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Riding Instructors and Yelling/Insults?

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    02-16-2013, 10:54 AM
  #31
Weanling
I'm one of those ultra-sensitive people who shuts down if someone yells at me. (Yes, I'm a huge pansy but I can't help it, unfortunately) I'm also very hard on myself.
Luckily, my current instructor doesn't yell (except to make her voice carry across the arena). Even on days when I'm being a complete piss-head and I can't get anything right. She corrects, but not meanly, and also makes a point of telling me what I did right. She doesn't sugar-coat, she doesn't tell me to get it right; she knows my limits but knows when to push me.
I think if I had an instructor who yelled, screamed, swore, or put me down, I wouldn't learn anything and dread going to the barn. And I wouldn't put up with it - why pay someone to insult you? Mother in laws will do it for free.
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    02-16-2013, 12:19 PM
  #32
Weanling
I havent read all the posts to this subject But if I do repeat what someone else has already said I do apologize. Okay here goes.

Running a horse business wethert it be boarding training or lessons is like any other business. I don't see how anyone pays anyone for survices if the person they are paying belittles someone for doing something not quite right or exactly how the person wants it done when asked. You wouldnt want to go back to a store or a restuarant if the manager or owner called you stupid slow not eating right or wearing the correct clothes. So why pay for services if the person giving them stands their and treats you like crap. A self taught instructor is a person who doesnt have much knowledge as far as people skills. Need people skills just as much as riding skills. Always said just because you can ride doesnt make you a trainer. Just as much as just because you own a hammer doesnt make you a carpenter.
A good business owner (Trainer ) is one that can get their point across to the student without the insults the yelling swearing rude remarks. If they do not offer respect I would seek else where. JMHO

TRR
     
    02-16-2013, 09:01 PM
  #33
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by faiza425    
I'm one of those ultra-sensitive people who shuts down if someone yells at me. (Yes, I'm a huge pansy but I can't help it, unfortunately) I'm also very hard on myself.
Luckily, my current instructor doesn't yell (except to make her voice carry across the arena). Even on days when I'm being a complete piss-head and I can't get anything right. She corrects, but not meanly, and also makes a point of telling me what I did right. She doesn't sugar-coat, she doesn't tell me to get it right; she knows my limits but knows when to push me.
I think if I had an instructor who yelled, screamed, swore, or put me down, I wouldn't learn anything and dread going to the barn. And I wouldn't put up with it - why pay someone to insult you? Mother in laws will do it for free.
I agree with you entirely!

I am helping a woman at the moment who has a young horse that I helped her to back. He was fine with all traffic and has since become bad with heavy vehicles (it is practically impossible to ride anywhere in the UK without going on the roads)
I said I would help her and decided that the best place to go was down to a nearby farm where there was plenty of room and heavy vehicles and tractors.
The poor woman was almost sick with the idea of riding him around there. She was begging and pleading for me to ride the horse but I refused. What good would that do? He would have been fine with me but no better with her.
I led her around and then she rode on her own. We started a tractor and I led her around it, stopping and leaning against the wheel just chatting.
A friend had driven our ATV down and when we were finished instead of taking the short way back I made her ride alongside the ATV and went for a good long trot.
I was so pleased with her because she was so frightened of what might happen, I was tough on her but not unfair, nor did I put her down. When she said "I can't do this." I told her she was going to have to and that I had every faith she could.
Next day we went for a ride together, me riding a good horse that is traffic proof. When a heavy wagon was coming along the road - it slowed right down, she was so tensed the horse started to react in the same way. I then gave her a hard poke with my finger which made her jump and ask what it was for - that was enough to distract her from the lorry and immediately the horse relaxed and just walked past on the inside of my horse.

