I’ve been attempting to manage my anticipation for three weeks now, talking myself off the ledge of unrealistic expectations every time I thought of riding in the upcoming Greg Best clinic. Once you aggrandize an upcoming event, be it a movie, a date or a riding clinic, it can never live up to expectations.
So to the world I was cool and collected about riding with the guy who won two silver Olympic medals atop a horse so magnificent they cloned him. I even fooled my husband. Ha! Inside I was as jittery as as an 8th grader anticipating the school dance. The school dances were always a let down.
But….. I am very happy to report that for once, the reality is living up to the expectation.
Simply put, Greg Best is the best clinician I have every ridden with. And I’m so excited I’m ending the previous sentence with a with!
He is thoughtful, articulate, kind, honest and knows just as much about teaching as he does riding. These are qualities that are not usually listed in the same sentence. For starters, he limits each session to three riders. The last BNT clinic (a Buck Brananman type) I attended had 20 riders in a small indoor and it was mayhem. He opened his clinic with two words — “Any questions?” — and that was the end of any structure.
Greg starts by asking each rider about her (all female attendees) horse, then watches us trot and canter. Then he offers his assessment of us.
Day One started with Greg telling my my horse was a brat and I was riding all backwards, which probably makes you wonder why I put kind in that list of qualities. Notice it’s right next to honest.
We spent the next two hours addressing those observations and by the end, she was neither bratty and I was riding frontwards.
It was exhilirating and empowering. The hows will be revealed in the next post.