Managing Expectations, Or…. Plain ol’ Excuses

While surfing the web last weekend, I found a clinic with Lilo Fore that is relatively close to where I live (only 4 hours away).  In order to ride in this clinic, you have to be selected by a committee who will judge whether you and your horse are skilled enough to allow Lilo Fore to demonstrate her teaching/training methods on.  You have to fill out a 3 page application, and submit a “statement of reference” from your current trainer, plus send in a video of you riding the horse.

If you’d like more information on the Lilo Fore Adult Clinics, here’s the link to it:

I thought, “How cool would that be?”. I’ve watched YouTube videos with Lilo Fore instructing top Olympians. That could be me!! I immediately start scheming up ways to get the money to enter, and how the heck do I get my horse there, and of course I’m dreaming of how fantastic Ava (the super star) will be.

This got me to wondering what to include in the video I have to submit, so I set about researching past clinics with Lilo Fore. The posted guidelines state that the rider “should have a good basic seat with reasonably independent seat and hands, and the ability to demonstrate positive changes over the course of the clinic”. I felt confident in Ava’s abilities (and my abilities to ride her correctly), and felt we should be a shoe in for being picked. (Insert puffed up ego here) I then found several YouTube videos of past clinic riders. They were…. just stunning. (Insert utterly deflated ego here) Seriously, check out these horse and rider combo’s. They are gorgeous! Lilo Fore Clinic, Sue riding Hindrik Lauwers. Or this one, Lerro. Or this one, Lilo Fore Clinic 2010.

Ava, aka: Cover Girl, or Princess

I thought, “maybe if I re-watched some of my previous video’s I’ll see some glimmer of that floaty, super-glued to the saddle, riding I’m seeing in the video’s”.  Yeah… No. I am a first level rider. I bounce, my arms go all over the place, and I jiggle in the wrong places. And don’t get me wrong… I love Ava. I adore Ava. But Ava still flings her head around like a donkey when we do canter departs. How can I possibly ride in a clinic with Lilo Fore while my horse does her giraffe impression??


So, while thinking about this Lilo Fore clinic, and the gorgeous horse/riders in the video’s above, It struck me that I really want to be an FEI level rider some day. I want to float effortlessly on the back of a big mover with lots of suspension, looking as if I’m doing nothing more strenuous then sitting on a chair. I want to feel the power and strength of a well executed passage. I want to be like the people in the video’s, where all parts of their bodies go where they tell them to go, when they want them to go there. I want the skill and knowledge to train a horse well past third, and really (I mean practical application type of really) know what true collection means.

Riding with Lilo Fore seems like a step toward that dream. A little piece of training by a high caliper Olympic judge and trainer. This would be a fantastic opportunity. The guidelines for selection seem straight-forward, and easily met, but if you watch  past clinics you’ll see that the quality of the rider/horse is amazing. How could Ava and I ever compete against that? And frankly, I can’t imagine getting picked and then having to ride after the $30+ thousand dollar, five-year-old that’s doing 4th Level this year.

I don’t mean to sound whiny… It just seems like advancing to the higher levels is impossible unless you have a horse with a specific type of movement, that you learned on a GP schoolmaster while you were a junior young rider…. and you’re among the super wealthy.  It gets kind of discouraging sometimes when you’re just an average Joe Schmoe who’s on the dirt side of poor.

By the way… I’m still entering the Lilo Fore clinic. I say, to hell with those smarmy full blooded Friesian, the 18 hand Warmbloods, and that crazy blond chick that looks like a model!  Chunky, short people, Unite! XD

2 thoughts on “Managing Expectations, Or…. Plain ol’ Excuses

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