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View Full Version : Just signed up or 2 BNT clinics.. are they going to eat me alive??- UPDATE



Meredith Clark
Dec. 7, 2011, 03:00 PM
I'm getting a little bit nervous!

After a fall of doing nothing with Juice (student teaching took priority) I decided to really dedicate myself to riding. I moved Juice from home (with no ring or good riding area) to a farm with an outdoor and indoor. I also decided I needed to better myself with some clinics.

I'm doing a Sally Cousins clinic this weekend and a Phillip Dutton clinic the weekend after. :eek:

We've had all fall off, and even though it's Juice (he'll jump anything no matter how much I suck) am I going to get eaten alive??

I don't have unrealistic expectations, I don't expect them to ask me to lease Juice out so they can have an Olympic horse :lol: but seriously.. are they going to be cruel??

ETA: what should I wear?

Brandy76
Dec. 7, 2011, 03:03 PM
I'm sure Phillip is great too. Never done a clinic with him, but have watched a few.


Sally, she's awesome.

scubed
Dec. 7, 2011, 03:03 PM
I cannot imagine either of them being cruel. Phillip did once call a horse I was riding in a clinic "too crazy to be worth it" but since she was retired from riding shortly thereafter, he was probably right.

Sally is great clinician and very encouraging for all levels of riders. Phillip is a bit quieter and so you are not always sure what he wants or if you are doing it, but he is also a good positive teacher. I only know of one clinician who routinely made people cry in clinics and it isn't either of these.

Meredith Clark
Dec. 7, 2011, 03:12 PM
I only know of one clinician who routinely made people cry in clinics and it isn't either of these.

oh my goodness! I need to stay away from that person. I'm not known to have the thickest of skin but I do know how to take constructive criticism.

Meredith Clark
Dec. 7, 2011, 03:13 PM
Sally, she's awesome.

Everyone I've talked to has said the same thing, I just wasn't sure how she approaches things. I've had some harsh trainers!

CiegoStar
Dec. 7, 2011, 03:19 PM
I've ridden with both and I say skip Phillip and ride with Sally twice.

Phillip is a good instructor, but not the world's greatest communicator. If you're really sensitive, you won't find anyone as kind and able to set you up for a positive experience as Sally.

Dress conservatively and neatly, and have your horse's turnout be impeccable.

Jleegriffith
Dec. 7, 2011, 03:29 PM
Sally is about as personable as they come and is always super understanding of green horses and nervous riders. I always feel comfortable with her even if I haven't ridden with her in a long time. She always remembers me and is just a lot of fun to ride with.

Phillip's style of teaching isn't really for me but that doesn't mean he isn't a great instructor.

faybe
Dec. 7, 2011, 03:30 PM
I'm sure you'll be fine! I will say, I did not enjoy the clinic I did with Phillip, but not because he was mean. I haven't ridden with Sally, but, like the others have said, have heard nothing but wonderful things. Have fun and report back!

RiverBendPol
Dec. 7, 2011, 03:33 PM
Another vote for Sal-She is really quite amazing......She'll yell at you if you do something dumb or dangerous but otherwise she's smart, fun, has an INCREDIBLE eye, a great grasp of the English language. She'll have you doing a 5 meter turn-4 strides to a 4' oxer and you won't even know it. Nothing but huge applause for Sally.

I've never ridden with Phillip bc why bother, if the man doesn't tell me what to do and why then why should I give him my money? I'm sure he's great for his own students, when everyone is on the same page but I haven't heard much good about his clinics. As Ciego said, Skip the PD clinic and ride with Sally twice! ;-)

bornfreenowexpensive
Dec. 7, 2011, 03:34 PM
You will be fine.

I rode with Phillip last weekend on my very green OTTB. I've not been riding much because of work...I am fat and out of shape! Mare was a star...and it was a great lesson by Phillip.

Strong exercises and some really good constructive comments both on the flat and over fences. It was great to have a group lesson setting and hear what he was saying to the others in the group. And yes...he did talk ;) I actually got quite a bit out of it--and some good things to work on.

