To my students-
You can and should expect to be treated with respect. Whether you have been riding your whole life or first time today, whether you think you know something or are scared you’ll look stupid, whether you have an expensive import or a kill pen rescue, you will be treated with respect, and you should expect it.
Once that’s clear that you won’t be judged for your ability, let’s not waste time with worrying how you look, or trying to impress or show what you know. Let’s get right to the stuff of value – because I respect you, I want to help you. I want to get the source to help you succeed. Because you know it is with respect and not personal, you can be assured it is a safe environment to receive input and even criticism without it being personal criticism. You can rest assured that I myself am still taking lessons on very basic skills, and recieve criticism from my own teachers on probably the same thing you’re going to get. It’s not personal, and it does not mean you are a poor rider or can’t be a great one.
I expect you to treat your horse with respect. You’re going to refine your idea of what respect for your horse is, and im going to ask you to stretch your comforts, and think from the horses perspective. You’re going to learn that to be really respectful of the horse, some of your habits simply will not fit into this. They’re probably unconscious, probably not meant with malice, but I need you to understand that that doesn’t matter to the horse- you need to break those habits, and take that task very seriously if you want them to be happy.
Im going to put you first, but im going to ask you to put your horse first. You might not always like what you hear, but you can rest assured it is said because I care about your success- if I didn’t, I wouldn’t bother changing your habits.
Good riding, really good riding, is exceptionally hard. Im still working on myself and always will be. Im a fellow student and fellow learner, so I will try to see from your point of view as much as I can. You can communicate safely with me, but you may be asked to think differently.
It’s ok to make mistakes, it’s ok to have emotions, it’s ok to feel whatever comes up – we will address it, but we will be moving forward, together.