My name is Hannah Boucher. I’m 14 yrs old and am a Junior Member of CDCTA. Since Rhea (my 10 year old OTTB mare) and I have only been really consistently lessoning the past 4 months, my trainer suggested we attend the Don Devine Jumping Clinic at “Field of Dreams Farm” in Lebanon, CT. It was a gorgeous facility, owned by Liz Rogers.
This 2 day clinic was sponsored by CDCTA and had quite a few participants! The clinic provided a great opportunity to fix any jumping issues by using gymnastics.
I personally rode with one other girl and her mare on Sunday of the two-day clinic. We had a good full hour of excellent instruction given by Mr. Devine.
We started by warming up our horses both directions of the ring, walk, trot and canter. Mr. Devine then had us start with low jumps in a gymnastic line of 4. Once we had done well at a lower level, he increased the height with the end jump being a spread and larger. Rhea did fantastic!! I was very happy with her.
We then progressed to adding in a total of 3 more jumps to the gymnastic line. Mr. Devine was very kind, encouraging, informational and professional as well as funny at times! J His explanations were very clear and it was easy to comprehend what he wanted us to do.
What I learned from this wonderful experience was the following:
1) Keep my hands up and not resting my hands on Rhea’s neck.
2) Keep my horse at a consistent pace and not rushing to the jumps (which is what Rhea tends to do).
3) Keep my hands spread apart while jumping the jumps – and finally,
4) He told me to talk to her and constantly praise her.
I look forward to using these tips in my everyday riding and future events.
After the clinic and when I had finished taking care of Rhea, we were treated to drinks and food which made a nice ending to a great learning experience.
Thank you, CDCTA, Ann Bowie, Liz Rogers and of course, Mr. Don Devine for such a great day!
Hannah Boucher and Rhea
Clinic and Event Participants.