Hunter/Jumper Trainer to Dressage Trainer
I have been in the Hunter/Jumper Industry for more than 3 decades. I have interest from several adult students that want to convert to Dressage and keep training with me. My question is for any Dressage Trainers that used to teach (or still do) Hunter/Jumpers: What are the biggest obstacles I will face as a starter-up Dressage Trainer in doing this? Any good advice or things to read that I absolutly must have? These 3 riders already can keep their horses on the aids most of the time, they can all perform leg yields, shoulder-in, turn on haunches/forehand, circles/sepentines, lengthenings/shortenings, half-halts...
I have the dressage letters and I will get the tests and learn the rules.
What else? What does the typical adult Dressage/training rider do in the course of a Dressage lesson? I myself have trained with some pretty well known Dressage Riders/Trainers back in college and have performed alot of the upper level movements on well trained horses. Who knows if this takes off I may be trading in my Dutch/cross Hunter for a Dressage Horse! I am assuming I will need to train/compete Dressage myself to be taken seriously by new clientelle.
Introducing new people to dressage is wonderful
I think introducing students to dressage from any discipline is a wonderful idea. They know you aren't a "dressage" trainer and it sounds like they are ok with that. I would go check out a couple of schooling shows on your own first. Make sure you and they understand the geometry of the figures and where the movements should be taking place in the arena. Have fun! If they want to get really serious about dressage and move up the levels eventually they can find a dressage trainer.
Taking on Dressage students
Thank you everyone for being so kind! I was a little worried about how this would be perceived, but I think most of you get what I am trying to do here.
Yes, I plan on training with a Dressage professional. Yes, I plan on getting my USDF instructor certification. All in due time.
My immediate area doesn't offer any BNDT which is one of the reasons I am considering this. There is a need in my area for a DT. The area is saturated with Hunter/Jumpers.
Great ideas everyone, just what I'm looking for....keep them coming!
JRG, love the You Tube advice and you couldn't be more right in learning and training incorrectly only magnifies problems as you go up the levels. That is the staple of my success as a Hunter/Jumper Equitation Trainer. My students learn how to ride correctly, effectively, and confidently. When they move up the levels it looks even more beautiful than their previous level. I understand the levels are key.
Also, I teach alot of Dressage (in close contact saddles which is very hard) to my Equitation students so I am very skilled with techniques and feel I have a good eye. I honestly haven't used draw reins (except on one pony) or gimmicks in 15 years. I have trained over 400 horses in my life. I feel I may be good as a Dressage Trainer. I definately would push students to other DT if I felt I couldn't offer them anything. But If I do this I want to do it first class. I want to know the best Dressage saddles to buy. We ride the Hunters in the best equipment I want to learn the ins and outs up front.
GG, elaborate if you can a bit more about lessons: What I am trying to understand is do most Novice Dressage riders in their lessons work on tests or does a lesson consist of breaking the tests down into parts and putting it together as a goal for a later date? I am looking for a protocol of some type as how to direct the lesson so it feels like a Dressage lesson. What does the student want to do? In my jumping lessons the goal is to learn how to ride a course smoothly and the students want to jump courses. Of course, they don't always ride courses but my point is that is what the student wants out of a jumping lesson. I hope this makes sense.
Thanks in advance.