October 3-4, 2009 Melanie Smith Taylor gave an amazing clinic to 48 riders over the course of the two days in Plantation, Florida. It was most amazing having an Olympian amongst us who is so humble and modest and an absolutely amazing trainer. Ms. Taylor ensured that every participant got individualized attention for their specific needs, which is most impossible in large groups. One must really know how to teach and multi-task to accomplish such accuracy. Ms. Taylor was demanding, firm but rewarding. She was prepared and had multiple courses and exercises for each day to ensure progression over the two day period. It was readily apparent that many participants were weak on the educated longitudinal and lateral flatwork that is so important for jumping. There is no doubt that her emphasis was on feel as a rider. There is also no doubt people are home doing their homework!
All I can say is if you have an opportunity to attend a clinic with her as a participant or auditor you will be intrigued and humbled. I continued to hear the older riders and trainers say “wow, she teaches the way we learned back when”. There is something to be said for good horsemanship and fundamentals. Ms. Taylor also participates in the Trainer Symposium for the USHJA. I would encourage anyone doing that Symposium to find a time when she will be present. She truly is an amazing gift for riders.