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How do you decide what level to enter for a clinic?

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  • How do you decide what level to enter for a clinic?

    I want to know how people chose jump heights for in a clinic. Do people usually go for a height they are competing at at? Is it wrong to enter for a height that is a "reach" of sorts? Is it wrong to enter for a height that is easy for you and your horse?

    I ask because I have spent ages doing strictly dressage, and dressage clinics are always private lessons, so it didn't really matter what I was capable of or what my goals were going into the clinic. The ride would usually shape itself.

    I want to enter in a jump clinic, but I'm not sure what the right thing to do is. My trainer thinks I have no business entering the class for the height I want to (She thinks its too low and I need to move up) but I don't know if my first ever jumping clinic is a good place to be ambitious.

  • #2
    I think it sometimes depends on the clinician. There are some that don't ever set the fences at the level's max height, but work on more technical exercises. Then there are those who max out height (and then some) and would be more suitable for those comfortable at the level.

    If you're not sure, you could check with the organizer to see what others are doing, or if they can give you insight as to that particular clinician's tendencies.

    The level that you want to enter - are you schooling higher at home? Or your trainer wants you to move up a level AT the clinic?
    I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted.

    Comment


    • #3
      I think it depends how long you have been at that level. We just started Novice about 2 months ago. My goal is training. We are doing a clinic in March and it will be at Novice. If your trainer thinks you need to move up, is there any chance you could spend some time at that level prior to the clinic? I get nervous at clinics and would probably lose my mind if it was a clinic that was also at a level I wasn't very comfortable with.
      "Punch him in the wiener. Then leave." AffirmedHope

      Comment


      • #4
        Write the organizer a little note w your background and experience. Often they know a good number of the riders and can make compatible groups that dont exactly align w competition levels.
        http://wildwoodfarmnc.com

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

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Can'tFindMyWhip View Post
          I want to enter in a jump clinic, but I'm not sure what the right thing to do is. My trainer thinks I have no business entering the class for the height I want to (She thinks its too low and I need to move up) but I don't know if my first ever jumping clinic is a good place to be ambitious.
          First, it depends about you, your horse and the clinician.

          Ask first what the clinic will be about exactly. Will it be more flat work and singles jumps? Courses? Technical combinations at the height of the level you’ve entered?
          Will the clinician push the riders up and get them to jump higher?
          You can always stop if the height increases during the lesson and you don’t feel comfortable with it.

          Usually, people enter in the level they are competent at, or at least have been working at that level for some time. There is always something new or important to work on at any level. Jumping high shouldn’t be the only end goal.

          If the horse is young, green or moving up the level and is ridden by professionnals rider or a competent amateurs, they pick whatever level suits their horse better.

          Is your horse anxious? Is your horse a schoolmaster? Is your horse has only jumped 1m classes so far?
          What about you, are you nervous? Have you started jumping higher and bigger?

          To me, if you’ve never jumped 1m20, don’t enter the 1m20 class. You’ll be surrounded by 1m20 horses and more than likely, the lesson will be at that height.

          What do you want out of this lesson?

          If it was me, I’d go at the level I’m comfortable at and improve my skills to perfection in that clinic. I’d then have all the right tools to practice at home and school higher.



          ~ 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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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by SolarFlare View Post
            The level that you want to enter - are you schooling higher at home? Or your trainer wants you to move up a level AT the clinic?
            We school the height she wants me to do at home sometimes. But I am concerned because my horse has a very specific way that he likes to warm up. If we skip a step, he can lose confidence. My concern is that I will get there and we will start jumping at the designated height for that class. I feel like we should just do a height that we can jump without much warm up so as not to start with too much too fast.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Can'tFindMyWhip View Post

              We school the height she wants me to do at home sometimes. But I am concerned because my horse has a very specific way that he likes to warm up. If we skip a step, he can lose confidence. My concern is that I will get there and we will start jumping at the designated height for that class. I feel like we should just do a height that we can jump without much warm up so as not to start with too much too fast.
              I've never been to a clinic where they start with the jumps at max level height - they will start lower and work their way up. But, I think in your case, I would enter the level you are comfortable with. If you are going to your first clinic, and your horse can have confidence issues, then you definitely don't want to compound the problem by being at all nervous, or in a new place, or by overfacing your horse.
              I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Can'tFindMyWhip View Post

