his 100% focus he gave to each and every horse he worked with and that these horses thanked him for his diligent work by becoming supple and relaxed and calm. And without sounding too gushy, it truly was a beautiful thing to watch.
And lastly..... to my husband. Rick doesn't participate in the clinics as far as horses are concerned, but he probably has the most important job which is happily entertaining the people that do come to stay. He puts on the greatest barbeques, takes people on walking tours of the trails, makes this farm look like a million dollars with his impeccable upkeep (my professional groundskeeper) feeds and water horses when I'm busy sitting in on lessons, basically, the clinics would not be what they are without his help. Sometimes it can get abit stressful but we try to remember to take a deep breath once in a while and just go with the flow.
In the end, if this ends up being the last Chris Irwin clinic we hold, it was truly a memorable one. It was hard to watch everyone leave, not knowing if they might be returning again with their families and horses, but with any luck we might beable to experience this again in the fall. If not......... and if anyone is reading this, to ALL the wonderful people who have come to stay and visit our farm for these clinics, I would like to say THANK YOU , THANK YOU, THANK YOU.
Each and everyone of you have made such a difference in my life and I'm grateful for the experiences and friendships I have made over the past 4 years. It's been a blast.
And to Chris, if you are reading this..... thank you for the opportunity to hold your clinics. It has been an incredible experience.
I will always be grateful for your friendship.