Confused about what I should do?
   

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Confused about what I should do?

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    07-12-2013, 04:30 PM
  #1
Weanling
Confused about what I should do?

Hello,
I recently switched from Western riding to English. Actually, I started out English, did western, now I'm back to English. I had to switch barns (I don't have a horse by the way) to do English, and I'm kind of conflicted about what I should do.

To start off, don't get me wrong, I love doing English and jumping, and I love my new barn, but I don't really like how they treat the horses. One lesson I had, a little girl was on her horse (who was too much horse for her IMO), and was having problems controlling it. So the trainer (the only one over there) goes over and kicks the horse in the stomach and stuff, which I think was uncalled for, and should never be called for.

The western barn I was at did natural horsemanship, so switching to the English barn (no offense to English riders) I think gave me a little bit of a "training shock"' such as in the difference between how the western barn handled/trained horses vs. how the English barn does it.

There are 3 English barns in my area that I know of, the one that I'm at now, lets call it barn A, another barn that we'll call barn B, and a third barn that I used to go to (before Western) that we'll call barn C.

I like Barn A, it is a nice (as in fancier) barn, but I can't say I agree with the training methods and how the horses are treated (refer to in the second paragraph), and I get nervous for my lessons because I feel like I just do stuff wrong all the time when I'm riding.

I have been to Barn B for a show, but the trainers from my Western barn said that the trainer at Barn B is kind of mean to the horses, and I don't really like that barn too much.

I used to go to Barn C, but they over horsed me and put me on horses who were too much for me (I was 8 or so). My mom doesn't like this barn either.

I really like riding English, but I don't know what to do about barns. I don't want to keep jumping around from barn to barn and not stay anywhere. When I'm doing lessons at my current barn, I just feel like I can't get anything right when I'm riding; like I always mess up. And I know that's what lessons are for, to help you fix your mistakes and be a better rider. Its not like my trainer is yelling at me all the time but I just feel like I can never get things right.

What should I do? I still have lessons to do at my current barn, I'll see how many I have left and I may take a short break from riding (it will kill me, I know it) just to get my thoughts together about what I really want to do.
So should I just wait it out at my current barn? Its just that I don't like what my trainer did to that horse (kneeing it, kicking it in the stomach, all that); I don't think its fair to the horse.

Thanks!
     
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    07-12-2013, 05:33 PM
  #2
Green Broke
I think you're tying riding discipline and horse treatment too much. Horse mistreatment occurs in ALL riding styles.

That being said, you have to consider the riding style you prefer, the training styles and your riding goals. It would be worth taking a couple of lessons at barns b and c to see how things are now.
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    07-12-2013, 05:38 PM
  #3
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by DancingArabian    
I think you're tying riding discipline and horse treatment too much. Horse mistreatment occurs in ALL riding styles.


Posted via Mobile Device
I was trying not to do that, and I don't believe that all English riders mistreat their horses and western riders don't. What I meant was I liked the natural horsemanship methods used at the western barn, and I wish I could find an English barn like that. I'm not trying to label either discipline as far as mistreatment.
     
    07-12-2013, 05:44 PM
  #4
Weanling
I think I'd prefer a barn that may be a little less nice but treats it horses well, no matter what the riding discipline.

Maybe you could find someone that would give you lessons at the Western barn you were at? Do they have any horses for lease at that barn? Maybe you could try a lease instead of one of the western lessons horses.
     
    07-12-2013, 05:44 PM
  #5
Started
In my experience natural horsemanship and Western barns tend to go more hand in hand than NH and English barns do. Personally, what you witnessed at Barn A could very well have been a 'one time thing' OR you could have only seen 'part' of the story. IMO there is a time and a place to get 'physical' with a horse, as they're very big, very strong, and need proper discipline. If you witnessed ONE thing you don't like you need to think about whether it's enough to turn you away completely or not, as there will be similar incidences at all barns.

Have you actually BEEN to barn B (as in taken lessons)? It's easy for one trainer to bad mouth another especially if they think they might lose a student. What is it about the barn you don't like?

Same for Barn C. Were you overhorsed or were you put on a horse that was a little bit of a challenge for you? There's a big difference, and I think the latter is actually beneficial for a rider. And remember that a lot can change at a barn over a couple of years, it might be worth another try.
     
    07-12-2013, 05:46 PM
  #6
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by JulieG    
I think I'd prefer a barn that may be a little less nice but treats it horses well, no matter what the riding discipline.

Maybe you could find someone that would give you lessons at the Western barn you were at? Do they have any horses for lease at that barn? Maybe you could try a lease instead of one of the western lessons horses.
The Western barn wasn't a boarding barn, it was a private "backyard" type of barn, the one at someone's house.
     
    07-12-2013, 05:57 PM
  #7
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexischristina    
In my experience natural horsemanship and Western barns tend to go more hand in hand than NH and English barns do. Personally, what you witnessed at Barn A could very well have been a 'one time thing' OR you could have only seen 'part' of the story. IMO there is a time and a place to get 'physical' with a horse, as they're very big, very strong, and need proper discipline. If you witnessed ONE thing you don't like you need to think about whether it's enough to turn you away completely or not, as there will be similar incidences at all barns.

Have you actually BEEN to barn B (as in taken lessons)? It's easy for one trainer to bad mouth another especially if they think they might lose a student. What is it about the barn you don't like?

Same for Barn C. Were you overhorsed or were you put on a horse that was a little bit of a challenge for you? There's a big difference, and I think the latter is actually beneficial for a rider. And remember that a lot can change at a barn over a couple of years, it might be worth another try.

My trainer from the Western barn (this is after I left that barn, they came to see me at a show at Barn B) was the one who said about the trainer. I would think about taking lessons there possibly in the future. I think maybe the reason I don't like it is because what my western trainer had said, and I think I'm just comparing it to my current barn too much.

At Barn C, they put me on a horse that my little 8 year old self couldn't control, and then the next week they put me on another horse that was just like the first one. Both lessons I got off in tears. One of those two horses, my trainer got on after me and the horse broke the bit.

I did remember another barn in my area, we'll call it Barn D. I was looking at their website and so far I like it.

At Barn A, I was in the lesson that this "event" happened in. The kid couldn't control her horse and was giving it mixed signals, and it wasn't the horse's fault.
     
    07-12-2013, 06:05 PM
  #8
Weanling
Ahhh that makes sense.

Is there anyone else at the barn you're at currently that might give lessons other than the barn owners? Maybe some of the people who board there have some connections in town that just aren't as widely advertised...
     
    07-12-2013, 06:09 PM
  #9
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by JulieG    
Ahhh that makes sense.

Is there anyone else at the barn you're at currently that might give lessons other than the barn owners? Maybe some of the people who board there have some connections in town that just aren't as widely advertised...

Not that I know of. There is only one trainer at the barn and since I'm taking lessons I take them with her. Another reason I am considering a switch is because lessons are, I think, the most expensive in the area at my current barn, $400 for 10 lessons. Most barns are $350 for 10.
     
    07-12-2013, 06:18 PM
  #10
Weanling
Well you could always try out the other places and continue at your current barn. If you end up liking one of them then make the switch.
     

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