I audited a clinic of his and thought he was great. I can tell you that there were a couple riders who talked back or made excuses and I imagine they may feel that they did not have as good a clinic as others did, because JW was irritated by them. I can not say that I blame him. One thing I have learned in clinics or lessons is that you are paying for an opinion, you may or may not like that opinion, best to keep those negative thoughts & excuses to your self.
One particular Training level rider stood out to me. She kept catching her horse in the mouth. He tried many different exercises to tell her that she was balancing off her horses mouth. She repeatedly argued she was not doing that. He had her loop her reins around the horses neck and only be able to hold on to the loop. She fell off over the third jump without her reins. She was angry and cursing. After she left he addressed the rest and said hopefully she learned a valuable lesson and he wished she would have listened to him rather than arguing with him. While she probably thought he was a huge jerk, he was really trying to teach her a hard lesson for her and her horse's sake.
If you have a horse that rushes in SJ I would HIGHLY recommend him. he just caters to that. But you better be willing to ride through it no matter what. His exercises accomplish a lot. I think someone else mentioned his timing of walking in front of the jump as well as his human standard exercise is phenomenal to watch.
Purple - from what I've noticed of your posts, I'm surprised you didn't see the value in Jim. The value in his exercises, even without with a very few words added, just noticing when he adds a pole in the middle, or when he quietly walks in front of a jump just before a horse gets there, is huge, at least if you watch all the sessions and really pay attention to the progression.
Just to clarify, I was not berated to the point that I didn't want to go back.
It was worse. I was disgusted by the lack of clear communication to others and his lack of explaining things further when it was obvious that a rider didn't understand.
As for his exercises. It was all the same-ol same-ol to me. In fact almost all clinics that I attend set easier and less technical exercises than what I set at home. I'm not trying to put myself in a gold chariot here--just adding that I already knew the value of the exercises that were set at our particular clinic.
So Jimmy was nothing new to me in that sense. That is because I was in the right place at the right time a decade ago and hooked up with an amazing coach who implements all of the stated techniques. Unparalleled by any.
I wish I had been berated! I like clinicians to treat me poorly. I learn best that way.
One of my favorites was Will Coleman.
The very first thing he said to me was "Kristen, you probably make a lovely kodak moment but your base of support is terrible."
Another was when I met with a non local coach for some XC before moving up.
He said, "If you are going to ride like that you are going to die. You should enter in Novice instead of Prelim because you ride your horse like shit and he deserves better."
I understand those statements (not teachings, but statements). They are clear and makes me feel like I suck. Which makes me focus and ride stronger.
So no, many people try to chalk our JW dislikes to "not liking having our butts handed to us" but in this instance that is very much not the case.
now, I do love his literature.
And have heard folks mention that it's just as good to read his book and audit a clinic.
Also, it's my dream to clinic with George Morris! I think I would love it.
(ps, I find that after riding with Lucinda she's better to audit as well.)
I was disgusted by the lack of clear communication to others and his lack of explaining things further when it was obvious that a rider didn't understand.
Also, it's my dream to clinic with George Morris! I think I would love it.
Based on your statements above, I don't think you would like riding with GM at all, and his clinics are REALLY expensive at 1,000 to 1,200 for a weekend, save your money. You do the exercises as he tells you to do them or he yells at you. Rarely are there moments of one on one mechanical discussion on "how to". He doesn't teach little mechanics in his clinics. The exercises are what teach you in his clinics. It sounds to me like JW is much the same way so I'm sure I'll be just fine.
I think it's a matter of preferences and what you want out of a clinic. When I rode with George, I thought he was at his best when he was focused, but that a lot of energy was spent making comments for the benefit of the auditors. I did appreciate that he understood quickly some of the nuances of the particular horse I was sitting on, but it felt more like we were attending the George Morris show than we were having a particularly tough lesson. Chalk it up to the category of things that are fun to do once, don't need to repeat.
