by YK Ambassador Mara Santiz
What a fantastic weekend! The Flat Work for Jumpers Clinic with Ayden Uhlir was a huge success! I first met Ayden at the Young KWPN-NA clinic at her new facility, Flyaway Stables, in July. After working with her, I decided that I wanted to put a clinic together so that others could have an opportunity to train with her.
Ayden has six medals from NAJYRCs, she is the first equestrian sponsored by Nike, and she won the Willy Art’s Grant through the KWPN-NA. It was clear to me that she was an amazing young rider. The depth of her knowledge really showed from the moment my lesson began. It is very difficult to find good trainers, at least in the Midwest, and I myself had been through several trainers until I found my current trainer, Sue Moessner, and began working with Ayden. She is a phenomenal trainer, and her positive teaching style allows her to work with students of all ages. Ayden was able to teach two days, so participants had the option to ride on one day, or both days. A few of us chose to ride both days to maximize our training with Ayden.
We did a group dinner on Saturday night, so that participants had an opportunity to ask Ayden questions, and thanks to the KWPN-NA, participants had the opportunity to talk with Ayden at lunch as well. One of the questions,asked was, “how do I stop my horse from leaning on my inside rein?” This question led to a detailed explanation and recommendation. In short, Ayden told this rider that she needed to use her outside aids more and make sure she wasn’t just pulling on the inside rein for balance. I was able to ask her to clarify what she had said in my lesson about the tempo of the passage, and she gave me some ideas for how to keep track of that tempo in my head. From what I could see when I wasn’t riding or running the clinic, people really seemed to have a great experience!
Here are some thoughts about the clinic from a few of the participants:
“Ayden helped me to work through my problems I was having with my horse, and not to dwell on one thing and tire the horse out.” –Rachel W.
“It was a terrific ride from start to finish, with Ayden immediately seeing and sensing our unique adult amateur/ young mare combination. Her quick, professional eye honed in on a problem I had been struggling with; giving Luna better outside support without using a heavy hand, and instead, focusing on those basic aids and being subtle about it.” –Barbara M.
“The clinicwas amazing and I learned somuch in such a short time!” –Sophie C.
Thank you to my own company, Eleganza Equestrian, for hosting the clinic, and to Cedar Ridge Equestrian Center for holding the clinic at their facility. Thank you to Lumineer Photography LLC for shooting our event in the freezing cold, and lastly, thank you to the KWPN-NA, our sponsor for this clinic. This clinic would not have been possible without any of you!