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  1. #1
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    Mar. 19, 2009
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    Default Bernie Traurig clinic

    Hi. I will be riding in a 2-day clinic given by Bernie Traurig in a few weeks. It's all come together at the last minute, but I'm really excited!

    I'm sure there are COTH-ers who have ridden in his clinics or audited them. I would love to hear your experiences and get a sense of what I can expect. Also, any tips on preparing for it would be welcome (my horse and I will of course be properly attired and groomed to the nines).

    TIA!



  2. #2
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    Sep. 6, 2003
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    WA, Land of the damp Thongpend
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    I've organized two Bernie clinics. He is without a doubt one of the nicest, most patient people around. He will get on a horse to demonstrate and rides as well as he did when he was younger. The horses are his first concern, that they are willingly and happily working for and with you. He will show and explain how to establish a good working partnership right at the beginning of the ride.

    First day he tells you how he would like you to warm up for the horses sake, second day you are expected to do it on your own. Each day builds on the prior day.

    At my clinics we had a lunch break and he would answer questions and talk to everyone - auditors and riders alike.

    He brings headsets so he doesn't spend the two days yelling, each rider is outfitted with one. We patched one of them into a sound system to broadcast to the auditors what he was saying to the participants.

    Know things as simple as the proper way to tighten your girth while mounted and the proper way to adjust your irons while mounted.



  3. #3
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    Aug. 5, 2003
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    bring a stainless steel loose ring snaffle (or a good reason why your horse should not be in such a bit). He is not a fan of the KK bits, sweet metals, or severe snaffles and will ask that they be changed. Very patient is an understatement.



  4. #4
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    Mar. 19, 2009
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    Out West
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dinah-do View Post
    bring a stainless steel loose ring snaffle (or a good reason why your horse should not be in such a bit). He is not a fan of the KK bits, sweet metals, or severe snaffles and will ask that they be changed. Very patient is an understatement.
    Good to know, especially since my most basic H/J bit (D-ring) and dressage bit (loose-ring) are KK bits. What does he have against the KK bits?



  5. #5
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    Aug. 5, 2003
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    Likes mild, plain bits. Not a fan of happy mouth or the german silver alloys that cause saliva. Likes the horse quiet in the mouth if I heard him correctly.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 11, 2010
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    By the Bay
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    I am a big fan of Mr. Traurig. I have audited a clinic and gained much valuable information. I noted that he is very patient, but also very clear and direct in his instruction. He really makes sense. He emphasized the importance of controlling your horse's stride (making the riders alternate the number of strides in a set line) and keeping your horse balanced from leg to hand. He also seemed to be a huge fan of riding in two-point, so be prepared to get your arse out of the saddle. I must say, as an auditor, watching Bernie two-point around for an hour or so was quite a treat


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2005
    Location
    Chicago
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    I've ridden with Bernie twice this year (yes, i AM lucky!). Loved it!

    As others said, he examines each horse's bit and wants your horse to go in a bit that the horse likes. He tests this by having you halt and back. If you can halt/back without your horse becoming resistant and flipping his head, you're fine. (Sounds like you're pretty knowledgeable about bits, so you're good there!)

    The headsets are awesome. It's like having Bernie in your head! They're a bit uncomfortable at first, then you don't notice them, then they're painful for the last 15 minutes.

    You have to listen every minute, even when he's talking with someone else. His conversation goes something like this. Say he's talking to one rider. He's looking at them directly and talking to them about an issue...something like this: 'use one aid at a time. don't use conflicting aids. your horse will get confused. left lead canter. do you see what i mean? try that again.' The tricky part is that 'left lead canter' meant EVERYONE. Sometimes it's a little confusing to know when he's talking to the group vs an individual.

    He's a big fan of the automatic release. More advanced groups will practice this a lot. He also wants hunter riders to sit the canter on the flat, not two point.

    Oh, and he usually offers a special on joining www.equestriancoach.com at the clinic, so if you haven't signed up, that's a good time to do it.

    He gave everyone equal attention and specific pointers on their issues. He rides a lot of horses at the clinic and it's awe-inspiring to watch. He rode my horse last month. It was awesome!

