Alright bit of a rant here because I need a moment to vent it out, and see if other people think I'm crazy lol. This is from multiple perspectives about the situation.
Okay, so in June I moved all my mares into a boarding barn. My Arabian mare Lily wasn't supposed to follow me there but the BM really wanted to use her for lessons & offered free pasture board for exchange. I agreed since I didn't really ride her much anyway & hopefully exposure through lessons could help me sell her. Anyway. The BM handed lessons over to a boarder & friend of ours. I hadn't seen anything really wrong with it, she knows enough for the beginners and that's really all we have in the lesson program. Until I saw a lesson tonight...
I mention something about having ridden Lily earlier and the instructor gets fairly annoyed 'You rode Lily?? But I have A coming out for a lesson tonight and she's going to use her!' Um yes... I rode my horse. Because ya know... she's my horse. Which I understand her being in the lesson program comes before me riding her, but Lily literally gets used ONCE a week. And because these kids aren't on a set schedule (some days they'll come out monday, other days friday) I have no idea when she's being ridden or if she's even being ridden at all. And a half hour lesson after me riding her 2hrs earlier really won't hurt her. The kid weighs maybe a max of 70lbs and doesn't exactly ride her hard (just basic w/t/c mostly w/t). Plus I don't ride her hard.
Student shows up. Like I mentioned earlier she's a small maybe 11yo girl. She's a twig. Our instructor at this time is working with another girl on ground work with her horse. She makes this small gal go out into the big pasture to catch Lily. Which alright. I guess she does need to learn this stuff. But for me I don't personally like it. She's a small gal, there's some BIG 16hh+ horses out there, & Lily isn't exactly top of the herd. If another horse comes at her she will pull this girl over trying to get away. Then has this girl tack the horse up entirely herself. Which alright, she's been doing this long enough that she should be able to do it on her own. Then gets on by herself! Where the hell is the instructor you ask? I have no idea. I'm in the arena on Cally, but instructor is no where in sight to make sure the tack is good. Then there she is, checks the girth, it's far too big. Makes the girl get off so she can get a smaller girth. Tells her to go walk around the arena twice both directions. At this time the girl she was helping do groundwork (we'll call her B) earlier comes out on her horse & the instructors daughter. Which fine no big deal. They both board & can ride in the arena during a lesson.
BUT, they aren't just riding. This small gal, girl A, is paying for a half hour PRIVATE lesson. What does the instructor do? Proceed to give lessons to B while giving lessons to A. At this point I'm mildly confused like okay... IT GETS BETTER FOLKS! She had her husband tack up her horse who he then brings out and she gets on. She is then riding her horse while trying to give lessons to both of these girls. Not only that but she's riding super close to Lily. Did I mention Lily doesn't like other horses near her when being ridden? Well our instructor learned that when Lily reached out to bite her mare. Yells for husband, horse is removed from the arena. Now I'm disgusted. And remember folks this lady is my friend who I really like. I'd even call her a bestie. Returns attention to the arena, tells her daughter to start cantering and has the lesson student make figure 8's in the middle of the arena. Icing on the cake right? Well then Lily starts to pull during the figure 8's. My mare does NOT like her head jacked up all the way in the air. Arabian who doesn't like it's head all the way up in the air... weird right? She prefers to keep her head level or collected, or somewhere inbetween the two sometimes (definitely likes it up in the air while cantering). So of course she starts pulling because she wants this girl to loosen the reins a bit. Instructor asks her if Lily is pulling, yes, then makes her get off. 'We can't have her doing that & she needs to learn that's not okay' At which this point I'm annoyed. I've put a lot of training in that horse & I've also owned her since she was 4yrs old. I point out she isn't pulling for any reason except she wants to be able to ride with her head level. To which she tells me oh yeah that's exactly how her horse rides & she understands she wants a looser rein. No. Not at all. Our horse's don' ride anywhere near alike. Lily is then pulled from the arena, untacked, fed, & turned back out. Wth? So my horse that really doesn't pull on the reins (I've given informal lessons on her for years) was now taught that's acceptable to get out of work.
But wait! The girl still has some lesson time left! And thankfully the instructor has stopped worrying about B & focusing on A. She then has her husband bring out her mare. Who does pull when kids ride her and really doesn't ride into her corners. I do know Lily tests the kids about going into her corners. This mare though? Flat out doesn't do it at all. She wanders around the inside of the arena, is going all over the place. It's just bad. And I forgot to mention she was then put in a western saddle (she's taking a english/hunter lesson) that doesn't fit her with no stirrups. With a horse that won't go where she tells her & our wonderful instructor then asks her to trot around and because her mare is a bit lazy - has to smack her in the butt & chase her around.
What. A. Freaking. Mess. All I can think if I was that parent I would be SO p.o'ed right now. They're paying for a lesson. More like a freaking circus act! I pull the BM aside & was like seriously - you need to have a talk with instructor about her lessons. That was ridiculous. You could lose clients because of that crap. She was of the same mindset, although refuses to confront her about how the lessons are done (*eyeroll*), and said she would call the parents to ask how they like the new instructor & lessons. Whatever. It's your reputation & client base on the line.
WHEW. That felt good. If you were that kid's parent would you be annoyed? Mind you this girl was jumping at her previous barn. She now has an instructor who can't get her to that point. That aside. Just the way the lesson went was like o.O It's not even my kid & I was annoyed for her! Like it eclipsed my annoyance with what happened with my mare for the night. Like heck. I'm apparently going to have a lot of things to fix with Lily if lessons continue to go like that... And I am letting her know tomorrow I don't want her trying to fix the problems herself (the instructor) because I know it's just going to make whatever the problem is worse. What a mess.