Brookwood Farm Hosts Successful Five-Day Clinic with Ray Texel
RELEASE: December 15, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Rebecca Walton
Recently, Brookwood Farm hosted a unique five-day clinic with renowned rider and trainer Ray Texel that featured many different learning techniques. The clinic was held November 18-22, 2009, and while many clinics are two or three days, this longer format gave Texel and the participants more time to develop a unique rapport while working through many different challenges. Brookwood Farm is owned by trainers Rush and Caroline Weeden, who also hosted the 2009 $25,000 Chicago Hunter Derby.
"One thing that I have noticed with two-day clinics is that one spends a day getting to now the horse/rider combinations and what their individual issues may or may not be," noted Texel. "On the second day you have certainly covered a lot of topics, but the clinic is coming to a close. I felt a longer time frame would be more beneficial and institute more positive advances."
The five-day clinic at Brookwood Farm had two groups that included three to four riders. Each session lasted an hour and a half and covered many different topics. Riders worked extensively on the flat, over gymnastics, and courses. Several of the clinic sessions were videotaped and reviewed with the riders and parents in an open discussion format.
"Video is a useful teaching aide," explained Texel. "In sport its important to have the ability to critique not only oneself, but others, and learn from the experience."
During Saturday's clinic Texel had the riders assist in building the course that they were going to execute on the final day. He felt this was an important learning tool to understand why jumps are often set a certain way. "A well-rounded education is important," he said. "Life is faster today, so riders are not always able to be part of building a course, or understanding why a course is set the way it is. Having more time gave me an opportunity to touch on many different aspects that are involved in riding, and not just the time spent on the back of a horse."
Susan Bozorgi's children, Alec and Amanda, both participated in the clinic and enjoyed having the opportunity to improve their riding skills. "Both of my children felt that Ray's style was very complimentary to Rush and Caroline's style," she noted. "They felt that it was a more in-depth look at what they had already been working on, and a more focused look on some of their core issues. Therefore it was not confusing for them, and they were able to take something that they have been struggling with and spend some intense time digging deeper into it. They liked that he breaks things down to the point where they have some very specific pieces to work on after the clinic is over."
"My main focus is to aide, assist and further educate anyone who is interested," added Texel. "If any bit of my knowledge can help others then that's better for the sport in general. A five-day clinic allows for a more personal approach to the whole experience. I give a lot of credit and thanks to Caroline and Rush Weeden, for welcoming me into their stable for that period of time, and I think that sets a very good example in our industry. I'd like to see more collaboration like this throughout our country, I think it would only make us all that much stronger"
Caroline Weeden, the owner and trainer at Brookwood Farm, was impressed with the results of Texel's clinic. "This alternative clinic format was beneficial and informative on many levels," she said. "Most clinics that we have participated in have been held over two or three days, but this five-day format gave the riders and Ray extra time to work with one another, and in my opinion it was a very rewarding and educational experience."