A little about Leonore Claypool
About 6 years ago I happened upon a Working Equitation video on FB and I was absolutely amazed watching the talent of both the Iberian horse and rider speeding through the obstacles doing canter pirouettes and flying changes AND looking BEAUTIFUL! Back then I thought it would be such an incredible experience and just “parked” the idea. I had started riding in my 40s and already had my Dior, a 16.3HH, 2003 Chestnut Hanoverian mare and we were learning dressage. Unfortunately, she went lame in 2013 and was retired in 2015. It was a very sad day for us and an end to our PSG dream.
Well, at some point I decided my time wasn’t up so maybe a school master could help re-ignite that dream. That lead me to Fendi. He was here less than two weeks from Germany and I had just finished an incredible second ride on him when we had an accident. He spooked at a horse crashing on the other side of the arena wall and I had no reins and with my spurs digging in to stay on I was on a bouncing trampoline. Exhausted I decided to pitch off and fell badly. My injuries took a long time to heal and I was lucky to be walking again. In the mean- time my daughter took over riding Fendi and it was such a joy to see them dance together in the PSG arena. Dior was bringing me a foal so life was pretty good in my new role as a horse “grandma”.
BUT you know what they say about horsewomen – you can’t stop us! Eventually I missed having a riding partner and I decided I wanted to do lots of trail riding and maybe try western dressage. And that is what brought me to Patron. The first FB picture I saw of him I knew he was the one. He had a beautiful, soft eye that drew me to him. There were so many people who wanted this gelding – a QH ranch horse who had been working hard in a feed lot was very popular. I had to convince the owner that I would be his best partner and told her of all my dreams with him and she liked it! To be honest, it wasn’t easy re-starting riding. I was very afraid and my balance and strength were poor and the dressage critique in my brain was extremely disabling so our first year was slow and cautious. I looked for clinics to help us with desensitizing and horsemanship then I found Trish Hyatt’s, “An introduction to W.E” and it was fun! We found something we both could enjoy and our confidence together has grown so much. Thank goodness for the West Coast W.E. chapter and all the people making this sport grow to help riders and their horses. And isn’t it kind of funny how things work out? From watching that W.E. video 6 years ago and subtly sending out the “wish” to almost quitting riding and here we are today back in the saddle and loving W.E.
Here is my motto: It is never too late and you are never too old. Never give up!