LOVE clinics with Jimmy Wofford and Sharon White, and Susan Graham White for dressage. My favorite person to lesson with has got to be Missy Ransehousen, she has the best descriptors and really knows how to get the best work from both you and the horse without talking at you non-stop.
Did not love my one-time clinic with Philip Dutton, but got the impression that if I rode with him regularly I might get more out of it.
This goes back to the original clinic thread....what works well for some doesn't work well for others. As long as you give it the old college try, that's great. Keep your trap shut, pay attention, and TRY. That's the only way to clinic (or LESSON) with anyone.
^^^ this is so true. The last clinic I did (I rarely clinic since I am blessed to live close to facilities where I can get lessons) was with someone who others love and I got very little despite trying my darnedest to pay close attention. Instructor and I just did not click and I got the feeling that it was mutual.
Ohio: Charter Member - COTH Hockey Clique & COTH Buffy Clique
I used to do a LOT of clinics (organized most of them). Karen O'Connor, Stuart Black, Peter Atkins, Mark Phillips, Cathy Weischhoff, Jim Graham, Michael Matz, and Jimmy Wofford... and audited Bruce Davidson and Anne Kursinski (I think that's everyone). Really enjoyed all of them, and most I'd love to ride with again. Auditing hte 2 that I did I learned a TON, including that I would not do well riding for either of them (my learning/their teaching would not mesh well).
Skip over the 5 years I was horseless and most recent clinics have been less like true clinics and more like group/individual lessons but I have really enjoyed them. Nad Noon and Joe Meyer. Looking forward to a possible clinic with Nad in June and DEFINITELY looking forward to more anything with Joe. My lesson last week with him made me contemplate driving the mare to florida to "see my parents" and getting several days of lessons with Joe as I think he's only about 30 miles from them. LOL
"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
Wofford - multiple clinics, learned a ton every time, but won't take a super green horse.
Lucinda - multiple clinics, learned a lot, would take a green horse over a more experienced one.
Buck Davidson - really really impressed with teaching ability, my horse was the limiting factor, but he was kind about it, and I left understanding a lot about our overall issues. Will go back, but not until current horse is up to the task.
Bruce Davidson -would go if I had a prelim horse who rocked on XC, but instruction is "do this, now do it better"
Anne Kursinski - not for the thin-skinned but I learned a lot and would go back
Eric Smiley - Eh. Might go back with a different horse but wasn't blown away.
Tad Coffin -very long time ago, but he made us ride the entire lesson in 2-point on day one (no sitting) and no one could ride on day 2.
Mike Plumb - no (although from recent articles, I did not get the new improved version)
Mike Poulin - yes, even for lower level dressage
Pam Goodrich - yes, especially for TBs in dressage
I recently rode in a clinic with Ian Roberts. No gossip, no grandstanding, no time wasted, and he was able to hone in on some fine points that were very helpful. Practical, yet provided a theoretical explanation for the practical instruction to put things in context. Also, it was only $85 for 1.5 hours, good value imo.
I haven't clinic'd a lot, but I had the opportunity to ride with Ralph Hill in January. What a great experience! He really understands horses and has a thoughtful, lighthearted approach. I'd ride with him again in a snap.
I meant to post this in this thread instead of in the one where it just appeared
So I am one who has thought less positively about some clinics than about others. I guess I am concerned that I will offend someone personally or be criticized personally if I speak up. We are a very small community and I am pretty sure that so and so clinician will hear about my criticism directly, and that it was on THE COTH board, and... yadayada...
I like a clinician who does NOT chat with others while I am riding. I like a clinician who does NOT play favorites. I like a clinician who is constructive and critical of what I am doing. I like a clinician who will allow people to ask questions but sets limits on how much one person may dominate the group learning.
I love instructors who continuously give feedback, as I am going around. I love being yelled at!!! I seek those sorts out. That is Sharon White over the past two years. She makes me work my butt off and has never acted like I am the older person and therefore not as "important" as an up and coming 4* rider riding in my group.
I've been in a group lesson where the clinician chatted with others, organizers, riders etc., and actually missed seeing some of the jumps. That is just plain rude. In the past, I was one to forgive if the clinician is a famous and highly respected person.... but I have reached a conclusion that the resume' of a clinician has nothing to do with what I take away... duh...
