View Full Version : Update-I went to my first clinic- w/ Frank Madden!!! some pic's as well

Apr. 26, 2009, 10:05 PM
For those of you who were waiting for an update from me after reading this thread:


I went ahead and took the plunge and did the clinic! This was my first clinic I have ever done since I started riding at the age of 9 and now I am 33:eek:!! I was never able to financially afford to go to a clinic and this is the first time I have ever been able to do so. I actually decided that this clinic I was not going to pass up on, and gave up quite a few horse shows that I would have been going to over the last couple of weeks. I signed up for the 2"6 session. ( I have been schooling at 3" but felt the lower session would be a bit more comfortable for us both)

The clinic was with Frank Madden. For those that don't know I took my horse to a horse show the weekend before ( he hadn't been off the property in over a year and a half) to just hang out and see how he was going to be. The long story short is that my horse was not good at the show at all!! I was pretty disappointed and was starting to think that going to the clinic was not a good idea. I posted the thread and received a lot of encouraging feedback to go to the clinic.

I decided to go and here is what I hope to make a short report for you all!
My horse was definitely up but he was of course happy eating all the grass that was in front of him. I chose a nice quiet spot by the indoor (where the clinic was being held) He was able to hear Frank talking and that didn't bother him at all. My husband shortly arrived after that to help me. I finished tacking him up and then headed to the outdoor ring to warm up. He was definitely "up" I trotted and cantered around a bit (he spooked a bit when we passed the rolltop), then trotted over some of the jumps. After that it was almost time for the next session to begin.

I really, really like Frank, he is such a great calm teacher!! He uses great examples so one can understand the points he is trying to convey. He used great examples of aerobic and anerobic (sp) fitness levels for our horses. We stared out with introductions and he asked each one of us a question. He went over the fundamentals of dressage and how it applies in the Hunter/Jumper world. He also asked how the teachers of this generation are helping the riders of the next generation, I was given that question!

He also went over natural and unnatural states for our horses to travel in. (simple stuff right?, but great Fundamentals to review!!!) We did some shoulder-in and haunches-in without our stirrups. I have worked a lot on shoulder-in with my horse so that wasn't hard, but the haunches-in he was just resisting a lot, so that is something I will be working on!

My horse was sill chomp, chomping at the bit like he was last week but I was glad that he actually was trying to listen to me. The end of the session was focused on jumping with our horses, he started by asking us to just jump the outside line, he told us he just wanted to see our horses moving forward. After that we worked on jumping our horse over a small vertical (set on the diagonal) with a caveletti set on the ground after the jump. (3 strides out), he set us all in pairs, except me, I was the Odd one out. He told me " Don' t worry Lisie I haven't forgotten about you!" :) That made me smile.

My horse had some problems with gymnastic, it was on the right lead and my horse has always had issues with keeping his right lead and staying balanced. Once again that is something I will be working on!

He then incorporated another vertical with the left lead doing the same thing. So we would jump the right lead vertical than head to the left lead vertical, then after that we headed straight for a single vertical than an outside triple in 3. My horse was starting to get quite tired at this point and he always needs that extra little bit of excouragement. I had to do the outside line one more time (we got 4 strides the first time) but the second time was a charm. Frank said "Beautiful" after our second try. :D He said your horse is more of a timid guy so you will have to always give him that extra ounce of encouragement.

He did mention that wearing a spur is crucial to our riding and is a great tool if we need to encourage our horse to respond to what we are asking. He said crops and spurs are not cruel when used correctly. Frank was happy with me for wearing them! He also complimented me on not "overbitting" my horse (he was wearing just a rubber D), he said that he wants to see all horses underbitted when you are in a schooling session like we were in today. He said it is ok when you go into a showing situation to step up the bit a little so you can have a bit more control.

He ended the session for us by having us all come to the middle of the ring. He then took a bag from an assistant, it was a nice linen bag that said "The Wellington Collection" on the bag. He complimented each one of us saying that we all had improved by the end of the session. He said that the bag was for one rider he felt had improved the most overall throughout the session. He then came over and said "This bag is for you Lisie, there is a coat in here for you!!! " I was shocked AND overjoyed. I couldn't believe he chose me!!!

I graciously said thank you, had a picture taken with him, and shook his hand. My husband and I then walked back to my trailer. I had my horse beside me while my husband opened the bag up. I got an embroidered Frank Madden Show Stable baby pad, then my husband found a gift certificate....for ONE HUNT Coat from The Wellington Collection! :winkgrin::winkgrin: I started to cry! I was so proud of my Tommy Boy!!:D

I am so proud of my OTTB and I, we work hard!!! We might not have a lot of $$ and resources but I do whatever I can to get somewhere with my riding!! I am elated to say the least and so thankful that I did go to the clinc!!! :yes:

Thank you all for encouraging me to go!!!:) What an amazing experience!!!

