PDA

View Full Version : Fellow instructors, advice needed...



unalteralter79
Mar. 12, 2012, 09:22 AM
Obviouosly, an alter to protect the innocent....or not so innocent.

I have an adult beginner student (mid 30's) who has been riding only about 2 months. He takes 2 lessons a week and leases a lesson horse from the barn and rides 3 more days a week. Up until this week he has been very enthusiastic and fun to work with but all of a sudden his attitude has changed. He is complaining about his lease horse not being up to his standards, can barely canter but feels he should be jumping 2 feet now and over all has a "too big for his britches" attitude. This is my first student with this sort of diva attitude and I'm not sure how to handle it. Any suggestions and advice would greatly appreciated.:confused::confused::confused:

VCT
Mar. 12, 2012, 10:30 AM
I would simply tell him matter of fact my opinion of the lease horse if it differs from his, which I assume it does. I don't know the horse, but possible, have him watch while someone else who can get more from the horse shows what the horse is capable of...

Also, make lessons harder. Introduce no stirrups work. Put him on a 30 meter circle and have him do trot/canter transitions at "12 oclock" and "6oclock"... then have him do it in 2 pt. If he brings up the fact that he feels he should be jumping 2 ft. ask him point blank, "If you can't do trot/canter transitions with the correct timing while staying in 2 pt how do you except to go over a jump in 2pt?"

Put him on a more challenging horse. This may give him a new appreciation of the lease horse.

It's time for some humble pie to be served up.

*shrug*

unalteralter79
Mar. 12, 2012, 10:50 AM
Definitely need some humble pie:winkgrin: Our lease/lesson horses are not the fanciest horses in the world but they are jewels and as safe as can be. This rider is certainly not up to anything other than a very forgiving sweetheart horse at this time. I think the trouble is that our lesson horses are very easy to ride and he thinks he is much better than he really is. I have thought about no stirrup work but he is quite unbalanced and I'm worried he might take a tumble.

Lucassb
Mar. 12, 2012, 11:05 AM
I have to confess I don't really understand why this rider cannot trot over a few crossrails or small verticals, even if he cannot canter well yet. Have him trot in 2 point, grab some mane, and do a few. It may help maintain his interest.

Serving "humble pie" to an adult client doesn't sound like a good plan to me. If the rider is bored or feeling that they are not progressing fast enough, there are certainly ways to mix the lessons up a bit without putting either horse or rider in jeopardy.

unalteralter79
Mar. 12, 2012, 11:16 AM
We did do small x rails for the first time yesterday at the trot...he felt he should be jumping higher. But I explained how his balance wasn't where it needed it to be to go any higher at this time, apparently we have a disagreement there :no:

Carolinadreamin'
Mar. 12, 2012, 11:19 AM
Perhaps if he saw pictures and/or videos of himself riding, he could see that he still needs to work on his basics.

meupatdoes
Mar. 12, 2012, 11:25 AM
Give him more challenging flat work. Find something that is a little above his skill level (maintaining the canter on a 20m circle? 4 transitions per lap on a 20 m circle?) and then work on it until he can do it.

When jumping on a straight away put a cone at the end of the ring so that he has to ride around it.

Insist on precision, promptness and straightness in his halts after the jump.

"Trot over this and then come back to a walk somewhere" is easy.

"Trot in, decreasing your stride an inch each step to the base, land CANTERING, canter three strides and halt straight" will give him something to do.
Yeah it's advanced for a beginner but that is the point. Give him something interesting to learn.

BarbB
Mar. 12, 2012, 11:25 AM
How about setting some challenges for him instead of your knowing that he needs to be steadier and him thinking he is fine?
Trot xx laps of the arena in two point.
Canter xx laps of the arena in two point.
Trot a series of trot poles at an even pace xx times.
Putting up a small vertical that is the same height as a crossrail will make a lot of horses hop over it instead of a big step. Getting hit in the butt with the saddle can make you rethink how much work you need to keep doing. Try to get across to him that he needs to be able to keep his own balance on a moving platform and not depend on the horse for balance.

I bet that someone with no knowledge has made comments to him about how he has been taking lessons for MONTHS and is not jumping big jumps. People listen to that stuff. :-(

SunkenMeadow
Mar. 12, 2012, 11:27 AM
I admit I am torn between the two options stated. Both could work, the end result of the "humble pie" option is you may lose a client. The end result of lucassb's option is you keep a client happy, while not putting his safety in jeopardy.

