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Some help with clinic format please!

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  • Some help with clinic format please!

    I have the opportunity to run a clinic this fall at my farm. To prevent this from being advertising, I'm not saying where the clinic is or who with. But the clinician is a recent Olympic medalist and is foreign. My problem is that the clinician is very open on format and I want to find out what format people like the most so I can model the clinic on what people want.

    This will be a three-day clinic. The first day will be dressage, the second show-jumping, and the third at a near-by cross country course. It will be run Saturday - Monday (I might be able to change it Friday through Sunday but the clinician asked it be done that way).

    Option 1:
    Day 1 is 45 minutes private dressage lesson
    Day 2 is a 1 and a half hour semi-private jumping lesson
    Day 3 is a 1 and a half hour semi-private cross-country lesson
    The cost for all three days will be $375

    Option 2:
    Day 1 is a 30 minute private dressage lesson
    Day 2 is a 1 and a half hour jumping lesson with three people
    Day 3 is a 1 and a half hour cross-country lesson with three people
    The cost for all three days would be $300

    Option 3
    Day 1 is a 30 minute private dressage lesson
    Day 2 is a 1 hour semi-private jumping lesson
    Day 3 is a 1 hour semi-private jumping lesson
    The cost for all three days would be $300

    Those are what I have come up with so far. Please let me know which of these sound most appealing or if you have any other suggestions for formats let me know! Thanks in advance for the help.
    Hanlon's Razor

    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

  • #2
    Can you do it a la carte so that people can choose to do just 1 or 2 days? Might be easier if one day is a weekday.


    • #3
      A 1.5 hour semi-private jumping lesson is a lot - likely too much for many horses/riders. For xc, however, you often need 90 minutes to two hours, just because you have to account in time to go from one complex to another, but, you can often fit in the same number of goes with 3-4 people as you can with two. I'd likely say something like option 2 or 3 then (but overall, would not be likely to go to a three day clinic - I'd much prefer to do a two day clinic at most).


      • #4
        If I were riding, I would want a dressage/jumping lesson combined on the first day with only a few riders and shorter time frame -- I want the clinician to get a closer view of me and my level as well as my horse's tendencies. So smaller group of really close in skill riders. Maybe even just two per session, - but 45 minutes max.
        The 2nd day I would like to have a shorter dressage/flat work start to the day along with a lengthier jumping school -- this could be a larger group but a longer session. More riders in a group allows for more rest time in between turns, so that's a good setup for the 2nd day -- doesn't take all the stuffing out of my horse, and provides me with even more foundation for the following day, XC. Like 1-1/2 hours.
        The third day of XC would be a longer session with varying amounts of riders, just depends on who can get off on Monday from work or if it's a holiday, etc. But definitely 1- 1/2 to 2 hours for the XC session.
        That would be my personal ideal.
        Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
        Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)


        • #5
          One I have audited regularly does it this way: 45 minute private dressage (and this was optional, as many riders didn't want it, so it only took part of the morning); then 1.5 hour stadium lessons with 5-8 people (so there's a good amount of standing around per person, while the other one goes); stadium allows clinician to judge skill of each group for cross country - she usually throws out at least one person who is not advanced enough for xc or is having problems with their horse. Those were all on day 1.

          Then day two is all xc, in the same groups of 5-8, 2 hours per group. There are regular breaks throughout the 2 hours because you have to walk to the next part of the course, then hear some discussion, then each person has a couple of goes, and sometimes there's more talking between goes.


          • #6
            twofatponies - do you not find 5-8 to be a very large group for a clinic? That is a lot of waiting around and a lot of different skill levels/issues to deal with.

            To the OP, option 2 would be my preference. I PREFER to do my XC schooling in groups. I like watching the other horse/rider combinations work through the exercises and often learn as much from watching as I do from riding. But I would agree with GotSpots regarding the length of time for XC. I'd rather see the groups expand to include 4 riders if that means they can have more time out on the XC course. It takes time to go between complexes.


            • #7
              I've organized clinics in various formats, for the 3 day clinics with Ian Stark I do flat work the first day, groups of 2 for 45 minutes or groups of 3 for an hour. We do show jumping for an hour with 3 or 4 on the 2nd day and combine groups into like skill levels and do 1.5 hours for cross country day.


              • Original Poster

                Thanks for your input! I appreciate it. I'm re-working the format in my head. What about this format?