It has now gone from not wanting to ride out of the arena to wanting to get out and about. We have been out most days and met several big vehicles and she is not reacting to them so the horse isn't either.
Tere is still some way to go, she is not confident in not being led from my horse but, that will soon disappear.
Had I yelled and screamed at her it would have all gone bottoms up. She needed firm handling and her confidence building. She had already undermined her own confidence and didn't need it confirmed.
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    02-16-2013, 09:33 PM
  #34
Weanling
We have been fortunate enough to find a trainer for my daughter (age 10) who is right in-between. She's tough but fair. She doesn't yell, but she will get on my daughter when necessary. Kitten (my daughter) would not do well with a screamer, she would shut down completely. She would not be a good rider with too soft of a coach either. She NEEDS a little tough love during her lesson. We've been with this trainer for just over two years and are very, very pleased with how far she's brought my daughter and her horse.

I would NOT keep my daughter with a trainer who screamed and hurled insults at her students. It's NOT ok.

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    02-17-2013, 03:27 PM
  #35
Weanling
I guess I could understand some "tough love" at the higher dressage levels, but rudeness still isn't constructive. One poster (forgive me, I just forgot your profile name!) made a good point- when teaching beginning riders, or inexperienced/older riders, the point is to make riding "fun." Yelling and screaming doesn't make it any fun!

For instance, my little cousin saw her grandmother (stupidly) hop on to a green broke horse, that she had no permission to ride, and get injured. It was horrific. Her grandma was on an uncontrollable horse, who bucked, galloped against the arena fence, bashed her leg into the side of the arena (breaking it terribly), and knocked her unconscious. My cousin's mother, understandably, never, ever wanted her children to ride horses after that. My little cousin agreed. But with the help of a local trainer, who was patient and had very well-trained lesson horses, she now loves riding horses. It helped her regain confidence in horses after that incident.
If that trainer had a problem with the rider, she calmly explained why/why not the rider should/shouldn't do something. Without that calm demeanor, my little cousin would not have enjoyed riding, and would have given up on horses altogether.

I also used to belong to a horse club at my university, and we took lessons with that same (western) trainer. At one of the first lessons, one of the girls mounted the horse, then raised her feet about a foot from the side of the horse, and gave him a sharp, quick kick. The horse was used to small children, so he walked off calmly. I looked at the trainer, she looked at me, and a "Holy crap! That could've been bad!" look was exchanged between us. The trainer took a few seconds to compose herself, then calmly addressed the student and said, "Now 'So-&-So', I'm not trying to be mean here, but if you had been on a different horse, you'd probably find yourself on the ground. Start with small, gentle bumps, then get harder." Then she proceeded to compliment her on her seat, making small adjustments, and etc. The girl didn't feel incompetent, and came back for every lesson after that.
I thought the trainer handled that situation well, even though it could have been a train wreck, especially with 4 other horses in the arena!
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    02-20-2013, 01:29 PM
  #36
Green Broke
Pushing is not the same as yelling, belittling, or degrading. For a coach to say, "Do it again," pushes a student past their comfort threshhold, and is a positive thing.
On the other hand, many coaches coach people who aren't very motivated and don't really want to go that far.
Then, there are people who shouldn't, IMHO be coaching anybody. I was taken aback watching a program with Laura Kraut--GREAT rider--push students on green horses to force them up a dais and over jumps they were afraid of. I would pull the horses and suggest those horses needed more training. ONE BAD FALL and you're broken or crippled. Riding out a buck should be for the rodeo, not the Hunter Ring.
Heck, there are people here who think teachers shouldn't ask students to ride bareback. Much less learn to mount a horse without a mounting block. What are ya going to do if you dismount, fall or get thrown miles away--walk all the way back?!? (Although, if my horse throws me I'd spend the time figuring out how to sell or rehome him on my way back.)
COMMUNICATION is the key.
Please do NOT let your children be taught by someone who behaves badly with their comments. They will be discouraged. You must be highly motivated to push through obstacles. My motivated youngest DD is in Law School, and she fights her own battles there--I just give her moral support.
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    02-20-2013, 04:38 PM
  #37
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corporal    
Pushing is not the same as yelling, belittling, or degrading. For a coach to say, "Do it again," pushes a student past their comfort threshhold, and is a positive thing.
I definitely agree! Pushing you is not the same as yelling or belittling someone. But I have seen instructors here who "push" people by yelling and screaming at them. Personally, I am a very motivated rider. I do not pay $40/hr to "ride a pony" and that's it. I want correct instruction, and I want lots of it. Yelling at someone like me is not going to get you anywhere, since I'm already motivated. Just like you should start out soft, and increase in pressure on a horse, you should start out soft with humans and increase the pressure.

