equestrian coach education international

905592 L platesWe’ve all done this – and if we haven’t, then it’s a sure bet we’re going to because no teaching career is complete without taking beginners. Even if this group of riders is not at the top of your popularity ratings, you can learn so much from working with them.

Firstly, if you take a curiosity-based approach to teaching beginners, it is marvellous for your professional development and a valuable investment in your teaching future. 

So how does this happen? With a kind eye and an inquisitive intellect! You’ll soon recognise the start of many later problems which riders bring to you on a daily basis. Seeing how these problems first arise for a beginner rider, will not only allow you to nip them in the bud before they become major issues, it will also help you to develop the most skilled and meticulous eye for detail. This will be invaluable in raising the quality of all your later work where patterns of rider behaviour and gaps in a rider’s skill set which you might otherwise have missed because you didn’t recognise their significance, will then no longer pass you by.

time investSecondly, working in this way with beginners will seriously reduce your contribution to their later problems. Your contribution...? Well, yes, because every time you overlook one of the beginner rider’s mistakes, you will unwittingly contribute to these problems. The longer they go uncorrected, the more practised they become. This is why your high quality efforts are so important to their early teaching - invest your time!

Thirdly, the more gaps in a rider’s knowledge that go unnoticed by you, the slower their progress will be. This will be tedious for both of you, and doesn’t need to happen.

Fourthly, the higher the quality of a rider’s initial training, the more secure will be their understanding of riding fundamentals and the better will be the quality of their practice. This can only impact happily upon their horse.

So teaching beginners may be difficult, but its’s a winner all round when you do it well.

Other topics under teaching: Teaching in General and Advanced Teaching

Articles in Teaching Beginners Vol I

Beginner riders: why they are so difficult to teach (*)

beginner boy with grandfatherThe topics in this article

  • Who are the beginners
  • What makes teaching them challenging - concepts, framework, limited knowledge and understanding
  • How riding history influences their actions and behaviour
  • Overcoming learning blocks
  • Learning a new language
  • Developing trust
  • The importance of riding fitness and health

Best practice - teaching beginners

abc The topics in this article

  • Listen to the beginner rider's story
  • Learning theory in practice - refresh your skills
  • Common scenarios - nervousness, lack of confidence and negative histories
  • Golden rules never to break

Safety protocols for teaching beginners

safeThe topics in this article

  • The starting points - safe environment and boundaries
  • Outdoor environment safety
  • Indoor environment safety
  • Anticipating the unexpected
  • The 'must check' list

Ovals and how to teach them

DSC 0046 001The topics in this article

  • The "22 problems" of your horse
  • Natural turns
  • All about line
  • Perspectives - yours, the horse's and the rider's
  • Ovals - marking them out
  • Diagrams of configurations and oval sizes
  • Stretched ovals

Quasi corners

quasi cornersThe topics in this article

  • Definition and description
  • The similarities between a quasi-corner and a classic corner
  • The differences between a quasi-corner and a classic corner
  • Consequences of beginner horse or rider attempting classic corners too early
  • Riding in a nutshell
  • Teaching notes
  • Tips and comments

Teaching beginners - children

children learn to ride horsesThe topics in this article

  • Child safety
  • How to make it Fun
  • Your duty of care
  • Partnering with their pony
  • Conceptual content
  • Working them in pairs, inclusion, keeping friends together
  • Reinforcements
  • Games and toys