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Lessons vs Clinics

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  • Lessons vs Clinics

    Take a regular lesson 1x a week or save lesson money and attend dressage clinics say 3x a year.
    What are your thoughts on this?

    Dawn
    Dawn

    Patience and Consistency are Your Friends

  • #2
    depends

    depends a bit on several things -
    how confident are you in the quality of the work you are doing now

    how good is the weekly instructor

    how good is the clinician

    Most/many people would probably flounder with instruction only 3 times a year - but enough flounder with frequent instruction, too.

    Can you don a lesson 3X/month and one big clinic each year for outside eyes?? I do find even with regular excellent instruction, sometimes hearing something put another way makes something finally click for me...
    http://wildwoodfarmnc.com

    http://cantersgutenberg.wordpress.co...g-quiet-goose/

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    • #3
      I think it completely depends on where you are in your journey.

      And of course, who is available for the lessons!

      I do not find it valuable to clinic with 'different' teachers, unless I know they are in the same school as my own regular teacher. I love to audit, often pick up new ideas, and do *occassionally* clinic, but I have found a teacher I trust and would rather ride with him as he knows our history and our progress.

      Of course a 'new eye' can solve old issues at times... but I'm talking *generally.*

      If I could lesson weekly with my teacher, I would. Well, maybe every-other-week ($$$) As it is, I 'clinic 3-4x a year,' by default. I used to be able to get there at least 1x/mo from about April or May through November. With gas prices the last two years, it's down to 3x/year. I DO go when I can spend an entire day or two auditing every other ride happening there, be they lessons or young horses being schooled or schoolmasters being tuned.

      A lot of folks find it really helpful to clinic with different clinicians. I understand completely that you might get a new way of doing something, or have a breakthrough with an old issue... But it seems like at some point (oh, erm, the 2nd level ceiling? ) for me it became important to not be changing up methods. At TL and First, I think you can get a little bogged down in conflicting ideas of 'how much contact' or 'how much leg'... Sticking with one person until you are confirmed to a level where YOU can say, 'that isn't right for *this horse* can avoid that.

      I'm not really explaining it clearly enough, I don't think. For ME, I just felt like every different BNT I rode with did things just different enough that when I went to the next, they were busy *changing* things instead of progressing us... we might've made progress to be sure, but there were also many changes (contact being the biggest I recall... driving seat being the second.)

      Then you get to a certain point where the schools and methods converge more, and you can get more out of different teachers and ideas, without it being quite as conflicting.

      'eh... still not making sense, am I. Oh well. I tried.

      Short answer: It depends. Whose the teacher, and is it *regular* clinics with one or two clinicians, or just clinic hopping?
      InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)

      Comment


      • #4
        Depends on your riding level and the competence of the instructors in your area. In my area, I'd definitely rather save my money and clinic since there are no good instructors around me. I've had clinics where I learned more in one session than in a year of lessons with someone else.

        Of course you have to be a competent rider who can progress up the levels yourself without constant coaching. I clinic to confirm I'm heading in the right direction since I train my young gelding myself. If you are a beginner or not sure of the training of a horse, then only clinicing three times per year is probably not going to work for you.

        So to anwer your question, if you can find a good instructor with proven results, then go for the lessons. If not, then I'd save the money and clinic as much as possible.

        Comment


        • #5
          If you have a solid understanding of seat and aides, clinicing with a good clinician can work well. The problem is when you hit a snag. Clinicians are seldom good at fixing a long term issue. They are better at helping one improve or teaching something new. Clinicing usually means slower progress.

          Regular lessons are the best option unless you can't find a decent trainer. But even if your trainer is a lower level one they can help you improve. That and auditing clinics can be a lower cost option that can help.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Thankyou all for your responses.
            We have two clinicians that come out regular and they are all on the same page as the trainer. I just rode in my first clinic and loved it! I loved getting a new prospective, no big changes and my trainer was there so she can build on what we learned.. I would love to ride in more clinics but the cost was quite high compared to regular lessons.

            Dawn
            Dawn

            Patience and Consistency are Your Friends

            Comment


            • #7
              Ah... the teacher's teacher...

              That is a horse of a different colour! A mix of both then, would probably be ideal, but I hear ya about the cost!
              InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

              Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Jeannette, formerly ponygyrl View Post
                depends a bit on several things -
                how confident are you in the quality of the work you are doing now

                how good is the weekly instructor

                how good is the clinician

                Most/many people would probably flounder with instruction only 3 times a year - but enough flounder with frequent instruction, too.

                Can you don a lesson 3X/month and one big clinic each year for outside eyes?? I do find even with regular excellent instruction, sometimes hearing something put another way makes something finally click for me...
                You hit the nail on the head with this!
                "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by rizzodm View Post
                  Thankyou all for your responses.
                  We have two clinicians that come out regular and they are all on the same page as the trainer. I just rode in my first clinic and loved it! I loved getting a new prospective, no big changes and my trainer was there so she can build on what we learned.. I would love to ride in more clinics but the cost was quite high compared to regular lessons.

                  Dawn
                  IMO, this is the way to do it. For several years I rode weekly with a local trainer and maybe 6x/year with another who the local trainer used for her own riding "eye on the ground". No conflicts in message, just more expectations of results from the BNT. It worked great for me. Try to juggle the checkbook to accomodate the clinician say quarterly or whatever you can work.
                  I also have a couple friends who just go to clinics, different people reguarly, and somehow they never seem to get anywhere...
                  We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    For myself, I really don't do well with weekly lessons. I need more time to play with what I am learning, so I can figure out how to ride when someone isn't standing there telling me exactly what to do the entire time. I can follow directions well, but not much of that is retained until I have a chance to really play with it for a couple weeks.

                    So for me, I prefer to do clinics and such. Ideally I would do a monthly clinic, but getting to one every month is difficult. But, I am also picky about who I ride with. I have to find a style of teaching that works with my style of learning.

                    I've actually improved MORE since doing it this way. I've gone from the eternal stuck-at-training-level to doing second and a bit of third. I just never got anywhere with the weekly lessons of "a bit more inside leg, less rein..."

                    Of course I have also developed a couple bad habits, like the hand creeping over the wither on occasion, and I tend to blame my mare's issues on myself a bit too much.

                    But I love the new pair of eyes that doesn't see my horse every week, and who can give me new exercises to work on, or a different explanation of something I have struggled with. Then when I master those new things, I go looking for one of the instructors I like to ride with.

                    Comment

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