January 27

3 comments

Ong Wan Ming – Instructor from Malaysia

By TheRidingInstructor

January 27, 2016

australia, carriage driving, dressage, Dressage Specialist Coaching, driving, eventing, FEI Judge, Malaysia, Ong Wan Ming, riding instructor, Selangor Turf Club Equestrian Centre, show jumping, teaching, UK, Wan Ming

Ong Wan Ming is a riding instructor who lives in Malaysia and teaches mainly in Kuala Limpur/ Selangor. Wan Ming teaches a full spectrum of horsemanship, including dressage, jumping, eventing, driving and horse management to beginners through competitive riders. She also does coach training for trainee coaches.

R.I.:
It sounds like you have a busy life. What motivates you to teach riding?

Wan Ming:
I really want to make the world a more comfortable place for horses, to teach people how to ride well enough to be safe but also to be a nice rider or a nice owner to their horses.

R.I.:
Are you a rider, too?

Wan Ming:
I ride, coach and am also a dressage judge. I love it all but am not brave enough to event anymore, and was never brave enough to jump seriously big fences.

I love it all but do mostly dressage and showjumping these days.

Wan Ming is accomplished in driving as well as riding
Wan Ming is accomplished in driving as well as riding

I also spent 7 months in UK working on my carriage driving and completed the BDS Preliminary Competency Driving Certificate whilst being a groom for a tandem driver / farrier, David Gulley.

I am always trying to improve my riding especially nowadays, where I seem to be doing less riding and more coaching and judging.

One of my special achievements was winning the 6 bar on a 15.1hh stallion I was riding at that time. It was down to me and a very good Kiwi coach that also works in Malaysia, and my little stallion gave it his all for the win.

I also completed my Level 2 Dressage Specialist Coaching qualification in August 2015 and am in the process of completing the requirements for my FEI 2* Dressage Judges qualification. I am the only one qualified in my country for these two qualifications so I am very proud and grateful of the support I had along the way.

Ong Wan Ming on a bay horse at the halt for dressage
Ong Wan Ming

R.I.:
Congratulations on achieving your judging qualifications.

Riders in the United States sometimes struggle with distance when traveling for education and competition but looking at the world map, I can see that you cover distance, too. (World map has been removed because of copyright issues)

 

R.I.:
Tell us how you got your start with horses and what you have done to become an instructor.

Wan Ming:
I started riding when I was 9 and loved it. When I was about 19/20 years old, I was at a crossroads and my coach at that time, Lorna Fisher, said that I should start my coaching qualification. Many years later, here I am.

In Malaysia, the Malaysian Equine Council (separate from the NF) provides coach training and we have a MOU with Equestrian Australia where we use their resources and their system of coach accreditation.

In Malaysia, it is possible to do up to Level 1 qualifications here but then anything above that, needs to be done in Australia due to the lack of competition / teaching opportunities at that standard. So I did my Level 1 General and my Level 1 Dressage Specialist in Malaysia.

This programme comes highly recommended by me as it gives you a very good start to your coaching career. It helps you map out your lessons in a clear concise manner, and the first emphasis is on horse welfare and rider / horse safety.

R.I.:
You did the first stage of training and testing in Malaysia, then you lived in the UK for 7 months to complete the BDS Preliminary Competency Driving Certificate, and then you went to Australia for your Level 2 Dressage Specialist Coaching qualification and the FEI 2* Dressage Judges qualification. That’s a lot of traveling.

R.I.
We’ve all faced obstacles to get where we are today, anything in particular for you?

Wan Ming:
A resistance from my father who thought I should get a real job, financial issues when it comes to having a horse of your own or to undergo more training (keeping horses in Malaysia is not cheap as land is scarce and everything is imported), injuries due to falls

R.I.:
Many of R.I.’s readers will identify with those obstacles. Would you tell readers about the working life of Wan Ming?

