Cody Wooten, an Equine Science major in his junior year at Centenary College in Hackettstown, NJ, is participating in the Horsemastership Training Session this year, and has graciously agreed to share with us some of his thoughts and experiences over the course of the clinic. Cody qualified for his spot in the clinic by finishing second at the 2014 USHJA Emerging Athletes National Training Session held in November.
Here are some of Cody’s thoughts on Day One:
General impressions: I had a great day today on day one. So many top professionals talked to us on a lot of topics regarding the strengths and weaknesses of American riding. My biggest takeaway from today was the idea that no matter what the horse is doing you need to have constant, steady contact and make it the horse’s idea to supple up and give in to the contact.
On his performance: My strengths today were some of the lateral exercises because my horse is very schooled on that. I think the biggest thing I need to work on is keeping my hands higher to have a straight line from bit to elbow.
On his horse: My horse’s barn name is Adessa, she is a Dutch bred jumper/equitation mare. She did the 1.40m in Europe before being imported to America. She is great and super comfortable and broke on the flat. She was generously given to me by Amanda Flint [of Volition Farm], and I have had a great time working with her so far. She loves apples and she is really sweet on the ground.
On Beezie Madden’s flatwork demo: I learned a lot from watching Beezie ride. She is truly amazing and you can learn so much from watching her. I especially loved how soft she was on the horse while still maintaining the correct amount of contact, and the horse went so beautifully. I also loved how “on the aids” the horse was and how easily it did the lateral work and flying changes while Beezie remained still and made it look effortless!
A huge HJU thank you to Cody for his willingness to share his experiences with us!