There's a Charles de Kunffy clinic in my area in October. It's quite pricey, but I guess I could swing it if I thought it would be worth it. I've never ridden in or audited a CdK clinic, and would appreciate any thoughts on whether it's worth it to ride. Auditing is an option, less pricy but not cheap either. I want to get the most bang for my buck.
Horse is pretty solid 2nd level, schooling changes and half steps, if that makes a difference.
So the question is ride, audit, neither?
Founding member of the "I Miss bar.ka" clique
Founding member of the "I Miss Pocket Trainer" clique
It has been a while since I "audited" a CD clinic.. I really enjoyed it though and would love to ride with him if he ever comes my way.. He can be fairly intense but is also incredibly knowlegable. He first and foremost has the horses well being in mind.
Ride. By all means, ride! He is not getting any younger! Lucky you, to have this great opportunity. He is a fantastic teacher! Be sure to get your lessons videod because you will want to be able to review them.
Without a doubt I would ride with CDK! I have cliniced with him once as well as one of his students, Jessica Jo Tate, on several occasions. Both are super fantastic teachers, and well worth the money spent.
There is no doubt that you should ride!!! And take your notebook!! He expects and you should want to watch everyone's ride. He usually includes a lecture as well! I began riding with him in '96, was a participant in his instructor program that he taught on the East Coast and currently train with his proteges' Richard Williams and Jessica Jo (JJ) Tate. He has a wealth of knowledge and is a very articulate speaker! I wish all of my students could have the experience of riding with him!!! So....go for it!!!!!!!
RIDE!! I rode with Charles for 8 years in twice yearly clinics (4 days each) and everyday I still use what he taught me. The thing that distinguishes Charles from just about every other clinician I've seen is he is a TEACHER who has superb communication skills to help you become a better rider for your horse.
"No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." - Laurence Olivier
Absolutely no question - RIDE in it, honey, and whilst riding, make like a sponge and absorb everything. The added bonus is you get to audit everyone else's rides!! Ask if he will let you video your particular lesson so you can review it frequently.
I received a letter from Charles last year announcing his retirement. This clinic may be a very rare opportunity. His emphasis on the gymnastic development of your horse will teach you how to keep your horse very sound for many years. P.S.- Don't tell him any stories of "Little Brownie" and his cute barn habits. That'll send him over the edge. Enjoy!
Just adding to the rest...RIDE!!! and stay around to watch all of the other rides.
I have taken so many excellent notes from watching his clinics over the years. I still go back and review them frequently. I had the chance to ride with him last year and it was awesome! He expects the rider to work hard, LISTEN to what he says and DO IT! But, he has a very dry, sometimes sarcastic sense of humor that is absolutely hysterical. I thoroughly enjoyed my lessons with him.
CdK has always been my favorite of clinicians to ride with or audit. Can't add any more other than to increase the "ride" votes and agree with the above comments. He definitely puts the horse's well being first and is superb at communicating his ideas. His humor is very dry however not meanspirited at all.