Lesson programs lowering standards
 
 

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Lesson programs lowering standards

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    11-22-2012, 11:21 PM
  #1
Green Broke
Lesson programs lowering standards

Another thread has inspired me to start this one.

I recently attended a coaching seminar and the hot topic was the fact that coaches and instructors have lowered their standards of teaching and riding is turning more "mass production" vs "quality riding"

When I was coming up through my levels I was taught that you start students on a lunge line with no reins. Some mentors even said they start any student they have never taught on a lunge line with no reins. Once the student could successfully do rising trot with no reins(for more advance students no stirrups) and can do downwards transitions with no reins, they can come off the lunge line.

You then proceed to teach how to properly ride a pattern, how to use half halts, half seat and stride control. You then work towards jumping should the student want to go that direction.

In recent years though this method of teaching is becoming more and more rare. And it is at no fault of the instructor. Its because parents want to see results. If their kid isn't out galloping courses of jumps in a month they feel they are wasting their money. So this has lead to tossing the student on a horse, once they can kind of trot and steer they start jumping. I know many instructors don't like doing this, but they need to in order to keep hay in the barn and food on the table. Which is a shame. And honestly I really don't blame them. So please don't think I am bashing coaches/instructors who go this route.

The strong foundations of basic important skills seem to be a rare sight now.

I still use the way I was taught. I will never change because I feel its important and it comes down to a safety issue. I want to produce quality over quantity. The sad fact is though, that this way of teaching is not a way to bring money in. Because parents get annoyed and take their kid to the mass production barn down the road.

I have recently decided I am going to offer and parent who approaches me about not seeing quick results a free lesson. So they can feel what we are trying to teach.

I would like other peoples thoughts and opinions on this topic.
     
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    11-22-2012, 11:24 PM
  #2
Yearling
That's the way my son is being started. He's 2 months in & his last 2 lessons he has been allowed off the line for the last half of his lesson. I told our trainer that I think that I need to go back & do that to develop better balance
     
    11-22-2012, 11:41 PM
  #3
Green Broke
It makes me so happy when I hear there are other coaches out there.

I actually have been bugging my coach to put me on the lunge line so I can work on some skills that I have lost. I need to work on getting my shoulders back more. I also seem to be very locked in my hips lately so I need to work on that. And nothing is better then having time to focus on yourself and not worry about the horse. I think the lunge line is one of the best tools a coach can have.
     
    11-22-2012, 11:53 PM
  #4
Trained
The lady who trained two of our horses and who taught my daughter for a couple of years was very straightforward about it - she would teach horse or rider whatever they could learn, but she couldn't control what that pace would be. She wanted to know what a student's goal was, or the goal for a horse, and then she would try to get them as far toward that goal as she could in the time she had.

She currently has a waiting list using that approach, both for working horses and working with riders. She did try one of those 'trainer challenges' with an unbroke horse a year ago. Apart from swearing she would never do it again, she then kept the horse for an extra 6 weeks at her own expense because she felt the horse needed it.

That attitude seems to work fine for her as a businesswoman, as well as a trainer. Good word-of-mouth counts for a lot.
     
    11-23-2012, 01:13 AM
  #5
Weanling
I am actually about to start doing "no reins" with about 5 of the kids I teach. They balance on their pony's mouths and then wonder why they have pissy ponies...

You're not alone!!
     
    11-23-2012, 10:32 AM
  #6
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndersonEquestrian    
I am actually about to start doing "no reins" with about 5 of the kids I teach. They balance on their pony's mouths and then wonder why they have pissy ponies...

You're not alone!!
I also have students on the lunge. 3 of which started with a different instructor and balance on the horses mouth, with one who stops by raising hands to the head. Bad habits are hard to break.

They keep me in a job.
AndersonEquestrian likes this.
     
    11-23-2012, 07:46 PM
  #7
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by NBEventer    
I have recently decided I am going to offer and parent who approaches me about not seeing quick results a free lesson. So they can feel what we are trying to teach.

I think that's a great idea. I also think this kind of thing is happening in every activity for children. Parents seem to be enrolling their kids in activities for the wrong reasons.
MysterySparrow likes this.
     
    11-23-2012, 07:52 PM
  #8
Started
I think that is a great way to deal with it! I wish I could have more lessons on a lunge line with a school master. Unfortunately not an option for me right now, but I happily fork over a pretty hefty lesson fee to do so with my old instructor whenever I am back visiting. He spends most of the time trying to help show me the bad habits I've developed rather than making 'progress' since I'm there so rarely, but even that is well worth it for me.
     
    11-23-2012, 11:42 PM
  #9
Foal
As a student I would agree with you. I started lessons at a stable 4 years ago. My instructor was nice, but it was like she was just putting me through motions. I was 24 then, and I feel she was also teaching me less effectively because I never had any intentions of showing. Regardless, I want to be a good, balanced, knowledgeable rider.

I ended up leaving that stable after a bad fall. I took two years off but I just recently started lessons again. I went to a different stable, and I am with a wonderful instructor. She is working with me, and is pushing me to be the best I can.

It can be easy to put a rider on a horse and yell generic commands. And I'm sure that works with most riders. But a good instructor studies the student and tailors the lesson to them. I am paying a lot more for my current lessons, but I am also getting much more out of it.
DingDong likes this.
     
    11-24-2012, 09:04 PM
  #10
Weanling
I agree! I have a friend that up until a year ago had never ridden a horse at all, I taught her a few basics and she was hooked. She started taking lessons in a barn that guaranteed her that she would be able to teach beginner riding lessons in 4 months. I don't understand how somebody that has been riding less than a year figures that they can teach beginner riding lessons but she does it! I don't agree with this at all!
     

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