Would this have you annoyed? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 10-02-2013, 02:42 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
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Would this have you annoyed?

Alright bit of a rant here because I need a moment to vent it out, and see if other people think I'm crazy lol. This is from multiple perspectives about the situation.

Okay, so in June I moved all my mares into a boarding barn. My Arabian mare Lily wasn't supposed to follow me there but the BM really wanted to use her for lessons & offered free pasture board for exchange. I agreed since I didn't really ride her much anyway & hopefully exposure through lessons could help me sell her. Anyway. The BM handed lessons over to a boarder & friend of ours. I hadn't seen anything really wrong with it, she knows enough for the beginners and that's really all we have in the lesson program. Until I saw a lesson tonight...

I mention something about having ridden Lily earlier and the instructor gets fairly annoyed 'You rode Lily?? But I have A coming out for a lesson tonight and she's going to use her!' Um yes... I rode my horse. Because ya know... she's my horse. Which I understand her being in the lesson program comes before me riding her, but Lily literally gets used ONCE a week. And because these kids aren't on a set schedule (some days they'll come out monday, other days friday) I have no idea when she's being ridden or if she's even being ridden at all. And a half hour lesson after me riding her 2hrs earlier really won't hurt her. The kid weighs maybe a max of 70lbs and doesn't exactly ride her hard (just basic w/t/c mostly w/t). Plus I don't ride her hard.

Student shows up. Like I mentioned earlier she's a small maybe 11yo girl. She's a twig. Our instructor at this time is working with another girl on ground work with her horse. She makes this small gal go out into the big pasture to catch Lily. Which alright. I guess she does need to learn this stuff. But for me I don't personally like it. She's a small gal, there's some BIG 16hh+ horses out there, & Lily isn't exactly top of the herd. If another horse comes at her she will pull this girl over trying to get away. Then has this girl tack the horse up entirely herself. Which alright, she's been doing this long enough that she should be able to do it on her own. Then gets on by herself! Where the hell is the instructor you ask? I have no idea. I'm in the arena on Cally, but instructor is no where in sight to make sure the tack is good. Then there she is, checks the girth, it's far too big. Makes the girl get off so she can get a smaller girth. Tells her to go walk around the arena twice both directions. At this time the girl she was helping do groundwork (we'll call her B) earlier comes out on her horse & the instructors daughter. Which fine no big deal. They both board & can ride in the arena during a lesson.

BUT, they aren't just riding. This small gal, girl A, is paying for a half hour PRIVATE lesson. What does the instructor do? Proceed to give lessons to B while giving lessons to A. At this point I'm mildly confused like okay... IT GETS BETTER FOLKS! She had her husband tack up her horse who he then brings out and she gets on. She is then riding her horse while trying to give lessons to both of these girls. Not only that but she's riding super close to Lily. Did I mention Lily doesn't like other horses near her when being ridden? Well our instructor learned that when Lily reached out to bite her mare. Yells for husband, horse is removed from the arena. Now I'm disgusted. And remember folks this lady is my friend who I really like. I'd even call her a bestie. Returns attention to the arena, tells her daughter to start cantering and has the lesson student make figure 8's in the middle of the arena. Icing on the cake right? Well then Lily starts to pull during the figure 8's. My mare does NOT like her head jacked up all the way in the air. Arabian who doesn't like it's head all the way up in the air... weird right? She prefers to keep her head level or collected, or somewhere inbetween the two sometimes (definitely likes it up in the air while cantering). So of course she starts pulling because she wants this girl to loosen the reins a bit. Instructor asks her if Lily is pulling, yes, then makes her get off. 'We can't have her doing that & she needs to learn that's not okay' At which this point I'm annoyed. I've put a lot of training in that horse & I've also owned her since she was 4yrs old. I point out she isn't pulling for any reason except she wants to be able to ride with her head level. To which she tells me oh yeah that's exactly how her horse rides & she understands she wants a looser rein. No. Not at all. Our horse's don' ride anywhere near alike. Lily is then pulled from the arena, untacked, fed, & turned back out. WTF? So my horse that really doesn't pull on the reins (I've given informal lessons on her for years) was now taught that's acceptable to get out of work.

But wait! The girl still has some lesson time left! And thankfully the instructor has stopped worrying about B & focusing on A. She then has her husband bring out her mare. Who does pull when kids ride her and really doesn't ride into her corners. I do know Lily tests the kids about going into her corners. This mare though? Flat out doesn't do it at all. She wanders around the inside of the arena, is going all over the place. It's just bad. And I forgot to mention she was then put in a western saddle (she's taking a english/hunter lesson) that doesn't fit her with no stirrups. With a horse that won't go where she tells her & our wonderful instructor then asks her to trot around and because her mare is a bit lazy - has to smack her in the butt & chase her around.