I also really like a clinician who gets there early and works to set up exercises, grids, etc etc.
A long, long time ago, back in the early to mid 1990s, Stuart Black used to travel to Michigan and give clinics at Hunters Run, in Metamora. He was excellent and I was at every single clinic I could attend. I know he is now history, hidden somewhere down in Texas, and there is quite a bit of scandal surrounding him. He was all of the above plus he could be quite harsh. Harsh is okay as long as it's not rude.
Although many clinicians are entertaining through telling stories and tales of great persons, I do not appreciate this sort of story telling in a clinic. I would rather buy the book and let my $$ for the clinic go toward learning as much as possible.
I'm a bit of a curmudgeon when it comes to instructors.
I will play, partly because I can't believe that these two have not been mentioned yet.
I will say, I don't clinic very much because I really dont get much out of them. It dawned on me quite a long time ago that lessons are much more worth the money. By the time someone gets a feel for you, your horse, skill level and ball size the lesson is over.
S. Cousins- Several times over the course of 3 years or so. All I ever got out of this was..."nothing wrong with that" or one time, I like how you let him play and then got his attention back in time for the next fence. Seriously, that is the only comment other than "nothing wrong with that". I really thought the more she got to know me and the horse we would progress.
S.Pittman- Again several times over the years. Gives better feedback (it could help that he comments on how much he likes my horse) I would not hesitate to ride with him again, but I also was not overwhelmed or walked away feeling accomplished the first few times. I guess we have established a "relationship" so I think its easier to move forward.
Some people get alot out of clinics, I just personally dont think I am one of them.
Either way, IDK if I could ever suck up blowing 300 bucks on a clinician. Based on past experiance.
interesting to see what people have done. when i was younger, stephen bradley & phyllis dawson taught us in pony club-- both excellent. phyllis still scares me to this day though. haven't done a lot of clinics as an adult thanks to life & several nice horses worth of student loans, but recently i've done:
eric horgan- good sense of humor (first thing he told us was that whomever fell off owed him a bottle of wine), able to teach both brave and timid riders well, kept you thinking & paying attention. I still use his ("you can't pump a horse to go faster. stop.") when i was catch-riding for his clinic.
greg best -while i enjoyed watching the clinic, he has a quiet voice (i can't hear), and talks just to the rider who's on course at that moment. would definitely ride in his clinic, just not audit.
And the wise, Jack Daniels drinking, slow-truck-driving, veteran TB handler who took "no shit from no hoss Miss L, y'hear," said: "She aint wrapped too tight."
I ride regularly with Bonnie Mosser, and I try to stay and watch her teach others. I have also attended and watched her clinics. This woman is amazing. I have talked so many of my friends into riding with her, and they are all so happy too. She GETS IT. She is not a cookie cutter instructor, and she can adapt to the rider and horse no matter what the level. I can't say enough wonderful things about her.
Linda Zang was amazing as well. She sees all of the small things and did a great job of telling me how to change what needed to be changed. Not all instructors are good with words.
I rode with DOC at the ICP Symposium. He taught it a bit like a clinic, and I was happy with the results that I got with my horse.
I think something that's really important is matching the clinician to your current level and needs, and also the clinic group. What you need when you are riding training level dressage is quite different than what you need when you are knocking on the door for prelim eventing. Often people make the mistake of going to a Big Name too early... but often those people are tuned more for working with advanced students and may or may not enjoy working with lower levels.
The group can quite change the dynamics, too. If the group is mostly students the clinician has taught before, you'll get a different vibe than if they students are all strangers and all coming from different barns. Even if the lessons are private, the other people taught that day can influence how your lesson goes.
I would recommend Jane Bartle-Wilson (dressage) for anyone, any time, even if only one lesson. I have seen her make tremendous strides with riders who were dressage novices, and yet she has the chops to improve very high level riders. She is used to teaching riders she doesn't know well and has really studied the theory of teaching and coaching as well as the theory of riding. I've had her for a couple of three day clinics and audited her besides.
Any time I go to a clinic, I audit as much as I can to have the lessons I learned reinforced and to see more of the clinician's style and philosophy.
If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket