I've been a few Wendy Murdoch clinics and would go again. I love Feldenkrais work. And I like what she does with the horses. However, you do need to have some appreciation for what she does as it's very subtle work. If you have enough body awareness or want to develop more body awareness, then I highly recommend her clinics.
I did google. I found her website, and I googled the somatic education stuff she does. I didn't find anythng that really explained how she taught dressage or riding but I did find lots of fancy talk. I also didn't find anyone that had real life experiences with her but were not being promoted on her website. I did find a video series of her instructing a man on a western horse in a 12 X 12 foot area in a demo.
I've worked with Wendy many times in the past, and would love to have the opportunity to do so again.
Her lessons are all about using your body in the most correct and comfortable way that is the most beneficial for the horse. She'll teach you how to position every part of your body in a better way, and then have you go back and forth between the "new" optimal position and the "old" position that you and the horse are used to. By doing this, she shows you how much of an influence the littlest changes can have.
You'll probably be a bit sore by the end of the ride from using muscles that you didn't know existed, but your horse will be so comfortable and moving very well.
I think you'd be much better off spending the money on a really really good dressage instructor. WM told me that my horse's stiffness was mental, and to smack him and use a harsh rein aid to correct him everytime he stiffened. Later on I found out from xrays that the horse has bad neck arthritis, hence the stiffening.
Needless to say I felt so terrible for doing Wendy's crazy stuff.
kcmel, I would google her and also look at the people who have worked with her successfully. If there are some impressive riders who work with her, that is at least some evidence that what she can be helpful.
It really depends on what your goals are with your horse. I have not ridden with Wendy but I have heard good things. But I do not know any top riders who work with her - they are primarily amateurs who are focusing on their relationship with their horse.
But I do not have first hand knowledge and could very well be mistaken.
Honestly, that's super pricey for someone you're not sure about, who doesn't seem to have a lot of strong feedback.
I haven't worked with Conrad Schumacher before but wouldn't hesitate to spend that much to ride with him, as an example, and riding with Jeremy Steinberg could be around that price. But for someone I don't know much about who my trainer doesn't know enough to think will be super valuable for me, it seems a really high price tag.
And I *love* biomechanics, and I *love* Feldenkrais and it has helped me a lot off-horse.
Originally Posted by Silverbridge
If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.
I have a friend who has ridden with her at least once and really enjoyed it. She was auditing a Kottas clinic a few years ago and I was riding in it, and I attempted to start a conversation/interaction with her and was a bit put off because she basically said "come pay for a lesson and I'll talk".
I haven't gotten over that initial "well never mind" reaction so I have not yet signed up for any of her clinics.
I did some unmounted work with another Feldenkreis instructor, but her marketing materials were "are you scared to ride? I can help", and I finally got tired of her projecting her lack of confidence onto anyone who wanted to ride.
I like working with her a lot and have ridden with her intermittently over the past 10-15 years. She is expensive, but IMO covers a lot of ground. No teacher/trainer works for everyone, so if you are unsure, I suggest that you audit and then decide for next time.
I always think it's a good idea to audit a clinician...especially if he/she is pricey and especially if the method is new/different. You can learn a LOT by watching - esp. if the info is very different than what you're used to. If she is really good, the riders will want her to come back and you can actively participate at that time.
She has done clinics at the barn where I board. From limited observation, I would not consider her a dressage trainer. Her riders often do little more than walk and trot. As mentioned above it seems much about body awareness.
She does seem to have a following, but personally its not my cup of tea.
We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........
Wendy is very effective at improving your position and teaching you to ride in a very fluid way that is easy for your body. She does body work on you on and off the horse. Improving how you move with your horse helps your horse move better!
An experienced DRESSAGE rider she is not. But a VERY experienced instructor and horse person.