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DiamondOakEventing
Feb. 23, 2010, 10:55 AM
Did anyone else see the ad for a working student at Karin Donckers yard in Belgium? What does anyone know about her? (besides that she is offering an amazing opportunity)

Blugal
Feb. 23, 2010, 12:05 PM
I think that would be amazing. She has done very well over the years. I wonder who she trains with?

IFG
Feb. 23, 2010, 01:08 PM
I know a girl who went and did a working student stint with her, and she had a great time.

Caroline Weber
Feb. 23, 2010, 11:12 PM
I contacted her last year when she also had an advert for a WS and never heard anything back...figured since I've worked for an "I" judge for a few years I would have at least gotten something, she must have been super crazy busy!

I think it would be a great opportunity though!

DiamondOakEventing
Feb. 24, 2010, 01:04 PM
Any idea what her teaching style is like? Has she ever done clinics in the US before?

Joan from Flatlands
Feb. 24, 2010, 04:09 PM
Denny's current barn manager worked for her back when she was riding here at Flatlands a few years ago. Sounded like she had an amazing time and learned tons but Im betting Denny can get her to add her thoughts here.

Joan from Flatlands

melody1
Mar. 2, 2010, 08:35 PM
Hi there,

Karin is great, and she has done very well over the years both in competition and in terms of building olympic caliber infrastructure from a family farm, which means she has a lot to offer in multiple dimensions. Lessons with her, truly, are amazing. You will work hard if you work for her, but she is fair and quick to praise and you will certainly reap exposure to the upper levels.

CW- I'm very surprised that you didn't hear back from her because she's normally very quick with email. That's really a shame. Perhaps you know how it is with the competition schedules, though. I would encourage you to write again or call if you are still interested. (Don't email the info@etv address, she doesn't know how to check it. Use her karindonckers.be contact info.)

She has certainly spent time in the US, but I don't think that she has taught outside of a private setting. Don't quote me on that, though.

If you'd like to talk about WS positions with her, please feel free to contact me via hans1327@yahoo.com as I don't check this very often. I'm always happy to talk about my time in Belgium. You can also post questions to her facebook fan group. She is not on there herself, but there are many people able to give info. Darryl Kinney (Tamarack) did work for her for three months several years back.

xxx

melody1
Mar. 2, 2010, 08:41 PM
PS I am posting on a friend's account, so truly email is the best way to reach me, if desired. I'll try to check back, though.

RL
Mar. 3, 2010, 04:51 PM
I was the one that just posted as Melody1...went and familiarized myself with the forum and gave in. Let me know if I can answer questions...
-RL

Bjargey
Sep. 23, 2013, 06:52 AM
Hi, I spent 8 days at Karin's and was extremely disappointed. The ad offers free meals 3x a day and I did not receive any meals nor did she buy any food. I spent 4 days eating toast and apples because there was absolutely nothing to eat and that was after working 12+ hours a day without any rest. As for the lessons, I never received any lessons from Karin herself, I got two lessons and sadly I cannot say I gained much from them. The house was completely disgusting, very dirty, mold, no heat, it was a rooted trailer that was very beaten down and gross. The entire atmosphere of the farm was very unpleasant, Karin was always very angry and tense and the only time you heard her speak was when she was yelling at someone, which ultimately left everyone working in a very upset mood and environment. While I was there, two girls arrived to stay for 3+ weeks and they were so disgusted they hopped back on a plane to go home within 24 hours of their stay. There were other girls on the farm who were also arranging to go home earlier than planned because they were disappointed with the their stay.

I was very disappointed in the attitude on the farm, the lack of food and comfortable living, as well as very little riding time and learning, and on top of that Karin's attitude.

