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 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 
Below are some frequently asked questions and Kevin McGinn's answers on riding lessons, judging, clinics, and show coaching. If you would like to see your question answered on this page, please visit Kevin's Contact page.
  • What do you expect each rider to experience in a clinic with you?
    I'd like any student to walk away from one of my clinics truly understanding their individual role in the cause and effect of what transpires every time they get on a horse. To me, riding is interesting because by really paying attention to the "given circumstance" of each moment spent near a horse(note I just didn't say on a horse), you can effect the ultimate outcome. Ah, if life were so simple. I like to start at the very beginning: observing how each rider "relates" to their horse, mounts, handles the reins, and lowers their weight into the saddle. Those simple activities speak volumes to me. I basically have an accurate impression before anyone gets once around the ring. But having said that, and getting back to your question, each rider will experience an accurate assessment of their strengths and weaknesses within the per view of their level of experience. (Hopefully some instant fixes with long term benefits.) The advantage of being a clinician over a "trainer" is that the clinician comes in on a very short and temporary basis and can offer a magic bullet, whereas the trainer may not have the same quick result, because of familiarity! I can offer a shot of truth serum that the trainer at home may not want to administer. I'd like to say that it has nothing to do with "who's better", but rather that new ears hear a new voice far more acutely than they hear that old familiar friend (often with that voice saying the same things in a slightly different fashion). A good clinician will back up the home trainer in the overall objectives of each individual student while perhaps putting a more palatable "spin" on them. The best clinicians can do that without the student even realizing they're doing something they have, on some level, (usually fear.not of injury, but of failure) that they have been previously resistant to. So to sum it all up, a clinician's like a flu shot: a little unsettling but ultimately the best way to fight off a nasty winter cold. They don't call hospitals "clinics" for nothing!
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  • What are your philosophies about judging?
    I'll give the kid on the $15,000 "special", who actually has to "ride", the benefit of the doubt over the purrrrrfectly prepared prince or princess on the totally "backed-up" schoolmaster almost any day. Too often at the large shows, the underdog doesn't stand a chance. Ironically every great horseman I know spent much more than their fair share of time riding the worst horses in the barn. The kids who only rode the easy ones missed the boat.
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  • What do you want to see?
    I want to see someone awake and connected to what's going on underneath themselves. They should also have a strong basic position, as it applies to each individual's physical conformation, not a cookie cutter pre conceived notion of a position that shows only that the rider can count strides and lean over on the horse's crest for balance. (That, in my opinion, leads to rigid unfeeling riders!)
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    Kevin McGinn
    Horse Training, Lessons, Judging, Clinics, and Sales

    Hansen Dam Equestrian Park •  11127 Orcas Avenue • Lake View Terrace, California  91342

    Phone: (818) 512-4550

    Copyright © Kevin McGinn - All Rights Reserved.
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