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DOC clinic - should I go?

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  • DOC clinic - should I go?

    There's a David O'Connor clinic next month at Waredaca. I've heard opinions ranging from adoration to burning hatred. Thoughts? Anyone else thinking about going? I'm leaning towards doing it.
    The big guy: Lincoln

    Southern Maryland Equestrian

  • #2
    Originally posted by Duckz View Post
    There's a David O'Connor clinic next month at Waredaca. I've heard opinions ranging from adoration to burning hatred. Thoughts? Anyone else thinking about going? I'm leaning towards doing it.

    I may not agree with everything DOC says or does but he is a very good clinician and one you could learn something from. I would say go (I would go and ride with him)....however, I do think the best thing is to ask people you respect who know both the clinician AND you. A good trainer/clinician for one rider/horse may not be ideal for someone else. Find out their teaching style and if you think it will mesh with you.

    FWIW--L. Law is doing a clinic at Waradaca later in the year as well. I have ridden with him and get a lot out of the clinics with him.

    Waradaca puts on some great clinics.
    Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; Jul. 28, 2011, 07:29 PM.
    ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

    Comment


    • #3
      Not sure if this helps at all, but a good friend of mine recently audited one of his clinics and said he had a lot of really good points and helped out a lot of horses/riders. I wasn't there so I don't know, but she knows her stuff and if she liked him, I can't imagine he'd be absolutely horrible.

      Definitely talk to people who've worked with him at clinics, etc. Youtube his clinics and see what his style seems to be like. You can learn something from EVERY clinician or trainer or experience, but it's a lot easier to do that if you mesh well with the person and agree with what they're saying. (disclaimer: I'm not saying you're always going to learn something you agree with or that works well for you, I'm just saying you'll always learn SOMETHING, even if it's how NOT to do fill-in-the-blank thing).
      Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.

      Comment


      • #4
        His experiences are invaluable to most everyone out there. As others have said you can definitely walk away with some knowledge that you don't presently have.

        That being said how's your budget for this type of thing? Would you be better served broadening out your horizons a bit and hitting a dressage lesson or a hunter show to work on the phases that often get overlooked in pursuit of more xc schools?

        Not saying DOC isn't valuable, but experiences in places outside of the norm, and/or another lesson with a trainer outside your regular one would extend the benefit to your riding and horse's CV a bit.


        ~Emily
        "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by Xctrygirl View Post
          His experiences are invaluable to most everyone out there. As others have said you can definitely walk away with some knowledge that you don't presently have.

          That being said how's your budget for this type of thing? Would you be better served broadening out your horizons a bit and hitting a dressage lesson or a hunter show to work on the phases that often get overlooked in pursuit of more xc schools?

          Not saying DOC isn't valuable, but experiences in places outside of the norm, and/or another lesson with a trainer outside your regular one would extend the benefit to your riding and horse's CV a bit.


          ~Emily
          Lincoln and I come from the hunter world, so no worries on that front. He has put in some lovely, stylish hunter rounds in stadium (complete with time faults) Sadly our long-awaited Silva Martin dressage lesson was cancelled last weekend. I was supposed to do two days with Heath Ryan but that fell through. DOC is sort of the back-up plan.

          I do have a couple semi-regular instructors. Time/distance are generally more limiting factors than funds.
          The big guy: Lincoln

          Southern Maryland Equestrian

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Duckz View Post
            There's a David O'Connor clinic next month at Waredaca. I've heard opinions ranging from adoration to burning hatred.
            I've watched his clinics on several occasions and saw nothing in them that could be considered polarizing at all. Very middle of the road and sensible, emphasizing good fundamentals.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by JER View Post
              I've watched his clinics on several occasions and saw nothing in them that could be considered polarizing at all. Very middle of the road and sensible, emphasizing good fundamentals.
              That's what I heard as well.
              Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.

              Comment


              • #8
                I've ridden with him several times, and I think he's fantastic. Good fundamentals, and enough theory that you come away thinking--stuff you can use yourself back at home.

                I've seen him teach very advanced riders down to inexperienced pony clubbers; he can adapt to all levels.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by AppyGoLucky View Post
                  Not sure if this helps at all, but a good friend of mine recently audited one of his clinics and said he had a lot of really good points and helped out a lot of horses/riders. I wasn't there so I don't know, but she knows her stuff and if she liked him, I can't imagine he'd be absolutely horrible.

                  Definitely talk to people who've worked with him at clinics, etc. Youtube his clinics and see what his style seems to be like. You can learn something from EVERY clinician or trainer or experience, but it's a lot easier to do that if you mesh well with the person and agree with what they're saying. (disclaimer: I'm not saying you're always going to learn something you agree with or that works well for you, I'm just saying you'll always learn SOMETHING, even if it's how NOT to do fill-in-the-blank thing).
                  Appy I love this - with your permission it will be my tag line.
                  "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
                  Courtesy my cousin Tim

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JER View Post
                    I've watched his clinics on several occasions and saw nothing in them that could be considered polarizing at all. Very middle of the road and sensible, emphasizing good fundamentals.
                    I watched him teach a dressage clinic & would agree with the above.

