Joseph Murphy is one of Ireland’s leading event riders. He recently taught a clinic in Southern Pines, NC.
Day 1 of the clinic was at Tall Wood farm in Vass, NC. The clinic took place in a big grass field with a bank complex and every kind of portable jump you can imagine.
Groups warmed up over canter cavalleti, and right away you had to adjust your horse's stride to ride through smoothly. Small fences followed, and Joseph kept building up the exercises so that they became progressively more technical. He incorporated the bank complex in several of the lines, offset verticals at extremely severe angles, and a variety of skinnies.
Joseph wants to see the rider make a difference, and builds courses that require thinking and adjusting. As long as you are safe, he isn't too concerned with how it looks, and you get a lot of positive feedback if you really ride.
Fences stayed pretty small, but the technicality was off the charts.
Rocky was behind the leg for some of the questions, and holding the line was so important that I was afraid to use the crop. Lesson learned that I need to get Rocky more responsive to the leg.
Day 2 was at Winter Book Farm in Southern Pines. Joseph took advantage of the many ditch options, and had us doing bending lines, corners, and all kinds of technical questions. We moved on to the water and jumped that several ways.
Joseph stressed getting the correct canter for what you were jumping, and keeping the horse in front of the leg. As the horse and rider answered the question correctly, things got progressively more difficult and in some cases the jumps got bigger.
Rocky was more forward on xc day, and I was even told we had too much canter a few times. We definitely gained confidence and I am looking forward to our next event.
Clinic organizer Erin Bovais is planning to have more clinics with Joseph.