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John Lyons - dissappointment

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  • John Lyons - dissappointment

    I went to the Virginia Equine Extravaganza with high hopes for the John Lyons clinics/demonstrations they were having there, and I have to say
    I was very un-impressed with the John Lyons demonstrations. I don't know if anyone else saw the Saturday afternoon session he did outside, but I was actually appalled at his un-professionalism and demeanor.

    The horse Lyons was working with had a Full Cheek snaffle on that was not adjusted properly, and was hanging too low. As Mr Lyons was working with the horse on the ground, the full cheek slipped though the horses mouth and was stabbing the horse in the mouth, painfully. You could clearly see the horse being very uncomfortable, and John Lyons, didn't even notice. It took someone from the audience to point it out, and then even after that he just "brushed it off' as nothing, said it was a cheap bit and continued with the bit obviously hurting the horse's mouth for another 10-15 minutes. He finally then did adjust it.. but I really was annoyed with this. The poor mare.

    He also made some rude comments to Jane Savorie when they were in the indoor arena, so much so that my friend, who is from Peru and was actually interested in hearing what the clinicians have to say, was really put off by John Lyon's demeanor. Does he normally do this?

    I saw Clinton Anderson at the Dulles Expo last Spring, and I was much more impressed with him than with John Lyons. I was actually kind of disgusted with the clinic yesterday in Richmond, and really am not interested in anything else that Lyons has to say. I am actually dissappointed to say this too, because after what people have said about his trailer loading... I was interested in hearing his clinics. I wasn't the only one in the audience yesterday that thought it was strange how he handled this mare, with the bit hurting her in such a way. I just wonder why he wasn't more observant and didn't fix it as soon as the mare started flipping her head around.

    Anyway, I guess that really left an impression in my head since it's the first time I have seen Lyons perform live. I think there are many other people out there doing a better job than he is now. Maybe he is just so famous and rich that I don't think he cares anymore? That's the impression I got. He also made a lot of "smart remarks" about and at the dressage riders at the clinic which I didn't care for.

    Is this normal for him to do? He seemed to be pretty much uninterested in giving the clinics at all yesterday, at least that is the impression that I and my two friends got after watching this yesterday.
    One of a Kind Studio
    Fine Art Paintings, Horses, Dogs, Wildlife and anything else that inspires.

    New convert to the cow horse world.. love my QH mare.

  • #2
    Anybody can have a bad day, but when someone in the public eye has a bad day in public.... uh, oh.

    John Lyons has made some very good contributions to the training and treatment of horses through his books, videos, seminars, clinics, etc. He's not perfect, or a magician. He's just a trainer, and human.

    I'm sorry you didn't see him in his best light.
    ----------------
    What we hope ever to do with ease, we must learn first to do with diligence.
    - Samuel Jackson

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    • #3
      I Looooovvvvvvveeeee Clinton Anderson on RFD-TV .... I can't wait for Tuesday nights at 10PM (when his show airs). His horsemanship skills are truly universal, and he's not all hoity-toity like Parelli, yet he doesn't beat the horses either. Just a perfect blend of skills based on the horse's natural herd instincts.

      As for Lyons, I used to be friendly with a Lyons trainer, and the full cheek snaffle set low is a normal thing for him. Maybe he didn't want to fix it right away because he was embarrassed? Y'know, play it off like it was okay to save face. I don't think that's a good excuse for abusing the mare but maybe it's an explaination. I can't say I'm all that impressed with the Lyon's stuff, maybe just some of the round pen work.

      Comment


      • #4
        Jesus, how low was this full cheek, that he could pull it all the way through the horse's mouth? Is he that stupid, that he uses a bit that he doesn't know how to properly adjust? And where were the keepers on this full cheek? I can't imagine they were there, or it'd be nearly impossible to pull the bit through. Sounds like a cluster f**k to me. Poor horse. And poor people, who thought they were seeing an expert in action.