Lucinda is amazing particularly for riders with confidence issues - most folks tend to come out of there feeling like they can ride through anything they are presented with. I don't love her for adding polish to a rider, but if you're contemplating a move-up, I think she can be great. I see Jimmy as a bit of a combination of the two. With Jimmy, I thought he was better able to set exercises that taught the horses something, and to modify them based on what each horse needed, but that he also gave you some confidence building questions. He is a bit of a showman, but in a way that I find useful - he uses humor to get his point across. I think I would get more out of riding with Jimmy regularly than just having a one-off clinic, but in general, I think that's true for many instructors.
It sounds to me like JW is much the same way so I'm sure I'll be just fine.
I suspect you will quite enjoy Jimmy. I would have loved to ride with him if I had something more than a green green greenie at the time he was doing regular clinics at our farm.
We did of course write down and "borrow" all of his exercises for our lessons... which were really fun but definitely highlighted the holes in our riding. That hogsback gymnastic is still one of my favorites many years later.
On the subject of clinics, I think they are a great opportunity for those of us who mostly work at home alone. BNTs of all stripes have been nothing but polite and kind to me, even ones known for being a bit gruff. (Though I haven't ridden with Jimmy or GM so take that with a grain of salt.) I have taken clinics from BNT jumper riders, and did Event Camp with the Laws and Stephen Bradley last summer. I took a green TB that had never been off property, and never seen a XC fence (and I hadn't jumped any in a decade and have never evented). He was jumping higher than I'd signed up for at home but I don't have space for courses so he was inexperienced there.
It was a wonderful experience to get a start with the best, and he walked away confident with water, over ditches, down banks, etc. The clinicians were happy to work with us and taught us a lot. When I had "stupid questions" I tried to ask before my turn, when the exercise was explained. That saves time and a bad go-through....and by "stupid questions" I mean "what's the best method for letting out my reins down a bank?" -- things that most eventers already knew. Then on my turn I could at least try to do it right from the start.
I do think it is important to have your horse to a point where he's confirmed at the height you are signed up or better, so you don't hold the group back. But I am sure tidyrabbit's gelding is going to be more than ready for the 3' section of a gymnastic clinic.
Tidy, try to take someone to video your rides. I learn again watching the videos of my lessons once I'm home -- it helps it sink in and me to get my money's worth. I know you ride by yourself most of the time too and this is a huge benefit -- it helps me keep my training on track. Plus it always looks better than it feels, which is highly reassuring.
Also I would rush delivery his book if you don't already have it -- reading that might help you get in his zone.
Would do another in a heartbeat! Daughter did one over winter. Walking into mornin meeting, he greeted us both by name. Had never met him. She was in the advanced group, so probably deduction,but still, nice touch that he knew mine.
Answered all questions, with humor, insight, and didnt make us feel dumb.
Stadium was a bit boring...we had several wo were green, so they got a bit more attention, but still learned a ton to use on greenies. Liked our guy.
XC quickly discovered a habit of daughters. Made her ride EVERYTHING in driving reins. Try that on a bunch of big, imposing fences! Lol. He was nice, well spoken, had good advice, ifyou had big britches on. Quick to figure out who doesnt listen, as we audited lower levels. If you go in with attitude, or acting like you already know it all....i think he probably just spends the time with those really interested.
My experience was pretty neutral. I won a lesson with him in an online auction. It ended up being a lesson with 3 of his regular students, and I felt like most of my time was spent learning some of his particular preferences that they already knew. He had me change a few things which were interesting, but not very confidence-building for my horse, who is generally steady but was unnerved by some of it. I felt like I left with some good tools and areas to focus on, but also with some horse rebuilding to do.
He did make a couple of (incorrect) assumptions about me that might have really offended some people. I am not that easily offended, more just surprised.
I think I would have gotten a lot more out of working with him regularly, as his students in the lesson clearly did--he knew them, their horses, etc.
