Friday, 3 April 2015

Day 93: It is up to you

Are you fed up with teaching beginner riders the never ending up-down-up-down routine of rising trot until you can no longer think of any other words that relate to equitation?
Do you end up with a massive headache from shouting the same thing over and over again, brain numb, angry at all the ponies and all the horses that didn't just get on with it and didn't trot around the arena like some carousel ponies with rods attached? 

Because if you do say yes, please consider that here is the thing - you really don't have to teach beginning of riding like that. 

No matter how much you tell yourself that that's how it's been done and that's how you have to teach, please consider that you might be wrong. More so - you have a choice to do it all very differently altogether. 

It is up to you. 

You are the teacher. When you walk into that arena, you shape the future of the horse and the rider that are there with you. You can teach them it's ok to be shouted at. You can teach them riding is about reward and punishment, control and obedience *just like you were taught* or you can teach them it's about communication, and balance, and maybe (just maybe) tiny bit of magic ;) 

Like a language, you know. At first, you learn a couple of words and you desperately try to guess the meaning of the rest. You grow curious. You grow the need to be understood, to be accurate. 

How about then you teach riding like a foreign language? The simple words first, the basic structure that will later carry the beauty of more complicated meanings, the little stories of the country, the habits of the regions, the cuisine, the values, ethics, character, temperament.

How about then, you teach riding as if teaching communication. Not the go or whack kind, mind you. 

It is up to you. 

If you say you have no patience to introduce a new language, no skill to teach something from scratch, no confidence in keeping someone safe isn't that truer, more honest than saying, you are fed up with shouting up and down? 

I spoke to a young instructor today and she says, she is always doubting herself, always worried that something will happen to her clients, always questioning her choice of exercises. She says, she always pretends to be confident so the horse doesn't sense her worry or that the rider doesn't doubt her. 

Here is the thing. The horse always knows anyway. People - not so much. You fake it until you make it. The doubts might never stop, you know...You don't have to repeat what you'd been taught just to keep yourself in your comfort zone. Look at the horse. Look at the rider. Help them meet and communicate so they both find something meaningful.

You will feel no boredom, no resignation quite the opposite. You might even find, your advanced lessons take a whole new meaning too. 

It takes time to learn a language. It takes commitment and willingness to understand.

It is up to you.

Sign your work with excellence ;) 

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