The feature photo shows an ‘in person’ clinic. I took this photo during the clinic in Italy in 2018. You can read about this clinic here 11. Alexandra Kurland’s Italy Clinic – an Epiphany!!!!
Attending clinics in person has been a wonderful experience. I have ventured to the US, Canada and also Italy during the northern summer and it has enabled me to spend lots of time with like minds. Good friendships have been made along the way, and I have also met some lovely horses. There have been late-night discussions, laughter, shared meals, shared houses, as well as the day to day learning.
But during these times of COVID, international travel has become a distant memory. In Australia, our borders are closed for an unknown length of time. Our country has done well – the only cases are from Australians returning from overseas who are quarantined for 14 days – and there are strict limits on the numbers allowed to re enter the country.
However, great ideas have come about because of the worldwide pandemic, and one of them has been Alex’s online clinics! Alex travels via Zoom to UK, Europe, and different locations in the US. And now she travels to Australia also!
These would not have come about if it wasn’t for Sarah Nickels. Sarah runs Abbey’s Run Equestrian, based in Victoria, Australia. Visit her site here! https://www.abbeysrunequestrian.com.au/ She was able to convince Alex that it would be a great idea and that there was certainly interest!
The first Aussie clinic had people from different states in Australia, as well as New Zealand – and even some from the US! Most of us have continued on to the second clinic, and will no doubt come together again for the third one. For me, it’s wonderful to have others in Australia also following Alex’s work.
So how do they work?
Well, first I’m going to direct you to this link https://www.theclickercenter.com/stay-at-home-clinics so you can read in detail what the clinics are about and how they are set up. I think the key here is that these clinics are ‘process oriented’- rather than ‘outcome oriented’. What does that mean?
I will include a quote from the clinic page:
“As you look at the outline below, you will see that the “normal” horse training topics are missing. I’m not giving clinics on trailer loading, lunging, riding, etc. Those are outcome oriented topics. The clinics I am presenting are process oriented. They teach you the underlying concept and skills that will let you design a lesson plan for your individual horse and training goals. So one person in the clinic may be interested in riding, someone else is working with a foal, and a third person wants to focus on husbandry and medical care. The course material will meet all of these different needs.”
I’m going to tell you about how they have worked, and what I think of them compared to the clinics I have attended in person.
For five mornings we gathered in front of our computers. We had sent an intro video to Alex, which she went through one by one. It was great to meet everyone – and to see their horses. Some had horses which had not been started under saddle, there were others that were relatively new to clicker training, and also a horse that could become aggressive during the training process, and thereby, dangerous. As for myself, as my horses now average 20 years old, I wanted ideas to help their bodies and their arthritic legs. I was mainly using Danny for the clinic.
It was fascinating seeing all the other videos. I was about to learn so much from all of them…and that’s one of the pluses of this type of clinic. You can really look in detail at all the different horses, and store the variety of puzzle-solving ideas in your mind, (or on paper), for your own use.
Now… I have just seen that this post is getting quite long. Let’s leave it there and I will be back with more!
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