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Clinician fees - why so many in the stratosphere?

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  • #61
    I agree with NJRider. I don't have the funds for the truly BNT/BNC. If I had only one horse to ride perhaps I would but that is not my choice. I also do not believe I would get enough benefit out of one clinic to offset the cost. That is not to say in any way that I do not think I would get something out of it or that the clinician isn't good, just that I know my learning style and what I find that translates to sustained improvement.

    Some ways I have tried to maximize the investment regardless of the name is, if allowed, I bring my current coach (pay for auditing fee) and have my session video taped. I choose to ride with a few in the price range that I can afford that I find very, very helpful and would prefer to concentrate my hard earned cash on those clinicians as opposed to an Olympian or other highly accomplished rider for one moment in time. I don't have the caliber of horses nor the aspirations to make it to such a high level of competition. My needs are admittedly different than those who choose to ride with such, my pocketbook is much smaller and that simply is life.....no cryin' about it, just puttin' one foot in the stirrup at a time and doin' what I can. Not wastin' time a wishin'
    Ranch of Last Resort

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    • #62
      Excellent, excellent post.

      Originally posted by Marydell View Post
      From personal experience over the past 6/7 years as an owner with 4 or 5 riders on several horses, from young to GP, taking clinics, there are many POV regarding this question.
      With very few exceptions, I have been present at most of these clinics. One thing I would certainly reccomend is to audit the clinician if possible before spending large amounts of fees. Sometimes, even as an owner, you can see if a method will be good or counterproductive.

      People have different styles of riding and different styles of learning. Some listen and try to execute, others need to ask questions as they go, still others need repetition. A clinician's style will vary as well. Do they like you to try or will they take a question, can they use vocabulary in a way to help or are they restrictive in verbal communication. Will they just instruct or get on and feel what you are dealing with. Communication between rider and instructor is key, especially with young horses.

      After you decide if the pairing works, then the cost comes into play. How often is this clinician available, will there be a series or just a few over a period of time. Two to three day clinics are the best bang for the buck. If the clinician is helping you a great deal, then how often can you get into a clinic. I find that two or three a yr with the same instructor has the most effect.
      FWIW, I,too, have felt "cheated" for lack of a better term when a clinician tells the rider,"that was so good, we will reward the horse and stop here for today". Works great if you are in full training with the person, but what a waste of time, money and effort if it is a clinic. I will, however, applaud a clinician if he sees the horse is not fit and diplomatically(esp with yh) end a lesson sooner rather than later.

      Costs are high across the board, period. I do not see an end to this in the near future because of the economy. I like sending my horses to clinicians who are tops at what they do. They do not have to be an Olympian, foreign or domestic. But if they are coming from Europe, then I am personly aware that most if not all, want business or first class tickets. It is a two day trip on the return for them, so three days of travel. So, add in the cost of a hotel, most do not like staying a person's home unless they are long time friends, meals, trransport to/from airport/clinic site, it adds up fast.


      There are many good people out there who can give clinics and not cost quite as much, but it is still expensive. I am going to name just four that have diverse credentials most anybody would sacrifice to afford--there are others but these represent experience that few have-Ulf Moeller, Debbie MacDonald, Christof Hess and Klaus Balkenhol. I know what each of these people charge for a lesson at their home base, so am not surprised when I have to pay the fees that are charged when they clinic.

      I feel strongly that consistant lessons with a trainer are the best way to spend a limited budget. But auditing these clinicians can give you new insight. Riding with them even better if you can afford to. A couple of clinics a year with the same person fine tunes your abilities and gives you new things to work on. It is very true in dressage, that you rise to the level (that is if you have the dedication) that surrounds you. American dressage needs to rise many levels in the general population if we are to field future teams. We need these types of clinics if we cannot afford to go to Europe to watch the best on a regular basis.

      USEF has recieved funding for Debbie to start to observe shows to see if there are worthy pairings to recive training grants. Well needed but only at the FEI levels.

