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Tell me about Bill Woods

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  • Tell me about Bill Woods

    I have the opportunity to clinic with Bill Woods from Florida, but I have never heard of him. I visited his website www.woodsdressage.com and he is pretty legit.

    Anybody ride with him and have anything to say? What's he like?
    Most friendships in the horse world are just an opinion away from doom.

  • #2
    Hey, I take bi-monthly lessons with him. He's good for all levels of riders and all types of horses. The sessions will be fun but he does have a whole lot of good information to impart as well. He has a system, so be prepared to go along with it. You'll have fun, you'll probably learn a lot. Since he is a judge, he will also approach this from a judge's point of view. Don't expect sugar coating. He'll know if you are serious or not. You WILL work.

    BTW, he is a lot like his website, so be prepared. Also check out his bloggo site from the web page, because there are a whole lot of good tips and facts there.

    If I were in your shoes, I wouldn't miss it for the world.
    Last edited by betonbill; Apr. 14, 2011, 03:33 PM. Reason: correcting mistake


    • #3
      He comes to a local barn to me every year. I've cliniced with him and scribed for him. I LOVE him! He is irreverent and some will say "flip" I guess, but I personally love his sense of humor. He always makes you work and I always have a good time talking to him, riding with him, scribing, etc and I always come away from the clinic having learned something.

      I'm with the poster above - I wouldn't miss it for the world.
      Emerald Acres standing the ATA, Trakehner Verband, sBs, RPSI, and ISR/OLD NA Approved Stallion, Tatendrang. Visit us at our Facebook Farm Page as well!


      • #4
        On the other hand, I don't think that riders like Spirithorse would enjoy a clinic with Bill.


        • #5
          I have ridden with him in the past

          and I would ride with him again in a heart beat, he has a wicked sense of humor, he is tough but good.

          As someone said he isn't much fun if you have an excessively high opinion of yourself, but he is a good teacher.
          Melyni (PhD) PAS, Dipl. ACAN.
          Sign up for the Equine nutrition enewsletter on www.foxdenequine.com
          New edition of book is out:
          Horse Nutrition Handbook.



          • #6
            If you have the opportunity to ride with Bill, do it! He comes to my area, twice so far this year , and I have ridden with him each time. I have learned a great deal from him and I really click with his teaching methods. He is wonderful. I really like how he explains what he wants from you and your horse in a manner that is direct and clear. He makes you really visualize what to do and then it sticks in your head. Example, first day, I and horse were stiff, thus to remedy this, he had us ride like a bowl of pasta ( I picked spaghetti, after I was told Ravioli, my first choice, would not work).

            I have remembered everything from the days I rode with him. He really got my horse and I to be on the same page. My attempt at dressage improved 100 % after riding with him and my horse, just after 2 days, was much more soft, light, and responsive. (and he knew I was more into jumping. I came to his clinic for help with our basics as far as bending, being forward, etc.)

            If you can, read his book 'Dressage unscrambled', also excellent.


            • #7
              If you like someone whose "irreverent" sense of humor includes asking a timid young rider if she has Turretts Syndrome and it turned out the horse was neurologically so unsound that he was euthanized a few months later, go for it.

              He does have a high opinion of himself though not too sure it is warranted.
              "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK


              • #8
                I like Bill...

                He has judged me in many tests. I have also scribed for him. His comments, for me personally, have always been fair and constructive. As a scribe, I know when to make record and when he's having a personal giggle.....and if it borders on a lil non-pc, discretion in scribing!
                At an early test for me, his "whistle" was a duck call. I had NO idea, and sat there like a goof, wondering who in the heck was blowing a duck call...but we were out there in Umatilla
                "You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles."


                • #9
                  I have not ridden w/him personally, but have heard wonderful things.
                  Show me your horse and I will tell you who you are.


                  • #10
                    Bill is great! You will enjoy riding with him!


                    • #11
                      Well, color me very jealous! I would love the chance to clinic with him. I enjoyed his book and he was very gracious when responding to an e-mail I sent him.


                      • Original Poster

                        Thanks everyone for the info!
                        Most friendships in the horse world are just an opinion away from doom.


                        • #13
                          Waaah! I'm jealous too!

                          If you ride with him or audit, GDQ, you must report back!


                          • #14
                            Either Bill or Susan (his wife) are great to ride for. RE: the neurological horse above - I am not sure I would send a timid young rider to many clinicians - the format would probably not be good for them, although he has always been kind (if irreverent) to me. I have shown under him, and have learned a lot in the process. He does not sugar coat things, that is for sure, and you do have to be somewhat mentally prepared when you go in, but I have never heard him be brutal, and I was riding pretty badly at one time!


                            • Original Poster

                              I grew up riding in Europe and had many trainers from different nationalities - German, Italian, British, South African, Greek, etc. - by far the best trainers were the "harsher" ones. Although the British calvary officer was the most strict (your horse had to be immaculately groomed and your tack polished before he would let you ride), but he was also the most kind. It tickles me when I hear people say a trainer is "harsh" or "honest" because I think too many trainers blow smoke up their clients' asses anyway. The worst trainers I have ever ridden with were the ones who didn't really care or get into what was happening: Go do this/good, do a leg-yield/yeah that's fine/ etc. and were looking for the "moneybags" of the group (aka highly impressionable people) to convince them they needed to buy a new horse or send horse to them for training and such.

                              Either way, I am looking forward to riding with Bill Woods and I will be sure to report back! Thanks again for the info!
                              Most friendships in the horse world are just an opinion away from doom.


                              • #16
                                I agree that I wouldn't put a timid rider in any clinic, and I also prob wouldn't ride with Bill if I had too high of a sense of opinion of myself or didn't have a sense of humor.

                                I've seen/heard him be very blunt with people (and he doesn't suffer fools lightly) but he has always done it with a joking demeanor and (IMO) a pretty funny/sarcastic turn of phrase. I can easily see someone who doesn't have the right frame of mind for this sarcasm to not have a good experience. But as others have stated, I have always learned something from him - if auditing or if riding, or even scribing (and I think he is more sarcastic/blunt to the scribe LOL). But I've also seen him take his time with kids (lots of them ride with him at the farm he comes to near me) and with young horses. I've seen him get on the problem horses to demonstrate something to someone or to help try and fix a problem etc. I even saw him get on a horse to finish the clinic ride for someone who just physically couldn't keep up - he does work you and you get your moneys worth.
                                Emerald Acres standing the ATA, Trakehner Verband, sBs, RPSI, and ISR/OLD NA Approved Stallion, Tatendrang. Visit us at our Facebook Farm Page as well!


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by thatmoody View Post
                                  Either Bill or Susan (his wife) are great to ride for. RE: the neurological horse above - I am not sure I would send a timid young rider to many clinicians - the format would probably not be good for them, although he has always been kind (if irreverent) to me. I have shown under him, and have learned a lot in the process. He does not sugar coat things, that is for sure, and you do have to be somewhat mentally prepared when you go in, but I have never heard him be brutal, and I was riding pretty badly at one time!
                                  Bill Wood's is gay and his long time partner is Bill Warren - collectively and fondly referred to as "the Bills"
                                  Last edited by caddym; Apr. 18, 2011, 08:26 PM.


                                  • #18
                                    I think you have the wrong man.

                                    He loves the ladies, esp his wife.


                                    • #19
                                      caddym - you're thinking of Bill McMullin
                                      The aids are the legs, the hands, the weight of the rider, the whip, the caress, the voice and the use of extraneous circumstances. ~ General Decarpentry


                                      • #20
                                        Oooops - I was thinking of Bill mcMulin