I have seen top pros teach people who have problems learning to canter, by teaching them a cross rail first as most horses will land in a canter. This was used more on those that were too tight/nervous to canter, but were more than able to in their skills.

I have this issue with a teenage student of mine. She had been riding for 8 years when she started riding with me, never had cantered and no one taught her diagonals. I have two older ex-showhunters that I teach her on. She can now canter safely around cross rail courses and get her changes (horses are automatic). She now thinks she is a star and complains about riding the old horses. I am torn between the humble pie option and putting her on a green horse, but I am afraid that she might take a spill. I have tried talking to her, but she does not get it and is in a competition thing with the other girls. So I feel your pain and offer you my sympathy...

susie09
Mar. 12, 2012, 11:32 AM
You mentioned that his attitude change was sudden. I'm wondering if someone he knows is giving him a hard time - telling him he should be doing more or just generally teasing him about riding. You know, in the 30 years I've been with my trainer, I can count the number of adult male beginners we've had on one hand and our lesson program is pretty big. Why not just ask him why the change in attitude?

Dr. Doolittle
Mar. 12, 2012, 11:59 AM
You mentioned that his attitude change was sudden. I'm wondering if someone he knows is giving him a hard time - telling him he should be doing more or just generally teasing him about riding. You know, in the 30 years I've been with my trainer, I can count the number of adult male beginners we've had on one hand and our lesson program is pretty big. Why not just ask him why the change in attitude?

This is what I was thinking...(Which is not to say that he will tell you! ;))

Men (the very few I've taught, back when I was teaching beginners in a lesson program, years ago) tended to be more unrealistic when it came to their abilities (or lack thereof), and less open to constructive criticism. They were more often of the opinion that they were "better than they actually were", unlike the female beginners, who were generally honest with themselves (and more often than not, overly self deprecating!)

I think it's a pride and ego thing. Teenagers are often similar, though in their case it's more often a result of competitiveness and insecurity; they are easily influenced by "what other people say", as opposed to heeding that inner voice (and listening to their trainer.) I have had a few of these along the way, too. (Fortunately, all of my students at present are wonderful: teens, young women, and middle aged women; I am incredibly lucky.)

Is there any way you could have this guy do a semi-private with another student of yours? Not that you want to show him up, but maybe demonstrate for him the skills he needs to work on before he progresses to the next step? Other student could demo skills, he could then practice them, you could troubleshoot and explain specifically what he needs to do? Most men like a challenge, so put him to work. I agree with the other posters, he needs to practice some of those exercises that emphasize balance, timing, and skill--if he finds this difficult, it will prove to him that he needs to work harder at those basics before tackling something more challenging.

Good luck!

yellowbritches
Mar. 12, 2012, 12:14 PM
Men (the very few I've taught, back when I was teaching beginners in a lesson program, years ago) tended to be more unrealistic when it came to their abilities (or lack thereof), and less open to constructive criticism. They were more often of the opinion that they were "better than they actually were", unlike the female beginners, who were generally honest with themselves (and more often than not, overly self deprecating!)
This is very, very true. I find that adult male, amateur riders, especially if they are successful in their occupation, tend to be some of the toughest students to teach! They often think they are far, far better than they are and/or they will be natural riders and be very successful at it, because that's how the rest of their lives are. Guys (and most guys will admit it, too) also forget that they aren't teenage/early 20s boys any longer, and probably aren't as athletic as maybe they once were. ;)

How do you deal with it? LOTS of patience and ignoring the "I am so much better than this" type comments. Challenge them without hurting them. Put them on saintly horses that feel challenging (maybe a little forward, etc). Remember that they guys aren't kids or perfectionist women. They aren't going to be the next top equitation model, so don't spend endless amounts of time on nit picky details. If he can stick to a horse and can use his hands and legs somewhat properly, let him move along.

Madeline
Mar. 12, 2012, 12:23 PM
...

Remember that they guys aren't kids or perfectionist women. They aren't going to be the next top equitation model, so don't spend endless amounts of time on nit picky details. If he can stick to a horse and can use his hands and legs somewhat properly, let him move along.

This, several times over.

