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View Full Version : Hosting a Dressage Clinic... what would make you come?



2ndyrgal
Sep. 22, 2010, 05:25 PM
Here's my idea,
Since the whole boarding thing isn't working for various reasons, (mostly me) and I have empty stalls and a great big honking indoor, I'm thinking dressage clinics. I have a great, international rider/trainer. She is very reasonable on her rates. Since it's a one day clinic, and she only plans to do a maximum of 8 sessions (one of which is me), I plan to offer a free stall for the day, so no one has to leave early or leave Trigger in the trailer, a free lunch for riders, $5 lunch for auditors and no charge to audit. That way, all the riders can watch nearly all the rides as well, which is usually as good as your own ride in my mind. I'm planning it for a Sunday, and trying to schedule around everything (or nearly everything) in the area.

Would those little perks make you come, and what dressage "calendars" do folks go to, to find out what's going on where? What else would make you put your horse on the trailer and come over?

Darko
Sep. 22, 2010, 06:11 PM
I love when clinics offer the option of having your ride videotaped. It is a great tool to go back over. And having enough seating for auditors is a plus too! Best of luck.

joiedevie99
Sep. 22, 2010, 06:38 PM
I pick clinics primarily based on the trainer- what results have they had, do I believe their general philosophy to be similar to my own/my trainers such that it will compliment what I'm learning at home, what is their reputation as a trainer/clinician, etc. My only other main concern is whether it conflicts with a show I planned to attend, or is immediately before or after (such that it conflicts with pre-show prep or planned post-show rest).

As for how I find out, I look at three different local GMO calendars, and the rest come through direct email, or email forwarded by my trainer.

dwblover
Sep. 22, 2010, 07:05 PM
The clinic sounds lovely, the extra perks are very nice! I find that a lot of times clinics don't give enough information about the trainer. Make up some flyers with a bio of everything the trainer has accomplished plus a brief description of their training philosophy. A youtube link to them riding in a show or even just training would be excellent!! I think people are hesitant to ride with someone they are not familiar with, so give them a lot of info so they feel like they have an idea of who this trainer is. Best of luck!!!

InsideLeg2OutsideRein
Sep. 22, 2010, 07:08 PM
I'm not in your area, but it's primarily about the trainer. The free stalls are a great perk.

oldernewbie
Sep. 22, 2010, 07:32 PM
Try to organize the clinic so that it optimizes what people can learn outside their own ride. Since I am a newbie, I don't get as much from watching the GP people (although I enjoy it) as I do from watching someone closer to my own level. So if you can stagger the levels so that a newbie can watch more newbie people and so on, it would make it more meaningful, seems like. Also, make sure that anyone who is not riding can hear the clinician. Some of the clinics I've been to have not been amplified and that obviously makes it harder to hear.

I also second the idea of a complete bio of the clinician. I have had the privilege of riding with some really great people who I found out about *after* the clinic - not that it mattered, they were still very helpful - but remember some of us green beans really don't know anything about anybody.

Hey - I just thought of something else - have a clinic that's just for people new to dressage. Pick a clinician who works really well with us newbies and make a day of it. Could be quite interesting, and unique, at least for what I've seen in my vast 9 months in the dressage world. :winkgrin:

mickeydoodle
Sep. 22, 2010, 11:34 PM
Hi there,

I am in Lexington, (KY) and bring Christopher Hickey (GOLD MEDAL X 3 MOST RECENT PANAMS) who is an exceptionally gifted instructor at all levels. I provide a very good lunch (I am a really good cook if i do say so myself) for $5 for auditors, included for riders.

He will be here Oct 16/17 if anyone is interested in auditing.

Or, I have one ride (ON SUNDAY) if anyone would like to ride.

lots of people come to audit, some stay for lunch- the only rule is bring your own chair, stay fairly quiet, do not clap

ec412
Sep. 23, 2010, 12:41 AM
I think your clinic sounds great! I love the incentives, and if it was a trainer that I was interested in riding in, and was able to work it into my schedule, I would be there!

tempichange
Sep. 23, 2010, 07:42 AM
Try to organize the clinic so that it optimizes what people can learn outside their own ride. Since I am a newbie, I don't get as much from watching the GP people (although I enjoy it) as I do from watching someone closer to my own level. So if you can stagger the levels so that a newbie can watch more newbie people and so on, it would make it more meaningful, seems like. Also, make sure that anyone who is not riding can hear the clinician. Some of the clinics I've been to have not been amplified and that obviously makes it harder to hear.

What you described isn't a clinic, it is a symposium. In a clinic it's about the rider's learning and developing, in symposium it's about the rider becoming an extension of the teacher's methods.

If you do not understand what's going on, ask a question. The format should be open enough to ask one when it is appropriate.

