Brianna's Blog Post # 2

The Riding Arena and the Classroom

The relationship we have with our equine partners is much like a teacher with their student. I find it easy for people to understand riding when I relate it to the classroom.

We bring our horses into the arena and though we love to dream that they live for their job, they honestly would rather be eating hay out in the pasture and playing with their buddies. This is closely familiar when we think of a student in school.

School is demanding and it has put its fair share of stresses on us. We didn't love getting up early, being stuck in a room, and having to listen to an immensely boring teacher who lived to leave us with homework. We had our favorite teachers and the ones we just did not understand. More than likely we had a subject that came easily for us as well as a subject that we struggled with. On top of these, we all had different personalities, the brain, the quite one, the jock, and so on.

This is all easily seen in horses. Just as we had to start with kindergarten and preschool, so do horses. Beginning with short learning segments and gradually getting more advanced through out the years. Our teachers didn't expect us to learn something after seeing it once and we should not expect horses to understand and remember a lesson without repetition. If we struggled with something our teachers broke it down and explained it further, all the while praising our efforts and small improvements.

When it comes to being the teacher we have to remind our selves of the way we thought when we were in the student position. We have to take into account what kind of personality our horse has. Does he have a "don't care" kind of attitude? Or is he quite sensitive? And then we have to be understanding of his weak spots and help to break down the idea for the horse to gain the most out of each lesson.

We have to put our selves in a position we can understand. So that we can help our horses reach their potential. When you and your horse are struggling with a lesson remember what it was like when you couldn't understand your teacher or the subject they were teaching. Take a step back and look at the problem from the horses perspective.

Lastly, realize that though you are the designated teacher, teaching is a two way street, stay open minded to what the horse has to teach you.

- Thanks for reading, and ride on!

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