Mukluk
Mar. 12, 2012, 12:30 PM
I haven't read all the responses. He sounds quite dedicated taking two lessons a week, leasing a horse, and riding 3 additional times. I would have loved to ride that much when I started out. I would discuss his goals and what the skills he will need to achieve them. If there are any analogies that can be made to something that he might understand that could be good. Like you when learning to drive a car you start of starting the car, learning to use your mirrors, accelerating, braking, turning. You practice in a big empty parking lot before driving on city streets, you drive on side roads before hitting the freeway, you drive an automatic before you drive a stick shift. And you don't start out on the Autobahn : ) I am sure he is just ignorant and doesn't understand why he can't just go out and jump two feet. Also may help to explain that by getting his basics down really well, he is going to be a much more competent rider. Good luck. hope he continues riding.

cyberbay
Mar. 12, 2012, 12:45 PM
Yes, to challenging him so that he can see how full of holes his riding is, but please don't let him ride roughly or poorly while trying to prove he can jump as high or canter in 2-pt or whatever as he thinks he can('t) do. His ego can't be taken out on the horse.

He almost sounds like he's wanting to pick a fight. Am wondering if speaking directly to him, as in, "It seems as if lately the lessons aren't meeting your expectations. Would this be true?" might open a door to discussion. And it puts you in charge and being pro-active, vs. reacting to the student.

I have a philosophy in my teaching, and students need to adhere to it, or move to another teacher. One of them is knowing that the horse is not a toy and that their riding can't be abusive -- it's OK to be clumsy while trying a new exercise, but unnecessary roughness is never allowed. Also, I have set standards about moving up in skill level, and the students do know this. They are pretty airtight, so no fake riding lets them slip through. :yes:

MIKES MCS
Mar. 12, 2012, 01:04 PM
" I'm sorry my training program is no longer suitable for you. I am sure there is a trainer out there whom could fast track you to the jumping ring, I'm just not that trainer".
Students , especially Beginner students , adult or children (or the childrens parents), should never call the shots in how they are taught. If you don't get a handle on it now your sacrifice your integrity as a trainer.
We have a huge problem with our sport today , in that everyone wants to be an expert in a two months and showing in 3. If that's the kind of barn and training program you want to put forth, by all mean take his money and give the student what he wants, what does it really matter anyway, he did after all sign that realease waiver.

unalteralter79
Mar. 12, 2012, 01:05 PM
Yep, will definitely video...that may help. And yes, cyberbay, no rough riding allowed on our sweetheart lesson horses...another reason why I won't have him jump higher, not fair to the horses. I do want him to continue riding, but I have had so little experience teaching adult men (just not that many out there) that all my reasoning tactics aren't working with him.

PonyPenny
Mar. 12, 2012, 01:11 PM
Men think differently then women and they have to be taught differently. Men like a direct approach and to be challenged. Also don't be afraid of him falling off. Most guys aren't worried about things like that. If they have ever done any type of sport, they are used to bumps and bruises. Just ask him directly why the change in attitude. Maybe he could go through a easy gymnastics with the last jump a 2' vertical. Have him grab mane or a neck strap.

trabern
Mar. 12, 2012, 01:24 PM
This is where I get out my pile of marked-up books and set out my curriculum, as it were, which I've worked so hard on by this point I actually enjoy defending it: You have to meet these benchmarks before we get off the lunge, these before we canter, and these before we jump. ( For jumping is entire lunge circle standing tall like a string out of the head, arms out, at trot and canter, no falling into seat, including transitions; flawless 2 point for 5 lunge circles and then over cavaletti 5 lunge circles, all with arms out; 5 lunge circles each direction w/no stirrups no hands WITH transitions down and up; plus doing cavaletti on the lunge without stirrups nor hands and staying in good seat).

Using tips in this thread I think I will start to video to document progress (and lack thereof).

I explain that this is because I expect you to have the body strength and balance necessary for a strong seat and to have entirely independent hands. I explain that using the hands to balance even a couple times is ruinous to my saint of a horse, and so I won't rush the curriculum. My own kids follow it. If it comes to it (and it never has): If you want to rush these foundational steps and ruin a horse's mouth, you need to buy your own horse to do it on, and you can find another trainer.

I would never put such a student on a more difficult horse (of mine) because I seriously do not want uneducated hands hitting them in the mouth. I do offer to refer them to other trainers with different horses available.

piaffequeen
Mar. 12, 2012, 02:02 PM
We had an adult rider who had ridden in another country and she would let everyone know that she jumped 3 feet in .... Well she was put on my saint of a horse who had evented up to the Preliminary level in eventing and was a VERY SAFE horse for her to learn on both flat and jumping.