Here are some pictures, sorry some are blurry and I don't have any of our favorite line for the combination we did.


http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=1564053&l=2881197703&id=768167224 -blurry

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=1564057&l=874290d6c4&id=768167224 -listening to Frank & he was having us trot our horses around in what is a natural state

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=1564062&l=0510f07bda&id=768167224 -trying to ask for contact above the withers (unnatural state), a small excercise he had us do

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=1564097&l=c8c75f559a&id=768167224 (http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/photo.php?pid=1564097&id=768167224)- I was laughing at something he said to me, I think it was because my horse was in a nice contact but then wasn't moving forward quite enough... then I got him moving forward, and he said something about it that made me smile


http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/photo.php?pid=1564101&id=768167224 - right lead gymnastic, my last time through Frank loved it!


http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=1564104&l=0f90856b56&id=768167224 -w/Frank!!!

thanks all for letting me share with you! I hope it wasn't too boring to read!

Apr. 26, 2009, 10:21 PM
Good for you! It sounds like you had a wonderful experience. :)

Apr. 26, 2009, 10:23 PM
Awesome recap that was so cool that you got to meet him. Congrats!!! :)

Apr. 26, 2009, 10:31 PM
It sounds like the clinic was a super experience, and congratulations on your recognition for most improved. I, myself, can only ride once a week on a school horse program; but I am so thankful that I can even do that.

Smiles, Mee

Apr. 26, 2009, 10:33 PM
Not boring at all! What a wonderful experience, and I can tell you got a lot out of it.
And your horse is adorable. :yes:

Apr. 26, 2009, 10:37 PM
I went to audit today (you don't look familiar so I'm guessing you went Saturday?). It was GREAT! I agree, Frank is a very talented teacher - has a great way with words and came up with some fabulous exercises (I was feverishly taking notes and drawing diagrams!) that I can't wait to try with my own horse. I loved his emphasis on flatwork and incorporating the flatwork exercises into the jumping portion of the clinic.

And congrats on winning the prize/coat! I think he picked riders that showed that they ride what they had under them and ride smart. Kudos for being that kind of rider :)

Apr. 26, 2009, 10:45 PM
I went to audit today (you don't look familiar so I'm guessing you went Saturday?). It was GREAT! I agree, Frank is a very talented teacher - has a great way with words and came up with some fabulous exercises (I was feverishly taking notes and drawing diagrams!) that I can't wait to try with my own horse. I loved his emphasis on flatwork and incorporating the flatwork exercises into the jumping portion of the clinic.

And congrats on winning the prize/coat! I think he picked riders that showed that they ride what they had under them and ride smart. Kudos for being that kind of rider :)

thanks!! :D I was there Saturday, I could only afford the one day. I can hope next time I can do both days!! :)

Apr. 26, 2009, 11:02 PM
OMG, what an awesome experience! I loved reading this-thanks for sharing. Frank Madden seems like such an amazing horseman. I would LOVE to have the opportunity to take a clinic with him. I bet you are so happy that you ended up going to the clinic even though you were having trouble with your horse. Congratulations on doing such a great job and that is so cool about the bag and coat that you were given. How neat of Frank to do that, and I bet you are so proud!! I also loved the pics.

Apr. 26, 2009, 11:09 PM
..and I'll bet that you can't wait to get back to work on your horse again full of fresh motivation.

Apr. 27, 2009, 07:23 AM
Aww. Your story actually brought tears to my eyes!! I read your thread from the other day, and was curious to see how it panned out. I am bringing along an ottb, and we are hitting our bumps in the road. :sadsmile: Good for you and your boy!!!:D

Apr. 27, 2009, 07:43 AM
What an absolutely AMAZING experience!!! I too have always struggled with limited resources and I can well appreciate what it means to be the one recognized at the really "big deal" thing you sacrifice to get to go to. Heartfelt congratulations from me. And congrats too, on giving a home to an OTTB, instead of spending megabucks on something...else ;) Just MHO, but you get top value for your $$$, earn yourself some good karma by giving chance to a noble animal with an otherwise uncertain future...and you can't beat the heart of TB. I've seen it too many times :) Your "timid" boy? You watch. Once he knows you've got his back, he'll astound you.

red mare
Apr. 27, 2009, 08:11 AM
Congratulations! I did a couple of clinics with Frank many years ago, also as an adult rider with limited funds, and they were awesome. It's so nice to know that he hasn't changed in that he rewards those who make a sincere effort to learn and improve. Obviously, he saw that in you. Kudos to you and your horse!

