I've picked up some more freelance teaching hours at a truly delightful little yard, locally to me. How lucky am I to have found not one, but two, lovely yards to freelance at! The 'new' yard has invested in a riding simulator, and I went along to a staff practice session the other day. I absolutely adore simulators, and have become very accustomed to them (the yard where I learned to ride had one; Hartpury university has 2 - a standard one, and a very rare Eventing one; and now this new yard has one as well!). I had a play with some Franklin balls to fix a few things. I was throwing my hip out to the left, and collapsing over my right hip which you can see a little in the video (more side planks needed, unfortunately - I hate doing them!).
The weight sensor shows-up on the screen as a dot that moves around side to side and forwards & backwards with your weight, I was able to keep the dot centred and very steady and still, so was obviously much more balanced than I felt, which was nice!
I am delighted to announce that you can now find me on Wise Owl Equitation! Wise Owl is a platform designed for remote equestrian coaching. It's easy to use, and a great way to access coaching from anywhere in the world.
I will be teaching dressage/flatwork, position & Franklin Balls, long-reining & in-hand work, equitation theory, and stable management via the platform, as well as taking video analysis/commentary of all of the above + polework, show jumping, and cross-country.
Jump & polework are still available in person, as are all of the other lessons I normally teach.
I've kept my prices down as much as possible, to make coaching accessible for everyone. I charge just £20/60 minute lesson, and only £10/30 minute lesson.
Do feel free to drop me a message via the Wise Owl Equitation platform, or my website to arrange something or ask questions prior to booking.
You can book lessons from anywhere in the world - USA, Australia, Europe, India - anywhere. All lessons are instructed in English.
"I'm a classically trained rider/trainer, who teaches all disciplines including Franklin balls & positional work, in-hand work & long-reining, equitation theory, and stable management. I offer goal-focussed coaching, to all levels of rider including first-time horse owners and riders with disabilities. I hold a BSc Equestrian Sports Science, BHS qualifications, Franklin Ball certified trainer, and NLP Practitioner".
Pivo meet is a great option for live remote coaching. You don't need someone to video, just your pivo, phone, and some bluetooth headphones.
In-hand & long-reining; dressage & flatwork; positional correction and/or Franklin ball lessons are all available.
The other option is Wise Owl Equitation; an online platform designed specifically for remote coaching of riders & equestrians, allowing me to teach riders anywhere in the world. Dressage/flatwork, in-hand work, long-reining, Franklin balls & positional work, equitation theory, and stable management lessons are all available.
I've kept my prices affordable, so everyone can get involved;
I charge just £20 for a 60 minute, 1:1 lesson and only £10 for a 30 minute slot.
I charge £20 for video commentary (video analysis). Via the platform.
Click for my Wise Owl Equitation profile
I went down the 'college' and then degree option. I don't regret it for a second.
You will hear from, typically the older generation, of yard owners, that equine college courses (and god forbid, equine degrees!) were hand delivered to the equine industry by Satan himself. Many of these people do not believe in science as a concept.
They've experienced occurances with former college students being 'useless', 'ineffective' or 'unsafe'. They often want someone who's completed an apprenticeship, because they've learned on-the-job, and already have 2 years of full-time experience before coming to them. If you are going to go down the college route, don't be one of these people. Get some experience too. I did my BHS exams alongside my degree, and had working student/voluntary/training/paid equine jobs whilst doing so. Your aim should be to come out the other side as well-rounded individual.
In the short-term, the apprentices will progress a lot faster in the industry than others. What about when they are 40? When they want to settle down? When their back causes them absolute agony every waking moment, and they start taking Co codomol on a regular basis just to get through the day? When they want to leave the industry? (I know you might not believe me, but I promise, it does happen. People do throw in the towel and get a 'normal' job). Those former apprentices may well end up working in a supermarket, getting paid £9 an hour to scan items and take payment from customers. Those who've done the college route, and achieved UCAS points, can go to university (if they haven't do so already), and take a £40,000+ project management job, or go into another well-paid profession.
There is nothing wrong with considering, and planning for, a future outside of the equine industry... just in case.
It's all very well and good having experience, but until you're at least middle-aged, you'll be learning daily. What happens if you encounter a problem you haven't come across before? Find ourself in a situation you have no experience of? What do you do? Nothing. There's nothing you can do (other than hope someone who does have experience of this problem becomes available to advise).
In absence of experience, you need knowledge. You need to be able to find information, read it, understand it, read some more, and formulate your own opinion on how to handle the situation very quickly. That is something that college courses and degrees give people. In my humble (albeit, biased) opinion, it's irreplacable. If I get stuck, I get my phone out and jump onto Google Scholar. I read a few articles, so I can understand the problem better, come up with a solution based on what I now know. If it works, it's logged as good experience (do that again, if it happens again). If it doesn't work, it's logged as bad experience (try something different next time). I'm not even 25, there have been (and will continue to be) many, many firsts. The ability to research and problem-solve in record time has been hugely beneifical, and will continue to be, without a doubt.
The option you take is, of course, up to you.
Both options have strengths and weaknesses, and will afford you different opportunities, connections, and skills.
Mental health, and mental health awareness, is so important, especially at a time like this! I'm so grateful to UK Coaching for offering this vital training, and making it available to sports coaches from all sports and backgrounds.
After a very quiet few months, due to a certain pandemic that need not be mentioned, I am finally back out teaching. Yesterday was the first day back, and it was both busy and brilliant! 12 lessons taught in all, and all went superbly.
Each clients is different, with different horses, needs, ambitions etc. so each lesson is different.
I am a dressage trainer and general equestrian coach in Surrey, Sussex, and Berkshire. I teach dressage lessons, and hold a range of riding and equestrian clinics around the UK, and use my blog to share horse training tips, advice, and resources.