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I went to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of Paul

Belasik, that is.

Hosting a clinic with Paul Belasik ( after 1,2,3…. Yep 12 years since I have ridden with him, was a little intimidating I must say. I was thinking mostly, “what are we going to talk about on the long car rides” and, “will he like my jumper that sticks his tongue out”?

Well the whole weekend turned out to be fabulous! Not only did I have fantastic lessons, but during the evening lecture he read from his not-yet-published book with a Q and A after. I asked a lot of questions. Maybe most – whoops!

Paul speaks in such a lyrical way, he is a great one to supply quotes.

“There are only as many Masters as there were Masterful students in the previous generation.”

“Present a symmetrical horse – that doesn’t mean it will be a symmetrical effort.”

And this, from his website:

“To become better, the horse and rider must get out of their comfort zones. I believe in the concept of deliberate practice. Outside of your comfort zone, you will make mistakes. In the process of correcting mistakes is when you learn. If you want people to try, you had better not punish them for mistakes, so I know that I need to be patient, and yet push and encourage.”

We did some new exercises that, although some seemed simple, I see in this video that he does them daily at home as well:

I was especially proud when asked to do an exercise that I determined to be a bit more advanced, which was the canter travers to demi volte to half pass to counter canter then flying change after the corner. Though we didn’t quite nail it, you can bet I’ll be working on it over the winter to impress in the New Year I’m sure!

So what am I saying?

Two things: the first is the same thing I said in the July print. ( Step out of the box and learn from someone new!

And secondly, after my last couple posts, this is what I’m living for: riding, learning and even when it sucks a few weeks later I’m re-inspired all over again!

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