Clinic going on this weekend. Watched first two riders for 5 min and felt like I was watching a train wreck. It was just too painful. Nice person on a horse with a standing martingale as short as could be, horse way too hot for her, balancing on horse's mouth with every stride, inverted. Dumped at second jump.. How do you resist the urge to pull the person off the horse and tell them they need a different mount? How do you manage to keep it zipped and, as this clinician did, say positive things and continue to teach with sincerity and patience. Hats off to all of you!
Great teachers find a way to improve their students on any given day and they enjoy that "little" process.
I think teaching clinics must be especially hard. There's no knowledge of the history and only a limited opportunity to insure a real or lasting change in the horse or rider. But clinicians know people are looking for this kind of "take home" advice. The great ones size up horses and riders quickly and can offer some long-term homework.
I think they must find great joy in the challenge of quickly adding something new to a horse's training or rider's education. They don't just look at the bad or the general, they take a practical and microscopic view of what they can change and communicate in a day or two. It really must be a great challenge!
I really am impressed by some of the clinicians I have watched visit this barn, and I am planning to ride in the next upcoming clinic. I really like the educational process. It is also a bit intimidating to watch some of my fellow boarders rise to the challenge and realize just how good they are. On the other hand, I can't bear to audit/watch a trainwreck (and I hope we aren't one of those!). .
Tact, and lots of it. Diplomacy, in large doses. and you go into the situation knowing full well that no matter how gracefully you may have to address a dangerous situation, some people will walk away pissed at you and say you're crazy. make sure there are witnesses to the conversation, even just casual witnesses so that if crazy lady (or man) starts saying you insulted them, the intelligent listeners will merely roll their eyes. And the ones that would believe that I would act so unprofessionally as to insult someone about their horse are not the likes that I give two s***s about.