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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
And well, I have a lot of mixed feelings. It was a ranch sorting clinic. I rode Ruger, our three year old. And Mom rode my other mare Selena, our six year old. Now, Ruger has had 90 days riding. Selena was started at two, so she has four years.

I'll just go in order of what we did and tell you what happened.

First off, the clinician was an idiot, flat out.

Sooo. I have never done sorting before, only team penning, so we went to the clinic day labelled "new riders who have never done sorting".

First, we spent THREE HOURS talking about "basic horsemanship". The guys said things like "I'm glad to see you all in snaffles" when there was seven riders and only two of us in snaffle bits. Then he harped on us about having our halters on under our bridle (for quick tying) saying how much that disrupts the bit....Which...it didn't. And then he yelled at my Mom for riding in a billy allen bit, saying that NO curb bit could ever achieve lateral flexion. Which is a lie because Selena then proceeded to be the best horse at the clinic as far as lateral movements go.

Following this three hours of freezing our rumps off listening to him ramble, he started teaching us how to warm up for another lenghy period of time. And lets just say, I was riding the colt, and I will never ride him like that again. First thing he did was tell me I should NOT be wearing spurs on him and that I was holding his mouth too much. Well, this particular colt takes a lot of work to get framed up and driving into the bridle. I take up contact and he works well onto it. I was NOT hanging on his face at all. I gave him a ton of release when he dropped his head and if I held steady he will stay framed. Well, the clinician hated this, and made me "cruise" around the arena on a loose rein. Which proceeded to undo a lot of training on Ruger. I spent the rest of the clinic trying to get him back into his framed up position. I had NOT seen him that bad since his first 30 days. I had worked SOOOO hard to get him soft and driving onto the bit, and I was really upset that the clinician wouldn't let me ride on the bit. Especially when HIS "world class roping horse" was DUMPING on the forehand, practically falling around on a loose rein, absolutely ridiculous looking....

So, we all went through that. Then we breaked for lunch. By the time we came back, the horses were cooled off again and needed to be warming up. I tried to warm up quick, I trotted a couple laps then tried to lope a couple circles. (Both directions) then brought Ruger to the middle and pushed all his buttons, sidepassing, forehand turns, spins. I spun him two times and trotted him off. Well you'd think I'd shot the clinician in the foot. He got on me imediately, saying that I shouldn't be spinning my colt because its too advanced of a manuever. Well....He can spin. he does it correctly. Why SHOULDN'T I? It's not like I drilled him into the ground....They weren't even fast spins.And I only did two of them. Whatever.

We finally got to see the cows after all that. He spent FOREVER explaining how to just follow a cow around the ring. Much, much longer than necessary...believe me. We were all falling asleep and our horses were cooled off again we were waiting so long. Then he brought us in one by one to work the one cow.

Let me just say, Ruger did AH-MAZING. I did NOT expect him to be so catty and have any cow sense at all for that matter, but the second he saw that cow his ears went back and he put his head down, watching it, and after a little bit he was following it like a real pro! It turned and sucked back on way and he would put a slide in the ground and roll back right after it. (Oh and by the way according to the clinician I was wrong to let him roll back too, because THAT'S also too advanced of a maneuver and there's no possible way my colt could ever be able to do that at just three years old....*eyeroll*

We went in twice. Once with just the one cow, then they let us walk in the herd of cows and cut one out and chase it around. (Ruger had the exact same response to this one) and let me just say my mare Selena who Mom was riding, is one AGGRESSIVE cow pony! I mean she LUNGED for that cow and totally grabbed it and held it. Mom wasn't really expecting it and couldn't grab the horn fast enough, LOL! We suspected she had been put on cows before because she had been at a cowhorse trainer for awhile, but we didn't have a lot of info on her time there. So I was pleasantly surprised with both of them!

After that we went in with teams and actually sorted cows. Ruger took one hell of a run, took to any cow I wanted him to and let me steer him around wherever and sort it out. He did get really pushy on me some of the time (Like most young horses on cows do) but he's so good minded, he came right back to me once he realized what he did wrong.

On our second run, I rode Selena and Mom rode Ruger. And let me just tell you, Selena can flat out FLY on a cow. Mom isn't very confident on her after her saddle bronc phase, so she took it slow, but I got on her and just HAD to go all out. I asked permission just to work on cow and took it out, circled it some, turned it down the fence...I never knew Selena had those skills! There is no way she could do all that without having been on cows before, so I'm absolutely sure that one trainer put her on them. There was several little things that needed work but DANG! I think its her calling! And Ruger wasn't too shabby either!

So besides the clinician, I am very happy! There were several other little details that were driving me up the wall too about him, but I couldn't even begin to list them all.

I'm going to order the DVD of us working the cows. I have GOT to see how that turned out, because it felt so amazing!
 

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I think you approached this clinic like many people do. They don't actually want to be told what thier doing wrong they want to be told how good they are and that everything is perfect. If the clinician was good enough for you to pay money to go to his clinic then you should have swallowed your pride and tried what he was teaching you instead of argueing or sullenly submitting to his direction. You're young and what good is youth if you can't be overly confident and head-strong. Much of what he said was probably good advice. I don't know which horse you are riding in your avatar but that horse has brace in it from head to tail. I'm not saying that to critisize you or your horse. I realize that is just one moment in time but it IS what was happening in that moment. Rethink what was said and try more of it with an open mind you might be suprised at how stupid the trainer wasn't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ah Kevin, I knew you would give a response like that! I approached this clinic with absolutely no idea what to expect actually. But frankly I think I'm going to take the advice of my regular trainer over him. I can't stand arrogance, and his tone of voice was nothing BUT that.....:/ Oh well, I was glad to have gotten on cows. And the horse I was riding in my avatar is just an old gelding, I know he's bracey, but all he does is come out to lope around or go on a slow trail ride then go back to the pasture. I assure you none of the other horses brace....I've done my best to keep them fluid and loosened up.
 

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I have to kinda side with Kevin (though It's not a matter of taking up sides here). Just that if you dislike arrogance so much , it kind of sounded arrogant, . .,I mean your description of your experience and your horse's ability, it all came off as pretty arrogant, to me. It is said that that which we dislike in others is the very thing we dislike in ourselves.

Just out of curiosity, where did you hear of this person? I am sure there are a lot of clinicians out there that are NOT worth the money. Did you learn even ONE thing? ONe thing to take away and add to your growing experience with horses?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
We learned of this clinician through the lady who owned the barn....She said he was great. I've been to a lot of clinics and wanted to try sorting, and there isn't really any other sorting clinics so we thought we'd give it a shot.

And if I came off as arrogant I apologize. I did not mean it that way. I am not nearly as advanced as many people I know and have a million times the things to learn...Though I do not think I will be visiting this mans clinics again.

I think my horses learned though, so that's the most important thing right now. I spent a lot of time after that trying to fix a couple bad things they learned during that day, but had I known the first half would be going over the basics and freezing my butt off....I think I would have just asked to come for the second half. And one thing about him that really upset me was that he wouldn't give me time to warm Ruger back up again after we had been sitting forever. He made me go into the cows with him cold. I was pretty worried about that...Especially after he emphasized during the first session to always keep your horse warmed up beforehand.

I don't know. I know I have a lot to learn but I really just don't think this guy can teach effectively....
 
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