Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Ellen Shevella Clinic!

To say I've been bitten by the opportunity bug would be an understatement; a whole goddamn swarm of them have been chasing me for quite some time. Trust me, I'm not complaining, especially when it means that I get to meet (or have phone calls with) my idols.

Ellen Shevella was the judge at regionals on Saturday, so she stuck around through Sunday and gave a clinic basically on how to give the judge the ol' razzle dazzle.

Much of the focus, especially for the flat section, was being seen by the judge. Walk in, and make sure the judge gets your number. If it's a big class, try to stand out. Put yourself in places where the judge will see you the best.

Some general comments:

A horse is like a wet bar of soap that your legs are wrapped around. Squeeze too tightly, and it'll slip right out of your hands. Leg contact should not hold or pinch but rather grasp and wrap. Hold the wet soap with a gentle grasp, and it will not slip.

A different color coat is not always a bad idea.

It's totally okay to be the first person on course (score, cause I love being first).

Get off the damn rail.

You can hide your less than desirable skills while emphasizing your more obvious ones.

No clucking (*side eyes @ myself*).

Have a quality, marching walk (ya know, that thing we worked on quite a bit with Oldie McSlowpants).

Ain't no such thing as a too shiny stirrup (Which is a relief because I can't use the black Sprengers on Music's saddle in equitation, so bye bye, and a hopeful future hello to HKM irons).

It was a wonderful and educational clinic. I really have been dying to meet Ellen, and even though I just stood awkwardly close to her for the most part instead of actually saying anything, it was cool to see her in the flesh.


  1. Awesome you got the opportunity to clinic with the judge of regionals :)

    1. Just know that the clinic was well AFTER regionals.

  2. I love hearing judge's feedback -- it's so important to understand how you're being judged, in addition to good horsemanship and riding skills

  3. Thank you so much for attending my clinic and it is great to see you took away some key points to improve your competition performance! I do many different clinics with many different themes and hope that you will join me again in the near future. I am doing another clinic in Maryland on May 23rd, 2016. I will share details if there is any interest :-) You can reach me at theodhs@gmail.com


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