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Lesson programs lowering standards

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    12-01-2012, 01:15 PM
  #21
Trained
"I think its very dangerous and irresponsible to let someone head out and bounce around yanking on the horses mouth, letting the horse run hallowed out(causing back issues in many horses) and thumping on the horses back."
That doesn't take many lessons to learn. Quiet hands at a walk and jog, and not "thumping" the horse's back at a walk and jog doesn't take a lot of training to achieve. It certainly doesn't require a lot of ground training or hours on a lunge line.

Also, a western saddle distributes weight over a greater area (almost twice as much). So my 100 lb DIL in a western saddle is NOT putting much pressure on the horse's back. Ever. Add in a horse who neck reins, and who has never bolted in 4 years, and I don't feel dangerous or irresponsible. Also note that she spent 6 months riding, and cantered in the arena before heading out.

Hope this doesn't shock anyone, but a lot of folks learn to ride without ever taking a lesson. They just get on a good horse, and the horse helps them figure it out. Although I didn't take up riding until I was 50, I did ride a few times in my teens and early 20s, usually visiting a ranch. No lessons, just get on a good horse and ride.
     
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    12-01-2012, 01:54 PM
  #22
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
"I think its very dangerous and irresponsible to let someone head out and bounce around yanking on the horses mouth, letting the horse run hallowed out(causing back issues in many horses) and thumping on the horses back."
That doesn't take many lessons to learn. Quiet hands at a walk and jog, and not "thumping" the horse's back at a walk and jog doesn't take a lot of training to achieve. It certainly doesn't require a lot of ground training or hours on a lunge line.

Also, a western saddle distributes weight over a greater area (almost twice as much). So my 100 lb DIL in a western saddle is NOT putting much pressure on the horse's back. Ever. Add in a horse who neck reins, and who has never bolted in 4 years, and I don't feel dangerous or irresponsible. Also note that she spent 6 months riding, and cantered in the arena before heading out.

Hope this doesn't shock anyone, but a lot of folks learn to ride without ever taking a lesson. They just get on a good horse, and the horse helps them figure it out. Although I didn't take up riding until I was 50, I did ride a few times in my teens and early 20s, usually visiting a ranch. No lessons, just get on a good horse and ride.
I have to say. You have a hard time looking past your own arrogance to ever believe anyone other then yourself could be right on anything when it comes to lessons and PROPER riding and training.

I come from the school of thought that a responsible rider is a rider who wants to learn and is open to opinions of others. You don't need to be out taking lessons weekly to be a safe rider. But you do need foundations. Its the same line as building a house without a foundation, it will fall because its missing the key elements.

Don't like that assessment, then lets go with driving a car. You can't throw a new driver in the middle of the city at rush hour and expect them to get you home safe.
     
    12-01-2012, 02:06 PM
  #23
Trained
"You have a hard time looking past your own arrogance to ever believe anyone other then yourself could be right on anything when it comes to lessons and PROPER riding and training."
Pot, Kettle. Except I haven't made it personal.

I wouldn't throw a new driver in the middle of a city, nor expect a new rider to jump a 4' fence. But I would let a new driver drive in low pressure situations, and in fact HAVE to do that when teaching my kids to drive. Their first drive wasn't an LA freeway, but I didn't require them to study auto mechanics and sit for hours in the drivers seat before starting an engine.

There is more than one way to ride, and more than one way to learn. As an instructor, you are of course welcome to use any standard you wish.
     
    12-01-2012, 02:26 PM
  #24
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
"You have a hard time looking past your own arrogance to ever believe anyone other then yourself could be right on anything when it comes to lessons and PROPER riding and training."
Pot, Kettle. Except I haven't made it personal.

I wouldn't throw a new driver in the middle of a city, nor expect a new rider to jump a 4' fence. But I would let a new driver drive in low pressure situations, and in fact HAVE to do that when teaching my kids to drive. Their first drive wasn't an LA freeway, but I didn't require them to study auto mechanics and sit for hours in the drivers seat before starting an engine.

There is more than one way to ride, and more than one way to learn. As an instructor, you are of course welcome to use any standard you wish.
I have not made it personal. I have however made it a point to educate as many as I can on the importance of proper riding. By proper riding I mean not riding with your legs pitched out in front of you, making sure you know just the right amount of pressure on a horses mouth, helping a horse carry itself the way it should while under saddle to help prevent soreness.

Also when learning to drive, you need to learn the rules of the road and safe driving, as well as defensive driving. You can't learn those things without proper instruction.

I coach my students. I teach them safety, I teach them health and first aid, I teach them proper tack fit and proper tack adjustments. I teach them these things because it is how you stay safe. Not understanding proper tack fit can lead to a sore animal which can lead to a dangerous situation.

My students learn that knowing how to balance themselves and have proper position helps their horse move correctly. Which leads to happy and safe animals and students.

If as a rider you can not know or understand these things then you can get yourself into a dangerous situation.

