Monday, June 8, 2009

6/6/09 - O'Connor Clinic Begins

Well, well, well. Today we had our orientation for the O'Connor Clinic, held at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, VA. We worked on learning each others names, camp style, and introduced ourselves to the group. There are 18 of us in this session. While some participants are still in middle & high schools, many moms and dads came to help as well as some auditors. I seem to be the only college kid...decked out in my Hokie colors to boot. We met all of the staff that David and Karen brought along, and I noted the many horses and doggies that tagged along as well. From the start, the O'Connor Event Team seemed to be really just one big, huge, horsey family. =) We then went up to the Pavillion on top of the XC hill and had a fabulous dinner and visited. Horsey terminology was dropped left and one batted an eyelash. It is our equine interests that brought us together, and I realized how much I really do enjoy being in the presence of horse people.

Over plate full of some fruit salad and fried chicken leg, I was relaxing in the cool summer breeze effortlessly brushing across the hills and visiting with two girls from a northern Virginia barn. As we exchanged commentary on our past riding experiences, I just about jumped out of my jodhpurs [figuratively speaking, of course] as Karen O'Connor plopped down with a plate of food across the picnic table from me. I worked on containing my enthusiasm slash trying not to make any sudden movements across from the same woman that I have read about in Practical Horseman multiple times, who has competed in four Olympic Games and has been named USEA's Female Rider of the Year ten times! Deep breaths.....honestly though, she was quite normal. We all enjoyed some music, a meal, and each others company. As highly as I respect the O'Connors, they [including their awesome staff] were also stellar hosts for the evening. And so my first experience being in such close proximity to Olympians went well.

I would like to end with a quote someone told me on the phone that night which pretty much sums everything up: "Well Maggie, they do put on their pants in the morning the same as you; one leg at a time."

1 comment:

  1. I love there camp...and hannah is my trainer