Friday, 25 March 2016

Reader's Question (by permission) - "What if I don't care..."

Evening lesson today

Sometimes I get questions from people who are looking into pursuing teaching riding as a job and although it's late now and I should really get some sleep, this one made me chuckle (blogging it by permission).

The question went a bit like this:  what if I don't really care if the rider understands what they are doing, if I only really care about that the horse does the test well" [it was dressage training related question].

I taught a couple of lessons today which made me want to reply to this question...I think that if you only care if the horse does the job well, you would be best suited to school horses as a job, not to train riders as a job.

Sometimes, the horse won't go well. It's a living creature that has its aches and pains, its own moods and attitudes, pain memory, muscle cramps etc etc If we always assess the rider on the basis of "how well the horse performed" , we don't always get the right picture at all. Sometimes the riders do the best they can at the time and if you don't care about that, you probably better not venture into teaching.

Training people comes with its many challenges and if you do care, you will have some very bad days and some very good days. Sometimes you will struggle to make any difference at all, sometimes one little thing you say will make all the difference. Sometimes the riders will make you work very hard and if you do care, it can be an emotional challenge too. You will need to grow some thick skin and not let riders' moods affect your own or take things personally and transfer one rider's issue onto another.

From my experience, it's a great job if you do care. I generally focus more on the rider because once the rider has the skill, the feel and the timing, the horse will do anything. It's also the only way I know how to do things the best I possibly can. Even if sometimes that's not that great at all! If you don't give a damn, I would say stick to the stuff you do care about ;)

W. x


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