I had two lessons the other day with a new instructor. A friend of mine recommended him She had him break her horse and is not taking lessons from him. She thinks the world of him. So I decided to try a lesson at his barn. I thought it went fairly well. His horse was a nice horse to ride..sweet, gentle, very soft and very responsive to aids. Just a all around nice horse. So I decided to try another lesson at my barn so I could do improve my self and thought it would be good for my horse.
I left the second lesson more confused then when I had started and my horse learned absolutely nothing...or maybe he did. If he did what he learned was not good..
At one point during my second lesson the instructor was asking me to open my horses stride in a canter. My horse is just turned 5 and is able to walk trot and canter. He has just recently found his balance in a canter. Anyways I asked and my horse tried the best he could being so green. That was not correct .. I got told to push him forward still...So again, I asked my horse to open his stride more. Still was not what my instructor wanted...So he asked me to get off my horse so he could get on.
WHAT A MESS!!!!
My horse backed up all over the arena but it looked like the instructor was pulling him backwards. The instructor took the whip to him repeatedly until he would go forward. He got him into a few circles of canter and it looked like he was going well... but he was still getting whipped. Finally my horse stopped and stood there refusing to work..... I asked the instructor what he was taking the whip to him for? He replied "he is being lazy" I could not understand what he was trying to ask this poor horse to do! He would spur him and when Tea went forward he would jerk his mouth...he would whip his left shoulder so Tea would move to the right, He would then jerk his mouth and spur him on the side he was moving to ... Any way he went this instructor would whip him and at one point he smacked him over the head with the dressage whip... My horse had no out. No way to relieve the pressure. How does this have anything to do with opening his stride? I feel like he picked the fight with my horse...
I thought horses learned from not the pressure but release? What was this coach hoping to achieve by a)hitting him so much???? b) not allowing him to move away from the pressure of the whip spurs or hands???????
I was horrified My horse had shut down and stood there with sheer terror in his eyes and was getting whipped for doing that too. It made me cry watching.
I could not contain my anger and I asked the instructor to get off my horse, off my property and that I was not paying him for that lesson because I felt he was not teaching us anything and was being outright cruel.
This instructor tried to explain to me my horse was lazy and apologized . he stated it looked worse than it was That he was trying to get my horse to pay attention to his aids. . .That if I did not nip it in the bud it would only get worse.
I am sorry but you cannot tell me that there was any reason to hit my horse as hard as he could... 50+ times in the five minutes he was on him, Leave welts on him and have the poor horse sweating to the point of foaming when he had done no work at all. The poor horse simply could not understand what was being asked of him and this man riding him was not letting him even attempt to try what he was asking without being reprimanded.
After I kicked this coach off of my property I took my horse out of the paddock he was in (I left him standing there while I yelled at the instructor) I got on him to walk him out and he would not move. He had planted his feet. I did not want to force him to walk so I got off and walked him in hand until he was cool. I was brushing him after and noticed a number of raised welts on his hind quarters.
Was I wrong to get so upset at this "trainer"???