Let's Talk About Instructors/Trainers - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 04-10-2012, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2011
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Let's Talk About Instructors/Trainers

I was wondering what everyone thinks about their current/past instructors and how you feel you learn best.

Names are changed: (Keep in mind I only chose to move twice...the rest was just how it worked out ).

Her barn was in pretty bad condition. I went there for my first horse camp when I was young, so I didn't know better. We did a LOT of bad two-point.


Strict but fair. Worked us hard but let us have fun as well.


Fun, kind, and great to talk to...but not the best instructor. VERY over-protective and had little faith in her own students.


Also over-protective. Personally, I found her lessons quite boring.


Pretty good. Strict but not too strict. Divided riding time fairly between large groups of riders. But she was always talking on her cell-phone and to her friends in the arena (which she had a lot of). Could be kind of mean.

Mane: (current instructor)

Tries to keep the groups as low as possible- I currently take lessons with only one other person unless people have a make-up that day. Very educational, nice, bubbly personality. Keeps her attention on her students. She always tries to end your lessons on a good note and tells you what the next goal is going to be.

I think I learn best with a semi-strict but kind instructor. Someone who will push me when I need it but won't go psycho on me if I make a mistake.

Thanks for reading and I'm looking forward to any answers I get!
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post #2 of 12 Old 04-11-2012, 12:30 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
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At first I just had riding school lessons and you know, pretty much all the instructors there are the same after a while.

I had a really good one with my first horse - she wasn't a qualified instructor but she taught me to ride dressage. I think she instilled a really good base for me. Taught me how not just to be an idiot kid.

The next one was okay. He wasn't bad but I think I was a bit too much for him. I like people to explain things really well, and have logic to back them up at least, and he wasn't like that. So when I didn't understand something and I'd ask why, he'd just sort of back down and we'd both get annoyed. I was somewhat assertive at 15, and he was quite passive. He really liked me as a rider though, thought I was great, helped my confidence a bit then.

Then I had the odd private lesson with the owner of the riding school nearby, who was an accomplished Showjumper and the lessons were expensive. I do think he helped with my jumping position and such but I don't like his horsemanship skills and the way he trains horses. He is more of the "horses are a machine to do your bidding" school where as I value horses as animals and pets as well as a something to ride. I tend to avoid spurs, whips, martingales, crazy bits etc where as he, and his students, used a range of these things. I kind of felt like this was a "band-aid" solution, where you treat the symptoms not the problem.

Now I am at another riding school while I look for my own cheap horse. The instructors a bit nothing - nice enough but I don't learn anything. Would be fine for beginners.

Last edited by Saskia; 04-11-2012 at 12:33 AM.
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post #3 of 12 Old 04-11-2012, 02:32 AM
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Riga, Latvia
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When I think of them, I realize that I've had quite a lot of them. :)

My only male instructor, the owner of the lesson barn I used to learn the basics. Talked big, but taught me incorrect posting position and my seat was overall weak.

A beginner's instructor at the same place. She was quite boring and I didn't learn much from her. Overprotective. Tried to avoid giving my teaching in the hands of a more professional instructor because she thought that I'm not ready for anything more complicated than lazy w/t/c around the arena.

A young, but very talented instructor, who taught me lots of feel, timing and grounwork. Has an excellent horse sense and let me have lots of fun and try out new skills, thus raising my self-confidence.

Another one of the same age, taught me most of horse psychology I know and how to be patient in horse trainig. Now much of riding skills, though. A great person to talk with and to have fantastic trail rides with.

And the last one of the group of instructors of this lesson barn. A loud girl with extensive riding skills. She taught me a lot and well about leg and seat aids, but training with her was very hard work, because she wanted immediate results, yelled a lot if you failed and, when I had to walk the horse, she didn't suggest me any walk exercises but went to have a smoke.

I went to the UK to meet this instructor and stayed for a week with her. Learning, learning, learning. She was great fun, but also very inspirational and managed to correct my seat problems which had been taught in me by the very first instructor. In a weeks time I went from poor seat and leg aid usage and uncontrolled canter to fine cantering and jumping little courses with a hot horse - the type of horse which I'd just set in immediate gallop previously. Also, she's VERY talented in natural horsemanship and I'd reccomend her lessons to anyone.

7. My current one is a professional and experienced dressage and jumping trainer. She is very attentive to my skills and those of my horse, helps us both to improve, is serious about work and fun about attitude. I get loads of valuable exercises every time and she never scolds me or yells at me for not succeeding. Also, her full attention is on me the whole lesson and she never even turns away, uses phone or goes for a smoke as I had experienced with the instructor Nr.5.

I have come a long way, to surrender my shadow to the shadow of my horse.
/James Wright/
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post #4 of 12 Old 04-11-2012, 07:19 AM
Join Date: Nov 2011
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I can't remember all of them, but I can definitely remember the best and the worst!

The worst: Flaming useless woman who told me I should start walking round with my toes pointed in. She meant actually walking - like when I was walking round the shops, etc. She would sit on the fence and suggest school movements, with no sort of instruction on how to do it, and yell at me when I got it wrong. The kicking point came when she was screaming at me to "collect him up". Now I know what she meant, but I had no idea how to do it, so I asked her to explain to me how it was done, and she just yelled more "collect him up, collect him up" I asked again, and she told me to get off, and got on the horse herself and proceeded to saw at the horse's mouth, giving it a good few pony club kicks. The horse's stride got shorter, and it put it's head up and it's ears back, and she gave the horse back to me - "there, that's how you do it" Even then I knew it wasn't, so I finished the lesson and called the following day to cancel my ongoing booking.

