Sweety, why don't you drop the attitude for a few minutes. I am going to be nice and lose the sarcastic tone for a minute.
The last coaching seminar I was at, one of the biggest topics was the fact that a lot of "new" riders have a huge hole in their education. The reason being, people want results fast.
When I was going through my levels the one thing that was drilled into us is, beginners start on a lunge line. You take the students reins away and they have to learn to ride with just their seat. Students had to be able to halt without using reins, do rising trot no hands and be able to tell the correct diagonal and how to switch it. Then they would get their reins.
This was an amazing method for teaching as it really taught students the importance of using their seat.
However parents didn't like this because it wasn't quick enough results. So a lot of coaches threw in the towel and just tossed students on a horse, as long as they could somewhat steer and walk and trot they started jumping. Why? Because it was results that an uneducated eye would see. However they fail to see that the student is missing the important foundations of riding. Which is teaching the horse to use themselves. No horse should ever knock down a jump under 3 feet if it is using itself correctly. Now there are moments when it happens, but 9 times out of 10 it is rider error. The biggest error causing it? Not being able to have the horse use its hind end and not being able to see the "spot". All these could be avoided if the student was taught how to properly open and close the horses stride.
I am in no way bashing the coaches who skip the basics. I understand the reasons behind it. Parents are not happy as their kid isn't out jumping after a month of lessons. So parents pull the kid out of the school and take them somewhere else, which takes money out of coaches pocket, which means its harder to feed horses.
The coaches who use this style, I call them mass production coaches/schools. Because all they see is the dollar signs. The huge flaw in this though is that when you are missing key elements in your basics, it becomes dangerous for both the horse and the rider.
You know what that key element is that is missing? Its dressage. Jumping is dressage over fences. Even a hunter course that is quarterline, side, diagonal, side, diagonal. That course should be ridden with big beautiful turns, straightness, opening and closing the stride to get the correct amount of strides in the line, knowing how to use your corners to get you into the right spot at each fence. These are all skills that come from a solid foundation in flat riding.
That is my speech on it. You can take it or you can leave it.
My goal is to work with other coaches and bring riding back to the basics. Teaching these things. And hopefully we can find a way to show parents that while they may not see the results with an uneducated eye, there are results. My way is offering the parents a free lesson or two so they can get the feel of what we are trying to achieve.
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