Hosting a Connected Riding Event
Q. I am interested in organizing a clinic with Peggy or one of her instructors. How do I start?
A. Read (and possibly print out) all of these Q & A's first. Make a note of any additional questions and areas you want to discuss. Once you are ready to discuss hosting an event, click on the link below, and someone will contact you to assist you and answer your questions. You should also be confident in filling the event, you should have at least a minimum of 5 people before requesting to host a clinic with Peggy or to be able to meet her clinic fee regardless of the amount of riders you have. Normal clinics have at least 8 riders that can fill the clinic and the fee requirement. We will help in advertising your clinic through our website calendar, newsletter, facebook and word of mouth.
Q. What if dates I need or costs for Peggy don't work out? Can I have someone else conduct the event?
A. Yes, indeed! We have a group of certified Instructors and Practitioners around the world who have studied directly under Peggy and are part of her ongoing program. We will be happy to discuss those options.
Q. What type of facility is required in order to organize a clinic?
A. Whether you plan on using your own facility or will have to find/rent one for the clinic, the requirements are the same. You should have a large enough arena that can accommodate a minimum of three riders at a time. It does not have to be covered, but weather should certainly be considered in your planning. Peggy will usually work with no more than three horse/rider pairs at a time, but when doing groundwork she can work with up to four, sometimes five pairs. You should have stall or pen space for any "overnight" requirements and you may certainly charge for those at your discretion. Any people coming in for the day may also require stalls or holding pen(s) since it will be an all day event, as you may not want horses tied to trailers in your barnyard that amount of time.
Q. What other "props" or equipment are needed for a clinic?
A. Items that are useful to have available: Six to eight ground poles, a sufficient amount of straight-back chairs to accommodate riders and auditors (they do posture exercises on these), some kind of writing board-either dry board or flip chart. Providing name tags for riders and auditors, with different style or colors for each, is very helpful for Peggy and participants.
Please be sure that everyone is welcomed and introduced during the first morning of the event. While all these things are useful for an optimum learning experience, not having any of them is not a showstopper.
Specific equipment needs will be verified before each clinic with the clinic organizer and/or Peggy. Peggy usually brings her own speaker system to U.S. clinic venues.
Q. How long do the clinics go during the day?
A. General guidelines are a start time of 9 AM each day with a lunch break of 1 to 1 1/2 hours and then continue until 5 to 5:30 PM. Start/stop times will be adjusted by consensus to accommodate weather or other considerations that inevitably pop up during an event.
Q. OK - so let's get to the financials. What is this going to cost?
A. CEI charges a daily fee for Peggy (or any other clinician) plus all travel, food for Peggy (gluten free) and lodging expenses (Peggy can stay with you or you will have to book her a room), you will also need to arrange pick up and drop off for Peggy at the airport. Daily rates vary depending on how many days & type of event. Any arena fees or expenses come from the host, not from Peggy's fees, you will need to include this in your clinic fees and/or recover from the auditors share. Once Peggy's fees have been met, any other income goes to the host to cover their costs (arena fees, hosting fees, snacks and/or water.)
Q. What fee should I charge participants?
A. At a minimum, your fee should be enough to cover all your costs. If covering all your costs is not critical to you, you should at least know what your costs are, and make your decision accordingly. Varying costs of clinics is why there may be varying fees to participants. Costs are determined by several factors. These costs would include all Peggy's daily fees, travel, lodging and food. If you have to pay for use of a facility, that increases your cost. If you want to add anything for your time, use of your own facility (labor to clean stalls, feed, etc.) or if you decide to include a lunch or snacks in your clinic, you would add in those costs. Once you are sure you know what all your costs will be, consider your geographic area and the local economy decide what fee is appropriate. Finally the "group" you are pulling from will be a strong consideration in setting your fee. Are you sending the info out to people who show (dressage, hunter, western, etc.), trail ride, do endurance, pony club, rodeo, rescue horses? These various groups would be willing to pay different fees. Again, we are more than willing to go through these considerations in helping you set a fee for participants.
