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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 28, 2009
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    14

    Default Horrible clinic, what would you do??

    So I rode in a two day clinic this weekend (not sure if I should name the clinician) and want to get your guys opinion. It was quite possibly one of the worst experiences I've had and Im not sure if I should do anything about it.

    Saturday was supposed to be dressage/stadium jumping. We all walked into the arena and talked for a little about our horses etc. and then immediately began to do four trot poles on the ground. After we went through that about two times, we stopped and talked in the middle for about 20min. Then they changed it to three canter poles to a teeny tiny vertical which everyone went through no problem. Again, stopped after this and talked for about 20min. After doing another vertical after the canter poles again, talked for 20min. My friend came to audit and to film my rides and when I got home that night, I watched the video. There was 6 TOTAL MINUTES of riding footage in the entire 2 and half hour lesson. The rest (and Im not even being sarcastic) was spent standing in the middle of the arena listening to the clinician tell jokes and make random references about things.

    I went home feeling completely bummed out that I had just spend a ton of money on that but figured I'd wait to see what Sunday held before I got too upset.

    So Sunday was cross country. Started off a bit better this time, in terms of actually riding more, but still not what I was expecting. We spent the first hour on very simple exercises where all of the horses in the group had no problem. Again, seemed to spend more time talking, than riding. Then moved on to something else that was a little more challenging but not too bad. Spent another hour or so on this. The entire session, the clinician was being blatantly rude and saying things that were completely inappropriate (I thought). I never felt encouraged, only that I better do it perfect or I'm gonna get ripped apart. On the other hand though, I WANTED to mess up just so I could do it again and have more riding time. Looking back, we did about 6 total xc fences.

    Basically, I walked away from this weekend feeling worse about everything and with nothing to go home and work on. This clinician has a very big name for being "one of the best there is" and it was not cheap to ride with them. I saved and saved so I could do this and now I just don't know what to do. I did talk to two other people in my group who said the same thing… that they would NEVER pay to ride with this person again and that it was one of the worst (in not THE worst clinic they’ve ever done). It was so bad that I feel I need to do something. So my question is, what would you guys do?? Would you write the clinician a letter?? Write the organizer a letter? Ask for your money back?? Do nothing??


    2 members found this post helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2013
    Posts
    88

    Default

    Just talk about it to your eventing friends in real life and on here. A good clinician gains a good reputation by word of mouth, by being effective, by giving value for money. One who doesn't do that quickly loses his income when word gets around.

    I've had good value learning experiences with JJ Tate, Buck Davidson, Jim Koford. Who have you had insufficient value for money from ?


    3 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 19, 2005
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    13,096

    Default

    I'd not do anything but I wouldn't ride with them again. Not all clinicians are good matches for everyone. I've had some not so good clinics with people that others on here rave about...and vice versa.

    It is one of the reasons it is often better to audit a clinic first to see if you get a long with them but I know that even I've not always done that. Sorry you had a bummer weekend but re watch and see if there is anything you can take away from it. It isn't always the riding where you learn something....
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **


    3 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2005
    Location
    between the mountains and the sea, North Carolina
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    2,936

    Default

    I don't think theres anything you can do about getting your money back, unfortunately. You can email the organizer and let them know you wouldn't attend again with this clinician. You can let friends know about your experience so they don't make the same mistake, and the clinician gets less business.

    Sorry that happened to you!
    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
    "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey


    2 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 20, 2009
    Location
    Raeford, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,971

    Default

    Chalk it up to experience and spend your money on someone else next time. It's an unfortunate reality that sometimes a clinic doesn't give you the 'big bang' for your buck that you were hoping for.

    If the organizer asks for feedback then you can very delicately mention that you had hoped for more actual riding time, but find something positive to say as well. Try not to burn any bridges, the horse world is teensy.

    Sorry you had a bad experience. In the future this forum is a great place to get insight before writing the check
    "Drawing on my fine command of the English language, I said nothing" - Robert Benchley
    Cotton would fight.
    http://buildingthegrove.blogspot.com/


    3 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 28, 2009
    Posts
    14

    Default

    Thanks for the replys! I did read a thread on here and the couple people that had done clinics with this person RAVED about it. My trainer even said if there was anyone she would clinic with, it would be this person...so frustrating!!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 19, 2005
    Location
    PA
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    13,096

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by horselover1117 View Post
    Thanks for the replys! I did read a thread on here and the couple people that had done clinics with this person RAVED about it. My trainer even said if there was anyone she would clinic with, it would be this person...so frustrating!!
    Unfortunately...even good people can have an off weekend. Just sucks that it happened to you.
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
    Posts
    13,342

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
    I'd not do anything but I wouldn't ride with them again. Not all clinicians are good matches for everyone. I've had some not so good clinics with people that others on here rave about...and vice versa.

