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View Full Version : DOC clinic - should I go?



Duckz
Jul. 28, 2011, 02:27 PM
There's a David O'Connor clinic next month at Waredaca. I've heard opinions ranging from adoration to burning hatred. Thoughts? Anyone else thinking about going? I'm leaning towards doing it.

bornfreenowexpensive
Jul. 28, 2011, 02:49 PM
There's a David O'Connor clinic next month at Waredaca. I've heard opinions ranging from adoration to burning hatred. Thoughts? Anyone else thinking about going? I'm leaning towards doing it.


I may not agree with everything DOC says or does but he is a very good clinician and one you could learn something from. I would say go (I would go and ride with him)....however, I do think the best thing is to ask people you respect who know both the clinician AND you. A good trainer/clinician for one rider/horse may not be ideal for someone else. Find out their teaching style and if you think it will mesh with you.

FWIW--L. Law is doing a clinic at Waradaca later in the year as well. I have ridden with him and get a lot out of the clinics with him.

Waradaca puts on some great clinics.

GingerJumper
Jul. 28, 2011, 03:17 PM
Not sure if this helps at all, but a good friend of mine recently audited one of his clinics and said he had a lot of really good points and helped out a lot of horses/riders. I wasn't there so I don't know, but she knows her stuff and if she liked him, I can't imagine he'd be absolutely horrible.

Definitely talk to people who've worked with him at clinics, etc. Youtube his clinics and see what his style seems to be like. You can learn something from EVERY clinician or trainer or experience, but it's a lot easier to do that if you mesh well with the person and agree with what they're saying. (disclaimer: I'm not saying you're always going to learn something you agree with or that works well for you, I'm just saying you'll always learn SOMETHING, even if it's how NOT to do fill-in-the-blank thing).

Xctrygirl
Jul. 28, 2011, 03:28 PM
His experiences are invaluable to most everyone out there. As others have said you can definitely walk away with some knowledge that you don't presently have.

That being said how's your budget for this type of thing? Would you be better served broadening out your horizons a bit and hitting a dressage lesson or a hunter show to work on the phases that often get overlooked in pursuit of more xc schools?

Not saying DOC isn't valuable, but experiences in places outside of the norm, and/or another lesson with a trainer outside your regular one would extend the benefit to your riding and horse's CV a bit.


~Emily

Duckz
Jul. 28, 2011, 03:44 PM
His experiences are invaluable to most everyone out there. As others have said you can definitely walk away with some knowledge that you don't presently have.

That being said how's your budget for this type of thing? Would you be better served broadening out your horizons a bit and hitting a dressage lesson or a hunter show to work on the phases that often get overlooked in pursuit of more xc schools?

Not saying DOC isn't valuable, but experiences in places outside of the norm, and/or another lesson with a trainer outside your regular one would extend the benefit to your riding and horse's CV a bit.


~Emily

Lincoln and I come from the hunter world, so no worries on that front. He has put in some lovely, stylish hunter rounds in stadium (complete with time faults) ;) Sadly our long-awaited Silva Martin dressage lesson was cancelled last weekend. I was supposed to do two days with Heath Ryan but that fell through. DOC is sort of the back-up plan.

I do have a couple semi-regular instructors. Time/distance are generally more limiting factors than funds.

JER
Jul. 28, 2011, 03:45 PM
There's a David O'Connor clinic next month at Waredaca. I've heard opinions ranging from adoration to burning hatred.

I've watched his clinics on several occasions and saw nothing in them that could be considered polarizing at all. Very middle of the road and sensible, emphasizing good fundamentals.

GingerJumper
Jul. 28, 2011, 03:46 PM
I've watched his clinics on several occasions and saw nothing in them that could be considered polarizing at all. Very middle of the road and sensible, emphasizing good fundamentals.

That's what I heard as well.

gully's pilot
Jul. 28, 2011, 04:40 PM
I've ridden with him several times, and I think he's fantastic. Good fundamentals, and enough theory that you come away thinking--stuff you can use yourself back at home.

