Having your first live video lesson with a new trainer can be daunting. Will it go ok? Will my horse behave? Will I be able to manage the tech? What if it is a complete disaster???
Well the first piece of good news is that we are so confident that you will love the experience, that if you are not completely satisfied we will give your your money back. No questions asked!
But, to make the process as seamless as possible here are our 5 top tips to prepare for your lesson.
1. Ensure the trainer has accepted your lesson request.
This one can sometimes catch riders out. They book a lesson, pay the money in advance but don’t get a confirmation back from the trainer. They then turn up at the scheduled time and the trainer isn’t online!
Please remember unless your lesson is not confirmed until the trainer has approved it. You will receive a confirmation email when this happens and if you are unsure you can check the status of the lesson within the website. It is always best practice to double check the day before or morning of the lesson and perhaps even drop a little reminder to the trainer through chat. They can be notoriously forgetful!
On the flip side of the coin always remember to write down the date and time of your lesson so you don’t forget. We’ve had a few instances of trainers logging in to find the rider has completely forgotten they had a lesson booked!
2. Chat with your trainer in advance
It is definitely best practice to get to know the trainer a little in advance using the chat facility on the Wise Owl Equitation website.
Through this you can agree the goals and focus areas of the lesson.
You can also upload a video of you and your horse for the trainer to critique beforehand. This will give them a better idea of your riding style and your horses way of going. This is totally optional however, and not something you should feel you need to do.
So as not to waste any valuable lesson time ask the trainer if there is anything you can set up in advance of the lesson such as poles, jumps etc. If jumping it is always best to have someone on the ground. This is from a safety perspective, but also so that they can raise and move poles during the course of the lesson
3. Check that everything is working correctly beforehand
It is really important to ensure you have a good internet signal in order to take part in a live video lesson.
Wifi and phone signal boosters can be purchased from companies such as Amazon if necessary. If you can watch a YouTube video on your phone in the location then the signal should be good enough.
You can test your phone camera and sound in advance here. Please note sometimes when phones go through software upgrades it can mess up how the earphones work so it’s always worth retesting after an upgrade.
Top tip: Tape your earphones to your ears as they do tend to fall out in canter.
4. Get your phone into optimum position
We recommend for the best experience having someone film you while you have your lesson. We do however appreciate that this isn’t always possible.
Flexible tripods such as this one can be purchased inexpensively and work really well. As you can see in the pictures below.
You can of course also purchase a smart tracking device such as a Pivo but really going to that much expense isn’t a requirement.
It is also worth noting that you don’t need any special facilities to take part in a lesson. We have had riders take lessons in fields, even on the beach or if they are lucky enough in their own schools or arenas.
5. Relax and have fun
This is what it is all about. Try not to be nervous or stress about the tech. Relax and enjoy your lesson and remember to rate your trainer afterwards!