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Equine Affaire MA

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  • Equine Affaire MA

    I am thinking of applying for a clinic for one of my horses. He is a 6 year old OTTB. I bought him off the track when he was 3. He was VERY green. I worked with him for a few months, and then my mom had him for a while. She did walk/trot with a bit of canter with him. During that time he lived outside and was always very well behaved. He moved to a barn with a small indoor, and it's like his personality switched. He became very spooky and sensitive. He bolted once with my mother, and she came off. When lunging, he'd try to take off. We treated him for ulcers, and maintained him on u-guard regulary, with gastro or ulcerguard as needed. We then moved to another place and I did a lot of natural horsemanship work with him. Coming from a hunter jumper background I had never really used that before, but saw much improvement in him. We did a lot of work with him in a rope halter, and he worked back up to lunging well again. My friend took him in march of this year, and at that point he was going w/t/c under saddle, with the canter needing a great deal of work. Long story short, he's coming back to me.
    I'd like to try to take him to equine affaire to get more experience with working with him with different methods. There are several "general training" clinicians, but I have no heard of any of them (except John Lyons). Could anyone provide insight into some of the clinicians? I'd like to find someone who is good with sensitive horses, who can give me some new insight. When I get him back (which will be the end of this month), I'm going to give him a week or two to settle in, then start back with the groundwork and lunging to gradually work up to riding again. I'm thinking of the clinic as a goal so I can learn more training tools to make him more confident. I think every discipline has something to teach you. I think this horse is very special, and I want to gain as much knowledge as I can so that I can improve his training. (I have ridden since I was 6, and worked with mostly hunter/jumper trainers. I have a dressage trainer and a hunter trainer right now who will be working with him and I, but wanted to pursue clinics as an area to learn more)
    Sorry for the long post!
    link is http://equineaffaire.com/massachuset...hebest_ma.html
    Just click on the 2009 summary of clinic session and it will give you the descriptions.

  • #2
    Just so you know, the Big E (where the Equine Affaire is held) is a BIG SCARY PLACE for a lot of horses. The crowds associated with the clinics and the general event can be quite nerve-wracking for what you say is already a very spooky horse.

    In your situation, I would be more inclined to find a smaller, private farm where you can clinic, without the noise and hustle and bustle of thousands of people. All of those clinicians can be found at local barns.


    • #3
      I might go and watch. I am excited. I have never been before. Tell us if you decide you are doing it.


      • #4
        I've watched Van Hargis work with one of our Nokota horses, and now I'm a big fan, he's patient, waits till the horse is ready and he took him from on the ground to mounting. The horse was nervous, just sat in traffic waiting to get into the expo, first time for doing anything like this and was pretty stressed. During this short presentation Van managed to calm his fears and mount him and rode him around the round pen in a scary and strange environment within an hour or less of his arrival that Friday night.

        Another trainer who I needn't mention could not even work with the same pony that Sunday. What a difference.

        Van also credits Richard Shreik for teaching and mentoring him.

        You mentioned John Lyons, I met him that weekend, his booth was next to ours, what a nice guy. I heard his son Josh is an even better trainer than he is. I also think Parelli has some useful techniques as does Clinton Anderson. I don't know if any of these trainers are 100% great for each and every horse, if they aren't reading the horse's body language and adjusting accordingly they aren't of much use in my book. A rigid trainer, unflexible should work on cars and trucks, not living creatures.


        • #5
          Originally posted by GoForAGallop View Post
          Just so you know, the Big E (where the Equine Affaire is held) is a BIG SCARY PLACE for a lot of horses. The crowds associated with the clinics and the general event can be quite nerve-wracking for what you say is already a very spooky horse.

          In your situation, I would be more inclined to find a smaller, private farm where you can clinic, without the noise and hustle and bustle of thousands of people. All of those clinicians can be found at local barns.

          I agree. We did a 5 day clinic with John Lyons. Our money was very well spent.
          "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein



          • #6
            I have to say the same thing as GoForAGallop, Its a really big, scary place and with a horse that is already timid and green it may be to much


            • Original Poster

              I have been there before, and do agree that it is a very spooky place. I'm planning on seeing how he goes, it's not definate I'll apply. I just wanted insight into the presenters so I could see if anyone was worth the try should I decide he's far enough along.


              • #8
                Yup... for the best interests of your horse, I suggest auditing as many of the relevant clinicians as you can, then see if you can connect with the one(s) you think are the best fit to work with in a more sane environment. The Equine Affaire at the Big E is a real pressure cooker of a place, and it sounds like your boy already has difficulty with being in a pressure situation ("He moved to a barn with a small indoor, and it's like his personality switched. He became very spooky and sensitive.")

                Also, see what the prospects/clinicians have published & see if you can pick up any of their books on Amazon.com -- I know Mark Rashid has published several books. Dunno about who else will be there. I do like M.R., but I don't know how often he works with sensitive greenies