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Boyd Martin clinic - participate or audit?

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  • Boyd Martin clinic - participate or audit?

    Hi all,

    Due to the wretched year I've had with my pony (lack of funds, lame horse, new trainer, etc.), I've decided that I can treat myself to a day of Boyd Martin, who will be here locally on the 1st of Dec doing a flatwork/gymnastic session, and on day 2 will be doing XC. Since I already have a fabulous trainer for xc and it's our strength (and $$$ is at an all-time low), I'm thinking about doing Day 1 only. We're looking to move up to Novice this January, and I'm hoping he can help me with my stadium phobia.

    Help me plan my December. There is a local equine rescue doing a CT the weekend after, and I can only do one or the other. I was thinking about doing the CT and moving up to Novice, but since I haven't jumped in three weeks, I'm all discombobulated and feel like a beginner in the saddle again. Not exactly a confidence builder for a moveup show. I also have a friend's daughter who is moving up to BN for the first time at this show, and I've already agreed to coach/help her. I could do the clinic and do the BN/Novice group and let him help me move up to Novice (it's not the xc that bothers me - it's the stadium). I can only do one.

    What is Boyd like as a clinician? I'm one of those people who need to know WHY something is done, asks questions, and will try really hard, but I'm a chicken ammy. I don't want to be overfaced, and I really dislike it when people tell me the same thing over and over again when I'm not getting it, without attempting to explain or change the wording. WOuld this be a good clinic fit for me? Pony is the type who will try his heart out, but is a tad out of shape due his being off for three weeks (coffin joint lameness). What do you think? SHould I save my pennies and audit and do the CT the next weekend instead? Thanks in advance!
    "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

    So, the Zen Buddhist says to the hotdog vendor, "Make me one with everything."

  • #2
    While I am sure to be the voice of dissent, I don't like him. ESPECIALLY if you are what you say you are. His method has always been to tell you to do something (jump this to that in X strides), but not give you much else to work with....and if you don't do it right, he'll have you come again, but not really give you any clues as to what you can do to improve your ride. I have watched him teach A LOT (including in my ring), and every lesson was like that. I rode with him ONCE and it was God awful, to the point my regular coach, frustrated at watching my horse and I fumble a gymnastic line multiple times with ZERO input on what I needed to differently, whispered the solution to me as I rode by.

    I also don't love the exercises he uses, especially for LL amateurs. They are often quite tough and while most get through, they really don't learn anything that will help them be better riders. They just learn to cope.

    I know, I know, I know people adore him and rave about him as a clinician, but I just don't get it. I think his dashing good looks, great accent, and charming personality blind people a little bit. He IS a nice guy, and a gifted rider and I have been told by friends that actually RIDE with him (on UL horses) that he's great. But I don't like him as a clinician. I would save your money.
    Amanda

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    • #3
      Honestly...save your money and don't do either. You haven't had the best prep for either if your goals are to "move" up. I don't think of clinics with someone (anyone) you haven't ridden with as the situation to push yourself and with not having jumped in 3 weeks, you are really not prepped to get the most out of either situation.

      I'd save your money and get some lessons with your normal trainer. Maybe do a dressage test only at the show. Wait to push yourself in a situation where you are coming into with confidence and are well prepared.

      Go audit the clinic if you want.
      Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; Nov. 18, 2012, 02:12 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


      • #4
        I'm not a big fan of clinics...

        ...unless it's with someone you can see at least every 6 weeks or so. Even under the best of circumstances with Boyd, what will you do when he leaves?

        There must be hunter/jumper schooling shows around you this time of year - I'd take as many lessons as you can and then head to those schooling shows. Ride in as many over fences classes as you can - you're a good rider!!!!! Go practice at a show; that's likely what's going to cure the "phobia".
        ~ it no longer matters what level I do, as long as I am doing it..~ with many thanks, to Elizabeth Callahan

        Comment


        • #5
          I think you've gotten some really good advice here and all I can do is second the advice you've already gotten. I would audit the hell out of the clinic and then write us a report!!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
            While I am sure to be the voice of dissent, I don't like him. ESPECIALLY if you are what you say you are. His method has always been to tell you to do something (jump this to that in X strides), but not give you much else to work with....and if you don't do it right, he'll have you come again, but not really give you any clues as to what you can do to improve your ride. I have watched him teach A LOT (including in my ring), and every lesson was like that. I rode with him ONCE and it was God awful, to the point my regular coach, frustrated at watching my horse and I fumble a gymnastic line multiple times with ZERO input on what I needed to differently, whispered the solution to me as I rode by.

