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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 15, 2005
    Posts
    948

    Post Lesson questions

    I'm doing a project on riding lessons & coaching and I'm brainstorming for ideas. I always find some new ideas & varying viewpoints as I'm parusing COTH so I figured I'd start this post to compile different ideas in one place. Answer only what you feel like answering, every bit is appreciated. If you are a coach yourself, I'd love to hear what you do too.

    If there's one thing you wish most coaches would do more often (or just do period) what would it be?

    Is there anything you wish coaches wouldn't do?

    What's something you found particularly challenging to learn and why?

    For the coaches - What's something you've found particularly challenging to teach? And does the difficultly correlate with a certain age group? ex. very little kids are more challenging to teach to post the trot than teenagers.

    What does your coach do that helps you learn? (good description, visuals, demo etc)

    For the coaches - What do you do to help your students learn?

    And lastly what's one of your favorite excercises that your coach has asked you to do and why? Both over fences or on the flat.

    Coaches - What are your favorite exercises for your students and why?

    Thank you!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 30, 2010
    Location
    Alberta
    Posts
    3,561

    Default

    *Note, I teach entry level riders 12 and up, and returning riders, mostly on lesson horses.

    For the coaches - What's something you've found particularly challenging to teach? And does the difficultly correlate with a certain age group? ex. very little kids are more challenging to teach to post the trot than teenagers.

    It is challenging to get riders to use their legs rather then their hands for control/stearing. More a problem with adults that have desk jobs.

    For the coaches - What do you do to help your students learn?

    I write up lesson plans at the beginning of each week that outlines what we are working on this week, and that explains some of the theory behind the exercise. I leave the lesson plans up so that people that miss a week can go back and review.


    Coaches - What are your favorite exercises for your students and why


    I like exercises that provide feedback for the rider such as "up, up, down" and "up, down, down" posting to help with balance, upper body control and lower leg position. I try to have my exercies build over a period of time to a final achievement. I try to vary my exercises to keep lessons fresh for long time students, and to help present ways of doing similar things in different ways so I address different learning styles.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 17, 2010
    Location
    Purcellville, VA
    Posts
    1,224

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Brigit View Post
    For the coaches - What's something you've found particularly challenging to teach? And does the difficultly correlate with a certain age group? ex. very little kids are more challenging to teach to post the trot than teenagers.

    For the coaches - What do you do to help your students learn?

    Coaches - What are your favorite exercises for your students and why?

    Thank you!
    CONTACT!! Soft, quiet, consistent contact. Riding off your inside leg to outside rein with just the right amount of "contact" on the reins. IMO, this would be the hardest thing for me to teach someone. Everyone always wants to resort to pulling the horse here and pulling them there, and don't realize your legs should do most of the work

    I try to use lots of visuals and explain everything very thoroughly. If I am trying to explain contact, I sometimes will demonstrate it while holding the reins at the bit and pretending their hands are the horses mouth.

    Some excercises I like are spiral in/spiral out for flatwork. This is great for getting a horse to really bend through his rib cage and follow through behind. I also like lengenthing/shortening excercises using the long/short sides of the ring. Or changing directions at the walk using the short middle through X and incorporating turn on the haunches and turn on the forehand at K & B.

    A rider excercise that is good for warming up in the beginning is circling your arms three times, stopping them hanging down and bringing up your hand while bending your soft elbow. This helps open up the chest and shoulders.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2009
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    619

    Default

    I like to take a minute or two pre-lesson to discuss the goal of the current lesson. Are we going to move on to something new, or address a possible emerging problem? This gives me time to let her/him know if there's something I want to work on further to feel comfortable, or if there's something he/she feels I need to address further before moving on.

    Then, after the lesson, I like another minute or two to discuss/review the lesson. What's going well, what needs more work, how a particular exercise felt from my point of view versus what the instuctor saw, etc. This helps establish short-term goals to work on between lessons.

    For me, continuity is important.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 17, 2009
    Posts
    71

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    I am a 30something re-rider just moving up from the 2'6" to the AA division this year. I lesson 3x/week.

    If there's one thing you wish most coaches would do more often (or just do period) what would it be?

    I really appreciate when an instructor explains what the goal is for the lesson, how we're going to achieve it, how it should feel when we do it right, and how that will apply to our long-term goals. I much prefer a focused lesson to an unfocused one where we just sort of trouble-shoot as we go along.

    I also appreciate instructors who discuss long-term goals (both mine and theirs for me) with me.


    Is there anything you wish coaches wouldn't do?

    Being an adult who works full time and scrimps and saves money and time to enjoy this hobby, I want an instructor who is able to balance my desire to progress with my desire to enjoy myself. I won't tolerate an instructor that is very bossy, disrespectful, or negative in the same way I may have tolerated that as a teenager. I get enough of that at work!

    I also have little tolerance for an instructor who doesn't respect my time, runs late, doesn't devote her full attention to my lesson, etc.

    What does your coach do that helps you learn? (good description, visuals, demo etc)

    She rides my horse the day before my lesson, but she rides him with my riding style in mind to try to 'recreate' the problems I'm having with him. Then she figures out effective ways to explain to me how to solve them.

    She's good about breaking complicated things down into manageable chunks. And she puts up with my "I'm not getting it.. can you explain that again, but a different way?" requests. When I'm struggling with something, she's good at explaining why my way isn't working, then explaining why her way will work.

    Video is helpful, too.


    And lastly what's one of your favorite excercises that your coach has asked you to do and why? Both over fences or on the flat.

    I can't think of a 'favorite.' I love that I have a coach that enjoys learning and likes to audit clinics to pick up new exercises, or will see a course at a medal final and then come build it at home. Constantly trying new things (or old things in new ways) keeps things fresh, fun, and exciting. I also like that our hunter jumper trainer will occasionally have the resident dressage trainer teach our lesson.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 13, 2008
    Posts
    12

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    I have receieved minimual paid for, actually structured lessons in my career. And most of my riding has been on green horses. So my anwsers probably aren't the best for your project, but it sounds like an interesting project none the less.

    The lessons I have taken either went well or not well at all. Perhaps I am too particular or have an odd personality but I do not respond well to yelling or critizism without positive reinforcement. I beat myself up and get frustrated enough when I can't nail that lead change - I don't need someone else yelling at me. Other people respond very well to that kind of situation and try harder, but I don't. So I think it is absolutely KEY that an instructor knows what kind of rider s/he is dealing with. They need to understand how the student reacts to certain situations, under stress, how they best understand things being explained (visual, explanation, examples, comparisons, etc). IMO an instructor can be the best rider in the world - but if they can't find a way to help you understand and progress the student isn't going to move forward.

    After reading the previous responses I realize how much I would love if someone took interest in my goals and helped me persue them vs. me saying "I want to jump this horse over 2' courses by June" and doing it myself.



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