What makes a good instructor? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 08-06-2010, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
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What makes a good instructor?

Tell me what you think makes a good riding instructor. What is special about their teaching techniques? And anything else that makes a good riding teacher. Tell me about some of your experiences.

I hope I put this in a good spot. Someone can move it if it's not ok.

"On the 6th day God created horses; and on the 7th day He painted the good ones"
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post #2 of 14 Old 08-06-2010, 01:02 AM
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A good riding instructor to me depends on the student, some might be good for one student, but not work for the next. Some students need a calm intructor who doesnt rush them but still moves them up the levels, some students can handle one who really pushes them out of their comfort zone.

My intsrucotr fits me because she is very calm and helps be be competitive, but doesnt push me and my horse to far out of our comfort zone. and she always gives us 'homework' to work on, which we usually ace after a week or two ;) and shes super nice and easy to get along with.

If there are no horses in heaven... im not going.
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post #3 of 14 Old 08-06-2010, 01:03 AM
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I grew up with my instructor. She taught me from when I was just a little one.

The number one thing I love Bout her is that she tells me how I suck and how I need to get better. There is no sugar coating. She will literally drill the methods into your mind. I love it. I don't want someone to tell me eveythingr I'm doing eight. Sure my trainer tells me how I've improved and praises the good, but she doesn't linger on it. She helps where it's needed and refines my good qualities. If I do something wrong I do it again and again until I get it right. Once I get it right once I cN move
on and we try it again later to refine my new skills.

She is perfect to teach me, because I need a drill sergeant
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post #4 of 14 Old 08-06-2010, 01:37 AM
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To me a good trainer is someone who you click with, knows you and your horse and your weaknesses and your horses. Someone who knows when to push you and when to say "okay, next time".

The reason why I am with my trainer is because she knows me. She knows my in's and outs, she knows when i'm really scared and when i'm just being a baby she knows my horse and she knows his limits and how his brain works.
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post #5 of 14 Old 08-06-2010, 12:45 PM
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What I love about my instructor is how he knows my weaknesses and things I'm not comfortable doing, but makes me do them anyways. People call me a natural rider and I've been riding for like 10 years but I lost my confidence a few years back and never regained it fully. So my horse was bucking when I asked him to trot and i was like, "I don't want to trot today." My trainer, "OK sounds good." 5 minutes later, "Now ask him for a trot." Just the non-chalant way he says it, like its no big deal you can do it, makes me able to do it.

I also love that he doesn't give praise out very often so when he does, you know you've done really good. And he changes his teaching methods depending on the student. He makes you feel comfortable no matter how you feel inside.

To see the wind's power, the rain's cleansing, and the sun's radiant life, one need only to look at the horse.
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post #6 of 14 Old 08-06-2010, 01:03 PM
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A good trainer/instructor knows that each person and each horse are different and one training technique does not work for all. They know how to adjust their program to work for what is in front of them.
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post #7 of 14 Old 08-06-2010, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Alwaysbehind View Post
A good trainer/instructor knows that each person and each horse are different and one training technique does not work for all. They know how to adjust their program to work for what is in front of them.

Teach people - not just the discipline!
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post #8 of 14 Old 08-06-2010, 03:27 PM
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I am very picky as to whom I take lessons with. I find that there are far more Uneducated Coaches out there, teaching the Uneducated, creating more Uneducated, so that they can grow up and become the Uneducated teaching more Uneducated.

Harsh cycle. I think anyone who is in the market to take lessons, or are already taking lessons, really need to evaluate what they are learning, how they are learning and ask themselves if they feel they are getting what they need out of their lessons.

A good Coach to me, is someone as Always stated, a person who can accomodate each indavidual student to their needs and approaches the education in a manner where that rider will understand and beable to grasp.

My Coach must be involved in the sport, ride the sport, train in the sport and be up to their ears in the sport.

1) Someone who takes lessons themselves

No one is to good for lessons, even GP level riders take lessons. We all need those eyes on the ground, and someone who takes lessons shows me that they take their sport seriously and their education. Also by taking lessons, they are able to keep themselves on the top of their game, and their education so that they can pass that onto their students.

2) Someone who competes in their sport

To me, a Coach who not only trains in their sport, but also competes in their sport shows me that they are involved mentally and physically so that they can transfer that to their students. They are ontop of their game and can educatedly help and prepare their students to beable to do their best. They are ontop of rules and regulations and protocol's, the dangers and the requirements needed to perform.

I don't care if they don't place, just so ong as they are involved. As the old saying goes "**** or get off the pot"

3) My Coach must be dressed and ready to ride if need be:

One of my biggest pet peve's, are coaches who aren't dressed and ready to ride their students horse if any moment arises where your Coach needs to get on to help.

My Coach shows up every lesson, ready to ride. I love that she can get on any horse that she's working with, do a couple of loops and beable to feel the horse and understand how the horse works and its' buttons - so that she can be that much more ontop of the game, to help her student ride his/her horse even better. Where she can understand how that particular horse works, so that she can help her student learn how that horse works and what approaches are needed.

Nelson needs to be ridden a certain way, as does my buddies horse - not every horse works the same way and not every question is answered or understood the same way. So when my Coach can get on and get a feel for the horse, she can be that much more prepared to help her student learn to ride how the horse needs to be ridden.

For a Good Rider Conforms To Their Horse, A Poor Rider Makes The Horse Conform To Them

If your Coach is asking you to do something, and you can't get the result he/she is asking, then your Coach should be prepared and ready to get on the horse so that they can get a feel for how he/she works and moves, so that he/she can give you another approach to the question.

It also shows that the Coach is ready to be 100% involved and prepared for those just incase incidents. It shows respect for the student and their time as well, and it shows respect for the sport.

These are the most important aspects for me in choosing a Coach. Of course there are other importancies as well, but they've already been mentioned by others who have posted before me.

Last edited by MIEventer; 08-06-2010 at 03:30 PM.
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post #9 of 14 Old 08-06-2010, 03:53 PM
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Everything said above, and for me it has to be someone I trust.

Especially the trainer we brought Tango from, man, if she had told me I was going to "do a cartwheel off the horse's back today" I'd believe her. It's not always good to blindly follow someone, but the two instructor/horse trainers I know I trust very much, and if I start to doubt myself and they say: "Ok, you can do it" then I believe I can do it, and I don't think for another second that I'll fail.
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post #10 of 14 Old 08-06-2010, 04:11 PM
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A good instructor must be able to communicate. If an instructor is not able communicate what to do/when to do something effectively, they cannot pass on thier knowledge to their students.
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