With our second visit from Steffen Peters (and third visit from Janet Foy!) upcoming, we’ve received a lot of questions about auditing at Copper Light. We will always welcome auditors to the farm unless our trainer requests a closed day so come on out and join the fun! I believe strongly in soaking up every drop of education, so we’ll continue to welcome auditors for no fee as much as we can. Having access to top riders and trainers is an absolute privilege and we’d love to share it with enthusiastic riders!

With all of our recent inquiries from riders new to the farm, I thought we’d put some helpful information together to make your first visit as much fun as possible. Visiting a new place can be a little intimidating, but we’re a friendly bunch and would love to meet you. As always if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call, email or direct message on our social media.

What is a dressage clinic?

When we host a trainer for a dressage clinic, we are inviting a well known expert to the farm that we don’t get to train with regularly. It can be a great supplement to regular coaching from your local trainer and lend some new perspective. Rather than teaching one lesson, clinicians see and train six to ten riders a day in 45 minute to hour long sessions. Clinic lessons are generally open to auditors – that’s you! – to watch and learn while the rider is taught on his or her horse. Some clinics are single days and up to three days. Occasionally a clinician specializes in one are such as in hand training of piaffe or is a top level judge that we can “ride a test” for and receive feedback before a show. Clinics offer an fantastic opportunity for riders to experience a higher level or see new approaches.

Clinics at Copper Light Farm

Our farm is very accessible, just a few miles off highway 95 with ample parking. You can find a parking spot in the front trailer lot, the small lot behind the original barn or the large lot in front of the main barn. Then make your way into the main barn which is the big grey barn next to the outdoor arena. You’ll see the covered arena behind the main barn and that’s where we’ll have our lessons, no rain will stop us! As you walk through the main barn, you’ll notice snacks, drinks and coffee in the breezeway in the middle of the barn, please help yourself! For full day clinics (six or more rides), we always include a lunch break. For half day clinics we will have pastries and light faire available. If food is out, it’s for you! Please don’t be shy about grabbing a snack or a drink anytime throughout the day. If you need help finding anything or making a cup of nespresso, just ask the staff!

Life is a bit different during covid and we do require all visitors to maintain social distancing from our visiting trainer, staff and riders. Masks are not required but no one will be offended if you feel more comfortable masked. Our food items are always individually wrapped and tongs are available.

It’s always a good idea to arrive a 10-15 minutes early so you can get a lay of the land, grab a snack or water, use the restroom, or boop a cute horse as you walk by. Fritz says he’ll doing something cute for a face rub.

It’s perfectly acceptable to quietly leave the arena to take a break, just be conscientious of things that might spook a horse or distract a rider; don’t move your chair right as they turn the corner toward you, crinkle up your chip bag as they start a canter pirouette, etc. You don’t have to sit still like a bunny during clinic lessons, but generally this is not the place to chat (even if it’s about the ride), clinics are lovely with friends but socializing during sessions is missing the point. Soak up every word our fantastic coach says and go even further to enhance your experience by taking notes, writing down questions and observations and making notes about affective exercises to try. The simple act of note taking is proven to help learning and retention, bonus! To reap even greater benefits, go over your notes afterward with your trainer or friends that also attended, discussion is often the path to better clarity!

During clinics you’ll see a variety of different level horse and riders, different breeds and types. Some are looking to move up a level and hone details, some are just eager to learn from the best. Everyone is working on something so do be kind and offer encouragement. As a group, riders are generally pretty hard on themselves and external criticism isn’t productive. It takes a lot of courage to ride in front of a crowd and tough trainers, I don’t think you’ll see me under the lights at global any time soon – how do they do it?! We generally have a waiting list for clinic lessons and our boarders will be prioritized but we do welcome outside riders to join! If you’d like to receive clinic announcements please email ride@copperlightfarm.com.

Clinic Auditing Dos and Dont’s:

Do:

  • Bring a chair, at Copper Light some seating is available but limited.
  • Maintain social distance from the trainer, staff and riders.
  • Take advantage of this learning opportunity and take notes, write down questions and draw out exercises.
  • Help yourself to snacks and beverages (at Copper Light, everywhere is different but we like snacks!).
  • Arrive 10-15 minutes early to find a seat and get settled in.
  • Please park in designated parking areas only and not on the grass.
  • Offer your encouragement and support to the riders.
  • Be courteous of your timing when arriving or exiting the arena, opening a folding chair, etc.
  • Let our trainer enjoy his or her lunch break.
  • Ask before taking photo or video.

Don’t:

  • Crowd the personal space of our trainer, riders or staff who we should be socially distant from.
  • Bust out your umbrella ringside. Horses + umbrellas generally don’t mix.
  • Bring your dog. The riders are really invested in their lesson so let’s do our best to not offer any distractions.
  • Park on the grass (which will give the horse hubby a mental breakdown).
  • Feel bad about having a snack. It’s there for you!
  • Chat during sessions. This is time to learn, socializing comes after when we can all discuss what we watched.
  • Ask questions to the trainer unless invited to. Each lesson time is dedicated to the rider. Many clinicians will have Q&A time during a break but it is not appropriate to ask questions during a lesson.
  • Smoke. Our property is strictly no smoking, as are most farms.

We’re ecstatic to welcome Steffen back for a half day this Saturday, February 20th from 8:30-12:30. As this is a half day clinic, we will have light faire available. Enthusiastic auditors are welcome to join us!

RIDE TIMES:

8:30 Mona Blackburn
Daiquiri | Third Level
Painted Black x Donnerhall, 12yo Gelding

9:30 Jackie Kinney
Donaferdi | Grand Prix
Donatelli x Consul, 17yo Gelding

10:30 Anne Book Campione
Zem | Intermediaire 1
Krack C x Goodtimes, 15yo Gelding

11:30 Lindsey Auclair
King Leo | Second Level
Continental Jester x Doc’s Sorrel Top, 17yo Gelding
owned by Margot McConnel

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