I am tough. I was brought up in a tough way and taught by tough teachers. You were yelled at, laughed at and made to get back on when you fell. (I once had a jumping
lesson and finished it before saying my arm hurt and it was broken! I had to walk to the very local Cottage Hospital to have it set and then walked back to the stables and finished the day there.)
However it was very rare to feel down after a lesson. We all came away having learnt something and gloated on the little praise we received. It doesn't work that way nowadays.
I have been to many instructors of various calibre's. One of the meanest was an Internationally renowned event trainer. He was downright rude to almost all the riders and played to the people watching. I was on a weeks course and was not going to leave, as many did, but get my money's worth whether he liked it or not.
One rider had won Badminton the previous year and really this course was a way for her to get her training for free.
At one point one of the other riders, a nervy woman, went to leave the arena in tears. Her horse would not go over a simple grid. The instructor would not let her take her horse but made the event rider get on it. The horse still refused. I, standing in line watching, said to the girl next to me that I knew what he was getting at.
He saw me talking and told me that of I thought I could do better to get on the horse. I did. The stirrups were way to small for me so I crossed them and took the horse to the grid. The moment he started to back away from it I drew three cracks with my whip behind the legs, left, right, left without changing hands, all in less than two seconds. The horse shot forward, cantered over the four trot poles and over the grid in a hurried manner, knocking down a couple of poles.
The instructor yelled and screamed and swore. I had halted and when he had to draw breath I said, in a voice loud enough for all to hear, "I was taught that a horse either went over or through a fence when you meant it to. Now, it might not have been elegant but, he odd go through the lot. Now let me show you what I think is the way you want it to be done."
His face was a picture and before he could gather his wits, I rode the horse around the arena, presented it at the grid, trot four poles, bounce, bounce fence bounce fence.
Horse went through it perfectly, really used itself over the last fence and, having enjoyed it even put in a whoopee buck on landing.
At the end of the week he told me I had made the most improvement and I looked him square in the eye and told him that had he once offered encouragement or praise then that improvement would have been far greater.
More than once I was offered the chance to go on courses with him but always refused because he was so downright rude. Darn good but rude.