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Riding in a Jill Henselwood Clinic - Update :)

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  • Riding in a Jill Henselwood Clinic - Update :)

    Have any of you ever ridden with her? I'd welcome some tips, warnings, or advice.
    Last edited by chukkerchild; Apr. 26, 2009, 11:14 PM.
    "Disapproval of the way other people run their businesses and treat their horses is the meat and drink of the hunter-jumper industry."
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  • #2
    I rode in one with her a couple of years ago. I really enjoyed it, she's really enthusiastic and seemed to really like teaching. From what I remember, we did a lot of flat work...oh and the answer to everything is tracking up. She was big on having the horses work from behind and she would ask people if there horse had impulsion or if they were tracking up. She even had some people who couldn't feel it stare at there horses back legs while they were riding around.

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    • #3
      I don't know if this helps...I watched her give a lesson at Spruce several years back...her teaching style reminded me a lot of Debbie McDonald...intense and focused, but very positive reinforcement for the rider and she knew when to quit. I was impressed.
      Surgeon General warns: "drinking every time Trump lies during the debate could result in acute alcohol poisoning."

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      • #4
        Just to warn you, Jill is known as a 'yeller' she can be harsh, but she's too the point. She's very much 'it's my way or the highway' kind of mentality so if you have thin skin just be prepared (i've seen her make a few people cry!). Make sure you listen carefully and try your hardest and don't take anything TOO personally Also, besides a lot of flat work you will probably hear just as much talking as actually riding...

        She's very good though... I rode with her assistant trainer for about a year recently... can definately get the best out of both horse and rider and with her recent successes can teach us all a lot
        http://community.webshots.com/user/cdnjumper

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        • #5
          I audited one of her clinics several years ago. She's very focused, but lots of positive feedback. She's very nice and down to earth. I learned a lot. Have fun, I'm sure you will enjoy yourself!
          CRAYOLA POSSE - Olive Green
          Champions aren't born. They are built little by little, day by day, with patience and love for the art. -Nick Skelton

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Thank you so much! I'll make sure to put on my thick skin just in case
            "Disapproval of the way other people run their businesses and treat their horses is the meat and drink of the hunter-jumper industry."
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            • #7
              I seem to run into you all over the internet.. It's Kristina

              She wasn't too bad at the last clinic, I have heard that she seems to have mellowed a little bit in recent years? Either way I don't think anyone was yelled at last time! Be prepared though that she told almost everyone with goals to do young riders or anything similar that they would need a new horse. So be prepared! Thank GOD she didn't tell me that

              I'm sure it will be a blast!
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              • #8
                audited...

                I audited a clinic a few months back and was very impressed. If you didn't understand an analogy she would take the time to go over it with you. She had a rider with her to get on horses that she thought needed a tuning and she herself helped break through barriers with resisting horses so they were better when their rider got back on. Amazing what she can do to a horse in 20 minutes!

                She brought reading material for all of the riders - read it! She quizzed everyone and there were a few purple faces when people couldn't answer her questions. She expects you to work hard as any good clinician does and likes to challenge riders. She was not in any way mean but she did let some riders know that they were ready to move up to more horse power or were headed down the wrong path with a horse, etc.

                Have fun! I can't wait to participate myself sometime, I really enjoyed auditing, even though it was -25 Celsius outside here in Ontario and I froze for two days!

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                • #9
                  You have a PM!

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by klmck63 View Post
                    I seem to run into you all over the internet.. It's Kristina

                    She wasn't too bad at the last clinic, I have heard that she seems to have mellowed a little bit in recent years? Either way I don't think anyone was yelled at last time! Be prepared though that she told almost everyone with goals to do young riders or anything similar that they would need a new horse. So be prepared! Thank GOD she didn't tell me that

                    I'm sure it will be a blast!
                    I did notice she said that, I imagine that the girl who just bought that gorg jumper mare must have been like "What?!" It would be the worst to get a new horse and then be told you need more horsepower. But at the same time I guess you just have to take it as a compliment to your riding... I'm not sure if I would enjoy being told, "Ah, yes, stick with this steady old boy forever, you'll have lots of fun on the trails with him perhaps popping over some small logs!"

