An introduction and how do I tell if I've found a good dressage trainer?

       The Horse Forum > Riding Horses > English Riding > Dressage

An introduction and how do I tell if I've found a good dressage trainer?

This is a discussion on An introduction and how do I tell if I've found a good dressage trainer? within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category

Like Tree8Likes

LinkBack Thread Tools
    06-25-2012, 10:23 AM
An introduction and how do I tell if I've found a good dressage trainer?

I came to the dressage sub-forum a long time ago asking (snicker) for how to teach my horse to have and English style head set! I was very kindly guided in the right direction and I've taken the ball and rolled with it. My horse is green and we've been working on very general stuff when I'm not too busy with school so I havn't had time for lessons. I have been reading some good books about dressage.

But now, suddenly, I might have a chance to finally start taking dressage lessons so that I might be able to learn this passion I have. I just know that I love and want to do classical dressage even though I've read more about it than I've ridden it. Ha!

So please tell me, what should I be looking for in a dressage instructor? There must be warning signs that someone doesn't really know what they're doing or has the wrong methods. I took a few lessons with the closest person and while I learned a lot, she seemed to be more geared towards jumping and she kept talking about the horses head and neck. Not much talk about the back of the horse and when she explained collection it was all about the horse's head. It makes me wonder if I should look elsewhere. Can anybody help me out?
Posted via Mobile Device
Chiilaa and Skyseternalangel like this.
Sponsored Links
    06-25-2012, 10:48 AM
Oh, and ah, this is an introduction because I plan to be more active in this forum and ask more questions as encounter them. I thought it would be fair to at least share a few sentences of background. :P
Posted via Mobile Device
    06-25-2012, 11:36 AM
Originally Posted by WalnutPixie    
So please tell me, what should I be looking for in a dressage instructor?
This is what is important to me (from experience with number of trainers till I found trainers I really liked):

1) Trainer should be encouraging. By that I don't mean he/she should say "sure, your horse can go to 3 (4, GP...) level", but that dressage is all about improvement and communication and that any horse and rider can progress and improve. I run into trainers who told me "your horse is useless (cheap, not well conformed, not bred for english, etc.), so you both won't improve, much less show". Run away from such trainers!

2) You have to learn something new and improve every lesson, and the instructions should be clear and trainer willing to spend time to explain and answer all questions (even dumb sometime - I ask dumb questions all the time!).

3) Trainer is not forcing you to use gimmicks: tie down, speaucial bits, draw reins, etc.

4) You should enjoy the lesson. Unless you are happy you won't progress.

5) Trainer may invite you to watch several lessons of different levels to see if you like the way he/she is teaching.
CJ82Sky and Skyseternalangel like this.
    06-25-2012, 09:18 PM
I have nothing to add except that the trainer shouldn't be frustrated with you or on their phone all the time.

But Val nailed it, including the part about gimmicks!
    06-26-2012, 01:01 AM
To me a good instructor will focus on what the rider does and how that affects the horse.
They won't say "get his head down", they will say "ride to the bit and supple". They wont say, "he's falling through the corner" they'll say "sit up straight darn it!!", etc..

Dressage training is far more about the rider than the horse!!
Kayty likes this.
    06-26-2012, 07:34 PM
When choosing my daughter's, who is horrified when yelled at and freezes, we just stayed at our barn till Kady, the trainer, came. But if I had a choice...
1) nice and never yells when training
2) doesn't say that the horse isn't capable of what we are wanting to do
3) has shown in 1-2 level and has done well...ish
4) doesn't necessarily need a liscense; Kady doesn't and I haven't found a trainer who works better with my daughter than her
5) knows that people and horses have good and bad days

There are several other things but my brain is dead, I may come back later
    06-27-2012, 10:01 PM
Thanks so much for the advice everyone. It is all very much appreciated. I think I'm getting a feel for what's important. No gimmicks rules out the person I just tried, they had me using a german martingale! But now I know.
    06-27-2012, 10:07 PM
I can't remember if you stated your riding experience bit I would expect the first few lessons to basically ignore the horse. I'd expect the instructor to focus on your legs seat hands and balance and getting subtle cues.

No point starting dressage if the horse needs a kick in the guts to go. That would need to be refined first

I'd be quite surprised if they'd even look at the horses head set for at least a few lessons.
Posted via Mobile Device
    06-27-2012, 10:36 PM
I like someone who will push me, and can prove that they know what they're doing - I.e. Looking at how their own horses travel, and do their suggestions work?

Someone that pushes daisies and rainbows up my backside is useless. I'm not paying to be told that I'm brilliant because the coach wants some extra money.
Both of my coaches will happily yell at him, and it pushes me to work harder. If my horse is physically unable and lacks to talent to do something, I want them to tell me, not give me false hope. If I was aiming for Grand Prix and had a terribly conformed horse with no work ethic, I don't want someone to tell me how wonderful he is and that if I have 3 lessons a week with them we'll have him at Grand Prix.

Someone that tells you to to concentrate on the horse's head - say goodbye to them and find someone who knows what they're talking about.
Can He Star likes this.
    06-28-2012, 12:11 AM
Originally Posted by Prinella    
I'd be quite surprised if they'd even look at the horses head set for at least a few lessons.
If my trainer would look at head set at all I'd switch the trainer.

I don't care about yelling as long as it's to the point. What I care about is trainer being honest and straight and both (me and horse) to progress.
Can He Star likes this.

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Finally found a trainer JustPaint Horse Talk 3 10-25-2010 05:55 PM
Dressage trainer or Arab trainer? knaskedov Dressage 7 01-04-2010 10:20 PM
Found a Trainer!! Jubilee Rose English Riding 8 06-10-2008 10:57 AM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:33 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0