Please note: Any arena or facility fees for boarding shall be paid for directly by the participants or collected by the organizer to pass on to the facility owner. These monies are not to be combined with or included in any of Peggy's (CEI) instructional or travel fees.
Q. What are the timelines for monies paid to CEI?
A. We require a $550 deposit to book a clinic or event date. Then we require that the remaining balance be paid 30 days before the event date. The exception is any additional or unplanned lesson fees that come in during the clinic. Those would be directly paid to Peggy before she departs. Once CEI receives your full deposit, we will post your venue details on our website. If you would like us to include your venue flier (PDF format only please) or a link to your website please send this information to email@example.com Once your event has been added to CEI's website calendar, you will be receiving sign ups from individuals who would like to be part of your clinic. You will receive these sign up notices directly from our website with their contact information. It is up to you to confirm their sign up and request payment from them. We recommend that you collect all funds made payable to you and re-issue a full check to CEI. If there are any person(s) wanting to use a credit card email our firstname.lastname@example.org to make payment arrangements.
Q. How many days should I plan to hold a clinic?
A. Peggy prefers a 3-4 day clinic time frame and has done from 2 day to 5-day clinics including "lesson days." Her charge for those varies based on the number of days. Travel time is also considered. For example, it would not make sense for her to fly to NY from Portland, OR for a 2- day clinic unless there were multiple events in the same area, because she loses 2 days of travel time. As the clinic organizer, you will determine the number of teaching days based on your total costs, the potential interest in your area, and how many days you feel people can afford.
Q. How many participants will Peggy accept?
A. For a riding clinic, the ideal number of riding participants is nine and no more than ten which might include the organizer. Fewer can be accepted, but Peggy's daily fees would still apply, so the organizer needs to take any headcount fewer than nine into consideration when calculating covering total costs. Also, it is a good idea to have 1-2 people on a waiting list in case a horse or rider is unable to make the event because of some last minute emergency. Groundwork clinics and unmounted rider clinics that focus on rider biomechanics, may be as large as 20 or more people, and require Peggy having an assistant.
Q. What about auditors-can they come and should I charge for them?
A. YES and YES We also strongly recommend that you charge a daily fee for auditors because of the huge amount of information they get just from watching, listening and asking questions. They take the info home and can immediately put it to use with their own horses. We recommend a daily fee of $35-$50 for single days, discounted for multiple days. For example $50 a day if they audit one day, but if they sign up for 3 days of auditing it would be reduced to $40/day, or a total of $120 for 3 days. Any audit fees you collect can be applied toward the total cost of your clinic. They can also be used to lower the cost of the full-fare participants attracting more participants to reach the full count of nine clinic riders. While figuring your costs, you will need to determine if you are providing lunch and snacks to your auditors. At this time CEI does not charge a fee for auditors, but that may change in the future due to the amount of time Peggy spends with them and the amount of useful info they gain.
We strongly recommend encouraging auditors to attend. They are an excellent way to build interest for future clinics and to also have a base to draw from if you have a legitimate cancellation of a rider (covered in more detail below.) Auditing is also a great way to allow access to Connected Riding methods for people who cannot afford the full riding fees, such as Pony Clubbers, 4-H'ers, or anyone who is currently low on funds. Also someone recovering from an injury may not be able ride but could get a lot out of auditing. Lastly, friends, spouses or parents of riders might want to audit to be able to be the "eyes on the ground" when working at home after the clinic.
Q. Should I require a deposit for participants?
A. Absolutely YES! By requiring a deposit to hold someone's place you are getting a firm commitment. You need a firm headcount to be able to make plans. What if, because you had gotten nine "verbal commitments" you turned down others who were willing to come and pay a deposit? When a "verbal" drops out at the last minute, it's often too late to fill their slot. The same thought process applies to auditors. Since you also have a limit of 15 auditors, you should require some portion of the full fee as a deposit. An example: If you were hosting a 4-day clinic for $800 per person, a reasonable deposit would be $200 to hold a slot. You should ask for the deposit as soon as they show interest and require balance in full payment 5 weeks before the event date. That gives you time to deposit the checks and then mail a check to CEI 30 days before the event date. (see above). You can use the CEI payment dates as a reason to explain why you require a deposit from "friends and family"-i.e. you have to send a check and you can't cover the full fee out of your own pocket and wait to be reimbursed.
