mean riding instructor - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 34 Old 04-16-2014, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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mean riding instructor

I'm not sure if i'm being too thin-skinned or sensitive... but

I recently moved to MA, and found a new barn to ride at; only problem is the instructor makes the whole lesson completely unenjoyable. I had a bad fall two years back, and haven't cantered since. when I explained how I was nervous to canter since my accident, she went, "whining won't make you a better rider. Buck up!" At the end of the lesson, she told me i was not cut out to be a rider.
I drove home in tears. Should i buck up as she said, or find a new place? I work several shifts a week to afford my lessons, and i feel for the money it should be enjoyable, but I want other's opinion if I'm being a wuss.

I have a severe anxiety disorder so I probably take things more personally than others would, and have a harder time taking nasty and negative comments.
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post #2 of 34 Old 04-16-2014, 07:47 PM
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Different stroke for different folks!!

If you don't like it find a new place. Horseback riding should be enjoyable, not torture. Likewise, you need an instructor who will cater to your needs.

Personally, I like instructors who are harder on me and really push me to my limits. I don't mind being told "Hey, that looked like crap", so long as they aren't rude.
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post #3 of 34 Old 04-16-2014, 07:50 PM
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I'm sorry you had such a horrible lesson! That's never fun.

Honestly, I can see where both of you are coming from. From my perspective, sometimes I just need to get over it/ get over myself in order to overcome my fears. That being said, I don't have an anxiety disorder and that still doesn't justify the instructor being harsh towards you.

I think you should talk to the instructor before writing her off completely. It may be possible that this is the attitude she takes with other students and it works for them. I REALLY don't like that she told you that you aren't cut out to be a rider. I think that if she seems truly knowledgable and like she could really help you out, then it's worth talking to her. If she only seemed "meh", then I'd move on, because she might not be capable of being the instructor that you need right now.

Best of luck!
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post #4 of 34 Old 04-16-2014, 08:08 PM
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You pay money for this, if the instructor makes you leave the barn in tears, find another one!!! No ands, if or buts, find an instructor who will help you build your confidence and skills and make you feel good about riding, not upset you. I know there is many good instructors out there that will fit your needs.

I am not here to promote anythingNo, that's not true, I am here to promote everything equestrian and everyone enjoying horses!
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post #5 of 34 Old 04-16-2014, 08:11 PM
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I'm gonna side with slidestop. If you don't like it than move. I ride with an instructor who's gruff and can get to you if you don't have thick skin but I enjoy that and I learn better with that. If you don't like it or learn well from it than move. For me personally when I had an accident and was hesitant to do something I loved that type of trainer because they made me push myself into doing it and perfecting it.
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post #6 of 34 Old 04-16-2014, 08:47 PM
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Find someone else. I don't know what can be gained from telling a first time student they aren't cut out to be riding. That is just plain mean. You told her your concerns up front. She should have been big enough to respect where you were coming from.

You just have to see your don't have to like it.
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post #7 of 34 Old 04-16-2014, 08:55 PM
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You need a new instructor. You are paying $$$$ for a luxury/hobby. It should be fun or at least you should not be walking away feeling like dirt. A tough instructor may be ideal for some, but that does NOT make it right for every rider. Find an instructor who understands your fears, helps you determine your goals from your sessions, and has you leaving the lesson feeling good/accomplished/etc.
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post #8 of 34 Old 04-16-2014, 08:56 PM
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Welcome to the forum! I believe your initial instincts are spot on - this instructor should never say to someone " Whining won't make you a better rider" when in fact you had a bad fall and were only expressing your feelings. You were not "whining" by any means, simply because you expressed your fear of cantering.... Shame on this instructor for demeaning you, and hope you move on to one who will truly help you in the facet you deserve. :)
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post #9 of 34 Old 04-16-2014, 09:34 PM
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I agree with the others, find a new instructor. I had a similar experience years ago with an instructor who told me that if I wanted a career in horses I had to be more serious about my riding. I was a junior in high school, trying to get into college and riding was both a social activity and a RELAXING experience. That was the last lesson I took with that instructor. I still like riding and I found a good instructor who understands that while I have no interest in competing but still want to be a good rider. Where in MA are you located? I might know an instructor in the area.
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post #10 of 34 Old 04-16-2014, 09:36 PM
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We ride for fun. If your riding instructor is taking the fun part out of it, then find a new one.

Pushing a rider is all well and good, so long as the coach knows how to push and in what direction. Insulting a rider by telling them they are no good is a pretty good indication that the coach isn't a good one, IMO.

I think you have 2 options here.

Option 1 - talk to your coach about you anxiety disorder and how her "toughen up" approach does not work for you. If she is unwilling to change her style to accommodate your requirements as a rider, then she's not the coach for you.

Option 2 - find a new coach and make sure you fully disclose your anxiety disorder and how, after a bad fall, your confidence is been knocked severely. This way the new coach will be able to help train you in a manner that is best suited to you.

You want a coach that will help you improve your riding while improving your confidence.
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