        Clinton Anderson is the real deal, IMO. John Lyons, Monty Roberts, and that reincarnation of PT Barnum, Pat Parelli? Not so much. More "nonexistent horsemanship" than "natural horsemanship" with the latter three.
        In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
        A life lived by example, done too soon.
        www.caringbridge.org/page/laurajahnke/

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        • #5
          I third or fourth Clinton Anderson as the real deal. I saw him in Williamston, NC, this summer and he was fantastic. I use many of his techniques and they really really work. I was lucky enough to nearly run head on into him while heading for the ladies room (he is pretty cute) and he say's "G'Day Mate!" with a real smile on his face.

          I have seen Monty, John Lyons, Pony Boy and one or two others and none of them impressed my like Clinton Anderson did.

          Comment


          • #6
            Burnout maybe????? No excuse, but all that sounds like someone who is in burnout phase.

            I wish I could have seen Jane Savoie's clinic.

            Comment


            • #7
              I've seen John Lyons many times and am surprised to hear your report. Not that it is an excuse, but maybe burnout? It seems like his son Josh is doing more and more, so maybe John has had enough? I know in the past I alwyas enjoyed his clinics and learned alot from them. JMHO

              Comment


              • #8
                That is too bad he had bad session and no, I've never seen be rude to a fellow instructor. I saw him at Kansas Equifest for several years and found him to be a capable problem solver, able to read a horse and know when to release pressure all the while telling us watching what he was doing and why.

                I've also seen Clinton at Equifest twice, awesome too! I find his techniques and JL to be similiar.

                What was funny at Equifest one year I watched JL work a horse that did not have a whoa and wanted to scoot. He schooled on the rail doing his drill- if they scoot gently pull them in a small circle, release the pressure, walk, if they scoot again repeat. Whoa work was tossed in there. By the end of the talk the horse was walking quietly and would whoa.

                The next session I watched was Linda Tellington Jones. She too was schooling a horse that had no whoa but as is her method, she was schooling from the ground. However, her technique required having two other people to assist her- one on the off side and one behind- along w/ the neck rope thing and whatever she does with that. The horse did not progress as swiftly as did JL horse during the talk.

                What I took away from those two experts was this- JL showed me methods I can do by myself without the need for extra tools or people. LTJ methods require more "things" to achieve the outcome.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by ESG View Post
                  Jesus, how low was this full cheek, that he could pull it all the way through the horse's mouth? Is he that stupid, that he uses a bit that he doesn't know how to properly adjust? And where were the keepers on this full cheek? I can't imagine they were there, or it'd be nearly impossible to pull the bit through. Sounds like a cluster f**k to me. Poor horse. And poor people, who thought they were seeing an expert in action.
                  I know I thought the same thing. It was hanging in the horses mouth. As soon as it slipped through the mare started flipping its head around in obvious discomfort. She only had the pointy end of the full cheek poking her straight in the roof of her mouth! I was actually kind of really upset about it, and wondered why in the heck did it take so long for someone to say something, and then when they did, why didn't he fix it immediately? He continued with it like this for another 10 minutes! After that I left and went back inside. He also made some really rude comment, like I said ,to the dressage clinician and to the riders, not very professional.

                  I honestly went in with an open mind too, wanting to see him. I was very dissappointed.
                  One of a Kind Studio
                  Fine Art Paintings, Horses, Dogs, Wildlife and anything else that inspires.

                  New convert to the cow horse world.. love my QH mare.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Clinton Anderson the real deal? Cute accent, cute ass. Condescending. I'll concede that he's better than Pony Boy, but not much.

                    Try Leslie Desmond and Van HArgis if you're looking for the realdeal...
                    madeline
                    * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Lyons and Other Trainers

                      I've seen John Lyons in person and have six of his original tapes. Overall he has some excellent techniques. I will say that I wasn't so impressed with him during the clinic, but I have really learned a lot from his tapes.
                      I've also seen Linda Tellington-Jones and have some books of hers. While I've never worked with her wands, etc., she has some wonderful exercise techniques. Although they're not "massages", that's how I use them. They've taken my bond with my horse to a deeper level. Also, my daughter is in dressage and her trainer said the massages really help to loosen the horse and help him become fluid, softer, etc.
                      I also have some Parelli stuff.

