Setting Up For Clinic Success

Riding participants watch from the side.

I have to apologize for being away from My Stable Life for over a week. The last 10 days have been an insane time for Clay and I. I can’t believe it’s August! And I really can’t believe August is half over –

Spectators take in information.

On August 7-8, Clay and I hosted a reining / horsemanship clinic at our home, J. Drummond Farms in Regina, SK. We had a great turn out of people and an excellent group of riding participants! I admit, I ran around prior to the event like a chicken with my head cut off, but there was so much to do. And it got me thinking about how clinic hosts can best organize a clinic. Hence, I thought I would bring some of my best tips to the table, just in case there are any folks out there who are planning on conducting or hosting a clinic in the near future.

1. Advertise Your Event In Good Time – If you have some great information to offer, it’s likely your clinic will fill up fast, provided you have properly made interested participants aware of your clinic. With only so many weekends available in the year, there are many events vying for people – so ensure you give them advanced notice of your date and folks can book holiday time to attend!

2. Organize – Every clinician has preferences in regards to how they like their clinic participants organized. Some prefer to have riders bring their horses out twice in a day, some like their people arranged into groups and others have all participants in the arena at once. What works best for us to book a maximum of 9 people and then we put them into 3 groups of 3. Next, we ensure every participant is aware of their riding times well in advance of the actual clinic. That way, they can plan their day if they don’t intend to stay and watch when not on a horse (although we do recommend this!)

3. Clear Sound – One of the most frustrating aspects for clinic participants or spectators is an environment in which they cannot properly hear the clinician’s instructions. Conversely, a clinician can quickly lose his or her voice if they constantly have to yell or project their voice long distances. Having some kind of a microphone set up will eliminate these clinic success busters.

4. Lunch – J. Drummond Farms is located only 10 minutes south of Regina, but in a short lunch break, that’s too far for participants to travel for lunch in the middle of a clinic day. There are several different ways to host a clinic meal but recently we discovered one of the best options is to have a potluck lunch! I couldn’t believe the spread of food that came out from our lovely guests on August 7-8! No one had to travel to the city. We got to enjoy each others’ company. Plus, Clay and I indulged in homecooking, fresh salads, cheesecake and bumbleberry crisp… Oh my…

Tips For Retaining Clinic Information – Now if you are a participant in a horsemanship clinic of some kind, here are a few suggestions for getting the most out of your experience:

• Prior to your clinic, determine what concepts you would like to learn and take from it. Make a list of all the questions you would like answered – for example, how can I gain suppleness and collection from my horse? What bit would work best for my horse? How do I cue for a sidepass? Etc.

• Jot down notes and thoughts that occur throughout the clinic, or have a friend do so!

• Following the clinic, write notes down regarding the methods demonstrated and follow up by practicing what you learned. Keep in mind, it will take time to perfect the ideas you’ve learned!

• If allowed, bring a video camera with you and have someone tape your instructional session.

Comments

  1. You put on a great clinic. And our potluck lunch was awesome. The whole clinic was very well planned and I really enjoy it all. Thanks again Jenn and Clay.

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