She came off of him during a canter-trot transition over his shoulder-he did everything in his power to keep her on.

The first time she jumped him over a crossrail and small (18") vertical-he slightly tossed his head bcause he was happy to jump-she started to bounce out the saddle, he stopped and put his head up and boink over the shoulder she goes again.

Horse looks at her and just sighs-starts to eat grass. She came off a couple of more times and the last one was a xc schooling where the clinician told her to get him front of her leg & forward-she trotted as slow as molasses to the jump and if Sam is not forward he is not going to jump-doesn't stop nasty but lets you know waaaaaaay ahead of time he isn't going to jump-she fell of over th shoulder again and hit the jump. Sam just looked at her and sighed again and was like damn are you off of me again??? Jeez-then started to eat grass.

I have to say the last fall made her realize-you know what? Maybe I don't know everything and maybe I am not ready to jump-I have to say she never blamed my guy and she was teachable and wanted to learn but it humbled her.

pixie
Mar. 12, 2012, 02:45 PM
Boys do not care to pay attention to details like girls do. They usually just want to go fast or jump or both. If he is complaining about his lease horse and you don't want him abusing yours than talk go him about buying his own! He maybe ready to take the plunge especially if he is riding as much as you say.
If he is telling you what to do he is not repecting you as a Trainer. Nip it in the bud or he will be spending his money somewhere else.

gottagrey
Mar. 12, 2012, 03:13 PM
How do you deal with it? LOTS of patience and ignoring the "I am so much better than this" type comments. Challenge them without hurting them. Put them on saintly horses that feel challenging (maybe a little forward, etc). Remember that they guys aren't kids or perfectionist women. They aren't going to be the next top equitation model, so don't spend endless amounts of time on nit picky details. If he can stick to a horse and can use his hands and legs somewhat properly, let him move along.

Yellowbritches pretty much nailed it. Ever watch a bunch of men foxhunting or doing a hunter trial - OMG it can be some of the worst riding you have ever seen and you think to yourself how in heck are they staying on and OMgoodness what a saint of a horse he has.

Explain to man client his balance has to improve some before you want him to jump higher. Sometimes the best way to learn to ride is to RIDE. My trainer used to take us Team Penning every now and then as her theory was sometimes you learn to ride better when you have to ride - so while I was putting most of my focus on that darn cow, my riding was much stronger

BarbB
Mar. 12, 2012, 03:27 PM
How do you deal with it? LOTS of patience and ignoring the "I am so much better than this" type comments.

Not a to-the-point post but I just had to comment on this.
This has got to be a men vs women thing. I have never had an instructor that I would say that to. The response would be 'cool!' and the jumps would be cranked up, pushed together and made to seem impossible.
Women say things like... let's try a few jumps higher, or ... could you set the out to the gymnastic higher, I feel like I could to it now.

I audit a lot of clinics and I find that people who can actually jump around and learn something keep their mouths shut.
People with doubts or nerves ask how high the jumps are (women) or make comments about hoping that it gets more to the point (men). But the men are prepared to try something beyond their ability and don't seem to mind much getting dumped or putting on a run-out demo, I think more women do.

I have not taught adult men, I have been in lessons with them where I was thinking ..... I would not attempt that if I was hanging on the side of the horse like that.
A different skill set for teaching is obviously required.

starborne
Mar. 12, 2012, 09:33 PM
A riding instructor I had as a teenager used to say that he had to teach boys and girls totally differently. He would teach the girls how to ride, but he had to teach the boys how to jump and then he could teach them how to ride.

2ndyrgal
Mar. 12, 2012, 10:16 PM
He's an adult male. He's lessoning and leasing a horse. Two feet is nothing. Tie his reins in a knot, make him grab mane a few strides out and trot a two foot fence. If he sticks, then as soon as he can prove he won't hit the horse in the mouth, he can pick his reins back up .


If he falls off, just go get the schoolie, laugh out loud, pet the horse and say

Up you go, come again.

Rinse and repeat.

He is a GOOD paying customer. If you wait until you think he's ready, he'll have left you long before that.

VCT
Mar. 12, 2012, 10:27 PM
I have to confess I don't really understand why this rider cannot trot over a few crossrails or small verticals, even if he cannot canter well yet. Have him trot in 2 point, grab some mane, and do a few. It may help maintain his interest.

Serving "humble pie" to an adult client doesn't sound like a good plan to me. If the rider is bored or feeling that they are not progressing fast enough, there are certainly ways to mix the lessons up a bit without putting either horse or rider in jeopardy.