            I also don't love the exercises he uses, especially for LL amateurs. They are often quite tough and while most get through, they really don't learn anything that will help them be better riders. They just learn to cope.

            I know, I know, I know people adore him and rave about him as a clinician, but I just don't get it. I think his dashing good looks, great accent, and charming personality blind people a little bit. He IS a nice guy, and a gifted rider and I have been told by friends that actually RIDE with him (on UL horses) that he's great. But I don't like him as a clinician. I would save your money.
            This was my exact same complaint about Phillip Dutton, but I was oh so wrong (according to most) when I posted such on another thread
            "Everyone will start to cheer, when you put on your sailin shoes"-Lowell George

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Toadie's mom View Post
              This was my exact same complaint about Phillip Dutton, but I was oh so wrong (according to most) when I posted such on another thread
              Everybody has a different taste. I've cliniced with Phillip and really enjoyed him. He IS a man of few words, but the words he did say were extremely beneficial to me. I also am a firm believer that people have off days and sometimes those shelling out the bucks to clinic with someone suffer the consequences (which may be why there can be a few voices of dissent in raving crowds of admirers). THAT BEING SAID, I watched Boyd clinics for the better part of a year, with the same riders, and every lesson was more or less the same with zero improvement in most of the riders.

              I hate being so harsh.

              OP, I think RFI has the best idea for your time and money, and it is actually quite similar to my plan! I have told my h/j/eq trainer friend to treat me like one of her Eq kids for the winter (it will be a stretch of the imagination, that's for sure!). And, funds and time depending, I'll go with her to a few h/j shows and do what classes I can at or around our height (unfortunately, I can't do Adult Eq classes, which is what she'd prefer for me). Get out there and jump as many rounds in ANY discipline you can!
              Amanda

              Comment


              • #8
                If I hadn't been out in a while I'd rather do a bunch of lessons with my own trainer (who knows me and my horses) or a little schooling show for mileage than a clinic.

                Could you just audit?
                Click here before you buy.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by eventer_mi View Post
                  (it's not the xc that bothers me - it's the stadium).
                  I agree with "save your money". I'm curious as to what your challenges are that have you bothered by stadium but not XC?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Based on what you said in your post, I don't think you would enjoy clinicing with him, maybe audit?

                    I did a clinic with him over the summer, and I felt like I got my moneys worth out of it (got alot out of it actually), and am planning on going back next year. However, what others have said about his teaching style is true. Worked well for me and my horse, could see it not being great for others.

                    Also, it was really hard! LOL. The exercises were very tough for the level. Lots of one stride to one stride to one stride and accuracy questions, and square oxers. I took my 6 yr old, who had been jumping for 6 months, done two BNs, moving up to N two weeks later, and did the N group. My though process in signing up was "its novice for craps sake, how hard could it be...." LOL.

                    But, my horse was really confident by the end, and he had learned some important things about his body and what to do with his feet.
                    Last edited by Judysmom; Nov. 18, 2012, 09:52 PM. Reason: more info
                    Unrepentant carb eater

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Great responses above.

                      I'll be there auditing, so from my own selfish perspective, I'd love some company!
                      Flip a coin. It's not what side lands that matters, but what side you were hoping for when the coin was still in the air.

                      You call it boxed wine. I call it carboardeaux.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If you want explanations and specific directions, I got both from the clinic I did with Buck Davidson a couple of years ago. He explained what the exercise was (physical description with measurements), the point of the exercise and why it worked, and what often went wrong and how to prevent/correct it.

                        He was also really astute at watching your ride and noting little things to adjust - chin up Left hand down, more weight in your right leg - that made a big difference in how the horse went right away. I have not clinic-ed or watched Boyd so no comment there.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If SJ is your weakness why not spend the $ with a good local jumper coach and/or jumping a bazillion rounds at a local schooling show? If I'm going to a clinic put on by an eventer it would be to focus on xc not skip that day.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Details?

                            OP, can you provide link to details of clinic, or post time and location? I would love to audit!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by EventMo View Post
                              OP, can you provide link to details of clinic, or post time and location? I would love to audit!
                              Not the OP, but here you go:

                              http://www.pepperwoodfarm.com/news/news.html

                              I can make an argument for both sides, Eventer_mi. On the one hand, budgetary constraints are the limiting factor here (yes?) so you have to choose from either the clinic, the schooling show, or extra lessons. If you have been struggling with the move-up for a while, then the fresh eyes and clinic environment might be just the push you need to motivate you and build confidence. There's something about being in a group that makes you dig a little dipper and try stuff you wouldn't normally be comfortable doing.

