Green Mountain Horse Association’s Festival of Eventing opened Monday, August 6 with a three-day long event clinic. Forty amateur and professional riders have come to do twice daily lessons with four internationally known clinicians: Bobby Costello, Rebecca Vick, Allison Springer and Sharon White.
John Burgess, a return camper, is here this year with a new horse, Butch Cassidy, that he’s had for only six weeks. He sees the clinic as the perfect environment for developing their partnership. “You’re here just to ride and take care of your horse. You spend all day with him. You’re building a relationship with him.”
The camp is scheduled so that the riders work with each of the clinicians. “This clinic is really great because you get four different sets of eyes watching you and seeing different things,” John said. “This is a golden opportunity to accelerate the learning curve.”
Diane Johnson, another camp veteran who rides at Preliminary level, praised the quality of teaching. “These clinicians have not only competed at the highest level of the sport, but they are able to communicate their knowledge so effectively. It’s an amazing gift to be able to do both.”
Although GMHA offers other eventing clinics, this one is unique because it leads up to the weekend’s horse trials. The clinicians direct some of their attention specifically to preparation for the event.
Bobby Costello enjoys working with riders who are in “competition mode.” “It’s fun to work with riders when they have that goal at the end of the week. Everybody’s looking forward to the competition.”
“GMHA is a such special place,” said Sharon White, who came from her base West Virginia with four working students and 12 horses who will compete this weekend. “We love it here!”