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2019 Evie Tumlin Fund Grant Recipient Pamela DeVore

My training session with Betsy Steiner was wonderful!   

I have been a fan of Betsy's for years.  Her training can be summed up in one word: calm.  Stay calm, slow down, breath and relax. 

She worked with me to use my seat better.  In the end I was sitting deeper in the saddle making my horse listen to my seat. 

I also have a tendency to use too much rein and then let go too much.  So we worked on keeping my reins the same length all the time so that all I have to do for a half halt is to squeeze the reins.  She was also constantly telling all of us to push our hands forward. 

My other big take away was to use my upper legs more.   This was a big point for most of us at the clinic.  Use your upper legs for turning your horse.  Doing that controls your horse's shoulders better.  That was like magic.  It works so well. 

I also learned that as I move up the levels (I'm schooling 4th level), I need to look over the outside ear more to keep myself from turning my shoulders too much and leaning to the inside.  It's hard to change old habits learned when beginning certain new movements.  Things like looking back at the hind legs when beginning to train the turn on the haunches need to change into sitting up straighter and keep square with your horse.  Moving him with your upper legs.  He knows how to do it! 

Flying lead changes are our biggest issue.  We are still working on being consistent and keeping my horse round.  No big breakthrough at the clinic but Betsy gave me lots of ideas and exercises to use at home. 

After the clinic I did show 4th Level for the first time.   Unfortunately, we did both of our 4th Level tests in a very scary (at least my horse thinks it is) arena.  I did get one 60 towards my silver.  

Thank you to all the TDF donors who make this grant possible.  I would not have been able to ride in this clinic without the help.