                Day 1: 1 hour dressage/gymnastics jumping semi-private (2 people)
                Day 2: 1 hour course jumping lesson semi-private
                Day 3: Optional cross-country day. Since day three will be a Monday, I figured it might be an optional cross-country day. It will not be officially part of the clinic but the clinician will be available to teach cross-country. Also, they would teach riders who may not have attended the clinic on the other days.

                The cost for the two-day clinic would be $250 for both days and lunch both days would be included.

                Again, if someone had a format that worked really well, please suggest! This isn't set in stone just yet. The only thing I want to avoid is massive groups. There would be no more than four to a group cross-country.
                Hanlon's Razor

                Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.


                • #9
                  I don't like the one hour small group concept. One hour is hard for a clinician to really get across their system/theory in a clinic setting.

                  Small lessons are good for lessons (riding with someone who knows you and your horse...they can be more targeted for you and meant to fit in with your established training...i.e. lessons on a weekly or monthly basis)....but clinics by their nature are for learning from someone you don't normally ride with. One hour isn't enough time to get a feel for them or understand their philosophy/training methods...or for them to get a feel for the rider.

                  I'd do larger groups for a longer period of time. 4-6 riders for 2 hours. Chunks of that time will be taken by the clinician explaining the exercise and what is his/her thought process for the exercise and expectations for the riders/horses.

                  In a clinic...riders should be looking to learn by listening and watching what is done with OTHER riders as much if not more than what is done with them. With the larger group, the horses will not be going non-stop and so can handle a longer period of time.

                  Otherwise....I like your format of dressage/gymnastics on day one, course work day two...and optional xc day three.
                  ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


                  • #10
                    I am probably not in your area, but if I were paying for a clinic that included jumping, I would most likely prefer the optional day 3 to be dressage. Make day 1 gymnastics/SJ and day 2 XC.

                    Agree that 1 hour is too short for XC - 2 hours is ideal with 4-5 people. I hate clinics that have 6 or more people in one group - it's too big and often too many different skill sets. Also the short 1.5 hour XC means the clinician does a LOT of walking back and forth. It's nicer to have 2 hours with an extra person or two and one fewer lesson (e.g. instead of 5 XC lessons of 1.5 hours, there are 4 of 2 hours), so the instructor has one less tour of the XC. (Yep, still suffering from the gumboot blisters from the XC clinic I taught a month ago - that was a LOT of walking in gumboots.)

                    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by LAZ View Post
                      I've organized clinics in various formats, for the 3 day clinics with Ian Stark I do flat work the first day, groups of 2 for 45 minutes or groups of 3 for an hour. We do show jumping for an hour with 3 or 4 on the 2nd day and combine groups into like skill levels and do 1.5 hours for cross country day.

                      My idea of a PERFECT clinic! Too bad I'd have to travel to the midwest to get it the way I like it!
                      (What's wrong with the east coast?)
                      Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                      Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Blugal View Post
                        . Also the short 1.5 hour XC means the clinician does a LOT of walking back and forth. It's nicer to have 2 hours with an extra person or two and one fewer lesson (e.g. instead of 5 XC lessons of 1.5 hours, there are 4 of 2 hours), so the instructor has one less tour of the XC. (Yep, still suffering from the gumboot blisters from the XC clinic I taught a month ago - that was a LOT of walking in gumboots.)

                        I get my clinicians a golf cart so they don't have to walk unless they want to. I like to have happy clinicians that want to come back. I also ask their favorite meal & libations and try my best to provide that at least one evening, and get them their own private room at the end of the day so they can have some down time if they wish.


                        • #13
                          When I used to do a lot of these, optional day one was private or semi-private dressage lessons. That was usually Friday. Then Saturday, all sj with 3-5 people in a group usually 1.5 - 2 hours. Sunday xc, same groups as from prior day more or less. I liked it because the clinicians would do things in stadium and then show how they translated to xc as well as knowing the riders better before going out xc.
                          OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!


                          • #14
                            Yeah, pretty much what scubed said. Arrange your groups by skill level for sj and xc, about 5 per group is ideal. Two hour sessions for four groups, for example P at 8:00 am, T at 10:00, lunch at 12:00, N at 1:00 and BN at 3:00, super easy to schedule. If you make your first dressage day optional then flatwork is incorporated into the day 2 jumping.