Should I pause on taking lessons? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 05-11-2012, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Tennessee
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Question Should I pause on taking lessons?

I've been taking riding lessons for a little over a year now and it has been with an instructor that I mesh very well with on a friend and student/teacher relationship level. I have learned tons under this instructor and I know I will continue to do so for years.

Recently, my husband and I made a temporary move out of state for his schooling (military). We will be moving back to where we came from when he has finished. My job allowed me to transfer to a new location with no issues, but as it was where we moved from, it is a part time job where I work full time hours and said hours never follow the same schedule from one week to the next. My previous riding instructor had no issues with my wacky schedule, and she would fit me somewhere in her busy lesson schedule without a hitch and sometimes often at last minute (she has a lot of students in school, so finding time before the youngsters got out of school wasn't to hard).

I wanted to be around horses while we were away from home so I found ways. I found a wonderful lady who will allow me to ride her horses and go trail riding with her no problem. Her neighbor has a small sand arena that I can use freely. So I can work on my riding at my pace.

I wanted to continue taking riding lessons, so I found an instructor near by. This instructor is of a completely different discipline (I was focusing on dressage and jumping, with some western pleasure peppered through for a change of pace and this new discipline is reining), but that is okay, I am of the mind that I want to learn everything and anything, so I will take on a different discipline. However, we have issues, mostly, I think, of my own making. We have communication issues I guess, as today is the third lesson (of four) we have missed. I showed up, and the instructor wasn't there. My phone is dead, so I cannot contact them yet to figure out why we missed today. The last one, they thought it was on a different day than I am pretty sure I specified otherwise (I said Saturday, they thought Friday). We have scheduling difficulties as well, they would like the same day same time every week, but I am not capable of making a lesson the same time same day every week. My work schedule will not allow it, and my assistant manager who makes my schedule cannot make it work because of multiple reasons (multiple reasons being the rest of my coworkers). This instructor has also told me that in a few lessons of working with me (on my hands and technique and stuff, because it is reining) they may move me on to instructor b to teach me because I may be to advanced for instructor a. But the issue with moving me on to another instructor is that instructor b is supposedly retired teacher or something and is very reluctant to get into teaching again because of insurance stuff.

SO, should I continue to try to take lessons that may not benefit me if I can't make it to them? Should I continue to try and hope that maybe this instructor and I can get passed scheduling issues? I had originally made it pretty clear that I want to take lessons. I am committed, but but but... oh another thing, I can barely barely afford these lessons. $70.00 for a lesson (holy cajones!) is super expensive. Should I just drop the hassle? I mean, I do have someone to ride with, for free, and I can work with her horses any time I want without scheduling issues. And I have considered calling my instructor back home for exercises to do with this lady's horses (she has a greenie, completely unbroken greenie that I can work with, as well as experienced trail and show horses I can ride, both gaited and nongaited).

When I move back home, I am totally taking lessons back up, so would it kill me to not take lessons for 6 months?

My indecision is that I keep leaning towards breaking off taking lessons, but I feel like I made a commitment too. I'm not under a contract or anything.

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Think of it not as a failure but as a success in how not to do it.

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post #2 of 5 Old 05-11-2012, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Tennessee
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Oh and in case any body asks, I haven't found any other instructors or trainers in the area, with out driving 1 1/2 hours east or west of me, which is just way farther than I am willing to drive for anything.

Think of it not as a failure but as a success in how not to do it.

Don't look in a horses mouth for a gift.
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post #3 of 5 Old 05-11-2012, 02:49 PM
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The lessons in new place are pricey and hard to afford, you have someone to ride with for free. That would be enough for me to stop for sometime till you are back home. You'll still keep practicing your skills while riding with your new friend, so personally I wouldn't worry all that much.

And welcome to the Forum, BTW!
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post #4 of 5 Old 05-11-2012, 02:51 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
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Your INSTRUCTOR didn't show up?!?!?
I had to read this TWICE. Usually, it's a student that blows off a lesson.
I ran a riding academy (ALL my horses) for 10 years. It was not in my back yard and I had regular, monthly lessons scheduled. IF the weather interfered I had to give my students a phone call (it was the 1980's) in adequate time to not inconvenience them.
This instructor might be a wonderful horseman and a good teacher but is a LOUSY businessman.
Find somebody else who respects you. OR, ask your friend (who is letting you ride their horse) to give you some riding tips. a couple of good riding books and practice that advice until you move back to the other location. Here are 2 I can suggest:
Centered Riding by Sally Swift
Complete Training of Horse and Rider by Alois Podjawsky

Last edited by Corporal; 05-11-2012 at 02:54 PM.
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post #5 of 5 Old 05-11-2012, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Tennessee
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I was pretty sure we had a lesson today, I know I called and scheduled for it on Sunday or Monday. But I showed up at their home/barn and looked for them and they weren't there.

I can afford their lessons if I do it as a "group" lesson (two people, two horses, works for me if I'm still learning). They were supposed to call me back and let me know if the other rider was up to it, but they never did get back with me. So I figured I would just go to and see what was up, but no one was home.

My last instructor wasn't the most punctual of people either. She's not a morning person, and I expected her not to be on time for a 9am lesson because of her baby son, but I got a text if she was going to be running late. This new instructor, my phone died so I have no idea what is going on.


Think of it not as a failure but as a success in how not to do it.

Don't look in a horses mouth for a gift.
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