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TRainers how do you keep "fresh" eyes??

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  • TRainers how do you keep "fresh" eyes??

    I was teaching my youngest DD today and my mom was in the ring, she pointed out a few things that needed improvement, I could see them after she mentioned them but was obviously missing them before she said something. We were working on other points and I teach DD everyday, almost 7 days a week so I am sure my eyes get " tired" or I miss things.
    I know that trainers train kids for YEARS , so how do you make sure your not missing the smaller details?? Today we were really working hard without stirrups and working on leg position, but we lost some of the finer things ( like lifting the outside hand around corners, and remembering to move pony over with the inside leg more than the outside hand ect) Dd is young ( only 5) so its my job ot keep all of these things in the front of her brain while she rides LOL but some days I work harder on one point than others. My mother said that in order to be a "good" trainer I need to keep it all together at once!!!
    any suggestions or ideas?? is it ok to focus on one thing a day? and then try to integrate them all together as she masters each skill???
    I will admit that until I took on this job, I thought trainers had it easy, point out the issues, give suggestions on how to fix each issue and move on LOL I was clearly mistaken!! So what do I need to do to keep DD on the proper path and improve my ability to train her properly!
    FYI I have ridden for over 30 years, I help break and train babies, I know a TON about how horses and ponies should go around, and I have an excellent EQ background, but keeping it all in terms that a 5 yr old can understand and them emulate is proving harder than I imagined!! It is easier with my 13 yr old who can correct some of her OWN issues just because she has been doing this longer and knows more of the basics.
    Kim
    If you are lucky enough to ride, you are lucky enough.

  • #2
    Sometimes it helps to have another person look at your student and tell you what THEY see. I am always appreciative when someone points something out for this very reason. Now occasionally, I am ignoring the smaller issue in light of a larger problem that I am trying to fix, and in those instances I will say to the person, "Yes, Rider is doing that, thank you. Right now we're focusing X for Y reason, and then when X is sorted, we will go back and work on Z. But you have good eyes!"

    So, sometimes you bounce around a bit because each student varies, and they all need to master things in a different order. Plus, we tweak things as we go! For instance, you start by learning two-point and then when you've improved in all the other areas, you begin working on your half seat. Two similar, yet very different positions that require different pieces of the puzzle in order to work. Maybe you can explain it to your mom like that?

    Comment


    • #3
      I think it would be a really good idea to do regular clinics/lessons with outside trainers. It is always wonderful to hear someone else's ideas and you can learn so much from it! For instance, maybe you could take your girls on monthly outings to different BNT's or even local clinics and such. Even include lessons in other disciplines (dressage, eventing, etc.) You can learn so much this way. And, you will be able to see if you are "missing" anything.
      "To do something that you feel in your heart that's great, you need to make a lot of mistakes. Anything that is successful is a series of mistakes." -B.J. Armstrong

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        I did not mean to imply that my mom was butting in, I appreciate her opinion for the very reason you stated, I miss things!! She is such a valuable assest to our training, and we do bounce ideas off of each other on a regular basis, but my question is more towards the fact that some day she might not be there to help or give input and I might be on my own LOL!!
        I am wondering how trainers manage to take everything into consideration and "polish" each skill so they all come together in the end, I do agree that working on each point and then putting together the final product is a good way to work it all out and we do this, it is sometimes hard to see the big picture when you are working on specifics.
        Kim
        If you are lucky enough to ride, you are lucky enough.

        Comment


        • #5
          A variety of students with different strengths and weaknesses and at different stages of training. Coupled with experience... and you've got a pretty developed critical eye.

          One possible suggestion, picking a monthly theme or a specific exercise to work on in two week blocks. The exercise picked should focus on a specific skill and identify different eq areas that need some help and help you to change your focus.

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm curious to know how much you are expecting your 5 year old to know how to do? Perhaps I'm a fuddy duddy, but it seems like an awful lot to expect a 5 year old to remember things like inside leg to outside rein... I started riding when I was 8 and remember more along the lines of playing "around the world" and things like that.

            Comment


            • #7
              Ok, she's 5...

              Of course one thing at a time is alright, hell, I can barely get a bunch of 30 somethings to do one thing at a time correctly. Fuss too much and she'll get sour. As long as she's safe and happy right now, it's all good.

              Comment


              • #8
                I picked up some lessons at a school barn just to keep some perspective. When all you teach are 3'6"+ show riders sometimes you forget how to teach the basics well, so I also teach dead beginners right on up.

                I also watch other instructors teach, and if I have a particular issue with a student that I can't seem to help them work through I'll ask a second opinion. I also get my old trainer to yell at me from time to time at shows to make sure that I am practicing what I preach.

