Many people in the equine industry overlook the importance of their first riding instructor – the one who helps you to take your first steps on the lifelong journey that the love of horses is for most of us. This is the premise that led Liesl McGee to found Rose Lane Equine Training Centre just outside of Pretoria.
“I have witnessed some hair-raising riding through time, and noticed an opportunity and need to improve the coaching that riders have received as beginners. If they aren’t trained the right way from the start, innocent mistakes become habits – and as with the bad habits that horses can pick up, they can be very difficult to shake once entrenched. Such habits not only hinder a beginner from progressing in their ability to ride, but are often unsafe for both horse and rider, and a bad experience resulting from this can cut short a young rider’s career. With 20 years of experience in coaching and managing yards, I felt that it was time to pass on what I had learned to a new generation of instructors. After all, forewarned is forearmed,” says Liesl.
What do we offer?[image 2-lectures] Learning taking place in our lecture hall
We offer full-time and part-time courses in preparation for students’ instructor assessment exams. These cover the following:
- Module 1 – Groom
- Module 2 – Professional groom
- Module 3 – Stable manager
- Module 4 – Assistant coach
- Module 5 – Professional coach, international instructor (Level 1)
Lectures are presented in our lecture room and students are provided with all their learning material on flash drives, as we utilise our laptops, supplemented by the books in our library as well as DVDs. This is a space of lively discussions as we encourage interaction from the students.
Projects and assignments are given to students as part of their learning experience, and they are expected to assist during camps and shows.
Field trips are made to a veterinary hospital for lectures, where students get the opportunity to learn about the care of sick or injured horses and watch procedures such as x-rays, wound treatments, scoping and drenching.
During Module 3, a first aid course is done and the relevant certificate extended.
To further ease their time at Rose Lane, some of the full-time students from out of town choose to reside in their own house on the property, mitigating the hassle and expense of commuting. Stabling is also available on site for students who have their own horses.
What will I learn?[Images 3 and 4 -dentistry] Students improving their dentistry skills
Rose Lane follows the EQASA ( a) syllabus, which covers a wide variety of topics, including the following:
- Stable management, including the business side of running a school.
- Equine welfare and law.
- The healthcare of a horse, including nutrition, internal systems, hoof care, dentistry, conformation, unsoundness, viruses and diseases.
- Saddlery, bits and other tack.
- Equine behaviour.
These subjects are broad, but very relevant in the industry – a comprehensive understanding of everything concerning horses is vital to being a professional coach. The level of mastery and age of both horse and rider also have to be taken into account in each specific case, with the ultimate goal being to teach horse and rider to work together.
What are the benefits of the full-time course?[image 5 – grooming] The simple task of grooming is not overlooked during the courses
The way that Rose Lane presents these modules comprises not only solid theory, but plenty of practical experience without which the value of theoretical knowledge would be limited.
Students are assigned school horses to care for, assisting the vet, dentist and farrier when they work with one of their allocated horses. Over the course of their studies, students will end up riding and training many different horses, gain experience with the day-to-day running of a yard, and help to organise dressage and jumping shows – all of which will stand them in good stead in the professional equestrian world.
Apart from the seminars and clinics that they will attend, students will receive many hours of training to improve their own riding technique in the various disciplines, and their mandatory teaching hours for the last two modules will be supervised by a senior coach as required by the new EQASA syllabus.
The advantage of studying at a registered training provider rather than doing the course via correspondence is evidenced by the results scored during the exams. The many practical hours of learning under the supervision of experienced professionals means that our students are more prepared for the assessments and the challenges of dealing with unfamiliar horses of varying temperaments.
You should also choose carefully which training provider you will learn from. Find out what past pupils have to say about the training provider, how well they did in their exams, and what they went on to achieve once they started their own careers.
Text by: Andre Baladi
The full article appears in the January issue (118) of HQ magazine > Shop now