I've seen him teach very advanced riders down to inexperienced pony clubbers; he can adapt to all levels.

fooler
Jul. 28, 2011, 05:34 PM
Not sure if this helps at all, but a good friend of mine recently audited one of his clinics and said he had a lot of really good points and helped out a lot of horses/riders. I wasn't there so I don't know, but she knows her stuff and if she liked him, I can't imagine he'd be absolutely horrible.

Definitely talk to people who've worked with him at clinics, etc. Youtube his clinics and see what his style seems to be like. You can learn something from EVERY clinician or trainer or experience, but it's a lot easier to do that if you mesh well with the person and agree with what they're saying. (disclaimer: I'm not saying you're always going to learn something you agree with or that works well for you, I'm just saying you'll always learn SOMETHING, even if it's how NOT to do fill-in-the-blank thing).

Appy I love this - with your permission it will be my tag line. ;)

rivenoak
Jul. 28, 2011, 05:35 PM
I've watched his clinics on several occasions and saw nothing in them that could be considered polarizing at all. Very middle of the road and sensible, emphasizing good fundamentals.

I watched him teach a dressage clinic & would agree with the above.

He communicated well what he was looking for and offered challenges to improve for those people who showed some holes in their riding.

yellowbritches
Jul. 28, 2011, 06:46 PM
I have been very privileged to ride with him a few times (he LOVES Vernon, btw...but he never helped me with him on the flat! :lol:), and I have sat for HOURS watching him coach the boss and other people. He is a VERY good instructor, and probably a better clinician (he can be tough to deal with if you ride with him regularly and he doesn't like your horse). I have never ridden with him in a clinic environment (I am a very lucky girl and have had him to myself), but have watched him in clinic settings. He's good, thoughtful, straightforward, challenging but not overfacing.

RSEventer
Jul. 28, 2011, 07:09 PM
[QUOTE=DOC is sort of the back-up plan.[/QUOTE]


Must be nice!!!! He is only one of the most prolific horseman of our era.....his resume is unbelievable.....and he is a humble guy. I XC judged one time in Ocala- they needed a hold-person on course- he was either the course designer or TD....really don't remember. He loaned me his stopwatch, instructed me how to do the job and all I could think was....wow, he might have used this when he won the gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics! He was super nice and I saw him setting jumps when they didn't have any volunteers to do that in stadium. I can't believe that you think you might not learn anything from him....you need to read up on who is who in eventing:winkgrin:

Kairoshorses
Jul. 28, 2011, 07:50 PM
I audited a clinic with him and blogged it:

http://docclinic.blogspot.com/

(also rode in a Law clinic and blogged it: http://lawsclinic.blogspot.com/)

Duckz
Jul. 28, 2011, 07:54 PM
I can't believe that you think you might not learn anything from him....you need to read up on who is who in eventing:winkgrin:

Sorry, I should clarify...I know who he is, and I definitely meant no disrespect by that :) It was more that I already had a plan for my lesson/clinic money and then *poof* went my plans. I glanced over my calendar and saw the DOC clinic at Waredaca. That said, I've heard some not-so-positive things recently and wanted to get some takes on him. Thanks for the input!

Duckz
Jul. 28, 2011, 08:00 PM
I've watched his clinics on several occasions and saw nothing in them that could be considered polarizing at all. Very middle of the road and sensible, emphasizing good fundamentals.


I've ridden with him several times, and I think he's fantastic. Good fundamentals, and enough theory that you come away thinking--stuff you can use yourself back at home.

I've seen him teach very advanced riders down to inexperienced pony clubbers; he can adapt to all levels.


He's good, thoughtful, straightforward, challenging but not overfacing.

