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Frustrated with coach

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  • Bad dressage coaches ruin confidence

 
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    07-27-2011, 09:02 PM
  #11
Super Moderator
Three quarters of my current students are adult. One also takes lessons at a hunter barn, which I have no problems with at all. They really are two different disciplines with very different approaches. They both are equally exacting, but in very different ways.

Just be aware that not all coaches are equally good at explaining the fine objectives or even how to achieve them. Communication skills are not common in coaches, unfortunately.

My big focus is to explain to my student WHY you do what you do. So many of them tell me they never have been told WHY and now it makes total sense.

Post some videos!! Then you may end up with a dozen free instructors!!! LOL!
     
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    07-27-2011, 09:41 PM
  #12
Showing
The majority of students with my dressage trainer are adults. And most are older than you (and some were total beginners when they started). I don't know... To me it does sounds you a little bit over-reacting, but then her saying everyone but you can ride the horse is somewhat not right (actually quite rude IMHO). My trainer always says "horse can do it, and YOU can make it to do it". And I find it very encouraging. Also "basic english" IS dressage. Not the fancy one, of course. May be sit down with her and talk over your concerns would be the best way to go. If it won't work out you can always look for different trainer. :)
     
    07-27-2011, 10:25 PM
  #13
Foal
You didn't really state what your goals are for your riding. Are you looking to start showing and then eventually show at the higher levels? Or are you looking to enjoy your time on a horse and improve your skills while you do it?

Not every instructor is for every rider. Your goals need to match those of your instructor or everyone is frustrated.
     
    07-28-2011, 12:43 AM
  #14
Foal
Kimj,
I recently did a transition from the Hunter world to the Dressage world. I spent ten years in the Hunter world and did very well with my great mounts, so I couldn't have been but so bad, haha. My dressage trainer would beg to differ though. I have been told on many occasions that everything I have ever learned is completely wrong and incorrect and will ruin a horse and a rider.
To answer your question: People, horse trainers especially, have a very hard time grasping the concept that yes, just maybe someone else out there in the big world might be correct too. Your trainer may believe that what you've been taught is a crime above all, but it is very unlikely. It is not so much what they say, but how they say it. I have been at my new barn for seven months now, and just today was told that everything I have learned about riding, she (my trainer) had learned by the time she was four. Comments like these are unnecessary. Yes, they are two different disciplines, but it does not mean that either are wrong in totality. I understand your frustration and am in a very similar positiion, hence the slight rant:). Hope things get better.
     
    07-28-2011, 02:40 AM
  #15
Foal
Thanks for the additional comments. I appreciate them all and will keep them in mind. Huntrjumprjenn, wow that was a nasty comment from your trainer! Sorry for your frustration as well, but I'm glad you can at least understand where I'm coming from - and that you got a chance to rant a bit. ;)

As for my goals, well I started out just thrilled to be able to ride at all as it had been a childhood dream. I didn't care at all if it was even English or Western and it just so happened that the coach I met happened to be an English hunter/jumper coach. Now as I've gotten more into it, I'm wanting to get into it more and more and I'm realizing I really like the idea of dressage (also because jumping scares me), but I've not gotten so far as to make actual goals. I've not really even thought about it like that yet - I'm still just thrilled to be riding at all; however, now that you have me thinking about it, I would love to do more than 'just' ride. I'm definitely perfectly capable of basic riding at this point (even if my trainer was implying otherwise!) so don't need lessons for that anymore, but if I were to really allow myself to 'dream' (lol), I think I'd go as far as I could in the dressage world. Unfortunately that's not very far for me financially-wise (too bad it's such a crazy expensive sport!), but I'd love to see how far I could go with it anyway. Thanks for bringing that part of it up as well. Very good point to keep in mind.
     
    07-28-2011, 09:02 AM
  #16
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimj    
As for my goals, well I started out just thrilled to be able to ride at all as it had been a childhood dream. I didn't care at all if it was even English or Western and it just so happened that the coach I met happened to be an English hunter/jumper coach. Now as I've gotten more into it, I'm wanting to get into it more and more and I'm realizing I really like the idea of dressage (also because jumping scares me), but I've not gotten so far as to make actual goals. I've not really even thought about it like that yet - I'm still just thrilled to be riding at all; however, now that you have me thinking about it, I would love to do more than 'just' ride. I'm definitely perfectly capable of basic riding at this point (even if my trainer was implying otherwise!) so don't need lessons for that anymore, but if I were to really allow myself to 'dream' (lol), I think I'd go as far as I could in the dressage world. Unfortunately that's not very far for me financially-wise (too bad it's such a crazy expensive sport!), but I'd love to see how far I could go with it anyway. Thanks for bringing that part of it up as well. Very good point to keep in mind.
First, you can be an amazing natural rider with skills to compete with the best, and not ever show. You don't have to show if you don't want to. And not showing doesn't mean you aren't a good rider! So you can be as awesome at dressage as you can be with a goal of, say, never falling off. Or, learning one advanced skill a month. Whatever it is, it just has to be fun. If you're not having fun, whats the point of showing anyway?

