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Old 01-14-2013, 05:12 PM
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BostonBanker BostonBanker is online now
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Join Date: Jun 2006
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Default Choosing Seminars

This is half question and half rambling, because I need to vent and I can't with the majority of agility people I know in real life without burning some bridges.

After a rather...odd, I guess, experience with an agility seminar this weekend, I'm getting gun-shy and thinking "I'm never doing a seminar again!". Which is stupid, because I've found two absolutely phenomenal trainers through seminars that I would stalk to the ends of the earth for lessons from. But I hated doing clinics when I did horses, and I'm hesitant to do seminars generally. This of course just cemented that fear in my head.

So, how do you choose seminars to attend? Do you only go to seminars with people you've seen teach before? Only ones that were recommended to you by friends? Will you go "cold"? Is it simply proximity? Cost? Content?

And once you're there, how do you handle it? I went in with an "I'm paying for this person's advice, so I will try whatever they say" attitude. Now, obviously if they started grabbing Gusto or doing something I was really uncomfortable with, I'd have stopped it, even if I just had to fake sick and leave. But I went with what she said, did a lot of things that, upon further reflection, go against what I want to do with my dogs. My comment when someone asked how it went was "If I'd been running Meg, I'd have pulled her out of it. She couldn't have handled it." When they asked "So why did you keep Gusto in?", I felt like crap. I left him in because I felt like I had to try what this person suggested, and because I know he's got a better ability to "rebound" from being upset than Meg. It doesn't mean he should have to use it though.

I feel like I've fallen down the rabbit hole. A ton of people I know, including (and this worries me most) the person I've trained with for nearly 7 years, are raving about the seminar. People who have always said "I'd never correct a dog physically in agility" "agility isn't worth ruining my relationship with my dog" "I'd never pull my dog off course as a correction because leaving the ring with me should never be a punishment".

I hate to miss out on wonderful opportunities for further learning, but this just freaked me out a bit. Other than *knowing* I have two people I will always go to if they have seminars anywhere in the region, I don't know how I'd ever feel brave enough to attend another. I need a game plan for when one comes up that I'm interested in! So, out with it - how do you choose/plan for/handle seminars yourself?
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