Lynda and Andy Freseth, well-known saddle seat instructors, recently visited William Woods University to host a three-day saddle seat training clinic for students and other interested riders. The clinic took place on Feb. 24-26.
The Freseths have owned and operated Hollow Haven Farms in Oconomowoc, Wis., together since their marriage in 1990, although Andy had worked there for its previous owner since 1976.
Together the pair has turned out multiple World Champions, including WGC CH Blackberry Delight, WGC CH Callaway’s Forecaster, WGC Callaway’s Pretty Penny, CH Absolutely Exquisite and CH A Magic Spell.
The clinic was a training clinic, so instead of just teaching students while they rode, they instructed them while long-lining and jogging the horses.
The clinic began on Friday night with a presentation in the large equestrian classroom, followed by a discussion led by the clinicians. A video of Hollow Haven’s past champions was shown, with a commentary by the Freseths.
Students were very interested and asked many questions, even staying an hour beyond the posted time to hear more from the clinicians. The pair discussed everything about the horse show world, from getting along with your clients to how to deal with rumors.
“I was always told that if they’re not talking about you, you’re doing something wrong,” said Lynda.
Andy spoke about the importance of building a network of friends in the industry, and how you can never let competition get out of hand.
“You can’t let it get to you; we’re all in this together. You need to focus on improving the industry,” he said.
On Saturday, the riding began. Two students worked one-on-one with Lynda and Andy in half hour increments. All students rode their horses on Saturday.
On Sunday most of the students came back with their horses tacked up either to long line or jog. Since the Freseths had seen the horses under saddle the day before, they knew just what exercises to show them in lines.
According to the Freseths, working them in long lines or in the jog cart consistently will then help improve their under saddle work.
“These are the same exercises we use with Callaway’s Forecaster,” Andy made a point of telling all the students. He then went on to explain that good horsemanship is good horsemanship, and if you can learn it on these school horses, you can use the same techniques with a world champion.
Liz Duggan (center), a William Woods University senior and clinic participant, with Andy and Lynda Freseth.