Worst lesson I've had :(
 
 

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Worst lesson I've had :(

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        01-25-2012, 03:24 PM
      #1
    Foal
    Worst lesson I've had :(

    I just so annoyed after today :(

    I was on a new horse called Maggie and she is really nice on the ground, good to tack up and pick her feet out. There were four other people in my group, all on small ponies and about 7-8 years old (I'm 14). Because there were 5 people in my lesson we were taking up a lot of space and the lesson before us had four people in it so there wasn't enough room for everyone. I get told to quickly tack Maggie up when I'm still picking out her feet so half her feet weren't picked out and I have to tack up really fast.

    I get into the school and get on Maggie and straight away she is misbehaving. She won't go forward until I have kicked her 4-5 times, and before going forward she went backwards. One I'm on the track she won't stick to the side, if I pull on the reins she just moves her head and if I use my leg she ignores it. I was in front most of the lesson and going at a snailís pace but when I wasn't Maggie would want to overtake the horse in front. She also kept throwing her head around and will NOT keep it still. I let her have some rein, I took in all the rein, I took my hands off her neck, I put them on her neck, I gave her a kick, I ignored it but she would not stop.

    Then we went onto cantering. When it was my go I got Maggie into a trot and was told to go sitting so I did but I'm not good at sitting on good horses so when she started pulling her head forward I couldn't do it so had to go rising. I think I managed to do one stride of cantering but that was it. I felt so angry with her, like she was doing the opposite of everything I asked of her I know itís not the horses fault, but she was just really annoying me.

    One I had messed cantering up, I got told that It was because she was unbalanced and needs to lean on the rein. I was also told that I need to build up arm strength to stop her pulling me forward. How am I supposed to do that though with one lesson a week? My instructor said that because I didn't start riding when I was young I haven't been able to ride the trouble ponies so I'm not used to it. I suppose thatís true, but why put me on a horse that I can't do anything on?

    I also feel really stupid when I'm untacking. I was asked to get Maggie's rug but I didn't know which one it was (they are all in the hay barn and itís really dark in there). I get told itís the "checkered blue one", so I pick up one. I walk over to Maggie with the run and get told itís the wrong one. I get walked back over to the rugs and my instructor points out the right one and says it in a way that makes it seem obvious which one is hers.

    My mum seems to think that all lessons at all stables will be like this and that the only way to avoid this is to actually own a horse (which is never going to happen). Surely not all stables have horses like this though?
         
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        01-25-2012, 03:45 PM
      #2
    Showing
    That's rough.. it sounds like she needs a firmer hand which isn't suitable for someone whom is still learning! Is there a reason they switched horses on you?

    Some stables have good mounts, others... well they make do with what they've got.

    As for strong arms.. it's about a stronger core. So you can do some ab exercises to help you with that. A strong core will also make you a better rider :)

    Maybe she was backing up because she felt pressure on the reins? And yes, leaning on the reins is a tell tale sign they aren't balancing themselves. It could be a simple fix via just pushing her more into the bridle but if they aren't helping you..teaching you how to fix it and help the HORSE, then maybe you need to look into private lessons?

    Either way, every lesson you learn something. Just to put frustrations aside and figure out what you learned.

    Though I have to say.. blindly telling you to put a blanket on a horse and not telling you which one, then being rude. Maybe there was a bee in their bonnet.
    Scoutrider likes this.
         
        01-25-2012, 04:17 PM
      #3
    Weanling
    Riding new horses is very good, you get the feel of different horses and that makes you a better rider. However, riding new horses that you are not ready for...will do nothing to help. You may get good at staying on but your technique is likely to not get better. I hope Maggie is not your permanent lesson horse.. If so, I would talk to your instructor. Simply letting them know you're not ready to ride "problem ponies". And I would also mention that you would like to focus on sitting the trot, and that you want to get that down before moving on. You should be able to talk to your instructor and feel comfortable making such demands. You are paying them and they are there to teach you. I have never been in a group lesson, I always took private and semi-private lessons so even when the horse was having a particularily stubborn day or I was just not getting something my instructor had all attention on me and was always patient and helped me and the horse through it.

    It's not fair to leave your lesson feeling frustrated.. You should feel accomplished and happy, and maybe even a little sore

    And I don't even know what to say about that blanket part..just seems plain rude..!
         
        01-25-2012, 06:26 PM
      #4
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vergo97    
    I just so annoyed after today :(

    I was on a new horse called Maggie and she is really nice on the ground, good to tack up and pick her feet out. There were four other people in my group, all on small ponies and about 7-8 years old (I'm 14). Because there were 5 people in my lesson we were taking up a lot of space and the lesson before us had four people in it so there wasn't enough room for everyone. I get told to quickly tack Maggie up when I'm still picking out her feet so half her feet weren't picked out and I have to tack up really fast.

