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What to expect from a Jeff Cook clinic?

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  • What to expect from a Jeff Cook clinic?

    I'm riding in a Jeff Cook clinic this weekend. I've gotten some pointers as my trainer used to ride with Jeff when they were both training with George Morris back in the day.

    What my trainer has said so far is that he's likely to ask us what kind of tack we're using and why and that he'll expect us to know lots of technical stuff- parts of the horse, speeds of each gait, etc.

    If anyone has cliniced with him before and has some helpful input, anything is welcome. I'm not a clinic newbie, I'm just curious about this trainer in particular.

    Thanks!
    Willow- http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...&id=1125720084

  • #2
    Google him and you will see plenty of videos. He's great.

    Comment


    • #3
      Jeff is a fabulous clinician and you should have a great time and learn a lot. Jeff is a traditionalist, so make sure that both you and your horse are turned out beautifully. Mane pulled, ears, whiskers and fetlocks trimmed neatly, horse sparkling clean. Pay special attention to your tack - not only be able to explain why you use whatever tack you use for that horse but also the whys and wherefores. It should also be very clean and adjusted properly - no loose keepers or bits of leather flapping around. He also does not like any of the new types of stirrups, so use plain fillis irons, if possible. Your boots should be shining and your attire should be neat and workmanlike, make sure your hair is tidy, you wear a belt, spurs and are carrying a crop.

      Make sure you are attentive to his instructions and have a good attitude! My DD attended a clinic where one of the other girls was inattentive and rude and he asked her to leave (not to mention he was quite put out with the girls trainer because of that). He will work a lot on fundamentals and correct technique and expects you to put forth your best efforts in trying everything he asks. Also, make sure your answers are thoughtful when he asks you questions.

      Have fun and let us know what you worked on!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ponymom64 View Post
        Make sure you are attentive to his instructions and have a good attitude! My DD attended a clinic where one of the other girls was inattentive and rude and he asked her to leave (not to mention he was quite put out with the girls trainer because of that). He will work a lot on fundamentals and correct technique and expects you to put forth your best efforts in trying everything he asks. Also, make sure your answers are thoughtful when he asks you questions.
        Sounds like basic respect for the instructor, nothing specific to Jeff. He is an extremely nice, humble man who is as comfortable talking about his kids activities at home (outside of the ring of course) as he is the finer points of riding. You will have a great time.

        Comment


        • #5
          Agree with all of Ponymom's points.

          In addition, I would add that Jeff generally likes his students to ride with a longer stirrup on the flat than for jumping. The first time I rode with him, he dropped my irons 2 holes for the flatwork - which definitely improved my leg, but man! was I sore the next day, haha. He is very attentive to the horse's balance and wants the rider to really notice how their actions affect their horse.

          He does focus on building from a solid foundation of good basics. You'll likely do a lot of flatwork, transitions, paying good attention to straightness, pace, track and position. The jumping portion is always very progressive, starting with small(er) fences to establish that you can ride the proper track and execute all the details well; the turn to the jump is as important as the jump itself, and the landing and track away from the jump is likewise very important.

          Jeff is one of my very favorite clinicians and I am envious of your opportunity. You are going to have a ball and learn a lot!
          **********
          We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
          -PaulaEdwina

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Cannonball View Post
            Sounds like basic respect for the instructor, nothing specific to Jeff.
            Yes, I agree 100% but some people lack respect, that's why I mentioned it

            Comment


            • #7
              Eyes and ears open. Mouth shut. Listen to directions and, if you don't understand? Open mouth and ask. And be ready to go when it's your turn, not fiddling.

              Jeff is nice but has little patience with the inattentive. Those that are might hear "Back to the end of the line, you are in the doghouse" Followed shortly by "Why are you in the doghouse"? Best have that answer ready.

              He does prefer stick and spurs but does not insist on them...just don't be surprised if your critique includes "If you had a stick, you could fix that" or "Spurs would make that happen alot easier".

              Anyway, he has always been a favorite to ride with both clinic and an occaisional private session. Always got alot out of it....and a personalized doghouse.
              When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

              The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

              Comment


              • #8
                Agreed with everything everyone else has said...

