I teach riding lessons. It’s fun and rewarding. Most of the time. But if I’m ill, like I am this week, it can be a challenge. I’m a little bit off my game. Therefore I’ve written this primer as a guide to help you get the most out of taking riding lessons with me when I’m not feeling well.
I’ll be sleeping in my car until it’s time to start the lesson. It’s your responsibility to wake me up. I’ll need at least ten minutes to remember where I am and what I’m doing and another five minutes to visit the porta-potty and load up on cold meds.
Instead of walking around the riding arena during the lesson, I’ll be planting myself in a chair in the nearest patch of shade. Do not expect me to get up for any reason.
Instructions may consist of things like ‘drop your stirrups and wake me up in ten minutes’ and ‘ride single file down to the drug store and bring back cough syrup while remaining in two point.’
I will try to remember your names.
If my voice gives out, hand signals will be used. Three fingers means canter. Two means trot. One means walk. A circular motion with the hand means reverse. A wide sweeping motion with one arm means speed up. A short quick motion means slow down. Flailing my arms wildly probably means I have a bee in my hair, but could also mean you’re about to do something that will result in bodily harm to yourself or others. Interpret as you see fit.
Both hands clutching my chest means I need CPR.
If I point at a fence it means I want you to jump it.
You’ll know by the expression on my face afterwards if it was any good or not.
A look of relief means it was good.
No change in expression means it was OK.
A raised eyebrow means it could have been worse.
Rolling my eyes means it WAS worse
Burying my face in my hands is a good indication that it’s time for you to give up and go home
I’ll have my cell phone with me. If you fall off, I’ll call your cell phone. If you answer it I’ll tell you what you did wrong. If you don’t answer I’ll know to dial 911.
Finally, I will expect someone to bring a car down to drive me back to the barn when the lesson is over. If you forget, and I have to walk back, you'd better be gone by the time I get there.