This past Wednesday I drove up to Lexington, VA (A couple of hours) to the Virginia Horse Center to audit one day of the O'Connor Eventing Team eventing camp being held there.
(I have to do audits such as this to retain my CHA Instructor Certification.)
(Inside the main arena)
It was the first time I met any famous equestrian, and I was pleased to find that Karen and David, while extremely professional, are also real, down-to-earth people.
In fact, David signed my schedule form that I have to send in with my re-certification paperwork. :)
They used a dummy for teaching XC positions:
(Karen in the pink shirt.)
I was thrilled to see that the O'Connor's are implementing the natural horsemanship techniques of Pat Perelli in their instruction. Here, Karen is observing the campers as they warm up on the ground, using the "give to pressure" type of exercise the Parellis are famous for.
David teaching showjumping.
This is Brew, Karen's dog. He came right up to me the moment I got there and sat down. He was my buddy for the day. Here, he was resting in the shade I cast in the 150 acre CX field.
Me in a judge's box observing Karen work one of her competition horses. I look like such a slouching slob here..... I think this is one of my biggest problems in riding, also. The slouching slob look. :(
For an unmounted lecture, the O'Connor's groom used Mandiba for demonstrating proper turnout for a show. Mandiba is the horse Karen placed 7th with in this year's Rolex Three Day Event. He was such a cute, people-oriented horse.
During the lunch hour, I observed both Karen and David and one of their team members workout their competition horses.
In this shot, Karen shows exactly what it means to turn and look at your next fence on a showjumping - or any - course of jumps.
Kathy, the other instructor and team member.
I really enjoyed the clinic/camp, although I wished I was riding instead of auditing.