Originally Posted by alexischristina View Post
In my opinion, you might have run across a nut job. ;D
No, I'm kidding and all jests aside, I'm not sure what I think of this new instructor... The fact that she referred to contact and using rein pressure as abuse is a bit bizarre to me. She would certainly hate those of us who ride with a constant contact, regardless of whether or not we're pulling or using it for just that... contact. And while I agree there are multiple aids to consider when stopping and turning, it is strange to completely discount the use of reins. The fact of the matter is, if we were meant to avoid all use of the reins, would they still be there? If horses were controlled ONLY by use of our seat and legs, what would be the use of a bridle? Perhaps that's a bit extreme, and I'm well aware that there are some horses who do function off of seat and leg only, it still boggles me a bit that she would be adamant you do not use rein unless you were being harsh with your hands.
Especially the situation of a horse running away from you. Just trotting or otherwise, if my horse speeds up when I do not want him to there will be no dilly dallying about it, he will be corrected with proper aids to slow his butt down, no continuing around the ring until he decides to listen.
On top of it all, she should not expect you to be able to hear 'don't pull on his face, you've been doing it wrong' and know how to utilize your other aids in the way she wants you to. A good instructor would TEACH you before informing you you're doing it all wrong, doesn't at all sound like what she's doing.
I just don't know, you know? I just do what I'm told in a school/lesson environment, and I've learnt that being humble is the only way to go, so I just don't know how to do anything else besides accept that I'm wrong. I am just so annoyed with trying to find a place to take lessons, it's hard trying to balance affordable with good, sometimes I feel like just being like, let me save up money and don't bother until I can afford my own horse and some badass trainer.
It's just that she was saying that I need to be the leader and in control, but not to pull to stop. I don't know how else to stop. Yes, it was frustrating that I wasn't allowed to pull even when he was doing what he wanted to. She said that if I just kept pulling he would try and resist it even more and be less receptive and just try to keep doing his own thing. She was trying to say, like, he doesn't want to trot, he's doing it because he wants to be done working and you didn't ask for a trot, so he's doing that to sort of get the best of you. So I guess the idea was that if I just let him trot and try to stop him without pulling, it would show him that his behaviour wasn't getting the best of me. I don't know if that's "right" or not, I just think that was her message.
She did say that I do use the reins, but in a much more subtle and secondary way than what I was doing. She said it's like, leg, then as he's moving in response to the leg, a little bit of rein. But still no pulling back to stop... I don't know if she means she wants me to like, barely pull back by like, moving my hands a little towards me, but I asked if she pulled at all to stop and she said no, she just resists the forward movement and compresses the horse. Like I said, I don't assume I know better than anyone, so I don't know if that's right or not. The reason I'm confused is because I always read about riding the horse from back to front, engaging the hind end, etc., and that's what she was saying we're trying to do by keeping the rein usage subtle. So that sounds right, I think, the turning I could get used to. But I'm at a loss for how to stop without pulling back at all.
Originally Posted by tinyliny
There is no absolute right way and absolute wrong way to ride a horse. It's done many different ways, the world over. If you were taught one way in one place and now find this person wants you to do something different , it does not mean you have a ton of "bad habits". It means she has some things to teach you, that are different. The attitude that you have going into this will completely shape your experience. If you are all about "Man, I am such a dummy, I can't do any thing right", you will be predisposed to failure.
If you are like, "Well, I wonder what we are going to do today? I guess I'll just have to go and try and see." and keep an open mind, you'll learn ANOTHER way of riding.
However, if you really think this instructor is off base in her directing of you, then you should seek another. Not all instructors are equally good.
I just detect a little bit of a "poor lil' ol' me" sound to your post that says that you have things already figured out to be "wrong", so you might miss out on some good learning here if you mind is already less open that it can be.
No no, not at all. D: I did like some of the things she was saying, but being the way I am, I just sort of interpreted that I must be wrong, so that's why I wanted to post here, to hear what others had to say. Because I was caught between "Well, everything I know is wrong..." and "I've never been taught this way before, is it right?" and "This sounds more like what I've read about" and also "How the heck am I supposed to stop this **** horse?" It's hard to know whether something is good advice when you've only been taught one thing and someone else tells you it should be done another way. Like I said, I'm just like that, I just accept that I'm wrong...and maybe that's why I'm "bad" with horses, I'm too gentle or whatever. : / Animals seem to take to me really well on the whole, I work with them, but people don't like this gentleness when it comes to horses because they're huge and you'll be screwed if they try to take advantage of you. Yet I'm being too harsh with the reins? So it's confusing. They don't listen because I'm not authoritative enough, and then when I do something to try and get them to listen, it's too harsh.