Last week, Hopie and Raven and their riders took part in a 3-day ‘eventing camp,’ hosted by Peppergrass Farm in Dixmont, Maine. Thirty-six riders took part in the clinic, which featured three popular instructors from the ‘Area I’ (New England) eventing scene: Nancy Guyotte, Rebekah Calder, and Sue Berrill. The clinic was set up to mimic a typical eventing format, with dressage lessons on the first day, cross-country jump schooling on the second day, and showjumping on the third day.
Hopie and Raven went in the ‘greenie’ group (elementary level) with instructor Sue Berrill of Vermont. Sue was an upbeat and energetic clinician, who emphasized the importance of correct rider position in training horses to be relaxed, confident, and responsive to the aids. Both mares were unfazed by the busy environment and behaved perfectly. They tried hard during every lesson and made some nice improvements throughout the clinic.
One of the highlights for both Hopie, Raven, and their riders was the second lesson on cross-country day, where everyone completed a little course of jumps around a large field. Hopie often likes to speed up when jumping, but the exercise gave her the chance to settle into a more steady rhythm. Raven is still new to jumping, so it was great for her to go out and canter the jumps in a forward, confident way. It is always so exciting when a horse really starts to understand something new, and Raven is certainly starting to understand what jumping is all about.
The clinic proved to be both a valuable learning experience, and a fun way to connect with the Maine eventing community. We look forward to future clinics and competitions with this great group of riders. Many thanks to Debbie Place and Peppergrass Farm for hosting such a wonderful event!