Just a rant on Abusive Instructors - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 08-14-2013, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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Just a rant on Abusive Instructors

Not abusive to the horse, but abusive to the rider. I heard a lot lately about instructors yelling and insulting their clients or their clients horses and what they should do. GET OUT OF THERE. Never in my life would I let someone yell at me for riding "wrong". Some instructors forget two things. 1. They are teaching someone, they will make mistakes. 2. They are on a living animal and it has a mind of it's own. These animals are unpredictable. So if they think the best way to fix their clients problem is to yell insults and directions they are completely wrong. I've only had a sour instructor once and I had a total fit. I was doing a simple warm up on a horse from the barn and he was hot. Like sweat dripping down his neck and shoulders. The arena was like 80% humidity and it was 41 degrees OUTSIDE. The plastic inside the roof of the arena was sweating so bad it was dripping in some places. This horse was very uncomfortable and I was uncomfortable riding him. He started to act up a little, stopping and going and trying to head for the gate. I turned his head and brought him in a circle and got him going again. But then my instructor tarted yelling and screaming, going off the deep end that I wasn't aloud to do that because she didn't tell me to do it. She started insulting me, saying I'd "never be able to get out of this arena" and I was "wasting her highly valued time". I had a little quarrel with her before and I was not putting up with it again. I stopped the horse, dismounted, walked the horse up to her, put the reins in her hand and told her to shove her million dollar barn and her ****y attitude. That I wasn't going to pay for her to insult me and yell at me. You know what she said? She said "good luck finding someone else." I mean are you serious? There are lots of instructors out there that are 100 times easier to get along with than her. SO rant over, point is, you shouldn't pay to have someone insult you or your horse, and that there are many better people out there for you. Choose someone that fits your needs, not your wants.

Last edited by Jake and Dai; 08-14-2013 at 12:10 PM. Reason: removed bad language
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post #2 of 23 Old 08-14-2013, 10:07 AM
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Some people need to be pushed or they won't ever progress.

Sure, there are plenty of instructors out there who will tell you what you want to hear, but are they the ones who can actually turn out competent rider/horse combinations? If someone is still doing walk/trot in an arena after a couple of years of lessons I'd say their instructor is garbage, especially if all they do is blow sunshine up their clients' butts.

You need an instructor who will push you when you need it and back off when you don't, not someone who coddles you and kisses your tuckus because you have a silly idea that the 'customer is always right'.

As far as you feeling proud of yourself for blowing up at her because she blew up at you? That's a poor attitude to have. If you want to be respected you need to show respect as well, not come across as some foul mouthed harridan. Two wrongs don't make a right.

I do hope you've found an instructor who meets your needs and meshes with your personality.
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Last edited by Speed Racer; 08-14-2013 at 10:13 AM.
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post #3 of 23 Old 08-14-2013, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Speed Racer View Post
Some people need to be pushed or they won't ever progress.

Sure, there are plenty of instructors out there who will tell you what you want to hear, but are they the ones who can actually turn out competent rider/horse combinations? If someone is still doing walk/trot in an arena after a couple of years of lessons I'd say their instructor is garbage, especially if all they do is blow sunshine up their clients' butts.

You need an instructor who will push you when you need it and back off when you don't, not someone who coddles you and kisses your tuckus because you have a silly idea that the 'customer is always right'.

As far as you feeling proud of yourself for blowing up at her because she blew up at you? That's a poor attitude to have. If you want to be respected you need to show respect as well, not come across as some foul mouthed harridan. Two wrongs don't make a right.

I do hope you've found an instructor who meets your needs and meshes with your personality.
Well obviously I don't mind someone who pushes Your right, still doing a walk/trot around the arena would be total BS. I'd hope the client would see something wrong there. But its the actual abusive instructors that I can't stand. Some take it way way too far. I believe there are ways to teach someone that isn't forceful or angry. Yes, a little push is okay, but full blown screaming and yelling and insulting is not. Words like worthless, and useless, and unteachable should never be thrown around in an arena. And as for my temper, I do have a hot temper. And I don't put up with people who are rude. Our last scuffle wasn't even over riding. At the end of her raging insults I kept my composure. Yet she still tried to say "See you have no spine" when I walked out of the barn. So I was not putting up with a hypocrite. I've also gone on trail rides with this woman, and she is totally full of herself, I couldn't believe it. Some people deserve to be told. That's just how I grew up out on the ranch And this was years ago haha. As for being proud, no no. I will admit I did do something wrong there, but I don't regret it at all. She was just a sour woman and I thought she needed to be told so. Either way, some instructors "push" way way too far.
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post #4 of 23 Old 08-14-2013, 12:04 PM
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I think there is "over the top", and then there is just "not a good rider/trainer match". I have had people yell at me, for example, and if they hadn't of yelled I wouldn't have heard them...and their choice of words made it even more "loud and clear". And, oddly, I have had people yell at me in not so nice a manner that flustered and flat out p'ed me off so bad that I was able to channel that anger into getting over a "hump". I think it depends on the individual where they draw the line. But really? I wouldn't survive in a sticky humid environment with peter pan as the trainer.

