When I first started riding lessons, I think I did a normal thing. I googled "riding lessons in Bucharest" I ended up calling a guy who told me something like:
"Oh. Well the ad is since I was trainer at a equitation place that no longer exists. And I'm no longer an instructor either. But you know what, I've got a horse and sure I can teach you"
So there I go and start the lessons. Turns out his horse was a 7yo (back then) Arabian mare, beautiful but totally not for a beginner's lessons. She was bucking, crow-hopping and stuff. I swallowed my fear and thought "I guess this is how the riding goes!"
Later on I found out these lessons were not regarded with good eyes by the riding school where he was boarding because it was unfair competition and they were breaking the rules. O well.
After perhaps 2 months of weekly lessons this guy starts pouring a sweet poison in my mind :)) About how nice it would be to have my own horse and ya know, his horse is actually for sale, and she's an awesome horse, pedigreed and such and yeah okay she "plays" a little (a response to my timid objections "but I think she's trying to kill me?") but ooooh she's such a great mare.
And he comes up with this "awesome" deal:
I shouldve paid 2500E for HALF of the horse and half of the boarding fee. He would keep training the horse (the mare was actually going to jumping competitions) and teach lessons on her, to cover the expenses of the other half. I was also responsible for bringing in new students to cover additional expenses.
With my mookie mind, I thought that was a great deal and I started dreaming day by day about it. Luckily:
1. My husband took a very careful diplomatic approach of this matter and showed me a list with our current incomes and expenses. A horse boarded with 350E / month and a 2500E loan was not fitting in there at all.
2. The girl who was training the mare probably had mercy on me and told me:
- that for 5000E I could get 2 arabians, not 1.
- and that the mare is lame in 1 foot! A thing not noticeable at my trot-buck-walk lessons but surely an issue for more effort and in future.
I backed off cautiously and I ended up simply not going anymore at all, as the guy already was presenting me to the barn as "the new owner". And the others were throwing me a quick worried look "mmmyeah? Heheh..um...okay good luck!"
I got a huge phone rant as result "I had big plans with you!" Yeh well I did not :(
After almost half year break I get in contact with the girl who had warned me. She actually was a certified riding instructor herself and she was at another equitation center, so I gladly went to her. Everything was going quite fine. Except boy, this girl picks some weird hours! :O
5 AM, 6 AM, I think the latest riding I took was around 8 AM.
Totally no idea why. Everyone else was taking lessons at quite normal hours, sometimes when I was arriving at the riding school even the horses and the staff were still sleeping :/
The price gone up so high that I simply could not afford it anymore. Nowadays I've heard a lesson in there is 40$ / 45 minutes. Geesh :/ Just in case you wonder, Romania isn't exactly Las Vegas. Our average monthly salary is somewhere around 600$
This plus the awkward hours led me to yet another break.
Last year I discovered this ....horse resort or whatever it is in a mountain area and I started going as often as I could. They do 1 on 1 trail rides , their horses are great, everything was nice.
But the last time I went there I found their instructor overjoyed: "It's my last day here! I QUIT! Ahaha!"
This guy was actually giving riding lessons on trail. He would always look back and warn "your leg, your elbow, your seat, the reins, watch the heel" etc and was giving great advice about anything horse related.
I actually made more progress in few "trails" with him than I did in half year of ..sleeping in the saddle at 5AM.
And now he quit :(
Last time I went a groom guy was replacing him. Yeah he can ride but he's not exactly teaching anything. He's the kind of "are you still hanging? Yeah? Great" and he's more focused in sharing his lifestory with whoever wants to hear it.
So my rant-novel sized ends here.
Thank you if you made it to the end :)
Not much to do, just browsing around the internet to find some better priced riding school. And the trail rides are at least fun.