There are many types of trainers out there.
I’ve been lucky to train for some really good instructors, but maybe you have met any of these sneakier types below? Being able to identify them quickly solves half the trouble!
These are found in all disciplines, but somehow most often in dressage. And yes, dressage riders still take lessons after 20 years of riding, don’t let anyone say something else. Spend the time wisely.
Let’s get at it and meet the first 3 types!
1 The Neigh Sayer
This Trainer Professor will often ask questions during the lesson, only every answer you’ve got will always be wrong. This instructor already has a planned, single specific answer. No matter what you have to add, it’s going to be shot down. Your answer is always wrong.
A style that can fit many riders – just be aware that in the end, students taught this way will become more and more reluctant to answer at all. Your own response to your riding journey is, stifled.
If dressage is an art, then art needs creativity… Or at least an implied creativity. The Neigh Sayer will not feed into this.
2 The Theoretical Sermon Holder
At first glance, similar to The Neigh Sayer: Questions are asked during lessons. Only here, there will be intricate questions you simply don’t have an answer to and this trainer won’t take -“I don’t know” for an answer.
Maybe it’s a tricky question, or the subject is simply above your riding level, or you are too focused in the current task assigned with your horse (Who is about to brace and evade any second now, you can feel it and better figure out what to do!).
The Theoretical Sermon Holder does not teach “in the moment” – instead asking some version of this question over and over. Preferably at a halt. At the end of the lesson there is, you guessed it, a lecture.
This riding session ends up more of a tirade, a theoretical oration, leaving the rider with that – “I’ll just never figure this out” feel. Riding is shrouded in mystery, you consider saddling off for a couple of months to read up on more theory, or maybe switching disciplines.
Riding is physical, a sport with two athletes, in continuous motion. Want to talk about doing it? Want to talk about how to do it? Or want to try to do it while actually trying to do it? Just curious.
3 The Monarch
Under Monarch’s reign, your requests around your own barn/your own horse/your other animals/your own equipment are ignored. You’re in Dressage Queen/King Domain, and no matter what you petition, The Monarch will waive the dressage whip scepter and denounce your appeal.
If this is a relationship you want; a version of dictatorship of each minute detail on how your horse is handled, by all means continue on. It’s a very easy route, just do the right thing – just make sure it’s never your own thing.
But, riders not enjoying hobbled dependency – be aware of this subtle red flag! Soon, there will be no tack purchases without consulting the majesty, you will stifle any resourcefulness in handling your horse, and, most importantly, you will forever be second guessing your training technique.
Met any of these?
Coming up early tomorrow morning – the next 3 types!