The Transition From Teaching To Coaching

This subject came up again recently, but with a client having private lessons on a young horse. I’m trying to get her to think about her riding and continually analyse her riding and the horse’s way of going. So the lesson involved a lot of me saying “what do you think of that trot?”, “how can you improve that circle?”, “what are you going to do next and why?” Whilst biting my tongue and not saying “we’ve been on this rein for rather a long time… How about a change of rein?” Or “ride that circle again because…”
I’m not very good at coaching instead of instructing!
The aim of getting my rider thinking more analytically and intelligently is that when she’s on her own she won’t ride endless circles to no improvement, but rather focus on maintaining the standard of their work, improving the pony’s consistency, rhythm and flexibility so that our lessons can involve more complicated exercises and concepts because the basics are established and maintained autonomically.

The Rubber Curry Comb

I had an interesting lesson with a teenager last weekend.

She is fifteen years old and wants to join a group of a similar ability to her; she can walk, trot, canter and small jumps, as well as knowing the basics of leg yielding. I`ve been giving her private lessons for the last year, and usually encourage her to think for herself; “How does your trot feel?” … “What do you think you can do to improve that?” etcetera, etcetera.

It appears that this client is at an awkward age in terms of finding her a suitable group as she is not a very confident rider. Partnered with a distinct lack of mid-teens having regular lessons, due to school commitments, and God forbid – boy commitments, it is being tricky to place her in a group where she will flourish. Of course, she does not want to ride with ten year…

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