Working with Trainers
I half lease a horse from a lovely person and work with the owner's dressage trainer.
I am new to this world of dressage but have noticed that there are definately two schools of thought at this barn (and two trainers who don't talk to each other).
One uses a harsher method (in my opinion) of teaching and training, where the other slows things down and helps you build the right foundation for the person/horse partnership.
I feel very sad and guilty for riding my lease horse the way the owner and trainer want me to ride him. Because I am "not strong enough to hold him in frame" yet, I have to use a very tight bungee and other devices whenever I ride him.
The bungee was tightened again and I could not get him into a nice forward trot. His balance seemed off due to the bungee. I felt so bad I could not finish the ride.
How should I approach the owner and trainer to let them know I feel uncomfortable using such a tight bungee if at all.
bungee? Wha? never heard of any trainer worht their salt using a bungee cord in dressage.
I would find another horse to lease. You're not being taught dressage. Keeping a horse in frame has nothing to do with how strongly you can hold the reins, it's about how you balance the horse. You are being taught to make the horse brace and tuck without the correct collection of the body.
You may get a pretty head, but you won't score well in shows due to your lack of correctness.
There's a reason the trainers don't talk to each other if the other is actually doing dressage.
I didn't mean to come off as flippant. I can imagine how this puts you in a hard place. Is this lease the only one available to you in your area? i just figure if everytime you ride you feel miserable about what you are doing, it would make riding a negative experience. is it worth it?
You can't change the way things are done, simply because you have no leverage in this situation. You're not the horse's owner, and the only way to protest is to walk out of their barn and go somewhere else.
It is the only lease available to me at the moment. He is such a lovely horse and the owner is very nice too. I am going to talk to the trainer and ask him to allow me to ride without the bungee. I will do this until I can find another lease.
Sounds like you don't enjoy riding this way, I know I wouldn't! If this trainer that tightens up bungee cords and makes you use other devices continually is the only trainer the owner allows you to use, if it were me, I wouldn't spend the money and look else where.
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Some people just don't know that they don't know. I find this A LOT. People bring me horses to fix that have been trained by someone that really does think they know. It turns out they don't....but they will never admit it or refuse to see that they really just are ignorant.
So this lady she leases from probably thinks this trainer is right.
Either way, I'd be finding another horse. They're not an endangered species :)
You have no say in how the owner and trainer want this animal to be ridden, and if you try to buck their system you're the weak link in this little chain and can easily be replaced.
Either you continue to ride the horse the way the owner wants, or you find another lease. There really is no other option for you. I honestly don't know how you think you have any leverage in this situation.
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