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Horrible clinic, what would you do??

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  • #21
    Wow what a bummer! I would be so disappointed if I had saved up to clinic with someone who was raved about on COTH. I would definitely want to know up front how many people would be riding in the group I was in. Most clinics I have audited (never ridden in one) have a small number in each group, small enough that each rider certainly gets more than 6 minutes ride time for certain. However I also feel like sometimes you just don't get an "ah hah" moment for whatever reason. Obviously this person was a bad match for you and perhaps just having an off weekend. However I feel you are well within your rights to share their name. If you came on here and raved about them that would be okay. You have just shared your personal opinion and experience and everyone can interpret their own way.

    Comment


    • #22
      Originally posted by SnicklefritzG View Post
      To the OP: I am so sorry for your troubles. This is why I generally do not go to clinics. I've attended some as a rider, even some that were supposed to be private lessons, but got little out of the experience. Far too many clinicians like to hear themselves talk, or spend too much time discussing theory.

      I don't think there is much you can do other than to let the organizers know that you are disappointed. Let them know exactly why and suggest that it was not good value. Please also share your experiences relative to the more advanced groups. It sounds like this clinician is enamored of himself and isn't tailoring the exercises to the needs of the students. People doing prelim should definitely be doing more advanced questions or bigger stuff than the B/N folks.

      At this point you aren't going to get your money back. However, if enough people talk to the organizers it may convince them to never invite this person back.

      Please PM me - I'd like to know who this person is so I can tell my eventing friends who to avoid.
      Can you please PM me too...I prefer to avoid wasting my money!
      Fillys By Vibank - 2017 Road to RRP
      https://www.youtube.com/user/jealoushe

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      • #23
        Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
        Just don't go again next time.

        I did a clinic where I spent one day getting roughly 5 minutes of personal feed back on leading my horse around and spending a half hour spinning it around on one leg around the perimeter with everyone else until finally the clinician got around to commenting on my one-legged-spinning for 10 seconds, and the next two days jumping a grand total of 3 short courses a day, for a total of 6 courses in four hours of essentially standing around.

        Which, if I wanted to learn by WATCHING I would have AUDITED for $450 fewer dollars, and without the need to trailer my horse and get him all spotless.

        For the most part, I think jumping clinics are for the birds. It is always some group of a zillion people and you spend more time waiting your turn than doing anything. Waiting your turn is "auditing." The difference between "Watching everyone else go" and "watching everyone else go and having a turn myself for 6 minutes" is not worth a couple extra hundred dollars and the rigamarole of transporting the horse to me.

        Show me a jump clinic run like dressage clinics where it is a private lesson that everyone else is auditing but you are doing, and suddenly I will be pulling the benjamins out of my wallet again.
        I agree with this! I've ridden my horse in one jumping clinic and two dressage clinics. The dressage clinics were infinitely more helpful, way less expensive, and a way more positive experience for both me and my horse. The jumping clinic was terrible, way too large a group, the clinician could not tell me/my horse apart from my friend/her horse (and my friend's horse was a been there done that mare; my horse was a green five year old gelding), and my horse and I both lost confidence after being overfaced (he stopped for the first time in his life - several times - and I almost fell off).

        The dressage clinics were awesome, we rode alone, the clinician focused on us for our entire ride time, and I left with TONS of great stuff to work on to improve the horse's flatwork.

        I do think jumping clinics can be useful if you are on a horse that is already quite finished and you ride in one of the more advanced groups. I've done jumping clinics with more finished, actively showing horses and gotten more out of them.

        I do actually get a lot out of auditing jumping clinics.

        Anyway, OP, I would just not ride with this clinician again. And in the future, I would audit a clincian before choosing to ride with them.

        Comment


        • #24
          Can you please PM me as well? I'm scheduled to ride with a clinician everyone raves about, but may have a conflict that weekend. It might help me decide which way to go if it's the same person...
          "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."

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          • #25
            Originally posted by horselover1117 View Post
            I was definitely in the right group, I've only been eventing for about 2 months and I was in the Beginner Novice/Novice group.
            OP I am really sorry you had a bad experience. I'm very surprise someone who had only been eventing for 2 months would pony up hard earned savings to ride in a clinic with a big name trainer that seems a bit premature to me.

            Comment


            • #26
              Originally posted by mbm View Post
              ok, i am not an eventer, but i would FOR SURE write or call the organizer and express your unhappiness! i would send them the video and show them the total of 6 minutes of riding.

              i would ask for a refund and if they were not forthcoming i would publicly post the name of the clinican, the organizer, etc. all just listing the facts: how much you spent, how much riding time you got etc.

              i think it is ridiculous that we in the horse world put up with being ripped off and say we must just chalk it up to experience! that is how bad clinics happen: the clinician and organizer and not informed at how much it sucked so they continue to provide bad service.

              You might get push back, but i really do believe we need to hold our professionals to a higher standard!

              good luck!
              I organize a lot of clinics and if I have someone in that does not give value for money I do not bring them back, and if it were going to make a difference I would speak privately to the clincian about why.

