I’ve had several interesting discussions with hubby and my teacher Molly, that I have been wanting to transcribe here into some sort of essay. A recent one was about teaching the intermediate rider.
It’s my opinion that the beginner and the advanced rider are the easiest to teach. The Beginner is the Uncarved Block- a good instructor can shape the student, providing a solid foundation with seat, legs and hands – while also giving good experiences that build confidence.
The Advanced Rider has already shown the hard skills of dedication and application; most likely she owns a horse that has athletic ability to take her somewhere. The only difficulty for this rider is finding someone that knows more then they do and knows how to teach it.
That brings me to the Intermediate Rider – lost in limbo. She is too advanced for 80-90 percent of the instructors that are teaching. These are the riders given difficult horses to ride because the trainer wants the buck rode out of the horse. This is the rider who will find herself bored riding in W-T-C group classes. She will become discouraged and may even drop out of riding for some time.
I think it’s very hard to teach this type of rider. Some of this difficulty is due to the lack of ability of the instructor who may not be capable of imparting complicated ideas about physical feel in a lesson. However, other problems are that progress at this level slows down; improvements will be miniscule. It becomes more of a discussion between the HORSE and the RIDER… then the instructor. And unfortunately for some, there are people who simply won’t listen to their horse – the horse is being dumb today, he won’t do what I want, he is so stupid… etc….
How this all relates back to what I’m doing and why – I picked Molly as an instructor as I felt she could really provide me a place where I could make small improvements slowly, safely and without a huge ton of judgement.
Molly can also provide me several different horses to ride – and this, too, is important at this stage so I can learn to adapt to who I’m riding and learn to bring the same calmness to each horse I am riding.
Bringing me full circle back to the seat – and how that is changing and developing…. that is something I will address again in a later post, giving this context about how I view the learning curve process of riding.