Apr. 27, 2009, 10:03 AM
Good for you for going! I know Frank. He is a horseman's horseman, if you know what I mean? Great people skills too. I judged both days this past weekend; otherwise I would have been there helping him. I bet you'll save up for a longer clinic with him next time. It only gets better. Congratulations on your many rewards! You will never forget this experience.

Best wishes.

Apr. 27, 2009, 10:39 AM
Congratulations! Frank is a great guy, and a great teacher. Good for you for attending - it sound like a fantastic experience.

Apr. 27, 2009, 10:48 AM
Thanks for sharing!

It only confirms that I want to get my green bean to a clinic with him. He's coming to my area this coming Jan and of course it was full by the time I heard about it. I'm almost hoping someone drops out and maybe I can squeeze in!

Im glad you had a great time and won some awesome stuff!!

Brydelle Farm
Apr. 27, 2009, 11:01 AM
Thanks for sharing!!

I was going to audit on Sunday, but the swine flu got me or at least some horrible sickness, so I greatly appreciate your play by play!! :)

Apr. 27, 2009, 02:01 PM
Thanks all, it truly left a "mark" in my riding experience and I hope for my horse as well! :yes:

Apr. 27, 2009, 10:17 PM
We were there, my son rode in your session! You did a great job, and Frank's exercises did seem to help your horse.

My son, Sean, was the younger boy on the big bay TB mare. She is off the track for a year, we have had her for 6 months, and they went to her first horse show just the week before. He also had his hands full at the beginning, but the exercises also helped him. In fact, we showed again the next day, and they did well. I was quite proud of him, riding such a green horse. Prior to her, he has ridden either green or evil ponies, or a made horse. He is only 11.

FWIW, I rode in a clinic with Frank back in 1983!

Apr. 28, 2009, 12:39 PM
Bay Knight-I audited on Saturday and saw your group's jumping session. You did a GREAT job. Good luck with your TB!!! I'm going to use the exercise with the pole after the jump on the circle with my horse.

Apr. 28, 2009, 10:28 PM
aww thanks guys!!! :)

HR- I remember seeing your son! =) Cute Mare! Do you show with HHSA? I was going to show the next day, but you should have seen how tired my horse was when we got home! :yes: He went into his stall with his fan going and fell sound asleep, even with a bunch of show prep commotion going on all around him! :lol:

thanks serendipity!

I am sure you guys both saw my lovely issue with my hips! :no: My right hip sits higher than my left and it only feels "right" when the stirrup is shorter, but I force my right leg too far back as well.
I have been working on dropping that stirrup a hole to make my leg stretch back down and around, but that day I just wasn't feeling quite safe enough to keep it like that. I am hoping I can eventually ride with an almost even stirrup length and get my right leg back where it belongs!

I had a personal trainer help me out last week for the first time and she said I really should see an Osteo-Path doctor who will really be able to straighten me out better. I just want to eventually get to a more "proper" riding position, this all stems from me riding with a fractured ankle a few years back (that was misdiagnosed) and I was riding like that for six months, and I truly believe that was the result of my hip sitting higher because I was trying to "avoid" the pain from riding like that.

Whew what us older riders go through! ;)

Apr. 28, 2009, 10:57 PM
Thank you for sharing!! I'll never be a good enough rider to attend a clinic like that (maybe as an auditor) so it was great to read your summary, and what great photos! Congrats on winning the jacket!

Hopeful Hunter
Apr. 28, 2009, 10:58 PM
Oh WOW!!!!!!!!! That is so great!!!!!!!!!!

CONGRATULATIONS! I know how hard you work, and I'm very sure you earned that recognition.

GOOD for you!!!!!! I want FULL details at the barn!

Apr. 28, 2009, 11:45 PM
That is so sweet. Frank is a good guy and always recognizes accomplishments great and small. Every coach should be so gifted.

Apr. 29, 2009, 05:12 AM
Thanks, BayKnight, we show with HCHSA (Howard County).

Apr. 29, 2009, 01:25 PM
Oh WOW!!!!!!!!! That is so great!!!!!!!!!!

CONGRATULATIONS! I know how hard you work, and I'm very sure you earned that recognition.

GOOD for you!!!!!! I want FULL details at the barn!

Thanks Hopeful!! And I sure will share! :D

Apr. 29, 2009, 01:33 PM
bayknight your post made me tear up :) Thank you for sharing!

Apr. 29, 2009, 02:17 PM
See, aren't you glad that you went?? Looking good. Glad you had fun and worked it out!

Apr. 29, 2009, 02:28 PM
What a wonderful follow-up to your previous, anguished thread. SO glad that you & horse went into this clinic with a good attitude. Frank's wonderful - not surprised he recognized and acknowledged what you were accomplishing.



Apr. 29, 2009, 05:37 PM
That is such a great experience!!! Congrats on your most improved award :)