Woodside Riding School


Heather instructing


As equestrian coaches, it is our job to provide students with a safe and fun environment in which to develop their horseback riding skills. All riders, from beginners to advanced, need to develop an understanding with the horse. As coaches, we wish to reinforce this need as it is an essential element in achieving a successful partnership between horse and rider.

We believe that students should advance at their own rate and without the pressure to compete unless they themselves choose to do so. Competition does function to more quickly advance the skills of both horse and rider, so we do encourage entry in competitions, but only if the student is willing. If a competitive path is chosen, we strive to instil in our students that measuring their success is better applied to the improvement in the horse and rider team than by comparisons with others. We want our students to develop their strengths and improve on their weaknesses. They may then judge their success by these personal improvements.

This process of development also helps to reinforce life skills and important character traits such as confidence, decisiveness and pride, together with the ability to handle oneself with maturity in potentially pressured or stressful situations.

Finally, the competitive riding field is a balance of a rider's training and ability, their horse's training and natural abilities and the bond between horse and rider. Relative success in the show ring needs to be kept in that perspective. It is neither appropriate nor valid to compare success between riders as reflecting only their skills as riders.





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