Both are good teachers and you will have a blast. Plus having goals keeps us motivated right!;) I do not consider either "mean" instructors.

Meredith Clark
Dec. 7, 2011, 03:39 PM
You will be fine.

I rode with Phillip last weekend on my very green OTTB. I've not been riding much because of work...I am fat and out of shape! Mare was a star...and it was a great lesson by Phillip.

Strong exercises and some really good constructive comments both on the flat and over fences. It was great to have a group lesson setting and hear what he was saying to the others in the group. And yes...he did talk ;) I actually got quite a bit out of it--and some good things to work on.

Both are good teachers and you will have a blast. Plus having goals keeps us motivated right!;)

Oh good! I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the clinic with Phillip. He is my eventing idol so I've always wanted to take a lesson! This one is flat work and jumping so I'm very excited.

I've already committed to the clinic with him so I'm def. going to go!

bornfreenowexpensive
Dec. 7, 2011, 03:42 PM
Oh good! I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the clinic with Phillip. He is my eventing idol so I've always wanted to take a lesson! This one is flat work and jumping so I'm very excited.

I've already committed to the clinic with him so I'm def. going to go!


You will have fun with both! They both know their stuff.

Just listen to what they say (to everyone in your group)...and try to do as they ask.

I may see you for your lesson with Phillip!:cool:

Meredith Clark
Dec. 7, 2011, 03:49 PM
I may see you for your lesson with Phillip!:cool:

I'll be the short plump one with a scared look on her face riding a short plump OTTB with a bored look on his face!

faybe
Dec. 7, 2011, 04:02 PM
RiverBendPol, that was exactly my experience with Phillip. I rode with him in a clinic down in VA and there were only 3 people in my group, but the other two were either in lessons with him regularly or had ridden with him multiple times before and knew him fairly well. I was barely able to introduce myself (had I not offered my name, I'm not sure he would have even asked for it) before he'd pointed us all at the grid exercise he'd set up, and he never did ask me anything about my or my horse's current level or previous experience. Probably I'm a little to blame for not speaking up, but you'd think for what he charges he'd at least take the 30 seconds to see what he was working with. I had signed up for the N/T level on my green bean (who had run 2 recognized novices successfully but was by no means a pro at the level) while the other two people were preparing to move up to Prelim. We did some BIG stuff for my guy and though he did everything that was asked, he didn't come away feeling confident. Probably the most disappointing was the feedback, or rather the lack of it. He barely said anything to me the whole time and made some noises about "nice little horse" when I queried him at the end of the session about what he thought overall. The complete opposite of my experience with Jimmy Wofford on the same horse a month or so later (I'd ride with Jimmy again in a heartbeat; from that clinic I took home at least a dozen pearls of wisdom and exercises that made me think about my riding and how to improve myself and my horse).

I got the sense that if you ride with Phillip regularly or were to go to his farm for lessons, it would be much better. He was giving good feedback to the other members of my group, but as the lone unfamiliar rider I was almost completely ignored. I wouldn't clinic with him again if given the chance, but if I could afford him for regular lessons I might give it a try.

Meredith, I hope you'll report back with how it goes! If I had to go back and do it over again, I'd overcome my introvert ways and be much more aggressive about introducing myself, explaining where me and my horse were in our training and what we hoped to get out of the clinic. Have fun!

flashwhitelock
Dec. 7, 2011, 04:13 PM
You will adore Sally. Enjoy both of your clinics. The nice thing about clinics is hearing and learning things in a different way. Every clinician, both good and bad, ends up teaching you something as long as you keep an open mind. Everyone has different teaching styles and some will click with you and some won't. Just enjoy.

bornfreenowexpensive
Dec. 7, 2011, 05:14 PM
Meredith, I hope you'll report back with how it goes! If I had to go back and do it over again, I'd overcome my introvert ways and be much more aggressive about introducing myself, explaining where me and my horse were in our training and what we hoped to get out of the clinic. Have fun!