      Promising YH combos need that support as well and basing that on the Markel qualifications is going to miss many that are not yet mature or chose the open classes as their path.
      It is going to clinics such as Segie mentioned with the best Europe has to offer that an owner/rider can get a clearer picture of the innate talent of horse/rider and if they are of a quality to compete on the international stage. This also will assist in selecting wether or not to invest the higher fees in future clinics with these people.

      I applaud the folks such as Kelly and Hilltop who bring in the top quality instructors and make them avaiable to us. These are only limited by if you can afford it. Getting into a USEF/or USDF clinic often requires a pre-selection. If the application does not find favor, then you can't ride.
      Mary Lou
      http://www.homeagainfarm.com

      https://www.facebook.com/HomeAgainFarmHanoverians

      Member OMGiH I loff my mares clique

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      • #63
        I hadn't heard about that offer from Susan. Thanks for the tip!

        Originally posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
        Speaking of which... who's up for the Susan Jacoma video lesson project? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbBLpLYuE8I

        I'm in. Gonna try to get the video up on Thursday.
        Georgia Langsam
        Team Gauguin, LLC - www.teamgauguin.com
        Standing Gauguin du Cheval 9054, Prestige II TG, Gauguin's Impression, Gauguin's Brush and Weltfrieden TG

        Comment


        • #64
          Siegi - don't you think the people who signed up just wanted his "take" on their young horse? Like, how does he compare to SH or SD??? One lesson for $375 on a young horse I can't really think is going to do that much for either you or the horse.

          Originally posted by siegi b. View Post
          I hear you loud and clear and agree with the basic principle of your argument. Yes, you can charge what the market will bear but as soon as the majority of clients feel that they're being taken advantage of then you've passed that threshold, in my opinion.

          Case in point, I was recently approached by a person that was putting together a clinic for a very well-known young horse rider from Germany. He was coming to the US to give tips and pointers to riders of FEI Young Horse competitors and had already specified that the lessons would not be more than 45 minutes due to the young age of the horses presented. The charge was $375.00/ride and I just couldn't believe that people would actually go for that. $375.00 to coach a 4- or 5-year old horse with rider for 45 minutes! That's $8.33/minute, and believe me Ulf Moeller is not that talkative! I was floored! Especially since I know that these people don't even get half as much when they're teaching in their native Germany or Europe for that matter. And yes, we have to pay for the trip and hotel stay, etc., but even then those rates are outrageous and it really bugs me that there are still people that go along with it. There are European teachers/riders that have at least as much experience as Dr. Moeller and that will not charge nearly as much because they have not entered the equine version of Hollywood yet.

          And I do think that in this economy it will become harder and harder to fill those types of clinics..... I just hope that folks realize that there are other options.

          Just saying.....
          Georgia Langsam
          Team Gauguin, LLC - www.teamgauguin.com
          Standing Gauguin du Cheval 9054, Prestige II TG, Gauguin's Impression, Gauguin's Brush and Weltfrieden TG

          Comment


          • #65
            Originally posted by equusaround View Post
            I hadn't heard about that offer from Susan. Thanks for the tip!
            Please participate!! I think I am the first one, and I don't want to be the only sucker out there flapping around in the wind!!
            "Friend" me !

            http://www.facebook.com/isabeau.solace

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            • Original Poster

              #66
              Originally posted by equusaround View Post
              Siegi - don't you think the people who signed up just wanted his "take" on their young horse? Like, how does he compare to SH or SD??? One lesson for $375 on a young horse I can't really think is going to do that much for either you or the horse.
              I think folks who ride in Y/H clinics are doing so for one of several reasons:

              1) they are not super experienced with the Y/H program, but have a horse in the right age group and want to dabble in the classes

              2) they have some experience with the Y/H classes, have a fancy young horse, and want to get feedback from a top Y/H specialist on whether the horse might truly be a legitimate contender

              3) they are trying to build out their business and hone their skills with young horses

              4) they want to get a sales horse in front of a prominent Y/H clinician

              5) they like hobnobbing with the elite of the dressage world

              But it seems to me that #2 and #5, and possibly #4, are probably the main reasons for participating in a $375/ride clinic. I can't imagine folks in the 1st or 3rd groups forking over that kind of money.

