Monday, March 19, 2012

The Day After

Thanks, everyone, for your support. 
Madrigal, 3 weeks old
I'm a wreck today.  I went back to the second day of the clinic to take photos for the Club, and got more and more upset that I wasn't participating.  I also saw some minor glitches in the clinician's teaching style (focusing on a few riders, and missing problems that others were having), but bit my tongue.

But what really torked me off was that, through the course of the day, she never once acknowledged me, or asked how Maddie or I was doing.  One other participant thinks she may simply not have recognized me without my distinct B&W horse, but I made a point of asking a few questions, and interacting with her on several other occasions.  And I had my name tag on, at least until it warmed up enough to take off my jacket.  I'm not quite sure I buy that explanation. 

Another rider that was looking to build confidence with her horse felt that the clinician not too subtly suggested that she needed to sell her horse, rather than work through the issues they were having.  Yet the two greenest riders in the group, both on fairly green horses (one less than 3 years old!) were encouraged to keep giving it a go.

I was hoping that this clinic was going to be the confidence boost to get Maddie and I back on the right track.  Instead, I feel shot down. The curt way she dismissed me yesterday makes me feel like I was abusing my horse by even being there, and endangering the other riders.  Though she did offer me a refund for the second day, there was no offer to let me bring another horse (not that Kate was anywhere near ready) nor reassurance that maybe I knew anything at all about what I am doing with horses.

Instead of gaining confidence and trust in each other, Maddie and I are left with a bad experience, not even addressed, let alone worked through.  I'm back to where I was a year ago--afraid to get on my own horse.  It remains to be seen if I can get on Kate this week.

Yesterday I was discouraged and frustrated.  Today I'm pissed off.  In both instances my head was/is pounding and my stomach still rolling.

I'll keep you posted about the vet visit on Thursday.


  1. It just adds insult to injury when the clinician wasn't helpful or supportive . . . sending good thoughts and will be interested to hear what the vet says.

  2. It doesn't in any way diminish the scary horribleness of what happened, or your worry about what's going to happen next - but honestly, you're better off NOT working out Maddie's issues with a person like that clinician. What a jerk.

  3. I'm so sorry you had this bad experience. Some clinicians are worse than useless. I once cried from Steamboat Springs to Denver after a horrible clinic.

  4. I, too, am sorry that you had this horrible experience with a clinician who, at the very least, was totally lacking in empathy, but I just saw through a comment on facebook that you rode today. Yes!!! (There was no way to leave a "like" so I came here.)

  5. Some of my absolute best AND my absolute worst riding experiences have been in clinics. Sometimes you just never know what you're going to get. I definitely understand why you feel discouraged and frustrated after the entirety of the experience over the two days of that clinic. Maddie's meltdown was bad enough but the second day was like rubbing salt in the wound.