Is it worth it for amateurs to take clinics with big name riders?

[I’m in Italy this week, likely stuffing myself with pasta and gelato, and probably with questionable internet access, so please forgive me for not responding to comments.  Your regularly scheduled Murray programming will return next week.  In the mean time, there’s an EGUS post coming and re-features of some of my past content that I hope you will enjoy.]

When I was first offered a spot in the Hawley Bennett clinic at my barn, I was ready to say yes.  Then I looked at my bank account and frowned a little — there wasn’t going to be much room for clinic money.  There wasn’t any room for clinic money.  So I thought about it a lot, and ultimately decided that Murray and I needed to get out and about and used to showing in new places more than we needed to ride with Hawley this weekend, and I regretfully gave up my spot.

This led me to wondering if it would even have been worth it for me to ride with Hawley.  I’ve ridden in a few different clinics, and while I’ve always gotten something out of them, I’ve also always wondered if I was getting enough out of them to validate the expensive.  Two days with a big name clinician is basically a full month of lessons, or a couple of field trips, for me, and so the quality over quantity question is a big one.  Would the lessons Hawley had to give be useful on my baby horse?  I don’t always want to pay to just be told how awesome we are (cuz that happens all the time!!!), I want to problem solve.  Would I be problem solving at such a low level?  Would I provide fodder for Hawley to correct?  Was it worth it?

I’m sure many other amateur riders have had this question, and after auditing with Hawley for two days, I’m pretty sure I know the answer: YES it is definitely worth it for you to ride with them!!  For lots of reasons.  Read the full article on Horse Junkies United!