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Nature2horses 02-25-2010 07:54 PM

Good and bad riding instructors. Poll.
There are a lot of bad riding instructors out there, in fact most of them aren't that great. But there are the awesome and really good ones. Have you experienced either of these, if you have a riding instructor is he/she good or bad? Is your riding instructor calm? Does he/she yell at you? Does he/she hurt your horse?
Here's my story:
It was my first riding instructor. She was the owner, manager, breeder and riding instructor at the breeding and riding school farm. She taught beginner lessons and attempted to teach higher level lessons. The first year, I learned a lot, mainly on my own. The second year I started training horses and I took lessons because that was the only way i was aloud to jump and I was not confident on my horse after an incident. The incident made my horse and me not trust eachother. She made it worse by blaming it on me and making the riding lessons high energy and scary. It was the only place I could ride and jump so I stayed in the lessons. During the third summer is when I quit. My horse was back to "normal" finally and my confidence was building. The lessons were way to easy-we were jumping 2'3 courses and me and my horse were bored out of our minds. I started to just jump alone after that. Every time I asked her a question she would give me a rude reply. All she did in lessons was tell people to do a 20 m circle or go over a jump. She sucked and if your horse was speedy she made you use a pelham. If my horses was fresh and going really fast she told me to yank on his mouth as hard as I could and made me use a kimberwick. She once said "whenever you guys come out to ride it can't be just for fun. Don't do what you enjoy to do, you have to do the training I tell you to do." She'd rank the riders by their level and she ranked her favorite people (who worked for her for free) at the top even though they couldn't even control their own ponies and couldn't do more than a 2' jump. She ranked me at the bottom and said I should do beginner classes. I was the youngest rider in the advanced group and I had come that far in 1/4 the time of all the other riders. So what's your story?

thunderhooves 02-25-2010 08:09 PM

hmm....the ones ive met arent bad, well, except pne crazy english lady that was about yoga on a horse and no correct riding at al....but thats a different story,lol.
Anyway, as I was saying, the ones ive met so far arent bad 2...... but then theres a problem of me riding differently. like i had a WP trainer, but i love to barrel race and trail ride, which she never did, so i didnt enjoy it a whole lot there. I did enjoy it some, and train my green Morgan Pony there with the instructor, but it just wasnt my stayle. It doesnt mean she was bad, I just didnt like her style.

Mickey4793 02-25-2010 08:20 PM

Honestly I don't think a riding instructor yelling makes them bad.
I have two instructors, one is the owner of the barn and the other is related to her and they alternate so sometimes I have one and sometimes I have to other and I quite frankly think they're both great and teach me a lot!

I used to be intimidated with my horse riding with the second of the two instructors, cause my horse picks up on the slightest discrepancy of emotion and the second of the instructor raises her voice at me a lot, I use to worry that it would make my horse nervous but actually, it really encourages me to be more stern with my corrections, she's a very nice woman but can raise her voice sometimes during lessons, she does it to emphasize that a correction needs to be made and honestly, it helps me out so much, I really appreciate when she does that. My other instructor is amazing too, they both really help me target problems I need to fix in my riding, so I don't think an instructor with a raised voice and high energy is bad, but that's just me.

kitten_Val 02-25-2010 09:41 PM

I agree, unfortunately there are more not so great instructors out there. Heck, many people who can just sit on horse claims him/herself as an instructor and trainer. :-| Good instructor is a diamond to find and worse a lot to keep!

I don't care if the instructor is yelling as long as he/she is actually teaching me and my horse and we are making progress. Also when something goes wrong I ALWAYS blame myself and not my horse, instructor doesn't even have to say that.

With that being said I was fine with pretty much any lesson (up to certain point of course) before I got my own horses.

After I got them I started to do lots of research on riding, handling, tack, and I became pretty picky. I tried number of instructors and backyard trainers were just a waste of money for me. They didn't teach me or my horse. However the "dressage" instructor recommended to me by my neighbor (who is using her for 15 years) was waste of money as well. Some instructions were completely meaningless (like keep kicking the horse constantly and such) and person doesn't seem to know certain basic things (about severity of bits, for example). She also successfully made me buy bunch of equipment (part from her directly), which was another waste of money. Until I said ENOUGH.

After that I found 2 awesome instructors: one I found published in our local newspaper (can't take lessons with her now, because my horses are off and she only give lessons on own horses), other recommended to me by the person from my local horse organization (she's great, just little too far but I'm still taking lessons on her horses, worse driving IMO).

