For the New Year 2016, I decided to give all my regular riders, both those I teach in person and those who have long distance training, a task of coming up with 3 main challenges/goals for themselves. I did it to both encourage everyone to think about their training and how might they progress and for myself to focus the lessons on something each rider really would like to achieve.
I am not talking about competitive goals by the way although some riders went for those too, but more of a rider/horseperson challenges.
It's been an interesting experience to read through those goals and I am looking forward to making things happen for everyone ;)
One rider set herself a goal of becoming more patient with herself and her horse as well as with the riders she teaches (she is a riding instructor herself working in Poland) and asked me how I stay patient. I thought I might waffle about it today.
Patience to me comes from believing in people and horses even if they don't believe in themselves...
Let's say you work with a rider or a horse and they have a lot of problems. With balance. With their seat. Hands. With their frustration. Nerves. Crookedness. Concentration. What not. If you involve yourself in their problem, you will too become frustrated for them and for yourself possibly too. Your patience will wear thin.
What helps me a lot is to be able to *see* the rider a few steps on...
For this, I like using video feedback to visualise someone's progress. I started doing this in 2008/2009 with just a faint idea of how I wanted it to teach me but have seen a huge benefit over the years that I didn't really expect.
When the riders who don't normally see themselves ride, watch their first videos from our lessons, they often find everything that is wrong with them and the horses. Years of watching exercises truly working and riders truly becoming more effective make it easier for me to now look at those early videos and see just a starting point, a point of reference that will take me from point A to B and then Z.
Like joining dots kind of game. Seeing those dots allows me to believe both in my ability to work on something and in rider's / horse's ability to do that work.
Sometimes I get stuck and don't know the answers on the spot but by that time I normally have enough patience to get me going ;)
The interesting thing is that if you believe someone can do something, that they can change something, eventually and usually they too will believe in you believing it can happen ;) Once they do, truly do believe that you *know* it will happen, they will at some point believe in themselves too...And a bit like magic, the elusive patience appears.
It might take a long time and sometimes you might be the only person believing things can indeed change but it has worked for me pretty well so far ;)
Do you have a patience solution?