A Clinic With Karen Pavicic – Review
I had a wonderful opportunity to audit a clinic with with Karen Pavicic held in Courtenay, BC on November 20th, 2016. I arrived just after the lunch break and watched Karen work with three riders and horses. With each horse she started by observing the horse at the walk on a loose rein while she discussed with the rider the bloodline and history of the horse.
When she went into the warm-up she was quick to notice areas the horses found challenging and had the riders do a variety of suppling exercises, laying the foundation for more difficult work later on in the session. Karen made good use of travers and renvers, insisting that it was done correctly both directions before moving on. Another exercise done in all three gaits progressively (if the horse was capable) was the leg yield off the wall to center line and half pass back to the wall, and again these were expected to be error-free. “Don’t just go through the motions, get the results.” Karen explained.
Throughout each lesson she remained a positive influence for both horse and rider, ignoring mistakes or naughtiness with a simple, “No problem” while encouraging riders to be patient and “explain it” to the horse and reminding them to pat the horse often. She corrected minor habits such as crossing the hand over the withers, but she didn’t nag the riders about perfect position or repeat the dressage coach mantra of inside leg to outside hand repeatedly. Instead she complimented good riding, set the riders up for success with different movements, and helped the riders to develop the right feel. It was refreshing to watch each pair come away from the lesson with a better understanding of each other, relaxed and confident.
She kept her points during each ride short and simple without turning each topic into a lecture, however I came away from the clinic with a page full of new information. I hope I have the privilege of attending more of her clinics, perhaps one day as a rider.
– Shannon Boisvert