Cricket Hill was proud to host a two-day clinic with Shelly Francis November 9 & 10, seen on the right with 10-year-old Doktor, her mount on the silver and bronze medal U.S. Team showing at the Nation’s Cup this past summer!
Riders at all levels benefitted from Shelly’s training approach – straight forward, correct, and sympathetic to both horse and rider. For the last 20 years, Shelly has been among the top 12 U.S. riders, always training the horses herself from start to finish for owner Pat Stempel. Cricket Hill’s trainer, Kira Steines, who arranged the clinic, was Shelly’s assistant a few years ago and was one of only two who actually have ridden Shelly’s competition horses.
While the weather was very acceptable, half of the riders chose to ride inside the newly refurbished barn with Travelite footing! Others rode in the outside arena, like Kira on Delilah CH, Sue’s PSG/I-1 mare. This pair worked with Shelly on key collecting exercises to build strength and control, shown left doing pirouette canter on a 2-meter circle right around Shelly. All riders worked on issues important to them and their horses, learning new training techniques to improve their performance. Kira also rode Rio, at Kristin’s request, to get Shelly’s input on his new training program at Cricket Hill; he did very well both days. At the end, everybody was talking about the next clinic!
Clinic participants took turns keeping Shelly’s tiny travelling companion, Louie the Chihuahua warm, Tasha and Lula working up this wonderful blanket wrap. Riders and their families were treated to a special “farm to table” buffet at Sue & Art’s house, featuring many delectibles grown and prepared right at Cricket Hill.