Teaching people is a completely different ball of wax, and one that I have given a wide berth to all these years. Recently I've had occasion to trade a couple lessons for favors to a couple different
So here are some initial lessons I learned while giving my first "lessons."
1.) The easiest way to diagnose the problem is to watch the horse. Maybe the riders heels go up a bit over the fence, or she pinches with her knees a bit, but if the horse is flipping his head because she forgets to release, that's where you should start. Working your way back to the rider is much easier after you have a happy horse.
2.) No exercise is too simple. Its easy to want to "go big or go home" with the exercises like the big time clinicians, but instead it is important to "teach the rider in front of you," just like you must always "ride the horse underneath you." You can teach a lot with just two poles on the ground!
3.) Imagining you are the one riding can help diagnose the problem, but its also a crutch. By imagining its you up there, you can imagine what you might do different, but by the time your brain has connected to your muscle memories and then back to your brain, the moment has probably passed when you need to tell the rider to do that thing that you would have done if it were you!
4.) So, knowing that, what do you do? Go with your gut instinct. But then make sure you explain your gut instinct as you go-- as you're articulating your idea, you might just say something worth saying!
5.) There's an expression that I love in French, "la conaissance des escaliers." Literally it means "the knowledge of the stairs," but it is expressing that moment when you walk away from someone and come up with the perfect comeback as soon as you leave their presence. Similarly, there are many moments of 'Ah ha!!' about 40 minutes after the lesson is over. Best thing to do is to write it down and plan to work on it next time. (There will be a next time, right?!)
6.) The more you do it, the better you get. Duh, right? ...So, who wants a free lesson?