Riding Instructors and Yelling/Insults? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 89 Old 02-13-2013, 09:47 PM
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I have worked as an apprentice/assistant trainer and paid for lessons under those conditions.

I am a little thinned skinned but I figure it is the price I pay if I want to get better. I don't want to be told how wonderful I am or how I did a great job training my horse. I might get a little butt-hurt at the time, but I promise the next time I will try my hardest not to make the same mistake.
One trainer I worked for finally figured it out, about two days before he would leave for a show I would get a lesson. He would hammer on me hard for a couple of days, then load up and leave for a few days or up to a couple of weeks for shows.
By time he got back I would have it figured out and all my colts would be doing what he hammered on me for before he left.

So here is the important part, the trainer has to be just as good getting into peoples heads as getting into horses for the lessons to work.

Maybe you think your trainer is rude or someone elses, but maybe that is what that person needs in order to improve. Or they could just be screamers....
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post #12 of 89 Old 02-13-2013, 09:47 PM
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I work in camping kids come for a week ride go home forget everything come back next year and do it all over again. this is the very reason I hire wranglers that love working with kids, I have found I can teach most people how to teach stop start steering, walk trot. But I have never been able to teach a "horse person" like you all have been talking about to love teaching kids. I find them once in a while but they are few and far between.
all of your story made me smile. thanks
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post #13 of 89 Old 02-13-2013, 09:56 PM
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Haha, I think the SAME thing; a quarter horse trainer boards one of her horses at my barn to give a little girl lessons during the winter because we have an indoor arena. She is seriously the sweetest little girl, and this trainer SCREAMS at her. Tonight, the trainer went to turn on the arena lights and 30 seconds later walks in and starts yelling at the girl "YOU'RE NOT TACKED UP YET? YOU SHOULD BE TACKED IN 3 MINUTES." And looks at me and says "It's true; if you can't tack in 3 minutes you might as well not ride." and I said 'Well, that's too bad because I take an hour" ;]
I'd start sobbing if my trainer ever yelled at me like that and she knows it, so she doesn't. She knows she can use tone with me to make me really comply to something, but that's it.
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post #14 of 89 Old 02-13-2013, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by clippityclop View Post

Are bossy trainers better? Good question - I've never used a dressage trainer that wasn't bossy/prissy/Type AAA - do they exist? LOL! I'd love to hear what others think as well!
Haha! Actually I did find one that is in NOOOO way a Type "AAA", bossy, or prissy, as you put it! She got her graduate degree from Meredith Manor, rode wth the Royal Lippizzaners, and is as sweet as can be. Before the barn where she had her lesson horses closed down, I had taken quite a few lessons with her, and got to know her personality well. She would bend over backwards to help me understand something. Usually our "1-hour" lesson would be much, much longer, because I asked so many questions! And she never demanded any more money for it either!

I was very surprised that no one else utilizes her talents, so that's why I posted this question. I've suggested that they take lessons from her, since she's so good, and so calm & sane, but they harbor some sort of resentment that their trainers have passed on to them. It's like a child hating something that its parent hates, lol! It's so ridiculous!

So yes, they DO exist! It's just hard to find them! And who would've thought that I'd find her in IOWA, of all places?!

Onuilmar - I'm not super confident either. In fact, when I started taking lessons with the riding instructor now, I told her, "I've ridden western my entire life. I'm not that good. I consider myself to have okay balance. Teach me like you're teaching someone to ride for the first time." And that approach has worked great! But honestly, I've never played the "overconfident cowgirl" type of role. My thoughts are, "Okay, I'm on a 1000 lb. animal that could kill me if it wanted to... Any attempts to 'overpower' it are going to be laughable..."

I don't mind criticism either- in fact, I LOVE criticism, as long as it's constructive. Insults and degrogatory behavior makes me angry, because how is that helping? Calling the rider "stupid" isn't solving the problem!

