As the time draws near to the 66th Annual Buffalo International Horse Show, the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center has been filled with nothing short of anticipation and excitement. Riders gathered on August 24, 2012 for a three-day session horsemanship clinic with Melanie Smith Taylor and Mindy Bower.
The clinic welcomed riders from beginner, intermediate and advanced levels, providing riders with opportunities to gain knowledge and further experience with their riding skills, as well as to extend their understanding of the horse itself.
The clinics' goals revolved around the students becoming more complete in their knowledge of horsemanship both on the ground and mounted. Melanie Smith Taylor is a renowned rider, instructor and clinician. She has ridden to the bronze medal finish on the United States Olympic team, has won the World Cup finals, does the NBC commentary for the Olympic Games, and created the TaylorMade Horsemanship Foundation, which has started clinics throughout the country.
The 2012 Mindy Bower and Melanie Taylor Clinic consisted of 24 riders split into three groups of eight. Bower and Taylor worked in conjunction, teaching each group over the three-day duration. Bower worked with the riders for the first day, beginning with the basics of groundwork. For the consecutive two remaining days, Taylor and Bower worked in tandem to conduct two-hour sessions, giving constructive criticism with flat work and over fences.
Susan Schoellkopf offered the BTRC facility for the Emerging Athletes Program last year; however, she asked Bower and Taylor to return to the BTRC for a 2012 clinic where she could offer their expertise for interested parties. "Melanie is the ultimate horsewoman. She teaches so well and works with individual problems combining horse and rider. She and Mindy have worked out a system of great horsemanship. Mindy's groundwork is so important to good riding."
The five-day schedule features highlights for everyone to enjoy, including $25,000 in class prize money with $13,000 worth of hunter and jumper classics for children, adults, juniors, amateur-owners, ponies and professionals.
Operating out of Buffalo, New York, BTRC is a non-profit organization that promotes and teaches horseback riding - noted for its social and therapeutic benefits - to disadvantaged and emotionally challenged children. Since 1990, the center has provided the experience of riding and caring for horses to children with a variety of disabilities. The program has expanded steadily and currently serves more than 170 children annually.
For more information regarding the 66th Annual Buffalo International Horse Show, please visit www.thebtrc.org or call (716) 877-9295. Entries may be faxed to (716) 877-4001.
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