    Avoid conflicting aids. Backing is a rein-aid only...no leg. Canter depart is outside leg only, not inside leg. Halt is rein only, no leg (well, stretch up and use your body, then apply hand).

    Look at the top rail of the jump till you get there, then look over it. I've been taught to look way far away over the jump and Bernie said 'she's looking at the monkeys in the trees!'

    Oh, and we practiced a lot of 'transitions' within a gait. Collected canter to hand gallop to medium canter to collected canter, etc. Before you get on course, he'll have you make sure your horse is in front of your leg, which you can demonstrate by galloping a little in the courtesy circle.

    And yep, better make sure you know how to adjust your stirrups while in the saddle.

    Have a great time! I LOVE BERNIE!
    ~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 28, 2004
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada/ Plymouth, UK
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    332

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    I audited a clinic with him. He was wonderful! So patient and well spoken. I would love to ride in a clinic with him. Like others have said, have a nice simple bit. Other than that, he wasn't super picky... maybe don't have cheese grater stirrups in case he gets on your horse.. he said he likes basic stirrups too.
    .:: a n d i ::.

    Currently horseless and hating it!
    Missing two very special horses - Maddy & Perry



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 2, 2003
    Location
    Woodland, Ca
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    It's good to know what a direct, indirect and opening rein are. The clinic I took with him these were focused on. When he asks what aids you use to stop a horse the correct answer is rein or hand... do not say leg, or seat, or voice or some combination of those things or he might ask you to halt your horse without touching your reins like he did to the teenaged boy in my group... the poor kid couldn't do it, got embarrassed and coped a huge attitude and then didn't come back the next day.... I wish Bernie had asked me to do it... the mare I was riding would park it if you said whoa. I rode my mare the second day. That was pretty cool.



  10. #10
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    Nov. 5, 2003
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    In the land of gauchos and malbec now
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    Bernie is FANTASTIC. A wealth of knowledge and one of the most patient and positive clinicians I've ever seen. He's done two clinics here and taught all levels - we had people who just started riding and GP riders and everyone walked away happy.

    As discussed - he is a fan of simple bits but not a tyrant about it. The halt comes from rein and hand (and he will ask each of you to halt), if you use the crest release - be prepared to get a lecture and he's all about the forward. Your horse should be used to transitions within gaits and be light and responsive.

    Enjoy - seriously he's great



  11. #11
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    May. 4, 2003
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    Canada
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    Only saw him at this year's Mane Event demo, but he was a gentleman, very plain and clear in his instructions. I liked what and how he said things very much.
    The comment about bits is true, he may make suggestions, so bring a few.



  12. #12
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    Nov. 6, 2005
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    Canada/Phoenix AZ
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    I rode in one of his clinics in the early 80's I remember him being very nice. At the time he didn't like running martingales, he had everyone take them off.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
    Location
    Sonoma County, CA
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    Years ago I rode in a clinic with him, had a great time, and learned a lot.

    My horse was in a french link snaffle and very light in the mouth (lucky me)-- so no biggie there.

    It was amazing to watch him ride my friend's flighty TB mare -- she was a tough ride but he made it look so easy. The mare was eventually given away for dressage -- that tough with jumps -- but he made riding her look like a walk in the park.

    I do have to say he did lose his patience with one teenage rider -- "why don't you give this up and take up tennis" he finally said to her (after she failed to do complete a simple exercise despite many efforts)-- I was flabbergasted when he said it, but since i had seen her go through several nice horses (buying a nice horse, riding it poorly to the point it became a stopper, and then getting a new one), I think he only had the horse's welfare in mind.

    I would ride in a clinic of his again in a heartbeat.



  14. #14
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    Mar. 19, 2009
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    Hi all! I so appreciate everyone's responses and suggestions. Thank you!

    My biggest worry for the clinic was/is the bit. I thought I would be okay because all last week I rode my horse with either a mild D-ring or loose-ring and he was fine. At shows, I ride him in a corkscrew snaffle due to his running through the rein aids; this is also the bit my trainer prefers for me to use at home, but I tend to swap off because if he's behaving (which he usually does -- he's a good guy!) I prefer the milder bit.

