Am I being unreasonable? Riding school troubles - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 17 Old 10-13-2011, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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Am I being unreasonable? Riding school troubles

I have been going to the same riding school for about a year now. I take weekly lessons and I am very happy with my instructor, but a recent incident has left me with a sour taste in my mouth and I'm looking for guidance as to how to go about the situation.

The Riding School I take my lessons at is 1hour and 30mins away, so I travel a pretty long way for my lessons.

I showed up the other day for my lesson and was told my instructor was not in that day, and that I would be working on some things I had learned in previous lessons. Turned out that translated to "we're going to leave you in the arena to ride yourself for the whole hour."

So, I started to ride, and had a pretty miserable time. I've been riding for about 12 months, but always under an instructor's supervision, and this horse knew he could take advantage of me. Every time I neared the arena exit, he'd swing his bum or bend toward it. It got to the point where he'd been able to back out of the arena with me on board, and one of the girls came over to help me get him back in the arena, and I was left to my own devices again. He would break out into trot all the time without me asking and was ignoring the bit when I asked for a downward transition. I was getting more and more frustrated, and I didn't want my emotions to take over so I jumped off for the remainder of my lesson 15 minutes early.

I am well aware the issues we were having that day were my fault - I've been able to ride this horse before with little to no issues.

So anyway, I jump off and un-tack, put everything away, give the horse water, brush him and pick out his feet and turn him back out into the field.

I come back to give them my payment for the lesson and I see the girl looking after the riding school taking 8 little kids down the lane on ponies. I figured they were going to the end of the lane then coming back, and the riding school was pretty much deserted while they were gone, as the other two girls helping went with her to assist with the kids.

So I want, and I wait... (I'm paying by card so I can't just leave the money and take off) and 25 minutes later they show up on ponies with all the kids in tow. She sees me there and signals that she will be two minutes. Fair enough, I thought, she has the kids to take care of. Unfortunately, though, she starts cantering around the arena on the pony and doing some jumps while her two helpers were taking care of the kids.

On top of that, they charged me just as much money as I would have paid had an instructor been there.

I have taken this as a sign that I should get out there and try a new instructor. I've only really had the one, so I'm excited to see what another instructor will be able to do for me.

Am I being unreasonable in thinking this was pretty poor service?
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post #2 of 17 Old 10-13-2011, 10:43 AM
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No you're not being unreasonable. You call ahead if you need to cancel, I assume, & you should have gotten the same courtesy.
I wouldn't have paid, not full price anyway.
Talk to your trainer about it. She will probably give you a free lesson. I would.
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post #3 of 17 Old 10-13-2011, 11:09 AM
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Why did you ride when you had figured out no one would be there to instruct you?
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post #4 of 17 Old 10-13-2011, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twh View Post
Why did you ride when you had figured out no one would be there to instruct you?

After reading the post, I took it to mean that the OP was not told the instructor would not be in that day until AFTER she had showed up for her lesson.

This happened to my son once. Instructor scheduled two lessons at the same time...on purpose I guess.....and worked with the other student while my son was left to figure out what to do on his own, which meant he ended up riding around in circles in the round pen.

When the other lesson was over and she wandered over to us about 45 minutes later, I was not only steaming, I was fully cooked. And I let her have it.

We never went back there.

We also had another instructor who would talk with other students about their latest show or talk on her cell phone or order pizza for her family's supper during my son's lesson time. Again, not so nice words followed.

Find another trainer who is willing to devote 100% of their attention to YOU during the hour of their time that you BOUGHT!!
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post #5 of 17 Old 10-13-2011, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natisha View Post
No you're not being unreasonable. You call ahead if you need to cancel, I assume, & you should have gotten the same courtesy.
I wouldn't have paid, not full price anyway.
Talk to your trainer about it. She will probably give you a free lesson. I would.
Agreed. Whenever I had to ride without an instructor because they cancelled at the very last minute, I always paid what an "extra ride" costs which is usually 1/2 of a lesson. Although when I leased a horse, if the instructor had to cancel I obviously didn't pay anything then.
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post #6 of 17 Old 10-13-2011, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beauseant View Post
After reading the post, I took it to mean that the OP was not told the instructor would not be in that day until AFTER she had showed up for her lesson.
But why did she keep riding and not dismount once she'd figured out no one would be there to instruct her? I'm taking it she was riding one the barn's lesson horses.

Last edited by twh; 10-13-2011 at 11:40 AM.
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post #7 of 17 Old 10-13-2011, 11:37 AM
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You paid for a lesson, not just an hourly ride. I would not be paying full fare for that. My other concern is that after 12 lessons, what have you learned if you can't keep your horse in the arena?

I'd be looking for another place to give my money to.
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post #8 of 17 Old 10-13-2011, 11:47 AM
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Iride, I think she's been taking weekly lessons for a year, so more like 50+ lessons which makes your question even more important.

Hlwk, I would not be happy with that situation in the slightest and would've told the girls there immediately that I was unhappy. Also, if you have truly been taking weekly lessons for a year and still cannot keep your horse in the arena or keep him from breaking into a trot or are unable to slow him down... I would suggest finding a different trainer right away. In my opinion you should be much further along unless there are other factors at play.
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post #9 of 17 Old 10-13-2011, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twh View Post
But why did she keep riding and not dismount once she'd figured out no one would be there to instruct her? I'm taking it she was riding one the barn's lesson horses.

The reason I didn't have my son dismount and just leave is that we travelled very far for these lessons, and I wasn't leaving until I had a "talk" with the instructor......

IDK why the OP didn't just leave....

But in any case, OP needs to find another trainer/instructor.
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post #10 of 17 Old 10-13-2011, 12:44 PM
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After 12 months you can't control a horse from leaving the arena? Definitely time for a new instructor. You should have progressed well beyond that by now. Unless you have a signed contract, if it were me I'd just move on and tell her you no longer need her services. It's good to change coaches and horses, you learn more.
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