Laine Ashker Clinic: Day 2

LaineyClinic4.1.17-66Going into Sunday I was trying to channel all of the things we worked on the day before. I didn’t want to be the useless shamateur that couldn’t apply concepts 2 days in a row. I wanted to be a good student and to give my red dragon the great riding she deserves. This both did and didn’t happen.

You might be asking how it could be both good and bad… The most simple way to explain is that we had moments of brilliance sprinkled across a bunch of weak riding on my part. Annie tried her little heart out for me (with some sass – because ginger). Given my fitness level and weakness I was so slow to recover after fences that we ended up with some yard sail moments. LA2The course should have ridden: grid – left turn vertical – bending line Swedish oxer – right turn bending line gate – roll back left to a triple bar – bending line to a triple line – right turn to the liver pool – bending line to the outside oxer line. We built it up through the session. Just when I would get one part right the wheels would fall off approaching the next. That is after all the way things go. One step forward two steps back.

I even ended up with an unplanned dismount after I got way too far forward and essentially leaned my way into a run out at the end of the triple. Annie is a game little beast but I need to help her out so that she can do her part. LaineyClinic4.1.17-67

It was supposed to look something like this:

Comet's coursework today! He's really beginning to feel #tops again🙌🏼

A post shared by Lainey Ashker (@laineyea) on

Instead it looked a bit more like this:

In summary we learned so so much. When we had those moments of brilliance it was unlike any other feeling. If you want to be humbled ride like a drunk  monkey in front of a 4* eventer… You have to feel the lowest of lows to fully embrace the highest of highs. I don’t want to get too sappy but I have found the horse of a lifetime in this little mare. She has helped me in 2 short years realize that I can get back in the arena and feel confident. It definitely isn’t always easy but the best things in life usually aren’t.



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  1. The best clinics are ones where you learn A TON. Sounds like you had a really great time with some amazing moments and lots of takeaways to practice at home!

  2. From the video, it looked like you two were really absorbing the instruction. It takes a while for it all to connect to brilliance. But any yelled instruction, you followed and made the jumps work and when she asked you to do the jumps again, you guys improved with each time. Keep working at it and you won’t feel so much like a shamature. (Not that you are but me telling you that you aren’t isn’t going to help because what you think of yourself is what matters)

  3. Those exercises are no joke and Annie is ATTACKING them! I totally relate to feeling like I’m playing catch up to my horse (which in my case is super embarrassing bc he’s been jumping for four months to my….. Well. Years.). Love the idea of embracing the lows to fully appreciate the highs tho. You guys are a great team!

  4. Sounds like the clinic was an incredibly valuable experience for you and Annie! You guys are clearly both trying your hearts out in the video. 🙂

  5. I’m pretty sure I would need either a) depends b) alcohol or c) a combination of both to not throw up during some of those exercises… congrats on a good clinic.

    I dont usually do them (I never feel like I ride well enough to not piss the trainer off/make an ass of myself/get anything out of it) but Lainey sounds awesome so maybe someday…

  6. Annie is super cool. Glad you guys had a good clinic! Laine has always sounded like a good clinician to ride with.

  7. That looks like a really tough course with a lot of questions coming up very quickly. Glad you were able to learn a lot even if it didn’t all go your way!

  8. I think the whole point of a good clinic is that it’s challenging and you’re going to mess up. Otherwise you don’t actually learn anything. It looks and sounds like you learned a ton this weekend! Nice work!