Back at the end of October I got the chance to do a Landsafe clinic. It’s something I’ve wanted to do since Jen (Cob Jockey) and Olivia (DIY Horse Ownership) wrote about their experiences on their blogs. I randomly looked up the clinic schedule in the middle of October and saw an opening at a location a few hours from me and signed up.
The clinic was held at an eventing barn with the most gorgeous indoor I’ve ever been in at a private barn. I was the only hunter/equitation rider of the group, although we did have a polo player and a dressage rider as well. I found it particularly cool that one family did it all together with their two young daughters.
A lot of day one is doing techniques on gym mats that then you put into use on the mechanical pony. Then of course day two builds on day one with a bit of mat work again followed by some more difficult moves on the mechanical horse.
I was quite thankful not to be too sore after day one, really just some stiffness in my neck from a time where I didn’t tuck my chin effectively. When I got up the morning after the second day though, yikes I was sore all over. A lot of the moves really have you using your core and arms to push off your hands and tuck and roll. Full body workout!
I think one of the biggest things I got out of the clinic was from Danny’s talk at the end when he also showed us videos of various eventers (including Danny himself and some other famous names) using the techniques in their falls. It suddenly became very clear to me that my goal is to protect what’s most important (my head/neck) and worrying about your limbs is just not a priority. As someone who has broken an arm in three places and a collarbone in two I tend to focus my fear on those areas of my body, but if you aren’t alive or able to feed yourself what is the point? Danny also said that despite the arms up and braced position, very few people have arm injuries in a fall by using their method. I think that has a lot to do with the shape you take with this method.
Overall, I felt a lot more confident after doing this clinic and would love to go back and do the second level to learn more. Keli and Danny are great people and are doing such awesome work for rider safety. They have created a program that is both fun and educational and I would recommend it to anyone.