Yes, that's me again - finally, a working girl! It's been such a lark to have some time (in between lots of scurrying about and getting settled in to Scotland ) to walk the beaches, and to travel the stately homes and castle ruins. However, not only do I miss the horses and their people, I need to earn my keep as well to pay for all the thousands of dollars it has cost me to get here. Trust me, all that money has been, and will continue to be, worth it. The longer I am here in my new home of Scotland, the more I keep pinching myself and saying, "I really do live here!" Wow.
I spent this last weekend doing what I do - teaching horses and riders - at Doreen Allison's Summerhill Stud . Doreen and Tom were kind enough to host me for my first Cowboy Dressage clinic of 2017 in Scotland. I met Doreen last year when I did the first ever Cowboy Dressage clinic in Scotland at Brandon McAuslan's The Meadows Livery . She and Tom have a lovely facility out in the most beautiful farming country side - everywhere you looked it was gorgeous. Even though it was pouring rain as I drove there on Saturday morning, I was in heaven.
Luckily, Summerhill has a nice enclosed arena, so we were able to have a full day of riding and learning on that first day of rain. I was truly impressed by all the ladies and their horses - everyone was correctly mounted on well behaved, and good looking, horses. And everyone had a Western Saddle as well (except Rrozz, who borrowed mine). Western tack is a bit of a rarity over here yet.
Everyone had smiles on their faces, and they were eating up the basics of what Cowboy Dressage is all about. I could see light bulbs going off everywhere, which is such a rewarding feeling for an instructor.
The second morning broke with a gorgeous sunrise, and we had a great day in the well maintained (thanks, Tom!) and scenic outdoor school. I had a lot of help from the neighboring calves while I was setting up the court that morning. It was pretty breezy, but thanks to the speaker system, everyone was able to hear above the wind. More working on the basics, on straight lines, on circles, on lateral work, on how the court works, etc, etc. More lightbulbs going off as well. I brought a few hackamores over with me, so a couple of the ladies tried those on their horses with great success.
There was so much going on not only in the arena, but outside of it as well. On the hillside next to the arena, I looked up one time, and there was a farmer with his border collie moving the sheep - it was a thing of beauty. But, I couldn't pay too much attention to that, since my job was with the ladies in the arena with me. There were also people coming and going to spectate, and, of course Dory was a star attraction for everyone.
I want to give my sincere thanks to Doreen and Tom for not only hosting the clinic, but hosting me and Dory in their home as well. They took fabulous care of us - we were pretty well spoilt. I was lucky to get out of there with Dory at my side, as they were ready to "dog- nap" her. 😉 I also want to thank all the ladies who participated in this clinic for giving me their trust and undivided attention during our lessons - you were wonderful students. Heather, Jill, Joanna, Caroline, Susan, Doreen and Rrozz - I look forward to working with all of you again. It was such a warm feeling to be so welcomed by everyone and Dory and I truly appreciate it!
Also, thank you to Debi Bell and Susan Stewart for taking lots of great photos during the clinic for me. Sometimes I feel split because the photographer in me keeps seeing images I want to capture, but I can't do everything at once, so I'm happy that they were there to capture these moments for me. And they both did a fab job of it! Their photos below are credited. And I apologize, ladies, that I can't remember all your horses' names. Next time!