                FWIW I too was learning proper leg position and aides at 5 yrs. I doubt you're over facing her. With a little kid I think its definitely okay to work on small pieces at a time, and then adding them all up over time. I think of it as puzzle pieces coming together - you do the border first, then the infrequent colors, etc. until you have the whole thing and that way its easy to finish it. Doing a million things at one time with the whole picture being the immediate goal can take longer and be more frustrating.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I don't think there is any problem with teaching proper use of aids at that age...I have a 5 y/o and 4 7y/o's and several other kids that I give lessons to and from the very beginning we learn how to make the pony go where we want him to go...aka outside rein and squeezing with inside leg to love pony to rail etc....that is of course a much simpler concept to the inside leg outside rein but still...very basic.

                  As far as keeping fresh eyes, I'm wondering the same thing..I have 10-12 lesson kids and never want to end up in the situation where they have bad habits because I didn't pick up on them...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Fresh eyes - go audit good clinics and watch other people teach. I go to the equine fairs to watch also.

                    Reading COTH!
                    Don't let anyone tell you that your ideas or dreams are foolish. There is a millionaire walking around who invented the pool noodle.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Dd is MORE than capable of understanding aids and how to use them, she has been riding daily for the past 2 yrs. Pony is VERY well trained and will respond almost instantly to the correct aid so this helps Dd understand how to use them.
                      We do use other trainers twice a month, I like listening to them teach the girls and , yes , it does fill in the gaps.
                      I love the idea of picking exercies to work on in a time frame ( like 2 weeks) that gives us a goal and a time frame to complete the goal, very neat idea and I think I will put together some exercises. We are REALLY working hard without stirrups right now, to give a really solid base of support and balance, its going well but gets boring also I spend so much time watching her leg I forget to look up LOL!!!
                      It seems the biggest goal is to mesh it all together, little pieces put together in a timely manner to make bigger pieces!
                      Kim
                      If you are lucky enough to ride, you are lucky enough.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I keep taking lessons and clinics myself. Along with improving my riding, it gives me new ideas or reminders of aold ideas I had forgotten. It also helps to watch as the clinician points out other riders and compare them to what i see or didnt see.

                        i also encourage my kids to clinic with trainers I respect and also clinic under...to that point we have Elizabeth Solter coming to our barn in November. I will be riding my young prospect and my students will be riding their usual mounts.
                        \"A smart lady knows its ok to change her mind, a damn fool never does\"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm not a trainer, but will tell you what I've seen work well for those I've trained with -- My best trainers have been those who continue to work on their own riding -- They lesson or work with a groundperson when possible -- That may only be a few times a year, but they seem to take a lot away from those experiences --

                          My trainer's mentor will watch me at shows, then give suggestions to my trainer -- Trainers have also asked me for any feedback I get at clinics -- I don't think that's ever told them something they didn't already know, but it may influence the priority they put on addressing an issue a clinician identified --

                          Some of my trainers have been readers -- They work well for me because I'm a reader too -- There are times when I could tell you what book my trainer was reading/rereading based on how our lessons were going --

                          Have you considered that teaching DD every day might be too much? I know I can become overly reliant on my trainer if I lesson too often -- Ultimately, I'm the only person who can fix my riding flaws -- I need time to ride on my own so that I listen to my inner voice -- Plus, I think many kids learn by feel easier than adults do -- Try just watching for one ride -- It also might help you see more of the whole picture rather than developing tunnel vision focussing on a particular issue --
                          "I never mind if an adult uses safety stirrups." GM

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by dab View Post
                            I'm not a trainer, but will tell you what I've seen work well for those I've trained with -- My best trainers have been those who continue to work on their own riding -- They lesson or work with a groundperson when possible -- That may only be a few times a year, but they seem to take a lot away from those experiences --

                            My trainer's mentor will watch me at shows, then give suggestions to my trainer -- Trainers have also asked me for any feedback I get at clinics -- I don't think that's ever told them something they didn't already know, but it may influence the priority they put on addressing an issue a clinician identified --

                            Some of my trainers have been readers -- They work well for me because I'm a reader too -- There are times when I could tell you what book my trainer was reading/rereading based on how our lessons were going --

