View Full Version : Jeff Cook Clinic - proper winter attire ?

Jan. 8, 2010, 01:25 PM
My daughter is doing a Jeff Cook clinic this weekend and I had heard he is a stickler for being properly turned out. Can she wear a down jacket as it is pretty cold and her clinic starts at 8 am or just a shirt with sweater and brave the cold? Would a down vest be okay? Or is that a no go as well?

Jan. 8, 2010, 01:49 PM
I would think a down vest would be OK as long as its fitted enough to show her body position/posture. A down sweater would be perfect in this situation, it has the warmth of down without the bulk and your entire torso is covered. Patagonia makes a great one. I think Eddie Bauer and LL Bean also have them.

Jan. 8, 2010, 02:35 PM
I have ridden with Jeff several times and while he is traditional in his views, he is not going to mind a rider being dressed warmly enough to focus on the instruction he is providing!

A turtleneck/sweater/vest is perfectly appropriate with properly fitting breeches and tall boots. I would suggest having spurs and a stick as Jeff is from the GM school and believes in being prepared. ;)

He is also a traditionalist when it comes to tack, btw. I was the only one in my last clinic with him to use regular fillis irons and he mentioned to the other riders that he much preferred them to all the "high tech" bendy/plastic varieties.

One of my favorite Jeff-isms is, "If it's new and trendy, you can be pretty sure it is wrong."

He will check the rider's tack before each session and will suggest adjustments if he thinks they are warranted. (Be prepared to have stirrups lengthened for flatwork!)

He is a TERRIFIC teacher and I bet your daughter will have a great time.

Jan. 8, 2010, 02:45 PM
I would suggest having spurs and a stick as Jeff is from the GM school and believes in being prepared.

We are going to have to dig up a stick because I don't think my daughter has used one in years so that is a good thing to know. And she has high tech bendy stirrups but don't have time to really change that now.

I saw those Patagonia down sweaters and almost bought one but because it was online I wasn't sure if it would be puffy or not. I think I'm going to order her one since you have it and it does work. She can wear something thin like that at shows as well.

Jan. 8, 2010, 03:21 PM
I wish I had one, but I did buy one as a gift for trainer, at Lucassb's suggestion. ;) Its definitely not puffy like most down garments, I guess that is why its called a sweater.

Jan. 8, 2010, 08:07 PM
I wouldn't worry too much about what she's wearing and go get a pair of non-bendy stirrups. Anyone that worked under GM will not be a fan of these, since bendy stirrups are right up there with draw-reins on George's list of no-go items.

If it's freezing cold, I'm sure Jeff will be understanding of a puffy coat or vest in the beginning of the clinic. Within a few minutes after the warm-up she'll be so warm she won't even need a puffy coat anymore.

Jan. 8, 2010, 08:40 PM
Actually I agree. I'd get a pair of Fillis irons ... $30 from Dover or Smartpak or your local tack shop, probably. There is a reason that Jeff and the other GM types prefer them, and it has to do with building the proper, secure leg on a horse that you need to progress.

Jan. 8, 2010, 08:43 PM
I think I have a pair of Fillis irons in the garage - I'll just have to dig around for them :)

Jan. 8, 2010, 10:12 PM

Jan. 8, 2010, 11:20 PM
I rode with him for an afternoon in October.

Stick and spurs, as mentioned. Plain, old school tack.

Make sure your noseband is sung and throatlatch isn't floppy. :yes:

As for the cold, I'm a huge fan of hot chillys brand long underwear. Under a wool sweater and a fitted jacket (windbreaker or fitted fleece).

Jan. 9, 2010, 12:25 AM
I've ridden in only one Jeff Cook clinic, which I liked a lot -- just haven't returned only because I haven't had a horse to take. But I did have the "high-tech" black plastic stirrups then and he specifically said they were okay for me (older, experienced adult) but he didn't like beginners/novices using them. I did make sure to have spurs and stick, neither of which I typically used with that horse. For dress, I just try to make sure whatever I wear allows the clinician to see my body position so try to avoid bulky or long coats. My favorite cold weather thing now are those foot warmers that you can buy -- open the package and put them in your boots and they keep your feet warm for several hours.

And my best piece of advice for the clinic -- pay attention and do what you are told. He says gallop such and such fence, you gallop. Or else you'll be told to stop (and you better do that!), and go to the end of the line while the next participant gallops to the fence. Only happened once to me, but you better believe I GALLOPED on my next turn!!

Jan. 9, 2010, 04:59 PM
Not to derail but what exactly to the bendy stirrups do that is so horrible besides alleviate ankle pain? They don't really change position much (at least haven't changed my leg, etc.?). I find they overall impact very subtle at best.

Jan. 9, 2010, 10:35 PM
The first day of the clinic went well. The only thing that Jeff had to say about stirrups was in regard to the stirrup pads. He doesn't like these:


Fortunately my daughter was the only one who did not have them! He said that they hamper good heel down position. I never even noticed until today that everyone had them on their stirrups. What are they even for?

Jan. 9, 2010, 11:51 PM
Jeff is the BEST teacher you will ever ride with...I have ridden with him for a long time through clinics and lessons....All the advice is very good. Have a great time...