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Could I have some opinions on my instructor and some tips for my riding?

This is a discussion on Could I have some opinions on my instructor and some tips for my riding? within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category

     
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        04-01-2011, 10:31 PM
      #11
    Showing
    How advanced are you? Putting spurs on just after 6 months of lessons doesn't sound quite right to me unless you had plenty of riding experience before switching to dressage. Not a critique from me, but there is a time and place for any extra-equipment. If you horse doesn't respond well to your legs I doubt spurs will help much.

    I never lunge either my or lesson (the client's, very forward) horse before the lesson. I don't see a big need unless you have a cold-backed horse. Not saying anything wrong with lunging (I know some people like it), but it's not something I'd worry about in the instructor. However if you try to do something for just 10 secs and if you can't the instructor makes you to switch to something else, I don't quite understand. If you can't achieve something the instructor should explain you (or even show you) how to do it and why it should be done this way and you have to try it at least several times. Personally I wouldn't be very happy about it.

    Frankly, sounds like you are not very happy about your instructor (no offense)!
         
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        04-01-2011, 10:36 PM
      #12
    Weanling
    Ya I'm going to see how it goes. I don't like feeling restricted to do something a certain way. My horse is very tense and 5 minutes of lunging really helps. If I lunge him, when I get on he pretty much goes round on his own since he's been aloud to look around and move his legs as well as relax at the trot. When I don't lunge him he is fine but he is very inverted. I don't see why I wouldn't if it helps him and me. I don't need to but because it benefits us I want to. I lunge him without any equipment on.

    Oh an BTW, I said that I don't ride without spurs. I was saying that I want it to come from my seat, not extra gadgets.
         
        04-02-2011, 11:06 AM
      #13
    Weanling
    I don't think that you are overreacting I think it sounds like you really care about your riding and learning to be correct. I don't really know your situation though so it's hard to form an opinion on if you need to manage your expectations more or if you just have a mediocre trainer who isn't doing it for you. I think that an instructor should be prepared to answer questions and work towards the individual goals of their students. Can you tell her that you want her to point out when the horse is straight and on the bit so that you know what to look for? I understand that you don't want your trainer to need on-the-job training herself but maybe you could really learn something from her if you can just help her out a little bit by telling her when you are unsure or not following? If you are getting a new trainer soon anyway I wouldn't worry about it too much!
         
        04-03-2011, 09:06 AM
      #14
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SPhorsemanship    
    My horse is very tense and 5 minutes of lunging really helps. If I lunge him, when I get on he pretty much goes round on his own since he's been aloud to look around and move his legs as well as relax at the trot. When I don't lunge him he is fine but he is very inverted.
    Then just lunge. Explain it to the instructor WHY you feel a need to lunge first (I assume you do it before the lesson, not during the lesson, right?). To me it sounds like a good enough reason to do what you do. In the end YOU know YOUR horse the best, NOT the instructor. If instructor doesn't respect your feelings and opinion very well may be its time to look for a different one.
         
        04-04-2011, 12:07 AM
      #15
    Weanling
    It's kind of annoying though that just because they are my instructor they think they know way more than me. For example, I lead my horse on slacked reins/lead rope and he's very calm with that. He needs to have some freedom but also feel guided. When you lead him on a tight rein/lead rope, he can't look around so he twists his neck to look around and fight back. I was leading my horse into the arena and my instructor came over and said I was doing it wrong by leading my horse on slack. Am I doing it wrong?
         
        04-04-2011, 06:57 AM
      #16
    Showing
    Sometime I put a bridle and lead my horse with the slack reins over her head (I don't have to hold a rein even), sometime I use lead/halter and put the bridle in arena. However all instructors I used NEVER told me how to lead/get on/deal with my own horse. When I get IN the saddle is whole other story - instructor is the leader I obey.
         
        04-04-2011, 09:40 AM
      #17
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SPhorsemanship    
    It's kind of annoying though that just because they are my instructor they think they know way more than me. For example, I lead my horse on slacked reins/lead rope and he's very calm with that. He needs to have some freedom but also feel guided. When you lead him on a tight rein/lead rope, he can't look around so he twists his neck to look around and fight back. I was leading my horse into the arena and my instructor came over and said I was doing it wrong by leading my horse on slack. Am I doing it wrong?
    Well, as with everything in the horse world, it depends.

    I lead my horses the same way that you do. However, in a situation where there are other horses around or other people riding (such as a lesson environment), I lead with much less slack just in case. That's not to say that I micro-manage their head, I don't. But I will have my hand much closer to the headstall/bridle than I would just leading usually so that in the event that my horse does something funky I have more control.

    Also, if your instructor wishes you to have more control as you are heading in to a lesson, I would suggest that you do as asked as they may have a very good reason for requesting that. Perhaps in the past someone has been injured when a horse made a suprise play entering the arena? You just don't know. Also, you are new to this barn so everyone is getting to know you AND your horse. You may know that your horse is trustworthy enough that you can lead him everywhere in that manner but others do not know that yet.

    Better to be safe than sorry.

    As for your instructors prowess as a dressage instructor, I am less than convinced. She may be a very good instructor that will help you with your dressage but if you are after a genuine dressage coach, I suggest you find out who HER coach is and pursue that. What level are you and your horse competing at out of curiosity?
         
        04-05-2011, 05:39 PM
      #18
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SPhorsemanship    
    Oh an BTW, I said that I don't ride without spurs. I was saying that I want it to come from my seat, not extra gadgets.
    Sorry I meant to say that I ride without spurs. I see too many dressage riders reliant on them and I don't want that to happen to me.
         
        04-05-2011, 06:26 PM
      #19
    Foal
    I don't see any problem with lunging your horse before the lesson. I can't really see any problem with the way you lead your horse. Why not ask your instructor why she doesn't want you to lead the horse on a long rein.

    You sound as though you're really up for increasing your knowledge and improving your riding which is brilliant. I would do a little light dressage reading. "dressage formula" erik herbermann is a great book. He describes the seat and the aids in detail. Also 'dressage for the 21st century" Paul belasik is a brilliant book. This book inspired me to learn how to train horses .... I love it! He also goes in to the seat in detail.

    Spurs are a valuable tool when used correctly. I wouldn't advise wearing spurs until you are balanced at the sitting trot. They are not meant to be used for punishment or disobedience.

    As for your trainer ... you don't sound like you're enjoying your lessons. If you're going to have to stick with this trainer in the meantime then I think you have to communicate some of your issues to her in the nicest possible way. If you don't understand something then make it clear and ask her to explain why you're doing the exercise, how does it benefit the horse etc. It sounds as though her method of teaching is not for you. It can be hard to find a great trainer, one you click with. You are paying for these lessons and it sounds as though you're not getting value for money. I would try to find a trainer whose style suits you and your horse. You should be enjoying your lessons. Good Luck.
         
        04-05-2011, 06:37 PM
      #20
    Weanling
    I'll look into getting the books you suggested. Does anyone else have book suggestions? Even if they aren't about dressage, please tell me.
         

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