The way we teach horse riding is broken

The way horse riding is taught in Australia is broken.

It’s broken from the point of view of the student, the trainer and the horse.

The trainer turns up to work with their student often feeling under pressure to be continually progressing, to be introducing more complicated movement or higher jumps, when in reality they feel they should take the student back. The pressure from the rider, the rider’s parents/ owners and from their own hip pocket and fear around loss of income means they stick to the same old story- bigger, better, faster, more..

The rider knows that to be better, they need to learn from experts. But just because you can do a thing, it does not mean you can teach it. So the rider saddles up for their weekly lesson, never really understanding why, or feeling how, not ever feeling like they are on the path to being an expert themselves. They are often not encouraged to set goals and plans, and instead just turn up week after week. Changing instructors is more trouble than it’s worth- it’s so uncomfortable having that conversation!

The horse just wants to understand what we want him to do. Too many lessons are focused on what he looks like, how he is shaped or moving, what he’s doing, and he really wishes the person up top would just sit a bit more to the right so that he could actually do it easily. He tries to tell his people it’s not working for him, but he gets labeled as lazy, or naughty, or difficult, or just no good.

The way we teach horse riding- the way we train people to be better riders, trainers and horse people- MUST change.

And luckily for the horses, there are people out there making that change right now.

I have had the exquisite privilege to be able to work with a few of these innovative and visionary people over the last few years. It’s been my honour to help these people do something different in a very traditional “because it’s always been done this way” space.

I’m not one of those people. I’m not a gifted horse person, I don’t have the insights and expertise, the timing and feel to be able to help riders and horses directly.

But, I do have the insights and expertise to be able to help these people do more, be more, help more riders.

I know you guys are out there. I know you know that these things must change too.

If you don’t believe in the “because it’s always been done that way” school of thought, if you know you can make a difference, if you are determined to leave your mark and make the world a better place, to be a part of the movement to bring change to the sport of equestrianism before we potentially loose it all-

Hit me up. Let’s talk. I’m excited. You should be too. Your time is now.


(I shared these thoughts on my facebook page last week, and boy, did it get a reaction.  Pop over to the original post here, and read through the comments.)

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Written by Anita Marchesani
I've come to small business the long way round- but enjoyed and learned from every single step. I learned about the power of Media during a BA and while working in Film&TV. I learned about the hard graft while groom for an international eventer in the UK. I learned organisation and staff management from running hundreds of weddings both here and in the UK. I learned from the mistakes of my first business that failed, to create an e-commerce success story, and now I'm here to help you have even greater success in your business. Oh, and I dance to really loud music like a crazy bastard.