LOL introvert I'm not---so I rarely have that issue!

Jimmy and Phillip have very different teaching styles. I've ridden with both (ridden with Jimmy a lot more actually). I get important things from both of them but different things. However, the basic theme coming from both of them is typically the same....wanting me not to screw up my nice young horse.;)

Most riders will find that one style suits them more than another....it doesn't make one trainer better than the other....just one trainer more suited for a particular rider.

Laurierace
Dec. 7, 2011, 05:19 PM
If anything I find Sally to be a bit too kind. My daughter has ridden with her several times and not once did she really get after her for some things I could see myself that she was doing wrong. Not saying she wasn't a good trainer but definitely not going to eat anyone alive from what I have seen.

faybe
Dec. 7, 2011, 06:08 PM
LOL introvert I'm not---so I rarely have that issue!

Jimmy and Phillip have very different teaching styles. I've ridden with both (ridden with Jimmy a lot more actually). I get important things from both of them but different things. However, the basic theme coming from both of them is typically the same....wanting me not to screw up my nice young horse.;)

Most riders will find that one style suits them more than another....it doesn't make one trainer better than the other....just one trainer more suited for a particular rider.

Very true :yes: and I've ridden with other clinicians whose teaching styles were quite different from Jimmy's and enjoyed some of them equally well, some less so. I guess my point was that, had I not been paying attention to what he was saying to the other riders, I would have no idea that Phillip HAD a teaching style, period, as he hardly said two words to me the whole time. If he'd really taught me and I didn't find his style suiting, I would have chalked it up to a good learning experience and moved on as I have with other clinicians towards whom I feel lukewarm. But my experience couldn't even be described as that; it was more of a "non-clinic" than anything else.

Far_North_Equestrian
Dec. 7, 2011, 10:16 PM
I don't have much to add - except that I'm having the exact same anxiety attack! I just signed my out of shape self and my green pony up for a Jessica Pheonix clinic this weekend!

Good luck!

yellowbritches
Dec. 7, 2011, 10:26 PM
I've not ridden with Sally, but I did get to do half a clinic (the second day got snowed out!) with Philip. I enjoyed it a lot and got quite a bit out of it. I also had one HUGE, GIANT, LIFE CHANGING light bulb moment with him that I still used and am reminded of today. I would always take another chance to ride with him.

He isn't going to be a big, flowery speaker. He's going to tell you what to do. If you have trouble or need to improve it, he'll tell you what to do and how to do it in as few words as possible and still get his point across. If you want eloquent speeches, lots of "technical" jibber jabber, and cerebral pontification, you probably won't get much out of a clinic with him. If you want some kick ass help in a no nonsense way, you'll have a good time.

Honestly, most of these guys wouldn't do clinics if they hated working with lower level riders. Some are better than others at getting their point across, but most I find only get on people's cases if they act like idiots by either not listening, talking back, or just being plain stupid. Pay attention, keep your mouth shut (unless you don't understand what you've been told, and even then be polite and humble), pay attention, listen, watch, and learn, pay attention, and go with an open mind. You'll have fun with both! No worries!

CiegoStar
Dec. 7, 2011, 11:28 PM
Honestly, most of these guys wouldn't do clinics if they hated working with lower level riders.

LOL ... it's (relatively) easy money. I don't begrudge them making it, of course, but I really don't think most of them take much away from it for themselves. It's a job.

I've backed off doing clinics myself. They can be fun (but expensive) diversions, but I've discovered that I am happier having regular private lessons with one trainer and seeing progress over time.

yellowbritches
Dec. 7, 2011, 11:41 PM
You're right. It IS "easy" money. However, I find most of the time these guys do actually like to share their knowledge. Some do it better than others. Some are more suited to one type of rider than another. What I might find remarkably educational (or remarkably frustrating) you might find the exact opposite. There are good and bad educators, but I don't get the feeling that most of the clinicians I interact with (between auditing, riding, and organizing clinics) are just going through the motions in an effort to make a quick buck. Most do actually like to teach. So what if they make money doing it! (I love what I do, but does the fact that I get paid to do something I love make it somehow less meaningful?).