              Comment


              • #67
                Originally posted by equusaround View Post
                Siegi - don't you think the people who signed up just wanted his "take" on their young horse? Like, how does he compare to SH or SD??? One lesson for $375 on a young horse I can't really think is going to do that much for either you or the horse.
                Georgia, I think you put your finger right on it. The other thing is that to some people it's important to be able to say that Dr. Moeller "saw" this horse and said "x"....

                I also think that it's not even so much a question of how much people can afford to spend on a clinic, but rather how much are they willing to spend.

                Oh well, let's see what happens next year after we've dealt with fiscal cliff issues..
                Siegi Belz
                www.stalleuropa.com
                2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
                Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.

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                • #68
                  I agree with this premise. I think that the USDF can offer excellent clinics with lesser name/lesser charging clinicians and benefit the average rider much more than what they currently offer.

                  For private rides, if you want to pay $285/ride to ride a 3 or 4 year old with a young horse specialist, or $350-400 for upper level work to say you rode with someone...go for it. Those clinicians are counting on you to fund their next lavish vacation.


                  Originally posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
                  I will repeat. Again. What I have already said TWICE.

                  I think the USDF would better off spending it's $ supporting education, partially by helping to defray the costs of clinicians.

                  The state of dressage in the USA is that it needs LOTS of improvement. That improvement requires investment. If the USDF is not around to invest in the improvement of dressage in the USA, then they need to recheck their priorities.

                  I don't argue that individual clinicians have the right to be mostly money grubbing beasties... But that is why the larger organization needs to have a mandate to NOT be money grubbing beasty.
                  Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by J-Lu View Post
                    I think that the USDF can offer excellent clinics with lesser name/lesser charging clinicians and benefit the average rider much more than what they currently offer.
                    For $195 you could attend all three days of Linda Parelli's Dressage Summit:

                    http://www.dressagesummit.com/

                    Supported by USDF!

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Originally posted by armchair_Quaterback View Post
                      For $195 you could attend all three days of Linda Parelli's Dressage Summit:

                      http://www.dressagesummit.com/

                      Supported by USDF!
                      And for 2750$ you could go for a 5 days clinic at Linda's farm in Pagosa Spring, CO.

                      Talking about (overly) high priced clinic
                      ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                      Originally posted by LauraKY
                      I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
                      HORSING mobile training app

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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by armchair_Quaterback View Post
                        For $195 you could attend all three days of Linda Parelli's Dressage Summit:

                        http://www.dressagesummit.com/

                        Supported by USDF!
                        Pass the barf bag
                        I wasn't always a Smurf
                        Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
                        "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
                        The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Originally posted by armchair_Quaterback View Post
                          For $195 you could attend all three days of Linda Parelli's Dressage Summit:

                          http://www.dressagesummit.com/

                          Supported by USDF!
                          ...and for $395.00 you can "rub elbows" with her.

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            For 20$ Ill get up there and teach them to root for you...

                            Free of charge Ill use an accent...
                            ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
                            http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

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                            • #74
                              I think some people try to piggy back on big names to build out their "resume". As if riding with 3x Olympian 1 or 10 times somehow makes them (the participant) that much closer in skills with the well regarded teacher. The $$$ is well worth the prestige/resume "credentials" then.

                              Not all riders have the funds and connections to get into the BNT clinics, so if you get to ride in them, that may say something about "you" but not ness. "your" riding skills.

                              As far as expensive BNT YH clinics - I would love to get my youngsters to more, BUT I think it is really unfair to expect a young horse (3-4yr) to work in a strange environment (assuming hauling in) for a number of days in a row with the intensity required in the clinic lessons to get my "moneys worth".
                              I wonder what some of the BNT would think of group lessons for such critters.
                              Horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
                              ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.

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                              • Original Poster

                                #75
                                Originally posted by mzm farm View Post
                                As far as expensive BNT YH clinics - I would love to get my youngsters to more, BUT I think it is really unfair to expect a young horse (3-4yr) to work in a strange environment (assuming hauling in) for a number of days in a row with the intensity required in the clinic lessons to get my "moneys worth".
                                I wonder what some of the BNT would think of group lessons for such critters.
                                We have had Scott Hassler in this area a couple of times for Y/H clinics (and he is coming back in February), and will say that he has a really good understanding of young horses, and is very sympathetic to them. I can't remember seeing any of the horses pushed too hard in the past clinics.

