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Videotaping lessons

From: Claire

Dear Jessica, you are awesome and I love HORSE-SENSE. Thank you for giving all of us all this help, you are going to heaven and that's for sure!

I lurk on the rec.equestrian newsgroup sometimes, although not a lot because it's always full of flames and people yakking about religion. But lately there's been something that I want to get your opinion about. Some of the clinicians will apparently not let people videotape at the clinics. I don't mean making a video of the whole entire clinic, I can understand why that wouldn't be okay because the person might try to sell copies and then he would make money off the clinician's work and that would be unfair. ANd I bet it would be illegal, too. But it seems like most clinicians anymore don't want people to video their own lessons. I was planning to go to a clinic with a pretty well-known clinician and I arranged to have my husband tape my lesson, then I heard that this would not be allowed and now I've changed my mind about going. Why would this not be allowed? Nobody wants to buy a tape of me and my riding, probably even my MOM wouldn't want that tape, so it's not like I would be selling it!!!!! :-)

I guess my question for you is What do you think about this? And what do you do at your clinics, can riders have somebody videotape their lessons, and if not, why not? I don't mean to be rude but I really want to know!

Ticked-off in Texas, Claire

Hi Claire! Thanks for the kind words. ;-) I can answer only part of your question, because I don't really understand why some clinicians don't allow students to videotape their own lessons. I think taping is a very good idea, and I never mind if someone wants to have a lesson taped, as long as the person doing the taping doesn't get in the way.

I see it as a cost/benefit issue. Riders at clinics are often paying between $75 and $150 for a lesson. It's well worth it if the clinic is a good one, and if the rider works hard, listens well, and gets lots of help and useful insights and information. But is the rider going to be able to remember every word, or every movement, or every moment when the horse went better or the rider sat better? Probably not, and yet it would be helpful if she could. And what about the rider's instructor? I encourage riders to bring their instructors, and I'm happy to have the instructors watch, or stand with me in the arena as I teach, so that they KNOW exactly what happens and so that they can understand the method and the reasons behind it.

Not every rider can bring an instructor along, and when riders go home and TELL their instructors what they did, a videotape makes it much easier.

Some riders don't even HAVE regular instruction, and for these riders, a videotape of their lesson can help them have "repeat" lessons as they work on their own.

As far as I'm concerned, anyone who rides in my clinics has a perfect right to make and keep a videotape of that lesson -- it's a good way to get LASTING value from the experience, and that's what I want riders to take home.


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