              However, I would never be able to refund a participants money because they were unhappy with the clinician. I put these things on as an educational event & they are NOT big money makers. The type of clinician you are talking about is hugely expensive, there are attendent expenses such as airfare, lodging, extra insurance, etc.

              If I were responsible for refunding unhappy peoples clinic fees you can betcha I'd never, ever put on another clinic. No way I'd want to take on that risk along with all the expense and work that goes with putting one on.

              Luckily, the folks I've brought in over the last few years have all been great...

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #27
                I've been riding hunter/jumpers my whole life so Im not a beginning rider. Just new to eventing. I figured this would be a great way to learn as much as I can and start off the season with some good knowledge and things to work on.

                Originally posted by subk View Post
                OP I am really sorry you had a bad experience. I'm very surprise someone who had only been eventing for 2 months would pony up hard earned savings to ride in a clinic with a big name trainer that seems a bit premature to me.

                Comment


                • #28
                  Originally posted by subk View Post
                  OP I am really sorry you had a bad experience. I'm very surprise someone who had only been eventing for 2 months would pony up hard earned savings to ride in a clinic with a big name trainer that seems a bit premature to me.
                  I wish I had the guts to do it, so far just audited. However I think it is not premature to ride in a BN/N clinic after only a few months especially if you have been riding for a long time in another discipline. I just hope when I do get the guts up it doesn't go like this.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    I would appreciate a PM with the name of the clinician, too, with assured discretion. Like you, my $$$$$ is EXTREMELY limited and I would not want to waste my money on this clinician, either. A bit of chat is ok, but 20 min in the middle of the ring for non-productive/educational chatter is a waste of time and money. Thanks!
                    “Always saddle your own horse. Always know what you’re doing. And go in the direction you are heading.” Connie Reeves
                    Jump Start Solutions LLC

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Couple of thoughts for you as someone who has some connections on both ends of the transaction:

                      1. As a BN rider, DO NOT clinic with a big name rider unless you've seen them teach.
                      2. Whenever possible, don't clinic with anyone until you've seen them teach. Does their style fit your riding? Do you need Germanic, supportive, or .............? What's the ratio of talking to riding (zero of either is bad).
                      3. For N/BN stuff, I usually recommend a good local clinician. Cheaper, more attuned to the level, more accessible for "pre-qualifications."
                      4. See if you can quantify how much the proposed clinician teaches the level you're at, whatever the level. Mark Phillips (and several other BNRs who shall remain nameless) was pretty useless (IMO) at Novice.
                      5. I always like to see a clinician close out the clinic with personal remarks/advice to each participant.

                      Some of the biggest names in the sport are awful clinicians, in my world, although they frequently get rave reviews. Relating to an inexperienced rider when you just ran Rolex must be quite difficult for many.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Sorry you had a bad experience, OP. that sucks.

                        However, to the comments about why you went at all...i disagree. as a beginning event rider, I had very good experiences going to LAZ's event camp and thought it was money well spent. My horse and I did fine, learned a lot from really wonderful instructors, and I did not consider the cost excessive at all--not more than a week at an A show and far more valuable.

                        Plus, as I keep my horses at home in a place with little eventing, even a drive to LAZ's for a lesson requires a three hour drive each way for local instruction (that said, LAZ is fantastic and i love lessoning there when I can.) Event camp is practically a bargain, though, factoring in gas prices due to my location.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Clinics can be a funny thing - and sometimes the group and even the organizers dynamics can influence how the clinic will be. The same clinician w/one group or clinic might be fantastic and another clinic not so great. I've not ridden in too many clinics ($$) but have audited quite a few and sometimes the same clinic - like George Morris does a clinic every year at a barn near me so for years made the annual trek to audit - some years he was simply fantastic, one year he was a chauvanistic pig. Sure everyone knows he can be intimidating but his comments to this one person were so out of line and had zero to do w/ her riding. I would send a letter or some feedback to the organizer as others have posted, most want some feedback. Just because a person is a BNR or BNT doesn't mean they are great clinicians or communicators, some have an absolute knack for it, some don't.

                          I would let the organizer know you were let down by the clinic. While the organizers can't do anything about the clinician they would want to know. You might not be the only disappointed attendee...and if this place has clinics frequently I'm sure they'd want to know who to bring back, who not to. I will say too that sometimes the organizers do set the mood for the clinic. I attended one a few years back and when we pulled in several of us in our group stood around unsure of what we were supposed to do, where to park, where to check in; etc - so it started us off somewhat on the wrong foot.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            I think I need to ask why we are so secretive when something bad happens, yet it's fine to gush profusely when you have a good ride?

                            Everyone wants to know who this clinician is, and if he or she is not giving good clinics anymore (because past experinces have been very good and this seems to be an aberration) isn't that something the horse community should share? If so and so is now phoning it in, they should either stop clinicing or shape up. And maybe they just had a bad day.

