1.Being Stirrupy Mcstirrups
Checking your stirrups before you ride, changing them after warm up, changing them before you jump – this is all grand and expected. Turning in in a group lesson sixteen bajillion times to change them though – no, just no.
2. Being consistently late
Everyone can be late on occasion or exceptional circumstances (even the instructor!) but if you are the person who is late by the same amount of time every week you probably need to leave the house earlier.
3. Not knowing the exercise / course when you are last to go
Please watch each other! If five other people went before you, it is fair to say you should know what you need to do. Looking at the instructor like you have no idea what is going on when you are asked to go doesn’t go down well.
4. Being a Tailgater
Also known as allowing your horse to go along in closed order with it’s nose embedded in the backside of the horse in front. Not only is it probably driving the rider in front of you mad but it is potentially giving your horse a kick in the teeth.
5. Not Catching up
Allowing three buses distance between you and the horse in front when riding in closed order makes it near impossible to allow enough room for the other riders to complete tasks or for the ride to work as a group. I joke often that ‘catch up’ will be written on my gravestone.
6. Doing a strip tease
If we do our job right you are going to get warm during the lesson. So if you get up wearing three base layers, a fleece , a ski jacket and back protector you will need to remove some. Turning in to do so is fine – turning in three or more times to remove a layer at a time, not so fine.
7. Not trying
We completely understand being nervous or scared or even just having a bad day and we are there to help and support you. Wanting to make something easier or to take your time is completely understandable. Refusing to actually try things at all makes it really hard for us to help you to progress at all.
8. Giving the lesson yourself
If you just want to tell your instructor all about you, your horse, what you know and the right way to do things there isn’t much point in asking us to teach you. Don’t be that person!
9. Riding through the poo!
We have a very glamorous life as riding instructors with picking up your horses poo being just one of the highlights. Few things are as traumatic as watching riders riding through poo scattering it and mashing it into the surface.
Bringing a backseat instructor
Letting your parent / friend / partner turn up to hang over the arena fence shouting advice, commentary and instructions really doesn’t help us to teach you or the other pupils. It is even more annoying if their entire ‘knowledge’ is based on having ridden once about twenty years ago.
10. Complaining about the weather
Often the weather is bad – wet, windy, cold or a combination of all three. Commenting on this is understandable but complaining to us about how horrible it is or how annoying it is to ride in it is not going to get you much sympathy – while you are riding in it for an hour we will be standing in it for many.
11. Being an asshole to the horse
Losing your temper, kicking while pulling, abusing the whip, jabbing mindlessly with big spurs and blaming the horse for things that were clearly not their fault often makes us want to do the same to you.
12. Being way too fluffy bunnies
In contrast to the above it is also really hard to watch an owner purring ‘good boy’ at a 600 kilo badly behaved naptastic horse who has no respect for boundaries and is currently trying to shove them over or bite them.
13. Obsessing about being perfect
Lets face it – neither of us is going to the Olympics. Its important to try your best but there is no need or sense to beat yourself up just because something went slightly wrong or took a few tries to get the hang of. Most of the time perfection doesn’t exist and it is okay to make mistakes. If you managed to complete the the exercise, stayed on, didn’t maim yourself of others and left the fence up – you are doing okay. Try it, enjoy it, repeat it and improve it and you will be much closer to getting it right every time.
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