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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 8, 2004
    Location
    The Great, uh, Green (?!?!) North!
    Posts
    3,901

    Default Spinoff: BEST Lessons/Clinics...?

    So what were your best lessons ever?

    Who do you go out of your way to attend clinics with, to ride OR to audit?

    What's the biggest thing you've learned in a clinic?
    "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2010
    Location
    Tucson
    Posts
    6,642

    Default

    4-H horse camp when I was around 11. Our instructor said "Now stop your horse without pulling on the reins - stop following with your hands, and go forward into the halt." Given I was showing with stock-type horses at the time, huge change in perspective from the typically taught yank-yank-yank, and a big part of why I am doing dressage now.


    More recently, a clinic with an almost local instructor we're trying to get in every month or so - first time she saw me ride my horse, though she had known him for several years. We were working on his accepting contact, and nearly there but not quite. She made me close my fingers (see: used to do stock-type showing) and all of a sudden the contact was solidly, if lightly, there. I've since told her it was like magic. I take off work, go to work late, whatever, to make it to her days she's up at our barn to ride with her. Her ability to see the small adjustments which make a huge difference works perfectly with my regular instructor's tendency to let you work it out for yourself if you're on the right path, since if you get the feel of correct it's easier than knowing intellectually what to do without that feel.
    My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by katarine
    If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 4, 2006
    Location
    Somewhere in the Southwest
    Posts
    1,271

    Default

    David Blake hands down. Best instructor I've ever worked with. Amazing eye for details, and he has an incredible tool box of exercises.

    I've ridden with Heike Kemmer a few times as well, and didn't get a tenth out of those lessons as I get from David. Highly recommend you ride with/audit a clinic of his if you get a chance.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 23, 2001
    Location
    Bluegrass, Kentucky
    Posts
    1,377

    Default

    Sharon Vander Ziel in helping the mare piaffe. Patience Prine Carr cleaning up the half pass.

    I'm getting schooling with who I've always wanted to school with now: Christoph Hess. And the cherry on top is I get to watch Edward Gal teach in two months.
    Kelly
    It is rare to see a rider who is truly passionate about the horse and his training, taking a profound interest in dressage with self-abnegation, and making this extraordinarily subtle work one of the dominant motivations of his life.\"



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 6, 2000
    Location
    Alvin, TX
    Posts
    1,056

    Default

    I audited Stephen Clarke (O judge from England) a few years ago and it was absolutely the best clinic I've ever attended. I took pages and pages of notes and even though I did not ride, I learned an incredible amount. I learned more from watching him than I have with many clinics I actually rode in. Plus he was kind to horses and riders and very entertaining - and his corrections were just spot on.

    It was one of those 'magic' clinics where the riders were able to follow his directions and you could clearly see what he was trying to accomplish in each exercise. I took pages and pages of notes and i still go back and refer to them.
    Last edited by cyndi; Jul. 13, 2010 at 11:23 PM.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 6, 2005
    Location
    The Big Mitt
    Posts
    1,714

    Default

    Every time I learn something important, it's a good/great clinic/lesson. Had a few great ones. Shoot, my last lesson with my trainer was super good as my new horse finally softened on the bit and we became a team (was building up but seemed to really come through this last lesson).

    Things I learned from different instructors in Clinics (so BNTs):
    Walter Zettl taught me sponging the rein, especially the inside one.
    Shannon Peters: Had two lessons and learned a lot about using my legs to help teach the horse bend and control the shoulders, and testing with uberstreichen.
    Jochen Hippenstiel really taught me about getting the horse moving off the leg (to the hands) and not always relying on just inside leg. Really got the idea of back to front riding on my own horse.
    Paul Belasik: using my core and rider position.

    My current trainer (not a BNT and not that well known locally): training back to front from the start and it's always the rider's fault Learning a ton from her and wishing I'd started dressage with her.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2006
    Location
    Ft. Collins, CO
    Posts
    793

    Default

    I was in Gainseville TX recently to visit a friend who is studying with a wonderful instructor there. The instructor was hosting her mentor Eddo Hoekstra for a 4 day clinic. As someone else said, watching someone instruct, then the riders and horses responding correctly ( mostly ) was fantastic. Too , I was able to ride one day due to a cancelation and learned an amazing amount in that hour. Eddo is a protege of WAZ's and i cannot say enough about him. Too, he is entertaining and sometimes funny, which is icing on the cake. It is apparent that he loves teaching and has a gift for it. He does not care what you ride or what level of rider you are. I borrowed my friends stock horse that I had only ridden once before and he knew the situation and was fine with it. He answered questions I've had in my mind for years . He rides the horse with you. I want to bring him to this area but if that is not feasable, I will go back to his clinics in TX's. Even riding a horse that isn't mine it's soo worth it. Too, his prices are very reasonable. I highy reccomend him !



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 13, 2006
    Posts
    3,505

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    When I was still in my AQHA faze I took a dressage lesson for fun on a pretty hot horse and when he wouldnt move over I kicked him like leg off then on a pretty hard kick. The trainer looked at me and said, "If youre gonna do that. Then you'd better know how to ride it after." It was embarrasing because the horse then was moving ULTRA big and I learned my lesson.


