Finding an instructor in Alberta or Saskatchewan
I've been trying to find a dressage instructor near where I'm moving to and it's HARD! I'm being posted in "Northern" Saskatchewan (silly flatlanders don't know what "northern" is :wink:)
HOW THE HECK do I do it?? So far as I can tell, I'm going to need to drive at LEAST 2 hours to take a lesson. I got onto THIS website: Certified English Instructors & Coaches - Alberta Equestrian Federation
The closest of those places are Smoky Lake or Wainwright - those coaches are listed as "Coach 1" - what does that mean??
I'm a "beginner" to dressage. I've been riding my entire life but have never had the opportunity to take lessons. Everything I know I've learned from old cowboys or from reading books or from the internet. I did break and train my mare myself and we have placed in local shows. We actually got 1st place in our walk/trot test a couple years back in a class of 15 horses :-P But I really want feedback and input from an instructor in real life, y'know?
As for Saskatchewan - I expect the closest place I'll find an instructor is Prince Albert which is like 4 hours away. But I cant even find a list of coaches in the province.
Boy I'd hate to live where you do... Seems like no man's land. Haha
Can you ask around locally? Is there a dressage club? Or you can outreach to other english organizations and they could direct you. The way I found my trainer was through the local tack store. She doesn't really do anything "commercially", but her entire family are excellent at what they do. I'm honored to be taught by her and I would have never found her if I didn't ask around.
When you find one ask for homework, homework, homework. Then you can push lessons off to every other week. It probably also wouldn't hurt for your new trainer to be technologically savvy! This way, should something go wrong, you can send a quick video and she could offer advice.
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I wouldn't go by "certified" coaches, personally. Generally those who get certified, IMO, don't have the experience to stand on its own. There are some great certified coaches, but also lots of great uncertified ones. Certification does not mean they are good coaches.
Betty Wells is up that way, try Googling her. I don't know if she coaches but she's a great rider and very knowledgable.
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that would be fantastic!
I'm actually moving FROM no-mans land to what I consider to be "civilization".... but I'll still be a long ass ways from cities and stuff haha.
I found a dressage club in Cold Lake which is like 30 or 40 minutes from where I'll be posted, but it's SMALL (I'd guess less than 15 members) and even though I emailed them asking about instructors I haven't heard back, boo.
I also emailed the Saskatchewan Equine Federation asking about coaches.
I'm going to keep searching. In the meantime I'm thinking about getting a video camera so I can post videos on here for critiques lol... and so you can all check out my new saddle ;)
thank you! I was also going to ask about that too.
The problem is that I know nothing about choosing a good coach. I also don't know ANYONE where I'm moving so it's hard to find someone by word of mouth, y'know?
I'll try googling her, thanks :)
I did find a list of coaches on the Alberta dressage association website... there are a few in Sherwood Park/Edmonton which is only about 3 hours from me.
Ugh. I hope the boyfriend buys a diesel truck because gas money with the Dakota is going to kill me :shock:
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