I must apologize for the lack of blog posts recently. Boy has it been a busy couple of months! In addition to performance season starting off, we have hosted several different clinics at our farm on a variety of subjects. Attending clinics is a great way to learn something new and challenge yourself and your horse to improve. Remember, there is always more you can learn. It can be fun to try something new and often you can meet new people as well and build new friendships.
Here are some tips for having a successful clinic experience:
- Arrive a few minutes early so you can check in and fill out any necessary paperwork.
- Have your payment ready when you arrive.
- Silence your cell phone. Nothing is more distracting than a cell phone going off in the middle of a lesson.
- If I’ve never seen a clinician work before, I prefer to audit a clinic before participating. This gives me a chance to ensure that the clinician’s training style is not going to conflict with my own training. Sometimes I will research the clinician so I am familiar with their work. Having a basic understanding of a clinician can help you have a more fulfilling experience.
- Bring a notebook and pen to write things down. It’s hard to remember everything said throughout the clinic and it can be helpful to be able to go back and look at your notes later.
- If you are riding, check to see if you need to warm your horse up prior to your scheduled time. Some clinicians like to watch you warm up. Others prefer to get right to work.
- Dress neatly, have your horse well groomed, and clean your tack. This shows respect for the clinician and also that you have respect for yourself and your horse.
- If you are auditing, it is helpful to let the clinic organizer know ahead of time so they can plan for the appropriate number of people.
- If you are participating, don’t cancel at the last minute. Of course emergencies do happen, but last minute cancellations make it difficult for the clinic organizer to fill that spot.
- HAVE FUN! Don’t get so wrapped up in learning that you forget to enjoy yourself. Remember, riding is supposed to be fun!
Follow these tips and you and your horse will have a fulfilling clinic experience! Now go and learn something and have fun!