Sunday, October 21, 2012

Coaching Is Hard!

Well, for the most part the storm passed us by. It did prevent the horses from being delivered yesterday but it stayed far enough away to keep the wind to a "light breeze." Of course a light breeze in this case was somewhere around 40-80 miles per hour with gusts at about 130 miles per hour but you know... it's all about perspective!

Luckily Prapiroon cleared out just in time for us to get ready for our fall show at MHC. We put on two horse shows a year for our students, one in the fall and one in the spring. Typically we offer dressage and jumping classes but with the interior of the arena unusable we had to get a little creative. So Instead of dressage we had an obstacle course. I think it actually turned out pretty well and a good time was (hopefully) had by all. It was judged strictly on time and if you missed an obstacle you had to go back and repeat it until you got it done.

This is what the Obstacle Course looked like.
We still kept two small jumping classes. 4 small jumps for the little kids/beginners and six jumps for the novice/advanced riders.

Everything went off well. But I have to say that coaching is hard and if I had to grade myself on my first effort I think I'd get a big fat F. Only three of the students I've been teaching rode in the show and of the three one had a fall and one missed a jump. The fall I mostly attribute to show nerves and I'm not sure what else I could have done to help. The missed jump I mostly attribute to bad coaching. The jump that was missed came on a 90˚ turn and I should have warned my student that if she cut the corner she would miss that jump. That was exactly what happened but I just didn't think to warn her ahead of time and I felt bad about it. Live and learn and I have to say that both my student and her Mom had a very good attitude about it. The rider was disappointed of course but she is determined to work harder and learn to ride better. 

The lesson horses and MHC are not easy to ride. They aren't your typical push button horses. They require huge amounts of leg and they take advantage of any kind of timidness or weakness of the rider. It really takes a positive, hard working attitude for these kids to ride well. These kids and some adults are truly learning through adversity and I know the ones that keep at it are going to get back to the states and all the sudden realize that riding isn't always going to be so hard.

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