Teaching Standards of Riding Lessons – Following an interesting conversation on Horse & Hound Forum

s3It is believed that for something to change, the awareness of an issue has to happen. It certainly hold true for riding skill – we first need to feel or be aware of a possibility of the feel for something before we are able to tweak it, correct it, improve it. 

If you follow Aspire’s blog and coaching programmes you will know that we do not do short cuts. There will never be any tricks and gadgets substituting what can be learned without abuse. And yes, let’s don’t walk on eggshells and avoid the word. 

I generally focus on positive information and happy vibe on this blog but I am also passionate about grassroots riding education and if it is to change for the better, many many riders, riders-to-be and parents of those need to be aware of what standard is the good standard. 

Have a look at the below conversation currently happening on Horse and Hound Forum and add your thoughts on there or on here.

When watching your child’s lesson and having doubts about your child learning to “ride” not “bully” – do ask questions. If instructor is unable to answer, ask them to find the answer. When having lessons yourself as an novice/intermediate rider, follow your common sense. If you are asked to whip the horse repeatedly or kick and kick until your legs hurt, have your say

Teaching Standards.

Some young instructors never been taught to teach differently – build their awareness with your curiosity….Riding is such an amazing sport and can transform lives beyond imagination. It needs to be done with horse wellness in mind though otherwise it’s nothing but circus – entertainment at a very high price to the animals involved. 

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3 thoughts on “Teaching Standards of Riding Lessons – Following an interesting conversation on Horse & Hound Forum

  1. There’s so much I want to say about this, though I feel like we’ve had this conversation before. It’s nice to know we’re not alone in our opinions! One of the interesting comments on that thread was from the person talking about how it’s hard because some people want to ride just for pleasure, rather than pay someone to feel like they’re being trained for international competition and spend their precious leisure time discussing efficacy and way of going, rather than just having a “nice” trot, canter and jump.

    Nobody seems to teach seat contact out in the US, if the kids I’ve seen are anything to go by. I’ve got one boy who makes me want to scream, because he sits very prettily on a horse but I’ve honestly seen 4 year old riders who are more effective than he is. Then there are all of the girls who have been jumping since they could first walk and hover around in a light seat constantly (and don’t know what it is to sit in order to canter, and insist on urging their horse on at the trot as they rise, rather than as they sit) as all they do is jump, jump, jump. None of the kids who ride year-round know what a flatwork lesson is. I wish I could remember how old I was when I first cantered and properly jumped, because I have a feeling I walked and trotted for a very long time before I was allowed to do anything else. Here, we have kids who can barely manage a rising trot and, three weeks later, we send some of them home having jumped and all of them thinking they can canter. I’m a little disgusted with myself, but that’s the way I’m asked to teach.

    • Yes we sure have chatted about it and probably will many more times as this subject will re-surface in the industry more and more I have no doubt about it…

      You know, the question of “sitting pretty” and “being effective” is an interesting one…what makes me think is why, when we are supposedly only teaching the rider to be able to do “a nice trot” and “be ok to hack out” are we so against them having a nice seat that is actually way better for the horse than them being “effective”…?? Please don’t confuse this with being “unsafe”, I think seat and safety are pretty much what we need to teach to leisure riders. NOT the effectiveness as understood to be needed for more advanced flatwork because they don’t and won’t need it….
      The funny phenomenon happens though when you say to a novice rider, oh you don’t need to know how to be more effective, you are only riding for leisure OR when we say, oh you don’t need to sit well, you don’t train for Olympics after all…

      Most riders want to be effective. How about turning it around then and classify seat as effectiveness and effectiveness as refinement of skill?

      As to the boy – I find many riders with nice seat who are a little passive, lack general confidence and understanding of what this good position should be used for. Problem is, many instructors seem to think, hey, he sits so well, why is he not riding better! He might be more supple, more stable etc etc and just need to be taught the same things what other kids need to know about the communication with that seat.

      [Typing on the go so sorry for randomness and oddd grammar 😉 ]

      • I hadn’t thought of it like that… in the case of this person, they want to go further and get better, but they’re a difficult person to get through to. Maybe it’ll just take time. For the moment, he’s no longer my student, as camp is now over.

        Thanks, as ever, for sharing your perspective 🙂

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