                We school the height she wants me to do at home sometimes. But I am concerned because my horse has a very specific way that he likes to warm up. If we skip a step, he can lose confidence. My concern is that I will get there and we will start jumping at the designated height for that class. I feel like we should just do a height that we can jump without much warm up so as not to start with too much too fast.
                Is it possible to warm up in the minutes before the clinic starts even if it means warming up in the clinic again? I'm doing a Buck Davidson clinic in March and am terrified Ill look like a fool!
                "Punch him in the wiener. Then leave." AffirmedHope

                Comment


                • #9
                  You do not attend a clinic to score points or look good. It is generally about problem solving. You need to be able to explain any problems you are having with the clinician, and allow them to provide you with some tools to solve them.
                  ... _. ._ .._. .._

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    OP, I think a lot has to do with the clinician and what their reputation is for the types of exercises they do.

                    I took a clinic with George Morris and signed up for a level below the one I was showing at. With him, I think that was definitely the right thing to do.

                    Later that year I did a clinic with Andrea Davidson (Leatherman back then) but was in a mixed group. When she asked about our level and goals, I told her the level I was currently riding at. Had it been a long clinic with individual levels then I would have signed up for the same level I was riding at, because although she is tough, she doesn't have the same difficult reputation that GM does. It ended up working out well because we ended up schooling some combinations that were a level up from what I was currently doing.




                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I wouldn't worry too much about the warm-up in the actual clinic. I did one with Andrea and she had my group doing crossrails and small oxers in a grid in the beginning before we went on to do the Novice sized stuff. I don't think Buck would max people out right from the beginning. Most clinicians don't.

                      you warm your horse up beforehand the way you think you need to and still be able to ride for the X number of minutes in the clinic.




                      Originally posted by CindyCRNA View Post

                      Is it possible to warm up in the minutes before the clinic starts even if it means warming up in the clinic again? I'm doing a Buck Davidson clinic in March and am terrified Ill look like a fool!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jeannette, formerly ponygyrl View Post
                        Write the organizer a little note w your background and experience. Often they know a good number of the riders and can make compatible groups that dont exactly align w competition levels.
                        Do this. Let the organizer know your questions as many weeks ahead of time as you can, and the organizer will communicate with the clinician to help find a good spot.

                        Some of the choice of groups depends on who else is in the groups, and that varies from clinic to clinic.

                        If there is still a question, in my experience it is better to opt for the earlier session, whatever it is. With the clinician and organizer agreement ahead of time you then have the option to decide that the group is above or below your comfort level and step out. You can ride later with a different group. Of course you'll be giving up the full day to try the earlier group and possibly end up in the later one.

                        That strategy usually means opting up to a higher group because almost every clinic I've ever been to begins with the highest level group. They schedule each group to follow going down in level. I suspect it is for just those situations. If a group of riders turns out to be rather advanced for the level, except for one who is completely over their head (or beyond their horse's ability and/or training), that one can drop a level, rather than just be left behind in their original group.

                        This is a common clinic question, so you aren't being a pain. Quite likely there are others considering the clinic who are asking the same question.

                        Why does your trainer have such a strong opinion? Does the trainer know this clinician well? I mean 'well', not just watched one clinic, as each clinic can be very individual based on the attendees. Otherwise it seems to me that the trainer's opinion sounds like a bit of a power move, rather than a true assessment of how the clinic will benefit you. In your place I would give that some thought.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by OverandOnward View Post

                          Why does your trainer have such a strong opinion? Does the trainer know this clinician well? I mean 'well', not just watched one clinic, as each clinic can be very individual based on the attendees. Otherwise it seems to me that the trainer's opinion sounds like a bit of a power move, rather than a true assessment of how the clinic will benefit you. In your place I would give that some thought.
                          Basically the problem is we are big DQ babies out of our comfort zone and we need a push. My horse and I spent years doing strictly dressage and only started jumping in June. My trainer thinks we should move up because my horse has the power and scope to do way more than we are. So she keeps telling me how we don't belong in the low-low levels because those levels are for green horses or riders and we are neither of those things. She pulled out that line about jumpers simply being a dressage test over obstacles. My horse has the balance and adjustability to get around any course and has a good flying change. Her argument is that exercises at the lower heights will be designed for pairs that need to work on more basic stuff that we have no problem with. I want to get the most out of the clinic, but like I said, I am used to dressage clinics with private rides. I didn't know if there was a protocol I should be aware of, and I also didn't want to be "That Girl" who took on more than she could handle and screw everyone else's ride up.

