As riders I think we can be categorized one of two ways. Some of this may be due to discipline. Some of this may be geographic location and accessibility. Whatever the reason it seems to me that people are either for or against clinics. For the record I am not stating that there is a wrong or right way to feel.
I personally never participated in many clinics and still wouldn’t say that I am a frequent flyer. Now I am in an area that can be a veritable waste land of quality instruction for my discipline. The instructor I do ride with is gone frequently either competing or wintering in FL. This leads me to finding myself more intrigued when a clinic pops up with a BNT/R due to my current circumstances.
I am not one to talk myself up. I am capable generally speaking and I acknowledge that as a pair Annie and I still need help. I am also able to “keep the lights on” so to speak when I find myself going months without regular instruction. Obviously in a perfect world I would get to lesson 1-2x a week and would be making all sorts of continuous progress. As I do not live in such a world there are times of the year where I find myself riding sans instruction for months on end. Maintaining and improving are not the same thing and right now we could use some finesse.
There used to be a time when riding with a new instructor gave me serious anxiety. Or worse showing with a trainer I didn’t know. If last year taught me anything it’s how to go with the flow. No trainer no problem. New trainer? Still no problem. More often than not the money spent on a clinician is better spent getting 3-4 (depending on the clinic cost and your regular lesson prices) lessons at home than 2 group sessions with a trainer you have never worked with. Sometimes though having a fresh set of eyes on you and your horse can be very helpful and for that reason I think I probably land somewhere in the middle. I want regular lessons but I also see the value in an outside opinion or a successful rider and instructors feedback. Riding with Elisa Wallace (Day 1 & Day 2) for instance. Definitely plan to do that again!
Lainey Ashker is well known for being great with OTTB’s. After multiple suggestions to ride with her I am taking the plunge. Here’s to a fun weekend with my favorite red head. Bonus: getting to see Lauren and Gus!
What about you guys? Do you like clinics? Only go to audit? What are you willing to pay to ride with a BNT?