There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.
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post #5 of 23 Old 08-14-2013, 02:36 PM
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I will not tolerate anyone yelling or being verbally abusive to me . Period.
I understand what speedracer is saying .
However I am a mature adult man and if you want my attention you need to be sensible in the way you get it.
What the instructor was doing according to the OP was bullying plain and simple.
I would simply have ridden the horse toward her looked her dead in the eye and asked if she was finished yelling. If she is she can talk to me in a civil tone I might listen then we could continue the lesson. If she wasnt I would turn my back to her and ride away after stating when she was done we could TALK.
Shalom
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post #6 of 23 Old 08-14-2013, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbarabians View Post
I will not tolerate anyone yelling or being verbally abusive to me . Period.
I understand what speedracer is saying .
However I am a mature adult man and if you want my attention you need to be sensible in the way you get it.
What the instructor was doing according to the OP was bullying plain and simple.
I would simply have ridden the horse toward her looked her dead in the eye and asked if she was finished yelling. If she is she can talk to me in a civil tone I might listen then we could continue the lesson. If she wasnt I would turn my back to her and ride away after stating when she was done we could TALK.
Shalom
Im a mature, adult woman, and no way will I work for pay where someone is being degrading, nor would I pay someone to be a butt to me.

Unless Im endangering or harming myself or my horse, I expect the instructor to keep a civil tongue and a reasonable tone of voice.

Constructive critisizm is usually =/= verbal abuse.
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post #7 of 23 Old 08-14-2013, 03:23 PM
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Well, idk, you two (demon and db). If it is an indoor, okay, I guess. But I think the environment matters. In the OP's case...ugh, that is the worst environment I can think of, so my tolerance would be sub-zero. But, if it is outdoors and windy, you just can't "hear" more a few words or syllables. So maybe a helpful person (family, friend, or trainer) gets frustrated and raises their voice and says something like, "d-g it, I said move that horse over, what the he** is wrong w you!?", Or whatnot....I would NOT throw their knowledge and wisdom out w the bath water. Now, if they proceeded to say something personal, like, "You have no taste in clothes or saddles"...okay, that is crossing the line for me.

There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.
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post #8 of 23 Old 08-14-2013, 03:33 PM
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Raising your voice to get someones attention is acceptable. If the comments are to instruct someone. Not demean them.
Making comments about someones ability to ride out of an arena or their intelligence is bullying.
Missy May I see and understand your point. Speedracers also. I agree that some people need to be pushed a little harder than others.
An instructor needs to utilize different methods to motivate his/her pupils.
Personal attacks are never productive. Shalom
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post #9 of 23 Old 08-14-2013, 03:56 PM
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I agree with you and your (past tense) instructor is wrong. There are MANY places to learn these skills. When I taught I always asked my potential students--read that "Clients"--to come and watch a lesson to see if this was the type of teaching that they were interested in before committing. I ran the business for a decade. My DH, atty, is in Private Practice. Small firms don't do well in small towns unless you offer free consultations, and flexible payments. Often clients hire him bc he has lent an ear to their problems. Good teachers are good listeners, too.
I also have taken many kinds of lessons over the years: equitation, piano & voice (college level and private), ballet & tap, Horse Health Care (CC), and 232 hours of college credit work. I have also taught, PS and privately, and while in college I attended many seminars with people in the arts FAR BETTER KNOWN than your un-named past tense riding instructor. Not every one was "fit for human consumption", but, surprisingly, some of the best were also some of the kindest.
You don't need to pay for abuse. IF you were to pursue a paying career in a competitive horse field, THEN, you might consider someone who could push you to the top AND was verbally abusive, but this isn't your case. I remember recently seeing an interview of one of our USET multiple Olympians, and she--forgot the name....sorry--talked about a teacher who instructed her to jump through a chute blindfolded so that she could learn to feel the jump AND to not interfere with the horse after takeoff. She said that both her teacher AND the exercise were what MADE her into an accomplished horseman.
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post #10 of 23 Old 08-14-2013, 04:28 PM
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I agree with the needing to be pushed, but it's how you do it that will set you apart as a trainer.

I don't want someone who sugarcoats everything, but I am a sensitive person, like my horses. A slight inflection, or tone change, will really make me exert myself to change. For instance, my horse acted up when I had a lesson with my Mom attending (she lives a ways away, and doesn't come up often, so it was a big deal for me). A friend of mine had ridden my mare the day before, and she'd gotten away with lots of stuff. So she was trying to pull it on me, but I wouldn't have any of it. I got mad, because I had been making such good progress with this horse. I had talked her up to my Mom and there she went, not listening to anything, when 2 days before she'd been a receptive angel. So I got mad and bumped her with my feet instead of squeezing with my calves, and got growly. My trainer only had to say, "She's very sensitive, so you know that's not going to help, right?" It just slammed me back down to earth, and made me feel like utter crap. I caused it, and I took the blame.

So soft chiding is something that really reaches me. I think we're a lot like our horses. You have to start out soft, and get louder, or we won't learn anything.
Plus, if people start getting growly with me, and get derogatory, I start to subconciously transfer that over to my horse. Yes, I should have better control, and I'm constantly on the lookout for it. But by avoiding that situation, I'm less likely to do that sort of thing.
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