Over the past few months, I've become unhappy with my riding instructor. She has blown off my attempts to schedule a lesson for several weeks and is really putting me behind in my progress. I don't feel like I'm being challenged or critiqued enough and don't feel like I'm being taken seriously with my goals. I could go into details, but we'd be here all day...:?
I've never had to change instructors before, so I'm not sure how to go about it without hurting feelings or burning bridges since there's a very limited number of barns in my area.
Any advice or thoughts?
I tried to do it right and burned bridges. I think you'll just have to be honost with her and tell her that you've decided to move on. You don't have to go into details with her but definitely tell her before she finds out second hand. I would set up a lesson with a new barn and maybe even take it to be sure you want to move before letting her know.... but that's not really the right way to do it...
When I started feeling this way (coupled with not-quite-nice words about my horse) I just changed instructor. NEVER regretted and I'm thinking I should of done it much earlier. :) BTW, I didn't inform I'm changing and such - I just said I'm not taking lessons. With all respect that's NOT anyone's business what I do and who I pay money.
You WILL progress with the right instructor, there is no question on that. If you don't and feel disappointed time to move on.
I have left 2 barns. One I just kinda stopped going to when she let me go from my job there (not enough money). I was kind of done there anyway, she trains show riders, I'm an eventer...
And the other one, we just said that I wasn't getting enough attention. She was holding me back so badly, and we were sick of it. We're still friends with her, but she is a little spiteful.
Yikes! That's just not cool...
At least when my lessons are regular with her, I progress nicely. I guess that's been holding me back from leaving. But being blown off, ignored and rescheduled for weeks at a time really casts a dark cloud over everything. And I'm over the "Everybody-Gets-Pizza-Ice Cream-And-A-Trophy-Even-If-We-Sucked-Today" kind of coaching, y'know? I want to know what I'm doing wrong.
tell the instructor you're going on holiday and never call her back... harsh but works!
Just did this a couple of weeks ago... (I just said that our schedules weren't matching up and I wanted to take advantage of the summer before school starts to take more lessons and it wasn't happening, etc etc.) it all worked out and no one's feelings were hurt until she saw me near another instructor that she didn't like and she sent me a bad text. Sigh.
When I first started taking riding lessons a little over a year ago, I went to a barn where I could volunteer and take lessons. Without going on a rant, I was unfortunately being used, simply because I was so willing to do any crappy job for the sake of being around the horses and learning. My lessons were put on the back burner. I guess they thought I was just SO willing to work that they would get to me whenever. Not to mention the horses were not beginner safe and some of the more "experienced" volunteers and workers treated me like crap.
In my case, I left without warning. I may have hurt some feelings (the owner called and asked where I had gone) but it turned out to be a good choice on my part... After I moved barns and met good horse friends, many told me they had bad experiences with the owner, his horses, and his barn.
You have no obligation to let this instructor in on your business. However, personally if I thought the instuctor was a honest, respectable person who I had built a client/business-type relationship with, I would give them some hint or tell them that you feel you should move on. If you feel they will guilt trip you, give them another excuse.
If the instructor is blowing you off, just runs a poor business, and you have no relationship with them, I wouldn't feel so bad about leaving cold turkey.
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