A better one: The lady who stood leaning on the fence chatting to my friend whilst I schooled the horse. On the surface of it, another worst, BUT, at that time I needed confidence in my riding abilities and the opportunity to think for myself in my riding sessions. She was another who would suggest schooling movements - the difference between her and the others was that she was very good at explaining how to ask for them, and how to ride them properly.

The best: The Show Jumper who I was lucky enough to get a few lessons with - was friendly, attentive, able to explain when I had questions and was able to challenge me and push my riding further in a month than it had come in the preceeding year! I nearly turned tail and ran when I arrived for my first lesson there and she said "we'll just go and catch the horse from the field, you'll need this...and this" and handed me a headcollar and leadrope and a chiffney. I'm very glad I didn't run though - she was a brilliant instructor!

Please excuse my spelling/grammar mistakes, I'm British.
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post #5 of 12 Old 04-11-2012, 04:25 PM
Join Date: Sep 2011
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I guess my worst would be the first group of instructors at the first riding centre I went to...my first lesson was walk and trot, with Dad walking/running beside the pony (I was 10 or so). That went fine, couldn't wait to go back.

Second lesson was one week later. Ended up on slightly larger pony, and it was a volunteer teen doing the leading this time. Walk, trot, all fine - though of course I had no idea how to sit properly or hold the reins, etc. Poor pony, I should have been walking and nothing more at this point! But anyway, last ten minutes of second lesson: time to try our first jump!

I am not joking. A little 18" cross pole...at trot, on my second lesson! I was told to just grab the mane and lean forward and kick. Of course I fell off. Landed on the cross pole, nearly got trampled in the process.

I stuck with that centre for several years. When I eventually went elsewhere, I was amazed at the difference in the instructors!

My best three would be the one who taught me how to care for a horse, the one who taught me to do rising trot with no stirrups, and my dressage instructor, who is amazing:)

A moment of patience is worth an hour of wrath...
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post #6 of 12 Old 04-11-2012, 09:15 PM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
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My current instructor is the only one ive ever had, i started riding with her when i was nine, she taught me everything. only the past year or so, shes really getting miserable. I dont want to bash her because she is incredible knowledgeable and whenever i have a problem with a horse, i know she will be able to get up on the horse and get it working so much better. But lately she has been kind of mean and miserable. She is always so negative and does not say 'good job' much, but i have no where else to go and am scared to leave and take my horse elsewhere, Im just gonna try to stick it out until i have my own place and can keep my horse at my property....thats gonna be a few years tho...=/
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post #7 of 12 Old 04-11-2012, 09:24 PM
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Well, I started with lessons in Germany when I was 4 and it was fun, at least like my Mom tells me and as I can see on pics :0) The "real" lessons started when I was 8 and I stayed with my instructor and stable for the next 9 years, I did mostly jumping and my instructor was super. She competed in high level jumping in Germany herself and teached us a lot of great stuff, not only about riding also about the daily handling of horses and resposibility. She was really strict and asked a lot of discipline of us students, which I really appreciate today. I came to Canada about 2 years ago and saw some riding lessons held here and I have to say I was not impressed at all. But - maybe I just watched the wrong lessons or instructors....
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post #8 of 12 Old 04-12-2012, 01:38 AM
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I have only had one trainer in my riding career, and I have to say I wouldn't want anybody else. She does not sugar coat things, she tells what you are doing wrong and how to fix it. She tells you good job when you do things the right way or improve. I know that some people want to hear that they are doing so amazing and are such a good rider. Well I'm not in lessons to get praised, I am there to learn all I can and get pushed to do my best. Also, from day one it has been just as much about horse care as it has been about actual riding. Also, she does not move on until she knows and sees that you are ready. She is the best!
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post #9 of 12 Old 04-12-2012, 01:56 AM
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!!!! Move on girly. If she's not treating you right, it's going to wear at your confidence and/or affect your riding. Don't be scared, there's a ton of riding instructors out there; you just have to find them.

As for me, the worst was when I first came to the states. He had me ride a push button lesson horse the entire time and I had no idea what I was doing.. the last lesson I took with him he was trying to teach me how to hand gallop and all I remember was the indoor was very loud and I felt I was going to die.

The best riding instructor.. well I haven't had one. My current one is wonderful, as was the previous one before then but I haven't found one I really 'click' with. But I've learned a lot within the past 2 years with Sky :)

Originally Posted by dressagegirl77 View Post
My current instructor is the only one ive ever had, i started riding with her when i was nine, she taught me everything. only the past year or so, shes really getting miserable. I dont want to bash her because she is incredible knowledgeable and whenever i have a problem with a horse, i know she will be able to get up on the horse and get it working so much better. But lately she has been kind of mean and miserable. She is always so negative and does not say 'good job' much, but i have no where else to go and am scared to leave and take my horse elsewhere, Im just gonna try to stick it out until i have my own place and can keep my horse at my property....thats gonna be a few years tho...=/

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"

Last edited by Skyseternalangel; 04-12-2012 at 01:59 AM.
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post #10 of 12 Old 04-12-2012, 09:02 AM
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Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
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Hey thanks, I just have to have it all thought through when i do
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