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post #21 of 50 Old 04-03-2013, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Fulford15 View Post
When it comes to instructors/coaches, I am VERY open minded. Yes, I may not learn a lot from one person, but I am open to learning AT LEAST one thing from every coach I have ridden with either them being a very professional coach or not.

When looking for a coach it is important to make sure they are CERTIFIED and have insurance as well. Anyone can "coach" someone to "ride", but if the instructor has taken the needed courses and mentoring hours to become certified, I would more then certaintly trust them more, not saying that there are instuctors that airn't certified that I wouldn't trust though, just IMO.

Yes, group lessons can be fun!! I found when I was younger and in group lessons with 4 other children I got very frusterated as I was ignored a lot since I was more advanced then the other riders in the group, hence why since I was 8 I have always taken private lessons, I like having the one on one connection with the coach and the "attention" I wanted to reach a higher point in my riding. I can completely understand if the child is just in riding for fun or in that "horsey stage" though!!
I found out that the word "certified" did not mean a good coach. That word means next to nothing for me with the experience I went through. 20+ years experience and `certified.....but the decisions that were made were shocking.
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post #22 of 50 Old 04-03-2013, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Mochachino View Post
I found out that the word "certified" did not mean a good coach. That word means next to nothing for me with the experience I went through. 20+ years experience and `certified.....but the decisions that were made were shocking.

Very true, I know many certified coaches that are not a professional coach. I don't know about the USA, but Equine Canada has very good programs for coaching certification and it is a lot more difficult in this day and age to get certified, you can't just be anyone from boo. I am just saying I would trust a certified coach more as they would have the needed Insurance to be coaching at shows or show barns, etc.. at least here in Canada. I am speaking from a wide range of coaches, obviously there will always be "that one or few" that have bad reputations. The horse world is full of gossip, and the horse communitys I have been in, you know who to trust.

~A Cowboy's Chance~
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post #23 of 50 Old 04-03-2013, 12:49 PM
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I have learned to go with your gut instinct. I remember when I was around 11, my mom signed me up at a local barn for riding lessons. The instructor was also the barn owner, was not very friendly. She would have me do things but wouldn't explain the reasoning of why. She also yelled and was just very crass. I left there with very uneasy feelings about this woman. Fast forward 20 years later and 100 miles south of where I took lessons at, I was working at an office supply store making copies for people. This man and his daughter came in and handed over pictures and documents to copy. We're not suppose to look at what we are copying but I glanced down and saw a horse and on the documents had the name of the barn where I took lessons at as a child. Come to find out, this girl had a beautiful show saddlebred that she had boarded there and the instructor/barn owner had not been feeding it. They were taking the barn owner to court over starving this girl's horse. Those uneasy feelings I had, were right.
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post #24 of 50 Old 05-17-2013, 12:03 AM
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The stable I board my horse at definitely has a ripoff lessons program. Her lessons are moderately priced but very A-type and I feel like that's a bad way to teach considering the fact that the people taking lessons don't have horses of their own. She also charges about 450$ for summer camps that are 2-3 days long with little real riding time. I hate her but this barn is so convenient because I live in a suburb and it's only five minutes away.
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post #25 of 50 Old 05-17-2013, 01:59 AM
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I am a qualified instructor, I know I am a good instructor and I enjoy teaching.

Things have changed a lot since I was learning and not necessarily for the better.

I learnt at a riding school run by two partners, the woman took the beginners and he took the more advanced. There were also two employed girls that took some of the rides.

I think it was over a year before I was riding in the arena. All novices started out on the lead rein out on hacks. We were first taught to sit and develop a good seat. Rising trot was not allowed until you could do a good sitting trot.
`I stil agree with this. Posting is easy, sitting not so. Once a rising trot is established a rider rarely ever does a sitting trot and the novice finds sitting very hard. By learning a good sitting trot the canter comes easy because the seat is secure.

That woman had eyes like a hawk! She would shout out instructions, from the rear of the ride and you got away with nothing! When walking back we would ride in pairs and be told to mane parts of the horse, the tack or asked what sort of tree a certain one was or what bird was singing in a tree we passed.
The thing was about learning this way was that you were relaxed. The ponies were going forward without having to worry about corners. Cantering was in a straight line and the ponies knew they were going from A to B so there was no having to worry about the correct aids and you were concentrating on your position.

