Sunday, January 10, 2010

Daniel Meech clinic 3 the summation

Connie jumped ok in her final lesson. On the second day both of my horses had jumped really well. So I couldn't understand then why I was so dissatisfied with the lessons I had just had. Daniel was really unapproachable, I felt like I couldn't ask him any questions, he was also very terse and really didn't offer a lot in the way of advice. It was normally one sentence after you jumped. Or just good. It took me two days to decide I wouldn't go back again, but once I reached that decision I was a lot happier.

It's hard to decide you don't agree with an top international rider, especially when I am just a no one. But when it came down to it I found him to be too hard. Too hard on the horses, asking for too much with not enough softness and give in the contact. Too hard at the base of the fence and too hard on landing. After watching him ride a couple of horses and seeing how overbent (behind the vertical) he rides them I have decided his method just isn't going to work for me.

Once I got to Danniverke for North Islands this weekend both of my horses were a little scared in the contact and behind the leg. Connie especially was really fussy, and it took me ages to get Rascal to soften and lengthen her neck to the contact. It feels like I spent a lot of money to lose quite a bit of ground training wise because I'm going to be back to getting both of them soft and in front of the leg and quiet in the bridle. It would have been better if I had taken the lessons and ignored the parts I didn't like, but I feel when you go have a lesson you really need to try the method before you rule it out. At the show this weekend I noticed many of his students not going so well which was interesting. Though a couple really performed amazing, so it definitely works for some people.

North Islands was such a mixed bag show, I don't know if I'm happy or really pleased, though I have learned some good lessons. It was a funny show, lots of tensions and undercurrents, it made for a tiring three days.


  1. I think you've done the right thing - you have to put 110% into the method you are being taught while at a lesson or clinic (especially if it's your first time under that trainer). Then afterwards you reflect on what parts worked best for you - what you will keep in your toolkit and what you are unlikely to use (and why!).
    That's how we build up our own style :)

  2. Bummer that it worked out that way. At least now you know not to spend more money on him, and hopefully you got some useful stuff out of it.