In the words of the late Andy Rooney, “Have you ever wondered”? What I’m speaking of is this. Picking or choosing the correct Horsemanship Instructor.
There are a few rules of thumb to abide by. I’ve heard it on many occasions. ‘That instructor didn’t feel like the right fit’. ‘That instructor was too gruff’. ‘That instructor didn’t pay attention to me’. That instructor didn’t handle their horses very well’. ‘That instructor’s horses were afraid of them’.
There are so many more that I’m sure that have occurred. You probably have a few of your own.
Listen to your instincts when it comes to choosing.
Picking an instructor to learn from, you need to know what it is you want to learn. Most instructors don’t teach the same, have different philosophies and different beliefs when it comes to horses.
A few things to look for; How do you feel when you’re in the presence of the instructor? You should feel calm, relaxed and positive. If not, don’t choose that instructor. The instructor should be able to explain what it is you will be learning and working on in a way you can understand.
Ask the instructor if you could observe a teaching session? Interview the other students that have employed this instructor to find out if the concepts fit your needs.
Observe the instructor’s interaction with horses, theirs and students horses. Observe how the student’s horse responds or reacts. Watch for things such as rudeness, coercion, and force. You don’t want that..
Watch for softness, leadership, communication, understanding, knowledge and feel. You will want the instructor to take the time to explain the reason why they teach in the manner they do.
Again, observe the instructor’s interaction with the horse they are handling. You want to see the horse respond to the instructor’s instructions and gestures. You want to see a conversation between the two.
Ask questions to the instructor to get their knowledge of horses and how to teach. Write the answers down and research them to see if true or false.
Do your homework, ask for references and then ask the references. I tell every perspective client, whether boarding or student, talk to the ones already here. Ask them about me and my concepts.
It’s an instructor’s responsibility to keep the student safe. Not to push them past their limits as well as to do the same for the horse.
One more thing, choose an instructor that makes learning fun and easy… You learn more when it’s fun…
There is way more to this subject. You may contact me at 256.874.6781 (text or call) or Jim@JimSwanner.com. Follow and join us on Facebook and Twitter.