Finding an instructor?

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Finding an instructor?

This is a discussion on Finding an instructor? within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category

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        11-27-2012, 07:02 PM
    Finding an instructor?

    So, a bit of background. I was training with a dressage instructor when I was 16. It was a bit of a mess. The instructor did not want to teach young people and felt that I was not riding enough. My last lesson was when she told me that if I wanted a career in horses I was going to have to start riding more. At which point, I was pulled out of lessons because that was the last thing my parents wanted (they see too many 4-H kids in our area crash and burn).

    I started to dabble in pleasure riding went to University, switched to western and trail riding and went along with my life. Enter the Harry aka hairball. Harry is sweet, responsive and for reason's beyond me (trail rider) loves ring work. He tolerates the trail but its clearly just because I ask him to do it. If I get myself in the correct position he set himself up really well.

    I recently rode him in a breed demo. We needed a third person. I took a total of 5 lessons in english tack(spread about 3 months apart) and we did a simple walk/trot demo. After which, I had the other person in the demo's dressage instructor approach me. I had told her I had toyed with the idea of selling him and also toyed with the idea of taking dressage lessons. Her response was "You need to keep him and take some lessons because he has a lot of potential and its not going to take as much work as you think it will". Now, I really like this horse (I really like him because he is FUN to ride) and think it could be a fun adventure. I would think its someone just trying to drum up business but she lives two states away.

    My question is what do I look for in an instructor? If I am at best a leisure rider will that be frowned on? I would love to say I ride more than I did in high school, but between being a full time student (2nd degree) and working part time, not having an indoor arena or lights I have to say that would be a lie. If I do this will I have to dedicate myself to riding all the time? I would love to but I need to eat and sleep. Will it really be a fun adventure? I don't want to go to grand pre or even go to a training level show. I just want to try this because I think the horse would enjoy it and it could not hurt me. That said, I want quality instruction. Any advice on what to look for in an instructor?
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        11-27-2012, 10:35 PM
    Never mind I don't think I can find a dressage instructor who is interested in what I am.
        11-29-2012, 11:12 PM
    I don't see what the problem would be! I prefer to only ride 2-3 times a week. Within a few years, I ended up showing at 2nd level dressage, schooling 3rd, and being successful in shows. That was on a young horse that was learning along with me.

    A good instructor should be happy to help you achieve YOUR goals, not have you meet their own personal agenda. Sorry you had a bad instructor when you were young. Unfortunately, there's a lot of them out there :(

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