What. A. Freaking. Mess. All I can think if I was that parent I would be SO p.o'ed right now. They're paying for a lesson. More like a freaking circus act! I pull the BM aside & was like seriously - you need to have a talk with instructor about her lessons. That was ridiculous. You could lose clients because of that crap. She was of the same mindset, although refuses to confront her about how the lessons are done (*eyeroll*), and said she would call the parents to ask how they like the new instructor & lessons. Whatever. It's your reputation & client base on the line.

WHEW. That felt good. If you were that kid's parent would you be annoyed? Mind you this girl was jumping at her previous barn. She now has an instructor who can't get her to that point. That aside. Just the way the lesson went was like o.O It's not even my kid & I was annoyed for her! Like it eclipsed my annoyance with what happened with my mare for the night. Like heck. I'm apparently going to have a lot of things to fix with Lily if lessons continue to go like that... And I am letting her know tomorrow I don't want her trying to fix the problems herself (the instructor) because I know it's just going to make whatever the problem is worse. What a mess.
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Last edited by SketchyHorse; 10-02-2013 at 02:46 AM.
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post #2 of 14 Old 10-02-2013, 05:33 AM
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Oh my.. that sounds horrible.. I mean, why would anyone like that teach? My trainer has only ridden her horse, or a clients horse whilst training me and my best friend - but for us she only needs to give little instructions which she does on her walk breaks - and that is not a lesson we pay for, that is just her free will.

I have given some basic lessons to some beginners, and I would never imagine to ride them. It is always hard to explain how the particular horse works, especially if the trainer has never ridden it and figured out how it works, to explain. Teaching 2 at the same time does not bother me, we get groups of 6 sometimes. However, if A has paid for a private lesson, that should not be ignored - she should have her 30 minutes of just private teaching.

Oh my, and the fact you had ridden? I have a slightly undermuscled unbalanced 5yr old. He was ridden yesterday for probably less than 1 hour by another person, she said she walked and trotted a little and they basically just wandered around the forest (holy mother how hard it must have been for him, mind you he is 15.3 hh and getting fat ) and then I rode him for 1 1/2 h in walk, with maybe 5 minutes of trot at the start and in the end. Didn't even blink an eye, there were many hours inbetween and he actually still wanted to move in the evening when I rode. So ye.. I don't think your mare got too slow or lazy because you had ridden her.
I hope some of the things I am saying make sense.

If I was that kids parent and saw that lesson, I would inform the BM that this trainer is not qualified to do her job. I would suggest finding another trainer my kid can ride with, also I like when the trainer occasionally rides the lesson horse to remind it good manners and responsiveness..
I am just so glad I am out of training atm. Maybe at some point I go to take lessons in the bigger stables, but otherwise a trainer will come to me, or me and my friend work with each other.
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post #3 of 14 Old 10-02-2013, 08:07 AM
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It does sound pretty bad, and I am with you-if I were a parent, I would be livid. As far as your mare goes-when you gave them permission to use her for lessons, you gave up control of those lessons. You are going to make yourself crazy over what they do 30 minutes a week. At no point was anything being done that in anyway hurts or harms the horse. Yeah-the horse has learned that with a kid she can pull.....but I doubt that will really affect her long term. I think your biggest concern should be liability. If I were you I would be asking the BO for a copy of their liability policy that SPECIFICALLY names you as covered also when it comes to the use of your horse. I also would have my own policy, but that is just me. It costs about $500/year and is well worth it.

Be careful what you say.....you will end up without a "bestie".
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post #4 of 14 Old 10-02-2013, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah it's definitely a touchy subject to approach & really - it's none of my business how she does her lessons. I just couldn't believe the clown show. And yeah nothing bad was done to my mare - it was just me getting riled up again LOL. They've said so much crap about her doing stuff she's never done it's been annoying. She doesn't even get used for the most part.
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post #5 of 14 Old 10-02-2013, 09:38 AM
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Firstly, I have had a horse in lessons.

I always confirmed when I could ride and when he was in lessons through a simple phone call or text. If she isn't being worked that much, then once a day is probably enough for her..

Secondly, unless there is a issue of danger, either remove your horse or speak to the instructor.

If the girl is able to tack up (albeit with a girth that may be too big) I would hope she can mount on her own.

