Hawley Revisited (link to full blog post)
We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to once again host a Hawley Bennett Clinic here at Dragonfire. For the horses and riders that participated in this and the last clinic with her, it was clear that there was a significant improvement in their styles and ability to handle challenges together. For the riders who were new, their eyes were opened a little bit wider to the possibilities of what they could be working on. Either way, it was an impressive group of horses and riders which makes for an exceptional clinic!
Each day, before the first morning jump sessions started, a few riders headed to the Dressage court to take advantage of a little private time with Hawley. Kammy Bhala, Caroline Dein, and myself all benefitted greatly from these highly intense sessions on the flat. No detail goes unnoticed by Hawley, nor do you finish a movement until it is done exactly, and I have the sore abs to prove it.
What is most striking about Hawley's teaching style over fences is her ability to push a rider/horse combination further than their comfort zone and ultimately to success. Although her exercises can be set by anyone, it is her keen eye and overwhelming positive energy (mixed with a little "I'm-going-to-make-you-do-it-whether-you-want-to-or-not") that encourages even the timid rider to swing away, to use a baseball term. Even in challenging the riders or horses to do more difficult jumps than they are used to, perfection is her goal and it will be achieved by the end.A video recap of the clinic courtesy of Taylor McFall and Roses Are Blue
Team Dragonfire will miss Hawley as she heads to the East Coast in pursuit of her own intensive training towards the Olympic Games this Summer in London. We wish her the best of luck and the ride of her life!