                            If we knew who/what this clinic was, 2 things can happen -

                            the other riders can chime and say "yeah, me too, I thought it was just me but it was bad"

                            or "wow, I actually got a lot out of it and here's why".


                            Just my extra 2 cents.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              I'm curious as to what people think the response on the H/J Forum would be if I went over to there and stated I went to XYZ's clinic last weekend and it was just horrible and I've been riding hunters for 2 months.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by subk View Post
                                I'm curious as to what people think the response on the H/J Forum would be if I went over to there and stated I went to XYZ's clinic last weekend and it was just horrible and I've been riding hunters for 2 months.


                                Hmmm. I post on the HJ forum more than this one these days as thats my focus right now (NC Coast = no eventing whatsoever!). I think it would be pretty similar to our responses. No one likes when anyone spends a lot of money, looks forward to learning a lot at a clinic, and doesn't get anything out it. Apart from anything else it reflects badly on the sport.

                                OP - don't think all eventing clinics will be like the one you went to! I agree that you should audit as much as you can and get a feel for the types of clinicians you learn most from. You'll also learn tons from auditing. If there are any dressage clinics in your area those are worth going too as well.
                                "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
                                "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by Hilary View Post
                                  I think I need to ask why we are so secretive when something bad happens, yet it's fine to gush profusely when you have a good ride?

                                  Everyone wants to know who this clinician is, and if he or she is not giving good clinics anymore (because past experinces have been very good and this seems to be an aberration) isn't that something the horse community should share? If so and so is now phoning it in, they should either stop clinicing or shape up. And maybe they just had a bad day.

                                  If we knew who/what this clinic was, 2 things can happen -

                                  the other riders can chime and say "yeah, me too, I thought it was just me but it was bad"

                                  or "wow, I actually got a lot out of it and here's why".


                                  Just my extra 2 cents.
                                  I think we get concerned with the fact that people do not know who the OP is....and its one person's opinion. To me....while I feel bad the OP had a bad clinic...I also know that one side of the story isn't the full story.

                                  So a part of me doesn't really care who the clinician was...nor do I want one person potentially damaging a person's reputation.

                                  If the person is typically not good a giving a clinic--people will know.

                                  I do know who the clinic isn't with...Since most people that I clinic with regularly were not giving a clinic Badminton weekend...(some were coaching at Badminton and others were competing elsewhere).
                                  ** 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


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by subk View Post
                                    I'm curious as to what people think the response on the H/J Forum would be if I went over to there and stated I went to XYZ's clinic last weekend and it was just horrible and I've been riding hunters for 2 months.
                                    You would think that someone with the least "eventing specific" knowledge going in would be the easiest to teach something new and helpful to.

                                    I mean, when you get really good at a discipline it is harder and harder to find people who can offer you something useful. They exist, but you have to drive several hours and spend lots of benjamins.

                                    If someone is two months in, and a BNTwho can allegedly teach up to the highest levels still can't come up with a positive learning experience for them, that is a little interesting.
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                                    • #38
                                      As far as not going to a BNT when you are only a beginner, well if they are offering a clinic for Beginner Novices then why not? Though I agree probably better to spend money with a good local trainer but I can see why someone would want to clinic with someone they heard others rave about.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        All I'm trying to say is take it in context.

                                        I've sat in many low level groups at clinics where there was more discussion than riding and come away feeling like I learned a lot. By the same token I could imagine someone without much experience in the sport sitting in the same group and getting exactly nothing precisely because they have no frame of reference.

                                        I've been eventing for years, but have little to no frame of reference to take to a George Morris clinic. I would expect to miss out on a lot of information because I don't have the experience in the sport to recognize and absorb a lot information he would impart.

                                        I'm not saying the OP didn't have a bad clinic, I'm not saying the clinician wasn't the worst thing that ever taught. But I am saying that before there is a public lynching it is important to consider that most people riding in event clinics have been eventing longer than 2 months and it is quite possible that the OP's lack of experience just might have something to do with the problem.

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by horselover1117 View Post
                                          Basically, I walked away from this weekend feeling worse about everything and with nothing to go home and work on. This clinician has a very big name for being "one of the best there is" and it was not cheap to ride with them. I saved and saved so I could do this and now I just don't know what to do. I did talk to two other people in my group who said the same thing… that they would NEVER pay to ride with this person again and that it was one of the worst (in not THE worst clinic they’ve ever done). It was so bad that I feel I need to do something. So my question is, what would you guys do?? Would you write the clinician a letter?? Write the organizer a letter? Ask for your money back?? Do nothing??
                                          Yes I would - the only person that can effect a change in this scenario IS the clinician - AND I'd be interested in his perspective & how it reflects mine ...

                                          Actually, I'd've tried to speak with the clinician at the end of Day 1 & certainly, at the end of Day 2.

                                          During all that "talk time", were other participants engaging the clinician? did anyone request help with particular issues? how should wants be communicated to the clinician?

                                          I'm sorry you had a poor experience at this clinic.

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