I am sorry that I have not been keeping up with my blog. This past weekend I spent the majority of my time at the Mane Event Horse Expo in Chilliwack, BC. I had the opportunity to watch Stacy Westfall and Ken McNabb in action. For those of you who don't know who Stacy Westfall is or what she does, here is a link to watch her bareback and brideless freestyle reining run from the Quarter Horse Congress:
I really liked Stacy's clinics. I was able to watch one on stopping, one on body control and one on spinning. I love that her methods involve breaking down a maneuver and making each part independently strong so that when you finally put all the parts together, they have a stronger meaning to the horse. She also seems to put a lot of work behind her horses and I saw nothing to suggest that she cram and jams on them. Stacy also gave you actual drills to do, which I really appreciate because sometime I get a concept but struggle to find a way to apply it. What I especially enjoyed was her down to earth manner. From what I can see, this girl has not let her popularity go to her head. I plan on buying her DVDs. I think she has a lot to offer and not just in how to train or improve your horses reining maneuvers.
I also had was able to watch Ken McNabb start a colt in the Trainers Challenge. This event is where three trainers have four one hour sessions to start a halter broke colt before riding their horses through an obstacle course on Sunday night. I was absolutely thrilled when Ken McNabb won! I didn't find anything dramatically different about McNabbs techniques, which I think was actually a good thing! He didn't try to be different for the sake of trying to sell himself. His methods were sensible, moderate, and straight forward. I found him very approachable as a person and enjoyed his humor, humility, and that he didn't seem like he was there trying to sell you something (the best salesmen don't!) A bonus was that he actually seemed to genuinely love horses!!! *gasp* Before the challenge started, Stacy Westfall suggested that when we watch the trainers this weekend, instead of trying to find how each is different than the other, try to find the common threads as these practises are the real "secrets"! I would like to learn more about his programs.
My personal favorite remains the same. A local trainer that is slowly but surely developing international acclaim; Jonathan Field. Here is a link to what he does:
The long version of his performance on Saturday night.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_OTd-qcdAI (skip to the 4 minute mark if you don't want to watch the whole thing.
Last years performance with two horses! He is only riding with a string.
I always really enjoy the Mane Event and was really excited that we were able to get up such big name trainers. Here in BC we don't get RFD-TV so these popular trainers are not as well known up here and we don't have the same access to their programs. Now I just have to win the lotto so that I can afford to buy all the DVDs I want!
***Imagine my surprise when I googled images of Ken McNabb for this post and saw a picture of Pony Girl's My Boy! I guess in a blog entry she mentioned Mr. McNabb and a pic came up with a link to her blog! ****