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Saturday, 5 June 2010

Advice Please, esp. Jean.

I have a bit of a mountain to climb and I would be very grateful for some advice.

Pressure is increasing on me to teach and demonstrate clicker training and, while I'm very comfortable with people watching my ponies and I perform I'm very uncomfortable with trying to teach or shift the focus onto myself and what I'm doing.

It feels big-headed and as though I'm showing off. I hate the way it makes me feel so much I don't know if I can or should even try to overcome this barrier. I try very hard not to be too self conscious and, of course, to teach I'd have to be completely self-conscious.

I know I can do it, and I know exactly how to go about it but inside I'm screaming "I HATE this, don't listen to me, I know nothing!!!!" I'm much happier just calmly and quietly working away training on my own.

This is not a new thing with me, it's just more intense now. Maybe I should listen to my own head and not try to tackle this now, or maybe even ever, but that feels a bit like cowardice and I know I could make life easier for some owners and their horses if I didn't cop out.

Clicker training is just about precise communication, which comes relatively easily to me, and I can write about it but I hate myself being the centre of attention and I don't know how to get over this hurdle, or if I should try.

Please, if anyone has any thoughts on this? I know you were a teacher Jean and I know Hilary trained medics? Did you ever feel like this?


  1. Teaching can be daunting. And yes, I have felt that way upon occasion.

    So, here's the the first place, you know more than the people who come to you for training. Second, you have trained your horses with the clicker, so you actually do know how to do it.

    It's also pretty clear from what I can tell about you is that you have an outgoing personality and you certainly have a good way of communicating.

    So, all the qualities of being a potentially good teacher are there. What you lack is the confidence.

    The trick is to forget who you think you are and instead, take on the role of "teacher." It's almost as if you are in a play, assuming a part. Let the information you have to teach take a front row and step back from yourself to let it take center stage.

    Sounds strange, but it's a mindset that can work. Hope that makes some sense....

  2. If you know what you are doing and not trying to go beyond your knowledge; go for it. You have a skill that other people would like to learn, so teach them or train them or whatever. There is nothing false or glory-seeking or blowing your own horn about imparting what you know and are capable of giving that knowledge. Just talk among friends, because everyone of those people are friends.

  3. Thank you both very much!!!!

    pheadra, you have hit the nail right on the head, thank you SO much! That's it exactly - I don't want to put up barriers and set myself apart from everyone else. I'll just think of it as a chat among friends and ask them to comment and make suggestions too, so that we can learn from each other.

    I'll make it about being among friends and learning rather than about teaching. That way I'll enjoy it rather than dread it.

    Jean, I think the idea of letting the information take centre stage rather than myself is a great one, thank you so much too!! After all I have learnt all I know from other people and from the horses themselves so it's not really all about me at all. I hate everything being all about me, which it has been a lot since David died. I want it to be about everyone, and about sharing. I have always shared absolutely everything, from every thought to every possesion to every laugh, and it's what I miss the most about not being half of a couple anymore.



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I am a clicker training addict and there is no cure - thank goodness!!!