If her parents are paying for private tuition, and they instructor rides her own horse and teaches another, then it is up to them to talk to the instructor. When my parents plugged money in to my riding they made sure I got every pennies worth. When I started to pay for my own, it was my choice (as a young adult) to then make sure I got my monies worth, and why I changed instructors at times.

In all honesty, if you aren't happy, I would just remove your horse. I am not sure about the set up you had before, but free board etc for one lesson a week is darn good going. My old horse was used twice/three times a day four times a week and I got a €5 reduction on a lesson a week.
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post #6 of 14 Old 10-02-2013, 09:44 AM
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I don't know if I'd really care what the kid got out of the lesson. That is between the kid, parents, and instructor. What I'd be ****ed about is someone telling me when I could ride my own horse. She should have thanked you for getting her warmed up, not irritated she had been used. And no child should be sent to the pasture to fetch a horse if other horses are out there. That is flat out asking for trouble and I am surprised the BM allows that.
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post #7 of 14 Old 10-02-2013, 09:51 AM
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Hard situation you are in. I once loaned one of my horses out as a lesson horse too. That was short lived as it turns out that I do not share well. ha ha I gave lessons on that mare all the time and she was amazing. Very push button BUT you needed to know where her buttons were. Also, I used HER tack and when I loaned her out I came to find out they were using inappropriate bits etc... It didn't work out.

There is a rule of thumb that I now stick to. NEVER do business with friends or family. ha ha When it comes to my animals, there is only one way to care for the. MY way. If the person cannot or will not do that, then I can't share with them. Harsh bits on my cream puff mare was a deal breaker.

Maybe you just need to have a calm chat about what you are expecting and what you are willing to give on. Best of luck to you.
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post #8 of 14 Old 10-02-2013, 10:07 AM
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I think what surprises me is that the BM knows all about the way this lady is giving lessons (grabbing the horse from pasture alone is the biggest red flag, IMO) but she doesn't want to confront the instructor about it? Why, because it will ripple the waters? That's just bad managing to ignore the situation.

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. -Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
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post #9 of 14 Old 10-02-2013, 10:57 AM
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It would be a cold day in H3ll when someone gives me crap for riding my own horse. Ain't gonna happen.
As per catching the horse, huge no no. Especially a kid. I never catch a horse prior to a prospective buyer coming out (maybe Ill move it from the 150 acre pasture to the five acre one so we can find it lol ) but I don't send them out alone to catch them either. They come with me, but I wouldn't send anyone into a herd of 20 horses they didn't know. Not that they are horrible - I had to stop one day because a bunch of chinese tourist had climbes into my fence and were posing with my mares and foals for pictures and they (horses and people lol ) loved it but still. Horses are horses.
My stallions are dead beats but you still have to be 18 to go in with them, even if you trained a million horses.some things are just common sense and I think your BM is lacking some...

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post #10 of 14 Old 10-02-2013, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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The giving me crap for riding my own horse was the big trigger. Overall the lessons usually go fine & I don't have issues. They use the tack I require (a mullen happy mouth) and have always done good by Lily. The part I didn't really like was the plan to jump on MY horse to fix the problem. There is no problem & if there is then I will fix it. Because I know what she was planning on doing - when she pulls drop the reins on her so she's got no contact. Thing is this mare isn't a puller & doing something like that won't have any effect or it will and she'll fall to her knees. Which would set me off into a huge rampage.

The BM definitely has some lack of common sense herself. We only have a herd of 8, but most of those horses are large, and my mare really isn't on the top. And I can remember back when I was young I had to tack up myself, but my instructors ALWAYS did a tack check before I mounted. I mounted by myself, but they were in the arena with me - this was not the case here. Which I know how this lesson turned out is between the parents, student, & instructor because really nothing bad happened to my horse - I was just in complete disbelief and had to share LOL. Because really if that was my kid I'd be annoyed, if that was my STUDENT I'd be ashamed.

Me personally the BM is giving a very good deal. I don't have complaints with that. For the past two/three months Lily wasn't even getting used in lessons. Which that's her deal, I brought her so she could use her & if she doesn't... oh well. Both of them really ARE good people. Just lacking some common sense & horse sense sometimes lol. And unfortunately I can't remove Lily from the lesson program & start paying for board because I can't afford it. She wasn't even supposed to come here but my original deal with a family friend fell through :-/ so until she gets sold she has to suffer through lessons. Which really that part doesn't bother me. I just don't want other people thinking they need to get on her to "fix a problem."
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