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littrella 12-25-2012 11:14 AM

intimidated by instructor
My dream is train my mini donk to drive. There is a lady that I work with that does driving & has shown me many things already, but there are several things that she does that I find un-safe to both herself & her horses. She has offered to give me lessons, but at this point I have declined. At the barn I do lessons at there is another trainer that does saddlebreed's & driving. I have yet to have the chance to talk to this trainer, but I have watched her do lessons & talked to a few of her students. They do "Equation" (sp) with the saddlebreed's. The few of her students I have talked to (teens & adults) are very "look down their nose" type. The instructor herself is VERY strick. I have seen her rip into her students. Yet, I understand that at a high level of showing, you need someone that's going to be strick. Here she works with all these high dollar, finely trained horses & I want to ask her to work with me & my lowly donk. I've never even talked to the woman & I'm terrified to! Should I bite the bullet & see what she has to say? or try to find someone that I'm not initally intimatdated by?

rookie 12-25-2012 01:19 PM

well, my opinion would be to keep searching. I don't think you or your desire to train your donkey are lowly. I think its fantastic and I don't think you should let anyone make you feel its something less then worth while. If you are getting this attitude from instructors students and are intimidated by the instructor its not going to workout.

You can find lovely instructors who motivate you without demeaning you or making you feel bad. They can be hard to find but they do exist. You are an adult. You are riding for pleasure and wish to attain a level of your choosing. Therefore, you are suitably motivated and do no someone to "push" you to attain those levels. Thats just my opinion. You are paying for lessons and it should be a pleasurable learning experience for you. I would keep looking.

boots 12-25-2012 02:52 PM

I have very thick skin, so I would ask her. You never know, she may enjoy your project as much as you.

But, I would go in with the attitude that if she declines that is her choice and no reflection on you and your goals.

LeafOnTheWind 12-25-2012 05:13 PM

I would at least talk to her about it before moving on. I took lessons from a woman a few years ago who was very intimidating to talk to (quite opinionated and rude) and was quite tough on her students but I greatly enjoyed her lessons. Although I tend to respond better to the trainers that aren't afraid to get after you. But anyway, I think it can never hurt to ask!

kiwi79 12-26-2012 01:30 AM

I would say it wouldnt hurt to ask, you might be surprised once you start speaking with her and find that she is not so scary as she seems. In saying that my riding instructor when i was a teen scared the bejeezus outta me but I learnt a lot from her :-)

SorrelHorse 12-26-2012 01:43 AM

Anyone who walked into my barn for ten minutes and just heard pieces of lessons would think my trainer is practically abusive. She's not above telling me that the spin I just performed is pathetic, awful, worth nothing, etc. However, she cares SO much about her students and is SO good about communicating, that these comments do nothing but motivate you. She cancels them out with encouragement and praise when you finally do get it right, even if it takes all day and night of yelling and taking the beating to get you there. If she knows you can handle it, she'll do it.

But you wouldn't know that if you just walked in and saw her absolutely tearing someone apart. She's particularly tough with me because I've been there for so long and she knows my skin is thick and that I can take the beating from her. It doesn't mean we aren't very good friends, and it doesn't mean she's trying to demean me or look down her nose at me. She just knows how to light a fire and keep it going.

I would talk to the trainer. Worst she can say is no, and who cares if she thinks your request is lowly? If she's that much of a snob to say that, then her opinion is of no value to you and you shouldn't even sweat over it. You can find better.

Horsequeen08 12-26-2012 01:28 PM

I agree with Rookie. If you are scared to even ask this woman, then I would look elsewhere. You may even try Craig's List, which is actually how I found my trainer. (long story short, it was actually a horse for sale that I went to see, but she was in the middle of a lesson when I got there and 3 years later I didn't buy the horse but I'm still riding with her). You are not in a hurry to train your mini, and you can search around for other people. In the mean time, try going to the Library and taking out books on training. I'm not saying do it yourself, but there may be tips in the books that can help you get started until you find a trainer that suits you and your mini. That's just my two cents.

I used to ride at a barn with a horrible trainer. He was really good in some senses, he knew -exactly- what I was doing wrong. But after snapping at me one to many times, I quit. Did I learn alot? Sure. Was it fun? No. The girl I'm with now I feel is just as talented, and doesn't -yell- at me when I make a mistake. Good luck!

jillybean19 12-26-2012 01:44 PM

You never know until you ask. I would talk to her and maybe even take a lesson, then judge by that. If you feel like it was worth your time and you gained a lot, and are encouraged, then keep going with it. Think about the teachers you had in school - "nice" didn't necessarily mean "good". However, I had a "good" teacher that I was too intimidated to work with because I thought he hated me, so I couldn't address my concerns or interests with him. He was excellent for other students, though. It's a combination of skill and personality - and it might surprise you what works best for you

Saddlebag 12-26-2012 02:02 PM

There is nothing worse than working with snooty divas. This is why many coaches come across as overly strict. Their livelihood relies on students listening and often the divas don't. Go and talk to her. She'd probably be happy to have someone who is serious and will listen.

littrella 12-26-2012 02:07 PM

Thanks everybody! My son has lessons tonight so I might try to talk to her tonight.

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