I can mount my old horse from anything and anywhere, and with this current horse, he'd likely be okay from the fence at home if we work on it a lot. However, he has panic attacks in new places so it will likely be a real challenge.
Darn, I didn't really want to be a spectacle, but I am going to get help with a difficult horse.
Believe me, I had the "difficult horse" at a Ray Hunt clinic. It was still beneficial. I wish like hell Buck would come close to my location. My very tractable mare would be lovely to take.
"Dogs are man's best friend. Cats are man's adorable little serial killer." -- theoatmeal.com
I checked out the BB website after becoming intrigued by this thread and I've found out there will be a foundation horsemanship/cow working clinic in Riverside, CA (within 30 minutes of me) in early April. I've only been riding for about six years (but not much lately); would auditing the foundation horsemanship portion be helpful to me? I'd love to hear from other newer riders who have done so.
I think you will find it very, very helpful, even the cow working portion. Why not stay for the whole day? Buck has many great exercises to prepare your horse for working a cow that I use all the time on my dressage and jumping horses! I'll be there auditing on Friday and Saturday since I'll be in So Ca visiting my Mom.
Regarding the variability of intros, no intros, do you do this or do you do that....when I traveled and taught the same 2 day course over and over again, I didn't always kick it off exactly the same way. If the group was chatting with each other we might skip or minimize intros. If everyone was quiet and looked a bit scared, we would do intros and maybe I'd tell a funny story to warm them up.
You can't overprepare and overanalyze it too much, one of the keys to feel is the ability to just be in the moment, be there, and be aware. The rest just takes care of itself.
I rode in an H1 clinic a couple of years ago, and I can't say it was the most enjoyable experience. I did get a lot out of it, but not so much that I'd do it again.
On the positive side:
- if you asked a question directly, he'd give good answers.
- it was good to work with him in person to ask for clarification on small details that didn't come across from videos etc.
- it was well organized, major kudos to the organizers.
I knew what I was getting into (or thought I did) because I'd watched the previous clinic (2 yrs previously), read just about every description out there, watched every one of his and Ray Hunt's videos MANY times, and studied each and every exercise I'd heard Buck mentioned. Even still, the clinic I attended made it very challenging to learn because of the format (way too many people indoors) and the way other people reacted.
In a nutshell:
- one horse reared up and flipped over on its rider before the first intro talk was over (ie, we were all standing around listening).
- one rider got bucked off as we were being dismissed from that first talk
- I almost got pulverized the next day by the yahoo idiot who couldn't control his horse, who kept bucking and kicking out in the second day into talk. Every time I leave my sheltered world and go out into the wide world of "general" horsemanship, I come home appalled! If you want to get your own (&* bucked off, fine, but do it away from all the other people who want to listen.
- few people knew any of what was being taught, or had even heard of any of the exercises. They were wallering around half trying to listen, half trying to ride, and few had any concept of horsemanship. If 25 people were going left, at least one was going right.
-The arena was WAY too tight to really work on anything for more than a half circle before someone was blocking you, running into you, or wandering past. I've done large group clinics before, but I guess due to the people I was riding with then it wasn't an issue before. This time, it was almost a waste of effort.
- at least 4-5 people were checked out completely and not paying attention, and they just got in the way.
- Buck's helpers would work problem horses on the lunge IN the already too small arena with us.
- Buck was CONSTANTLY negative. He'd throw a positive bone out every now and then, but 3 days of negativity was just draining after a while. The same cutting comments that are humorous in the movie or when you only audit for a day are incredibly wearing after that long. I couldn't take it by the end, and was just thankful when the clinic was over.
So in a nutshell, VERY different then the experience that comes across in the movie. I'm up in bridle horse country Alberta, so when it comes to spending my dollars, I'd rather ride with Richard Caldwell, Josh Nichol, Joe Wolters, or Martin Black. I don't reasonate well with Buck's teaching style I think, which I was surprised about. The others I've mentioned are far more considerate, I've found, and don't have the same "you have to ask me" approach.
Good luck though! Glad I went once, but I doubt I'd go again.
For the horse behavior issues, no it's not BB's fault, but an overcrowded arena is going to cause problems. A celebrity clinician will attract crowds and if the clinician did not set appropriate limits for # riders in the ring, then it's reasonable to say watch out for this possibility at other BB clinics.
If BB's handlers were exacerbating the problem by longeing in that too-crowded arena, that is def. a BB issue. And if BB was constantly negative that is also a BB issue --not a flaw, but it's fair feedback that would help others decide if his teaching style was right for them.
He may have been as frustrated as anyone else. Maybe he should have just kicked the noisy ones out, and not refunded their money.
Alabama and I rode in the same Ray Hunt clinic back in ...2000? There were too many riders for ample one on one and many paid scant attention to the instructions given. It was frustrating to try to hear Ray over a bunch of wealthy goofs who (IMO) enrolled on a lark. Ray didn't get bothered, but I remember being annoyed. But if you wanted help and paid attention, Ray was there to help you.
Over on the dressage board someone's whining about having to submit an application and a video to ride in a clinic. The above scenario is why it's so attractive, to spectators, participants, and clinicians. Sometimes as a Teacher a body just gets tired of the same old S*** of folks not trying and not participating. I rode in a Larry Whitesell clinic in January, he's a gaited guy that is ALL about snaffles and the least bit possible. Half the folks in there were in gags, elevators, cradle bit crap, etc- he was kind but also he was frustrated- what the Hell- why sign up with no research? Who takes a clinic just to write a check ???
aktill, How many horses were in the clinic in question, and what size was the arena? One person's crowded is another's normal. I am not doubting the person's ...atkills, i mean...aggravation level...but let's get some facts on paper to yield some perspective. To me its like the question " what are the trails like at------? Rocky. Yeah? How rocky??? " ummm, rocky?
Last edited by katarine; Mar. 4, 2013 at 10:41 PM.
Well and one person's "it was too crowded for longeing!" is another person's "don't freak out b/c another horse is close to your edgy horse"
To be honest, I trust Buck's handling of any clinic over any participant's "I didn't get what I wanted"... He's a pro. Unless you have a good idea of who you are sharing the arena with don't blame the guy that shows up to a class of high maintenance newbies and tries to teach them how to communicate clearly. He's not there to hold your hand or make sure you get enough face time or that your horse doesn't get scared of the circling horse next to you.
I've only been riding for about six years (but not much lately); would auditing the foundation horsemanship portion be helpful to me? I'd love to hear from other newer riders who have done so.
I think you'd get a lot from auditing the FH clinic. There's so much information to absorb that sitting in the bleachers watching and listening really is very valuable. I also take notes whenever I audit a clinic. I think when you ride in a clinic, it's beneficial because you're able to address specific issues on the horse you're working with. But, when you audit, you can see all of the horses and riders in the class and watch what they're working on - and how the clinician helps them with their respective problems. And, as someone else mentioned, auditing is a great way to decide if you want to clinic with that clinician. Every clinician is not for every rider. Some you click with, some not so much.