Tonight I enjoyed this post at Theridinginstructor.net about teaching beginners and the first three lessons. The full post can be found here but I’ve summarized the key points below for us all – I confess I’m a note-taker!
- Teaching beginners is not for beginners!
- You are establishing a foundation and confidence. Take that seriously.
- Everything must be regularly repeated with patience!
- “Remember, not only are you teaching something totally unfamiliar to your student, they are learning it with an animal that has its own opinions and needs. If your beginner is taking one lesson a week, progress will seem to be slow.”
- Add extras
- Recommend books, websites, videos, and exercises related to their lesson – give them homework!
- “I do everything I can to connect my student’s riding lessons together like a continual chain. For instance if I tell my student that riding her bicycle for a half hour 5 days a week will strengthen her legs and that stretching her heels on the steps at her house will help her get her heels down, chances are she will develop great legs more quickly than the student who doesn’t think about it until her next lesson.”
- Go at their pace
- It’s easier to progress a confident student than frightened one. Go at THEIR pace, not their parent’s or even their own desired agenda’s.
- Use the first 3 lessons…
- To establish your teaching methods and expectations
- To teach safety
- To establish relationship
- To establish structure – get them used to explanation, demonstration, and expectation that they will be able to show or explain it back to you.
- To build confidence – each next lesson ask what they remember and reward it, boosting their confidence.
Hope that helps!
Source: Barbara Ellin Fox. “The First Three Riding Lessons.” http://theridinginstructor.net/737/the-first-three-riding-lessons/
Note: This is not professional advice, this is a blog. I am not liable for what you do with or how you use this information. The activities explained in this blog may not be fit for every rider, riding instructor, or riding center depending on their current condition and resources. Use your best personal judgement!