Example: Student is turning her horse back out in the paddock, she swung the gate open and walked through with the horse. Gate swung shut hitting horse in the flank, causing a huge gash, which lead to a panicked horse, which lead to a panicked humane. Panicked horse stirs up the herd and horses get loose. What happens? Horse tramples humane, humane breaks ribs and fractures skull, horse was a mess needing stitches. Loose horses thankfully only went to the barn, however they managed to spook the horses in the arena which caused a kid to fall off and break her arm.

The above is a true story. Which could have all been avoided. How did it all come to be?

Student was not taught the basics such as how to lead a horse into the paddock, how to turn horse to the gate and close gate before taking halter off. Also wasn't taught to check something as simple as a gate when turning a horse out to make sure there was nothing that could cause injury. Student was not taught how to handle a horse that gets spooked.

Something so simple. All this comes from instructors and coaches not teaching proper basics.

As for kid in the arena that broke her arm? That also could have been avoided had the instructor taught the kid how to handle her horse when the horse spooks.

My students lean how to lead their horses, how to brush and tack up, taught how to untack, taught how to turn a horse out safely and taught to check the gate and fence area to make sure there is nothing for them to get hurt on(yes I know I am a bit extreme in having students check gates and fences but I believe it is important).

I also teach my students to try and keep their head on should their horse spook. Accidents do happen and even the best of riders can lose their head when freak accidents happen. But learning how to control a simple spook is important as even the most quiet of horses can lose their head once and awhile.
     
    12-01-2012, 02:52 PM
  #25
Trained
"By proper riding I mean not riding with your legs pitched out in front of you..."


"Dave Carter, old time Spur cowpuncher, riding "Butterbean" while the herd of the last roundup on the old Espuela (Spur) Land and Cattle Company stop at a watering place. SMS Ranch, Texas., 1910"

Erwin E. Smith Collection Guide | Collection Guide



Again, there is more than one way to ride. You are of course welcome to teach whatever way you think is best.
"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."
Again fine. Other instructors taking a different approach doesn't make them horrible instructors or money-grubbing shysters. And many people on HF were self-taught. I honestly have never met a rancher who taught his kids to ride on a lunge line, although a lot of them can ride darn well. I'm unorthodox, but the only time I've come off a horse was when she bolted in mid-dismount.

As an instructor, you can demand any standard you wish. You are welcome to explain WHY you hold those standards to any prospective students and their parents. I will say that a lot of parents or prospective students in the west at least may consider that more time and money than they care to invest for their goals.
     
    12-01-2012, 03:00 PM
  #26
Started
You are posting pictures of WESTERN riding, cattle cutting etc... these things require different positioning.

In an ENGLISH saddle you want your leg back and under you, or you are not balanced properly. When you are in an english saddle with your legs pitched in front of you, you are off balance, throwing your horse off balance and more then likely to come flying off.

Regarding self taught on a ranch. A completely different ball game.


And my friend who is a certified level 2 western COACH(big difference between coach and instructor) will even say that a lot of the self taught off the ranch riders she gets as clients are in fact great riders and usually only need a few things tweaked and that depends on the path they chose to take in western riding.

As for self taught english, many self taught english riders who have not had much for coaching do have a bit of a gap and have picked up dangerous bad habits. I didn't say all, I said many.

I stand behind the coaching programs. They were developed for a reason and have proven successful for a reason.
     
    12-01-2012, 03:25 PM
  #27
Started
Also please note. This first picture? Its older then I care to even think. Standards have changed since there. In a huge way.

Second picture? That is not a leg pitched out in front of someone. I actually see a decently well balanced rider helping his horse maneuver. I do not see a leg pitched out.
     
    12-01-2012, 03:35 PM
  #28
Started
Show Jumping in 1910




Show Jumping 2010



Funny how things change eh?
     
    12-01-2012, 03:37 PM
  #29
Trained
I have been asking for a while for my trainer to put me back on the lunge, riding my own horses I have to both school them, and develop me at the same time. I would love to have some lessons where I can just concentrate on re establishing my basics, so painfully learned back in the old days when everyone expected to learn new things, not just be able to do them straight off.
egrogan and NBEventer like this.
     
    12-01-2012, 03:39 PM
  #30
Trained
I believe most riders benefit greatly from some formal training. I've taken lessons in the past, and hope to do so again. I would encourage just about anyone to take lessons if the opportunity presents itself.

Not all lessons programs will be identical, but I would be careful of saying one is 'higher', or that others have 'lower' standards because that is the only way to bring in students and cash. The lady who gave my daughter-in-law her first lessons thought it better to teach someone 6-8 lessons of basics than to have them simply teach themselves. She couldn't control how far someone would get in 6 lessons, but she would teach them what she could in that time. I think she took a reasonable approach. I think my approach was also reasonable, since my DIL spent a lot of hours doing walks, trots, disengages, and finally cantering before riding out of an arena, and has never ridden solo out of an arena.

I guess I don't like the "higher/lower" terminology. Stricter and looser takes out the value judgment, and allows someone to tell a prospective student, "I'm pretty strict, but I do so because I care about your safety!" It is up to an adult student, or a parent, to determine what is then an acceptable level of risk, since all riding involves some risk. Just IMHO.
     

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