Guidelines in Picking Your Riding Instructor in Horsemanship
Picking the right instructor to work with and help you on your horsemanship goals is crucial and of primary importance. You need to be able to choose one who can help you on your horsemanship goals as quickly and smoothly as possible. He needs to be able to identify your current ability and your strengths and weaknesses so he will know where he needs to work with you. You also need to consider choosing one who has lots of experience in handling and riding horses, one who has a track record of being an expert in what he does. It will be so much easier to put your trust on a trainer who has accomplished a lot than someone who you barely know. So, choose your riding instructor wisely.
In deciding to go on training, you need to primarily identify what your horse training or riding goals are. Are you a beginner who wants basic skills on horsemanship particularly on horse riding? Do you already have basic skills and want to move on to learning advanced riding skills? Do you wish to change some of your riding habits or practices? If so, you need to be clear about why you need to go on training again. Once you identify your goal or goals (it’s possible to have more than one) it is now easier for you to go and find someone who can help you with it. There are trainers who can better help you on specific goals and there are those who can work with you on other goals better. So, know what you want from your training and find that person who can better help you with it.
Relay Your Goals to Your Instructor
You also need to relay your goals to your instructor at the very beginning. This is to set expectations and for him to directly tell you whether he is the right person for the job or not. Most often, they will not hesitate to tell you if they think they shouldn’t be the instructor you should work with. For example, if you are looking into competing in show rings and becoming a known rider in the sport of horse racing, you need to hire an instructor who specializes in the same field. You need to choose one who has years of experience competing in rings. This is because you won’t only be in need of someone who will teach you how to ride efficiently so you can win competitions but you also need someone who can motivate you and serve as your cheerleader or coach. This is the very reason why you need to know what your goals are in horsemanship training and why you need to pick the right instructor to help you with it.
After you set your specific horse training goals, you should then make a short list of instructors who you could possibly work with. In doing this, consider affordability or budget and the proximity of the horse training facility so you won’t be having a hard time. Again, you should not forget to consider the trainers capabilities, background and competence. It is best to find an instructor who has a college degree or perhaps an accreditation from a horsemanship organization as this can give you a sort of assurance about his background.
Finding the Right Instructor
You should also see for yourself how well his riding skills really are which brings us to the next step of finding the right instructor – visiting the riding facility where your instructor is working so you can find out more not only about the instructor but of the training environment as well. This is very much alike when you are hunting for a college facility where you are going to enroll for college. You simply have to visit the school in order for you to see not only what the school looks like but how they manage the students and their overall teaching operations. You should also make sure to view lessons or demonstrations of the instructor so you will get to decide whether his training style is what you need.
During your visit you need to be extremely observant on how the facility and your instructor conduct things. To help you with this, you should find answers to the following questions;
- Is the instructor neatly and properly dressed? Watch out for this because a careless and sloppy appearance can be a sign that the instructor isn’t organized and dedicated in what he does. You need to pick an instructor who takes his job seriously so you will get the most out of your training.
- Is the instructor professional, pleasant, respectful and patient towards his students? Make a careful observation of this while you are watching him on his riding lessons to other students. Observe how he relates to his students. Avoid a rude and impatient riding instructor if possible. Find one who is patient and helpful. This is extremely important if you are still a beginner rider because it will be extremely difficult to work with someone who cannot stand people who fail on what they do. So, find an instructor who has a pleasant attitude and someone who you can easily work with in the future.
- Is the facility equipped for emergencies? This is another important factor because emergencies are sometimes inevitable in horse riding. You need to feel safe and have an assurance that there is a medical team in the facility ready to assist students like you in times of emergencies.
- Does the facility have complete and clean horse riding equipment? Learn whether their equipment or tools are complete and whether they are well-kept and properly cleaned. You wouldn’t want to work with incomplete tools or tools that are too dirty.
- Is the instructor’s teaching style and personality suitable to your expectations? Every instructor has different teaching styles. Some are more strict and serious towards their students while some are quite laid-back. If you think a very strict instructor will challenge you more in learning faster and better, then go ahead and sign up for that instructor but if you think you would prefer a more laid-back instructor who is more considerate especially when you make lots of mistakes, then avoid the strict instructor and find one who better suits your expectations.
After your visit, you should then sit down and evaluate the answers and observations you obtained from your visit. You can then grade the instructor and facility and then determine whether you are satisfied with it or whether there is something from that instructor or facility which you cannot tolerate. It is best to visit different facilities so you can easily compare.
If you do these steps carefully, you should then be able to find the right instructor for you and you should be on your way to getting the best kind of training that will meet your horsemanship training objectives in the first place.