And Some Pick Their Poison
In the words of the late Andy Rooney, ‘Have you ever wondered’? The question is; have you ever wondered how to pick a riding instructor or a horsemanship instructor? These two schools should be the same. A good riding instructor should be a good horseman and a good horseman should be a good riding instructor.
I’m going to put the two instructors mentioned above in the same category, why, because they’ll need to be the same with their horses. You wouldn’t want to get on a horse or put your child on a horse that the instructor didn’t have good a good relationship with. If something happened during the ride, the instructor needs such a relationship with the horse that the horse has complete trust in them. If it doesn’t and they don’t, I would advise you not to get on.
If you are looking for a riding instructor or a horsemanship instructor to help with your horse, they need to have a good knowledge about many different horses. They need to know what most people don’t know. It is very important to the safety of the student that they observe the interaction between the instructor and the horses. How is the relationship between the two, in your mind? Observe a lesson session.
I want to mention some things to you before you choose your instructor. You want to have some knowledge of what to look for.
First instincts are very important here. Don’t force your feelings; rely on your intuition. Often times our gut instinct is correct. If it feels right, it probably is, if not, then it probably isn’t. Second; watch the interaction between instructor and horses. If the instructor’s rude, rough and bossy to the horse, it’s probably a bad choice. Who wants someone handling their horses that can’t handle their own? If they lead the horse by the clip and not the lead rope, you may want to ask why they do that. If they say to control the horse, it’s probably a bad choice. (I don’t know of anyone who can control a 1000+ lb animal holding it under the chin if the animal doesn’t want it). You want your instructor to exhibit softness, feel, communication, understanding, leadership, knowledge, and you want them to explain why they teach what teach in the manner they teach it. You want to see a horse that responds to the instructor’s instructions and gestures. You want to see interaction and relationship between the two. Ask the instructor to explain a bit about horses, to check their knowledge of horses, write it down and research before making your final choice.
Just because someone hangs out a shingle that says ‘Riding Instructor’ or ‘Horsemanship Instructor’, doesn’t make it so. Do some homework, check around, ask for references and ask the references.
The instructor must be knowledgeable and able to convey the information to you so you can understand the information. Ask a bunch of questions….