Equestrian's Institute out here often pulls in some clinicians throughout the year and Jim will attend them as part of his continuing education credits to maintain his instructor certification. He always encourages his students to attend, and I was able to get a couple hours to join him on Sunday to watch Anne Gribbons.
The clinic was held at the most beautiful facility a mere ten minutes from the house. It's a dressage barn and is just plain fancy fancy fancy. They had a lovely deck overlooking the covered arena with a VERY nice heated observation lounge complete with full bathroom, full kitchen and conference room.
For EI members, attending would be free, I'm not one so I paid $25 for the day and it included lunch. Pretty decent deal.
After watching closely I was able to start to predict as well. And it made me reflect on the last clinic I watched, in Michigan, when piaffe and half steps were being taught and the horse was clearly also having issues.
In many of the horse/rider pairs, the answer was always more leg, to which I got an elbow and an "See? What have I been telling you?" stare from Jim (also something I work on, lol) . The young horse was the only one where Anne wanted the rider to use more half halts to bring him back and stop him from rushing.
I went to ride that evening and tried to focus on that flexibility in my back where my head and shoulders remain stable, while my lower back moves. I think I do better in that, though I was certainly not riding a sitting trot on a giant warmblood bred for GP dressage. However, there was a lot of stiffness even in the walk. One lady rode around looking like her shoulders were touching her ears the whole time and it was the strangest thing I've seen in a rider, much less someone who is apparently not an AA but Open.
Good takeaways and $25 is a good deal for auditing. One thing I've heard from Megan who teaches clinics is a lot of times clinicians are skating a lot of fine lines when they teach, do not want to completely tear a rider down because they want to maintain a fair reputation, they also want to give riders very actionable things that they can work on and be successful with and therefore be fair to the horse. Not to mention you don't want riders going back to their trainers with a lot of complaints. So yeah after having a friend who is a clinician I do think their job is pretty hard.ReplyDelete
That's absolutely fair! Clinicians do have a tough job because they are seeing a snapshot of a horse and rider pair versus the trainer who sees them on a more regular basis to see the highs and lows. I don't fault them for that at all. I was less upset with Gribbons than I was with watching riders who are showing and training at a relatively advanced level who have positional deficits that seem much more elementary in scope.Delete