Hey, I've got a question for any that have given lessons to adults and children. Have you noticed with a kid you can tell them to do something, that may be a small series of movements to accomplish one goal...and they can just do it all as one. But with adults it has to broken down into itty bitty pieces?
I've ridden pretty much since before I can remember. So a great deal of what I do I don't even think about. It seems innate. I've really had to stop and think about what I do with my body to explain how to accomplish something to people.
I had one student ask me how I could put one leg on and not the other...and not slide off the side of the horse? I was baffled. It was like, you just do it. I actually had to get on the horse and do it...and break down all the pieces of putting on your right or left leg, and what you do with your seat to maintain your position. I had no idea it could be so complicated.
Okay so my questions are (Oh I'll have more another time. lol). How do we get adult beginners to learn like kids? How do we make it less difficult? How do we make it seem less like some arcane secret knowledge to them and more innate?
In my book there are no secrets. If I know it, and you want to know it...I'll give it to you. I just have to figure out how to explain it in more varied ways. Simplify and take the apprehension and fear out of it. They are going to make mistakes. It's okay...everybody makes mistakes. Quit worrying so much about 'doing it wrong'. If you're beginning, you're probably doing it wrong, or not well. No big deal. Keep doing it. It will get right. (Okay, you need a ground person, but it will get right). You can't learn to ride from a book, or a DVD or tape. You can't learn riding in 45min to 1hr lessons once a week. (Okay, you can. But it is going to take a hella long time). It will take two years to build muscle memory alone. (If you were going to learn to play the piano and you took one hour lesson a week, didn't have a piano to practice on at home...how long is it going to take you to learn to play the piano?)
OH...and who came up with the term half-halt? How confusing is that? Re-balance your horse makes more sense to me. Stronger or steadier contact, legs on (sometimes? Hey there are 50,000 reasons to apply a half halt, and 50,000 different ways to apply it...yeah explain that to the woman that has read every dressage book ever written, and hasn't ridden a single forward stride in her life) feel the give, or the softening and go on. Oh...and it really is in the release, not in the take. (I'll rant about the lack of independent seats another time.)
Okay, can you tell I rode and gave lessons today and feeling like I'm pounding my head into a wall?
OH and get this...I think I need to pack a whip on Top. WTF? A tad to relaxed...I was kicking him to keep him forward (forward hell, going) in the trot. HOLYCRAP...peppermints are very powerful things.
I told Norma about it this evening. She laughed at me. She doesn't think it's the peppermints...she thinks he just turned the corner. (I think it is the peppermints, and they helped him turn the corner).