                    Anyways, I'm really excited and trying not to think of it as being really stressful, I've only done polo clinics before this and I've never jumped in front of an audience before... the local show circuit doesn't usually result in a packed house... except when I fall off, it seems.
                    "Disapproval of the way other people run their businesses and treat their horses is the meat and drink of the hunter-jumper industry."
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by chukkerchild View Post
                      the local show circuit doesn't usually result in a packed house... except when I fall off, it seems.
                      Agreed! Everyone seemed to be watching last summer when I fell of and got road rash on my face... Surprisingly even though I was pretty nervous about having EVERYONE (haha) watch me ride I pretty much forgot about it before she even had us trotting. And yah, I felt really bad for her but I guess in reality it is a compliment, even if it is a little back handed. And I just about jumped off and hugged her when she said she liked my horse. My mum was so nervous she'd tell me to get a new horse! I would have cried for sure...

                      ETA: I heard that at the clinic in BC there were nearly 200 auditors! So it's not that bad
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                      • #12
                        Riderbreeder,

                        What did she make you read? Curious about that.

                        - C

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                        • #13
                          She had a hand-out on the basics of flatwork, things every well-educated rider should know already, but definately worth reading. She also brought many book/videos people could take to read during the clinic or take home that night to bring back. Very well done, in my opinion.

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                          • #14
                            I rode with Jill as a junior and learned a ton. My advice is to pay attention. If she asks you to do something, do it the first time or die trying (just kidding -- sort of). She has mellowed out, but still requires a good work ethic. This is not too much to ask, but a warning to the mentally squishy sort who thinks "hmm, I don't think that'll work well for my horse so I'll just sort of give it a halfway attempt and call it a day" -- this is not the right clinic for you. She demands that the horse be moving off the leg and accepting the hand. Your horse should be prepared for this. She has a vast wealth of experience and knowledge, is (obviously) an exceptional rider with wonderful feel, and of late has been more forthcoming with praise and encouragement. A good fit for a hard-working jumper/equitation rider who wants a supercharged training weekend.

                            Oh, and for this and most clinics, I would recommend wearing a small spur and carrying a stick. They're always easier to remove than to go digging for should the need arise.

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                            • #15
                              She had printed material which outlined the GASP!! classical training scale, (you know rhythm, suppleness, contact etc )but instead of the pyramid, was outlined as intersecting circles.

                              Photograph of classically correct position, shoulder to hip to heel. Straight line from elbow to hand to bit. She returned time and time again to the correct basics and classic position.

                              Word of advice chukkerchild...if you get a hand out...read it and be prepared to be asked what was in it. Read a bit about the classic training scale.

                              She wants you read the classics of horsemanship.

                              I was very impressed with the clinic I audited. Very to the point but very positive and motivating. I can see why her students do very well. That woman could motivate a corpse.

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                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Hey, I wanted to give an update-- she was super tough but it was really good. I learned a lot and I think I pushed myself a fair bit, I definitely got some chiding and she 'cracked the whip' a bit (literally) after my horse stopped a couple of times, but all in all I think that I got a good reality check and I definitely have a LOT of motivation to improve before the next clinic It ended up being quite the challenge for us as a pair, the fences were a bit larger than I expected (but on the plus side, my horse jumped the highest he ever has ) and I had a few spooks and a few major rider errors but my horse was so much more consistently on the contact by the end... it was amazing. All my bad habits were spotted instantly, though I've become so adept at hiding them! (I thought)

                                She DID NOT like it on the first day when I halted in a line. Haha, will never do that again!! She definitely does not like it when people circle before a fence or don't GO when she says so, either

                                Oh, and I must add that klmck rode wonderfully in her group and her horse was a total champ and they garnered plenty of well-deserved praise!
                                "Disapproval of the way other people run their businesses and treat their horses is the meat and drink of the hunter-jumper industry."
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