Interviewing instructors

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Interviewing instructors

This is a discussion on Interviewing instructors within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
  • interviewing instructors
  • Questions to ask a potential riding instructor

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    07-09-2011, 05:27 PM
Interviewing instructors

I'm in search of a Dressage instructor as my current instructor leaves town for an indefinite period of time.
With her I was doing a little of everything (although her main focus is Dressage), but I'm still a beginner in the Dressage world (after nearly 30 years of trail riding).

So here's my stupid Dressage-newbie question.

I have read and read tons of stuff on here and elsewhere about "good" riding versus forcing a frame. I want to learn how to ride correctly. I'm not out to win any shows, I'm in no hurry to get to some pre-defined end state. I just want to communicate with my horse and be a happy pair. And have a few goals to work towards along the way.

So as I'm interviewing instructors, and observing them teach lessons, what sorts of questions can I ask (that they'd answer honestly either way), and what sorts of things can I watch for, to tell me whether the instructor is teaching a good method, or just using gimmicks?

I don't know enough at this point to say "oh yeah, they're just forcing the frame on that horse." It looks pretty much the same to me either way.

Any tips?
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    07-09-2011, 07:52 PM
Well, how I found my current instructor is by watching her students at competitions. To me, that was the best way to judge an instructor. I liked how they rode & wanted the same results. Might be a way how you can find what you want.
    07-09-2011, 08:51 PM
Thanks. There are a few shows coming up.
How do you find out who their instructors are? Do you just follow them out of the ring, then walk up to anyone standing around and ask who they are??

Being shy is probably not to my advantage here
    07-10-2011, 01:10 AM
Yes, I saw her coaching her students in the warm up areas at several shows. I asked several of the riders who their instructor was & how they liked her. This was several years ago, & when I approached her about starting on with her, she was booked up and continued to be for about 2 yrs. Last year, she finally had openings & I jumped at the chance, best thing I ever did.
    07-10-2011, 08:15 PM
What you could do at the show is, after picking out the instructors you think you like, write down the entry numbers of the students and see how they score in dressage. Unless you're at a very politically tilted show, the scores will tell you whether or not you're watching the real deal.

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