I am going to kick this blog post of by saying
Why? You might wonder. Well the thing is you never really know what you’ve got until you start-that’s when I normally lay a base plan for the session, whether I am teaching or not.
On saying that, on the rare occasion, like in front of competitions I will sometimes make a plan and stick to it no matter how it feels, because at the show, you need to ride what you’ve got, to the best of your abilities.
I find it immensely important to know you and your horses strengths and weaknesses, know how far you can push it, when you need to take a step back and when to reward. You need to be brave and take things outside the box sometimes to widen your horizons and really see what you’ve got.
When I teach my approach is slightly different. I will normally ask what level they’re working at, what their end goal/dreams are, if they have a specific problem and of course I will also ask what they’d like to get out of the lesson. Then I ask them to warm up and show me the paces left and right so I get a image of the horse and rider and can start creating a plan in my head.
If they’re jumping I will ask these questions beforehand so I can find exercises to match and build.
Even though I might have chosen a path to go down sometimes deviations are necessary to take to get to where you want to go. Don’t panic if you need to take a step sideways or even backwards before you can move forwards.
What do you think? What do you do and what do you expect of your trainer?