Monday, March 2, 2015

our first clinic entry

So I signed myself and Isabel up for a dressage clinic next week. It's a 45 minute session with Grant Schneidman, former USET Three-Day Event team member and USDF Gold & Silver medalist. 


photo from the Desert Norman Horse Registry website

The clinic is held at Ship's Quarters Farm about an hour away from us. I'm honestly pretty excited about it. Part of me thinks that we're not really ready for it and that it's a high price for a dressage lesson, esp when we're at a point in our training where it doesn't necessarily take a gold medal dressage rider to help us along.... 


photo from his public LinkedIn profile

But simultaneously, it's been incredibly challenging to schedule lessons with local trainers for reasons I don't fully understand (#blamingwinter...). And the clinic organizer reassured me that this trainer taught at all levels and that my entry is appropriate even as a mostly beginner dressage rider. So we'll see! 

Have you participated in a clinic before? Any interesting thoughts or experiences? Did you do anything in particular to prepare? 



(Also - Contest winners will be announced this afternoon!!!!)

24 comments:

  1. I think that is a great opportunity! Don't worry about your inexperience. From what I have seen, clinicians just want a student who is engaged and open to learning no matter who they are. Just take some time before you go to think about your goals and have an idea of what you are wanting to get from this. And take notes after so you don't forget all the great tidbits you will undoubtedly learn!

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    1. thanks - that's very reassuring. and i like to believe that what i lack in raw talent/skill is more than made up for by teachability. but good points about having a clear sense of goals ahead of time. and you better believe i'll take a MILLION notes haha - if for nothing more than solid blog content ;)

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  2. It will be fun! Every chance for a learning opportunity, even if you learn a clinician isn't your style.I'm sure it'll be great tho. Maybe a photominion will video you....? :D

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    1. thanks! i'm pretty excited about it :) re: the photominion, i'm wracking my brain trying to figure out how to take one with me.... but it's a school day so i might be relegated to begging random onlookers to snap a video or pic or two... whatever #noshame!

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  3. i'm with wendy on this one. i think whenever you're learning, there's gotta be stuff that's past one's aptitude so that it becomes a goal... if you've done and know it all, what's the point? clinicians (the good ones) are able to accommodate whatever level is given them. whatever you do, don't think you're too much of a beginner to ask... you're paying for it and making the trip out there so ask ask ask!

    i've only done a clinic for le trec this past summer and i found it informative... a lot more classroom stuff at the get go and i chose not to ride since it was my first clinic ever so i didn't want to shell over that kind of money at the get go.

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    1. thanks - and good points. i keep on thinking about how i can prepare so that we look the best we've ever looked - but maybe it's better to make sure that we are prepared to give an accurate demonstration of our current level of training so that he can help us build on that... (or maybe some combination of both haha)

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  4. Exciting! I've done a few clinics. I think a big part of it for me (because I'm kind of nervous about life) is trailering somewhere new and taking a lesson with someone new is kind of scary but not as scary as a show so it's good practice for me and my horse. Can't wait to hear about your clinic experience :)

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    1. yea going new places and riding with new people can definitely add stress!! even just things like figuring out where i'll park can be distracting lol - but luckily for me, Isabel is a bona fide pro. i have learned tho that i ride differently in front of a judge vs my trainer, so perhaps a clinician will be some middle ground to help keep me actively riding??

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  5. I am so excited for you! Can't wait to hear about it.

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    1. yay thanks! i'm excited too, if a bit nervous :)

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  6. I'll be interested to see what you get out of it. I've never done a clinic! Sounds like fun. I'm sure you'll come away with some new tools or some new insight. Learning is for everyone!

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    1. thanks - i really hope so too!! you never know when you'll glean that one tidbit that makes everything suddenly crystal clear lol

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  7. Clinics, with the right person, can be super awesome. I've had times when a clinician has said the EXACT SAME THING that my trainer has been saying for months, but they say it slightly differently and suddenly there's a lightbulb moment. As long as you're willing to listen and learn, you'll do just fine.

    One thing though... there are some clinicians, and instructors, whose advice may be counter to your training system. Try what they suggest a few times, but if things are going downhill, tactfully suggest that you try another exercise. I've actually excused myself from a clinic before, saying that I was really sorry but just felt like today wasn't our day. In reality the clinician was asking me to do things that I felt were harmful to the horse, and I just wanted out. It's a sucky decision to have to make, but sometimes it's for the best.

    Still, overall, I'd say clinics are fantastic and you'll have a great time!

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    1. thanks - i'm really hopeful that your first point will prove to be true and that i'll have some big 'aha' moment.

      but your second point is equally important - so thanks for writing that out! it would suck to excuse myself from a clinic - but it would suck worse to feel like we got pushed too far. my trainer is actually familiar with the clinician, and quite close with the clinic organizer - so hopefully she'd let me know if there were concerns about a big disparities in training philosophies. definitely important food for thought tho!!!

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  8. The only clinics I have done are cross country clinics. But I had a blast and learned so much! I wish I could do a dressage clinic (lord knows we need it) but all in good time. This year I have 3-4 clinics on my list, so we will see if they get done or not!

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    1. nice! i definitely want to try out more clinics bc we just have so so so much to learn ... and will hopefully hit up a few xc clinics since my trainer only ever really schools xc at her farm. in any case we'll see what happens!

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  9. Should be lots of fun! I would love to do a clinic one day! Takes lots of notes to share with us :)

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    1. thanks - i'm pretty excited about it! and i will absolutely take a million notes haha - that's for sure :)

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  10. Sounds like it should be fab fun - i hope ye have a blast and cannot wait to live vicariously through your blogposts ☺☺☺

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    1. i think it'll be fun too!!! all i really need is for the weather (and Ms Thing) to cooperate!! :)

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  11. Exciting!!! I can't wait to live vicariously through your blog posts as well :) it's one of my semi goals to do a clinic this year as well, I think they always sound like great opportunities!

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    1. Yay I am really looking forward to it - hopefully it'll live up to the hype haha! And I agree - it seems like a great opportunity!

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  12. I'm not really much into clinics, but I *love* auditing them and reading recaps on other blogs.

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    1. nice! i like auditing a lot too and hope to do a bit of that this year :0

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