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What makes a good instructor?

Dan teaching a cross country clinic
Dan Bizzarro teaching a pony club clinic

Having a good riding instructor can make such a difference to you and your horse but what are the key elements of a good instructor? We met up with KBIS insured instructor Dan Bizzarro to find out what he thinks makes a good instructor great!

There are a number of elements that add up to a good instructor and I believe they include the following:

-          Explaining why an exercise is useful and when it can be used rather than just asking a pupil to do it.

-          Teaching all levels with the same amount of effort and enthusiasm, whether it is a complete beginner with aspirations to enjoy hacking out with friends or a professional rider aiming for their next top event, each and every pupil wants to improve and this must be respected.

-          Being able to explain a feeling that a rider needs to look for and guide them to on how to get that from their horse.

-          Having a good grounding in the different stages of training and never pushing a pupil and/or horse too far too soon, for me establishing the basics is always key before progressing with training and it is very important that my pupils understand this.

-          Basing training on, and explaining that when you start to learn something new you must take your time and not rush, once you and your horse have built up confidence and feel comfortable you can start to pick up the pace. On this note, it must always be remembered that horses, just like humans, take time to understand and learn new skills.

-          Having an hour a lesson every fortnight is useful, however, I feel that as an instructor you should go beyond this and help your client to work on a training program between lessons to further establish what is learnt in the lesson and provide a focus for schooling sessions.

-          A key of all the training I do whether it is instructing pupils or riding my own horses, is respect and understanding of the horses you’re working with and to work with them rather than against them.

The biggest part of being an instructor for me is definitely passion for the sport and love for the horses, to my mind that is what makes a good instructor GREAT!

Keep an eye on our social media pages over the next few weeks for some top training tips from Dan, you can find out more about Dan and the clinics he runs here.

Dan has placed his freelance instructors insurance with KBIS since 2016, find out more about the cover available.