In August, I had the opportunity to ride with Jim Armstrong at Sky View Ranch near Martinsville, IN. Jim is a Grand Prix dressage trainer and competitor and I had heard very good reviews about him from some of my photography clients. I’ve been a little busy since then, but I wanted to share some of the photos from my ride. I spent the weekend down there and had the opportunity to ride 3 days in a row. I must say, it was a wise decision. Friday’s ride was rough, but Saturday and Sunday just got better and better. I’m quite pleased with the results that I had over the weekend and there were a lot of things for me to think about.
In short, while being very straight to the point, Jim was also kind. He didn’t raise his voice or berate any of the riders. I didn’t expect that he would, but then I generally audit clinicians before I spend the money to ride with them. I didn’t do that in this case, so I wasn’t really sure what I was going to get myself into. He also has a witty sense of humor, which I appreciated throughout the weekend. Most importantly though, Jim was very kind to the horses. He had their best interest in mind and a very good eye for helping us riders out.
The overall experience was very pleasant. I’m on a pretty budget, so weekends like this are a rare treat. Jewel had a gorgeous, airy stall in the main barn and I had a beautiful guest room in the house. Although I was a newcomer to this group, I was immediately made to feel welcome and included in all the weekend’s activities; including dining out Friday evening, breakfast and a delicious home-cooked meal on Saturday. It was especially nice for me to get away from the kids for a weekend. It was my second weekend away from them since their births!! And although this was a birthday gift, in the scheme of dressage clinics, this was quite affordable. For three lessons, the stall and my share of Jim’s airfare, I paid $450 for the weekend. As I mentioned, I was graciously given a beautiful guest room at no additional cost, which greatly helped to reduce my expenses. All in all, I had a really fabulous weekend and I feel that it was worth
Although just working on first level work, we had one of our best rides on Sunday (the last of the three days). Here are some of the photos from that ride.