Having ridden in one JW clinic, sent students to many, and audited several, here's my 2cents.
Auditing/ helping set gymnastics for JW is such an education. I highly recommend it.
When I brought students to ride, it was good for all to confirm that we were on the right path. A fresh set of eyes is a good thing!
When I rode, I had NOT done either of the above, and was so terrified and star struck that I can barely remember anything other than the fact that he was really, really good with my extremely green OTTB and not so nice with the older Amateur on a saint horse.
I love to audit clinics, but the older I get, the pickier I get about who to ride with. I would ride with JW again, but probably at a lower level than I compete.
Between me and my daughter, we have ridden 6 different horses in lessons and clinics with Jim over a span of about 22 years, from BN-I. There was only ONE clinic during that time when it wasn't great.
Jimmy is a master. He is an historian. He is amusing and rude and smart. He sugar coats NOTHING but he also gives praise when it is due. Listen for it, it comes quietly and infrequently. Go in there with an open mind, clean tack, clean clothes, no gadgets. Be a few minutes early and ready to go when he turns to your group. Pay attention, be polite, take your sense of humor with you, ask questions if you have them, be honest but not long-winded in your introduction of yourself and your horse. When the horse before you is going to the exercise, pick up your reins and have a little trot around so when Jim turns around to see who's next you are RIGHT THERE AND READY TO GO. (one of my pet peeves, which I'm sure I learned from him, is dummies who sit on their cans waiting their turn in clinic situations) Be ready, too, for him to turn to you and say, "Did you see what she just did? Make sure you don't do it." So you damn well better be paying attention to everyone else's ride while you wait.
In a gymnastics clinic I did with him in about 2002, I was on my new, green 17.2hh TB who had EPSM but was as yet undiagnosed. (Jimmy had helped get my former horse and me from BN to I) All I knew was my new horse had a miserable canter and couldn't/wouldn't jump 2 jumps in a row. I figured gymnastics with Jim would fix us right up. We were warmed up and had finished with the poles to low oxer and Jim had made the first 1-stride warm up combination. My turn, off we went. My poor horse dumped me right off on top of the second element and took off, full speed, bucking across Ledyard Farm (a big place). Yes, I was mortified. I looked up, spitting sand, to see Jimmy standing right over me, looking down at me with his eyes crossed. When I smiled up at him with a sort of O $h!t I'm sorry/embarrassed/not hurt kind of look, he reached down to pull me up and said, "WELLLLL? Go GET HIM!!"
He is one of my most favorite people as well as my most favorite instructors. I hope you'll have a great clinic. You may be star struck but go in there and treat him like a normal person.
Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.
Originally Posted by purplnurplhttp://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/im...s/viewpost.gif I was disgusted by the lack of clear communication to others and his lack of explaining things further when it was obvious that a rider didn't understand.
Also, it's my dream to clinic with George Morris! I think I would love it.
Originally Posted by tidy rabbit
Based on your statements above, I don't think you would like riding with GM at all, and his clinics are REALLY expensive at 1,000 to 1,200 for a weekend, save your money. You do the exercises as he tells you to do them or he yells at you. Rarely are there moments of one on one mechanical discussion on "how to". He doesn't teach little mechanics in his clinics. The exercises are what teach you in his clinics. It sounds to me like JW is much the same way so I'm sure I'll be just fine.
When I did the GM clinic, he asked for a trot shoulder in. Mine seemed to be acceptable "you know how to ride a shoulder in". But he was saying to many of the others "I SAID "shoulder in", NOT "neck-in"."
With NO explanation about the difference, or what the rider needed to do to fix it.
What I got out of the GM clinic was
A- Some things I needed to work on with my position (though I needed to be able to translate his "stop kicking" into "keep your legs still"
B- Some exercises, which were EVEN MORE valuable for a different horse.
Personally, I found GM to be more "don't do that", and JW to be more "do this", but neither of them are big on detailed explanations.
Personally, I don't think that JW is very effective at communicating to inexperienced riders. I think he is fine with experienced riders on green horses.