I hope current, or future, riding instructors are reading this.
The best coaches and trainers I've ever, ever encountered were calm, and did not insult their students. Positive reinforcement will work so much better than negative reinforcement! Riding lessons should not be like boot camp!

Last edited by TurkishVan; 02-13-2013 at 09:59 PM.
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post #15 of 89 Old 02-13-2013, 10:14 PM
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The one woman who I drove out of the arena was a much better rider than I was, obviously...since I was taking lessons from her (I had seen her ride and the lesson was mandatory because of my employer). But I knew *enough* to bite back when I did.

She was screaming at me about collection in a dressage lesson on a horse who had never trained in dressage before (my fourth lesson, his first with her). I couldn't even had expected him to come off the forehand, let alone collect. She was telling me what a horrid rider I was for not being able to collect, balance, straighten, relax, etc. in the forth lesson. I stopped my horse and screamed at her that when she rides, her legs are all over the place, her hands are never steady, her posture is slouched and her horse was unforgivably behind the verticle and hollowed out so much that I wouldn't shame myself with taking another lesson from her even if it got me fired.

She walked straight out of the arena and drove off, so I must have hit a nerve. I rode the horse home. I wasn't fired. I told my boss to find me someone better if they expected me to take lessons, because the last one was subpar.

Seriously, if you're going to scream at me about impossible tasks, make sure you can do it yourself.

And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music

Last edited by Copperhead; 02-13-2013 at 10:23 PM.
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post #16 of 89 Old 02-14-2013, 09:55 AM
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When I got back into riding, I went to an English show barn where the trainer/instructor/BO was a dressage rider and man did she yell! I will say her knowledge and expertise of horses was phenomenol, but if you couldn't do it perfectly or get it right by the second try she would just scream and rant and insult to no end. It wasn't just the adult riders either, she yelled at the kids as well. I used the lesson horses at the time and each lesson was on a different lesson horse and I asked her one time about what size girth went with which horse and she stood there and called me an incompetent idiot for not knowing. One of the horses did not stand well in cross ties and didn't pick his feet up well and he tried to kick me. When I asked her for help, she told me to learn from experience and I was on my own. Yikes! Well, I didn't stay there and moved to the barn where I'm at now and absolutely love it. I was losing my confidence at the other barn and was always a nervous wreck going. I loved her level of expertise, but it was not worth losing my confidence and love of riding.

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post #17 of 89 Old 02-14-2013, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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So many interesting stories! I always thought that riding instructors like that were rare, but apparently they're more common than I originally thought.

At least the bad experiences really make the good riding instructors shine, eh?
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post #18 of 89 Old 02-14-2013, 06:58 PM
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Seems like everyone agrees we dont like being screamed at during lessons.. Except if the advice is free
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post #19 of 89 Old 02-14-2013, 07:03 PM
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I haven't had a pile of time to read all the responses, but I have been yelled at, screamed at, insulted, embarrassed......but I never forgot that lesson!
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post #20 of 89 Old 02-15-2013, 03:39 PM
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My first riding instructor was fantastic, but a total nutcase. She would scream, yell, threaten (things like pulling me off the horse, making me ride horses I didn't like, riding without stirrups, etc, never abuse), cajole, whatever it took to make me do what she wanted me to do. Sometimes it took a lot; I was a stubborn kid. Sometimes she scared me, sometimes she made me cry. But I always learned something, and I always ended my lesson with a smile. And in the end I think the most valuable lesson I learned from her was how to put up with crazy horse ladies.

My two instructors that came after her (current included) are absolutely wonderful, sweet, friendly, women. Neither of them have ever yelled at me unless it was to make themselves heard across the ring or field. My current instructor can be just as scary without yelling as my first could be while yelling though....Haha. It's a talent. Most of her young students are terrified of her, which is completely ridiculous because she's so nice. She isn't afraid to get strict with us older, more advanced girls though. I've been told that if I can't get my hands out of the mane I'll have to ride without reins, and if I can't get my knee off the saddle I'll be riding without stirrups.
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