                Will echo the listen but ASK if you dont understand...My horse is a bad leaner, leans on me through the corners and will actually PULL me down...this was happening during our flat exercises so I asked how I could correct it without fighting, got some great advice and input.

                I will say that I didnt get a whole lot of input on my horse or my riding style...which I guess is better than him saying I sucked and to get out of the ring...but what I did get was more knowledge...even listening to him talk to the other riders, etc...listen to everything, you never know what you might pick up.
                Never Ride Faster Than Your Guardian Angel Can Fly
                Way Back Texas~04/20/90-09/17/08
                Green Alligator "Captain"

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Thanks so much for all your fabulous responses. I'm very excited about this particular clinic.

                  I'm not sure if this is the norm or not, but Jeff is teaching a walk/trot-short stirrup section at this clinic. All the little girls are so excited to have the opportunity to ride in a clinic, as they're usually only open to those jumping 3'+.

                  My horse is rather untraditional, so we'll see if/what he has to say about him

                  And thanks Lucassb for the input about the longer stirrups- I'll be sure to put them down a hole before the clinic.

                  If anyone else has any input, I'm more than happy to hear it!
                  Willow- http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...&id=1125720084

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Eh, he used to not like the kidets and hate Ponies (gets that from all those years with GM) but raising the twins sort of changed that. He still refers to some Ponies as "crafty beasts" and "heathen creatures" but likes the kids now. Long as they behave properly and don't cry.

                    The lower levels fill easier then anything over 2'6" anymore, fact of life. If that is where the potential attendees want it to be, organizers will offer it. Particularly when the 4' section has 2 of 8 slots filled and has to combine with the 3'6".

                    It's good for the kidlets to work with somebody who expects them to have an idea of what they are doing and the basics of why.

                    Ummm, he likes untradtitional in a sea of bay WBs...and has learned to ride a cowpony out where he lives. He won't mind a bit.
                    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I know for us we had a 2-2'6 section and a 2'6-3ft section and then it went up from there...the lower section was all ponies and kids and they all seemed to do well and have a good time, while learning.

                      I was in the middle section and my horse is NOT a traditional hunter and was still a roarer at the time (had not had surgery yet)..again, he really didnt comment on anyones horse, with the exception of the one horse who he LOVED in our group...well, I think he called another one a "chicken heart"...but that was about it, lol.
                      Never Ride Faster Than Your Guardian Angel Can Fly
                      Way Back Texas~04/20/90-09/17/08
                      Green Alligator "Captain"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I watched him teach a 2'6'' clinic last year. i though he was good, really enforced basics, a lot of kids had trouble with careening around corners so they worked a lot on that. You should have a good time.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cannonball View Post
                          Sounds like basic respect for the instructor, nothing specific to Jeff.
                          You would think this basic respect shouldn't even have to be mentioned, but I have seen some truly appalling behavior from people clinicing even with Olympic and World Champion medalists.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have only watched one day of a clinic he did in a PNW barn. There was a range of jumpers in there.

                            IMO, the Jeff Cook wants to see riders make a difference in their horse. If he asked you to put in 5-- do that, not 4 or 6 twice in a row. I think he wants the horse to feel something different and then the rider to do the same. So you have to commit to doing what he asks for.

                            He does warm everyone up on the flat in order to get their horses adjustable and on the aids. Perhaps I'm projecting here, but don't go with your "Mmm. I'm not sure what the difference between a shoulder fore and a leg yield is. I'll just figure it out when I get there." If he asks you for lateral work, he'll want it. If he asks you to be able to lengthen and shorten, you need to produce that.

                            If I were going, I'd get the most bang for my buck by practicing all I knew how to do on the flat in order to get a very responsive horse.
                            The armchair saddler
                            Politically Pro-Cat

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by findeight View Post
                              Ummm, he likes untradtitional in a sea of bay WBs...and has learned to ride a cowpony out where he lives. He won't mind a bit.
                              Oh good. We campaign in the jumpers anyway, and my horse used to be something of a cowpony (who can jump the moon and can dressage it up with the best of them). Picture a big honkin' paint with a crazy mane (pulled and neat as I can possibly get it!) and you may have something close to this guy

                              I'll be riding in the intermediate group, so we'll see how it goes!
                              Willow- http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...&id=1125720084

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