    Anyway, on Saturday, we had horrible weather and I had problems keeping my horse focussed. He was unusually naughty about running out of a small but somewhat spooky fence (which he jumped perfectly the day before) and we had a myriad of other problems. Now I know very well that changing the bit is not going to solve the problems, but I also think that we would not have had the issues go on for as long as they did if he had been in a bit that he respected more.

    My worry is that at the clinic, being in a strange environment, I will want to have the stronger bit. But I don't want to this to be an issue. I'm thinking of having the loose-ring snaffle on my bridle, but also having the corkscrew available ringside as a possible back-up. Is this a good plan? Other suggestions? I will be trailering up the day before and I'm assuming I'll have a chance to ride in the arena that afternoon.

    TIA!

    P.S. I'm fine with properly adjusting my girth and stirrups, I've reviewed the various rein aids, and we've worked on the rein-back. SO nice to have the heads up about these things!



  15. #15
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    May. 4, 2003
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    Canada
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    Ha - just wait for the heads up you will get when you join a George Morris clinic!



  16. #16
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    Aug. 5, 2003
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    having a bit or two at ringside is a great idea.



  17. #17
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    Feb. 4, 2001
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    Member of both the Southern California and Michigan clique - currently residing in Grand Rapids, MI
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    If you really want to be prepared, join equestriancoach.com and watch Bernie's videos before the clinic. It is well worth the money, IMO. I have never taken a clinic with him, but I feel like I have! I don't have a trainer at my barn, and everytime my I teach the silly filly a new trick everyone in the ring laughs while I crow, "equestriancoach.com!" I feel like I should bake all of the trainers on there Christmas cookies. They have no idea how important they are to me!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan. 7, 2003
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    Buenos Aires, Argentina
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    Thumbs up Here's his complete clinic summary with vids...

    I have cliniced with him twice on both my horses and summarized one of them in this post:

    http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...hlight=traurig

    He's not that much of a bit nazi. He just does't like sharp edges on bits although he always tries to take you to the milder version of what you use (and he is right to do so). I started with a double reined gag and ended the three day clinic doing a full 4ft course on the snaffle rein (it's one of the last vids...if you listen carefully at the end he mentions something about it). He loathes crest releases, advocates non clashing aids (like the stopping and backing with no leg...that was a shocker but completely logical) and stresses you to listen to what your horse is telling you.
    It's a good idea to bring optional bits, anything you have: you never know what can be the best bet according to his opinion.
    He stresses direct and indirect rein aids, three types of leg positions (normal, braced or behind the girth), long and low warm up and prompt transitions (canter to walk, trot to halt, etc).
    He is brilliant: concise, direct and positive. He pinpoints the problem, gives you the solution, works with you on it during the entire clinic and gives you follow up/homework for after he's gone. All this with great humor and respect.
    Also, as someone else posted, he gives a special on joining his website when you take his clinics: JOIN! It is the perfect follow up and super complete. He will also answer your questions online if you mail him. My horses have only gotten better with his system. I can't praise it enough.

    Hope you have a blast and I must warn you: once you have done a clinic, you are addicted. Prepare for more to come!
    Over what hill? Where? When? I don\'t remember any hill....

    www.freewebs.com/caballerizadelviso



  19. #19
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    Mar. 19, 2009
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    Out West
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    Quote Originally Posted by faraway46 View Post
    I have cliniced with him twice on both my horses and summarized one of them in this post:

    http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...hlight=traurig

    Hope you have a blast and I must warn you: once you have done a clinic, you are addicted. Prepare for more to come!
    Thank you very much for this information and for steering me to your summary and videos of the 3-day clinic you did. I watched all the videos -- you and your horse make a lovely team, btw. I really appreciate your advise and encouragement!



  20. #20
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    Sep. 6, 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justice View Post
    If you really want to be prepared, join equestriancoach.com and watch Bernie's videos before the clinic. It is well worth the money, IMO. I have never taken a clinic with him, but I feel like I have! I don't have a trainer at my barn, and everytime my I teach the silly filly a new trick everyone in the ring laughs while I crow, "equestriancoach.com!" I feel like I should bake all of the trainers on there Christmas cookies. They have no idea how important they are to me!
    You really should send Bernie this, he would love it.



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