So, the bottom line if you don't like the instructor and there are choices around it's better to try a different one until you find the one you like and making progress with.

elrohwen 02-26-2010 03:01 PM

I rode for 10 years under a fantastic instructor. She really took me as far as I could go riding school horses (can't jump that high on them, of course). She gave me a great foundation. I do not like yellers, and she was great for me. She could sound excited and raise her voice to me to work harder, but there was never any yelling.

I'd had a few other instructors, but only for short times. The most recent was very nice, and knew what he was doing, but I didn't feel like he instructed enough, if you know what I mean. After taking a break for a few years I felt like I had lost a lot of my ability. Instead of giving me the right instruction to get me back on track, I felt like he let me figure it out for myself. Maybe if I had my own horse it wouldn't've been so bad, but switching horses every week was tough especially without someone to tell me how my position was. I had to stop seeing him for other reasons, but when I can ride again I think I might look for someone else. I'd rather someone tell me too much at once than too little - I'm not a beginner anymore where I can only focus on one thing.

All in all, I've never had a horrible trainer - just people who were more or less perfect for my learning style I guess.

ptvintage 02-26-2010 04:18 PM

I have been through a lot of riding instructors, both really good, and really bad.

The worst was a woman who did a "I teach everything" barn. I had done a riding camp with her one summer, and I like it, so I started taking regular lessons with her, and joined 4-H with her as the leader.

She was sooooo awful. She has a horrible personality. I know now that she purposely held people back so they would advance super slowly, therefore milking as much money from them as possible. She had obvious favorites, three girls who "taught" lessons for her, and they got the nicest horses, and they were the only ones allowed to actually ride. She wouldn't even let me canter because she felt I hadn't mastered the trot, even though I'd been riding for at least 5 years by this point. All the lessons consisted of was me trotting on the rail for an hour, while she sometimes told me something I should correct, and it was mainly "close your fingers". (still working on that one though, even after a broken finger :-P)

She was also a horrible horse trainer. Every horse a client brought in seemed to leave with more problems than when she started with it.

I'm surprised I stuck with her so long... but I enjoyed the 4-H program, even with her leering and bossing around everyone (GET ME A DRINK, I NEED A HOT DOG, etc.). I was there less than a year though! No idea how she's still in business though.

The best instructor I had was a woman who I was a working student for. I actually saw her riding her amazing stallion at the barn I was at at the time. I asked around about her, and eventually approached her about working for her, and she agreed. She didn't actually have a lessons program, she ran a warmblood breeding barn, had incredible horses, and was a nice woman. She explained everything very fully in calm tones, and we had clear goals every time we had a lesson.

I don't like the instructors that scream at you. I had one for many years, and although she was rarely screaming at me since I was one of her favorites, she was very condescending to students, and didn't explain things, but yet would get angry and insult the student when they didn't understand something.

If a barn is interested in getting and keeping clients, I think it is important for an instructor to have people skills. The teacher should try to gauge what kind of personality the student has, and base their method of teaching off that. I think it is very similar to how if a student in school has a creative and fun teacher, they learn better. I think this is especially true if the instructor plans to deal with a lot of beginner riders. I'm sure as a rider progresses to advance levels, they would put up with harsher teachers, because they are more interested in learning the skill than getting along. At that point it could be "get with the program, or get out"

ptvintage 02-26-2010 04:27 PM


Originally Posted by kitten_Val (Post 563789)
I agree, unfortunately there are more not so great instructors out there. Heck, many people who can just sit on horse claims him/herself as an instructor and trainer. :-| Good instructor is a diamond to find and worse a lot to keep!

Definitely agree with that. I boarded my horse at my friends house for a while, and she gave lessons in her backyard, and she really did not know enough to be teaching people or training horses, or doing her backyard breeding program. :roll:

Mercedes 02-26-2010 09:56 PM

It doesn't matter what profession you discuss, it's the same for all of them. Most will be average at best, a few will be really bad, and a few will be great.

The other thing is, no matter how 'awful' the instructor, you can still learn, even if it's what not to do. And those bad experiences shape us as much, if not more than those good experiences.

kevinshorses 02-26-2010 10:42 PM

There are far more bad students than bad instructors.

thunderhooves 02-26-2010 10:52 PM


Originally Posted by kevinshorses (Post 564561)
There are far more bad students than bad instructors.

i HIGHLY disagree. There are only bad RIDERS that become better once they learn properly. if they still are bad, then they wern't taught properly.

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