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View Full Version : Charles de Kunffy - ride or audit?



SillyHorse
Aug. 27, 2009, 12:51 PM
There's a Charles de Kunffy clinic in my area in October. It's quite pricey, but I guess I could swing it if I thought it would be worth it. I've never ridden in or audited a CdK clinic, and would appreciate any thoughts on whether it's worth it to ride. Auditing is an option, less pricy but not cheap either. I want to get the most bang for my buck.

Horse is pretty solid 2nd level, schooling changes and half steps, if that makes a difference.

So the question is ride, audit, neither?

blackhorse6
Aug. 27, 2009, 01:59 PM
It has been a while since I "audited" a CD clinic.. I really enjoyed it though and would love to ride with him if he ever comes my way.. He can be fairly intense but is also incredibly knowlegable. He first and foremost has the horses well being in mind. :yes:

angel
Aug. 27, 2009, 04:37 PM
Ride. By all means, ride! He is not getting any younger! Lucky you, to have this great opportunity. He is a fantastic teacher! Be sure to get your lessons videod because you will want to be able to review them.

Dressage Art
Aug. 27, 2009, 04:40 PM
He is pricey? I remember him being $60 per local lesson... I would be open to do both, but I prefer to audit first before riding with anybody.

Retropony
Aug. 27, 2009, 06:07 PM
Ride! He won't be teaching forever! Everyday I draw on something I learned when I rode with him.

Strictly Classical
Aug. 27, 2009, 06:10 PM
Without a doubt I would ride with CDK! I have cliniced with him once as well as one of his students, Jessica Jo Tate, on several occasions. Both are super fantastic teachers, and well worth the money spent.

Classical DQ
Aug. 27, 2009, 06:53 PM
There is no doubt that you should ride!!! And take your notebook!! He expects and you should want to watch everyone's ride. He usually includes a lecture as well! I began riding with him in '96, was a participant in his instructor program that he taught on the East Coast and currently train with his proteges' Richard Williams and Jessica Jo (JJ) Tate. He has a wealth of knowledge and is a very articulate speaker! I wish all of my students could have the experience of riding with him!!! So....go for it!!!!!!!

Mike Matson
Aug. 27, 2009, 08:42 PM
RIDE!! I rode with Charles for 8 years in twice yearly clinics (4 days each) and everyday I still use what he taught me. The thing that distinguishes Charles from just about every other clinician I've seen is he is a TEACHER who has superb communication skills to help you become a better rider for your horse.

BaroquePony
Aug. 27, 2009, 09:05 PM
Absolutely ride if you can, and then put your horse up quick (or wrangle someone into cooling out and putting up your horse for you) and watch the rest of the rides.

Watching DeKunffy ride is a lesson in and of its own. He has a knack and you can learn alot from just watching him work a horse (of any background or level).

bird4416
Aug. 27, 2009, 09:07 PM
Does he still wear white gloves?:)

rodawn
Aug. 27, 2009, 09:59 PM
Absolutely no question - RIDE in it, honey, and whilst riding, make like a sponge and absorb everything. The added bonus is you get to audit everyone else's rides!! Ask if he will let you video your particular lesson so you can review it frequently.

Piaffing
Aug. 27, 2009, 10:17 PM
I rode in one years ago and he even got on my horse.

Alagirl
Aug. 28, 2009, 07:49 AM
as I recal Lizathenag has organized clinics with him in the past. she can give you the lowdown on it. (she loffs him)

ippo
Aug. 28, 2009, 08:58 AM
I received a letter from Charles last year announcing his retirement. This clinic may be a very rare opportunity. His emphasis on the gymnastic development of your horse will teach you how to keep your horse very sound for many years. P.S.- Don't tell him any stories of "Little Brownie" and his cute barn habits. That'll send him over the edge. Enjoy!

DQonaDraft
Aug. 28, 2009, 09:26 AM
Just adding to the rest...RIDE!!! and stay around to watch all of the other rides.

