Thursday, April 23, 2009

Meet Jessica Connors..

Jessica lives in the Northeast, so she was lucky enough to be able to attend the ISSO Annual Meeting & Clinic which was held on March 28 and 29, 2009 in North East, MD. The clinic was held at Fairwinds Farm in Cecil County and Jessica was nice enough to share not only her first time riding experience with us, but also some pictures!

She rode her own horse, Queaka, who is affectionately known as Squeaky. Squeaky is a 19 yr old Thoroughbred and although Jessica did bring her own sidesaddle, it was determined that something needed to be fixed so that it was a better fit for her. In these photos, she is using one of the instructors saddles.

This all day event was not only a riders clinic taught by Jeanie Whithed & Heidi Opdyke but also an instructors clinic."It was very cold and rainy all day, but I had so much fun! I did all 3 gaites. We learned so much, especially from Linda Flemmer, who gave a presentation about the sidesaddles." Being nosey, I had to ask what the cost was....only $40.00! Jessica also commented on how many saddles they had there for sale, "15 or 20!"

1 comment:

sunvalleysally said...

Details, details, details. This retired instructor just can't resist....on the canter photo the rider needs help with her posture as she is leaning in with her right shoulder forward. Why is this important? While it is common for new ss riders to do this, explaining that by leaning in you are actually pushing the sidesaddle to the outside of the arena - toward the wall - which is going to make you "feel" even more precarious as well as giving your horse a sore back - a horse that isn't used to sidesaddle riding in the first place. Also, by not keeping the right shoulder back and down it is possible with a quick slowdown of pace to simply twist right off your pommels and take a header. It is SO scary to trot and canter the first time in a sidesaddle that many newcomers resort instinctively to something which they think might make them feel more secure but unfortunately soon learn it has the opposite effect - so much of sidesaddle is actually counterintuitive that it's like backing your horse trailer if you have a bumper hitch - you have to turn the steering wheel the opposite way to point the back end of the trailer where you want it to go. Same sort of concept! Remaining tall in the saddle with your right shoulder back and down and not leaning or collapsing at the waist, soon results in a more secure feel at the faster gaits and, as well, a happier horse under the sidesaddle. It's just basic physics!