All that being said, I don't clinic a ton, either. I have my coach that I ride with fairly exclusively, a very others that I supplement with who know my horse and I and my experience and goals, and will occasionally supplement that with a clinic, carefully selected. I prefer to develop a relationship with someone.

retreadeventer
Dec. 8, 2011, 05:49 PM
I think it is not only unfair, but a bit of a disservice to assume that clinicians like these mentioned only do it for the money. I think people like Sally and Phillip LOVE horses and love teaching horses and riders. I've taught on my feet 10 hours a day, and how well I know... it takes a lot of positive thinking to get through that last group! You have to love it. You could not do it and not love it.

I think that you get OUT of a clinic (much like college, or life, or a good book) what you put INTO it. If you concentrate, watch everyone else riding, pay attention during your ride and come back after you've cooled out your horse and watch the rest -- then you'll get the most bang for your buck. Watching a flow from beginner novice up to training level really helps to comprehend the system of the trainer.

I personally love working with Phillip - I hardly get to ride with him more than once a year but he has NEVER been anything but superb in terms of communicating and creating chances for me to make mistakes and then achieve a meaningful (stick with you) correction. I also find Sally to be tremendously positive and downright fun, too. I think you should find both to be absolutely great, Mere.

Oh there are crappy clinicians, for sure, but in our area, Mere, there is quite a bit of competition for the lesson dollar as it were, so most of our regional trainers are quite good by necessity. They starve quickly in this competitive region if they can't teach pretty well, no matter what rider and horse is in front of them.

furlong47
Dec. 9, 2011, 01:12 PM
Sally rocks! She is at our barn about 2x a month and I've ridden with her several times. I jump around 2'7" max and don't show but there's plenty to learn from her no matter what your level. She is very positive and is not going to scream or laugh at you. :-) You are really going to enjoy it for sure. I haven't ridden with Phillip so can't speak about him. When I ride with Sally I wear tall boots, breeches, Tipperary helmet and polo or ventilator jersey. Clean tack of course and if it's warm enough I bathe my horse first. Neat and clean but not overly formal.

Since you're from Maryland I guess you're riding with her Sunday?

Meredith Clark
Dec. 9, 2011, 10:12 PM
Since you're from Maryland I guess you're riding with her Sunday?

Yes we will be riding Sunday!! :D

sprocket
Dec. 9, 2011, 10:40 PM
I don't have much to add - except that I'm having the exact same anxiety attack! I just signed my out of shape self and my green pony up for a Jessica Pheonix clinic this weekend!

Good luck!

Far North - you will enjoy (or have enjoyed maybe, depending on the timing) your clinic!
Jessie is very positive and lots of fun. You will definitely get lots of feedback.

Far_North_Equestrian
Dec. 10, 2011, 12:18 AM
Far North - you will enjoy (or have enjoyed maybe, depending on the timing) your clinic!
Jessie is very positive and lots of fun. You will definitely get lots of feedback.

It's this coming Sunday (the 11th) I am so excited!

I've heard very good things about her, which is why I juped at the chance while I can take it!

furlong47
Dec. 10, 2011, 12:15 PM
Yes we will be riding Sunday!! :D

Ah, if it was today I would be meeting you :lol: Have fun!

BeverlyAStrauss
Dec. 11, 2011, 09:36 PM
We had a great time in our group with Sally today- We had most mixed up group- two super greenies first time in an indoor first time jumping colored fences, one rerider, and one great young PCer on a huge for her borrowed horse pulled out of the field (coming off her adorable small pony who cant jump any more). As to be expected, we all started off sticky and ended up champions! Sally is the best. Mere, how did your group go?

