Ralph Hill Clinic Series - NOT FILLED, deadline extended, taking indv. clinic apps!!!
We got it done!! We have a clinic series organized and want to get the word out!
Find all the details here: http://www.denalisporthorses.com/page7a.html
The last two clinics have been SO MUCH FUN, and then we headed to Ocala to work with Ralph for a whole week and now I just can't wait for him to come back!
I (dressage weenie, jump crew extraordinaire) will even be participating as a RIDER with my new ponay this time around! What can I say, he converted me! :D
Ralph Hill and Texas Rider Development Program
I am SOOOOO excited about Ralph Hill returning to Area V for a series of clinics this fall and spring!! We are going to have a fantastic time!!!
Let me tell you a bit about the formation of the Texas Rider Development Program.....But first I need to start in Minnesota. I moved to Texas in 2007 from Minnesota where Ralph taught a similar, serial clinic program for several years in a row. However, back in MN, the RDP program was VERY competitive. The program was always over-subscribed and riders had to not only apply to the program, but we also had to send in a video demonstrating our riding abilities, plus complete an extensive application regarding our riding and competitive goals.
I was always eager to ride in this program. I watched riders and horses in the area greatly improve over time as a result of riding with Ralph. The first year I was rejected. I was disappointed of course, but I attended the clinic series anyway (as a non-rider), attending lectures, jump crewing, and getting to see Ralph in action, on the ground. While I was sad not to be riding...I learned A LOT from the ground! The following 5 years I was admitted as a rider.
During that time Ralph helped me move from beg. novice to prelim on a horse that was not expected to do much! After each clinic I found myself SO MUCH MORE CONFIDENT and my horse SO MUCH HAPPIER!! And...after each clinic...I think both me and my horse "Worthy" had smiles on our faces! Because Ralph had worked with us on a consistent basis, we knew us well...I mean REALLY well....for example---my good and bad habits, my horse's tendencies to drift right in combinations because of his size and how my right leg just didn't work sometimes, and how Worthy and I often tended to go on auto-pilot and bicker like an old married couple! He knew us inside and out...no question....there was no hiding from Ralph's quick, careful, and accurate eye. During my time with Ralph it became clear to me that he is a truly gifted clinician and horseman!! His enthusiasm and love for the sport, the horses, and teaching are nothing if not contagious!!
When I moved to Texas, I was desperately missing Ralph! Unfortunately that was the same year as his near-fatal riding accident. But I knew if he pulled through his injuries, it would not be long before he tended to his calling and be out teaching and riding again. I was so happy and thankful each time I heard he was positively and progressively regaining his health!
One day last year during a dressage lesson with my good friend and dressage trainer, Sarah Denham, I was lamenting about how I missed Ralph and how I felt my jumping and confidence were going steadily downhill w/o my regular summer clinics with Ralph...I call it my Ralph Fix. I asked her if she would help me with a clinic if I could convince Ralph to come to Texas for a weekend. Thankfully she agreed, even though--as a dressage rider--she didn't know who Ralph was;) What a great sport!
I called Ralph out of the blue one day last November and left a message. I was like a kid in a candy shop when I saw "Ralph Hill" show up on my caller ID a few hours later. Having never organized a clinic before, I nervously asked Ralph if he would consider coming to Texas for a 2-day clinic in January. In typical Ralph-style he replied, "Sure, I'd love to come down there and help you guys!" Somehow Sarah and I managed to attend to all the details of the clinic. And we were relieved to have the clinic oversubscribed!! Phew! We had such a successful clinic in January at Pine Hill, that we asked Ralph to come back again in March. He did, and we had a second successful clinic!
Sarah even liked him so much that she went to Florida later in the year to ride with Ralph;)
After all the clinics I have ridden in (not just those with Ralph, but other big names too) I think Ralph's most impressive quality is that he is able to "read" horses and riders like nobdy else. Horses seem to speak to him. One of the students in the Jan. and March clinics said "Ralph must be part horse!" I think she was right!! Ralph has had a LONG eventing career, has ridden every type of horse imaginable, and is a wonderfully supportive coach. I am humbled each time I ride with him and absorb his lifetime of expereince and insight.
So, our goal now is to bring the program that was so successful in MN to Texas. We have arranged for Ralph to come to Texas four times this winter/spring to teach a series of clinics and coaching. Our goal is to fill the series with the same riders and horses. I know from experience that this is a FANTASTIC and UNIQUE opportunity to improve yourself as a rider, horseman (or horsewoman), and competitor. And...your horse will be happy about it too:)
Applications are being accepted now. You can find all TRDP info and applications at: http://www.denalisporthorses.com/page7a.html
Please feel free to contact us with questions: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com