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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 28, 2012
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    New York
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    Default Talk to me about Bernie Traurig?

    Hey Guys!
    I just got the opprotunity to go to the Bernie Traurig clinic in Ohio this year, but I have a couple of questions/ need some advice.
    First off have any of you had experience with him? What should I expect?
    I'm currently showing in the Children's and Modified Jrs. and placing pretty consistently even at the bigger shows (I'm not champion or reserve every time but I am pretty often). To do the clinic I would have to lease a horse, I'm pretty used to riding other people's horses because I'm my trainer's crash test dummy, but if I do that would I have to stay in a lower division? (2'6"-2'9" instead of 3'-3-6")
    How does he feel about flexy stirrups? Any quirks to look out for?
    Thanks for any help!
    My Horse Show Photography/ Blog



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 12, 2009
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    Heart of the Midwest
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    Audited a clinic for several hours. He expects you to listen! Will check your bit first, ask a few questions about your horse. Starts with flatwork, then progresses to gymnastics before doing fences. Thoughtful, respectful of riders. I hope to ride with him when he returns, even if I have to lease a horse.
    pace, path, balance, impulsion and ??

    Don't panic! Ralph Leroy Hill


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 5, 2007
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    Tampa FL
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    Don't get me started on Bernie... I think he is the ultimate pro! I have so much respect for him. I have never attended a clinic but I have dealt with him (for work) on many occasions and I find that he is a very pleasant person.


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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 1, 2011
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    2,176

    Default

    There was a clinic held around here and people that took it and trainers I talked to weren't overly impressed from it. They felt he spent a lot of time switching up bits and tack, and didn't seem to have a real goal for the clinic. Most clinicians tend to have a couple points they really want to instill, and each exercise they do lends itself to that, but Bernie had been a bit all over the place. He got quite frustrated with people 'not listening' but I, sitting in the stands watching and paying full attention, sometimes had no idea what he was asking for either.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 8, 2004
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    The Great, uh, Green (?!?!) North!
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    I'll send you a PM.
    "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."



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 12, 2002
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    Former Long Islander now in the middle of the Great Lakes
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    Default

    Um , I got a totally opposite opinion from auditing and having riders in his clinic , I thought he was methodical in his method of teaching. While he did spend time on bits and basics it was because it was needed. I watched as he took one rider from having an extremely frustrating, and uncontrollable ride to a well balanced on the buckle ride all by changing a bit , the rider went from tears to smiles in a few minutes and progressed rapidly after that. .I did watch him get after someone but he was not without cause, that person was not listening at all. After repeating the same mistake over and over again and causing the horse quite a bit of stress Bernie couldn't take it anymore , I didn't blame him . His goals are simple .. quiet gets it done, simple gets it done .. fancy bits and gimmicks are for people who would rather fight with their horse then work with their horse. Most of the riders came away with a great deal of insight and he is one of the few clinicians that have a presentation after the fact and a question and answer period. with a history lesson thrown in to boot.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2005
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
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    He will have all participants wear a headset. Make sure you can hear him via the headset before you get started.

    The bit check can take a while but it's really important. Make sure you know exactly what bit you're using and why. Go for the most simple and gentle bit you can. Bernie likes Pelhams.

    As others have said LISTEN. I don't just mean pay attention. I mean listen to every single word even when he's not talking to you. He might be looking at another rider and say "be light with our hands, look where you're going, next one, keep your hands still, etc". The "next one" is directed at the next person in line, not the person he's looking at.

    Make sure you can adjust your stirrup length the proper way.

    Sit the canter. :-).

    Take notes after your session to get the most out of it.
    ~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 19, 2009
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    Out West
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    Default

    I've ridden in several of his clinics. I had received advice on this forum and it really helped, especially the advice about which bit to use. I made it a point of getting a single-jointed loose-ring snaffle and while many of the "first-timers" in my clinic had to make equipment changes, I was all set.

    He's also picky about spurs and likes a basic POW worn below the spur rest. If you have a chance, watch his video on Equestrian Coach about spurs.

    He has every rider wear a headset so you can always hear him, but sometimes it's confusing as to who he's talking to, so you really have to pay attention. Also, if you're doing ring crew, don't chit chat!

    FInally, if he ends up riding one of the horses, soak up the experience of watching a true master horseman!


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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 25, 2006
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    MA
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    Just out of curiosity, what type of bits did he change away from, things like 3 rings and mylers or other types as well? I have no dog in this race so to speak, just wondering.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 13, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElisLove View Post
    There was a clinic held around here and people that took it and trainers I talked to weren't overly impressed from it. They felt he spent a lot of time switching up bits and tack, and didn't seem to have a real goal for the clinic. Most clinicians tend to have a couple points they really want to instill, and each exercise they do lends itself to that, but Bernie had been a bit all over the place. He got quite frustrated with people 'not listening' but I, sitting in the stands watching and paying full attention, sometimes had no idea what he was asking for either.
    This is the general feeling I got when I rode in one of his clinics. I have ridden with many different clinicians but was just not overly impressed with his clinic. I rode in a rather large group, too large if you ask me, with 6 other people. I didn't really feel he had a goal for the group overall either. He wasted a lot of time switching around bits on horses (btw, most I spoke to said they would return to their original bit of choice after the clinic). I just felt like the group was too big and that he wasn't overly interested in really bettering any of the horses or riders.