Thank you so much everyone! This is the type of stuff I was wondering. I'm looking forward to working with him.

yellowbritches
Jul. 28, 2011, 08:13 PM
I may be wrong, but I think MOST of the negative things people say are more related to" politics" than his teaching. Some have issues with his involvement with the Parelli's, but it is not prevanlant in his teaching.

Fillabeana
Jul. 28, 2011, 08:48 PM
Some have issues with his involvement with the Parelli's, but it is not prevalent in his teaching.

Well, of course David OConnor couldn't go Parelli in his teaching, he'd have to pay Parelli, Inc to become a 'Parelli Instructor' if he did that!

Sorry to interrupt...

Yellowbritches said:

he can be tough to deal with if you ride with him regularly and he doesn't like your horse

What kind of horse does David O'Connor not like?

deltawave
Jul. 28, 2011, 09:00 PM
Whatever my feelings are about his politics and the whole Parelli thing, IMO he is a REALLY good instructor.

flaxenmane
Jul. 28, 2011, 09:03 PM
I've been lucky enough to ride with several great clinicians, including DOC, Lucinda, Jimmy, Kim Severson.

DOC is one of my favorites because he knows how to teach. He's not just a good rider -- he had to think through his own riding and training to get where he is. He is the *only* clinician I've experienced that can actually teach feel on cross-country. He will also prompt you to think about why you are doing a particular behavior or giving a particular aid to your horse. He is firm but not punitive. One of my best memories of him is a clinic where he zipped alongside the rider on a 2-wheeler so he could provide comments. Well worth it I would say.

I did not see anything listed on the Waredaca site. Can you provide more info? I would love to do another clinic with him.

yellowbritches
Jul. 28, 2011, 09:08 PM
Vernon didn't mind the motorcycle, but the boss' dun horse hated it and it was often all the boss could do to keep Dunny pointed in the right direction!! :lol: highly entertaining...I think DOC just liked to give the boss a hard time :lol:

Duckz
Jul. 28, 2011, 09:24 PM
I did not see anything listed on the Waredaca site. Can you provide more info? I would love to do another clinic with him.

Here's the link (http://www.waredaca.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=461:2011-waredaca-expert-days&catid=62:clinics-seminars-and-programs&Itemid=214)

runnyjump
Jul. 29, 2011, 04:42 PM
I hosted and rode with David many times back in the early 90's before he became so noteworthy and busy. I have ridden with the likes of Gen. Jack Burton, Karen (Lende) O'Connor, Kim Walnes, and others of "the day."

David was amazing at all levels. Not only is he an amazing horseman, an inspirational teacher, but the consummate professional. He will support you, push you if needed, encourage you and you will be better for the experience. The only time I ever heard him "scold" a rider, he turned off his wireless microphone and approached her and quietly told her to use her legs for something beside holding her boots on. :D No one heard but me because I happened to be riding past at the very moment. Priceless comment and I use it with students to this day. :lol:

I am not a Parelli fan because I feel he had a good thing and took it too far. I am not sure how strong the O'Connor-Parelli connection is these days. David never uses anything but classical and correct training and riding methods. He won't give you shortcuts. He won't tell you how amazing you and your horse are unless it is deserved. He won't tell you to give up and take up needlepoint either! He works with what he has. He doesn't treat all horses and riders the same since they aren't. I have audited clinics where the clinician (VERY famous back in the day) make every horse do the same exercise the exact same way. Not every horse approaches everything the same way!

So, DO IT! You won't be sorry!

KBG Eventer
Jul. 29, 2011, 06:52 PM
I rode with him in a 4-day clinic in May, and I will definitely clinic or lesson with him again if I can. I wrote about the first 2 days of the clinic in my blog (www.eventingwithtiamo.blogspot.com), but I'm a lazy slacker when it comes to writing so I didn't type up super descriptive blog posts for Day 3 and 4. I learned a lot, and it was also an amazing confidence booster.

ETA: One of my favorite things about him was how he made sure we really understood what we were doing and why! He wanted us learning how to make our own decisions.