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Arizona Morgan Horse Association Holds Clinic



by Sue McCullough Worsley

A frosty day in Phoenix, AZ greeted excited equitation and performance students for the Stacy Hennessy Clinic, February 5-6, sponsored by the Arizona Morgan Horse Association and Desert Palms Equestrian Center. Students of all styles of riding and driving, with several breeds represented, took advantage of this great learning experience at the beautiful Desert Palms facility.

The first day included lessons with 5-gaited performance horses, adult three-gaited pleasure, and Morgan English pleasure. There were young walk-trotters as well as seasoned equitation riders that got to show their patterns off to Hennessy and came away with some exercises to work on at home. Also in the mix of lessons were some very nice Morgan hunters and Western pleasure horses. The lessons were nicely grouped with similar style riders and horses which also enhanced audience enjoyment as they could see and hear from Hennessy what the requirements were for each style of rider. The day ended with a driving lesson starting from tacking up in harness, hooking, and then light jogging around the arena.

The evening "meet and greet" and Mexican dinner was loads of fun. Hennessy brought lots of videos of world champion horses she trained which provided the backdrop during happy hour and dinner. She also brought some of her favorite books which have helped her students conquer show ring anxiety and reach higher goals. The question and answer part of the evening was hilarious as well as very informative. No question went unanswered extending from gaited Morgans to opinions on allowable walk-trot equipment in the show ring.

Having now seen the needs of her students, those taking part in both days were delighted in the improvement they saw the second day. Hennessy was also able to demonstrate a bitting rig usage based on questions from the night before. We were able to provide a Morgan pleasure driving horse from which she could demonstrate. Hennessy sat in the cart with the driving student from the day before and was able to illustrate first hand the intricacies of piloting a pleasure driving horse.

Participants were treated to a grilled lunch provided by the Arizona Morgan Horse Association and shopping was available provided by Savvy Show Mom.

The clinic was great fun and a super learning opportunity to get us geared up for the upcoming show season starting with the Carousel Charity Horse Show in March.

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