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Difficult things to do as an instructor

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  • Difficult things to do as an instructor

    Today I let a rider make mistakes. Nothing to harm her or her horse but things that if I help her with she will never learn. I had to walk away while she tacked up, stand thirty feet away when she asked for help and talk her through the problem, not "show" her yet again. Watch her have trouble mounting because she left the gate open and her horse kept trying to walk back to the barn.

    They ended with a good lesson even if I felt we "wasted" the first thirty minutes even though I know eventually that will mean less reteaching and more new skills.

  • #2
    I used to certify air traffic controllers for tower duty (VFR) ... you had to let them make mistakes then wait to see if they realized their error and were able to correct the issue before the issue manifested into a problem.

    The first ten or so days doing this job was the hardest job I ever did, but I noticed I was many steps ahead of trainee .Thereafter as long as they did not kill anybody (which none did) most other problems were correctable.

    The biggest problem was when the trainee did something wrong but never realize the error ...that lead to retraining

    New riders are the same, you have to let errors occur so that the student sets themselves up for a teachable moment ...or the student needs to have deep pockets to afford a groom to prepare the horse

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Luseride View Post
      Today I let a rider make mistakes. Nothing to harm her or her horse but things that if I help her with she will never learn. I had to walk away while she tacked up, stand thirty feet away when she asked for help and talk her through the problem, not "show" her yet again. Watch her have trouble mounting because she left the gate open and her horse kept trying to walk back to the barn.

      They ended with a good lesson even if I felt we "wasted" the first thirty minutes even though I know eventually that will mean less reteaching and more new skills.
      That's how we learn if we get our own horse as a beginner kid with no supervision. It's being responsible for the whole experience that lets us learn what's really important versus what's just grownups nattering away.

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by clanter View Post
        I used to certify air traffic controllers for tower duty (VFR) ... you had to let them make mistakes then wait to see if they realized their error and were able to correct the issue before the issue manifested into a problem.

        The first ten or so days doing this job was the hardest job I ever did, but I noticed I was many steps ahead of trainee .Thereafter as long as they did not kill anybody (which none did) most other problems were correctable.

        The biggest problem was when the trainee did something wrong but never realize the error ...that lead to retraining

        New riders are the same, you have to let errors occur so that the student sets themselves up for a teachable moment ...or the student needs to have deep pockets to afford a groom to prepare the horse
        She is not new but has process issues which makes me want to help her more. At school I let students make mistakes all the time, just seems to be more difficult for me to do at the barn.

        I bet the air traffic training was very difficult!

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by Scribbler View Post

          That's how we learn if we get our own horse as a beginner kid with no supervision. It's being responsible for the whole experience that lets us learn what's really important versus what's just grownups nattering away.
          I learned by falling off, getting bit, kicked and stomped on. That does mean I have a good eye for what can go wrong but hope I can help my riders learn to avoid more issues than not.

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          • #6
            I have to do this with some students. For some of them, they have absolutely zero motivation to learn how to do it unless forced. Ex) I should not have to hold your pony for you to get on if you have been riding for 3 years.

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by Dutchmare433 View Post
              I have to do this with some students. For some of them, they have absolutely zero motivation to learn how to do it unless forced. Ex) I should not have to hold your pony for you to get on if you have been riding for 3 years.
              Yeah, that would be a pretty bad one to have to deal with.

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              • #8
                I get very frustrated when they are unknowingly and unthinkingly cruel.

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by phoebetrainer View Post
                  I get very frustrated when they are unknowingly and unthinkingly cruel.
                  I can never decide if that is worse or the ones that do it on purpose. I have pulled them off and made them just stand for a few minutes when they take their frustration out on the horse. They usually stop riding after that but I am not putting my horses through that.

                  I do make a note when I correct a horse to ask riders if I was really mad or did the horse think I was? Did I really hurt the horse or hurt their feelings? Many times riders don't understand the difference.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dutchmare433 View Post
                    I have to do this with some students. For some of them, they have absolutely zero motivation to learn how to do it unless forced. Ex) I should not have to hold your pony for you to get on if you have been riding for 3 years.
                    This is a situation the instructor allows to develop. It must be hard sometimes to know when to take the training wheels off. On the other hand students can be dealing with anxiety in general and about riding and want some hand holding.

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                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Scribbler View Post

                      This is a situation the instructor allows to develop. It must be hard sometimes to know when to take the training wheels off. On the other hand students can be dealing with anxiety in general and about riding and want some hand holding.
                      As a middle school teacher I think it is that for some people the training wheels never come off of life. Less motivation in general to take charge of situations and parents enable their children way past the point that they should. For many riding is the first really hard thing they have ever done and they really do not know how to deal with it.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Scribbler View Post

                        This is a situation the instructor allows to develop. It must be hard sometimes to know when to take the training wheels off. On the other hand students can be dealing with anxiety in general and about riding and want some hand holding.
                        FWIW, these are not students that I have been teaching for 3 years. They’ve been allowed to get away without some of the horsemanship stuff.

                        I have no problem with students with anxiety or, as another example, I have some older clients who need their horse held for mounting due to stiff hips. One of them is very dedicated, does Pilates and yoga regularly, even directly before riding, just nothing loosens her hips up other than actually riding.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Luseride View Post

                          As a middle school teacher I think it is that for some people the training wheels never come off of life. Less motivation in general to take charge of situations and parents enable their children way past the point that they should. For many riding is the first really hard thing they have ever done and they really do not know how to deal with it.
                          This has been my experience as well. I am getting more young people who simply have no concept of how to deal with anything they find difficult at the outset. It does not look so hard on the video games. Introducing them to the concept and practice of applying effort in order to pursue a goal can be a delicate process. And lengthy. They need the right kind of support and encouragement, when they expect me to step in and do it for them.

                          No matter where you go, there you are

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                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by Beck View Post

                            This has been my experience as well. I am getting more young people who simply have no concept of how to deal with anything they find difficult at the outset. It does not look so hard on the video games. Introducing them to the concept and practice of applying effort in order to pursue a goal can be a delicate process. And lengthy. They need the right kind of support and encouragement, when they expect me to step in and do it for them.
                            Had one once that told me he knew how to clean stalls, had done it on a video game. LOL
                            I do tell them that if riding was easy then everyone would do it. It is a delicate balance of pushing without discouraging the rider.

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