Horsewoman Amy Skinner knows that learning tends to be directly proportional to how engaged and motivated her students are. She shared her tongue-in-cheek list for optimizing learning here:
Perfect Student Qualities:
- Dedicated and hard working
- Willing to stay open-minded and humble enough to take direction.
- Active and fit, or willing to get fit to better his or her riding
- Actively involved in reading new material, watching DVDs, going to clinics, and learning through various methods.
- Punctual to lessons and attends regularly without making excuses or cancelling at the last minute because it’s too hot, it’s too cold, or I have a “thing”).
- Willing to take my advice before purchasing a three-year old, unstarted mustang as a midlife crisis, new-to-riding, let’s-help-the-world project.
Once I was satisfied with my list of perfect qualities, I dropped everyone who didn’t meet all these standards. I woke up the next day excited about the possibilities. I wondered how amazing would my students be. In no time, I said to myself, I’ll have everybody looking great! Horses will come along faster and my students will be amazing riders. I sat at the barn twiddling my thumbs, waiting for the first student to arrive. Crickets chirped. Hours went by. Nobody came.
A month went by and the electric company shut off the lights in my barn. I was eating ramen noodles and my dog and I were soon living out of the truck without money to afford rent.
Waiting for the perfect client nearly caused me to starve to death!