rothmpp, Well said!!!!
There is a trainer that I will not name but that is very popular on COTH. I have seen many lessons this person has given and while the majority have been fabulous one time this person gave a lesson that was not so great and the person who had the lesson was really not thrilled, but in subsequent lessons had wonderful lessons. Course the difference is the lesson did not cost as much as a clinic, but still they are human, they do have off days and yet it still has to be a huge let down to someone who has saved their money and looked forward to learning. I think this thread has been a good discussion and food for thought in many ways.
I'm sorry, this was INCREDIBLY bad form. There is nothing wrong in politely pointing out that there might have been a "method to the (clinician's) madness" in choosing to do some of the things the OP complained about (relatively few fences; same fences for several levels, etc.). That could be instructive to someone transitioning from jumpers to eventing. It is absolutely RUDE to spit out a sneering and condescending analysis of the OP's riding and behaviour at the clinic (which may or may not have even been the OP!!). There might be some justification for this kind of response if the OP had started with "OMG NEVER clinic with XXX, they are TOTAL CRAP!!!!!". However, the point of the thread was not to "out" a terrible clinician; it was to inquire about the etiquette around expressing dissatisfaction with a clinic. If ruining the clinician's reputation was the real intention, the OP is certainly going about it in a very roundabout way
While there is an interesting perspective in your post, BlissTate, the message is totally lost in the uncalled-for nastiness. If the clinician you are defending is so high-profile, I am sure that he/she has had a couple of unhappy clinic participants along the line without ruining their reputation, and they don't need a pitbull to come on a public forum to defend them. I absolutely have no dog in this fight -- I have no idea who the OP is, who you are, or who the clinician might be. However, this kind of high-school behaviour ("oh yeah i know who you are and what you did!!!!") irritates the hell out of me.
If you re-write your post to take out the personal attacks, it's actually pretty interesting. As is, it's just nasty.
Completely agree. I sojourned over here for a break from the nastiness that has erupted in the dressage forum of late, and found this. I do not understand what lies within people that they take such evident DELIGHT in being cruel to other people.
So, you viciously smacked down someone new to your sport who was being completely polite and not vindictive toward the clinician at all. Good job?
If you think the mob is behind you going, yeah, yeah, GIT HER GIT HER, you're wrong. I'm sorry for you that that kind of treatment of others is apparently the best you have to offer.
I think it is hard to judge the clinic on the comments if you do not know who the clinician was. Even the OP says previous posts about this person have been positive. Might it be that the OP did not understand this clinicians training style going in so was disappointed by not getting what they thought they would get versus what is typical done?
And no, I have no idea who the clinician was or who the OP is or how they rode, etc.
I just know that if you go to a GM clinic (for example) you better not expect to be coddled. If you go thinking you will be lavished with praise for any effort you will end up being angry at the end because he says it like it is and to some is overly rough.
You have to pick a clinician whose teaching style meets your learning style.
As far as being disappointed, I see no reason not to send a polite note to the clinician about how you were disappointed. Send a copy to the person hosting the clinic so they too know that someone who attended was not happy.
Interesting. I read BlissTate's comment as a fairly tactful suggestion that possibly there was another interpretation to the set of facts presented. "6 jumps" and "worked on terrain questions, banks, and water " can both be true and someone might honestly not have considered the difference between one and the other.
The possibility that perhaps OP was coffee-housing and didn't realize it was interfering w her learning? Worth considering before riding in our next clinic, as it certainly happens...
A windy day - and a talkative group - can certainly explain a clinician yelling and not being nasty.
Honestly...I didn't think BlissTate's post was bad given some of the reactions. Just a different point a view.
And that is why I didn't think the clinician's name should be posted. And goes RIGHT to subk's point earlier. That perhaps what was being said at the clinic went over this riders head. It happens.
It doesn't mean the OP didn't have a bad clinic for them....but goes to the point that there is more than one side to the story.
In a xc clinic....it is pretty typical to not jump a ton and to spend a lot of time on galloping. You work on galloping and jump simple fences, then you add more technical..go back to galloping...add a more technical question...go back to galloping to get the blood up again. And the day before is typically making sure you have control for the xc the next day. And the horses doing well...you don't repeat. Why risk their legs?
I've been to a lot of clinics. There are some riders who do not learn by watching and listening and others who do. Some who want to only be told how great they are--others who need to be pushed and others who need confidence. Others who feel they only get something out of it if they jump a lot and really big. Other riders don't process if they jump too much and need learn more by being told things.
It is all critical to do your research. I also would NOT recommend taking a clinic when you are new to the sport. Audit...absolutely. But I tell people all the time that I wouldn't bring a green horse to its first schooling in a clinic situation....I also think it is a waste of money for a rider to go to a clinic that early. You get more bang for your buck riding with your trainer a few more times and then riding in the clinic the next year.
But that is my opinion.
** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **
I normally agree with everything BFNE says, but my guy saw xc for the second time and did any real schooling for the first time in the Leslie Law clinic in 2012 and it was an amazing experience. I felt it set us up really well for success. http://seema-thefloridachronicles.bl...aw-clinic.html
I've also had good experiences with newbies at their first real schooling xc in a clinic. That was back when I was in Michigan and it was hard to find instruction outside of clinics. Also, some clinics are geared toward those new to the sport, and are entirely appropriate.
While I am not sure "outing" the OP was the best measure, sometimes the talking can help people have a light bulb go off, don't discount a wordy clinic. I haven't been to a clinic but I am about an hour drive from a lot of my favorites in Area II so when the time comes (I am currently without a riding horse of my own) I will likely lesson with them privately instead if possible.
