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United States Dressage Federation

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Looking for an instructor? Here are some helpful hints to help make the selection.

When looking for an instructor, a student should:

  • Go to the USDF website and look at the list of certified instructors within reasonable distance. USDF Certified Instructors teach the classical concepts of dressage and meet specified proficiency standards.
  • Ask other riders whose style of riding you like.
  • Go to a show and spend time at the warm up arena; see if you like what you see and hear; make note of anyone whose style you don't like.
  • Try to watch the instructor you are interested in ride and teach. If she or he does not want you to come to the facility where he or she teaches to see this, this is probably not a good sign. An instructor should not have secrets or methods that are so questionable that he/she can't allow you to watch.
  • Trust your feeling as to whether you and the instructor would have good chemistry. It is important and makes the process either a good life experience or a bad one.
  • Most importantly, watch the instructor teach and ride in person. Do not take what you hear alone.
  • Before making a final decision, both student and potential instructor would benefit from a short discussion about what the student is looking for i.e. their goals and what their expectations are from an instructor. Likewise the instructor can tell the student a little about their teaching style and their expectations for their students. That way if both are on the same page itís more likely that it will be a mutually beneficial, long term relationship.