I've had many trainers over the years, ranging from your local riding school part time pre-pubescent girls who have been told to teach the class of novices in return for rides or cheap livery, to highly experienced dressage riders/judges competing at Prix St George level.  As a trainer [of a different kind] myself, if there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's the trainer that makes ALL the difference!

So what makes a trainer exceptional?  What makes them stand out from the mediocre (or downright rubbish)?  What makes them the ones that you want to try harder for?

As a hobby rider, I've come up with a list of criteria that I think is essential when looking for an exceptional trainer - someone who will really help you achieve your goals.  Here it is:

  • someone who takes the time to listen to you, understand where you're coming from, what your goals are and what your concerns are;
  • someone who is able to articulate instructions in such a way that the words they use resonate with you as an individual - you're on the same wavelength linguistically, which means you interpret their words in a way that make sense to you and makes sense to them;
  • someone who takes their own ego out of the equation and only does things because it's right for you and for your horse and doesn't ram their own accolades down your throat;
  • someone who pays close attention to small details, picking up on subtle changes in physiology, mental focus and emotional state;
  • someone who knows when to push you that bit further and when to pack off;
  • someone who is in such deep rapport with you that they can tune into your anxieties and concerns, heading them off at the pass, changing tack, distracting you from your own thoughts and keeping you on your toes, so to speak, without overwhelming you;
  • someone who can inspire you and give you confidence in your own ability;
  • someone who demonstrates empathy, doesn't ridicule you or make you feel small, yet doesn't collude with your inner fears;
  • someone who has integrity - demonstrating their articulated knowledge in both their riding, horsemanship and teaching.

I'm sure this list could go on and on - this is my personal list - no doubt you would want to add something that's important to you.  

To find such a trainer sounds like a big ask, right? And yet they are out there - such exceptional trainers do actually exist.  They may be few and far between and they may not have every single point on the list 100%, but they're pretty close.  I have been lucky enough to have had an exceptional trainer in the past, Frances Wilson.  I modelled her linguistic skills as a trainer for my modelling project whilst I was studying for my NLP qualifictaions many years ago.  Her horsemanship knowledge, I believe, is second to none and together we have created some amazing workshops (you might have seen us speaking at last year's Your Horse Live event at Stoneleigh Park - if not you can see clips of us on our blog, or on YouTube).

These days, as an NLP Trainer, I am lucky enough to work with trainers who seek to develop the skills listed above.  I am privileged to be part of the journey to making them exceptional in their field.  I know that I am qualifying people in NLP who are out there offering the highest levels of integrity to their own students, which is a great feeling.

If you want to know more about how NLP can take your teaching skills to the next level, please contact Vicky at: info@InspirationalRidingSolutions.com or call: 01795 888510