With so many equestrians turning to the internet now in order to up-level their knowledge and skills, the ‘online equestrian coach’ is a title that is popping up everywhere. It leaves many riders scratching their heads and wondering just how someone on the other side of the world could possibly help them in their riding.
After coaching thousands of riders from all over the world (many of those over the internet as an ‘Online Equestrian Coach’ since 2014), I have pinpointed exactly what makes the difference between those who see success and those who don’t.
The simple truth is that whether or not an online equestrian coach or trainer can help you is entirely up to you! Let me explain why…
Are You ‘Coachable’?
This is the number one question to ask yourself before you ever consider hiring help, in person or online. I have met thousands of riders. Many in-person in an arena. Others online and virtually.
The thing that separates riders who get results from those who don’t is whether or not they are ready to learn.
Many riders leave it late to begin looking for help. They only really see it as a priority when they hit a roadblock that they cannot overcome. Unfortunately, this is usually long after an unhelpful habit or way of riding has become ingrained.
Changing an ingrained way of doing something is not easy. It will require mental, emotional and physical effort from the rider. It might also require a less than conventional approach from the trainer.
Being open to trying something different is the key to making progress. Will the very first thing work straight out of the box? Probably not! Remember, this not so helpful way of doing things is ingrained – it runs deep! Also, there is a ‘getting to know you’ period in any relationship between student and teacher.
However, if the rider is willing to try, progress can be made. Even if that initial progress is figuring out what does not work or help.
Are You Willing to Show Up?
Just yesterday I had a 1 to 1 call booked with a rider. I was there, online in our virtual ‘meeting room’ waiting. They never showed up. No explanation or apology. They just didn’t ‘pitch’. Later that evening, after still no reply to my emails asking if all was okay, I asked a member of our team to reach out. Long story short, the rider in question ‘was busy’ and, in their own words, ‘overly ambitious’ scheduling a call for that time.
It made me wonder… If we had a session booked in an actual physical arena, would this have gone the same way? Would I have been left standing in an empty arena; waiting?
The answer is probably not. Which brings me to my next point. Are you able to see past the fact that the coaching happens virtually? Getting results with an online equestrian coach or trainer means that you come to the party with the same commitment that you would if we were to meet in person. Anything less will, obviously enough, mean that your results will be wishy-washy.
Working with an online equestrian coach or trainer will require you to approach it with the right mindset. It will also require you to have integrity with regards to how you are showing up.
Time is time. Whether an appointment is a physical one in an arena or a virtual one online, both require a commitment from you to show up on time and ready to ‘work’.
Are You Willing to Do the Work?
Which leads me to the final piece of this… Your integrity will also mean that you are honest in what you are doing between coaching sessions. This is true for both in-person coaching and virtual or online coaching. Only tell your instructor that you have ridden 5 times the past week and worked specifically on the exercises that were laid out for you if you did indeed do that!
I often find that riders will tell me what they think I want to hear when it comes to what they have done since we last spoke. This is ironic, as it’s not what I want to hear at all! I want to hear what really happened, so that we can make adjustments to your program to better suit your needs.
Things happen. Life throws curve balls at everyone and if you genuinely can’t make a call or ride that week, that is fine. There’s no online police ready and waiting to hunt you down for not doing what you said you were going to do. However, continuously allowing other things to get in the way is probably why you are not seeing results to begin with. And no trainer or equestrian coach, online or in person, can help you with that.
Self discipline and integrity are muscles that you, and you alone, are responsible for developing in yourself. Yes, you can get help. But at the end of the day, it all comes back to you and your willingness to do the work.
Working with an Online Equestrian Coach
We all have stories. They are how we explain things to ourselves in order to make us feel a certain way. Some stories help us. Many hinder us and our progress. Unfortunately, many riders will allow the stories in their heads to dictate what they do… Put another way, many riders tend to use excuses.
Being open to noticing your stories will go a long way to helping you improve as a rider.
So, back to the initial question; Can an online coach really help your riding? Your beliefs and how you are willing to show up is what will decide if you can indeed be ‘coached’ virtually.
Are you willing to learn, show up and do the work? Are you self motivated? Or do you need someone behind you, spurring you along to take action and be consistent?
If you are ready to take your riding to the next level, and you feel that yes – you are ready to show up, I have a way we can work together on a virtual horse riding lesson.
Your progress is up to you. I can help you get there, but you need to be willing…
Some other resources to help you and your riding:-