2016 graduate Katie Thomas recently interviewed the St. Andrews Intercollegiate Head Coaches as part of her Interdisciplinary Studies major.
KT: What have you learned from mistakes on the job?
Robin Brooks Head IHSA Hunter Seat Coach. “As a rider, I think that the biggest mistake that I have learned from is not knowing when to ask for help. The amazing thing about this sport is that we never stop learning. When I was younger I was scared to ask too many questions, I have definitely learned from that.
As an instructor, the most important thing that I have learned from a mistake is not to push students too hard. There is a fine line between pushing someone to their limit, and pushing them past that limit.
As a rider, and a trainer, my biggest mistake has been not knowing when to say that enough is enough. “Practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect”, has been drilled into my head for I don’t know how many years. However, when working with horses, every day cannot be perfect. I have learned that sometimes it is in everyone’s best interest to go for a long walk and come back tomorrow.”
Carla Wennberg Head IHSA Western Coach. “I work very hard at the Mental prep for everything because riders are not as successful without it (past experience).”
Jackie Dwelle Head IDA Dressage Coach. “Some people need to be pushed and challenged and others need to be encouraged and rewarded to bring out their best. It is sometimes difficult to know what will work with a rider until you do some experimenting. Of course, that can be frustrating for both the coach and the rider”