InstigatorKate
Dec. 11, 2011, 10:44 PM
I'll echo everyone else. I've ridden with Sally a few times this year and she is absolutely fantastic. She is very encouraging of timid riders and green horses, and seems to be able to teach a very wide array of students and horses well. I find her advice makes A LOT of sense...and as we all know common sense isn't so common anymore.

Phillip....well, hmm. I came away from my clinic with the comments "KAAAATE, can't you do ANYTHING right?!?!?" Ouch. I had video, it wasn't THAT bad :( Oh, and when I asked for any final advice, he told me that it would help if my legs grew longer (I'm a little lacking in the leg-length department). So that was uber helpful as well.

faybe
Dec. 11, 2011, 11:21 PM
I think that you get OUT of a clinic (much like college, or life, or a good book) what you put INTO it. If you concentrate, watch everyone else riding, pay attention during your ride and come back after you've cooled out your horse and watch the rest -- then you'll get the most bang for your buck. Watching a flow from beginner novice up to training level really helps to comprehend the system of the trainer.


While I agree with this sentiment, I think there's a difference between paying to take part in a clinic vs auditing. My experience with Phillip was essentially auditing on horseback. Like I said, he was giving good feedback to the other riders in my group, but they were both on horses who were in different places in their training than me and my guy. It was interesting and I was glad for the exposure, but I could have just as easily have heard it all from the rail and saved my money for a clinic where the clinician would actually have addressed me as a participant. I enjoyed the upper level sessions I went back and watched later in the day, which is why I said if I had the chance to ride with him regularly I would probably try it, but as someone who saves up to ride in clinics for the opportunity to improve me and my horse in an intensive setting with feedback from a fresh and expert set of eyes, I was disappointed.

Meredith Clark
Dec. 12, 2011, 11:15 AM
OK!

I would have wrote this yesterday but I was SO tired after the clinic I just crashed in bed :lol:

Overall I would say the clinic was super! Sally was really, really nice. I was in a group of 4 total and the 3 other riders ride with her regularly (that was a bit intimidating !) As soon as I got into the ring she introduced herself to me and started asking me questions about myself and Juice. I really felt like she cared about us and wanted us to get the best out of the clinic.

I did find that I do a really sh!tty job introducing my horse... "this is Juice, he's a 7 year old OTTB.. he can jump.. sorta.." :lol:

As the other people warmed up she talked to me about some things she likes to nit-pick.. like stirrup position and where I hold my hands. I made sure to pay attention to those things the entire time I was riding!

We got to jumping and Juice was a bugger!!! He kept running out of the first fence which I think was a combo of my nerves and him being in a new place. He NEVER refuses so it was really strange. I would usually haul off and wack him a few, but I wasn't sure if that would be PC infront of her! :eek:

Once we got our nerves out he didn't have another problem the rest of the clinic. We did some great courses, and worked on getting a good canter between the jumps (which was hard on green horses in a tiny indoor).

Sally was really supportive and had nothing but nice things to say about both of us. But she didn't just stroke our egos.. she gave me some great advice about how to ride him. Juice is a little man and she had me work on really using my upper body to balance him, things I don't even think about.

I have a video (http://youtu.be/m_knCrYBG18), it's from an iPhone so not the best quality!


I would def. ride with her again! Hopefully Phillip will be as good :D

BeverlyAStrauss
Dec. 13, 2011, 09:08 AM
That looked great, Mere!

BeverlyAStrauss
Dec. 13, 2011, 09:23 AM
Looks like Sally is coming back to Unicorn's indoor in Chesapeake City MD for another clinic on Weds 12/26....anyone interested, just shoot me a PM.....

Meredith Clark
Dec. 18, 2011, 09:34 PM
So today was the Phillip Dutton clinic and boy was I nervous!

We had done really well with Sally Cousins (see previous posts) but this was a whole new ball game in my mind!

I warmed up a bit and when he came into the ring I walked up and introduced myself and apologized for my horse being so skinny (he's been struggling with his weight for the last few months and the move to the new barn at the beginning of this month really took a toll on him). He was very nice about it and gave me a few suggestions to put weight on him.

