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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Makings of a Good Pupil

Occasionally I'll take a step back and ask myself, "Am I a good student? Am I someone that my trainers enjoy giving lessons to? What can I do to be a better pupil?"

And every time I do this exercise there are always a few specific constructive criticisms. But before I shame myself- I'll sandwich in a few areas where I feel I excel.

Timeliness: I am always on time for my rides and am conscientious of my trainer's time.

Listening Skills: I think that I'm good at listening to my trainer's feedback and employing their suggestions in my rides. They may think differently based on the number of times they've told me to close my fingers.

Polite: Generally speaking I am pleasant to be around. I often answer with a yes or no ma'am (I picked  up the ma'am chatting with old timey Western folks.....also why I am now using the word folks... and it's usually reserved for when when I'm trying not to shriek a string of swear words). And always say thanks for the time.

Areas for improvement.....

Just do it already!!!: Currently a typical jump or canter convo with me would go like this...
Trainer: Let's do this exercise at a canter.
Me: Can we just trot it?
Trainer: I'd really prefer you canter it. But you can trot it the first time.
Me: Fine. I'll just go canter it.

Really? I might have just gotten annoyed with myself as I was typing. Yet this is verbatim from our lesson this morning.
Just do it. Don't talk back. Just do what they want you to do. You're going to do it anyway.

Stop Over Sharing: When it comes to horses I feel as if I have the maturity level of a 10 year old. Coupled with a 31 year old brain I tend to wax poetic to my poor trainers ad nauseam about my philosophies as to where we are in our training.
For example....
Trainer: I think you have a great eye, you just worry about distances to fences. This exercise will help with that.
Me: Well *stop to stand around*.... really I think I'm not jumping because we really haven't connected on the flat, we haven't been cantering much, I can't get her medium canter down in flatwork, it seems counter productive to jump, blah blah blah blah blah
Trainer: Nods head (and I imagine is saying a nonverbal "shut up")
Me: Good. You agree. I'm glad to be doing these poles.

Then after the lesson I think to myself, "Why couldn't you just keep it to yourself and shut the f up?"

Sometimes I have the forethought to coach myself before lessons- which should not be that challenging. Because it's really just "be quiet and do what they ask."

I'm curious- what would you consider to be your strengths and weaknesses as a student?
Ellie says, "Shut up about the medium canter please." 

13 comments:

  1. I share a lot of your flaws. Mostly I sometimes REALLY need a pep talk and I like to act like I'm a really shitty rider. My pros are I pay my bills on time, I will always show if I say I'll be there and I'm pretty damn dedicated. I'll ride in crappy weather or when there's not a big show deadline because I truly want to get better.

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  2. I over share, too!!! Fortunately, my dressage trainer is the same way (and we are friends), so it usually isn't a bad thing. (Other than my lessons end up running forever!)

    I am a very game student and try hard, so even if I'm asked to do something I'm not wild about, I figure there's a reason, and I go do without question!

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  3. I over share, too!!! Fortunately, my dressage trainer is the same way (and we are friends), so it usually isn't a bad thing. (Other than my lessons end up running forever!)

    I am a very game student and try hard, so even if I'm asked to do something I'm not wild about, I figure there's a reason, and I go do without question!

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  4. Omg. The overshare. I am queen of that. I think my instructor also doubts how much time I actually put into practicing what we work on in lessons. I think she deep down knows that I do, but often it doesn't show...

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  5. yea... the overshare struggle is REAL haha. i've had soooooo many trainers tell me i'm over thinking it...

    but i tend to be good about 'just doing' an exercise even if i'm not feeling super confident. i try to only ride with trainers i really really trust - who will only ever ask me to do things they *know* i can do, even when i'm not as sure - and that motivates me to try for them

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  6. I've been thinking about doing on a post on this. I've always been an easy student, but the new trainer and I do not see eye to eye.

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  7. Oh boy. I think I must be a hopelessly frustrating student at times because I start talking incessantly about whatever we are working on and trainer is standing there like, oh my god, just go jump a freaking jump, would you! It has been this way with basically every trainer I've ridden with so I'm pretty sure it's not them, it's me. Lol

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  8. Oh, fun topic! I agree with many of your strengths: I'm on time, respectful and I'm a good listener. And just so I'm not stealing all of your strengths, I'll add that I'm good at trying. I'll give any exercise my best effort. Sometimes I don't it correctly, or I don't do it well, but I do try. Always.

    I definitely overshare too, and sometimes I enjoy getting in lengthy theoretical discussions, but is interesting but not very time efficient lol

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  9. Yeah, I think I have similar strengths too, but my weakness is that I need constant validation that I'm doing something right, which is frustrating because my trainer is the type that if he isn't telling me to correct something, supposedly I'm doing it right. I need words to know if I'm doing it right! haha

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  10. I know a trainer that always has one ear bud in, turns out it is always on so that when teaching his myriad of over sharing women he can just jam out. Then one day I got to listen to the jams, it was a crack up, literally a bit of everything, I'm not sure how he doesn't break out into dance while teaching (thereby blowing his cover).

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  11. Hahah I am a bad whiny student... I should probably work on that ;)

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  12. Good topic! One of my friends who gave me lessons back in Ireland described me as always being argumentative. The only thing that has stopped that is having lessons in French. Initially I didn't have the language skills to answer back, second guess or question what I was being told :-) Now I do... mwahahah

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