Okay, (if anyone remembers) the riding Instructor I have been taking lessons with told me I had to be strong enough to stop a horse from falling. Taking the advice from all you wonderfully knowledgeable horse people, I'm going to try and find someone else. I didn't do so well for my first selection.
So, how do you know which instructor to choose? How can you tell if their teaching style and your learning style mesh from a short meeting or phone call?
I really don't have the time to look for an instructor too much further than 30 minutes from my house. At this time, I don't have the options to be extremely picky. It may be a case of picking the best of the worst bunch (they don't even teach the style of riding I want within 70 miles). How do you know which one to pick if all of them are not super close to what you're looking for?
(Thanks for all the help. You guys are an awesome resource!)
Watch a lesson, talk to their students, ride one of the horses they trained, ask where their former students are now.
Watching the lessons is a way to go. My current trainer suggested me to watch several lessons (all different levels, from the beginner (like I was) to the higher level of dressage) before I make up my mind if her style would work for me (it does :wink: ). Now with that being said every person is very different. Both trainers I go to go after me quite hard. And I love it over "sissy-*****-you-are-great" or "whatever" attitude I got from quite a number of other trainers (I tried different places with both - lesson horses and my own mares). I also have no problem with critique, corrections, hard work, etc. But it's not for everyone.
Another thing to consider is if you can google up anything about the particular trainer. Good words as well as bad words are quite easy to find on web these days. :D
Also if you plan on showing look into instructor with the successfully showing students, who also shows or used to show, may be judging, etc.
I agree with MLS.
Go watch some lessons. Even if you do not know the specifics of what they are talking about listen to them and see if what they are saying makes sense to you. Do you like how the instructor explains things? Does the instructor show the riders how to do things in a manner that you will pick up?
Then look at the facility. I do not think a perfectly acceptable lesson facility has to look like an A rated show barn. It does have to have well cared for lesson horses and tack though. Are the saddle pads clean? (It is a simple thing that surprises me that some barns do not do, who wants to ride with a gross saddle pad?) Do they have enough brushes and hoof picks for the lesson students to get ready and not have to trade around, etc? Is the tack in good repair? It does not have to be the latest and greatest brand names. It just has to be safe. Do they offer rated helmets for students that do not have their own?
So do you have your own horse, looking for an instructor to come to your barn and teach you or are you looking for a new riding barn?
Watch how their students ride. I went through several instructors, stayed with some for a fair number of years and moved on. In the showring, I kept seeing a certain instructor's students always placing high & I liked how they all rode. I am now riding with that instructor & couldn't be happier. I am seeing results, learning new things and feel I am getting more than my money's worth. I believe that's how a student should feel about EVERY lesson. I have been riding with my current instructor/coach for 2 years & EVERY lesson is a good one.
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