I have taken so many excellent notes from watching his clinics over the years. I still go back and review them frequently. I had the chance to ride with him last year and it was awesome! He expects the rider to work hard, LISTEN to what he says and DO IT! But, he has a very dry, sometimes sarcastic sense of humor that is absolutely hysterical. I thoroughly enjoyed my lessons with him.

arnika
Aug. 30, 2009, 12:37 PM
CdK has always been my favorite of clinicians to ride with or audit. Can't add any more other than to increase the "ride" votes and agree with the above comments. He definitely puts the horse's well being first and is superb at communicating his ideas. His humor is very dry however not meanspirited at all.

equestrian72
Aug. 30, 2009, 04:10 PM
Another vote to ride in the clinic. I would give anything to be able to ride in one of his clinics. He is amazing.

EqTrainer
Aug. 30, 2009, 04:12 PM
Ride, but if you cannot ride, definately audit. It will be worthwhile either way. I also use things I've learned from him, every day.

Classical DQ
Aug. 30, 2009, 04:15 PM
Just wondering...how much is it to ride in the clinic?

Equi88
Aug. 30, 2009, 05:39 PM
I guess it's the one in Ohio....?
A 40 min. private lesson is $250, 40 min. semi- private is $150.
I'll be auditing :)

blackhorse6
Aug. 30, 2009, 06:18 PM
Can anyone tell me where in Ohio? Would like to audit but not certain of the location.. Is it opened to all auditors? Thanks!:D

lizathenag
Aug. 30, 2009, 10:52 PM
ride.

you might not get a chance again and I promise you that you will kick yourself if you don't.

I still get to ride with him several times a year (because evidently I was very good in some past life).

some things are worth the price. this is one of them.

drop me a pm and I will send you my phone and we can chat if you like.

I might not be able to ride in October myself due to family and hoof issues but if I possibly can, I will.

Forte
Aug. 30, 2009, 11:35 PM
As with any clinician, I would audit first and try to determine whether the clinician is in line with your training philososphy and goals.

lizathenag
Aug. 31, 2009, 12:13 AM
generally good advice, but CdeK is not any clinician. . .!

Foxtrot's
Aug. 31, 2009, 01:13 AM
His book "The Ethics and Passions of Dressage" is a great little book full of pearls. It is one of those 'must have on every horseman's bookshelf' books.

Wish I could have the chance to audit.

Equi88
Aug. 31, 2009, 08:11 AM
The Ohio clinic would be in Aurora, east of Cleveland.
This is the website: http://www.topline-stables.com/Contact%20Us.htm

Cold Spring Farm
Aug. 31, 2009, 08:24 AM
Just ride! Call it an early Christmas present to yourself, if you must!...but ride.

I used to live near Charles and would ride with him a few times a month. Sometimes he would even come down to my place for lunch and would work with me and my horse. Geesh -- in later years, I am realizing more and more just how lucky I was on that one!

Anyhow -- he is a wonderful man and I can still hear him offering his advice and wisdom as if it was yesterday.

Annie B
Aug. 31, 2009, 09:37 AM
He is worth whatever they are charging!
I wish he would come and teach again near me,it was hands down the best clinic I ever went to.

Forte
Aug. 31, 2009, 11:24 AM
I was trying to be dipolomatic. I did audit one clinic (probably more than 10 years ago!) and I did not think that his methodology was in line with my own. A friend of mine who rode in the clinic felt the same way. Not saying he's a bad clinician, just didn't jive with the other trainers I ride with. It's just always a good idea to audit first, particularly when the clinic costs a lot of money and may require significant travel time for the horse.

Tiligsmom
Aug. 31, 2009, 11:39 AM
I was trying to be dipolomatic. I did audit one clinic (probably more than 10 years ago!) and I did not think that his methodology was in line with my own. A friend of mine who rode in the clinic felt the same way. Not saying he's a bad clinician, just didn't jive with the other trainers I ride with. It's just always a good idea to audit first, particularly when the clinic costs a lot of money and may require significant travel time for the horse.

Forte - very good advice. Not all riders/auditors jive with CDK, so unless you're certain you align with him, his philosophy and practice, Forte's advice is prudent.

mickeydoodle
Aug. 31, 2009, 12:32 PM
Have to agree fully with the above post. No clinican is for everyone.

grayarabs
Aug. 31, 2009, 03:43 PM
Ride - and before the clinic read his books.

arnika
Aug. 31, 2009, 10:55 PM
grayarabs, excellent point!