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myw05419 12-26-2012 01:24 PM

Instructor Took Me Off The Horse
So, I recently started riding at this new barn and was put on this horse today that was really fresh. I couldn't get him to listen to me, he wouldn't stop when I told him to. I couldn't get the canter down right, I was bouncing around way too much so I trued to stop and start again but that wasn't working. The instructor took me to the end of the ring and told me to get off. He put one of his stable hands on and she continued to ride while I just stood there and watched. This made me feel as if I'm a really bad rider. I got about 20 minutes of riding in... I usually ride for more than an hour. I've never had this happen to me before, I've never been told to get off a horse and not get back on. I didn't even get told why I wasn't allowed to keep on riding and I'm afraid to ask. Usually I get the canter down right away, it's my favorite. I feel awful, as if I can't ride. I bet nobody else has had this happen to them before... This brings my confidence way down and I'm afraid to go back and ride again even if I am given a different horse.

DraftyAiresMum 12-26-2012 01:28 PM

Ask why you were taken off, but be polite about it, not whiney. Say something like "I know I was having trouble at my last lesson with _________, so I was wondering what I was doing wrong so that I can fix them and hopefully get a chance to ride __________ again."
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heymckate 12-26-2012 01:31 PM

I see two issues:

1. The horse wasn't safe for you. Based on what you said about how things were going, if I had been your instructor I would have taken you off as well simply for your safety. In fact, I've done this before as an instructor, and as a rider it happened to me when I was younger. Most instructors will try not to overmount their riders, but sometimes it happens since horses are most definitely not robots.

2. Your lesson was cut short. This part is not right, unless she was actively teaching you something while you were watching someone else ride the horse. In this case, I don't see a huge problem with it, as long as it was understood when you began taking lessons at this barn that some of the learning would be out of the saddle. However, if they promised you x amount of time in the saddle per lesson, then you might say something to her.

Don't feel like a bad rider or be embarrassed. It's really not as uncommon as you think. Be grateful that your instructor decided your safety was more important than anything else, chalk it up to a learning experience, and keep riding. If you keep working hard, eventually you'll be able to ride that horse again with no problems.

Speed Racer 12-26-2012 01:32 PM

The horse was obviously too much for you to handle, and if you couldn't get him to listen at a walk, it would have been a disaster at the canter.

You should have asked the instructor the reasons behind why she told you to get off. If you don't ask, you'll never know.

If all it takes is one little instance where you're not being praised to the high heavens about your riding to make you quit, then you're not serious about it to start with. The best instructors are the ones who won't coddle you or play to your ego.

If you actually want to learn to ride properly and not just canter because it's fun, then stop worrying about your feelings being hurt and get back in the game.

myw05419 12-26-2012 01:37 PM


Originally Posted by Speed Racer (Post 1814646)

If you actually want to learn to ride properly and not just canter because it's fun, then stop worrying about your feelings being hurt and get back in the game.

It's not a matter of cantering or riding just for fun. Of course I ride for fun but, I also keep on riding and switching around to different horses because I want to be a better rider. It's not a matter of having my ego hurt or getting my feelings hurt, it's a matter of getting back in that saddle again and proving to myself that I can ride... Getting back in the game is what I'm struggling with. I just need to get over the feeling that it's going to happen again and just go out there and ride.

tinyliny 12-26-2012 01:43 PM

I think there's some middle ground between being taken off the hrose without an explanation and "being praised to the high heavens". My guess is that she wasn't praised to the high heavens on a daily basis, nor requiring it as a daily feed to keep her coming back. But, I can understand completely feeling belittled by this experience.

However, it really is a matter of asking why you were taken off. I bet in part it was due to the instructor not wanting the horse to be allowed to carry on with this bad behavior. Lesson hroses have to be kept sharp, and for that, a sharp rider needs to be on them. you probably just have to face the facts that you have a ways to go before you'd be that sharp rider.

in any case, yeah, you need to ask for the truth, accept it and move on.

jaydee 12-26-2012 01:51 PM

I think taking you off the horse was the safest thing to do as you were totally out of your comfort zone and things were going to end badly
Putting someone else on the horse was the best thing for the horse as its behaviour needed immediate correction
I do think you should have been offered some refund as the instructor obviously over estimated your ability to deal with the horse, its a shame they couldnt have brought out a more sensible horse
Honestly - you need to put this behind you and move on - If I'd given up the first time I was made to feel a bit foolish I'd have a much bigger bank balance now and be enjoying winter in a warm exotic place

TheLauren 12-26-2012 02:11 PM

About three weeks ago my instructor told me to get off. We were riding in the indoor and my horse made a move to kick a passing horse. I got off the horse and my instructor got on. She rode him for about 10 minutes and schooled him. After my mount was responding better my instructor had me get back on. She then explained to me what she had done and how I should respond.

I was a bit embarrassed but then I realized I am there to learn and that I can't let pride get in the way. My instructor had handled it well and I learned something. Your instructor was right for taking you off. I just think she should have explained why so you wouldn't be feeling like this.
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katdressagegirl 12-26-2012 02:45 PM

I agree with TheLauren.

While I can understand she taking you off the horse...I don't understand her not explaining and perhaps getting to ride a different horse. Maybe the horse was not level-headed enough for you...perhaps the horse was not too much for you; just having a bad day and it was unexpected. For this I can see having you get off and a more experienced rider get on.

My instructor has, very occasionally, gotten on my horse. Usually I'm having an on-going issue or I need her to feel what I'm feeling. Actually I love watching her ride my horse...I get to put my feet up and she does all the work XD

So I would totally take the opportunity of watching what someone more experienced does in your same circumstances.'s too bad she couldn't have explained to you everything more clearly.

Don't worry about feeling like you are bad rider. I don't know many people that I could say are bad riders...sure you might be less experienced but no worries. Just take it as a learning experience. Ask your instructor all about it next time. I'd imagine, if she is any good, she would be happy to talk about it. Also don't let it shake you. Who knows what could of happened if you had been forced to stay on?

Good luck next time! :)

Deschutes 12-26-2012 03:09 PM

I agree with the others about being taken off for safety and the like.

I actually enjoy watching others ride. Learning how to isn't all about being on one. Watching others and how they did things is a very very helpful way of learning. Whether or not the instructor is instructing, it doesn't matter. You can see the cues (or lack there of in some cases) and see how the horse responds.

When I have trouble, and my instructor shows me how to do it, I feel more empowered to do it right.

I had a previous instructor who would have their students sit on an upper level above the arena and watch other people riding. We were a group. It was also a respect thing. As I watched the mistakes and lack of some riders added to the instructors instructing, I quickly became good enough at what he was teaching to ride one of his wife's horses.

Take it as a learning experience.

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