After a few weeks of teaching riding lessons, I’ve come to truly realize and understand what my trainers went through every day. It’s a constant balancing act between loving your students, wanting them to truly excel, and keeping in mind how far they actually want to progress compared to how much fun they want to have.
I always thought the pole exercises and obstacle courses to maneuver around were just a way that my trainers tried to make lessons more challenging and fun. Now, I realize that those exercises were in place to make sure the horses were being asked the proper things at the right times.
This brings me to why I chose this particular title for this particular post; you absolutely must make everyone happy. You will get students who truly want to learn to ride, ride competitively, and hang on your every word. However, you will also get the weekend warriors who just love horses and want to have fun in their lessons. If you’re lucky, you can split these students up into different lessons. . .however, it’s more likely that you will end up with lessons that have a mix of different experience and commitment levels.
I’m big on safety. So, if you can’t 100% steer, you are certainly not jumping anything. Now, for the weekend warriors, this means no jumping which means no fun and now I’m not doing my job. This is where pole exercises come in; instead of putting all the work on the students to make sure the horses are bending properly, learning their leads, and staying balanced; the poles give everyone a way to monitor their progress and provide a road map for when they should be doing what.
I will be sharing all the exercises I do with my lessons but I would love to hear about yours! If you have any really great exercises you love, please SHARE!