Q. What kind of paperwork do I need to do?
A. Below is one form required for your event. Please forward to your riders prior to the event and have them return at the event. Print extra forms prior to the event in case any riders forget to bring, they must have completed and signed prior to the event starting. Peggy would like a contact list prior to the clinic starting - names, email address and any comments/concerns of individuals so that she has a starting place before the clinic starts. Please send to Stephanie as soon as possible.
Q. What if a rider cancels on me or I have to cancel on CEI?
A. Sometimes you can go to your auditor list and find someone who is happy to move up into a riding slot. This is another good reason to solicit auditors. Then the original person can be refunded in full. If you cannot fill the slot, it is up to you to decide how you want to handle it. However, our recommendation would be to state up front when accepting riders that no funds will be returned, but any payments may be applied in full to another future event within one year. The organizer is responsible to meet the entire amount of the clinic, so if anyone cancels you will need to ask the other riders to increase their payment or you will need to meet CEI's full fee.
Cancellation of events: Rarely does an event cancel 45 days or less before the event date. However, if there are conditions beyond the control of the organizer or Peggy (such as weather, serious illness or injury, etc.), we certainly are willing to negotiate rescheduling and pro-rating refunds when appropriate. Please keep in mind once CEI locks your date, we have already established this on our booking calendar, CEI books other venues based on your venue. Any cancellation can affect Peggy's schedule, time and loss of another opportunity. CEI is willing to work in good faith on cancellations and understands sometimes there are other forces at hand. However, as the organizer it is very important that you are confident in filling your venue before booking it, you will also need to put in place a cancellation policy for riders that cancel on you, so that you too have recourse. If this is an international event, a two month cancellation policy will be enforced. If a ticket has been purchased and cannot be refunded or full credit received, organizer will be responsible for the costs involved. Keeping closely in touch with CEI about any hesitation is expected so everyone can plan accordingly.
Q. Can a rider ride more than one horse during the clinic?
A. Yes. We strongly urge the rider to initially bring one horse that is fairly steady, so as to allow the time to be spent on the rider's own learning. If one brings a young horse "for the experience" and the horse then spends most of their time jigging and looking around, it will be more difficult for the rider to focus on their own body position and bracing patterns. Once the rider has achieved a comfort level about their own position, they can apply the concepts at home with other horses. If a rider has attended several sessions and has gained a certain skill level, they can more easily continue to progress with a less settled horse. Of course, if the participant only has a young or challenging horse, then we will work with what we have. It may be best to work in a one on one lesson situation before or after the clinic to maximize results instead of during the clinic. This should be discussed with the organizer and Peggy beforehand. As in all equine work, progress is limited to the level of the horse - not only the level of the rider. An analogy is that Peggy cannot work on grand prix movements with a horse and rider if the horse is still in training level - no matter what the level of the rider. Likewise, even a high-level rider must internalize the "concepts and application of connection" before they can apply them to higher-level movements.
Q. Are people allowed to take pictures or videos during the clinic or event?
A. Many clinicians will not allow photos or videoing at their sessions at all and everyone has their own reasons. However, Peggy does allow photos and videos to be taken by the attendees or their friends to help them in their own learning. Sometimes professionals are asked by participants or organizers to come in to take photos or videos. You, as the organizer, should decide whether you would allow this. If you are renting a facility you need to clear it with the owners.
In return, CEI asks that we be given a complimentary disk of any photos or videos. We also ask that all participants sign a media release form. Occasionally, someone will travel with Peggy and will take pictures/videos for her with her own camera. The media release allows us to use any images that might be useful later in a book, video or in live presentations. Needless to say, it is often necessary to go through thousands of images to find a few (if any) that are suitable, so this is not a particularly efficient way for her to obtain that type of material.
Nevertheless, we still want to allow participants to take photos and video and hope that, in return, we may find a useful image or two. And we are certainly willing to credit anyone if we use any of their images in published works, etc.
