I'm currently in my second term of horsemanship class because I figured it would look good on my resume to say that I'm worked under the teacher since he's a multiple time AQHA worlds judge and his brother is some really famous guy.
I am just absolutely utterly shocked at the quality of people he has around his barn and the way they treat the horses. He's a really excellent rider himself but the other "instructors" kinda make me want to cry every time I see them on a horse.
For instance, there's a little pony (about 13hh) that is one of the easier rides they have. He doesn't fall out, he doesn't act up, he just does what you tell him to and nothing more. Well, one of these "instructors" (who actually gives lessons!!! WTH????) cannot sit this horse's really smooth jog (and trust me, it's like butter smooth) and she has no subtly with her aids. When I rode this horse I wondered why he didn't respond to gentle, hidden, squeezes and when I saw this lady ride, I knew why. To get him to move at all she lifts her legs off the horse's sides about 6 inches and them whacks them into the horse repeatedly until she gets the response she wants. And then, if he starts getting tired of trotting around senselessly with her chubby butt (she's probably 250ish lbs, on a 13hh, light boned pony) bouncing all over his little back, she'll bounce along whacking him in the sides over and over again without giving him ANY relief for trotting like she wants. She'll just whack him and whack him some more until she decides to walk.
Last week, the teacher guy seriously put a gag bit (on a rope kinda headstall with no stops, so there wasn't really any stopping how much the horse's poll and mouth could be smooshed together, kind of like this: http://www.tackranch.com/300642.jpg only minus the ear peice) AND DRAW REINS on a horse that has a naturally very high head set (typey Egytian Arab/TB mix) to help him be less "resistant." And guess how long the rider had been riding who was on him? The first time she ever rode a horse, EVER, was last term. So basically, she's ridden about 15 times for about 3 hours each time IN HER LIFE and she's riding in a gag bit AND draw reins.
I rode that horse the week before sans gag bit and draw reins, just a curb, and he had a lovely headset (and he wasn't resistant at all). I can see where the teacher would have felt that this newer rider might have needed more control, but that's when you put her on the easy, dead head horse. C'mon now.
And then I got a horse that I never needed to touch the reins. For the entire 3 hours of riding I was guiding him solely with my legs and seat. Why couldn't new rider girl have gotten that horse and I got the tricksy one? I mean, I like rider easier horses so I can work on myself but to save that other poor horse from all that trauma...
There's more but I don't want to burn all of your brains.
I think I should also mention that the class know-it-all got run away with and fell off because the horse she was riding went into a rearing fit after she used spurs on it. WHY THE POO ARE YOU WEARING SPURS ON A HORSE THAT YOU HAVEN'T BEEN TOLD TO USE THEM ON???????? Also, why the poo are you using them when you don't know how to wear them and not use them every time you touch the horse? I mean, I couldn't do any better than that but I know that and I would never use spurs since I know my legs aren't good enough to use them. The teacher's assistant even told that girl "make sure you don't touch him with those spurs" before she even got on but did she take them off at that point? Oh no. She had to wait until the horse was thoroughly freaking out to realize that maybe taking them off was a good idea. >.<
Why are people so dumb? Seriously. I think we need to start an HF training barn where all the smart trainers can be easily accessible so I can say I rode with the skillful ones of us instead of these dumb butts.
I guess this is a good learning experience for me since I had no idea that some of this stuff actually happens. I had heard about it but I figured it was an extreme example or something...
This is reminding me of the Fugly blog. Hahahaha
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