Oh cmon. Nothing I suggested would put him in jeopardy. I said ride a more challenging horse - not a rank bronc. I said introduce no stirrups work. In other words, make it more challenging, not kill the man. :rolleyes: If you think my suggestions equate putting him in jeopardy then I'm surprised that you think it's okay for him to jump (even if he can't canter well).

VCT
Mar. 12, 2012, 10:28 PM
He's an adult male. He's lessoning and leasing a horse. Two feet is nothing. Tie his reins in a knot, make him grab mane a few strides out and trot a two foot fence. If he sticks, then as soon as he can prove he won't hit the horse in the mouth, he can pick his reins back up .


If he falls off, just go get the schoolie, laugh out loud, pet the horse and say

Up you go, come again.

Rinse and repeat.

He is a GOOD paying customer. If you wait until you think he's ready, he'll have left you long before that.

And trainers pandering to clients wishes and letting them do things before they are ready is one of the major problems in this industry - and particularly in H/J.

People need to put the time in to reap the rewards. I, for one, won't put the ego of a client above the well being of the horse.

marley
Mar. 12, 2012, 10:57 PM
I bet that someone with no knowledge has made comments to him about how he has been taking lessons for MONTHS and is not jumping big jumps. People listen to that stuff. :-(

This was my first thought:lol:

When I was training this used to happen to me too, usually with adult students, or the parents of a child who had a friend riding somewhere else. I'd give them the "well, I like to go carefully and slowly with my students to ensure that you don't end up having to backtrack later on because we went too far too fast" response, and then focus on the one basic they were really struggling with. Seems like when they'd really get that one thing right, they'd be so excited they'd get back on track.

Opus1
Mar. 12, 2012, 11:42 PM
Men think differently then women and they have to be taught differently. Men like a direct approach and to be challenged. Also don't be afraid of him falling off. Most guys aren't worried about things like that. If they have ever done any type of sport, they are used to bumps and bruises. Just ask him directly why the change in attitude. Maybe he could go through a easy gymnastics with the last jump a 2' vertical. Have him grab mane or a neck strap.

Agreed. You can't tippy toe around men. Just straight up ask him what's wrong/why the pissy attitude and go from there. As others have suggested, crossrails and even a lone 2' fence shouldn't be a problem. And if it is, well ... You get to play 'I told you so,' and go back to work on whatever needs improving.

chukkerchild
Mar. 13, 2012, 12:19 AM
I would definitely get him jumping. He's an adult and totally capable of making that decision. And 100% agree on the TOUGH flatwork lesson approach too. If he's got a big enough ego he won't make a peep but his quads will be screaming :)

Void
Mar. 13, 2012, 12:33 AM
You only have 1! That's lucky, I've seen some barns with many riders like this. :lol:

Hinderella
Mar. 13, 2012, 12:21 PM
The responses here are interesting, covering a range from "go ahead & let him try it" to "no jumping until you've spent 5.4 years on the longe line" :)

Men certainly do learn differently from women, and have a different attitude toward risk. I agree that the OP should address his change of attitude directly, without reading too much into it...just ask.

If the rider really wants to jump, then he would certainly benefit from spending some time on all of the earlier suggestions, work without stirrups, etc. But as Lucassb and 2indyrgal have said, there probably no reason the OP can't have him knot his reins, grab mane or a neck strap and try going over a couple of small jumps. If he falls, he less likely than a female rider to turn that into "I'm a failure, I've lost my confidence...etc" and more likely to just say "ouch" and get back on.

Perhaps you can make a little jumping into a reward for a certain amount of successful hard work on the flat

yellowbritches
Mar. 13, 2012, 12:36 PM
And trainers pandering to clients wishes and letting them do things before they are ready is one of the major problems in this industry - and particularly in H/J.

People need to put the time in to reap the rewards. I, for one, won't put the ego of a client above the well being of the horse.

It's not the ego, necessarily (well, in some ways it is). Men are very, very different from women. They think differently, their priorities are different. They want to get on with things. I think you can let a guy move past all the finer details and get him started over fences, trail riding, etc, without spending 6 months on the type of things women love and that you can actually DO with kids. Give him a jump strap or teach him to grab mane.

