In a word, it was good.
This was the first time most of the participants had met Sandra, but everyone seemed to find the clinic good, and Sandra's instruction helpful. It was also a nice low-key learning environment. Sandra is very approachable and everyone in the clinic was just working on basics so it wasn't intimidating for anyone. Most people who rode have already told me that they are interested in the next clinic with her.
|One happy customer|
From an organizing point of view, the clinic ran well. Everyone showed up when and where they were supposed to. The schedule ran mostly on time. The facilities I had rented were as I had hoped with the footing in good shape, and nothing or nobody in our way of using it. Payment worked out as planned.
My ride times were really educational. On Saturday, Kachina was having a perfectly average day for her, not extra good, but not bad. It allowed us to show Sandra an accurate representation for where we are at right now. Sandra did see several areas of improvement in us since February. We worked on the same kind of things as before, but I was taught some extra tools within the exercises to get us that bit further. The big takeaway was to play with my fingers more. (I'll cover more details in the recap post)
|Kachina after our Saturday ride - she worked up a good sweat|
On Saturday evening, Sandra told me that she would like to hop on Kachina herself for the first part of my lesson on Sunday to get a feel for how she's going. As I've mentioned before, I am in zero risk of becoming too reliant on trainer rides and so I was happy to hand the reins over and watch from the ground. As soon as I caught Kachina on Sunday I could tell that she was going to have a tense day. It turned out to be one of Kachina's quintessential bad days and it worked out really well to see what happened with Sandra in the irons. First, I was interested to see that Kachina pulled almost exactly the same stuff with Sandra as she does with me. That's important because I had questioned whether some of her behavior was a result of my position or tension, but it appears that that's not the cause (or at least not the prime one). Then, I saw how Sandra dealt with Kachina's tension, giraffing and running. We are changing how we deal with Kachina's bad days, back in February we were more in teaching mode and trying to gently redirect Kachina's behavior, now she has fewer bad days and understands the program so we need to up the intensity and tell Kachina that she's not allowed to throw away her frame every time she feels like it. Sandra introduced this new plan while she was riding and Kachina was not happy about it. She threw in some evasions that she hasn't used in months, but eventually settled to her fate. By that time Kachina had already worked pretty hard so I only rode for a few minutes at the end to get a feel.
For the most part, the clinic went well. There were only two negative things: 1. Despite people telling me they were interested, zero auditors showed up. 2. Nobody was around during my rides to take media. I am actually pretty bummed about this. I was really looking forward to seeing some video. It also sucks because I had some friends in the clinic and I videoed for a few of them but none of them could/would return the favour. I did take some video myself while Sandra was riding Kachina though, so I will go through that and include some clips or screenshots in my recap.
I have already booked dates in both February and April for Sandra to come back down. I am super excited for this to become a regular thing =-)