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Eolith 08-28-2010 11:01 AM

Instructor on Horseback?
Hey all, I just wanted people's opinion on something. What do you think of a riding instructor teaching while also riding a horse of her own? She isn't training or working the horse per se, but using it more so that she can give a visual example of what she wants her students to do.

For the majority of the lesson when she's not trying to give an example, they walk on a long rein in the center of the arena while she instructs. On occasions when she feels that she needs to get up close with a rider and physically help them with their positioning, she'll step off of her horse and leave him ground tied while she helps the student in question. When their through, she mounts up again and resumes.

Has anyone had an instructor teach in this fashion? Do you feel that it would be a beneficial way to see how an experienced rider does things, or a distraction from the lesson itself? Could it be discouraging to a new rider to see her instructor doing everything with such ease while she's struggling with something? What are your thoughts?

ridergirl23 08-28-2010 11:05 AM

my instructor just sits in a chair when she teaches, which I love. But it might help some people to get a visual. They always say watching great riders help you ride better. But I wouldn't be very happy if her horse spooked and took the whole lesson up on her own horse.
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smrobs 08-28-2010 11:22 AM

I think it could be a good thing. One way that I learned to ride is by watching how my Dad and older brother sat on a horse and how they moved when they rode, then I would try to emulate them. I can imagine for some people it would be very beneficial. I know that sometimes I have a hard time visualizing how to do something just from being told and if the person telling could also show, then it clears things up really well for me. Though when not demonstrating, I would likely prefer her to just stand still and essentially use her horse as a 'chair'. I know that I have a habit of watching how a horse moves and tuning out everything else so the constant walking might distract me.

NittanyEquestrian 08-28-2010 11:33 AM

I teach both ways depending on the rider and horse and what we're working on. I also have a lesson horse that tunes in so much better with another horse in the ring. I try not to pander to him but when I'm teaching dead beginners, just me sitting on a horse in the center of the ring makes him happier and in turn he teaches the beginners much better. He was a rescue and was shut away from other horses in a stall for a while and was skinny and un-socialized when he came to us so I understand and accept him as he is. That being said, I will also do this with advanced students especially when we are working on jumping and dressage. When it comes to finessing a rider's position or working over fences or on specific movements it can be hard to explain a concept or aid from the ground but very easy to show it by exaggerating the aid, body position or movement from another horse. The key is to make it effective and not distracting for the student. Sitting a still horse makes teaching difficult because making a horse constantly pivot will frustrate them fast. A nice gentle walk or positioning your horse near a corner to stand so you can see 3/4 of the ring is also a good idea. If an instructor is schooling a horse during your lesson then I think you should not be required to pay full price as that is distracting and you are not getting their undivided attention. That's not to say that just watching an instructor school a horse if they are explaining what and why they are doing what they're doing is not also a good lesson to learn but it should be arranged ahead of time and not just because the instructor is too busy to do the lesson and the schooling separately.

reining girl 08-28-2010 12:25 PM

my barrel trainer brings her horse and rides it while im riding mine, and i love that she does this. I am a VERY photographic learner (meaning that if you TELL me somethign it will take me longer to learn, but if you SHOW it to me i pick it up right away) so with her bringing a horse she shows me on her horse what she wants me to do and i just pick it up alot faster.

VelvetsAB 08-28-2010 12:36 PM

I would actually like for my coach to do this so that she can physically show me what she wants me to do, because when she tries to explain stuff from the ground, its hard to translate it into what I need to fix position wise.

kmacdougall 08-28-2010 12:40 PM

When I taught a few lessons this summer, having another horse would have been an awesome benefit. I've never been taught with someone else on a horse, but when I taught someone who was more or less an absolute beginner it would have been so much easier if I could have had my horse there. She had a hard time grasping the concept of bend, leg yield, and tracking up (she's only young). My own horse to demonstrate these things would have been so excellent, I would have been able to teach her more because she would have understood the concepts right from the get-go.

dedebird 08-28-2010 12:51 PM

my old instructor did that all the time all her horses got along so she didn't even get off she would just get right up beside me with her horse LOL which i didn't mind cause i can keep my horse away from hers and she can keep hers away from mine xP she normally rides them just cause she has to excersize them she never really showed me anything while she was riding

my new instructor shows us how to do stuff on the ground she litteraly chases us around the areana LOL and when we need to see somthing she'd squat down like she was on a horse and show us LOL its actually funny xD

Uma 08-28-2010 12:53 PM

Sounds like your instructor has perfected this style of teaching. My trainer doesn't ride while giving lessons she stands in the middle and walks around to watch us. She says she doesn't like to ride because she doesn't want to be distracted with the horse she is riding.
But I can see how having your instructor show you different visual examples would be very helpful.

kitten_Val 08-28-2010 01:10 PM

I never had instructor like that, but I think it would be beneficial. Sometime it's hard to understand how exactly you have to do certain thing. The live example definitely would help. :wink: I had instructor getting on MY horse to show me some stuff (but obviously it was a private lesson).

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