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  11. #11
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    Feb. 7, 2013
    Location
    Maryland
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    I love love love him! I've ridden in two of his clinics and came home from both of them feeling like I solved at least one problem and with lot's of exercises and critique to work on at home. Both times I have ridden with him there were only 3 people in the class so he really got to focus on each of us, for some reason the 3'6 class was very small, the lower height groups had about 5-7 people. He is very deliberate and will make sure you are doing something perfectly before adding on to it or letting you move on but will instill a huge amount of confidence in you if you are constantly listening and working hard during his exercises. I would absolutely jump at the chance to ride with him again whenever he is in my area, he is my favorite of all the big name clinicians I have ever worked with, George, Joe Fargis, etc.



  12. #12
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    Oct. 11, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by lintesia View Post
    I

    FInally, if he ends up riding one of the horses, soak up the experience of watching a true master horseman!
    I agree. He rode a horse at the Old Salem Trainers Certification clinic in December and it was great to watch! Unfortunately, by the time the girl got back on (this was day 1) he didn't really go into what she should do differently so the horse would go better. He said, see me after.. but that didn't help the auditors. The transformation in the horse was pretty amazing. I wanted to know what he did so that the rider could work on it. I didn't feel like he gave her that feedback. Granted, maybe she spoke with him afterwards or maybe he went into it on day 2 (i wasn't there)



  13. #13
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    Apr. 12, 2002
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    Former Long Islander now in the middle of the Great Lakes
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    I do agree, to many riders can spoil a clinic experience , but you have to remember that the numbers are determined by the host barn usually. Bernie has a set rate, the amount of riders determine the cost of a clinic.. Some barns choose to do these clinics at no profit , while others make a good profit. While I did feel a couple of the divisions had too many riders in them , I still felt the riders all got a lot out of it. Bernie likes rubber D's and while I too, like those bits , my go to bit is a curved snaffle , he thinks they are gimicky but as long as i don't believe what he recomends bit wise will hurt my horses , I am willing to try, sometimes they work, sometimes not so much. Bernie brings a lot to the table .. it's up to the rider to be open minded and at least taste it.



  14. #14
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    Dec. 17, 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by myalter1 View Post
    I agree. He rode a horse at the Old Salem Trainers Certification clinic in December and it was great to watch! Unfortunately, by the time the girl got back on (this was day 1) he didn't really go into what she should do differently so the horse would go better. He said, see me after.. but that didn't help the auditors. The transformation in the horse was pretty amazing. I wanted to know what he did so that the rider could work on it. I didn't feel like he gave her that feedback. Granted, maybe she spoke with him afterwards or maybe he went into it on day 2 (i wasn't there)
    I found this annoying as well. The horse was very, very hot and feisty, (just the way it went and the girl had enough control), and the second day he spent an hour switching it's tack and flatting it around while the other 5 people just sat on the rail... I believe he got on one horse each day in each group. IMO a very unruly horse with 0 control he should get on, but I don't think he utilized his time very well by spending so much time riding one horse.



  15. #15
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    Oct. 24, 2008
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    Portola Valley, CA
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    Default

    I rode in one of his clinics a year and a half ago. It wasn't earth-shattering, but it wasn't horrible either. The group I was in was well-matched and well-mounted so it made his job a little easier. My horse is broke, but green (show-wise), and emotionally sensitive and it was a good experience for her.

    I appreciated the flat work, although it didn't seem to evolve into proving a point - it was more lateral work for the sake of doing it. But I do appreciate the flat work and attention to detail.

    I think if I have a disciplined student who wants to try a clinic for the first time, this would be a great experience. I also think it's a good experience for green horses.

    He likes snaffles and standard tack and seemed pretty dogmatic about it. He's a little like riding with George minus the insults.



  16. #16
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    Nov. 28, 2012
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    New York
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    Thank you so much! I still don't know if I'll go but if I do, which division do you think I should ride in? there is a 2'6-2'9 and a 3'-3'6 I school horses up to 3'3" comfortably and jump 3'6" ocassionally (at home and shows) but a massive 3'6" oxer with a huge spread would be pushing it for me. I don't want to spend two days jumping small fences and not REALLY pushing myself, but I also don't want to totally overface myself.
    Right now I'm leaning towards 3'-3'6".
    My Horse Show Photography/ Blog



  17. #17
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    Mar. 13, 2006
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    Go ahead and do the 3'-3'6'' group, with such a wide verity of heights, I doubt anything will get too big.



  18. #18
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    I did a 3-3'6" group with him and none of us jumped higher than MAYBE 2'9".
    \"In all manners of opinion, our adversaries are insane.\" Mark Twain



  19. #19
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    Apr. 28, 2005
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    Chicago
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    The rider struggling the most gets the most attention - sorry to say but it's true. So if you want more attention (which is what you're paying for) then ride in the group with the higher jumps. :-)
    ~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~



  20. #20
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    Jun. 30, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by snaffle635 View Post
    The rider struggling the most gets the most attention - sorry to say but it's true. So if you want more attention (which is what you're paying for) then ride in the group with the higher jumps. :-)
    In BT's clinic specifically?



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