But anyway... For instance I was reading an article by Steuart Pittman and it completely changed my riding. Every year he is at the Horse Expo I make sure that I am there, to soak up what he says. While I agree a clinic shouldn't be all talking, make sure you soak up every word the clinician says as well.
But Scubed, you've evented a lot longer than 3 months and you have a ton of experience with greenies.
In fact, many of the posters here are very wise when it comes to our sport and have been in many situations where they have gained some experience.
I think that the question still remains: what is the best way to give constructive feedback about a less than perfect clinic experience.
Clinics are unique in that they are a "one-off" type of educational experience. They have to be integrated into your whole riding education.
Just read BlissTate's post. You know, back in the day, Bruce Davidson was such a gentleman that if you weren't listening or didn't try at one of his clinics that he would just quietly quit teaching you. You'd sit and do a lot of waiting, then when you'd get a run thru an exercise there would be no comments. Just sayin....
Some clinics are right for you at the right time, others are chancey - clinicians have programed exercises that they repeat because they are faced with a large numbers of unknowns with each group. Clinics basically do impart a lot of theory. Why auditing them is valuable and economical. I think clinics can be fun socially to get to know other riders, expose your horse to certain elements, etc. But at a point you do get more for your money if you have the right instructor and do privates and stick with a program that you choose and believe in, and you have an instructor more familiar with you and your horse for consistent development. If you have those choices, I know how slim it can be in some areas.
Then at a point you go out for other insights, when you are ready to process them.
My DD has sat out some pricey clinics that she dreamed to ride in (JW for one) and she audited and took home a lot more information than she would have taking turns sitting on her horse.
Not sure what did happen for OP at their clinic, but everyone here has had similar experiences during their learning curve.
About the only time losing is more fun than winning is when you're fighting temptation.
-- Tom Wilson, actor & comedian
I think thats great that you walked away from that and learned so much! I guess we just have different opinions on how the weekend went.
Originally Posted by BlissTate
I believe I was at this clinic, so unless the OP tells me the pieces don't fit, I'll assume it was so. If OP does tell me the pieces don't fit, they have my heartfelt apologies, and you all have just gotten an earful of a clinic I watched this weekend.
I watched all of the groups go, and heard all of the instruction. Clinician is in fact a big deal. Of "presidential" proportions.
The instruction was appropriate for the (sizable, more than clinician was expecting) groups the clinician was faced with. A few of the groups did in fact jump many of the same fences, as the tenets being taught were applicable to all. Something most people picked up on by listening to said clinician explaining this at the start of the session. (Except the riders who were chatting and B.S.ing while other riders in their group were going and clinician was actively talking and teaching. Don't fear OP, your group wasn't the only group who made this HUGE fauxpa. Clinician is not George Morris-like, so clinician did not make a spectacle of it, but clinician did seem to take note of who was there to listen and learn).
Two of the "I think six jumps" worked on were also water and bank complexes, so of course there were options for every level accordingly, and each was jumped in more than one compilation to include more than one concept. The same levels might have been at those same jumps, but the questions, exercises and heights were very different. The other non complex jumps that were the same between Training, Novice, and your Beginner Novice/Novice (combined) group were terrain questions. Related fences at the top and bottom of a swale. Lots to learn on those for everyone no matter the height.
If you are the rider I think you were, it may have seemed the clinician was yelling, but frankly clinician was yelling because the wind made it hard for riders to hear, and clinician was frustrated after an hour and a half of telling certain riders in this group the same thing over and over and over. Clinician did not expect anyone to do it perfectly or get ripped apart. Clinician expected the riders to state what they would do the next time instead of say what they did wrong to try to change the rider's thought process from negative to positive. And actually try to attempt it instead of doing the same thing again expecting a different result. Again, something clinician explained while the group was busy chatting amongst themselves. I saw clinician congratulate other riders in other groups for at least giving it a college try.
Clinician was rightly concerned that the things clinician was having to repeat over and over and over with no result are things that are paramount to coming out alive from cross country fences. Being able to extend and compress the horse in the open, up and down hills. Getting ones heels under themselves before a fence so one can land into their feet, letting xc green horses pick their spot instead of chasing them to it when there is a drop or terrain change on the other side...etc etc etc. All things clinician worked on at the start of the xc session, which, incidentally, ran later than the time allowed. When it still wasn't happening an hour and a half into the session, clinician was frustrated. Clinician rightly picked up on the fact that some riders either weren't listening, or didn't care to understand the ramifications of riding those obstacles with a less than stellar h/j position.
There is a large chasm between the 3'6" jumpers and beginner novice/novice eventing, my friend. And a very different way your very cool horse needs to "go". (Said by someone who has been through the levels of both disciplines). The potential for a life changing accident on cross country is so much larger when it isn't given the respect and thought it deserves. The fences are a lot smaller. But the questions have much, much different answers for both rider and horse than anything you are used to answering. As someone watching I didn't get a sense that you were interested in the difference.
You didn't do too badly for your first time on a cross country course. I wish you had taken the opportunity to school at least a handful of cross country fences before you attended a clinic with this gem of the sport. I wish everyone had listened more closely to realize clinician's talking about "random" stuff was actually clinician making stellar analogies to help folks understand better, and that clinician was honestly imparting a lot of wisdom and information in an amusing format. I wish you realized you were actually allowed and encouraged to jump things well above the BN level and that just because you can jump your way around a mid sized jumper course doesn't mean this stellar and beloved clinician who wanted to see more from you was rude or didn't know what they were talking about.
Just another opinion from a different set of eyes.