Clinics: Thoughts on participating & auditing- Getting the Most for your Money
New ideas and training methods
Different perspective about issues
To avoid pitfalls of oversights by a too familiar instructor
To hear things said a different way
To get another opinion
Potential exposure for horse in new location
Suggestions from trainer
After Auditing a previous clinic with the same clinician
Articles in Magazines & Internet
Clinician’s TrainingFind out the background of the clinician: Not just in their own accomplishments but their experience as a quality level instructor
Rating a Clinician
Do they treat riders individually?
Are they quick to make statements?
Are they open minded?
Do they listen to the rider?
Does their teaching style accommodate the level and experience of both horse and rider?
Do they teach using detailed and clear explanations?
Do they want to “fix” the problem by getting on the horse immediately?
Getting the Most out of a Clinic-Personally
Dress in light colors (all black is hard to see).
Do not use new or different tack on the day of the clinic.
Do clean your tack and horse ahead of time.
Find out if you should be warmed up before your session.
Do not make excuses…
Get plenty of sleep the night before.
If driving to a location get clear directions ahead of time.
Getting the Most out of a Clinic: Hints
If you can- bring a mega-phone or some hearing device in the case you cannot hear the clinician.
It is a waste to spend the money and to not hear half of what is being said.
Wear a watch.
Be on time.
Don’t forget your checkbook and pay all fees BEFORE your first session.
Watch other people’s sessions if possible. You can learn by watching other people. It can be easier to watch someone who is having the same issues as you and see how they fix them, as opposed to when you are in the saddle and are trying to address multiple issues as you are learning from the clinician.
Getting the Most of a Clinic- Videotaping
Videotape your ride- make sure the video can clearly record the clinician’s voice.
Bring a friend to film.
Have the person filming “figure out” the camera before the clinic and the type of taping you like.
Bring extra batteries and film.
Getting the Most out of a Clinic: Afterwards
Write down the main issues addressed in your session, how they were addressed, and any other key points.
Watch your video a few days later to see with a “clear” mind your ride and the clinician’s instruction.
Pre-cautionsBe aware that one clinic lacking in quality and respectful instruction can easily digress a rider and horse rather than helping them progress.
To have a positive experience you should remember that it is okay to not agree with everything being said.
Take what you want and leave what you don’t like.
Just because an issue seems to be fixed in the clinic does not make it permanently resolved.
It is Your Right to Say No
JUST BECAUSE A CLINICIAN…
MAY BE WELL KNOWN
HAS A LOT OF RESPECT WITHIN THE EQUINE COMMUNITY
IS OF INTERNATIONAL CALIBRE
IS LIKED BY YOUR TRAINER, FRIENDS, ETC.
DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE INSTRUCTOR WILL BE RIGHT FOR YOU.
You should always feel safe, comfortable and positive with what is being asked of you.
IF AT ANY TIME YOU FEEL OVERWHELMED OR UNCOMFORTABLE-STOP IMMEDIATELY.
Trust your instincts- don’t do something you do not want to do- speak up.
Most people who have had bad experiences is because they did not stop when they knew they should have.
Potential Positive Experiences to Gain
New ideas and techniques to improve you and/or your horse
Possible changes in tack and equipment
A reality check
Problem awareness, explanation and clarity