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rolf4life 07-08-2008 08:40 PM

brutal lesson with a new instructor
So today I had a lesson with my instructor for the first time...she owns the stable im stabling at as well and specializes in eventing. Pretty much all the horses that board there are eventers except for me... a dressager.
Anyways the lesson was much less to be desired. She had me shorten my reins to where I had my shoulders haunched over Pandoras neck. My arms were literally almost straight and I fell like I was going to fall ontop of her. She actually tied the reins in a knot so I literally had to put my hands very high. She pointed out some nasty habits I do have which was good such as looking down and dropping my hands below the whithers.But she wanted my reins very tight all the time to maintain contact. And I find with Pandora I do better if she has less contact and a stable seat. I find all of her students have very short reins and are almost falling over their horses necks. I wanted to work on my dressage seat with bent arms and a laid back seat. She also got me to half halt with both hands at the same time to stop her (Pandora) from being as strong.
Ontop of this, she demanded $35 for what was supposed to be an hour lesson which was 30 mins.
I don't know what to think of this lesson, I do believe in contact at all times but not haunching over the horses neck. I told her that I felt like i was was going to fall and she told me I looked fine :S.
I honestly dont know what to think of this lesson. If I do bring in another instructor that will definetly make bad blood which I definetly dont want that. Unfortunatly, I really like her stable because Pandora gets the turnout and pasture that I wanted so she can have a gallop. I've called the city flat for a descent stable and she was literally the only one with descent space and grass.
I feel like I should buy a ton of books and just do it myself but I don't know if im experienced enough to do that. It's very hard to point out flaws.
Ugh what do you guys think? This is stressing me out.

Painted Ride 07-08-2008 08:54 PM

wow!!!! sorry your going through that. she sounds more like a drill sgt. i would have to agree with you from what you said. do you know y she cut your lesson short? thats a bunch of horse poop. if she makes you feel uncomfortable then i suggest getting another trainer. b/c if your uncomfortable then so will your pandora. as you know that is never a good mix. if she should question you then be honest. dont let something interfer with you riding future. i had a psycho trainer b4 and i just began taking lessons on the days that she wasen't there. then when she did finaly see me with my new trainer she told me that she was surprised that i came such a long way. i just had to take that as a compliment. i think you will b fine. try to up load some pics of you riding and i will try to give my pov. you should know that i have no dressage advice. english or jumping i will be able to help. good luck!

rolf4life 07-08-2008 09:10 PM

She said pandora was tired, but I ride her 5 times a week for about an hour. Its frustrating because I work really hard to keep Pandora and $35 to me is alot of money. Thats 4 hours of work and since my job isn't steady right now I'm struggling to get money to pay stabling little alone lessons. It's frustrating.
This more of a rant then anything but I just don't know what to do. Bringing in another trainer won't go down too well.
I'm trying to think whats best for Pandora and me, and I don't want to sacrifice Pandora's happiness for my selfish ambitions. I know there is a dressage stable very close to here which I'd love to go to (10-15mins) but I purposfully travel 35-40 minutes a day to get to Pandora because thats where she does get the turnout and the care that she needs. The dressage stable has very small sand paddocks and I don't think thats healthy or normal.

Painted Ride 07-08-2008 09:17 PM

i agree with you on the other stable sounding a little unrealistic! if $$ is tight right now could you not take lessons for a bit and ride on you on or is there a rule against that? man that really stinks! i really wish that i could help. let me know if i can. i've been there.

iridehorses 07-08-2008 09:31 PM

That is a tough box to be in. As I see it you have three choices.

1. Move to a barn that will have a better instructor or allow you to bring in your own.

2. Stop taking lessons altogether.

3. Talk to the owner and explain that although you like her stable quite a bit, you would rather bring in your own instructor that specializes in your discipline.

Confrontation is difficult to most people and we tend to move away from the situation but if done without being nasty it is the proper way to go.

loosie 07-08-2008 09:36 PM

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If SHE cut the lesson short, then you shouldn't feel obliged to give her the full amount. If it was you that called it off, then IMO that's different. She should have at least offered to give you another half hour at another time, if she was demanding full payment. But if you've already paid, then I think it's too late to argue about it.

Regarding her teaching, it sounds like you'd definitely be better with someone else. You can always tell her the new instructor's a family friend or such, to avoid bad feelings.

Painted Ride 07-08-2008 09:39 PM

iridehorses, and loosie both have very good points.

rolf4life 07-08-2008 09:55 PM

ya I see what you mean. I did already pay her, I don't like confrontation. No one has said that I can't take lessons per say but its just the general vibe I get. Everyone at that stable takes lessons from her as far as I know.
I'll have to look into finding someone else. This definitely wasn't what I was looking for, yes she pointed out a few flaws that I have but falling over my horses neck = not going to get points at a dressage show. I'm new the community around here but I'll post something on the local forum and see what comes in.

kickshaw 07-09-2008 09:26 AM

can you haul her out to your own trainer? even 1-2 times a month?

if she asks to when you are going to ride again with her, just tell her "Thanks, i learned a lot last lesson, and I'll be sure to let you know when I'm ready for another one"

sorry you had to go through that!

kitten_Val 07-09-2008 10:14 AM

You can haul the horse to another trainer. Or as suggested you can bring someone and said it was recommended to you as great dressage trainer or your friend is taking lessons from same trainer blah-blah-blah. If you really like the stable, it's really hard to start any arguments there. As for money, I'd just suggest to let them go and start looking for another trainer.

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