So I am doing my last internship before I graduate from optometry school. As a "fun" requirement while I am here (on top of all the serious ones) I have to teach my attending doctor how to do something he doesn't know how to do. So of course, I offered to give him and his wife riding lessons.
I just moved here 2 weeks ago, but I did find online that there is a barn in the town we live in, as well as another one just 15 minutes away. Since we are on a time crunch and have to do this riding in March in Minnesota, I needed a barn with an indoor arena since the weather isn't always cooperative.
I just spoke with his wife on the phone today, because her and I are going to meet for the first time over breakfast on Sunday, and then we are going to check out this barn in the neighboring town. I have found out that they have already taken a few lessons at the barn in town, so going to this new barn would be a new experience for them.
So it pretty much sounds like they are basically still beginners, and have only had a handful of lessons.
Over the phone, she proceeds to tell me how this trainer at the barn in town has her riding 3-year-old colts with stallions also in the arena (one of which came pawing at her when she bailed off the 3-year-old on one occasion) , she has been put on a trained reining horse that spins on command , and she has also been told that you have no control of your horse if you lose your stirrups .
Ummmm, wow? Is that the word?
She just kept telling me all these things and I can tell that she is very afraid of getting on another horse, because she basically has been an "experiment" for this trainer, by being stuck on all these horses that no beginner should even be near. She even asked if it was okay if she didn't ride on Sunday when we go out to the barn, and if she can just watch first. I re-assured her that I would ride any horse first that they wanted to put her on, to make sure it was appropriate.
I can tell they haven't been back to that barn for a while, and she also hasn't told her husband half of the junk this trainer has pulled, but how dangerous! Putting a beginner on a green 3-year-old and a finished reining spinner??
I am just baffled.
Again, I guess I only heard her side of the story, but it seems like she knows she's been "had" by this trainer and know this trainer should have known better.
Hopefully I can bring some confidence back for her, and some real horse lessons. (Not saying I'm any Horse Whisperer by any means .... but I sure as heck know not to put a beginning rider on a spinner!!! Good lord. )