                          Perhaps my fear of committing faux pas comes from spending so much time in dressage land where you had better know how to act or else!

                          Anyway.

                          This isn't a power move at all. My trainer is a jumper trainer, so he doesn't care what I do at an event clinic. She won't even be there. She just wants us to move up already and sees this as a good goal with a timeline to work towards.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by SnicklefritzG View Post
                            OP, I think a lot has to do with the clinician and what their reputation is for the types of exercises they do.

                            I took a clinic with George Morris and signed up for a level below the one I was showing at. With him, I think that was definitely the right thing to do.

                            Later that year I did a clinic with Andrea Davidson (Leatherman back then) but was in a mixed group. When she asked about our level and goals, I told her the level I was currently riding at. Had it been a long clinic with individual levels then I would have signed up for the same level I was riding at, because although she is tough, she doesn't have the same difficult reputation that GM does. It ended up working out well because we ended up schooling some combinations that were a level up from what I was currently doing.



                            If I was riding with George Morris I'd ride down a level too! It's nice to hear that he gave you stuff that you were ready for though. I've heard nothing but great things about him, and I wish I had the nerve to do one of his clinics.

                            People generally have the same things to say about this particular clinician, which is something along the lines of, "Oh I LOVE her!" with no elaboration. So while its not exactly a useful sentiment, I think someone would have said something by now if she was a real ball buster. So I am probably making a big deal out of nothing.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I don't get the point of your trainer putting so much pressure on you when you clearly need more confidence over fences. Being pushed isn't exactly the way to truly accomplish that, although there are old school trainers who think it is.

                              It's your ride, your experience - do what you feel good doing.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Your horse might have the scope, technique and training behind its girth, and you having the skills, it doesn’t mean you (not necessarily the horse) are mentally ready for it.

                                Don’t let your trainer push you more than needed.

                                There is no rush in going higher.
                                Better practice your skills on lower jumps anyway.
                                ~ 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

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  OP I think I remember one of your previous threads...you're in Ontario right? Do you mind sharing the name of the clinician? Maybe one of us has more feedback than just "she's great"
                                  I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by SolarFlare View Post
                                    OP I think I remember one of your previous threads...you're in Ontario right? Do you mind sharing the name of the clinician? Maybe one of us has more feedback than just "she's great"
                                    I really REALLY wish I was Canadian!! But I am not. And while this person is not local (to me or Ontario), I am sure everyone here knows her. It's Sally Cousins. I was trying not to make sure my silly questions wouldn't be attached to any Google result when someone tries to search for her, but here we are The internet gives me anxiety.

                                    I mailed my entry into the clinic with a little note about our predicament, and the organizer knows Sally well, so she will know what to do with us. I'm pretty pumped about it though.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Can'tFindMyWhip View Post

                                      I really REALLY wish I was Canadian!! But I am not. And while this person is not local (to me or Ontario), I am sure everyone here knows her. It's Sally Cousins. I was trying not to make sure my silly questions wouldn't be attached to any Google result when someone tries to search for her, but here we are The internet gives me anxiety.

                                      I mailed my entry into the clinic with a little note about our predicament, and the organizer knows Sally well, so she will know what to do with us. I'm pretty pumped about it though.
                                      Is this the clinic with Sally at MAHR?

                                      Having put a note on your Entry was totally the way to go - Sally will likely know some of the riders in the clinic and will put you where she feels you’d fit best. Even if you end up in a group doing a little more or a little less than you’re used to or you want to be doing, Sally is good about adjusting the excercise to the confidence level and capability level of the riders in the group. She’ll also ask everyone at the beginning of the group to tell her about the horse and what you’ve been doing recently.

                                      In full disclosure, I’m a long-time student of Sally’s - but I think she’s really great for pushing you a little bit out of your comfort zone in a confidence building way - and if you don’t feel comfortable with what’s being asked of you, just tell her and she’ll adjust - she really is very approachable

                                      I’m bringing one of my boys to the clinic on 12/1 - so if you’re there, say hi! Little bay, 4 socks, and a lot of pink tack, so we’re hard to miss!
                                      ~Drafties Clique~Sprite's Mom~ASB-loving eventer~
                                      www.gianthorse.photoreflect.com ~ http://photobucket.com/albums/v692/tarheelmd07/

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        tarheelmd07 See you there!

                                        I'll be riding a black-bay with 3 socks and a funny triangular blaze-thing, and we will probably be wearing lots of black so as not to attract more attention to ourselves than we need to

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