I agree with the sound, in the most recent that we hosted we caught feedback from the wireless mic, working on upgrading so the sound quality can come through better.

meupatdoes
Sep. 23, 2010, 01:14 PM
I really like the idea that stalls are included.

I recently signed up for a clinic that was over $300 per horse, and was cheerily told, "And stalls are $15 a piece!"

Seriously?
You can't include the $15 stall when I am forking out almost $700 here? :rolleyes::rolleyes:

I am tempted to research those panels endurance riders use to create outdoor stalls for their horses. They would fit nicely in the bed of my truck...quick easy setup on the grass outside the trailer...bucket in each with a few flakes of hay and voila.

mickeydoodle
Sep. 23, 2010, 02:33 PM
I understand about not wanting to pay extra for stalls- but in my case I bring in the clinician but do not own the barn. The fee per ride is based on the clinician's day fee, the fee the farm charges, the airfare (this time it is $425 for airfare) and the parking fees at the clinician's home airport. I take that total and divide it by the number of rides- my ride included. I do not get a free ride, I fork out exactly what everyone else does. I usually lose more than $100 because I provide food, drinks at the clinic and I feed the clinician, take him/her out to dinner, have them as a guest in my home.

The farm charges seperately for the stalls- I have no control over their charges. I board at the farm, and so do several others who ride in the clinic. If I paid the farm myself for the stall for those who do not board at the farm, it would just increase the cost of the clinic that much.

oldernewbie
Sep. 23, 2010, 02:41 PM
What you described isn't a clinic, it is a symposium. In a clinic it's about the rider's learning and developing, in symposium it's about the rider becoming an extension of the teacher's methods.

If you do not understand what's going on, ask a question. The format should be open enough to ask one when it is appropriate.


Well, since my profession includes mucho adult education, not a surprise that I would have a bias towards something like a symposium. But again, speaking from my limited experience, people *do* attend to listen and learn - after all, what are auditors? But all I was suggesting is that some thought be given to scheduling the rides. For example, if the person who precedes my ride and the person after my ride are all at my level, I will miss the opportunity to hear the clinician work with them. I'll be warming up or cooling down and can't watch. If I watch someone at 2nd level or above, there's less chance that I'll get something useful from it. I'm just not there yet.

Don't want to make a big deal of this, just wanted to clarify.

Off to WEG!!!

betsyk
Sep. 23, 2010, 03:02 PM
Get on board with your local GMO. Seems like around here, clinic participation is based on word of mouth as much as anything - if so-and-so has ridden with Ms Clinician, she must be ok! If you'd like the person to come on a regular basis, help them drum up repeat business in your area by making a personal connection with potential participants - have a dessert talk or lunch-and-learn as part of the clinic and promote it heavily. Many people won't ride with someone until they've seen them teach, so you need to get as many auditors onto your farm that day to watch the person so they will go home knowing 1) when the next clinic is, and 2) that this person will be the right match for them and their horse. Also be prepared to promote anything that might be unique about the clinician, whether it's their experience with a particular breed or type of horse, or their willingness to work with adult amateurs, or the number of Young Riders they've sent to NAYRC.

carolprudm
Sep. 23, 2010, 05:50 PM
To ride I would want a clinician I percieved to betolerant and encouraging of a low level older overweight ammy rider on an Irish Draught Sport Horse friendly.

Convenient stall....I once paid to have my black mare stabled a mile down the road from a clinic and I had the last ride of the evening, in late November. :eek: You said you have that covered :)

If just auditing I would like to see at least one lower level rider and she must be treated as seriously as the GP rider. The clinician must not call her a kindergarden rider, either to her face or as a comment to the auditors.

Good sound system. If the auditors are paying more than a nominal fee they should have a short Q&A period.

Indoor plumbing.

At least semi climate controlled viewing area.

esdressage
Sep. 23, 2010, 06:03 PM
#1 - Who is the clinician

#2 - the facilities - Footing, parking, that the stalls are safe

#3 - For the auditors - Shade? What is the seating like? Will they be able to hear well?

#4 - Who is welcome to sign up? i.e. what level riders

As far as getting the word out goes, I'm a huge fan of the web.

Put up a quick web page about it, include a downlaodable flyer, a video (if available) and photos of the clinician with detail his/her credentials and history, as well as info about all of the above items. Include social media links to make it easy for people to share the information (social media spreads info like this like a wildfire!) and then get on the local GMO's calendar as well to get people to see and share it, put up the flyer in local tack shops and available local barn bulletin boards.

I realize that the web page seems like a lot to do for some people, but a simple site should be very easy to set up (I'm a web designer by trade so I know the reality of it, and it would not be a huge deal).

HollysHobbies
Sep. 23, 2010, 06:51 PM
You need to make it clear the people are RESPONSIBLE for paying for the slot they reserve in the clinic EVEN IF THEY DON"T SHOW UP/HAVE TO CANCEL. If you have a waiting list, you can always settle out later.