We started off with flat work, he focused a lot on getting a good bend at the walk and trot and really getting the horse to respond to my leg. He was very observant and made sure to give each member of our group (a big group of 5) suggestions and advise. He made us do some cantering, which he thankfully wasn't too picky about (our canter is a bit rough!).

He had us trot in 2 pt (for what seemed like forever.. ouch!) and do sitting trot, collected trot ("trot on the spot") and extended trot. Juice doesn't really have either of those yet but he was nice about it! :lol:

Then we did our jumping. He had us trotting jumps which I hate! We're just very awkward trotting jumps. He had the ring set up with a jump, one stride, another jump to a 5 stride, and then on the other diagonal he had a barrel jump 4 strides to a liver pool, and then a skinny around the corner from the liver pool.

We did so many cool jumping exercises that really made you RIDE! He gave great feedback and although he wasn't chatting my ear off with theories or whatever, he always told me I was doing well (or not!) and would have me try again or do something differently.

I was SO proud of Juice because he's still sort of green (in my opinion), not so much in temperament (he's quiet as a church mouse) but we haven't done a lot of these cool jumping exercises. He handled everything great and really saved my @ss a few times!! :winkgrin:

The clinic was really expensive and I can't make a habit of doing them but this was a great experience. I'd love to do one again maybe next fall after we've been competing more and riding more consistently.

bornfreenowexpensive
Dec. 19, 2011, 07:04 AM
Glad you had a great clinic! (I think I saw the end of your group if you were in the last group).

Our group was smaller...just 3 of us. Two on BN horses (good riders just greenish horses) and then Me....my horse has jumped less than 20 times and she was stuck with an out of shape rusty rider:lol:

So green group. Fences stayed small but it wasn't the size of the fences that made the exercises challenging. These clips are toward the end (and my horse is getting a bit tired) but I was thrilled with her. She's pretty new to cantering to fences (and first time jumping a liverpool)---and her steering isn't fully installed yet. Once she get's stronger/further along in the flat work, she will be a rock star!

This is Roxie--a 6 year old OTTB mare, who just started her retraining from the track mid October. But you can get an idea of the "course" ....it was very flexible with a lot of options (both turning, and jumping on angles).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ir28BrlzV84 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ir28BrlzV84)


Phillip gave great feed back to all in the group. It was a very good lesson. If the OP's group was the one I saw...they did slightly bigger fences and more complex combinations. Jumping straight through some of the lines and then coming back around and putting a bend back into the lines...changing up which jump they go to (keeping the horses guessing)! The focus was on not rushing a horse off their feet, putting in that extra stride (but not from riding backwards)...getting the horses/riders to think and wait for the fence and to adjust their rides. For example...don't go for the big spot on a green horse when you have to land and turn...yeah, I knew that was a mistake as soon as we left the ground but I had a momentary mental lapse ;) It was also interesting to note when to push a young horse to hold the canter and when if they break to just let them trot. I found the lesson very instructive.

Ajierene
Dec. 19, 2011, 09:50 AM
I, likewise, enjoyed the Dutton Clinic. I was in Meredith's group and found it very helpful.

I liked how he was simple with his instruction - he didn't spend a lot of time waxing poetic about theory, just told what to do. There were some slight communication problems, like when he said 'trot on the spot' - I had NO idea what that meant at first and had to look around to see what the other students were doing!

He was great with helping out whoever needed it and I did have a few issues, which are increased by nerves!

The group before us had only two people and ended about 10 min early. Our group had 6 (I'm pretty sure 6, Mere!) and ended 15 min late - it showed that he was more concerned about getting the exercises done correctly and getting everyone a good ride than the time spent! He is great and patient and he told me some of the same things that my trainer has been saying, but in a different way that helped. Some other things, it was just good to hear the same thing as a reinforcement.

I also found him very positive and astounded that he remembered my name through the whole clinic! He had one student that rode with him fairly regularly and you could tell by the instruction he gave her-he showed more familiarity with the horse.

It was great for me!