Help with student - realistic goals - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 35 Old 12-01-2010, 03:18 PM
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As for the fitness issue - maybe bring some photos or if you can show her a video of some upper level riders competing cross country and just make the comment "Wow, look at how fit all the riders have to be to keep up with their horses."

My trainer also told me to make sure I was in enough shape to keep up with my horse on cross country. I didn't take it badly, I took it as I would anything she told me while I was in a lesson with her. While weight and fitness is a touchy issue, if her horse can run around a cross country course but she can't make it through the first half she's not doing anyone any good, especially herself and her horse. Though I'm sure you know that already. :)

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post #22 of 35 Old 12-01-2010, 03:55 PM
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I wish everyone approached training as responsibly as you lessonhorse. Far too many trainers out there get people jumping long before they are ready for it.

Personally (when I am training new horses) I don't like to begin their jumping career until they are scoring over 60% consistently in first level dressage. I find that is a good indication that the necessary movements are solid enough to add in obstacles. Could you give this rider some sort of goal like that? I know training the horse and training the rider are two very different things (the horse generally won't argue with you) but the end result is the same - no one jumps before they are ready to.

Especially with an adult rider, perhaps it is important to give them appropriate goals that they feel they are making progress with so that they don't totally lose interest and become frustrated? As a side note, you have done well not to lose your cool with this student, adult rider or not, they are coming to YOU for instruction so it would be nice if they would heed the advice that they have been given without argument. Seems you are being very reasonable to me.

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post #23 of 35 Old 12-01-2010, 04:35 PM
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I am an adult rider ( under age of 30) and a newbie to the horse world. I have been riding for 6 months but have progressed pretty fast because I ride a lot ( 4 to 5 times a week), read a lot of equestrian books, and have great instructors. I can jump small jumps (2'3) and feel pretty balanced. But as far as doing XC, I know I am not ready yet.

I used to come up with the goals and discussed with my instructor for her input. For example, I told her I want to canter in two points but she said she doesnt teach canter in two point when student learn cantering in the beginning. I was OK with that because she told me her reason and that was a lot of beginners use reins for balance if cantering in 2 points.

For adult riders who pick up riding at an older age, maybe your student has high hope for herself and expects to progress and be able to do certain things at certain time because thats her hard earned money or maybe because she is comparing herself to other better riders.

You are being a responsible instructor. I think I would have a frank conversation with her and try to set out the goals and measurable acheivements ( like being in two point at trot for five mins, doing a figure 8 with correct diagonal...etc) That way she know exactly what she is getting out of your lessons. I remember I was a little unhappy about my instructor not letting me canter after I have been JUST trotting for 3 months. But once she explains why and we both come up with a " curriculum" and "pre-requisite" for more advanced topic. I felt better because I like knowing the structure and my money isnt just wasted.
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post #24 of 35 Old 12-01-2010, 07:42 PM
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There are plenty of "jumping" exercises you can do with your student without actually jumping, mostly ground poles and cavalletti. All of them focus on riding effectively and in good balance. Maybe in the process of trotting ground poles and cavalletti, your student will find on his/her own that he/she cannot hold a simple half seat long enough get over the poles, no less without stirrups or reins. Just lay down the law. Until the ground pole work is solid, no jumping will occur. If your student chooses to find someone else, then that's not on you. You can only do what you can do. Good luck.

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post #25 of 35 Old 12-01-2010, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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It is great to get the prospective form different angles. I am going to talk about the chart idea with my student. I already have a chart up in the barn to let the students know what they should be doing with their horses on any given day.

sarahver - I like that idea as well. I can approach it as the horse and rider need to be scoring in the 60's at 1st level (of course now you don't need to sit first level, but that's another topic).

I also agree with the exercises towards actually working over fences. That will help my student move towards their goal.

When I started this thread out of frustration, but I have to say that you have all given me a new perspective and I am excited about making a plan. In fact we are going to make that part of our Mini clinic in a couple of weeks!
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post #26 of 35 Old 12-01-2010, 08:04 PM
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Sounds like things are starting to come together. Make sure to update us on their progress!
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post #27 of 35 Old 12-03-2010, 12:22 AM
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As an adult rider, I like the idea of prerequisites.

"If you can accomplish such-and-such a task, then you can move onto next such-and-such task."

Makes sense to me!

It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows. --Epictetus
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post #28 of 35 Old 12-03-2010, 01:50 AM
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I think you are great, you know your limits and are willing to pass them onto another trainer when they are ready.

About trainers - chose one carefully, I might not have chosen my trainer based on how she is with me, but how she understands my horse is worth every penny.

My experiences, I have a trainer, she is golden to me. She tells me in no uncertain terms when I mess up. Sometimes this bothers me, until I think on it and then I love her for it. I don't think I show this to her, as how could I without being weird?
My last lesson with her, I was practising for a dressage test, she said 'perfect' and I totally fudged up the incoming corner. She shouted why did you do that? I explained that she said perfect and she told me she was talking about the horse and not me. LMAO, why don't you tell me how you really feel?

But I love her for this, I love her, I cannot say it enough and while she is a friend, at the same time I am paying her, I am not looking for her to be a friend if that makes sense.

Today my horse had an abscess and she called the farrier before she called me. He arrived 10 mins after I did. I am thankful of my farriers time, and I did not have my horse in from the field. So I nicely asked why she did not call me first. She said, I am paid to look after your horse. And she is right.

So this is a very long winded way of saying that a good trainer is a gem and you don't have to say what they want to hear. I pay my trainer because I want to hear something more experienced that I am.
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post #29 of 35 Old 12-03-2010, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by AlexS View Post
So this is a very long winded way of saying that a good trainer is a gem and you don't have to say what they want to hear. I pay my trainer because I want to hear something more experienced that I am.
You are absolutely right Alex. I would rather have a coach who is going to be straight up with me, then blow rainbows up my arse.

It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows. --Epictetus
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post #30 of 35 Old 12-04-2010, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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Was able to have a long talk with this student on the way back from the dressage show today. We are going to set some small goals to get to the bigger ones. They are looking at it a little more realistically. Also able to discuss fitness level a little bit.

Feeling like they are listening to my advice a little better - I think when a judge says the same thing that you as a trainer says it really helps a rider grasp it.
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