Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Clinic Hosting

Have any of you hosted a clinic before?  I'm looking for tips -- things to do and things to avoid.  What do you appreciate or like the most when you participate in a clinic and what drives you nuts?

Yes, we're going to host a clinic.  It is how we are getting Gayle up to our place so we can still take lessons with her.  She requires a minimum of four lessons and I'm pretty sure we can scrounge that up.  Heck, with Brett and I we are already halfway there! 

We hosted a clinic once before -- years and years ago.  It was a lot of work and our trainer at that time was excellent, but she was hard core dressage in focus.  She's also a very intense person and I think the local folks were intimidated.  There were also some people who trailered in; one brought a whole bunch of drama with her and the others said that they weren't interested in navigating the mountain road again with a trailer -- and I couldn't blame them.  This time, I am not focusing on people outside of our community and Gayle is very low key, non-threatening, and loves all breeds of horses.  I know Brett sometimes felt that he was being judged as "less worthy" because he was on a plain ol' Paint horse.  He has never felt that way with Gayle and he has blossomed as a rider with her guidance. 

In other news, Brett came across a rattlesnake sunning itself by his lawn mower.  It slid off into the neighbor's tall grass before he could react.  Yipes!  We've seen many gopher snakes in our years up here but never a rattlesnake on the property.  ...on the community roads, yes, but inside our gate, no. 

I haven't had a chance to take pictures the last few days.  Things are busy at work which I like but it does cut down on my play time.  I do have a picture of my dinner last Sunday night.  We went to our favorite restaurant, Marché Moderne, before going to the theatre (we have season tickets to the South Coast Repertory).  Don't hate me... I had rabbit.  Our waiter told me it was wonderful, served with baby brussel sprouts, almonds and a lovely sauce.  He explained it with all the flair of his heavy French accent and how could I resist?!  (the rabbit, people, the rabbit!). 


  1. I don't think I've ever seen a prettier presentation of lapin. Yum! If I had a horse, I'd join you at your clinic. I just blew off my dressage lesson as I was stuck with a client. I signed the deal but I'm so bummed I didn't ride. It doesn't feel worth it.

  2. I'd come to a clinic at your place but, I'm not sure my horses would like the trip from Colorado! I love your blog, it's always so upbeat!

  3. I've helped others host clinics before and my best tip is to get deposits--hefty ones--because people always seem to have something come up. But if they've placed money down, they seem prioritize it.

    The dinner looks yummy.

  4. I have attended many and hosted about a dozen clinics. I think that the biggest thing is to label everyone and everything from your driveway to yourself! People get nervous traveling with their horses so to be able to find everything, know where to unload, where water is, etc is an easy way to keep them happy! The other tip I have is FOOD! If you have a little get together (depending on the event and the people I have done everything from wine and cheese with the clinician speaking to cupcakes and a 15 minute educational video for kids) I find that it helps the next time you want to have something! I bet if you ask Gayle to hang around for 20 minutes after the last ride and make everyone feel welcome and learn something unmounted you will get people to come back again next month and can make it a regular thing :) Oh...and don't forget to advertise!

  5. I've never hosted a clinic on our property, but I've arranged them at a boarding barn. Most important, protect yourself by having everybody sign a release. Make sure everyone knows that if they need to cancel, they must do it at least 24 hours before clinic day. Lots of coffee is a nice touch.

  6. OnTheBit's tips are really good.

    If I didn't on the other coast, I would attend your clinic in a heartbeat Annette - especially if you were going to make the snacks! ;)

  7. here are my 2 cents from hosting clinics for an organization and for just a few riders at a barn:
    1. if you can pick people you know are reliable. I have been driven crazy by people who were always 'going to' but never did
    2. signs and directions- clear. give a cell number so people can call if lost
    3. keep to the times.
    4. ride either first or last but not in the middle.
    5. snacks, coffee, water
    6. if people can have a stall they really like it
    7. organize the parking of trailers so it's easy for people to get in and out
    8. be friendly and helpful
    9. enjoy yourself


Thanks so much for commenting! I love the conversation.