Monday, December 6, 2010

The Wendy Potts Clinic........Some of Wendy's Thoughts.... and Mine

Part 1- Wendy Potts Clinic

Part 1 - Sizing Things Up - Status on Storm

I suspect Wendy Potts rode Storm for enough time to be sure she understood exactly what his problem was and what would be the best way to approach that problem with this horse. She tried a number of different little variations in this process and got a chance to see his reaction to each as well as what produced stumbling. Once she figured she had a handle on things, she turned the horse back over to me so she could show me what she'd found.

Of course watching this process has the same defect built in that her watching me ride the horse had. What is visible from the ground does not always tell the whole story. It was going to be interesting to see if I understood everything the way I thought I did. I was looking forward to getting back on my horse and testing out the things I saw Wendy try with him to see if I could get the same response.

Wendy Potts brought Storm back to the center of the arena where I was standing. She quickly dismounted and we went to resetting the stirrups to the appropriate length for me while talking some about my horse. Again Wendy Potts told me I was doing a good job with the horse and that I was on the right track. That was comforting to hear.

Walking around to the off side of Storm, shaking her head sadly, Wendy Potts relayed, "What a shame (what's happened to this horse). " As I heard this remark I thought about how strongly I agree with her previous statement, "There just is NO excuse for poor training." and how it related to this horse. I could tell from the tone in her voice, her ride on Storm had given her an appreciation for this horse and his talent and a really good look at how bad that had all been compromised with his circumstances over the past two years.

Storm may not have been capable of showing his real talent to everyone at the clinic because of his shoulders locked up tight and the length of his stride compromised but having sat on his back and felt him beneath her, Wendy Potts clearly knew what had been taken from this horse and what kind of journey it was going to take to fix it.

Seeing her disgust with the situation was helpful to me personally, and I think it enlightened some of the others there who saw it too. I felt some kind of vindication for poor Legs who has yet to have one of his talented sons make it into the show ring working to potential.

It's no more Legs' problem as a sire than it is Storm's as a horse. Now, as in the other cases of Legs sons, the problem is poor training and it's certainly reeked havoc with the success of my breeding program. I know it's not going to be corrected until probably Storm gets fixed and out there doing things the way he was bred to do them. In the meantime there's still that question in people's minds about Legs get being unproven in the ring.

At least Wendy Potts had taken notice and was in Storm's corner.
I have some validation that what I claim happened to Storm really happened. Those unfriendly forces sitting at the far end of the arena must have gotten more than they bargained for. Not that I expect their criticisms of me to change but clearly any validity to their view about how things went for Storm these past two years should have been shot to bits by Wendy Potts. She was quite clear Storm has serious problems because of his training over the last two years.

Wendy Potts was also quite clear in expressing her opinion that I was doing a good job to correct the horse's problems. I'm grateful for that. Sometimes the road to fix a horse can be long. Having someone like Wendy Potts supporting my process sure helps my confidence. Heaven knows I haven't proven myself yet in the ring either and sometimes I let that get me down. Support from Wendy Potts and others like her is important to me.

To be continued.................

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  1. He is just so beautiful!
    This is just a small hello, I'm using the phone, but wanted to check in to say...good job, I'm still reading back info, to understand about Storms issues.
    I'm happy that a lithe encouragement and validation occurred from a respected source!

    Be back!

  2. It's always good to get some validation from someone you respect. Hang in there. I know you will. Sometimes it's just hard not to doubt when it takes so long!

  3. It's a whole lot easier to mess them up than it is to fix them (but it will be well worth it in the end! :o)

  4. It's a shame he had such bad training, no horse deserves that. But on the plus side you can now have a plan how to get him back to where he should be. It will take time, but anything worth doing right always takes time. You're a good trainer and with the validation from the clinician you can't let anyone get you down now. No more self doubting should be in your mind after this clinic.

  5. So nice to have someone agre with you, still feel bad for Storm for all he has gone through though.

  6. Having to wait it out is a hard thing to do at times, but ALWAYS worth it in the end. Hang in there, knowing your day will certainly come and the horses will prove themselves in front of those who matter the most and know what to look for.

    Those people are not always necessarily the judges in the show ring either.