RL
Sep. 23, 2013, 07:14 AM
Yikes, it sounds like things have changed since I was there in 2008-2009. That's a shame because I had a great experience -- truly nothing like you describe. We lived in the same house which wasn't glamorous, but we kept it very clean and there was a cleaner who came once a week on top of that. Breakfast food was stocked in our house and we had homecooked meals every night with Karin and her family in their house. We often chose to get our own lunch from the sandwich shop in town. My lessons were amazing and have shaped my riding and my approach to training. The attitude you experienced is the most surprising and disappointing. She expects consistent high quality work as befits her reputation, but she was just as quick to compliment as she was to say "not good enough" when I was there. I can only hope your negative experience is the result of not having a good team in the barn and a disappointing end to this season. Really sorry to hear you didn't enjoy yourself and learn from her wealth of experience.

belgium
Apr. 18, 2014, 02:33 PM
For I had to leave after a short stay of less than 2 weeks because of huge disappointment, I will shortly describe what I experienced: The house was cold and dirty and you are expected to share your room also with the opposite sex. Karin didnt give any lessons herself, and if you are riding at the same time with her in the arena, watch out as she expects you to know which way she suddenly wants to go with her horse. Prepare to be yelled at if you guess wrong. While I was there, she accidently kicked a horse in the eye when he was misbehaving while riding. Another student said she has never seen horses that scared before.

For food we had toast, but thats alright because you dont really have time to eat as even 30minutes lunch break was considered too long! work days were on average 11 hours, without any rest. There was very little riding time and learning. In the evenings we had nice meals prepared by Karins mother. The yard is run by students and karin doesnt seem to have any respect for them, she was often rude, impolite and yelling at people.

I'd strongly advise not to go there. Luckily I had a back up plan and just moved on to work at another stable in Belgium instead of taking the plane home. After sharing my experience with some other people, I learned many knew students who had left karins yard quickly because of the same reasons as I did.

Newby
Apr. 18, 2014, 11:05 PM
Interesting, Karin was the only rider I witnessed overtly "cheer" when another rider had a rail at WEG.

vineyridge
Apr. 19, 2014, 01:38 AM
Given that both negative posters have made a single post to slam her, there might be a vendetta going.

Not saying there is, but I'd take them with a grain of salt.

Philoctetes
Apr. 19, 2014, 03:55 PM
Given that both negative posters have made a single post to slam her, there might be a vendetta going.

Not saying there is, but I'd take them with a grain of salt.

I am wondering why you would choose to think that 2 people who posted of their experience would possibly indicate a vendetta worthy of a grain of salt? And the, basically, one person who posted positively, and under another persons account to start with, is given the red carpet? Is that because Ms. Donckers is an International Eventer?

Having been stalled next to, behind, in front of, and in the vicinity of Ms. Donckers on multiple occasions, I would hazard to say that where there is smoke, there is quite possibly FIRE. Since she only seems to ever have english speaking grooms working for her, it is quite extraordinary what one becomes aware of in the course of a weekend, and not only having to do with the current competition.

The above mentioned is not my only experience.

A working student position can be amazing, in the right place. It can also be a nightmare, in the wrong place.

vineyridge
Apr. 19, 2014, 04:07 PM
Actually, there were three positive posters, one citing Denny's barn manager. None of my business, but I don't want to think that Carl Bourkaert (sp) would put up with such an awful person because I have such high regard for him. Not that I know any of them.

Philoctetes
Apr. 19, 2014, 05:02 PM
You are correct about the three posters. I only replied "basically one" since only one person responded that had direct knowledge of the situation. And will the "glow" of an overseas working student position have tarnished a bit with age? Time and hindsight often give one 20-20 vision.

belgium
May. 13, 2014, 03:22 PM
Philoctetes, I can imagine the stuff you overhear and see if you've been stalled next to her. Her behaviour is far from professional.

I read Bjargey's post before going to Donckers' place and later on I hoped I'd taken it more seriously. When I spotted Donkers is looking for new working students, I decided to post my experience here. There's no vendetta, just want to prevent other people making the same mistake I did. I'm sure there are plenty of places where you actually learn something with decent living and working conditions. Like Philoctetes says, working student position can be amazing, in the right place. It can also be a nightmare, in the wrong place.

RL
May. 26, 2014, 11:30 PM
I stand by what I posted nearly five years ago (and I have been back to her stable twice since...and created an account). "Glow" has not "tarnished" with age, but that's about as far as I want to get with all the insinuations here. Shame to hear others did not have the same experience that I had.