There are times each year when special offers are just an inevitable part of life. Right now is one of those times; I can only imagine how, right now, your inbox is full, full, full, with all of the things! And some of those things, online horse programs, are just so, well, darn good… Right?
Hmmm… Maybe too good?!
I think that most of us would agree that knowing how to discern ‘all of the things’ when it comes to online horse programs and courses can be a bit of a fine art. Particularly when you’re not an expert on the topic of the course or program you’re interested in, maybe, investing in. And this is true for most of us. After all, we are not going to spend time and money on knowledge or training on things we already are well versed in!
So, in the hope that I can help you a little with all of the decisions regarding what’s ‘right’ for you and your horse… Here’s a quick rundown of the 3 common mistakes I see riders make.
1. Purchasing Before You’re Ready
This is a trap that A LOT of riders fall into… Making purchases for where they want to be – rather than where they actually are. And before this raises too many eyebrows, please understand that I am all for making progress and developing all of the things. That is not what I mean.
In this case, purchasing before you’re ready is a little like starting school at age 4 in a class filled with 12-year-olds – who’ve all been to school for all of the years.
Yeah, things are not going to align or match. A lot of online horse programs and courses will tell you ‘No Experience Necessary’… Hmmmm… In my experience (a little meta, I know), a little or a lot (depending on the situation) of rider experience is often the very thing that changes EVERYTHING for riders… Good or bad.
My advice is to be honest with where you REALLY are at this point in your riding journey. And with your current resources and how available they are; time, money, help, etc.
2. Expecting a Fairy Good Mother
It’s always wonderful to think that the solution is as simple as just buying the course or the online horse program. Wonderful, but completely unrealistic. Horse riding just doesn’t work like that. I see many riders become so swept up in the euphoria of actually ‘buying’ the online course or program, that they forget this is just the first step. Now they have to go do the work!
I think it’s important to see the purchase as being Step 1 on the journey… A journey that will include a whole lot more steps as you do the work and apply the training to your riding.
Making the purchase is making a commitment to you and your horse. I think creating something to help you fulfill that commitment is really important. With online courses or programs, it can be so easy to say the initial ‘yes’ and then let the weeks and months slip by without ever logging on or engaging with the training.
Let the first thing you do when you invest in online training be to create time and space in your schedule to begin working through the content. And implementing the training in your riding.
3. Not Suiting Your Learning Needs & Style
I’ve been creating online training for riders since 2013. That translates to many online horse programs and many riders taking them. And, throughout these 9 years, I have created a lot of different types of models or programs. And I have been part of a lot of ones as well. I’ve noticed that a big part of success comes down to being in the right ‘type’ of program.
Trying to do everything won’t work. It will only lead to overwhelm. But figuring out the key elements that help you to feel supported while working through the training, and then looking for programs that offer that – Gold!
Things like accountability, whether it be group or individual, structured or more loosely applied. Also the delivery of the training. This can be done via email, logging into a website, YouTube, a private podcast, Fb Group, Voxer, Telegram, or all of the other ways your course can be delivered to you. Is there a structured time frame, or a more flexible ‘self-study at your own pace feel to it? Time and access to the trainer may be another big consideration.
You will know what you need in order to flourish. Make sure you purchase programs or courses that will offer or provide this for you, depending on what you want most.
Why an Online Horse Program At All?
So after reading or listening to all of this, you may be wondering ‘why would I buy an online course or program?’. And, this is where I think that you may be missing out on a big part of the puzzle. I am a firm believer that as riders, we should try to create our own style when it comes to working with our horses. And I think one of the best ways to do this is to find bits and pieces of things you like – and blend, blend, blend!
When you get to learn from someone online, a person who you potentially may never ever meet in person, you get to add more to the blend that creates your personal riding style.
And this is especially useful if you have other things in your life that prevent you from hopping all around the world, trainer to trainer ;) I really do believe that 99% of online equestrian coaches have something wonderful to offer. The key is to make sure what they are offering lines up with what you want and need in your riding at that moment in time.