Thursday, April 21, 2011

Gus Clinic Follow Up

Last weekend, we had the extreme good fortune to work with reining trainer and AQHA horseman, Gus Evangelopoulos, at the beautiful Easy Go ranch in Lac la Hache.


Gus was quickly able to hone in on each participants individual needs and work with each horse rider combination to help them achieve their goals for the weekend.

Nicola & Bart

Nicola brought Bart the first night in the hopes that Gus would be able to work with him to make him a more willing and responsive partner for her on the trail. By the time Gus was finished with him on Friday night, we were teasing Gus that Bart was ready to be his next reining horse prospect!! Under our noses, and almost without us realizing what was happening, Gus was able to get Bart into a willing frame of mind, going from being aggressive and pushy to being light and responsive. The next day, Nicola rode Bart and was able to get him into a walk, trot and lope on a loose rein, as well as picking up some riding tips from Gus.

Don and
Don came to the clinic hoping to build on his horsemanship skills. Gus was able to give him a few subtle tips that helped to transform his relationship with his mare, again, making her more light, willing and responsive. Don was impressed by how a few minor adjustments could make such a big difference in how his mare responded to him.

Val and

After watching Gus work with everyone on Friday, Val made the decision to come out and ride on Saturday. After recovering from a serious accident, Val was hoping to rebuild her confidence on the back of a horse. Gus was more than impressed with Val's courage, and reaffirmed that she is indeed a good rider and with a lot of skills and knowledge.

Casandra & Cee

Always happy to take the opportunity to ride with Gus, Casandra made the trip up from Kamloops and was more than happy to put a ride on "Cee", Don's young filly, that she put some time on last spring. Gus has been a strong supporter of Casandra over the years and she was glad to spend some quality "horse time" with him again.

Tanya and Monty

Tanya came to the clinic with the hopes of learning the skills to be able to get her gelding, Monty to pick up the correct lead going to the left. Her continued persistence paid off, and by the end of the weekend, she, most importantly, had the knowledge to be able to continue to work on Monty to help him become more consistent. Those of us on the ground were able to watch and learn as well, and will hopefully be able to support Tanya, as she continues to work with Monty.

Tiffany and Gypsy

Tiffany came to the clinic with her newly acquired gelding, Gypsy,which she hopes to show this year in reining and working cow. Gus reaffirmed for her that she "has a lot of horse". Her gelding is an incredible athlete with a big motor. Tiffany came away from the clinic with some tools to help keep him calm and quiet. We are all looking forward to seeing them in the show pen!!

Mandy & Frenchy


Mandy brought her up and coming 3 year old prospect looking for some tips and ideas to move forward with her training. Gus was impressed with the work that Mandy had accomplished so far with the filly, and was able to give Mandy some tools to help her to get to the next level with Frenchy.

Dawnna & Moke

Dawnna and Moke? Well, lets just say they had some "issues" to work through. Gus's belief that you face issues and work through them, ending up with a better partnership with your horse, proved to be a philosophy that we were all able to embrace by the end of the weekend. Dawnna and Moke persevered, and by Sunday, you could see that they are a going to be strong contenders in the show pen this season!

Bella & Chico

And that leaves..me. After realizing that my own horse Jewel was still lame and I was not going to be able to ride her, I was extremely grateful to the numerous individuals who made me offers of horses I could ride in her place. I ended up riding Chico, Mandy's lovely gelding. It turned out to be the right horse for me for the weekend. Being the perfect gentleman, Chico allowed me to focus on my own riding and horsemanship skills. Riding without a sturrip, and without rein contact, trying to find my balance, Chico never took a wrong step. I'm not quite ready for a bridleless, saddleless freestyle yet, but hopefully I came away with a better feel and a better seat, and as a result will be a more confident, balanced rider.
On behalf of all the participants, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Gus for coming to the Cariboo, and sharing his skill and knowledge with us. We all came away with some new knowledge and skills and that is the ultimate accomplishment for any clinic.
For any of the participants, I would welcome your thoughts and feedback in the comments section below!
I would also like to thank Pete Mclennan for taking all the great pictures. I have CD's of ALL your pictures for each participant.




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