Every teacher has a teacher, no matter what the knowledge that you are trying to gain is. I would have to take off my boots and use my toes to count the amount of different trainers that have influenced me. Some of them have taught me what to do and others have taught me what NOT to do. Either way, it has given me the opportunity to decide what kind of trainer I want to me. I try to take advantage of as many clinics that my bank account allows because I feel that the more I learn, the more I can offer to my students. This past weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to ride with Nicole Trapp, a USDF Bronze medalist and ‘L’ level dressage judge. Her down to earth attitude and positive methods of training made the clinic very enjoyable along with educational. Not to mention that she immediately picked up on Tristan’s out-going and a bit quirky personality.
Clinics give a rider the opportunity to get another trainer’s feedback in kind of a first impression situation. If you have a good experience and the chance to ride with that clinician again, you hope to be able to show off bit of improvement and express that you did your homework. I had a close student of mine give me a well stated outlook on clinics that I have tried to take to each clinic that I have attended. Every clinic you ride or audit, you try to find that “golden nugget”. This is a bit of information or “aha” moment that sticks with you and make you a better rider. If you are lucky, you may receive more than one “golden nugget” but no matter what, try to come out of each clinic with a new bit of knowledge. It maybe something as simple as a change in your leg to get your horse to react better off your aids or as exciting as jumping your first four foot oxer or just realizing what qualities a person has to have to be a good instructor but no matter what knowledge is gained through experience – good and bad!