Updated: Jun 23, 2021
So what's involved? Even if you are the worst of technophobes, this is the most straightforward way of accessing coaches remotely, allowing you a completely flexible schedule and with no need for travel.
If you're looking to have zoom lessons you will need two smart phones. One will need the Zoom app downloaded onto it. You will need to register for free on zoom.us and you'll need to log into your account through the app. You then book an online meeting for the day/time of the lesson. It gives you the ID number of the meeting and a pin number which allows people to join the meeting. It is free for meetings up to 45 minutes and so what many people do is book two meetings straight after one another. The slight hiatus in the middle gives horse and rider a break while the new meeting is set up. Of course this all depends on the length of your lesson.
You will also need a willing camera person! This person will basically follow you as the rider with the first phone's camera, and when moving from meeting to meeting, it will be their responsibility to go from meeting and set up the second. This is all easily done in the zoom app.
You will also need a second phone which is connected to a Bluetooth earpiece and speaker. This is how I communicate with you. Most riders keep it in a bum bag so that the phone is kept close enough to the earpiece for the Bluetooth connection to be maintained. One or two riders find it easier to keep the second phone strapped to their arm as many joggers do.
At the beginning of the lesson time, I connect to the zoom meeting and call the rider. The rider should be able to hear me clearly through the earpiece while being able to communicate with me easily.
Obviously the "arena" needs to have good/fast 4G connectivity so that the zoom video is of a good enough quality for me to see clearly what is happening, but the phone signal also needs to be good enough for clear communication. Phone is better that talking through the zoom app as there is more of a sound delay using internet calling systems.
What you'll find is that at the start of the first session you will play around with the technology to get it just right, and once you have your formula it can easily be replicated next time. It has honestly revolutionised coaching and I now have clients from all over the UK and farther afield. Easy to use and flexible, when you've had a virtual lesson you won't look back.
I hope that all helps and I look forward to working with some of you!