    It is one of the reasons it is often better to audit a clinic first to see if you get a long with them but I know that even I've not always done that. Sorry you had a bummer weekend but re watch and see if there is anything you can take away from it. It isn't always the riding where you learn something....
    All of this. Not a whole lot you can do. I've had that "Why did I do this?" experience, too, and it does suck. The best you can do is walk away, and don't do it again.

    If you walked away feeling like you developed confidence issues, talk to your trainer about them and maybe get a couple of extra lessons to hopefully right any wrongs that may have occurred.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2000
    Location
    Concord, NH
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    4,997

    Default

    Were you in the right group? That can make a difference too and it sounds like you were not at all challenged. Unfortunately you can't change things after the fact, but sometimes in 2-day clinics it is possible to change groups for the second day - either for more of a challenge, or less if you were overfaced on day 1. When I read your title, I was expecting that something bad had happened and now you have to fix it. At least this type of bad clinic is just felt in your pocket book.

    When the clinician was talking, or other riders were riding, was it at all educational? Sounds like an unfortunate weekend, and now you know.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2004
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    7,540

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    ok, i am not an eventer, but i would FOR SURE write or call the organizer and express your unhappiness! i would send them the video and show them the total of 6 minutes of riding.

    i would ask for a refund and if they were not forthcoming i would publicly post the name of the clinican, the organizer, etc. all just listing the facts: how much you spent, how much riding time you got etc.

    i think it is ridiculous that we in the horse world put up with being ripped off and say we must just chalk it up to experience! that is how bad clinics happen: the clinician and organizer and not informed at how much it sucked so they continue to provide bad service.

    You might get push back, but i really do believe we need to hold our professionals to a higher standard!

    good luck!


    27 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2006
    Posts
    9,038

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    Just don't go again next time.

    I did a clinic where I spent one day getting roughly 5 minutes of personal feed back on leading my horse around and spending a half hour spinning it around on one leg around the perimeter with everyone else until finally the clinician got around to commenting on my one-legged-spinning for 10 seconds, and the next two days jumping a grand total of 3 short courses a day, for a total of 6 courses in four hours of essentially standing around.

    Which, if I wanted to learn by WATCHING I would have AUDITED for $450 fewer dollars, and without the need to trailer my horse and get him all spotless.

    For the most part, I think jumping clinics are for the birds. It is always some group of a zillion people and you spend more time waiting your turn than doing anything. Waiting your turn is "auditing." The difference between "Watching everyone else go" and "watching everyone else go and having a turn myself for 6 minutes" is not worth a couple extra hundred dollars and the rigamarole of transporting the horse to me.

    Show me a jump clinic run like dressage clinics where it is a private lesson that everyone else is auditing but you are doing, and suddenly I will be pulling the benjamins out of my wallet again.


    14 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May. 28, 2009
    Posts
    14

    Default

    I was definitely in the right group, I've only been eventing for about 2 months and I was in the Beginner Novice/Novice group. I watched the Novice, Training and Prelim groups and they did the exact same exercises (I dont even think the jump heights were changed for the Novice group).

    Thats the thing that bothered me the most I think, is that no, I didn't learn hardly anything when he was talking. A few things here and there, but there was just no riding time to demonstrate or watch other people to apply the things he was saying.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 23, 2004
    Location
    Camden, De
    Posts
    3,632

    Default

    Some of the most popular clinicans are people that I would never clinic with simply because they talk too much and don't teach. I have seen this so many times that it has put me off most clinics. I don't have money to waste so I would rather have private lessons from somebody who is going to pay attention to me. I even audit instructors before I lesson with them because teaching style is so important to me. Some of the best riders are awful at teaching.


    10 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep. 16, 1999
    Location
    Ohio: Charter Member - COTH Hockey Clique & COTH Buffy Clique
    Posts
    9,143

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mbm View Post
    ok, i am not an eventer, but i would FOR SURE write or call the organizer and express your unhappiness! i would send them the video and show them the total of 6 minutes of riding.

    i would ask for a refund and if they were not forthcoming i would publicly post the name of the clinican, the organizer, etc. all just listing the facts: how much you spent, how much riding time you got etc.

    i think it is ridiculous that we in the horse world put up with being ripped off and say we must just chalk it up to experience! that is how bad clinics happen: the clinician and organizer and not informed at how much it sucked so they continue to provide bad service.

