As a trainer, I believe it is rather important to be a great example for our students and clients. They look up to us, often mimic and act similar to us. The younger students, kids, and adults around the barn, or even others on the show grounds see them as examples to follow. I think it is important to treat them with the respect we expect from them and to others as well. I think it is also important to raise our behavioral standards of them, their riding standards, and even their sportsmanship standards. It all reflects back on us and we have an opportunity to help our students grow in and out of the horse world.
If we want this sport to progress further in a positive manner we need to be the examples we want to see! Personally, my students worry about disappointing me, finding that out was quite a shock, but I have high expectations of them and try to be the best I can be for them. This includes furthering my education as often as possible. I also have a set of rules to follow whether they show, pleasure ride or anything else.
The rules are simple:
1. Have fun
2. Stay safe
3. Invest in what you want out
4. Treat your horse with respect
5. Treat yourself and others with respect
6. Keep your eyes up and on your path
7. Do not get mad at your horse or anyone else around you for a bad ride
I have these rules in place verbally, with a copy for them as well, however, I often explain and expand on them as needed. They are for behavior, advancing in life and in their riding skills, and with sportsmanship in a sport that needs more of it!
I have high expectations of my younger students in and out of the ring, they are expected to keep their grades up, act well in school and at home and more. If they do not maintain grades for in school sports they will not compete and invest in their schoolwork. If they have issues at home or at school they are encouraged to talk to me and I will help in any way I can.
I think this is something as trainers and coaches we should seriously consider! I also think it is important to better ourselves constantly and strive to be those good examples.