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                                • #76
                                  Perhaps the 'answer' is to get them to give us free lessons online.http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...-lesson-scheme
                                  "Friend" me !

                                  http://www.facebook.com/isabeau.solace

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                                  • #77
                                    Originally posted by DownYonder View Post
                                    We have had Scott Hassler in this area a couple of times for Y/H clinics (and he is coming back in February), and will say that he has a really good understanding of young horses, and is very sympathetic to them. I can't remember seeing any of the horses pushed too hard in the past clinics.
                                    He is very good with young horses but he is also very expensive.
                                    Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation

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                                    • #78
                                      I have to say I'm a bit irritated when I hear how much Trainers are earning and only a few months ago after the Olympics so many people were saying how the BNT need money. They are pulling in $250.00++ for 45 minutes. That's more than I'm making, so when I hear people say that my taxes should go to subsidize their spending, hobby, profession...... no way! It seems to me if they were more careful with their spending, they would have plenty of money to buy their own horses and afford to compete in Europe. I'm all for entrepreneurship and if people are willing to pay for your the service you provide, good on you, good on the BNT! But, no way, should money be taken out of my pocket (taxes, lottery, etc) to subsidize a BNT.

                                      Comment


                                      • #79
                                        The better known riders and/or clinicians have paid dearly financially to get to where they are and made so many sacrifices. Yet, I daresay opportunities have come across their doorstep that helped them along the way in the form of good horses and good owners. I would think most of this elite set of riders/clinicians have full barns, then again maybe not. That is always a variable as horses come and go. What I do think is that the better known folks might want to consider giving back to the sport that has so graciously allowed them to become who they are. The fee per ride includes travel expenses plus wear and tear on the venue where clinic is hosted. So, someone coming from the east coast to the west coast could be more expensive based on travel expenses. Some clinicians charge a flat fee per day, period. Others don't. One clinic with one clinician one time per year may allow another set of eyes to see some things the regular trainer has become immune to, that is a given. But most times it merely adds to the horses' or riders' resume to say they have "ridden" with so and so. I rode with a young horse german guy a few weeks ago, merely to confirm or un-confirm my suspicions about my young horse. He is an unknown in America. I paid very little for both group lessons (no more than 3)...it was an introductory price and I hope he returns on a regular basis. I would like to see a page or website that lists all the big guns, what they charge and what their calendar is way ahead of time. Even if all I get to do is audit. I understand about the need to make $$$ but I also think giving back to the sport is far more important...ask not what your sport can do for you, but what you can do for your sport.....
                                        Bethe Mounce
                                        Head Trainer, AmeriCan Romance Equestrian
                                        https://www.facebook.com/AmericanRomanceEquestrian
                                        Brentwood CA

                                        Comment


                                        • #80
                                          Originally posted by nsh View Post
                                          I have to say I'm a bit irritated when I hear how much Trainers are earning and only a few months ago after the Olympics so many people were saying how the BNT need money. They are pulling in $250.00++ for 45 minutes. That's more than I'm making, so when I hear people say that my taxes should go to subsidize their spending, hobby, profession...... no way! It seems to me if they were more careful with their spending, they would have plenty of money to buy their own horses and afford to compete in Europe. I'm all for entrepreneurship and if people are willing to pay for your the service you provide, good on you, good on the BNT! But, no way, should money be taken out of my pocket (taxes, lottery, etc) to subsidize a BNT.
                                          Personally I would rather see lottery funding go to something like international sports competition than be depended upon for funding things like schools and other services that should be paid for by the tax base as a whole. The lottery is basically a regressive tax.

                                          That said, one reason that all these upper level riders complain about the lack of funding and charge so much money for teaching clinics to the masses is that every hour they spend teaching some crappy rider like me is an hour they're not spending getting any better at their sport and is an hour that their competitors in the top countries are spending riding and developing their own horses.

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