Randos watching lesson
So I just recently posted in law about waivers but I have a separate question. I don't entirely know where to post this question but it's regarding an English instructor and English lessons soo English riding? Lol. Back story: I've had an interesting time with stables, some great, some not. I've started at a new stable recently, great find I think but also one of the last decent options within an hour drive. I'm an awkward long time rider with no great instructors. The instructor was actually surprised with how long I've been riding after my assessment (that bad, not that good lol). So I'm an experienced rider who's somewhat back at the beginning. Sensitive spot to be in, self esteem wise.
As I've said, new barn. The day I went out to visit initially, I was shown to the indoor arena where the instructor was giving a lesson and talking with, I presume, the rider's mother. I don't know because I wasn't introduced. I didn't drop in either, the meeting was planned and I was expected. The instructor was really friendly, open and seemed to be a good instructor/what I'm looking for. It went fairly well. Took a little while between the instructor giving instructions and talking to the mom (?) to get started. I think that was to allow me to experience the lesson, arena, etc, before details. Might be positive/naive thinking as well. Someone dropped in partway through my discussion with the instructor, started talking to the instructor and the other woman. Didn't know her from Jane doe either when I left.
My first lesson/assessment was great. It was me and the instructor in the arena. For the most part. The barn assistant dropped in briefly. But it was fun, I clicked with the instructor (problem at last barn among others), learned and improved a little bit.
Second lesson. There's a woman talking with the instructor at the beginning of the lesson. Not introduced, not a clue who she is, she's just there. Start lesson. The other woman is watching and talking quietly with the instructor. Little bit into my lesson, another woman comes in and talks with the instructor. Didn't realize till the end of the lesson that this woman is actually the owner of the horse I was riding (it was allowed, nothing shady, but still). Little bit after this, another woman comes in. For most of my lesson there were three extra people in the arena, didn't know any of them or why they were there. Not to mention the owner of the horse went in and out of the arena three time, though after the first time it was because she was grabbing her helmet and crop. Still that's people going in and out of doors throughout my lesson.
If I was a different person, this would be fine. But I have some anxiety/social/esteem issues. I was nervous and tense the entire lesson. No fun. I emailed the instructor afterwards with some general questions. I also asked about the extra people. Explained the nerves, not the anxiety issues. Her response was that she didn't close her facilities to her clients (aka boarders/leasers), so it was open to other riders to use and watch but they have to give way/be respectful to the one taking the lesson. She apologized for my discomfort but said she was unable to exclude use of facilities to clients. Now I don't give a **** about other people riding, especially if they aren't in the way. They're doing their own thing. I do have a problem with other people watching me being one of the things they do most in the arena, especially a) people I haven't a clue who they are and b) when there's more than one excess person.
So essentially what my questions are 1) Am I being unreasonable to not want people around during my lesson? It's a popular barn and I can understand busy times, but I'm paying, not a small/worked off/discounted price, to be taught and have time riding.
2) How exactly should I approach this if it continues to be a problem? I feel that since I brought it up, she might make an effort to not have as many people in the area during my lessons. But if this continues, I'm not going to have fun/relax during my lessons, especially if its rotating people I don't know. I'm tired of searchig for barns and this is one of the last options to ride at a decent place, it is the last option to advance with riding. Is this a suck it up or leave it issue that Im not going to win either way? Is there some way to solve this without uprooting again or feeling like a zoo animal every lesson? I've paid a months lessons so I'm kind of screwed if this goes badly.
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