    Another one as learning about purity of gaits with a trainer who uses the movements ONLY to create a more pure gaits rather than drilling.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2008
    Posts
    1,680

    Default

    Clinic with Stephen Clarke, hands down. My speedy, freaked out TB almost looked like a dressage horse by the end of that one! PLUS a lot of what he said I have used throughout my riding ever since.

    If you ever get the chance to ride or audit witht he man, take it!

    NJR



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 16, 2008
    Location
    Central Oklahoma
    Posts
    3,304

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZ Native View Post
    I was in Gainseville TX recently to visit a friend who is studying with a wonderful instructor there. The instructor was hosting her mentor Eddo Hoekstra for a 4 day clinic. As someone else said, watching someone instruct, then the riders and horses responding correctly ( mostly ) was fantastic. Too , I was able to ride one day due to a cancelation and learned an amazing amount in that hour. Eddo is a protege of WAZ's and i cannot say enough about him. Too, he is entertaining and sometimes funny, which is icing on the cake. It is apparent that he loves teaching and has a gift for it. He does not care what you ride or what level of rider you are. I borrowed my friends stock horse that I had only ridden once before and he knew the situation and was fine with it. He answered questions I've had in my mind for years . He rides the horse with you. I want to bring him to this area but if that is not feasable, I will go back to his clinics in TX's. Even riding a horse that isn't mine it's soo worth it. Too, his prices are very reasonable. I highy reccomend him !
    AZ, maybe I saw you there in Gainseville TX? What a small world!!! I can't agree with you any more. I just love Eddo. Amazing how he can always find the cause of the problem and fix it instead of trying to fix the symptom. He is also the one that got me so hooked with Dressage Never knew how additcting it can be to ride a well balanced horse.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 10, 2005
    Location
    in the saddle
    Posts
    4,149

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    in my 30+ years of riding Arthur Kottas gives the best lesson for me. Progression comes effortlessly and quietly = just the way I like it. He explains how it's done and why it's done this way and I can go home and do my "homework" that he gives me and fully do it on my own with the full understanding how it's done. I can also apply his lessons on to next horses.

    the biggest lesson that I learned from him so far is how to perfect the control of horse's hind legs with my seat and our center of gravity.

    He makes every horse shine to its fullest potential.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2009
    Location
    east Tennessee
    Posts
    285

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    My current trainer spent March through May giving me lunge line lessons. They were, hands down, the best lessons I've ever had. I finally had the opportunity to relax and work on my legs and seat, and the best part was that keeping my legs quiet became effortless after a few months. I finally gained actual muscle memory! She finally said, "OK, I think we're done working on you for a while...now we have to work on your horse." I was both disappointed to leave the lunge lessons behind and proud as could be that I had finally really advanced as a rider!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2008
    Posts
    1,401

    Default

    Francois Lemaire de Ruffieu



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2006
    Location
    Ft. Collins, CO
    Posts
    793

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gloria View Post
    AZ, maybe I saw you there in Gainseville TX? What a small world!!! I can't agree with you any more. I just love Eddo. Amazing how he can always find the cause of the problem and fix it instead of trying to fix the symptom. He is also the one that got me so hooked with Dressage Never knew how additcting it can be to ride a well balanced horse.
    Very possible we met as I was there every day, although sometimes did not stay all day due to my friends comittments. Crazy, and yes, small world. Who were you riding ? I agree about dressage, but boy, it sure has its ups and downs
    I love how Eddo emphasised it is NOT about the tricks ! I could go on and on. How long have you been riding with him ?
    I'm competely green with envy of those of you that have him regularly or can ride with Susannah, or like my friend can do both !



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar. 5, 2009
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    406

    Default

    Conrad Schumacher- toughest clinician I have ever worked with- no sugar coating anything! But once you get it, it is fantastic! I would ride, or clinic with him again in a heartbeat. I learned about the "will to win" and how important the proper basics are- without them you don't have a true FEI horse.

    As far as trainer, I will have to say Ryan Yap and Tom Poulin. Tom's eye for the judging and how to ride a test and Ryan's way of explaining things. Ryan doesn't just bark orders, he tells you why he wants renvers and how it mechanically gets the horse lighter in the shoulder.
    Welcome to my dressage world http://www.juliefranzen.blogspot.com/



  16. #16
    Join Date
    May. 14, 2004
    Location
    NW CT
    Posts
    837

    Default

    I'm a huge fan of Francois Lemaire de Ruffieu. He can be blunt but his exercises are clever and effective. I use them all the time.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr. 27, 2006
    Location
    Aiken, SC
    Posts
    977

    Default Debbie Hill!

    Debbie Hill is an amazing clinician! She's great at explaining things and has lots of tools in her toolbox to help you with problems.

    Had a break-thru lesson with her in June at a clinic a friend and I organized - why was I having problems with shoulder-in and renver? Because I had no shoulder control to start with. Now this is an on-going issue for me, and something my wonderful regular trainer has to remind me of, but for some reason that day the light bulb came on.

    Highly recommend riding with Debbie - great with all levels of riders and horses.



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