I am new to Eventing/Combined Training. I have shown hunters most of my life. I did a Combined test and a horse trial and taken a few dressage lessons. I am thinking about doing a clinic with Chris Hitchcock on the 8 & 9, any thoughts?
I only took one lesson from Chris years back, and I don't remember it very well so I don't feel like I could comment. What I remember of him was that he was very good working with horses, esp. problem horses- calm, consistent, never saw him lose his temper. Always thought he'd be a great guy to send a greenie. He's also very nice: he even allowed me to hack his intermediate horse, which was a big deal to my then teen self.
He's a great rider and not the type of person to get mad at you if you are having difficulty, so I'd recommend him as a clinician for a first-time eventer. Just make sure he knows how much experience you've had so you aren't overfaced XC.
I have heard good things about him and have seen him at events with students. Very nice person-from what I have seen from events with his riders he really emphasizes having the horse under control and setting up at all times.
I am fortunate to have regular lessons with Chris, and he is awesome with both rider and horse, IMHO. He will immediately grasp what is going on at the time, and will carefully and concisely explain it to you, then check if you understood what he said, and monitors the horse constantly and adjusts, and somehow in all of this, usually manages to be amusing, interesting, and calming. Definitely one of the best!!
Chris is such a nice guy, and is more tuned in with horse and rider than a lot of clinicians I've seen. He's great for horses that are quirky, and riders who get nervous. I don't think I've ever seen him blame the horse or get angry with them. You'll definitely come away with a relaxed and confident horse.
Plus, I bought a horse from him, and four years later when he brought a client to see another horse in the barn, he recognized mine immediately out in the pasture. You just can't beat a guy who takes his horses to heart like that
Chris is a very smart guy, a hard worker, and very professional. He has worked with several of my horses and I have found him to be honest and sincere in his efforts to do the best by me and them. I just stopped by his farm to watch him give a lesson the other day and was very impressed with the horses, riders, questions presented, and instruction provided. Go for it. You will have a great time.
I definitely recommend Chris. I was a working student with him for about 5 months and it was a great, great experience. He's easy to work with and is willing to help all types of levels and "problems". Very talented.
The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears. ~Arabian Proverb