I think a good indicator of how men think would be to look at the show ring. Are there a lot of men in the AO hunter ring? Probably not. Probably even less in the Adult equitation classes. Their in the jumpers. They are eventing. You probably don't see a ton of adult amateur guys riding in the dressage ring (unless it's at an event). They foxhunt. They take up western and play with cows. They like to jump, they like to go fast, they like to feel like they are "doing" something. Theory and equitation and finer details is not how they want to spend their riding time.

A good instructor knows how to deal with each individual and set them up in a "curriculum" that suits them. That does include letting a guy skip ahead a bit of they are bored and frustrated. Otherwise, he'll either stop riding or move elsewhere.

Nova
Mar. 13, 2012, 12:45 PM
Have had a couple of men who presented the same challenges. FRUSTRATING!! One approach that worked was to say look, I know what tools you need to jump higher. If you can prove to me that you can do A, B, & C, you can do a bit more. Maybe making him prove that he's ready even if he flounders around, will give him a goal. Goals are important!! Do not expect perfection :) For example, let him trot without stirrups with the goal in mind of "what if you lose a stirrup over a big jump." Sometimes they need reasons why, also. Good Luck!!

TesignedInGold
Mar. 13, 2012, 01:25 PM
You have to meet these benchmarks before we get off the lunge, these before we canter, and these before we jump. ( For jumping is entire lunge circle standing tall like a string out of the head, arms out, at trot and canter, no falling into seat, including transitions; flawless 2 point for 5 lunge circles and then over cavaletti 5 lunge circles, all with arms out; 5 lunge circles each direction w/no stirrups no hands WITH transitions down and up; plus doing cavaletti on the lunge without stirrups nor hands and staying in good seat).



I've been riding over 10 years, have backed youngsters, currently show my guy in the 3 foot, and school a few greenbeans.

Not sure that I can stand tall out of the saddle at all gaits, and halt any horse without reins/stirrups. my horse is very very broke, and still requires at least a subtle rein aid to stop. I show in both eq and hunters, and do relatively well, even at rated shows. Guess I'd still be on the lunge line in your program..;)

sp56
Mar. 13, 2012, 01:46 PM
Adult men are the hardest for me to teach. They definitely require a different approach.

Maybe it's time for him to buy? ;) Or is there another (possibly male) instructor, or drill seargent-type of instructor who could teach him? Maybe go out for a trail ride? Get out of the ring...

Men don't want to be bogged down with being "perfect". They'll jump things way bigger than they should way sooner than they should. Maybe that's why there's so many men in the upper levels of show jumping and you can't find men in the lower levels anywhere...

Obviously, these are generalizations....

Happyhooves
Mar. 13, 2012, 01:49 PM
My son rides, and over the years the trainer has adjusted her teaching to connect better with his male learning style. She allows him to push a bit ahead at times, fall off, and eat the humble pie, but always handles it diplomatically so he can regain face quickly. We all constantly compare aspects of his riding with football, baseball and other sports he's familiar with (like comparing a riding setback with working through a batting slump, etc.) As incentive, the trainer gives him periodic tastes of power and speed with jumping, but points out how male riders in the, say, grand prix ring get the accuracy they need with the form/ function in place and then uses that to get him back to working on the basics again. She mixes up his lessons a lot. Some finess-y stuff but a quick switch to the fast forward when she sees she's losing his attention. A lot of back and forth. DS clinics with male instructors from time to time too to get that perspective and these instructors have been good at supporting the trainer's efforts to keep working on the mechanics the way his pitching coach works on the mechanics of his pitching in baseball. I know the trainer was more frustrated with my S before but once she really dug in and analyzed how to approach lessons with him, things really began to click and she seems to enjoy the chess game now of teaching a guy.

yellowbritches
Mar. 13, 2012, 02:09 PM
My son rides, and over the years the trainer has adjusted her teaching to connect better with his male learning style. She allows him to push a bit ahead at times, fall off, and eat the humble pie, but always handles it diplomatically so he can regain face quickly. We all constantly compare aspects of his riding with football, baseball and other sports he's familiar with (like comparing a riding setback with working through a batting slump, etc.) As incentive, the trainer gives him periodic tastes of power and speed with jumping, but points out how male riders in the, say, grand prix ring get the accuracy they need with the form/ function in place and then uses that to get him back to working on the basics again. She mixes up his lessons a lot. Some finess-y stuff but a quick switch to the fast forward when she sees she's losing his attention. A lot of back and forth. DS clinics with male instructors from time to time too to get that perspective and these instructors have been good at supporting the trainer's efforts to keep working on the mechanics the way his pitching coach works on the mechanics of his pitching in baseball. I know the trainer was more frustrated with my S before but once she really dug in and analyzed how to approach lessons with him, things really began to click and she seems to enjoy the chess game now of teaching a guy.
Having taught a couple of teenage boys, I agree with this a lot. But, have to say, they are easier to teach than their dads! ;) Some of the same things apply, but kids/teenagers, no matter the gender, are easier than adults. You can apply some of the same principles above to an adult guy, but they won't ALL work.

