Last weekend was our yearly visit from Ed Wright. I was entered into the regular clinic which was Sunday & Monday and took Voodoo... poor, chubby, out of shape little Voodoo.
The plan had been to take either Lefta or Applejack but for various reasons they weren't able to go and Voodoo, who had been sidelined for a bit, had to step up to the plate.
After the classroom portion of the first day I asked Ed if he had a moment, we stepped aside and I told him about how I had planned to bring other horses and couldn't so the horse I had was really out of shape. Obviously he would know that, I just wanted him to know that *I* knew, and was feeling bad about it. Ed just told me we'd work with what we had.
When it was my turn to ride with Ed he asked what I wanted to work on. Well the only runs we've made lately had been a few practice runs at home. First barrel was really bad, Voodoo was going in all stiff and turning very flat and I wasn't too sure what I was doing that was causing that. Second was okay, not great but not too bad, my main concern was I felt like I was asking for the turn a stride too soon and that we weren't set up quite right for it because of first being bad. Third I was pretty happy with, he was leaving second well and turning nicely.
After a bit of work we were turning first really nicely. Voodoo was bending, grudgingly at times lol, and working the barrel to the point where he was turning it better than he ever has. We didn't work him too much because he's so out of shape and it was H.O.T. out.
When we came in for our second turn of the day Voodoo was being a bit of a goof. During our first work there weren't many people watching and this time pretty much everyone was hanging around.
Voo was prancing and dancing home from third when Ed commented that if he was feeling that good we'd use him a bit more. I kinda laughed and said that he was doing it because he had an audience now, unlike me Voodoo's quite an extrovert. ;) That led to a bit of discussion about what a character he is and how much personality he has. Someone mentioned his name, not sure who, but Ed said "WHAT is his name?" and whoever it was repeated "Voodoo." Ed just laughed and said it fit, and he'd never heard of a horse with that name but back in the day he'd dated a woman down in New Orleans who did it lmao
The second day we worked with a bit more speed, and like usual it fell apart a bit at first. Things came back together fairly well though and I was pretty happy with the end result.
The Ed way seems to finally be clicking in my brain and it was feeling more natural. Ed himself said I was riding a lot better and seemed to get it :D I know it's not for everyone, but for me it works better than what I was doing before.
Ed liked Voodoo, I'm pretty sure not in the "hey he'll make a barrel horse" way but more in the "he's a character" kinda way. I'll take it as a compliment though, Ed's not one of those clinicians that blows smoke up yer butt or tells every person there that he likes their horse or that it's pretty.
So the game plan for now is to get everyone going again... work on doing things correctly and slowly add the speed back in - or, in Lefta's case, work correctly and then add speed... we haven't really had that as part of the equation yet.