Dear students everywhere,
First off, we are so excited that you decided to give horses a try. Even if it doesn’t prove to be your life’s passion, we hope you learn lessons that you can carry on as you move on in life.
The process of learning about riding and horsemanship provides the opportunity to make lifelong friends and learn lessons that are harder to learn elsewhere.
In this day and age of instant gratification, learning to ride is going to teach you that you have to work hard and that getting good takes time! It’s hard work, but nothing that is worth doing in life comes easily.
Your instructor will choose your horse for you, based on what they think you need to work on, and what horse can best teach you that lesson. You will love some of the horses you ride, and dread riding others. Just remember, they all have something to teach us. Your instructor knows this and that is why they choose particular horses for their students. Trust us!
Speaking of trusting us, we ask you to do things because we know you are capable. We would never ask you to do something or ride a horse that was going to put you in danger, or one that didn’t have something to teach you. There is a method to our madness. I promise.
Some lessons are going to be hard or frustrating. You might even get scared, or want to give up and quit. It is okay to be afraid – we have all been there. If you talk to a person who has been riding their whole life, they are lying if they say they have never been afraid. That being said, if (and when) you get scared, please talk to us and help us understand what is bothering you, so we can break things down into smaller steps to help build your confidence back up again.
All good instructors know it’s way easier to build confidence than to gain it back when it has been lost.
Our job as your teacher is to build your confidence slowly and systematically and to put you on the right horse or pony, for the right reason, at the right time in your riding journey. Sometimes it will be to help gain confidence back, but other times it is to challenge you. So if we put you on a new or different horse, be enthusiastic. We see you progressing and think you are ready to work on something new, and this horse will be a better fit to help us teach you these new skills.
As long as you come to the ring with a positive attitude, decide that you are going to keep on trying and be willing to learn, you will be like a sponge and soak up both good and bad experiences. But even the times that feel like bad experiences really aren't bad. Afterall, no time spent in the saddle is wasted.
When you are frustrated, remember that all of us instructors have once been in your boots – we all started on a lesson horse somewhere, we know how it feels and what a struggle it can be. Don’t think that we don’t understand what you are going through. In fact, we most certainly do. That is why we are encouraging you and giving you a little push when necessary because someone did it for us when we were learning and when we needed it.
Think back to your first lesson and where you are now…. You may have a lot more to learn still, but you have come a long way, baby! Be proud of yourself. We most certainly are!
And lastly, thank you!! Thank you for the opportunity to teach your lessons. We learn just as much from watching you ride and interact with the horses as you learn from our riding lessons.
We hope that we impact your life in a big way, whether you make riding your lifelong sport or just try it out for a little while. We are proud of what you have learned to do with horses, no matter how far you decide to go with it.
Your Riding Instructor
P.S. Always wear your helmet!