Coaching Camp and Exams.Part I
Posted by Irina Yastrebova on Thursday, July 31, 2008 08:27 AM
I'm back from my camp. And I have passed!!! Thank you everyone for your good lucks and encouragement.
Your thoughts kept me together through the chaos of the week. The schedule was so intense and so much had to be done that some
people were on the verge of a hysteric. But what a fun week it was. So much learning, watching, riding, listening. All our senses were
engaged 150% :) There was three camps running at the same time: children, training (jumping) and coaching. I do not know
how they did it but they did it. Everybody got a horse to ride and things were done that had to be done. I'm taking my hat off to the
organizers of the camps: Trish Mrakawa, owner of Willow Grove Stable, EL 3, Kathy Chalack, EL 2 and Rita Condon, EL 2.
Plus their crew Allison, barn manager and coach, EL 1,
and Jennifer, coach EL 1. Allison and Jennifer dealt with children and all our questions about horses and tack for them. Stephanie Mah,
EL 1 and NCCP Learning Facilitator, conducted the NCCP course for us.
First two days Monday and Tuesday we had an NCCP course for the first half of each day. I found out that I'm a visual learner. I always
thought that I learn best when I hear information. I started watching myself :) and realized that it is not true, I learn best when I see. The third type of learning
is through feel. We have studied how learning happens and what instructor should do to help her students. For our teaching test we
had to write a lesson plan by NCCP standards. I have spent 3 hours drafting and then making final copy. My hard work was acknowledged.
My lesson plan was taken as an example for future candidates.
The second half of the day on Monday and Tuesday was riding. Monday - dressage with Loraine Hill, EL 2, and Tuesday - jumping with Rita Condon.
I was told that for my exams I will have to ride two different horses. One for the dressage test and one for the jumping: gymnastics and course.
Trish's own beautiful big black gelding, barn nickname - B2, was my dressage partner. And my jumping partner was a solid school horse - Kopper.
He has a beautiful copper chestnut coat. My first rides on these horses were a little bit shaky. B2 plowed through all transitions and
didn't want to go long and low. Loraine Hill gave me a very good advice about my hands. I was trying to encourage B2 to lower his head
by lowering my hands. This made me carry my hands too low and my elbow angle too open. It locked my elbows. As soon as
I started to carry my hands better and ask for softness through my fingers and half-halts B2 became much better. He chewed
reins from my fingers down to the ground and then got stuck behind the leg :) Kopper jumped very solid. However, he is stiff
and it unseated me a little bit over the jumps. After gymnastics Rita made us jump an interesting line with turns and
related distances. First try I overrode and messed things up, second one was much better. Watching Rita teach other riders
was a wonderful learning experience. She is very enthusiastic and direct coach. I like that in coaches.
Plus at the end of each day we had an evaluation: on Monday - longeing a rider and on Tuesday - teaching a riding lesson.
In the next blog I will talk about Wednesday and Thursday. We had very interesting workshop with physiotherapist
on Wednesday and jumping lesson with Trish Mrakawa on Thursday.