I've seen lots of little kids taking lessons that look like they aren't exactly thrilled to be there. Their parents or someone else has taken them, and is making them do it. Why not make it a relaxing, fun experience so that they'll come back, rather than yell at them for wasting your time? After all, as a riding instructor, you're pretty dependent on lessons for income! Wouldn't it make more sense to for those children to WANT to come back? You drive off business otherwise!
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    02-21-2013, 06:00 PM
  #38
Yearling
I could never tolerate the yelling or screaming during lessons. I can sometimes have anxiety and completely crumble under bad stress.

My trainer doesn't ever raise her voice and if she does it isn't much. She has other ways of getting her opinion to me... Like when I said I needed a little break she said oh, well then I guess I will take a little break too. Or if I break half seat she just says, matter of factly, that I need to go for two more dressage letters.

This is the main reason why I could never train with the other instructor at the barn. She yells and that would just tear down my confidence. My riding would be terrible, I would never be able to focus!
     
    02-21-2013, 07:29 PM
  #39
Foal
I've been yelled at to the point of being in tears, had things thrown at me, been told how awful 'x' movement was and to do it again...and again...etc. Not by my day to day coach (although she won't hesitate to tell me that that sucked and to do it again) but by clinicians (who have gone to the Olympics, ridden on the Canadian dressage team and such...). The clinicians that I ride with push me to and past my breaking point because they know how big my goals and what me and my horse are capable of doing. I would never put up with being belittled by someone but if an Olympic rider wants to tell me how awful such and such a movement was and to do it better, you better believe I appreciate it. I don't spend hundreds of dollars over a weekend to have sunshine and rainbows blown up my skirt! And, as a 4th level rider who is looking to make my advanced/FEI debut in the next couple years I don't appreciate rainbows and sunshine from a coach.

I guess everyone has their own preferences in coaches. Mine is someone who will do whatever it takes to get the best out of me and my horse...if that requires yelling and throwing things at me, well then I guess that's the way it's going to be. You better bet I'll ride my rear off if I'm getting things tossed at me because my extended trot wasn't extended enough (yes, this happened!). My current regular coach knows how to push my buttons to get me to ride my hardest. She rarely raises her voice but when she does I know that I'm really not trying hard enough to ride something correctly.

Each coach should be able to adapt to her riders. Not everyone can handle being yelled at and told that they should try harder, some can. My coach teaches people at a variety of ages from 11 through 40's, she changes her teaching technique between the 11 year old, to me, to the 40-something pleasure rider. She can't teach an 11 year old the same way she teaches me...the poor child would have a breakdown!

BUT: A coach who yells and insults because she doesn't have the tact to explain the concepts properly has no place coaching, imo. There's never a reason to degrade, belittle and insult someone. Ever.
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    02-26-2013, 05:05 PM
  #40
Foal
I took lesson from a dressage trainer last year and omg that lady without fail make me cry at lest once a week. I am super senstive to being yelled at so I would ball when she would scarm,yell,call me names and curse.I could not handle being there so I left a few months in to it. She was by far the worst trainer I have ever been with and I have barn hopped alot in the past.She had shot me down so many time that I became very self conscious about my riding.She taught me nothing but to not put my heels down.The trainer I am with now I LOVE he is amazing. I kinda wish he would yell some times so I could hear him better.=) He corrects and pushes me when I need it but also tells me when I get something right.He has his way of getting you to do what he wants with out being crule and makes lesson really fun.

I agree with Tigo if that's what it take and you can handle good but I can't lol I am so senstive
     

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