It rained on and off for most of the day so the ring at Rancho Pampa is under some water. As a result, no riding today. Instead I got to go into town to watch day 3 of the clinic with Bernie Traurig. Today they did courses and worked on developing a plan to ride a line and putting the plan into practice. Riding a bending line in a direct forward 5, a medium bending 6 or a collected bending 7. They also worked on using the corners before and after a jump to set up the distance to the next fence. It was interesting to watch because it all tied into what I have been working on in my lessons with Bernie. We've worked on staying in the corner until you see your distance and using a balancing point to find or create a distance to a fence on a straight away. The information from the clinic and the lessons has given me a lot of interesting things to think about. As has been watching Bernie ride a few of the clinic horses. He does't just follow with his elbow at the canter. He follows with his whole shoulder and elbow. Its the most interesting thing to watch. After the clinic we ended up in Buenos Aires' China Town on the hunt for sushi for Bernie. Thankfully no sushi was found but we ended up at this awesome little chinese place. Going places with Bernie and listening to him talk is definitely an eye opener. He knows horses, people, places and things I have only vaguely imagined. He's good friends with George Morris, has ridden bought or sold some of the best horses in the world and has even met the princess who heads the FEI. Just craziness. Listening to him talk about these people, different horses and the coaching on his website is like a lesson in and of itself. After lunch we went to Walmart. And walmarts in Argentina look, smell and are organized the exact same way as in the US. Was actually pretty funny really. Some of the stuff is the same too. Almost all the food is very different though. They don't eat peanut butter here. Or have cranberry or tomato juice. They do have dulce de leche here though. Amazing stuff. The guys are slowly but steadily teaching me everything dulce de leche can go on. Right now rolls and apples are my favorite with it. And these cool (very yummy) cookies Martin has. Dulce de leche between two cookies and its all covered in chocolate. Amazing yes? Came home and helped the guys finish up body clipping. They'd been at it all day since there was none to tack up. They don't give the horses a bath before they clip here which is weird but whatever. Its just another difference I guess. Like here everyone uses the 1st and 2nd billets on their saddles not the 1st and 3rd. It takes a lot of self restraint not to switch it! The second set of clinics with Bernie start tomorrow at a closer venue with a covered. Depending on the weather and whatnot I may or may not go. Just up to Martin. In doing the argentenian thing and staying flexible! I'd love to see Bernie teach more but I'd also like to start working on this stuff he's told me!
Photos of the clinic and facilites. We were in the covered today which backs up to a very busy rode on one side and what looked to be a school on the other. We're in the middle of the city for these clinics! Two photos of the best dressed rider at the clinic: Vicky. She also had the best commentary. Vicky told Bernie she thought he rode pretty decent for an old guy! And her stirrups were bright purple, her crop pink, her pants white with little roses on them, purple saddle pad and hair flinging everywhere. I think the hair mostly just bothered me though! Bernie is in the blue and thought she was hilarious!