The other lesson I won in the same auction with a different BNT went much better in terms of sussing out my horse and my riding in just a few minutes and helping us move forward.
Lynn, can you at least come spectate? Sorry you're not going to be able to ride but I hope that the little tendon bump is just and afterthought now since it went down immediately!
Tidy Rabbit: aren't you friends with Jess Ball? I help her our with Roman and feel like I have heard stories (all good) about you.
I am hosting the clinic and am really trying to achieve a positive experience for all involved.
"Gallop as if you were to die tomorrow, jump as if you were to live forever."
I could come and audit, but weekends to "get stuff done" around the farm are few and far between, not to mention lost family time with a long show season, so auditing did not, unfortunately, "make the cut" priority-wise.
That and Boscoe has his follow-up ultrasound the Friday morning we were going to leave--days off have to be hoarded and used wisely.
He is WONDERFUL! He cleared up the show jumping issues my last event horse and I were having with one remark; " keep your head UP" he is also excellent on mechanics of rider position; His exercises were good and produced the only clear SJ round we'd had;in fact, the only one of the day He is a good horseman and really likes, and appreciates horses; he has great command of the English language; in one session you will hear quotes/ paraphrases from Shakespeare to the latest movies/ videos; He is also easy to talk to; as long as you do not insist on repeating the same question, after he has given you an answer; volunteering to jump crew is a great way to easily get more of his knowledge; I would do it in a heartbeat if, I could still do it. When I realized how easy it was to get to him for lessons I was there as often as I could come up with the $
If you can find some one to video your session; you will watch it over and over
Last edited by Carol Ames; Oct. 25, 2012 at 09:04 AM.
I have trained with Jim for a while. In person regular lessons in '94-97. In clinics ever since.
I've said this about Jimmy and other popular clinicians before, but I do think that having a student/coach relationship with some of these clinicians can make the experience FAR different. There is one extremely popular, dashingly handsome clinician that I HATED riding with a couple of years ago. But a friend rides with him, in lessons, on a regular basis and swears he is far different. I think that can make a huge, huge difference to the clinic experience...there is no "learning curve" for the clinician or the student. The student knows the clinician's little nit picky issues and avoids them, understands their "language" and just gets on with it (same can be said for those who ride regularly in clinics, rather than the one off occasion). The clinician knows the student, their strengths and weaknesses, and while they may not know the horse, can probably suss out the horse in short order because they know the rider.
Someone new walking in to a clinic will have a learning curve, as will the clinician...some people (both sides of the equation) are better at it than others. Sometimes people have off days. This is the risk of clinicing, really. It is a lot of money for a quick assessment of horse and rider ON THAT DAY. And if it isn't a good match or someone is having a bad day (rider, horse, or clinician), the rider may leave with a bad taste in their mouth.
Honestly, this is why I clinic so rarely, and when I do it is with someone I am REALLY anxious to ride with that I can't necessarily easily access (spoiled Area 2 girl talking). Especially after the horrendous experience Vernon and I had with the above clinician...at least that outing was a gift from my then employer!
All that being said....TR, go and enjoy and learn.
I suppose I "grew up "eventing/ training, , pretraining/ novice, doing course walks "with him". He always had a large, very large group of students following him and I stayed to the outside of the rear He looked at me but, never asked me to leave. I was like a sponge soaking up everything I could find about eventing; I think what I got from Jim, above all was approach, i.e. attitude to impart knowledge without coming down too hard on students; I confess that it took me many years to understand what he meant by that; .
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Em, great video. A little frustrating to watch only because I kept wanting to hear the end of what he was saying when the camera would cut. LOL I've ridden with him a couple times but it's been so long. Would have signed up for the clinic but at the time, I didn't think the pony was ready for it. Oh well... next time.
"Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the Hard that makes it great."
"Get up... Get out... Get Drunk. Repeat as needed." -- Spike