|Q: Is it
possible to learn how to drive on my own or should I take lessons
from a professional?
A: Here is what master of driving - Fairman
Rogers, who wrote "A Manual of Coaching" - has to say on the
"Although a boy may acquire -- confidence and
learn a great deal about horses and driving, by 'knocking about'
and finding out things for himself, the beginner should not fail
to take lessons from the most competent teacher that he can find.
That man who thinks he can deduce from his 'inner consciousness'
all the knowledge which is the result of the long experience, and
the accumulated ingenuity, of generations of performers, is
assuming a great deal.
"Every art is perfected by the successive
inventions of its masters, which, observed by or communicated to
one another, are slowly formed into a system much more perfect
that it is possible for any one man to create for himself. A
self-taught man inevitably contracts bad habits which he will find
very difficult to abandon, even when he knows the better way, and
the longer he drives without competent criticism the more fixed
these bad habits become.
"There is no teacher so good as a professional
teacher; he is paid to do what even a very skilful friend is not
willing to do: find fault, in addition to giving instruction. A
pupil should make up his mind to do precisely what his instructor
tells him, as long as he is driving with him; to drive with a
teacher and to be constantly objecting to or criticizing his
methods is a mistake, although not an uncommon one.
"In addition to taking all the regular lessons
that he can get, the beginner will find it greatly to his
advantage to observe carefully any skilful performer alongside of
whom it may be his good fortune to be placed; even when a man is
well advanced, he will often learn much by watching another who
does not drive as well as himself, if only by noticing the
from the April 2001 Newsletter