If you have ever had the pleasure of meeting Andrea Udal, you know that being around her is truly a breath of fresh air. Her smile is inviting and she always leaves you feeling better than before, whether it was a minute long interaction, or an hour long audit of a clinic.
The Saskatchewan native began riding when she was just five. She spent many days in the bleachers at her sisters AQHA shows, and eventually went around the ring, only to find that showing was not her cup of tea. Finally when Andrea was 13, she began barrel racing. (lets all take a moment to say, ‘Hallelujah!’)
Within the last twelve months there have been numerous sold out U1 Clinics, and for good reason; Andrea is an outstanding horsewoman and has a winning recipe. Over the years, she has chalked up many accomplishments, including but not limited to:
2015 Canadian High Point Futurity winner Streakin Ta Corona
CCA Finals Qualifier (with minimum amount of rodeos)
Talented Streak Fame
-CBHI Futurity Champ
-Northland Futurity Champ
Pepnics French Gal
-2017 Reserve Canadian High Point Champ
-Glacier Chaser Futurity Champ
-Peace Country Futurity Champ
-SBRA Futurity Champ
-Reserve CBHI Futurity Champ
If you haven’t made it to a U1 clinic just yet, or you have and just can’t get enough, I hope you enjoy this Q&A session between LCB & Andrea Udal.
Q. What are people learning in your clinics, and your advanced clinics?
My clinics are based on teaching your horse to be soft and resistant free. I work on getting good control of your horses back feet and teaching them to have good posture and drive from behind. Teaching people how to run all the buttons on your horse. If I am going to drive a Mercedes I want to know how to run everything not just the brake and the gas petal. Keep a horses mind soft so that they retain what you teach them.
Q. Who else is teaching at the U1 clinics?
I want a U1 clinic to be something that is ongoing and always putting the bar higher. I love the cow horse thing. I love having my horses super light on the front end and broke through the rib cage. I find that the cow horse discipline works great from my horses. I work with Taylor Douglas and Roni Swales to bring their great knowledge of this aspect to my clinics.
Colby is one of the most fierce competitors in the arena. She bring so much to the table in her mind set, how to be prepared in the rodeo setting and helping me to get across the horsemanship and barrel work.
Michelle has been a “game changer” in my life. She had really helped me to be mentally tough. Whether it is in the arena or every day life. Being able to walk into the arena with confidence and appreciation for the sport. I believe a horse is a reflection of you. She has totally helped me to believe in myself which then has filter down into my horses. Horses are such a gift and we need to treasure their energy.
Q. What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I love it. When I started this venture 4 yrs ago I never thought it would be where it is today. Watching horses lick their lips after softening and see girls make a smoking run with tears in their eyes after never gets old. I really truly see a difference when I go to a jackpot and seeing a student working their horse and it is soft and responsive.
Q. What does your successful training program look like?
I want my horses soft and between my lines, in my hands put not pushing. Drawback in the turn stay on their hocks stick and leave with softness through the ribs.
I like my horses to want to run. I don’t make them. Everything I do on my colts I am constantly watching what their ears/atlas is doing. Reward for soft not for resistant.
Q. How would you describe your horses style?
I want them to run in confident make sure they stay engaged until they get to the 3/4 turn then stick it and leave. Smooth is fast.
Q. What do you focus on in your time only’s at a futurity/derby?
Soft soft soft. Having my horses super relaxed in the turn. Not a time to train it is a time to reinforce confidence.
Q. During their futurity year, how often are the on the pattern during the week?
I work my horses about 4 times a week. I am a very short and sweet kind of trainer. My rides are generally 20-30 min long. When your not training your untraining.
Q. When do you get your colts started?
I get them started at 2 real training starts at 3.
Q. How broke do you like them to be before starting on the pattern?
I don’t start them on the pattern until they can do all the fundamentals in drills.
Q. What bloodlines do you look for when shopping for a prospect?
I like cow cross with run. I am a dollars and cents kind of person and if I have to put a ton of time in it doesn’t make sense to me.
Q.What confirmation traits do you shy away from, and which draw you in?
I really look at conformation more than bloodlines. I like a really clean neck and throat. Collection is everything to me so that is why I focus on throat latch. Double swirls are something I have been keeping an eye on also.
Q. Are there any up and coming studs you think people should pay more attention to, in Canada or the States?
There are so many.
Q. What is the best advice you’ve ever been given, whether it be barrel racing, rodeo, riding, or life advice?
There are so many things that have played a part:
Doug McRae had told me to stay in the middle and sit quiet. I really focus on that with my colts.
Sharon Camarillo was one who told me I did not use enough outside rein. I argued with her until a couple years ago and the light bulb comes on.
Joyce Loomis was big on cadence. True softness comes with cadence
Michelle Davey, focus on building your tribe be around the people that want to be on your team not critique it.
Honestly teaching clinics has taught me so darn much. I am so thankful everyday.
*Thank you to Andrea for taking the time to do this interview with LCB, and to SJ Originals for these photos.