My riding instructor is getting on my nerves.. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 10-16-2010, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Western Mass
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My riding instructor is getting on my nerves..

Hey guys, I need to vent.

I keep my horse at a very nice, spacious, eventing [but most people ride dressage] facility. It's an awesome farm, lots of pastures, 4 arena's, friendly people etc.

I have 2 riding instructors. The barn owner teaches me, and when she's not around another woman who helps run the barn does. The barn owner scarcely teaches my lessons anymore [usually she's at a show with her riding team] so it's mainly been the other woman. She's terrible.. all the boarders who take lessons with her decided about 6 months back that it was pre wedding stress [she was engaged] and we were all understanding. Now she's been married, for a while, and has not gotten better.

She's straight up nasty sometimes, she gives off the worst vibe ever. I'll use me as an example, but a lot of other people who ride with her have similar complaints. I got on today, relaxed, warming my horse up with no problems. It was gusting winds to the point where the barn sounded like it would fall over at some points so my horse was an eensy bit spooky but we weren't having and real issues we were both relaxed. The first thing she says to me when she walks in? She loudly in an irritated tone tells me "Don't make a problem out of anything that doesn't need to be a problem.." What happens she she says this? My horse spooks in a side canter off of the rail. Now I'm not saying it's her fault, but bare with me as the store goes on.

So I'm riding around after the spook, things are still going decent although my horse is a little more alert [ears pricked, neck curled] and she notices I'm not keeping my left leg quite and my left hand is in front of my right. She asks me to correct it, so I try with all my might to stop my incredibly weak left leg still and I slide my left hand back and down. She does not see a change and asks me again. I try even HARDER to keep my left leg still, slide my hand back even more and down [now it's getting close to crossing the knee roll of my saddle..] she STILL isn't happy and resorts to raising her voice in an unpleasant annoyed tone. I'm getting pissed and my horse is sensing it, he's starting to get nervous and trying to duck out the corners where the wind can be heard even though he wasn't doing this before. This was my fault as I was getting tense, tense because of my instructor, but I was still trying with all my might to satisfy her requests and working on my leg and hand position.

She STILL isn't satisfied, and resorts to shouting at me. "WHY, TELL ME WHY YOU'RE MOVING YOUR LEFT LEG LIKE THAT.. I DON'T GET IT.." and I very calmly replied [although VERY upset at this point] that "I'm trying really hard I'm really trying.." she told me "No you're not and if you're not going to listen what's the point in having your lesson? I can just leave right now.." at this point I was in tears but CONTINUED to try and please her requests in every way even though I was almost crying. I just kind of shut her out the rest of the lesson and dismounted.. defeated..

Now I ride my horse every day of the week, have excellent rides where we have great communication and everything goes good. Then I have my lesson with her, and I feel like I can't ride to save my life and that what's the point in trying? I know I'm not perfect and I have errors to correct but she makes it seem like I'm BLATANTLY ignoring her!

So I left the arena, put my poor, fried horse back in his stall, and then found a pow-wow of other girls and boarders who ride with her, all saying the same crap! That her attitude even translates to their own horses who are more confident than mine.

I don't want to ride with her anymore, but I don't really have a choice, cause the other instructor isn't their all the time and I can't pick and choose who I get to teach but this is so frustrating. Every time I ride with her I have a god awful ride and I'm not the only one. I've tried asking her questions [to which she replies in a manner that makes me feel stupid] I've tried calmly explaining to her that I'm trying, and I've tried just keeping my mouth shut. Nothing works.

Do you guys think I'm wrong to not want to ride with her anymore? What should I do? Every time I ride with her I feel like I take a step back instead of forward..
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post #2 of 15 Old 10-16-2010, 05:40 PM
Join Date: May 2010
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She sounds like a right B****.

It clearly isn't you if other riders and their horse are getting her vibe, and to be honest isn't the point of an instructor that their meant to encourage you, not scream at you while your crying.

Now normally if I had a teacher like this at school, me and my friends woulf have pitchforks and rotten eggs out, but considering this is different you have options.

-All of you tell the barn owner
-All of you tell her face to face how uncomfortable you are
-Can't you bring in another instructor
-Keep going with her

Normally I would say give her a chance, as it seems you and your horse weren't having a good day, but if's happening multiple times and your horse is sensing it you've got to do something now.