    You might get push back, but i really do believe we need to hold our professionals to a higher standard!

    good luck!
    It is NOT the fault of the organizers on how the clinician teaches the groups. She was in the right group for her ability. If she had not been, then a possible gripe at the organizers. If the facility was an issue, then gripe at the organizers. But her gripe is with the clinician... NOT the organizers. Asking for a refund due to the clinician is ridiculous. Inform the organizer of your displeasure (politely) and that you'd love to attend more of their clinics but will not attend with this particular instructor because X, Y, Z. Organizers hire the clinicians. Typically they hire them with the hope that they'll be able to fill the clinic and not lose money (or at least that's what I did when I ran clinics). If they know they won't fill with this particular person teaching, they won't hire them. If that professional stops getting business... THAT is how we hold them to a standard.
    ************
    "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


    6 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
    Posts
    13,342

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mbm View Post
    ok, i am not an eventer, but i would FOR SURE write or call the organizer and express your unhappiness! i would send them the video and show them the total of 6 minutes of riding.

    i would ask for a refund and if they were not forthcoming i would publicly post the name of the clinican, the organizer, etc. all just listing the facts: how much you spent, how much riding time you got etc.

    i think it is ridiculous that we in the horse world put up with being ripped off and say we must just chalk it up to experience! that is how bad clinics happen: the clinician and organizer and not informed at how much it sucked so they continue to provide bad service.

    You might get push back, but i really do believe we need to hold our professionals to a higher standard!

    good luck!
    I don't think there is anything wrong with letting the organizer know that they were disappointed. Especially if this was a one-off type clinic and not a regular clinician for the organizer. I don't think there is anything wrong with also saying who the clinician was. But I don't think anyone's going to get money back. It just doesn't work that way. The clinician is paid and gone. The organizer can't go to the clinician and say "hey, one of our attendees thought you sucked. Pay her back." They have basically no control over what the clinician does, what they teach, what exercises they use, nothing. It just does not work that way.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2004
    Posts
    7,540

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    <shrug>

    can't hurt to try..... a good business person would weigh the pros and cons and realize that the bad press is not worth it and that the better and more productive way for continued prosperity is to make the customer happy if at all possible.

    that kind of customer service always pays off

    good luck OP.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep. 26, 2010
    Posts
    5,219

    Default

    To the OP: I am so sorry for your troubles. This is why I generally do not go to clinics. I've attended some as a rider, even some that were supposed to be private lessons, but got little out of the experience. Far too many clinicians like to hear themselves talk, or spend too much time discussing theory.

    I don't think there is much you can do other than to let the organizers know that you are disappointed. Let them know exactly why and suggest that it was not good value. Please also share your experiences relative to the more advanced groups. It sounds like this clinician is enamored of himself and isn't tailoring the exercises to the needs of the students. People doing prelim should definitely be doing more advanced questions or bigger stuff than the B/N folks.

    At this point you aren't going to get your money back. However, if enough people talk to the organizers it may convince them to never invite this person back.

    Please PM me - I'd like to know who this person is so I can tell my eventing friends who to avoid.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov. 9, 2007
    Posts
    155

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    I just put on a clinic with a BNT/R, and I want feedback. I would not be able to refund monies, but absolutely want the information - I always want the attendees to benefit and enjoy the time, so YES, at least tell the organizer...


    14 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May. 28, 2009
    Posts
    14

    Default

    Thanks again for all the replies! I really do feel like he needs to be somewhat accountable for how the weekend went. It kills me to think that I worked my a@@ off trying to save up for this clinc and that he just out came and treated everyone like that. Makes me sick!! I think I will definitely email the organizer and let her know what Im feeling and see where that goes. I've definitely learned my lesson and will probably not do another clinic for a lonngggg time, if I ever decide to actually do another one!


    4 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May. 28, 2009
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    14

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    Good to know!! I will definitely email the organizer and give her my thoughts!!

    Quote Originally Posted by galloping-gourmet View Post
    I just put on a clinic with a BNT/R, and I want feedback. I would not be able to refund monies, but absolutely want the information - I always want the attendees to benefit and enjoy the time, so YES, at least tell the organizer...



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