I do see how some people would end up breaking down and crying at his clinic.
(and there were a few at our clinics)People who have really been struggling with a horse that has should be really good but can't quite get there, and he shows them and they have that "lightbulb moment", and everything starts to groove better.
Or the people who are so resistant to accepting its them and always feel the need to blame their horse.
Or the people who go in with a closed mind, they go to clinics but just aren't ready to listen and learn.
Or the people who just can't stop and say "Huh? I don't get it." so that Ed can explain in a different way or show you so that you DO get it.
Yeah I can see them crying.
The first day was loooong. There were 16 girls signed up, I was girl #8. Clinic started at 8:30am with a lecture (or 'classroom') part of the day and a prayer. Riding started around 9:30ish. I rode around 4:10, I was "finished" (the riding part) by about 4:35. We went through the order and everyone rode a second time. The day finished up at shortly after 9pm.
Now some people are sitting there thinking "Well shoot she sure didn't get much riding time" don't worry... at Ed's clinic you don't have to be in the saddle to learn.
As Long As You Pay Attention.During most of the 7 riders before me I sat in the stands and just tried to focus and absorb everything Ed was telling/showing us. (I did have to leave for a bit to get Voodoo ready) Now usually I have to DO what I'm trying to learn, especially 'horse stuff'. Reading/watching doesn't work as well as doing. But I turned my brain into a sponge and tried to soak in as much as possible. And some of it worked.
For instance every single girl that worked before me (and almost everyone after me) got a rubber band in their horses mane to show them where Ed wants our hands. I really worked on that hand position while warming up. As a result no rubber band. The only corrections Ed made with my hands was HOW I was using them to ask for turns - results were a huge difference.
This clinic was hands down The Best clinic I've taken. Not just in barrel racing but of any kind of horse clinic. IMO Ed isn't just a barrel trainer, or a horse trainer, he's a horseman. The horse is the #1 concern to him. More than a few times his answer to a girl that asked if she was finished was "Well your horse is for now, YOU aren't. You sit your butt down and pay attention."
Ed was always welcoming to anyone that wanted to ask questions during another person's work time and anyone there was free to come out into the arena to see what was going on.
For example when I went to work the second day I wasn't too sure on where to place the cones. I sure as heck wanted to know that so I could practice at home. Another lady asked if it was okay for her to tag along while I set cones and Ed said "Well of course. You'll learn more that way than all them up there gossiping in the bleachers." And you know what, Ed made me set cones for myself and for the next girl (I go left, everyone else went right) to make sure that I understood. He also got me to explain why I placed the "action points" where I did so that he knew I got it.
I found Ed to be pretty funny, on the border of goofy at times. As he said "I'm not here to entertain you. I'm here to educate you. But if I can entertain while I educate you're more likely to learn." Now he wasn't all lovey-dovey, he was encouraging... there was plenty of girl, baby, love you. But he would get straight and serious and tough if you weren't getting it.
I am so looking forward to next year, even if for some reason I wouldn't be able to ride (ie I was hurt or my horse was) I will SO be going to this clinic. Cost of auditing it alone is worth the info you get, even if you're not a barrel racer.
ps - my "goals" from my previous post were half-joking half-serious. Of course my other goals were to learn and try to have fun.