Liz Steacie
Sep. 23, 2010, 08:09 PM
I think the OP and Mickeydoodle need to get together and offer clinics at the OP's barn - which would make it cheaper for the attendees if the OP didn't charge for the barn and offered free stalls. And then you could have Chris Hickey one weekend, and someone else two weekends later, all through the winter :-).

"To ride I would want a clinician I percieved to be low level older overweight ammy rider on an Irish Draught Sport Horse friendly. "

When I read this first I thought the poster wanted the clinician TO BE a low level older overweight ammy rider on an IDSH. Which is an interesting idea - I have always found that teaching makes me a better rider, so maybe it would be good to have a clinic where the "ammy" participants teach a lesson ... to a BNT on the participant's horse? First day, then TAKE a lesson from the BNT the next day :-).

SaddleFitterVA
Sep. 24, 2010, 02:06 AM
First, I usually only ride in clinics. It is the reality of owning my own farm, actually riding 3 horses regularly, working a full time, non-horse job, doing farm maintenance and commuting, but heading out to spend a day or two watching other people ride is just not in the time-budget. When I ride in a clinic, I do watch as many other riders as possible.

Second, I've paid over $200 per ride only twice for dressage. Once was for Charles de Kunffy, the other was for Arthur Kottas. Kottas I'd ride with again, probably not de Kunffy. I have pages of notes from Kottas.

A clinic needs to be near $150/ride for me to seriously consider it, or it had better be someone seriously famous.

If it is over $150/ride, I'll go look up a trainer close enough to schedule my own mini-intensive, find out the lesson rate, stall fees, and likely just go to their farm for a private set of lessons. When I saw the gasp-worthy $250/ride price for a coming clinic, I found someone I'd enjoyed working with, and for just a bit more than 2 clinic lessons (counting my fuel), got 6 lessons on 2 horses over a 3 day weekend by going to visit.

I enjoy riding in clinics, but I am realistic in what I'll spend.

carolprudm
Sep. 24, 2010, 08:36 AM
"To ride I would want a clinician I percieved to be low level older overweight ammy rider on an Irish Draught Sport Horse friendly. "

When I read this first I thought the poster wanted the clinician TO BE a low level older overweight ammy rider on an IDSH. Which is an interesting idea - I have always found that teaching makes me a better rider, so maybe it would be good to have a clinic where the "ammy" participants teach a lesson ... to a BNT on the participant's horse? First day, then TAKE a lesson from the BNT the next day :-).
LOL, I did go back and edit that for clarity

2ndyrgal
Sep. 24, 2010, 04:26 PM
with the same perks, as long as I get to schedule a ride in the clinic if the instructor is teaching riders at my level. I'm hosting a WEG combined driving team right now, looks like I'm always going to have empty stalls, but I' love having people "visit". So you all get some BNT/BNR to agree to come, and take care of the logistics, I'll put them up in the guest bedroom, feed them dinner and you can all still have a free stall, free auditing, and a $5/lunch.

My instructor/clinician is not well known (in this country anyway) but is an absolute genius with all level of riders and all levels of horses. She has no breed bias at all, and loves making dressage "click" with the "off" breeds and ammy riders.

And a private 45 minute ride at your choice of level is only $75. Lower level riders will LOVE her, and her idea of a "stupid" question is one you are too embarrassed to ask. Really. Very very rider friendly, and the only person she ever raises her voice to is me, because a: she knows me well and I know better than to make the bonehead moves I make, and b: she knows I won't cry, I'll just fix it. (smile) Very hands on, very clear, very good at figuring out exactly what little thing to fix.

I've ridden for 30++ years. Well. After riding with her 3x/week for about 4 months without stirrups due to an injury (note to self, you are too old to roller skate) I did a CORRECT half halt. I can only say that if you think you do them right but never had an "ah ha!" moment, you aren't, if you have, you know what I mean.

30 years of riding and training and most people that know me consider me to be a very good rider. But I wasn't as good as I thought I was.

So if you are a lower level rider that wants to get more out of your riding and your horse, or you are moving up and frustrated with your current trainer, who can ride, but not communicate to you what YOU need to do to ride your own horse, this trainer/clinician, is definately for you.

I'd been looking in this area for a good instructor for years to help with my big guy, the response was always "sell him and get a warmblood".

She's helped me turn him into a very nice horse.

Carol O
Sep. 26, 2010, 10:33 PM
I am in a small dressage club in a pretty rural area. Our members are not wealthy. We have had great, affordable clinics by bringing in the assistant trainer to a super BNT. I feel we are getting quality instruction from a close second to the BNT. It doesn't make any sense to have Robert Dover if the riders can't afford his fees, but maybe his assistant trainer can come?