I actually LOVED teaching the boys...they were a lot of fun, very go get 'em. And once they figured out the finesse and little details got them better placings, they got way more into it. Not always the case with the adult guys, even when they want to do well!

BarbB
Mar. 13, 2012, 02:11 PM
They'll jump things way bigger than they should way sooner than they should. Maybe that's why there's so many men in the upper levels of show jumping and you can't find men in the lower levels anywhere...


And THERE is the answer to the question I have been asking since I was 6! :lol:

JustMyStyle
Mar. 14, 2012, 11:47 AM
I would be very point blank. I would explain my expectations for jumping that height (no stirrups trot, 2pt in canter, or whatever you want) and then give him a chance to eat "humble pie" as some have called it.

Explain what you want, explain you don't see him ready, but if he would like to try, you will let him. I would definitely go with either a neck strap or no reins for the benefit of the horse though.

Hopeful scenario he falls off and you are polite and gracious. Lesson learned. Worst case he says on and you needs to start upping the ante in lessons. I would also agree with the video, that way you can go back and say, "see what happened here with your leg", etc...As long as he understands the risks and isn't hurting your horse, I'd say let him pick how much to be pushed.

And stick to your standards as an instructor. Guys don't want perfection, and safety might make them feel silly. But it's your reputation. If you don't want him to do something, he doesn't do it on your property and if that's a problem then he can go somewhere else. Who knows, maybe if you just really put your foot down he'll respect your more as an instructor?

VCT
Mar. 14, 2012, 05:31 PM
It's not the ego, necessarily (well, in some ways it is). Men are very, very different from women. They think differently, their priorities are different. They want to get on with things. I think you can let a guy move past all the finer details and get him started over fences, trail riding, etc, without spending 6 months on the type of things women love and that you can actually DO with kids. Give him a jump strap or teach him to grab mane.

I think a good indicator of how men think would be to look at the show ring. Are there a lot of men in the AO hunter ring? Probably not. Probably even less in the Adult equitation classes. Their in the jumpers. They are eventing. You probably don't see a ton of adult amateur guys riding in the dressage ring (unless it's at an event). They foxhunt. They take up western and play with cows. They like to jump, they like to go fast, they like to feel like they are "doing" something. Theory and equitation and finer details is not how they want to spend their riding time.

A good instructor knows how to deal with each individual and set them up in a "curriculum" that suits them. That does include letting a guy skip ahead a bit of they are bored and frustrated. Otherwise, he'll either stop riding or move elsewhere.

I agree with you - and perfection isn't necessary... but pointing someone who can barely canter to jumps seems silly. He needs to get more capable in his flatwork before I'd be letting him jump. Not saying perfect, but not precarious.

trabern
Mar. 14, 2012, 10:13 PM
I've been riding over 10 years, have backed youngsters, currently show my guy in the 3 foot, and school a few greenbeans.

Not sure that I can stand tall out of the saddle at all gaits, and halt any horse without reins/stirrups. my horse is very very broke, and still requires at least a subtle rein aid to stop. I show in both eq and hunters, and do relatively well, even at rated shows. Guess I'd still be on the lunge line in your program..;)

Point taken! I was not precise when I suggested my riders have to stop the horse-the person lunging the horse calls for the halt. The rider's job is to stay in the saddle (without stirrups for that level). Because if she/he cannot stay in the seat halting from gaits on the lunge, they sure as heck will go tumbling over the shoulder on their inevitable first balk/sticky/dodge/deer jump. It's more assessment than it is grind.

That said, I too am "still lunging" myself (whenever I can get someone to lunge me!). Best way to work out and see the flaws that need work. But not that that is ALL we do in my lessons--that is just how we start most levels' lesson and how I benchmark. +80% of the time in any given level of lesson is riding off the lunge, except very very beginners. Lunging with no hands, and later no stirrups, is just such a great honest and quick assessment tool.

Sorry if I left the impression all we do until you pass x is lunge.