Originally Posted by Stan
I did a cut and past and now my point of view but first are you paying for lessons if so, my responce is this. First find another barn that you can go to if required.
Next time she has a nasty word to say, respond with. I and people like me pay you to teach us how to ride. You are not doing your job. You are fired. I would then confront the barn owner and complain.
You are not to be treated or talked to in that manner. This young person would not last 10 seconds where I live. Also, the horse they put you on is sick. If there is a vet report on the horse, I would also point out she is putting you on an unsound horse and that places you in danger. Should she say she has ridden the horse a couple of weeks ago. Hand her the rains and tell her to demonstrate amoungst all of the other horses, how to hold it back.
Then remind her she is being paid to teach and that requires demonstration.
Finally I'm rising 65 and your problem annoyed me. I would have told her infront of every one else I am paying for lessons. Don't you ever talk to me in that manner again, and I would stand my ground. She is not an instructer she is a bully. You will do better moving to a new barn but after you dump on her.
Stan, I agree with you wholeheartedly.
I do want to clear something up first though: the horse with diabetes is always under vet's care - this is a university that teaches equine and animal studies including all livestock plus pre vet. The animals are beautifully, lovingly and routinely cared for and they're monitored. This particular horse gets himself into trouble because (like many diabetics of all species) he can be a terrible glutton. They had controlled his diabetes until this spring when he started gorging on spring grass, which I've been told is much richer and sweeter. The lyme may have shown up as it did because of his blood count. He'll be retested within a few weeks to see if he's stabilized. The treatment for Lyme will occur only if it turns out he has it for sure and that it's so extreme it requires treatment.
The young lady in question is probably about 20 or so, a senior in this university, so I guess my guess is about right. Sje's an egotistical kid.
I like what you said about how to discuss this with her - in fact, I think it's brilliant. But now that I’ve had a couple of days to think about this may not be necessary.
At some point in our "discussion" she said "they PAY me, you know" and I wanted to say " We - no - I PAY YOU" but I didn't want to argue with her. Her's was a stupid arguement, attempting to defend the indefensible. And that was "all she had?" – as if how you speak to people is is commiserate with being paid, and simple respect and common decency not the criteria for human interaction.
I need to update this because I've thought it through after reading your comments:
After Thursday’s class, I went home wondering where it would go because the head instructor was present in the arena - giving another lesson - so I know she caught some if not all of it. Our exchanges happened only a few dozen feet away. But I wasn't sure because in arenas things float up to the ceiling.
Now next lesson, Friday's lesson, this young woman had little to NOTHING to say to me during the entire class. But before and after, she and the other student instructor would put their heads together and you could feel the tension. But I ignored it and spoke to her as if nothing happened.
I worried before my class I'd be called on the carpet for reprimanding an instructor during a class and not taking it to the head in the first place. But as I thought about it, first of all, an argument or bad words was uncharacteristic of me.
And it was this one one incident. I clearly stated I was responding to her words and tone. I wasn’t insulting or disrespectful. But I was LOUD as hell because I am loud as hell.
So here's my guess (and I'm going to watch and see because you’re all correct, this can’t be ignored, if it was. But please read on):
I need to try to figure what’s going on behind the scenes. Now that I've read your comments, I know I have a leg to stand on and HOW to stand on it, if I have to. But to push it prematurely would be lose lose.
It would be saying to the head that I don't think she handled something that happened right under her nose because when I think about it, it looks like she may have dealt with this. Not all the incidents because she doens't know about them. But this one which is indicative of something.
Keep in mind, I spoke my words publicly during the lesson in the arena.
When I answered her comments to me I was not quiet, I was LOUD - not yelling but I know how to make myself heard (I've acted).
You could tell I was very insulted and my coming at her was out of character for me. I've been riding there consistently for over a year.
I'm the type of student that always has positives and encouragements for the instructors - because they're so young and they (most of them anyway) really try to give us their knowledge. I treat them all like they're like my kids or grandkids.
What I think may have happened is there was a staff meeting before the next lesson. And the head may have told the young woman to back off. So she backed off so much she had very little to say to me, hardly any instruction which was fine with me. It did not stop me from ASKING her during Fridays lesson what I needed to ask. I’m sure my acting as if nothing was wrong made her miserable.
Plus I am the type to email the head instructor my thoughts every week. I'm an emailing type. I report about the horses I'm riding or I ask a lot of questions – about what I’ve learned etc. I will email her about anything.
So I'm loud AND gabby.
And I;ve kind of assigned this head instructor the job of my mentor and she's let me so she gives me a lot of encouragement. She knows how much riding means to me.
So my NOT saying anything to her about any of this is very out of character, I'm sure she's more than a little intrigued.
She knows I apologized because I did it in the arena out loud because ultimately it didn't feel right to me to give the kid even a little public hell, being she's the instructor. It's not productive to argue. And the young woman was stupid enough to NOT accept it in the arena. (or afterwards privately)
So I’m going to let this sit for the month of July. If she starts her shenanigans again, or anything really, then I will call for a meeting. I won’t confront her, this kid is not important enough for me to risk everything just to vent on her. I COULD. But it’s counter productive to me. First of all, I'll have to move on. Secondly if I lose, I look like an idiot and if I win, a bully.
If she starts again, I have already written everything up, incident by incident. And either I’ll call for a meeting and let it rip, or I’ll write the head instructor and discuss it with her and withdraw from the program. There are always other barns, when it comes down to it. Business and money are business and money.
This kid isn't going to leave the school, she's going to graduate and I wouldn't have it any other way. It's not a her or me situation. But if I make this an issue, I will have to leave and I'm willing to if it comes to it.
But if she's been called to task, then I don't have to. No one has lost face.
Thank you all for your encouragement. It has helped me sort this out. I know how to procede and trust me, I will do what needs doing.
You're all right. And I'm grateful to you for your interest in my little barn drama.
PS. I'm reluctant to leave outright because I love it there. I love the kids, the horses, the staff and my favorite beloved crazy horses are there.