                    He communicated well what he was looking for and offered challenges to improve for those people who showed some holes in their riding.
                    Last edited by rivenoak; Jul. 28, 2011, 07:50 PM.
                    ~ Horse Box Lovers Clique ~

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have been very privileged to ride with him a few times (he LOVES Vernon, btw...but he never helped me with him on the flat! ), and I have sat for HOURS watching him coach the boss and other people. He is a VERY good instructor, and probably a better clinician (he can be tough to deal with if you ride with him regularly and he doesn't like your horse). I have never ridden with him in a clinic environment (I am a very lucky girl and have had him to myself), but have watched him in clinic settings. He's good, thoughtful, straightforward, challenging but not overfacing.
                      Amanda

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        [QUOTE=DOC is sort of the back-up plan.[/QUOTE]


                        Must be nice!!!! He is only one of the most prolific horseman of our era.....his resume is unbelievable.....and he is a humble guy. I XC judged one time in Ocala- they needed a hold-person on course- he was either the course designer or TD....really don't remember. He loaned me his stopwatch, instructed me how to do the job and all I could think was....wow, he might have used this when he won the gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics! He was super nice and I saw him setting jumps when they didn't have any volunteers to do that in stadium. I can't believe that you think you might not learn anything from him....you need to read up on who is who in eventing

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I audited a clinic with him and blogged it:

                          http://docclinic.blogspot.com/

                          (also rode in a Law clinic and blogged it: http://lawsclinic.blogspot.com/)
                          --Becky in TX
                          Clinic Blogs and Rolex Blogs
                          She who throws dirt is losing ground.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by RSEventer View Post
                            I can't believe that you think you might not learn anything from him....you need to read up on who is who in eventing
                            Sorry, I should clarify...I know who he is, and I definitely meant no disrespect by that It was more that I already had a plan for my lesson/clinic money and then *poof* went my plans. I glanced over my calendar and saw the DOC clinic at Waredaca. That said, I've heard some not-so-positive things recently and wanted to get some takes on him. Thanks for the input!
                            The big guy: Lincoln

                            Southern Maryland Equestrian

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by JER View Post
                              I've watched his clinics on several occasions and saw nothing in them that could be considered polarizing at all. Very middle of the road and sensible, emphasizing good fundamentals.
                              Originally posted by gully's pilot View Post
                              I've ridden with him several times, and I think he's fantastic. Good fundamentals, and enough theory that you come away thinking--stuff you can use yourself back at home.

                              I've seen him teach very advanced riders down to inexperienced pony clubbers; he can adapt to all levels.
                              Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
                              He's good, thoughtful, straightforward, challenging but not overfacing.
                              Thank you so much everyone! This is the type of stuff I was wondering. I'm looking forward to working with him.
                              The big guy: Lincoln

                              Southern Maryland Equestrian

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I may be wrong, but I think MOST of the negative things people say are more related to" politics" than his teaching. Some have issues with his involvement with the Parelli's, but it is not prevanlant in his teaching.
                                Amanda

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Some have issues with his involvement with the Parelli's, but it is not prevalent in his teaching.
                                  Well, of course David OConnor couldn't go Parelli in his teaching, he'd have to pay Parelli, Inc to become a 'Parelli Instructor' if he did that!

                                  Sorry to interrupt...

                                  Yellowbritches said:
                                  he can be tough to deal with if you ride with him regularly and he doesn't like your horse
                                  What kind of horse does David O'Connor not like?

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Whatever my feelings are about his politics and the whole Parelli thing, IMO he is a REALLY good instructor.
                                    Click here before you buy.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Great experience

                                      I've been lucky enough to ride with several great clinicians, including DOC, Lucinda, Jimmy, Kim Severson.

                                      DOC is one of my favorites because he knows how to teach. He's not just a good rider -- he had to think through his own riding and training to get where he is. He is the *only* clinician I've experienced that can actually teach feel on cross-country. He will also prompt you to think about why you are doing a particular behavior or giving a particular aid to your horse. He is firm but not punitive. One of my best memories of him is a clinic where he zipped alongside the rider on a 2-wheeler so he could provide comments. Well worth it I would say.

                                      I did not see anything listed on the Waredaca site. Can you provide more info? I would love to do another clinic with him.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Vernon didn't mind the motorcycle, but the boss' dun horse hated it and it was often all the boss could do to keep Dunny pointed in the right direction!! highly entertaining...I think DOC just liked to give the boss a hard time
                                        Amanda

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