Whether you’re aiming for the Badminton Grassroots Championships or your goal is just to enjoy riding and feeling confident, a good instructor can play a crucial role. After all, we never stop learning.
It’s important to remember that it may well be a process of trial and error to find the perfect fit for you. Just like when you’re looking for a tradesperson, it’s important to take your time, perhaps try a few different options and see what works best for you and your horse.
Finding the right fit
Consider what kind of instruction will work best for your aims and time commitments. There are endless options, from moving to a yard with a resident trainer for very regular tuition and support, weekly lessons, less frequent sessions, or even focusing on clinics with visiting or local trainers when time allows. There are benefits to each method, and no approach will work for everyone, but narrowing down your preference for frequency will at least allow you to begin to create a shortlist of instructors to consider. There a number of ways to start your search…
- word of mouthTalk to friends and fellow liveries
- try clinics (or even go along to watch)This is a good way to get a feel for someone’s teaching style, often in a new environment, to see if it might work for you
- look onlineMost affiliated bodies and the British Horse Society have free to access registers of accredited trainers, and you can search by area and trainer level
Putting yourself in front of a stranger for scrutiny can feel like a daunting prospect. But remember that it’s their career and they want to help you improve, so be brave and take the plunge!
It’s okay to ask
Lessons aren’t cheap, and if you’re investing time and money in training it’s important to feel confident that it’ll be a good fit for you and your horse. It’s worth having a chat with any potential instructors about your goals and challenges. They should be able to discuss how they’d approach lessons to help you achieve your aims. This is also a good chance to find out more about their training style – every trainer is different, and each of us has a different learning style, too, so finding a good fit is important.
Pick up a copy of March Horse&Rider, on sale 9 January, for our top advice on finding the right instructor for you and your horse.