Q. You mentioned a "lesson day". What is that?
A. After a clinic, riders will want to spend one-on-one time with Peggy before going home. We can schedule a "lesson day" the day following a clinic to allow for this. Participants feel this gives them time to have Peggy work with any special issues they may want addressed, or go deeper into something they picked up during the clinic and want more time work on with their horse. The time can also be spent with Peggy actually working their horse while they watch, which provides additional info for them to take home. Whether Peggy rides will be up to her, depending on her assessment of the most benefit provided.
Lessons offered in this scenario are offered to those who have ridden with Peggy either in the immediate clinic or in past clinics. In others words, a riding lesson is not the most productive use of someone's time to learn Connected Riding without having been previously introduced to it.
Q. What do lessons cost when offered following a clinic?
A. Generally Peggy charges $150 for a standalone lesson. But her cost to clinic participants following a clinic is $135 for a private and $90 each for semiprivate (2 riders).
Q. What tack/equipment should riders use in the clinic?
A. Riders should bring the usual equipment that they ride in. However, at some points during a clinic or a lesson, issues relating to saddle fit, trimming, medical/lameness conditions, teeth/bit problems may arise in which Peggy will spend time talking with the rider and making suggestions. It is possible that a serious enough issue with any of these could result in that problem having to be addressed before any further work can be done in the clinic or lesson. While rare, it is important for people to understand: Peggy will not continue to work a horse who in her assessment is lame, or working under physical pain or a condition that is dangerous or detrimental to the horse or rider. Most riders/owners appreciate this.
Q. What help can I get from CEI in organizing an event?
A. At your request we can provide you with a flyer template for your editing. These flyers can be used to email to friends, advertise in papers, post on your/our website, social media and around town. If you need help with the flyer and/or advertising, please contact Stephanie and she will help you post through social media (newsletter, facebook, instagram, etc.) Need more help than that, Stephanie is there to guide you through this process so please do not hesitate in contact her. We want to make sure this event gets filled quickly and seamlessly for you.
Q. What other types of offerings do Peggy/CEI have for events?
A. As a standalone or as part of a clinic, we can offer sessions in biomechanics/body work for the rider. Peggy has worked with athletes, opera singers, people recovering from injuries, etc. We will also do seminars for business groups on how Connected concepts apply in a business environment. For more info on these contact Susan via email with your contact information and your request to email@example.com. Many of our certified practitioners and instructors have skills in bodywork for horse and human and other ancillary tools to support a holistic and healthy partnership with your horse.
Q. What is the best way to prepare if you are either a novice rider or a first time person to a Connected Riding event?
A. Read Peggy's book - Connected Riding: An Introduction. This will familiarize you with some of the philosophy, terminology and perspective, and will make it easier for you to 'jump into' a different approach to riding and groundwork. This is experiential learning for both you and your horse and it is geared to helping you learn how to use your body posture differently (not unlike learning to dance) to create positive outcomes in your horse. Read through our website and glean more information about the work.
Q. Are there any age requirements on horses? How about stallions? Mares is heat? Reactive horses?
A. We prefer that horses under four years old not be brought to a clinic to be ridden. We believe that horses this young are not physically developed enough to be under saddle for the amount of time required in a riding clinic. They are very welcome in groundwork clinics, however.
Stallions are welcome as long as they are well socialized around other horses and can be with other horses in the arena. The same is true with mares in heat. If a horse is overly distracted, reactive, or unsafe, Peggy may work with the animal and rider before or at the end of the day, as it is important not to take time away from the other participants in the clinic. The same is true of a novice rider who has difficulty (or fear) handling her horse. These types of situations are best addressed in a private lesson setting with Peggy.
Peggy is committed to creating a safe, fun, optimal learning environment to the best of her ability. It does require that all participants share in this responsibility by asking questions and speaking up if they have any questions, needs, or concerns. We look forward to working with you to have a fun and successful event!
Peggy requires all riders to wear a helmet.
Please have all riders complete the below before the start of the clinic and provide copies to Peggy.
Please create an easy to read list of all riders (Full name & Email addresses) and leave enough room so Peggy can make notes and write to them later if needed. Please also send a copy to Stephanie for Peggy's electronic files.