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Moxie 11-26-2008 05:51 PM

Riding Lessons: Changing Barns
Last night we had puppy class. We had a sub instead of our usual teacher, and thank goodness we did! Not only did we learn more in that one class than we did the whole 8 weeks we were there, but I learned that the sub teaches riding lessons too!

I talked to the sub after class, as it turns out, she is no more than 10 mins from me, she has a heated indoor arena, does both western (games, barrels, WP) and english (no jumping), AND THE BEST PART.... She's 1/2 the price of my current barn.

We talked about it for awhile after class, and she invited me out to take a look. I already like how they start off training. The first lesson you groom, pick hooves, tack up, and lunge, thats it. The next couple of lessons, you are on the horse, but on a lunge line, after that you are off on your own, under instruction.

We talked about our current barn, and as I've been finding out here and there, the horse world can be a bit two faced. The sub knows of the owner of the barn that I'm at, and simply said "She'd be a good trainer if she could stay on her own horse." :-o SERIOUSLY!? lol

So, have any of you changed barns while taking lessons? How many times? How did you go about telling the other barn that you were leaving for a different facility?

appylover31803 11-26-2008 06:24 PM

I have changed barns 2-3 times.

The first barn, where I started taking lessons, my instructor was leaving and going to another barn. I didn't like any of the other instructors there, so I followed her to the other barn.

I only took 1-2 lessons there and was on the hunt for another barn. The lessons were crappy (I would just walk around on the horse and do nothing as the instructor talked and talked and talked to her friends). I dont know what my mom said to her (I was like 9 at the time)

My mom found a barn, we went there, set stuff up and I was taking lessons there for 8 years or so. That's where I learned most of what I know today. I stopped taking lessons when I went off to school, and I told my BO that I would be back, but never did. I still feel bad about that.

Then Tom and I moved out to Sussex County. We went to one barn. I believe i took 3 lessons, got Vega and then stopped. When we left that barn, we gave our 30 days notice (because we were boarding horses) and left.

If you like the other barn, I say go for it!

Moxie 11-26-2008 06:30 PM

The thing I worry about the most is if I'll fit in, and acquire the friendships at the new barn that I have at the old barn.

I mean, Maria and I have hung out a couple of times, she has brought me to her tack supplier, and has even offered to go and check out horses with me when I get serious about buying.

I just dont want to lose that relationship.

appylover31803 11-26-2008 06:34 PM

well if it's a good friendship, the changing of barns shouldn't matter. (like if you move to a different town than your best friend, she'll still be your best friend)

Would it be possible to take a lesson at the new place (to see how you like how they teach) and continue lessons at your current place?

Moxie 11-26-2008 06:43 PM

Well I am going out to take a look at the new barn first, and will probably take a lesson there just to see.

If I continue to take lessons at the barn I am currently at, I will have to cut back to 1 a month because it's getting kind of chilly, and it's getting a bit spendy

missy06 11-26-2008 08:53 PM

I definitely understand the wanting to preserve the relationship bit, but you also want to put what's best for your horsemanship first. I say definitely go take a lesson at the other barn and see what you think. Your current trainer is a professional-she can handle it should you choose to ride elsewhere!

Loosewolf 11-26-2008 09:01 PM

After 25 (on-n-off) yrs, I am on my 5th farm,6th Instructor. This was more a matter of timing, opportunity, money, etc...However, the only slightly uncomfortable thing for me is not knowing all the in's and outs of any new facility. When I start somewhere new, I for a while feel the odd-person-out, as nobody knows me, or I them. Still, after that passes, and you get to know the particular way another place works (and they are all slightly different) , it eases up up a bit. My current Instructor has a far more multi-faceted experience than I have worked with, as I am solely english in discipline, and She has a great deal of western/english experience. I even stick around to watch my Instructor do her lesson time, as I get to see a far different view of how she sharpens her skills from the ground up. This observation time has proven invaulable indeed.
Anyway, variety has it's advantages. I have now gone from total hack, dressage, hunter, etc to a point where the many talented people I have been blessed with have only served to prove that even after this many years, boy have I much work to do.....and I cannot wait to get to it! you never get enough saddle time!

BeauReba 11-27-2008 12:43 AM

It never hurts to try it. I think you learn a lot more by riding different horses and having different instructors, whether it be a change every week or every couple years. I've changed a few times, usually upgrading to better instructors. Nothing bothers me more than 1) an teacher who can't teach 2) a teacher who can barely ride and 3) a teacher who yaks the whole time with parents or other students. I'm there to learn and I pay for the instruction.

Give only the amount of notice they require. You don't have to explain yourself - sometimes it's better not to. The horse world is notoriously back stabbing. Always be careful what you say. An instructor who belittles someone else to his or her clients could be doing that about you to someone else.

Moxie 11-27-2008 08:46 AM

You all make very good points.

BOTH my instructors, the owner, and the trainer I'm with now seemed to talk a lot to everyone else but me. Which is why I don't feel like I get a whole lot out of the lesson. I mean, I'll get a "keep your hands low, slow her down" type of deal here and there, but what else am I doing wrong? CORRECT ME!

And I can defiantly see some backstabbing coming from my barn, as I already see it coming from my trainer bad mouthing other clients and other barns.

SonnyWimps 11-27-2008 10:42 AM

Moxie, if you don't feel like you are learning anything, what about sitting down and talking to your instructor?
I got to the point with my old instructor that she stopped even correcting yelling at me to get my hands up, toes down or whatever...and trust me I did EVERYTHING wrong one day to see if she'd mention it...she didn't.

Personally, if you liked the new instructor, i'd say go with her. Now a days, I think its hard to find a good least in NY for me it has been.

If you have a good relationship with the instructor, it shouldn't matter if you leave or not.

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