The Horse Physio - Delivering care with expertise since 1992

May 5, 2021
Sue Palmer

New Beginnings

How do you decide who to ask to help you with your horse? It depends of course on the kind of help that you are looking for.

I attended a BHS CPD day run by, at the time, one of only two BHS instructors who is also a level 4 UKCC coach. She talked about the difference between traditional instruction, and coaching. She then gave a demonstration of different teaching techniques, which was fascinating to watch.

The first was along the lines of more traditional teaching through 'instructing'. The riders themselves had very little input, if any. There was no opportunity for the riders to feed back to their instructor, for them to say what they were finding difficult, or to ask for help.

The second example was along the lines of teaching through 'coaching'. The riders initially chatted to the coach about what they'd like to achieve in the lesson. The coach regularly asked for feedback as to whether the rider felt that these goals were being achieved.

Personally I think that no matter what kind of help you are looking for with your horse, the coaching approach is the better approach for horse, owner, and therapist.

This approach, however, means that we must continually educate ourselves as to what is best for our horse, so that we can guide the people that we have chosen to help. I realised the importance of educating ourselves when I worked with a freelance marketing consultant to promote my book 'Understanding Horse Performance: Brain, Pain or Training?'. Initially I believed that I would call a few marketing consultants, they would tell me what I needed to do, and I would employ one of them. It turns out, of course, that I need to know a lot more about what I'm looking for, in order to guide them towards achieving my specific goals. Life is an ongoing learning curve!

One of the goals that I set was to provide a 'Links' page on my website listing recognised organisations in a variety of fields in the equestrian world. As you'll see if you take a look, I achieved that goal. Admittedly right now there are a couple of links that don't work, but that's in the process of being fixed, so please do check in again in a month or so.

Who have you found has most helped you with your horse?

What lessons did you have to learn before you could find the right help?

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