The language barrier

I’m writing this post on the aftermath of last Thursday’s training, which went well, but there was a small but important problem; the language barrier. Either if you train foreigners or if you are an equestrian learning in a foreign country, you probably know what I mean. But I would like to share my story.

First of all, let’s start from horsey names. I was riding a horse whose name I have heard several times. I have also groomed him, led him to and in the school and I even managed to clean his hoof with the hoof-pick (I tried for more than half an hour, oops). And still, I was not sure about his name, until I had to put his tack away last Thursday after the lesson. So, his name is Tiny Tim. Tiny Tim, not Tanington, nor Hannnington, and, certainly, nor Huntington (after the very famous IR expert).

Second, it’s the actual session. I always avoid being on the lead, as sometimes I cannot understand what the instructor wants from us, especially when he/she yells from the centre of a big arena. Where exactly do we have to change the reign? Which fence goes first? How is pole work done exactly? Which side do I have to trot to? Controlling and staying balanced on a horse does not always go together with understanding instructions given in a foreign language. So, I just let the others lead, watching carefully what they are doing, in order to do that when my turn comes.

Of course, this is not a problem, as long as I can follow the lesson. I just miss that direct communication, which helps you focus on techniques and fun instead of communication in a foreign language.

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