    I get into the school and get on Maggie and straight away she is misbehaving. She won't go forward until I have kicked her 4-5 times, and before going forward she went backwards. One I'm on the track she won't stick to the side, if I pull on the reins she just moves her head and if I use my leg she ignores it. I was in front most of the lesson and going at a snailís pace but when I wasn't Maggie would want to overtake the horse in front. She also kept throwing her head around and will NOT keep it still. I let her have some rein, I took in all the rein, I took my hands off her neck, I put them on her neck, I gave her a kick, I ignored it but she would not stop.

    Then we went onto cantering. When it was my go I got Maggie into a trot and was told to go sitting so I did but I'm not good at sitting on good horses so when she started pulling her head forward I couldn't do it so had to go rising. I think I managed to do one stride of cantering but that was it. I felt so angry with her, like she was doing the opposite of everything I asked of her I know itís not the horses fault, but she was just really annoying me.

    One I had messed cantering up, I got told that It was because she was unbalanced and needs to lean on the rein. I was also told that I need to build up arm strength to stop her pulling me forward. How am I supposed to do that though with one lesson a week? My instructor said that because I didn't start riding when I was young I haven't been able to ride the trouble ponies so I'm not used to it. I suppose thatís true, but why put me on a horse that I can't do anything on?

    I also feel really stupid when I'm untacking. I was asked to get Maggie's rug but I didn't know which one it was (they are all in the hay barn and itís really dark in there). I get told itís the "checkered blue one", so I pick up one. I walk over to Maggie with the run and get told itís the wrong one. I get walked back over to the rugs and my instructor points out the right one and says it in a way that makes it seem obvious which one is hers.

    My mum seems to think that all lessons at all stables will be like this and that the only way to avoid this is to actually own a horse (which is never going to happen). Surely not all stables have horses like this though?
    This doesn't sound like a pleasant place to ride.

    I disagree with the "arm strength" comment. The resistance comes from your abs/center of balance. You don't really pull with your arms.

    Also, a horse "leaning on a rein" is a bad thing. Sure, they need connection/collection, but they should absolutely not lean.

    However, if you truly feel like you cannot handle this pony, go to the instructor and talk to her about it. Tell her that you feel uncomfortable, and that you feel that you are not ready to ride the pony. Also see if you can set up some 1-on-1 lessons. If she is unwilling to make changes, it's probably best to find another barn.

    If at all possible, look in to Pony Club. It's super fun and it'd be really suited for you(:
    VanillaBean likes this.
         
        01-26-2012, 11:52 AM
      #5
    Started
    It's a good thing to ride different horses and deal with horses that are more challenging - that's how we gain experience and grow as horsemen. Sometimes it can be frustrating when a horse truly challenges you to accomodate yourself to his/her idiosyncrasies, but learning how to be flexible and adapt to different horses is an invaluable skill.

    That being said, moving up to "more horse" in a lesson, especially for a younger or less experienced rider, should be done with some sympathy from the instructor. When I was taking regular group lessons as a kid, if I was handed a new mount, the instructor would say "How about we put you on Flicka today? She's a princess on the ground, but she can be a bit balky and heavy on your hand once you get going, so prepare for that and be sure do XYZ, like you learned on Trigger last week, to set her straight. We'll talk more about that once you're mounted up." I suspect that Maggie will be a horse that can teach you a lot if you are shown the proper tools to work with her successfully.

    I, too, disagree with arm strength being the key to dealing with her heaviness, or that "she needs to lean on the rein" to be in balance. Your core muscles are of far more consequence in rider strength than arm muscles. If she is leaning on the rein, she is not in balance and is relying on you to do her job. That can be fixed by not bracing the rein against her leaning, combined with pushing her forward so that she can't dump her weight into your hands as easily - something that your instructor *should* be able to help you with. If he/she insists that leaning on the rein is a good thing and didn't just misspeak, well, it's definitely time to look into another instructor.

    To me, it sounds like perhaps it was just a bad day for all involved; a large class of mostly younger kids, at least one fussy pony, etc., can all put an instructor on edge. That being said, if this experience is similar to your other lessons, not a bizarrely bad day, perhaps it is time to look into a different lesson barn. Another option would be to take a private lesson or two on Maggie so that you and your instructor and iron out your difficulties without taking time from the other sudents in the group setting.

    Lesson stables run the gamut - some are excellent facilities with caring, knowledgeable instructors with a variety of suitable ponies that the instructor can and does pair up with riders as appropriate lesson-mates from one day to the next. Others are less stellar, for one reason or another. If you do opt to look for lessons elsewhere, I highly recommend observing a few lessons (most instructors don't mind if you are out of the way and aren't disruptive) before signing on to get an idea of the instructor's style.

    Good luck!
         
        01-26-2012, 12:41 PM
      #6
    Foal
    Thanks for the replies, I can see the benefits of riding a trouble horse but I was just really upset yesterday.