♥When riding a horse, we leave our fear, troubles, and sadness behind on the ground.♥
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post #3 of 15 Old 10-16-2010, 05:46 PM
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Do you pay for your lessons or is it a "work off" agreement? Just curious, bc if I was paying, I would personally not tolerate her nastiness. If you are not gaining from the lessons, you have a couple of choices, as I see it. You can talk to the BO and explain it to her, and ask when she will be available for lessons so that you can ride with her. You can find another instructor, and either go there for lessons or have them come to you, if the barn allows it. (perhaps some of the other unhappy campers would take from them also, making it more worthwhile for the trainer.)

We all have bad days, both on and off horses, but to have this happen every lesson is unacceptable, IMO. Life is too short. I am a bit older, and when I used to ride H/J, I would actually laugh when my instructor told me to do something I was physically unable to do. I would try, don't get me wrong, but I never took it too seriously. I ride for fun, and to achieve my personal goals, which were never to be perfect. I know better.

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post #4 of 15 Old 10-16-2010, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Western Mass
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It could be considered that I pay for it, it could also be considered that I don't. Me and my mom both take private lessons at this barn on our horse, and one free private lesson a week comes with the board. So we don't know which one we pay for or get for free but it's the same either way.

It's a really strict barn, I don't think there's a chance in heck that I'd be allowed to bring in another instructor, I've been kind of teaching myself on my own though. We would talk to the barn owner, but that barn owner and my instructor are closely related and I don't think that would fly well. There is one other instructor at the barn, but she ONLY teaches on fridays, I'm going to see if I can squeeze in a lesson with her though, she's a nice woman but limiting by the fact that she only does fridays.
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post #5 of 15 Old 10-16-2010, 06:03 PM
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Yikes. I would not continue to take lessons from such a nasty person. Riding is supposed to be fun. Lessons are supposed to challenge you and your horse and make you a better rider, not a miserable one.

I would talk to the barn owner and see if you can get the other girls to talk to her as well. I'd then be looking for a new instructor to travel to you.
equestrian is offline  
post #6 of 15 Old 10-16-2010, 06:29 PM
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So your mom takes lessons from this witch too? If the only option is the "friday instructor", then I would alternate-one week mom, the next it is your turn.
Lessons included in board are in no way "free", IMO. I will bet your board is a bit more than other places around.
Perhaps mom would talk to the BO? I will tell you that if an instructor treated my daughter like this consistently I would have been on her LONG ago. Again, I can understand an occassional episode of bad behavior, and my daughter was no angel, at least between about 12 and 18! lol It should actually be in your favor that mom is actively involved, I would think. Better than the moms that just drop their kids at the barn and go shopping or to get their nails done(like mine was)......No offense to anyone, I just like being involved I guess.

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post #7 of 15 Old 10-16-2010, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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Crazy thing is though, my mom never see's it! My mom is either not there for my lesson or she's not as bad with my mom around.
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post #8 of 15 Old 10-16-2010, 08:10 PM
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Seems to me that riding under an instructor who is discouraging you is worse than not taking any lessons at all.

I had an instructor who started literally screaming at me for no reason, yelling at that I had "attitude", and got me so screwed up that I couldn't even get the horse to trot. She started claiming that I was "rolling my eyes" at her (like she could see what I was doing halfway across the ring and me wearing a helmet!), and acting as though I was purposely messing up the ride.

I let her have it and changed instructor. She'd made it crystal clear that this was going to her routine behavior with me.

Maybe you can trailer your horse to a different facility with another instructor? Maybe everyone who can't stand her could go as a group and talk to the BO about it. Whichever way, I'd stay miles from this woman. As I said before, riding under her sounds worse than not taking lessons at all.
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post #9 of 15 Old 10-16-2010, 08:47 PM
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Then I guess mom need to hang around for your lessons if they are going to be with this chic.

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post #10 of 15 Old 10-16-2010, 11:38 PM
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You are paying for a service, one that you arent getting because you are having such horrible lessons with this "lady". You and your Mom should approach the BO about it, even if they are related. There is no excuse to treat your CUSTOMERS like that. If she is better with your Mom around, then maybe it is time to have her start being at your lessons all the time as well. Maybe even out of sight, but within hearing range if possible.

If she does this with all of her students, I am surprised no one has complained. Might also be time to get everyone together and talk to the BO as a collective group.

I agree with FNB's, that your board is probably more because the lesson is included in it.

It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows. --Epictetus
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