Second, there are tons of open shows out there that are cost effective and laid back. I know I've seen a few dressage shows in my area that weren't super high rated or anything. Im sure your coach would be willing to do those with you. And if not, if she only takes students to rated stuff, well, then you pass on that one. No big deal.

Just a funny story.... I was saying how every trainer is different, and that one thing is not right or wrong, everyone just does things differently. I was explaining this to my bf one day, that some coaches say leg back and some say at the girth. Some might have you lean more back and some more forward, its not right or wrong, there are just ways that I would do it over others. None of it is "fundamentally" wrong..... Then one day, I heard a trainer, who was getting a pretty good penny an hour from her students tell her class that, "In Western riding you must use your leg to drive the horse forward. But, in English riding, you don't use your legs at all. In English, you just use your hands to stear."

Hahahahaha, what?!?!? I looked at my bf and was like, OK. Now THAT is fundamentally wrong!

Just a funny story I had to share. Until you are hearing things like that, things that make you sit on your horse and say to yourself, "that made no sense," you are doing just fine with both your coaches. Learn what you can from each.
     
    07-28-2011, 09:07 AM
  #17
Banned
Kimj, any thought of looking for a new dressage trainer? One that understands that different is not wrong, just different. One that is willing to work with you instead of making you feel like an idiot for not getting it the first second?
     
    07-28-2011, 10:38 AM
  #18
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alwaysbehind    
Kimj, any thought of looking for a new dressage trainer? One that understands that different is not wrong, just different. One that is willing to work with you instead of making you feel like an idiot for not getting it the first second?

I have to agree with this idea.

While it is not unusual for coaches ( any discipline) to be picky but they should have developed SOME people skills.

They are in business and no matter what business you are in, your customers are your clients, not to be treated rudely or with disdain.

Even if your coach is a world class dressage coach, that is no excuse. There are better ones out there that have the skill to teach, be diplomatic and still get results.

To me this one you have falls short.
     
    07-28-2011, 11:39 AM
  #19
Weanling
I agree with Always and Spyder - maybe you should start looking at other coaches and/or barns for your lessons. Not only are you spending good money, but you mentioned that this is a childhood dream to ride and you should be enjoying it and coming away from each lesson with something positive and wanting to come back and achieve more. Even on bad days you're still learning! A good trainer should be able to help you move forward in your riding both physically and mentally!

Also, I think you should go and watch a local or schooling dressage show. You might be surprised by how fun and low key they are and chances are you will want to give it a try. I bet you would have a blast!
     
    07-28-2011, 12:59 PM
  #20
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wancata    
Just a funny story.... I was saying how every trainer is different, and that one thing is not right or wrong, everyone just does things differently. I was explaining this to my bf one day, that some coaches say leg back and some say at the girth. Some might have you lean more back and some more forward, its not right or wrong, there are just ways that I would do it over others. None of it is "fundamentally" wrong..... Then one day, I heard a trainer, who was getting a pretty good penny an hour from her students tell her class that, "In Western riding you must use your leg to drive the horse forward. But, in English riding, you don't use your legs at all. In English, you just use your hands to stear."

Hahahahaha, what?!?!? I looked at my bf and was like, OK. Now THAT is fundamentally wrong!

Just a funny story I had to share. Until you are hearing things like that, things that make you sit on your horse and say to yourself, "that made no sense," you are doing just fine with both your coaches. Learn what you can from each.
That is a funny story! Those poor students, imagine all the bad habits they'll have to 'unlearn'! LOL

As for a new dressage trainer, I live in a pretty small town so this is the only dressage barn around and it's a small barn - only her and the owner are the coaches. I think I can work through it with her, but I'm going to come at with a different perspective now after knowing what you all think about what is correct and how much that can vary, etc. I will try to make the adjustments for her barn when I'm there but I won't feel bad about it anymore, like I have been doing it wrong. A different kind of confidence from me I'm sure will change the nature of my lessons, if you know what I mean. Lately I've been starting to question the whole point, like maybe I'm just not meant to do anything more than trail ride or something since I clearly have no 'natural' ability - which I'm not thinking anymore thanks to you all! Thank you! Not saying I have any particular talent, but I'm coming away from all this with at least me (if not her) respecting myself more for taking on the challenges of learning two disciplines at the same time, at an age which is not easy in terms of muscle memory, fear, and all that, so I will make sure to expect some respect like that from her as well. If she can't appreciate all that, then we'll part ways.

Thank you all again. I wasn't sure if I should post or not about this as I didn't want to come across as whining, but I'm glad I did. You've all been very supportive.
     

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