                            Have you considered that teaching DD every day might be too much? I know I can become overly reliant on my trainer if I lesson too often -- Ultimately, I'm the only person who can fix my riding flaws -- I need time to ride on my own so that I listen to my inner voice -- Plus, I think many kids learn by feel easier than adults do -- Try just watching for one ride -- It also might help you see more of the whole picture rather than developing tunnel vision focussing on a particular issue --
                            Since Dd is only 5 I watch her ride everyday. I am not comfortable leaving her alone in the ring, that said: I do need to leave her alone verbally more than I do!!!!! I watch and comment the whole time she rides, I need to shut my mouth!! but when i do see a bad habit forming I like to nip it in the bud quickly!! Kind if a catch 22 LOL!!!! One of the issues with having a 5 yr old with the physical capability to ride is that her attention span is limited to one or two concepts at a time if left on her own, so she can keep her heels down and leg back then forgets about her hands or upper body position. I find that my older Dd is better able to concentrate on the whole picture while Sarah is only able to remember a few things on her own at a time, therefore I tend to verbally remind her about the rest! And yes I think i am probably making her VERY dependent on me, thanks for pointing that out!! Today I will keep my darn mouth SHUT!!! or at least try!
                            Kim
                            If you are lucky enough to ride, you are lucky enough.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by hellerkm View Post
                              I was teaching my youngest DD today and my mom was in the ring, she pointed out a few things that needed improvement, I could see them after she mentioned them but was obviously missing them before she said something. We were working on other points and I teach DD everyday, almost 7 days a week so I am sure my eyes get " tired" or I miss things.
                              I know that trainers train kids for YEARS , so how do you make sure your not missing the smaller details?? Today we were really working hard without stirrups and working on leg position, but we lost some of the finer things ( like lifting the outside hand around corners, and remembering to move pony over with the inside leg more than the outside hand ect) Dd is young ( only 5) so its my job ot keep all of these things in the front of her brain while she rides LOL but some days I work harder on one point than others. My mother said that in order to be a "good" trainer I need to keep it all together at once!!!
                              any suggestions or ideas?? is it ok to focus on one thing a day? and then try to integrate them all together as she masters each skill???
                              I will admit that until I took on this job, I thought trainers had it easy, point out the issues, give suggestions on how to fix each issue and move on LOL I was clearly mistaken!! So what do I need to do to keep DD on the proper path and improve my ability to train her properly!
                              FYI I have ridden for over 30 years, I help break and train babies, I know a TON about how horses and ponies should go around, and I have an excellent EQ background, but keeping it all in terms that a 5 yr old can understand and them emulate is proving harder than I imagined!! It is easier with my 13 yr old who can correct some of her OWN issues just because she has been doing this longer and knows more of the basics.
                              your doing to much all at once -- kids that age only have a short span of concentration so you need to play more - then give the child snippets of info then play then a few more snippets - then play then leave

                              i have at the moment 2 4yrs old ones my grandson the other is his freind drew is a girl
                              they both can ride on there own with or without stirrups at walk and trot and this is only after 15 lessons

                              becuase i play a lot with the kids on there ponies - playing is also teaching
                              not only we do the norm of things like round the world and exercises to help keep them supple but my lessons are only for 1/2 with young ones too as they like us need to build up there mussles naturally as we can so i never over do it,

                              i play simple simon---- ie simple simon says with the left hand put it on your head
                              with the right leg hold it out - etc this works there core in balance and also teaching them there left hand from the right - or simple says hold you right out, or touch your left toe with right hand this can be all done in wlak with a leader etc

                              once they understand there left from the right - you can then work on - your on the inside of them ok-- so this is the inside hand and inside leg so -
                              so you explain that to them---- you can then start simple simon says show me your out side hand or your inside hand

                              so they learn to co - ordinate left from right but also inside outside

                              this can go on to -- having more fun and games as kids learn by having fun a lot quicker than full blown teaching as like i said its snippets of infomation as there concentration span isnt as large as a teenagers nor adult and they are only 1/4 of pint in size so have no strenght yet and only little ankles at the end of there saddles and not like an older person who has a leg or calf then an ankle

                              so alot is done on balance -- next with helper comes hid and seek which they have to find you and you them this also helps with steering as they looking for you
                              other things is to have objects for them to go round and or over and simple games
                              like crossing the river - which is two poles on the ground 2mtrs apart make them ride over obviously need a couple of helpers one for a leader and one in acar ort have a radio near you when you stop playing if they in between the poles then they out if not they in

                              another game -- ride and run-- two cones or tyres or what ever placed 40mtrs apart
                              leader and rider have to walk up to one post get off and run back
                              this also helps the child to get on and off by self - but have a leader as a helper at no time must the child run back with the pony they run back to you on there own

                              the point is not all children learn at the same pace, so you have to invent a lot of games
                              playing with the kids is ideal and fun and like i said they learn quicker

                              dont keep on and on and on as it wont go in - play and snippets works best as in short sharp info then when you have instilled something end it there

                              like play then at the end say -- simple simon say show me your inside leg
                              or show me how you hold the reins - then leave it there - next time it comes auto matically
                              as thye want to play - so they hold the reins correctly and they know there inside leg

                              there lots of thing syou can do in teaching a young child but you have to come down to there level and think like them and play a lot

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