I'm having a bit of an issue with my trainer..
I want to start off by saying that she is a very successful rider and trainer who I do very much like and respect, but I am not sure if this is working out. I must admit that I have not ridden with her many times as of yet...I finally completed my first lesson with her on my somewhat newer horse (after one or two on my previous horse awhile back) who I have been working through some confidence issues with (I had a bad fall early in my relationship with him) and who I am still somewhat getting to know and understand.
I left the lesson with a confusing feeling...the lesson in itself went quite well, really, and I feel that I obtained some good information and solid things to work on...yet I also had an awful feeling like something was just really wrong. At first I thought it was my horse and my decision to pursue dressage (both things I have had doubts about in the past) that was causing me such grief, but as I went off on my own to soak and figure things out I realized what was bothering me was my trainer...and a few things about her I have always known came out all that much clearer.
For one thing, we have very strong conflicting beliefs about a few things (I believe in pasture/turnout while she is firmly against it altogether, she uses and has her students use side reins which I am not for, etc) and our personalities are not the best together..she is a bit of a harsher, more forceful type of person and I am gentler (though never timid!) and more laid back. I am basically a western rider who is mostly pursuring dressage as a bit of an addition to the foundation of my riding skills and just want to learn a few things and maybe casually compete at lower levels in the future..and I feel like the situation with her is a bit higher pressure than what I was looking for in this venture.
She has a lot of knowledge, obviously, as someone who has been riding and competing in dressage for many years and with plenty of experience in almost every other discipline out there..and I am a younger rider who I suppose comes across as timid or easily influenced or inexperienced because of my calmer and quieter nature...but really I have been very closely studying and working with horses for 10 years and have some pretty strong opinions about some things. Horses are my passion and I consider them to be...basically my life in many ways. I obviously do not have the experience that she has, but I do feel that the experience that I do have gives me the right to have strong opinions in some areas and make certain decisions about what is best for my horse and myself.
I prefer to avoid conflicts with people whenever I can, so I try to avoid situations where I will be constantly clashing with somebody...but I don't know. Is it possible that I am being too hasty in a decision to try another trainer, or since I have already been having issues so early in the game is it best to get out now before things get serious? There are a few other very good trainers in my area..
At this point I'm pretty certain that we should try somebody else and have a few names in mind to look into, but it will be a pretty awkward situation if I switch (she is the sole official dressage trainer at my barn so if I switched I would be calling a new trainer out which actually no one else at my barn does) so turning back would not be considered a major option...so I'd like to hear opinions if possible to be sure about the decision that I make.
Thank you tons if you've read this through...the virtual cookies have already been sent out, you just can't see or taste them....