My early riding efforts were (forgive the pun) “seat of the pants” riding. You rode around walking, trotting and cantering until something didn’t go right; then you fixed it. Dorita structured that training session until it became intuitive when to stop, when to go on with the exercise and how to decide what exercise to train. Then I attended a clinic with Major Anders Lindgren; eye opening and addictive! I had always kept a training journal but this was fantastic!
Major Lindgren was a pivotal influence in the development of United States dressage instruction. In 2003 Major Lindgren was inducted into the Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame. Over a ten-year period, almost 1,000 participating instructors learned from his systematic, structured approach to teaching dressage at the USDF Violet Hopkins National Seminars.
Major Lindgren gave a classroom session on how to be a good teacher. The Sample Lesson plan was projected onto the screen at the front of the living room we were gathered and he broke it all down for us. I was amazed. I was naïve. Dorita Konyot taught me to train but Major Lindgren taught me how to teach.
Here is what I saw on that screen:
Holy Cow! It was all spelled out and diagramed! When I rode for Major Lindgren, I felt what it was to be taught in the Lesson Plan format. He practiced what he preached. His delivery was calm and organized. He expected you to ride precisely what he told you to ride. Slyly humorous and exhaustively demanding I loved every criticism. I grew and matured as a rider, trainer and a teacher—and not without a few tears of frustration.
It was totally worth it.
What instructor had the greatest impact on how you teach?