Finding a new instructor or coach is a lot like dating.
Everyone has a style to find the one, and the amount of effort put in can vary across the board. Here are a few of the common types you may find at the stables:
The Speed Dater
Why waste time or worry about ‘what if’s? Here’s a solution, try every single instructor, and if you don’t like their attitude, drop them like they’re not hot. This rider is rarely seen with the same coach twice, as they pick and drop them in rapid fashion, but hey at least they’ve got all the contacts.
Sometimes mistaken for the Speed Dater, the Octopus has a set of multiple instructors that they swap between in a sort of confusing pattern. This rider sometimes looks as perplexed as her horse, as while she trains she is seen attempting to scratch the backs of all of the coaches, like a dog with fleas.
A force to be reckoned with, instructor’s are sometimes shocked when they meet the rider for the first time and is asked about the health of their second cousin once removed after their fall on their 15.2hh bay four year old thoroughbred that had seedy toe last year. Once burnt, now shy, this rider dons their detective hat and spends time trawling the internet to piece together a profile of the instructor before they decide to give them a call.
Sometimes mistaken as an overconfident rider who don’t need no instructor, this one is careful to choose only the best. They must look the part, and have the certifications and competition results to prove it. A bit like a crocodile lurking in the depths, the Perfectionist will watch quietly until their target arrives in their view, then snap them up.
Not wanting to rock the boat, the Democratic will check in with others for their recommendations or approval. Often seen on Facebook groups and forums, this rider will take on the advice of others, sometimes strangers, in order to make an educated decision. They like to share, and are easily influenced by other’s thoughts on their choice. They rely on anecdotal evidence and love heart smileys to guide their decision.
Laid back and happy to go with the flow, this rider will catch an instructor that is popular and ride the wave until their popularity fades out. Once the excitement fizzles out they’ll survey the horizon and set up their next catch.
This rider just wants an instructor, wants one now, and any will do. They’ll shove their hand into the bag and pull out their lucky result. There’s no discrimination, they’re happy to learn whatever, and will forget their dressage dreams for a moment when the instructor rocks up in jeans and a cowboy hat. “Come on Sir William, you’re a barrel star today!”
A rags to riches dreamer, this rider is careful with their money, and eager to make it count. They spend time to find the shoe that fits and adopts their chosen instructor as their own, but lacks commitment. Due to the long gap between lessons, they can be seen reintroducing themselves to their instructor and spending ten minutes of the hour discussing that time the horse did that thing.
This is just a quick snapshot of the types you can see in the
dating coaching scene. Which one are you? How about your buddies?
Till next time!