Wan Ming:
I used to work full time at the Selangor Turf Club Equestrian Centre before I took a year off in 2014 to do my Level 2 in Australia. On my return in October 2014, I rejoined STCEC but on a part time basis. At STCEC, I use the riding school horses.

I also work free lance and do lessons in other parts of KL – some of it is part of the coach education for the Malaysian Equine Council and this is done on the candidates’ own horses.

I am fairly versatile whilst teaching. It depends on what the student’s focus is but balance and a good independent seat (whether for dressage or jumping) is priority. It is also important that jumping riders have a good base in their flatwork

Ong Wan Ming with her riding student
Wan Ming

R.I.
What is your special teaching philosophy?

Wan Ming:
The horse is a mirror of you… Do not blame the horse for being crooked or strong in the hand etc if you yourself is crooked or tight in the hand.

R.I.:
I like that philosophy. What’s your best quality as an instructor?

Wan Ming:
My constant drive for my students to improve and be better

R.I.:
Is there a “best practice” that has helped your teaching business?

Wan Ming:
Look after your horses first and they will look after you. Your horses are your rice bowl

R.I.:
Well put. What advice do you have for new instructors?

Wan Ming:
Knowledge.. you need to know what you are teaching and you need to read / watch videos and learn the theory of what you are teaching.. Tell riders the truth!

R.I.
I love your attitude about horses and teaching. Who are your favorite instructors or someone who’s mentored you?

Wan Ming:
I have been lucky to have had many instructors and mentors along the way. Lucy Tibbatts was the first person to actually start off my riding career. Lorna Fisher started me off on my coaching career, Sue Leslie helped me through my Level 2 Dressage Specialist and Suzanne Cunningham has got me to the level of FEI 2* Dressage judge. Peter Abisheganaden, former SEA Games medallist now turned polo player, and FEI course designer, has also been my showjumping coach for a long time.

Ong Wan Ming riding a chestnut horse show jumping
Wan Ming Show Jumping

 

R.I.:
The best thing about teaching riding is. . .

Wan Ming:
Seeing riders enjoy themselves and achieve their goals… and to see happy horses when they are ridden correctly

R.I.:
I wish my students would…

Wan Ming:
think less and do more… or do more and think less (depends on the situation or the rider)

R.I.: 
I love it when students. . .

Wan Ming:
grasp a concept and then it suddenly all falls into place

R.I.:
I hate it when students. . .

Wan Ming:
Don’t listen or don’t try

R.I.:
If I could have lessons from anyone in the world I would choose . . .

Wan Ming:
Carl Hester or George Morris

R.I.
OK Last question – What do you do for fun outside of horses?

Wan Ming:  
Who has time outside of horses?!! I try to travel when I can and I do fitness stuff to keep me fit and sane… oh and eat! I love eating!

R.I.
Wan Ming thank you so much for interviewing with me. I enjoyed meeting you. R.I. readers can get to know you better through your interesting blog http://poloequestrian.com/blog/wanderings . I spent a couple of hours there myself learning more about you and your unique experiences. You are an instructor who loves what she does and has taken important steps towards reaching excellence.Thank you for sharing your experiences and spending your time with us. I wish you many years of continued success.

The best to you,

Barbara Ellin Fox
bfox@theRidingInstructor.net
http://TheRidingInstructor.net
http://USHorsemanship.com

If you’d like to keep up with everything that’s going on at The Riding Instructor, why not sign up for the RI News in the handy box at the top right of this page.  When you do, I’ll send you a copy of The Riding Instructor’s Lesson Planner – all for FREE.

    • Thanks Alisha – it’s really fun to learn what a varied group of individuals we are – doing the same thing but in so many different ways. Thanks for posting Barbara

      Reply

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    Never ​Miss ​A​n Article!
    The Riding Instructor News

    ​Sign up for the Riding Instructor News and I'll send you The Riding Instructor's Lesson Planner as a thank you gift.

    >