Etiquette question involving prior riding instructor
 
 

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Etiquette question involving prior riding instructor

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  • Good horse riding instructor etiquette
  • Riding instructor always talking to friends

 
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    07-25-2011, 05:29 PM
  #1
Weanling
Etiquette question involving prior riding instructor

Quick background- I took lessons at stable X for a few months earlier this year. I had paid in advance for 8. The instructor,after being very reliable suddenly flaked and for about a month did not return calls or emails(at least not mine). She apologized, I went for 1 more lesson then again got no response over a couple weeks. So I figured the last couple lessons I had paid for were a loss and moved on.

I got my own horse and boarded him elsewhere, again because I could not get ahold of her. She just emailed me out of the blue one and a half months after last contact to tell me I had 4 lessons left and would I like to schedule them?

I like this instructor and barn better than the one I board at. However, my current bo returns calls the same day. Without fail, she has always returned my calls the same day. My riding style fits better at stable X but I cannot stand the lack of communication.

So do I take the lessons and not mention my own horse? Take the lessons and tell her I now have my own horse boarded elsewhere? Or just skip the lessons altogether? I want to get what I paid for but... I'm not sure what is appropriate?

Also has anyone else ever dealt with a bo or instructor that is flaky like that? Just disappears with no warning then suddenly reappears?
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    07-25-2011, 05:34 PM
  #2
Weanling
Hmmm...tough one.

For me - I guess it would depend upon the reason behind the flakiness. Was this a one-time thing? (perhaps a relative was sick or hospitalized and she needed to be on-call for them or something along those lines) In which case, I'd be happy to forgive her and schedule those lessons...even continue to work with her after that.

Or is she habitually flaky? In which case, I'd forget the lessons and walk away.
     
    07-25-2011, 05:41 PM
  #3
Weanling
She was not flaky for the first 2 months I took lessons. But she got flaky and has stayed that way with no explanation. She apologized once, said it wouldn't happen again and then it did happen for 2-3 weeks before I just stopped trying to contact her. This email she sent came 1 1/2 months after the last time I tried to call her. So she wasn't flaky in the beginning but for the past 3 months or longer has been almost impossible to get ahold of.
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    07-25-2011, 06:14 PM
  #4
Showing
I'd do what you like more: either use own horse (trailer-in) or on lesson horse. If it's a very good instructor you'll benefit either way (and won't waste your money, which is always quite unpleasant). I don't see too big of deal here. I don't see any fault on your side: you paid and didn't get a service. You have to get money back or service back.
     
    07-25-2011, 06:18 PM
  #5
Banned
You paid for the lessons, I would take them. Tell her about your new horse and see what you can figure out.
     
    07-25-2011, 06:19 PM
  #6
Weanling
Ok, I just wasn't sure if she would be insulted that I boarded the horse elsewhere without even discussing it with her?
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    07-25-2011, 06:26 PM
  #7
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dresden    
Ok, I just wasn't sure if she would be insulted that I boarded the horse elsewhere without even discussing it with her?
Goodness why are you worrying about this? She flaked on you, not the other way around. You don't owe her any explanations, but at least she understands her obligations to give you the lessons for which you've already paid.

Let her know you have your own horse now, and you'd appreciate it if she could give you the lessons on him/her. If she's not amenable to that, go and take lessons on her schoolies. Other than that, you owe her exactly nothing.
     
    07-25-2011, 06:41 PM
  #8
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed Racer    
Goodness why are you worrying about this? She flaked on you, not the other way around. You don't owe her any explanations, but at least she understands her obligations to give you the lessons for which you've already paid.

Let her know you have your own horse now, and you'd appreciate it if she could give you the lessons on him/her. If she's not amenable to that, go and take lessons on her schoolies. Other than that, you owe her exactly nothing.
You are 100% right. My need to be "nice" overrode my common sense. Thank you! Your post made me laugh at myself :)
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    07-25-2011, 09:54 PM
  #9
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dresden    
Ok, I just wasn't sure if she would be insulted that I boarded the horse elsewhere without even discussing it with her?
Posted via Mobile Device
It's YOUR horse and YOUR money. Don't even think about insulting someone. You do business with her. She's not your relative or close friend.
     
    07-26-2011, 11:20 AM
  #10
Foal
I agree with Speed Racer's comments.

You took a few lessons from her - she wasn't reliable - you moved on. Since you paid for the lessons, you deserve to get them - since you bought a horse, she should give the lessons to you on your horse so that you can get the most benefit from them.

It's the instructors job to stay in contact - if they don't stay in contact or provide the services you pay for - you owe them nothing.

Actually - if you want to get technical - even if you do have a good, long-standing relationship with an instructor, it is still a business relationship and it would be your personal choice to buy a horse, with or without the instructor's permission or input. Part of being an instructor is simply accommodating clients choices and advising them when applicable.

I'd ridden with the same instructor for three years and worked at her barn part time when I bought my gelding completely AGAINST her advice. She didn't like the horse, I absolutely clicked with him and felt he was THE ONE. She shrugged, said 'if that's what you want - it's your money and your neck on a very green 2yr old' - and then with minimal flinching, she loaded him into her trailer, hauled him back the barn, stuffed him into a stall amongst a barnful of her precious chosen babies and on we went with life. She never did much care for the horse, but even she eventually had to admit it was a personal preference issue - her barn logo was on him, she taught me on him and she didn't have any issue hanging ribbons he won on her trailer along with the ribbons earned by the horses she had hand picked.

If this instructor is going to come to your new barn to give you the lessons, check with the barn owner to make sure it is okay before she shows up - just explain that you had already paid for them and would kind of like to see something for your money.
     

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