                      I think each trainer has something to offer. In the tapes, John Lyons openly compliments riders of different disciplines, including English. It's unfortunate that he wasn't very professional during the clinic, as well as not showing care about the horse. If he doesn't want to spend money on a bit, he shouldn't complain about its price and whether the bit is expensive or cheap, he should still take care of the horse.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Are you sure it was JOHN Lyons you saw and not his son Josh? It's been about a dozen years since I met John, but was an absolute gentleman and very caring about the horses he worked with. Unfortunately I met his son a few years ago at a local horse gathering and was appalled at his conduct. His horsemanship was ok, but he made several rude comments about english riders. I was NOT impressed.
                        Crayola Posse - Pine Green
                        Whinnie Pine (June 4, 1977 - April 29, 2008)
                        Autumn Caper (April 27, 1989 - May 24, 2015)
                        Murphy (April 28, 1994 - May 5, 2017)

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                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Murphy's Mom View Post
                          Are you sure it was JOHN Lyons you saw and not his son Josh? It's been about a dozen years since I met John, but was an absolute gentleman and very caring about the horses he worked with. Unfortunately I met his son a few years ago at a local horse gathering and was appalled at his conduct. His horsemanship was ok, but he made several rude comments about english riders. I was NOT impressed.
                          No, it was John himself. Older bow legged, John. Trust me I was surprised to see what I saw. I was not expecting it. The comment he made to the dressage trainer was earlier too, in a different session, unrelated to the bit incident with the mare he was working with in the outdoor covered arena.

                          Maybe it was just an off day, but to not fix that snaffle right away, was really not fair to the mare. It was just sloppy IMHO.
                          One of a Kind Studio
                          Fine Art Paintings, Horses, Dogs, Wildlife and anything else that inspires.

                          New convert to the cow horse world.. love my QH mare.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            One of my horses participated in a JL clinic back in 2001--we were at an expo and the invitation was extended for my guy to be a part of the clinic. At the time, my horse was incredibly nervous with any type of loud sounds, especially noises accentuated over a sound system (like announcers at a show system). However, with the judicial use of ear plugs, I had been able to show him, including at the Penn National and Washington International horse shows.

                            When John asked me if my horse had any issues, I shared my concerns about his nervousness with sounds. What transpired of the next hour effectively ended his show career. He was so panicked over the way John tried to introduce him to those types of noises (chasing him while blowing on his microphone and making other loud sounds), that I have never been able to take him into a show atmosphere again. To this day, loud sounds send him into a panic.

                            I am so angry at myself for allowing that to happen, but I trusted John that he was doing what was right and that the end result would be okay. Boy was I wrong and I regret that I ever agreed to let my horse be a part of the clinic. Shame on me and shame on JL.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Well I guess I'm an awful person too, I've had tack screw up with me while I had it on a horse and sometimes I didn't notice right away either. I don't have anything to say about John Lyons, I've not seen him, or his tapes, I do own one book (bringing up baby or something) that was given to me when my baby horse was a baby.
                              Last edited by Chipngrace; Aug. 15, 2008, 03:37 AM.
                              I lost count of the times I’ve given up on you
                              But you make such a beautiful wreck you do

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Many, many years ago I boarded my horse at a large commercial facility, and John Lyons would come in and do weekend clinics twice a year. He was not polite to those of us that boarded there. The clinic format was outrageous - over 50 riders in a 100' X 200' arena at the same time, galloping from one end to the other doing rollbacks at each end. We could not figure out what they were learning.

                                He has plenty of knowledge to offer, not disputing that, just that the clinic format did not seem to be conducive to passing much knowledge on to the participants. It was, however, conducive to channeling the maximum dollars to the clinician's pockets.

