Yesterday’s post was so insulting.
As promised, here are the next 3 riding instructor types to watch out for.
1 The Non-Stop Criticizer
With this instructor, constant negative comments is the the norm during lessons. It’s all suck it up buttercup or get off, in a George-Morris-Hopped-Up-On-Meth way.
No, that’s not it, don’t do that, stop, what are you doing, NO not like that, I see nothing, you’re not even trying, hands look awful, you’re not getting it, that’s never going to work, you can never ride with legs like that, too tight, that’s awful, I don’t think you’re getting anywhere.
Go girl! It’s never felt so good. To get off.
Growth comes from failure. Reluctance to try, fail, and try again will never result in mastering any new skill – any area of life. Somehow though, especially in the dressage ring (?), there’s been an older tradition of heavy critique.
Look I’ve run endless 400 meter repeats in the dark and wind on the track, winter nights. Only two people would show up. And a coach with a watch. The dedicated ones. I’d run them at the very best effort, and do it well, for nothing else than a – “Good job” at the end. I’ve had very good coaches, one an Olympian, and been able to run results that maybe this body wasn’t made for. Still it did.
Think it would have worked as good if the coach would have screamed -“You’re never going to make it in under 70” when approaching the back curve? Or, -“If you can’t stick 7.10 minute/mile pace for the whole 12 miles you might as well quit! Or, -“Keep toeing out like that and you’ll cap out at 5.55 pace in the 5K and that’s it!”
In riding, there is a huge stifling of physical capability when a rider is told what not to do. The Non-Stop Criticizer is best left for toughening up coddled millennials, not the best ticket for learning.
2 The Monologuist
This one is simply exhausting. Lessons contain long monologues about the instructor’s own riding, or horses, or accomplishments. Current and past competition or training challenges. Yes, some snippets of really good information! A sprinkle of anecdotes from other riders and horses.
Chummy and chatty, sure. Easy to get stuck in this, because hey, it’s way more comfortable than sitting the trot after another unbalanced canter transition. But aren’t most of us too horse-poor to pay for this?
Best suited for “fill up” while getting the wedgie out of the breeches. Or, OK I admit it, catching my breath.
3 The Horse Wrangler
No avoiding it – this one will be around. Forever. It’s a classic. The Horse Wrangler gives repeated pitches to sell your current incompetent scumbag of a horse and buy something else, preferably from their barn.
To be honest, if the right horse was there I would really want the trainer to bring up the connection, to help make better riding possible. Because better riding is. Better. (Please make this happen, now.)
If it was within budget… Which it usually never is. Instead it’s a waste of time. And riders training for The Horse Wrangler will always feel inferior.
Eventually they’ll think of leaving their discipline. Pick up trail riding. In a treeless. Mission accomplished? I haven’t figured this one out yet. Maybe it was the goal for The Horse Wrangler from the start…?
I’ll be over here doing equine agility with my Wiener dog horse. For some time at least. Beats not riding, it’s still fun! Join in at any time, there’s more room!