    I don't know why they changed the horse I ride to her, she is new (they've only had her about 2 weeks) so when I ask what she is like to ride, they just say they don't really know. I rode her last week and she was better, but this week I couldn't get her to do anything and she kept wanting to go to the other horses.

    I was told that I was supposed to be getting her to lean on the reins. I was told to imagine two kids playing "horses", one of them with a rope around their waist and the other one holding onto the rope ends. My instructor said that the kid being the "horse" would fall over if the other person let go of the rope, and that is what it is like with riding. I am holding onto the "rope" (reins) and the horse will "fall over" (become unbalanced) if I let go. Sorry if thatís a bit confusing, itís hard to explain!

    I know that itís good to ride horses with problems sometimes, but I just don't feel I can cope with her because she doesn't do anything I ask of her and I don't know what to do to make her respond.

    I will ask at my next lesson if I can go back to the horse I normally ride, Charlie.

    I would love to have private lessons, but the way lessons work at the stables is a bit strange. It's £20 for a lesson, and it could be a private, a semi-private or a huge group. I never know who will be in my lesson, how many people there will be or what level of riding they will be at. Sometimes there are just two of us, and sometimes, like yesterday, there are a lot more. I have only been in a group with someone who isn't on a pony about 5 times, but then they changed the day they have their lessons and now I am in a group with small ponies. Probably because everyone my age is more advanced than me. They only seem to reserve one-to-one lessons for beginners.

    The lesson was probably worse than normal, and I was being taught by an instructor that I don't really work well with. She always seems stressed an makes me feel a bit stupid.
         
        01-26-2012, 12:52 PM
      #7
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mystykat    
    You are paying them and they are there to teach you.
    ...It's not fair to leave your lesson feeling frustrated.. You should feel accomplished and happy, and maybe even a little sore
    When my lesson horses didn't respond to to appropriate student cue I would cue them with a whip. I always spent my time teaching walking the middle of the ring.
    There is a safety issue and it is appropriate for a good lesson horse to be slower at taking cues so as to teach you, a begginer, the standard for cues. Even Alois Podjawsky talked about some of his horses being fussy about responding to cues, in "My Horses, My Teachers."
    If you really LOVE horses, they are doing you a favor. I have a friend about my age (54yo) who spent his youth taking lessons, than schooling hunters at his local stable--never owned his own horse. He burned out at age 18 (popular age for burning out.) Now he doesn't ride at all. I've owned horses for 26 years now.) =D
         
        01-26-2012, 12:57 PM
      #8
    Foal
    This is a bit off topic, but I was just wandering if this is normal. When I arrive at the stables I have to go and get head collar and lead rope for the horse I'm riding. The horses don't have head collars that are theirs; they are all just hanging up all on top of each other. I end up spending ages looking for a head collar that looks like it might fit, and half the time it ends up not being the right size.

    Also, is it ok to put a rug on a horse that is really dirty and a bit damp? The rugs that I put on Maggie were like that. And when I was tacking her up the saddle cloth was damp as well.

    I'm not trying to find all the faults with the stable, I'm just genuinely wandering if it’s ok. :)
         
        01-26-2012, 01:08 PM
      #9
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vergo97    
    I was told that I was supposed to be getting her to lean on the reins. I was told to imagine two kids playing "horses", one of them with a rope around their waist and the other one holding onto the rope ends. My instructor said that the kid being the "horse" would fall over if the other person let go of the rope, and that is what it is like with riding. I am holding onto the "rope" (reins) and the horse will "fall over" (become unbalanced) if I let go.
    Ack! And what happens if the horse pulls, will the kid go flying? You betcha! Get her off of your rein, there's a difference between leaning and contact. Are they trying for contact or are they truly asking her to lean?

    Quote:
    I know that it’s good to ride horses with problems sometimes, but I just don't feel I can cope with her because she doesn't do anything I ask of her and I don't know what to do to make her respond.

    I would love to have private lessons, but the way lessons work at the stables is a bit strange. It's £20 for a lesson, and it could be a private, a semi-private or a huge group. I never know who will be in my lesson

    and I was being taught by an instructor that I don't really work well with. She always seems stressed an makes me feel a bit stupid.
    And you've asked your instructor for help? Because they should help you with that!

    That doesn't sound very fair at all. 20 quid for a lesson that could be private, group, or whatever? That's a lot of money for inconsistency. Though saddle time is the only way to learn.

    It bites having an instructor that you don't work with as well. But obviously they entrusted you with this new horse for a reason, maybe they're seeing something you aren't realizing?
         
        01-26-2012, 01:12 PM
      #10
    Weanling
    I don't like the idea of the damp blankets and tack... was it raining?

    The haltering was the same at the barn I learned how to ride. They had lots of different colors so it became easier to know which one you had to grab for which horse.

    It sounds like this instructor isn't giving you much help. Sure, learning on a "problem pony" is good experience, but when you're not being told how to handle things with her it's incredibly frustrating.
         

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