                                And there was a distinct difference in his demeanor towards his paying clients and the rest of us. A true gentlemen would be just as polite to all.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  The horse Lyons was working with had a Full Cheek snaffle on that was not adjusted properly, and was hanging too low. As Mr Lyons was working with the horse on the ground, the full cheek slipped though the horses mouth and was stabbing the horse in the mouth, painfully. You could clearly see the horse being very uncomfortable, and John Lyons, didn't even notice. It took someone from the audience to point it out, and then even after that he just "brushed it off' as nothing, said it was a cheap bit and continued with the bit obviously hurting the horse's mouth for another 10-15 minutes. He finally then did adjust it.. but I really was annoyed with this. The poor mare.
                                  I was at this year's expo, and at last year's. Last year (April 2005) in the Lyons clinic the exact same thing happened. He managed to pull the full cheek snaffle completely through the mouth of the horse he was working so that what was in the horse's mouth was the cheekpiece of the bridle. He shrugged this off by saying that the horse had to learn to deal with it. He worked a good 15 minutes with the bit on the side of the horse's head.

                                  This was his trademarked bridle with his trademarked bit and reins, so he hardly could call them crappy equipment. This was pretty disappinting to see. I'm not happy to hear this happened again this year. Yuck.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I feel your pain.

                                    I was a fan of John Lyons (received his newsletter, etc.) until I saw his symposium several years ago. A woman brought a mare in for the Friday evening demo. The mare was okay under saddle but the rider sometimes had trouble stopping her. Watching them ride, it was obvious she was a novice rider, not at all connected with the horse. But the mare seemed nice.

                                    John got on the mare and proceeded to spur the crap out of her continuously or the next 45 minutes (teaching her to to "move forward"). I knew she was a kind mare because she didn't throw his sorry butt off. She was wringing her tail and pinning her ears the entire time. The audience whispered, murmured and squirmed in disbelief.

                                    The Saturday session was just as bad. I left early and did not return Sunday.

                                    Originally posted by Murphy's Mom View Post
                                    Are you sure it was JOHN Lyons you saw and not his son Josh?
                                    I have seen Josh Lyons perform and, personally, I think he's far superior to his dad (doesn't look anything like him, either). My friend, a newly certified "John Lyons" trainer, was doing a clinic with Josh, Frank Bell and a few other trainers. All was going well until John showed up unannounced, usurped the microphone from his son, and spent the next two hours boring 200 people to death with his monotonous drivel.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Madeline View Post
                                      Clinton Anderson the real deal? Cute accent, cute ass. Condescending.
                                      Oh thank you Madeline!!! And I bet you didn't even work for him! The things I saw, I could write a book.
                                      Originally posted by The Centaurian
                                      As far as I am concerned, leadline is a legitimate reason to have children.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        sounds the same as everything else-- money for old rope--

                                        thing is these sorts of people take a bit of this anda bit of that learnt from others in past or seen and have marketed it --

                                        maybe he rides in low cheek so that he can get the horse to look good whilse hes on top or on the ground atrick of the trade see put the bit in the wrong place horse plays up naughty horsey as he does demos and people are telling him what ther horse does-- and th ehorse is so nuaghty so then he has to fix the problem in ademo-- simple move the bit -- horse behaves--

                                        sometimes people are show men just like dealers that have bad repretations
                                        that do things to the horse ie bute it to behave get home and its a nutter--
                                        they do it earn money the quickest way-- maybe iam wrong maybe iam not but to me a person that teaches as it is teaching as it is a demo in front of an audience then they wouldnt put the horse to shame they would turn round and say the bit is wrong-- and correct the comfort zone of the horse beofre they did anything with it--

                                        monty roberts to is aperson that chases the horses away throws his arms up and then says naughty horse -- but in most the horses arnt wild they have been trianed to adegree again before they start they know what the horse does as the people told them so they work on that bit--

                                        they are showmen ,look at what i cando and you can do it to, only soemties people get hurt ie pereilli whatever its money as for the teelington i looked at that and thats just pole work done in a different form but its still basic pole work -- just descirbe differently much to with evething else - its all money
                                        i would personally spend my money with a trianer thats been there and done it and knows how to get the best from the horse through decent balanced education which i do do that with my trainer--

                                        you know the worse thing i fear is a noivce doing things that maybe they could get hurt with becuase they are so vunerable and new to the sport

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