When you moved up to a more advanced ride then it was a different matter. He was military and rides were conducted as such! Competition between riders was great. No individual lessons always in groups of eight. Very few riders could have lasted an hour of that tough teaching!
We would go un the jumping lane without stirrups or reins, either taking our jackets off or putting them on. Cantering around the arena taking the ponies saddle off and holding it up.
All this was to develop a good strong seat and confidence - the best start any rider can have.

I rarely teach nowadays. Last time I did several lessons was when I was at 'home' and took my niece's ponies and stabled them at a riding school I use to run.
The kids I taught had children of their own and asked if I could take them for a lesson.
Poor kids were terrified! Their parents had told them how tough I was, how hard they would have to work, how the ponies would be worked hard too.
I had eight of them in the indoor arena and worked them hard. Ponies and kids were sweating before half the ride was over but, end of the lesson everyone of those children asked if they could have a lesson the next day.
Yes, I am tough, yes I do shout so that instructions are audible, I demand respect and get it.
I can assess a rider's ability and confidence within a minute and adjust my expectations to suit.
Most of all I am fair. I might shout but encouragement is frequent - praise is earned and the fact that I am confident rubs off on the riders and the ponies.

Experience and intelligence of both horses and riders is vital to be a good instructor. An instinct for teaching a terrific bonus!

Teaching at a Pony Club camp one summer I had a girl on very nice pony that was a bit 'hot'. The girl was very nervous.

On the first lesson in the afternoon, the girl was cantering rather fast when the pony spooked and she fell off. She was shaken but not hurt.
That evening I saw the girl walking towards her mother's car, her head was down and she looked sad. I put my arm around her and said "Don't you worry, Lizzy, tomorrow I will take the fizz out of Champagne and he will be a better pony for it."
The next lesson I had her at the front of the riders. We had done some warm up exercises and then it was "Off your pony and onto the one in front." My niece was then on Champagne. I had her canter around the arena and do several circles as she went around the arena. Then they swapped ponies again. Champagne ended up cantering around that arena with the five of the eight riders who were capable of riding him so, when Liz was back on him he was tired and behave beautifully.

The way this was done was such that it did not make the owner feel as if she was useless on her own pony. Everyone had ridden different ponies and Champagne had had a darn hard work out to steady him up.

At the end of the week Lizzy was jumping him around a set of show jumps in the open field well under control. Her confidence was on a high, she was laughing and smiling and most of all she was joining in with the other children rather than being on her own a lot.

I awarded her the cup for the 'Most Improved Rider' She earned it. I have a lovely picture on my wall of her face when it was announced at the prize giving. Later her mother came to me and told me the previous year Liz had not wanted to attend after the first day. This time she was awake early and wanted to return early.

That is good teaching, to encourage and have the ability to sort out problems so that a rider is confident they can deal with a situation and the horses all improve with the way they are going.
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post #26 of 50 Old 05-17-2013, 09:02 AM
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does this mean if someone doesnt know how to ride they can be good trainers?
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post #27 of 50 Old 05-17-2013, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by TBforever View Post
does this mean if someone doesnt know how to ride they can be good trainers?
Someone on the ground can be a big help. They need not be qualified nor have riding abilities but they will have to have seen the person they are trying to help have instruction and understand what they are trying to achieve. They would not be able to actually teach.

Instructors should not be asking someone to do something they cannot do themselves. The exception to this is with the older teacher - they might well have given up competing or even riding, but they know what is wanted and how to achieve it.
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post #28 of 50 Old 05-17-2013, 09:37 AM
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i was just wondering as someone said only cos a a person can ride doesnt mean they can teach so thought id throw in the oposite hehe
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post #29 of 50 Old 05-17-2013, 09:44 AM
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Foxhunter your description of the 'way things were' reminded me so much of how the riding schools were when I was young and even though I had my own ponies I used to spend my time hanging out at a local one as a teenager often walking for miles a day leading beginners on ponies, something a lot of young people did in return for a free ride themselves
It probably sounds very non H&S and unprofessional now but the method produced some excellent capable riders that went to on to higher things.
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post #30 of 50 Old 05-17-2013, 12:33 PM
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Another thing a good instructor must understand is that not all people riding want to be competitive riders. Many just want to be comfortable on a horse and enjoy trail riding. This doesn't mean that they should not be encouraged to ride well, just that they will not want to be 'refined'
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