Ode to the Riding Instructor

I don’t know how they do it. I really don’t. What kind of constitution must a person have to be able to be a riding instructor. I don’t care if they are considered good, bad or anything in between, they all seem to have nerves of steel (and extremely good poker faces). In addition to playing “super riding instructor”, they must also take on the roles of teacher, surrogate mom, and psychologist; sometimes all in the same day!

There are the typical things that happen when kids ride, like falls or near misses (my daughter almost jumped a lesson horse over a half wall when she forgot how to steer at the canter). Those things are the ones that make me want to puke. Instructors somehow take it in stride, using it as a learning experience (ie, “that what happens when you lean over too far in the saddle”, or “we must steer when we are cantering”).

In addition to those bad things, however, there are also the atypical occurrences that an instructor must endure. Things like: hormonal girls crying for no reason in the middle of their lesson (TWO at the same time), having to explain to mom that their kid probably isn’t going to be the next Junior Park Saddle World Champion, teaching us “Special Adults” that riding with two sets of reins doesn’t mean that you forget what to do with the rest of your body, and trying to entertain 10 girls at an academy show because they were supposed to show at 2pm but didn’t hit the ring until 7pm.

These things and more would make me just not show up for work the next day; or EVER again for that matter. I have a hard enough time trying to deal with my everyday issues without having to handle that of the rest of the world. But everyday, like clockwork, the instructor returns, ready to do it all over again. How they do this and actually enjoy it, I will never know. But the majority do; they really, really enjoy it. I think maybe that they must be charted for sainthood (or a frontal lobotomy)!

6 Responses to Ode to the Riding Instructor

  1. MochaMon says:

    Not ever having had a riding instructor, I have little to say. However, I expect that some riding instructors we know should have lots to say.

  2. Black Eye Beth says:

    As I watch the class yesterday my thoughts were brought to life once again. I just don’t know how she does it.

  3. kad says:

    As “one of those instructors” I can do it every day for all of the reasons you have realized in your blog and the one or two smiles I get a day knowing that what I do makes people happy…….
    Because trust me most days it’s not for the money!

  4. scarecrow says:

    My instructor brings a smile to my face everyday that I ride with her. I also wonder
    how in the world they do it, putting up with
    all of us. Even the “special adults”!!!
    But, I’m thankful that they do. I hope we bring
    something to them, besides cash!!!!!

  5. Lovesong says:

    There is nothing like a twinkle of delight in someones eyes,Just a helping hand can put a smile on a childs face for days…

  6. Black Eye Beth says:

    Lovesong and kad, sounds like, as instructors, you love your jobs. Hats off to you!!! Please feel free to post some good instructor stuff (stories, tips for riders, parents and other instructors – like the hang the loose stirrup on the riders feet to keep their heels down; had that one done to me recently!…) on the main page. I think people would love it!

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