                              On the other hand, you have no prior experience with BM's teaching style to know if it will work for you. However, the previous posters have responded that he can be a little challenging in the exercises he presents you with.

                              I have to say I think you should go for it (the lone dissenting voice, I know). It's not an opportunity that comes around that often and because you have been teetering for a while with this move-up it might just give you oomph you need. When you have a steady trainer it becomes easy to fall into the reasons why you can't do something. We start making excuses - "oh, he just got fall shots, better not jump too much; I need the saddle fitter out, better take it easy; It's kind of windy, lets jump stadium tomorrow". But a clinician doesn't want or need to know that gory details of Sugarsnap's day to day life. They won't even know your name when they get on the plane at the end of the day. They set up an exercise and say "now go jump it". And when you've paid a small fortune to be there (and the rest of the group is watching like you're all on Survivor together) you just go jump it.

                              Then after the clinic have a mock schooling show at a barn different than yours. Your trainer has lots of connections and I can think of 3 ideal locations (and can probably help facilitate it) that would work. Have a course set up, walk it like you are at a show and then ride your test and jump the course (novice). I'll bet you could get several other people that would love to ride a mock course as well. Hell I'll help set poles, I don't mind.

                              Just my .02

                              Good luck!
                              Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Then always be Batman.

                              The Grove at Five Points

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Wow....guess I'm saving my money for this, then! Thanks to all who responded - doesn't sound like he'll suit my learning style at all.

                                Think I might go ahead and do the CT after all. We were schooling Novice height quite regularly before his unplanned "vacation", so I think with a few more lessons and practice we should be fine at this unrecognized CT (Novice is 2'9-2'11). Thanks again!

                                Btw, my stadium issue has more to do with people watching me than anything else - that, and the jumps seem so much bigger when they're made of poles and things that fall down. Am I the only one who has this phobia? Give me a Training level sized xc jump any day!
                                "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

                                So, the Zen Buddhist says to the hotdog vendor, "Make me one with everything."

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by Hilary View Post
                                  If you want explanations and specific directions, I got both from the clinic I did with Buck Davidson a couple of years ago. He explained what the exercise was (physical description with measurements), the point of the exercise and why it worked, and what often went wrong and how to prevent/correct it.

                                  He was also really astute at watching your ride and noting little things to adjust - chin up Left hand down, more weight in your right leg - that made a big difference in how the horse went right away. I have not clinic-ed or watched Boyd so no comment there.
                                  Yes - THIS is the kind of instruction that I thrive on, and that my regular coach gives me. Not the "do this and let the exercise teach you" type of coach.

                                  For the record, I DID work 6 months with a jumper trainer on my issues with stadium, but the way she was having me ride was very contrary to what my horse and I needed at the time.
                                  "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

                                  So, the Zen Buddhist says to the hotdog vendor, "Make me one with everything."

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Acme - I will think hard on what you said. You've known me throughout the years, and you know that I've been struggling with this moveup for some time - right before O became lame, we were soooo ready to move up (bored, bored, bored at BN). I also love your idea of setting up a mock jumper round - fantastic! I'll have to ask Susan if she's game for that.

                                    part of why I'd opt out of the clinic is that my relationship with SB is still in the honeymoon phase - I haven't been training with her for that long, so she can still really push me. I'm leaning towards saving my money and taking a few more lessons over Xmas break, and possibly injecting O's hocks as well. Thanks for your well-thought out response!
                                    "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

                                    So, the Zen Buddhist says to the hotdog vendor, "Make me one with everything."

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Keep us posted!
                                      Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Then always be Batman.

                                      The Grove at Five Points

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Btw, my stadium issue has more to do with people watching me than anything else - that, and the jumps seem so much bigger when they're made of poles and things that fall down. Am I the only one who has this phobia? Give me a Training level sized xc jump any day!
                                        Nope. I struggle a lot with my show jumping (hence the "treat me like a Big Eq kid" boot camp this winter). I do blame some of it on "stage fright," some of it on need to stay sharp and focused, especially over the bigger courses (prelim sj in my bugaboo), and just keeping my head in the game. I can gallop down to just about anything on xc...but I don't have the same sense of having my s**t together in the show jump ring! So, no, you are NOT alone!

                                        Luckily for you, you are still jumping at heights where it should be easy to find lots of shows with classes you can go in (don't be afraid to canter around a hunter course or 10!). Trainer/friend and I are looking at winter shows and struggling to find classes that will work for me (added hurdle that I'm not an ammie).
                                        Amanda

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