Do you argue with your instructor? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 56 Old 05-16-2010, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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Do you argue with your instructor?

For starters, I'm not talking world class instructors where you dress in proper attire and show complete respect at all times. I'm just asking, with your average lesson or show barn instructor, do you ever argue or challenge his or her instructions? By argue, I do not mean rant and rave and carry on like a child, simply question the advice being given.

I ask because I recently have my first lesson with a new instructor. It was difficult from the start because she insulted my riding right out of the box and then proceeded to spend the next 45 minutes talking non-stop telling me everything I was doing wrong. Definitely not a good start, but I'm an adult and tried to hear her out. At one point she told me to do something with my horse that I simply do not at all agree with. When I asked her to explain her reasoning, she started in with all the "I train with high level instructors" and "I ride at a high level" garbage. You know, everything except a good answer. I tried to explain to her that I am not an 8 year old and thus do not always take everything at face value. If I have an issue with something, I will speak up. I take lessons to further my riding, but will toss out anything I don't find helpful for my horse. She seemed more than a bit put off by my insight to the point of suggesting we cannot work together. This creates a problem since I just move to this barn, both me and my horse love it so we're not going anywhere, and they do not let outside trainers in.

So back to original question, do you ever argue with your trainer?

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post #2 of 56 Old 05-16-2010, 04:37 PM
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No. Never. If I am paying someone because I think their opinion is worth my hard earned money there is no way I am going to question their advice. If I were to really disagree with something I might consider looking elsewhere after I had tried the technique (more than once) and still disagreed with the logic.

Having said this, all my instructors have been professionals who have probably forgotten more than I will ever learn, so I have never been in a position where I was unhappy with advice.

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post #3 of 56 Old 05-16-2010, 04:49 PM
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Nope. I trust and believe everything my trainer has to say and offer. She is more than willing to allow me to explore and discover things on my own but I would never question her judgment.
If you do, I suggest you go somewhere else! Like Sarahver said, you're paying them. If you don't like them use your money elsewhere! :)

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post #4 of 56 Old 05-16-2010, 04:55 PM
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If I want to argue, I can argue at home for free. I chose my instructor because of her personality and what I've seen her accomplish with my daughter and others. If I didn't agree and trust her, I wouldn't have kept my daughter with her for 2 years and started lessons with her myself. She is the expert and I take her advice and do my best to learn from her every day.

I do ask a lot of questions. I do want to know why she wants me do something a certain way, but only because I like to know why. I've never once gotten a run around answer.

I don't have time in my day to pay someone to instruct me when I disagree with her. I'll go home and let my husband tell me how to cook if I want to disagree with someone.

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post #5 of 56 Old 05-16-2010, 05:19 PM
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Oh for the love of Betsy! Yes I would and do argue with trainers/vets/farriers. They are my horses. If I question something they should be able to calmly expain why they want me/horse to do something. A good trainer would welcome a discussion and be able to provide an answer. Not that you have to agree with it. If it doesn't feel right than it probably isn't. I have followed to many "experts" advice that in the end was absolutely the wrong thing to do. Trust yourself.

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post #6 of 56 Old 05-16-2010, 05:29 PM
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I have never argued with my instructor. It took me a really long time to find her though, I trust her very much. Her husband is also someone who's opinion I value greatly (He is a trainer but doesn't give lessons on a normal basis).

I did take a lesson once with a lady that I remember, right out of the box she said "I know you are trying to impress me right now"... and then she called my horse a plug, said he was push button. Um... OK... I'll take that as a compliment? Anyway, I only took the one lesson from her because I wasn't there for that kind of instruction. I want to be taught. I want to learn.

I see your point. Shouldn't you offer cookies and milk with rants?

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post #7 of 56 Old 05-16-2010, 05:30 PM
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I usually don't. But, there have been times where I've cliniced with trainers (or been with my regular trainer) and not been comfortable doing something (usually associated with jumping) and I've flat out refused to do it unless they lowered the jump. Then, they did and we eventually worked back up to what they wanted me to do in the first place. Or if there is a training technique I'm not comfortable using. Once I refused to whip my horse over and over to get the buck out of her. Nope. Not doing it.

But I usually don't because my trainer knows me well enough to know what my limits are as well as my horse's.

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post #8 of 56 Old 05-16-2010, 05:31 PM
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If she is trying to teach you things that you flat out do not agree with, I wouldn't be paying her to teach me those things.
Unfortunately as you said, she seems like your only choice. Unless there is another instructor at the barn?

I wouldn't argue with my instructor because I would not be paying someone who gives advice I do not agree with.
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post #9 of 56 Old 05-16-2010, 05:32 PM
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I wouldn't say argue, but I would definately speak up, ask questions and offer my opinion to have a discussion as to WHY are we doing what we are being asked to do. What does this offer my horse and I, and how.

YOU are paying this person for a service - it is JUST BUSINESS - period! Nothing more, nothing less.

MyBoyPuck, you have EVERY RIGHT to confront this "coach" and lay all the cards on the table and try to find a way to create a bridge between the both of you. If all this person can do is insult and not give you strait to the point answers - then they shouldn't be coaching.

You have EVERY RIGHT to speak your mind. THIS IS BUSINESS!!! YOU hired her to teach you, if you don't like how you are being taught, fire her. You wouldn put up with it if your Hairdresser yelled at you and insulted you because of how you choose to wear your hair, or couldn't do your hair the way she told you to the last time you were with her. You wouldn't put up with it if you had to encounter this with any other "professional" out in the business world - whether it be a plumber or a dog groomer or your farrier or the person making a custom saddle for you.

Remember, YOU are putting money in her pocket, to help her pay for her bills.
You have the power!

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post #10 of 56 Old 05-16-2010, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Connecticut
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It's really a bit a bummer situation. I just moved to this barn and I love the facility. My horse is happier than he's ever been. The place is immaculate. It's everything a boarder could ask for. We're not leaving. It's too good a place for my horse and that's ultimately what counts. It's just this no outside trainer policy that bites. I liked my previous trainer and her theories are in line with mine. I'm going to see how things go with this new trainer a few more times and then maybe just plod along on my own for awhile. I just wanted to see how others felt about it.

You just have to see your don't have to like it.
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