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).
do we really want to continue this? Here is my list; first clinic was with Lockie Richards who, I loved ; in addition I met Sally OCs' then 14 year old son, David, there; then Mike Plumb who told me that I jumped with "pumpkin arms" that was it; never did know what he meant Bruce did work us all hard in 2 phases over jumps with dressage, gymnasrics and SJ no XC Ralph Hill was great for horses and riders.
Last edited by Carol Ames; Oct. 28, 2012 at 10:57 PM.
Tidy Rabbit: aren't you friends with Jess B? I help her our with Roman and feel like I have heard stories (all good) about you.
I am hosting the clinic and am really trying to achieve a positive experience for all involved.
Yes! I'm really looking forward to meeting you and seeing JB too!
Last edited by tidy rabbit; Oct. 29, 2012 at 09:39 AM.
My goal for this clinic was to work on my nervous/anxiety issues.
I took a horse who I have owned for 9 years and is now 15 years old. He is still a bit of a nut even at 15. This horse is quite unpredictable and maybe a bit dishonest so I had plenty of nervousness and anxiety to work on acknowledging and dismissing and getting back to the present moment.
The first day we did gymnastic exercises and I loved it! My horse was a bit wild at the end of each exercise so I would land out of the gymnastic and halt or turn left and halt or turn right and halt. He suggested that when my horse is feeling this way (which is how he feels every single time he gets back to jumping after any number of days away from it, but day 2 he's always much better) that I add just one more thing to the jumping exercise, such as a left or right turn and halt or halt straight or whatever it might be. "Just one more thing." A simple tidbit to remember.
The gymnastics were set up on day one to stretch and compress your horse, or compress and stretch him. I am going to have to buy his gymnastics book now.
Day 2 was course work. My horse was much quieter and more rideable. We did a fun course and focused on rhythm. Here's a little video clip of me and my horse warming up. He had us count out loud during our warm up, and had us say "land" on the landing, which I found to be difficult and very helpful. I tend to land and critique the fence I just went over, so when those front hooves hit the ground and I said "land" then started counting again, I was immediately brought back to the present moment which was GREAT.
I found JW to be quite likeable and admired his passion for the horses. He, unlike some BNTs I've ridden with, really seemed to like the horses and have their best interest in mind. He spent a bit of time talking with me one on one and I really appreciated his advice and comments.
The group I was in was full of nice horses and talented riders. However one rider who was clearly a bit over faced for the group we were in had a bad crash and went to hospital with a compound fracture. It was probably the worst crash I've seen. I will never forget it. I hope she's feeling better soon and that her recovery isn't too long and painful.
Whoops, in thinking about it, I think that he meant my horse agrees. JW kept calling my gelding a "She" all morning. I didn't correct him and eventually he asked if it was a mare or a gelding and then kind of laughed that he'd been wrong all morning.
Thanks for the report. That "one more thing" tidbit is great for so many horses -- a leg yield, a halt, a turn or circle ... so good for keeping them from galavanting off after the fence, thinking the work's done for now!
There was a woman standing in the ring next to some standards right were I tried to halt and I nearly ran her over. I wasn't not paying attention to JW, I was just making sure we hadn't actually hurt that woman who was, quite surprisingly, in the ring.
I had a great time auditing (and hanging with TR ). Learned SO much on Sunday (the course day) especially. His morning lectures were great. He's coming out with a new gymnastic book, but he signed the old one I had. I wish my 4yo had been far enough along to ride, hopefully there is a next time.
Other than freezing on Saturday, it was super! Thanks OympicDreamso4 for putting this on!
Oh, and DW I met your trainer, and not knowing she was your trainer (and owner of the stupendous Under the Influence that I fell in love with so long ago), I went up and told her how much I enjoyed watching her and her horse. What a lovely pair!
We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting. www.dleestudio.com
I was also there riding in group 2 on one of our 4 year old MMSC Thoroughbreds, Henny. I had a good time riding in my group and auditing the other groups. Jimmy has a wonderful knack of breaking things down into their most basics terms...from which you tend to remember. Thanks Lauren for putting this on, this was a great season ender for an old fart returning to eventing.