|Name: Tonya Davis, British Horse Society Intermediate Instructor|
|Job Title: Riding Instructor|
|Based: Lexington, KY|
Q: What horsey experiences prepared you for being an instructor?
A: I’ve been riding for more than 30 years, and I have been teaching in some sort of capacity for 20 of them. I grew up in Pony Club, and then went to Great Britain and took my British Horse Society exams up through Intermediate Instructor.
Q: Did you ride as a kid?
A: I rode all the time as a youngster. In fact, it was pretty much all I did! I was 3 when I started riding, and when I was around 10 I began eventing.
Q: What sort of interesting horsey jobs have you had?
A: When I was a teenager, the first real teaching job I had was instructing Girl Scouts. Then in my early 20s I taught for Club Med for three years. I lived in Mexico for two years and the Caribbean for one year. That was a lot of fun because we could ride the horses in the ocean. After several years of training, I owned a training business in Los Angeles.
|Tonya works on a student's position.|
Q: Why did you take the job in Kentucky?
A: I love the beautiful farm where I teach, Three-Day Farm, but more importantly, I moved here so that my horse, Brindalus, can have nice, big green fields to live in.
Q: What’s your schedule?
A: My days vary, depending on when lessons are scheduled. Normally I try to ride my horse first thing in the morning, then I start teaching and riding other horses. Throughout the day I make a lot of phone calls to schedule lessons, organize the farm and talk to potential clients. I’m still my horse’s groom (and probably always will be) because I love taking care of him.
Q: What’s fun about teaching?
A: The first time someone jumps a jump! The first time a rider starts to understand what you have been teaching them! I like that part. I enjoy passing my knowledge on to other people because I love horses and want them to be taken care of and handled properly.
Q: What’s hard about teaching?
A: Instructors are sometimes at the mercy of Mother Nature. Its not much fun if it’s cold and rainy to be standing out in that teaching!
Q. Do you compete?
A. Brindalus is a 3-day event horse. I brought him over from Ireland four years ago. I ride him every day rain or shine, and compete him during the eventing season. I’m lucky enough to be able to continue my own training here in Kentucky with eventer Cathy Wieschoff.
Q. If a kid wants to be a trainer, what can she do?
A. She should join the Pony Club! The USPC is the best organization to join to learn how to be an all-around good horse person. You need a good work ethic and have to work long hours at the barn learning the riding business. Hang out and watch your favorite trainer teach. You can learn a lot by watching different instructors.