I'm sick of lessons and chasing some ideal in someone else's mind - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 59 Old 11-28-2016, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by LilyandPistol View Post
I would ditch your instructor to be honest. Its much more fun to do what you want to do and not have anyone tell you what to do. It sounds like you and your horse are fine without her.
Ehhh ..I agree to some extent, and disagree to another.

IMHO, every rider can benefit from lessons. Especially one that is semi-new to riding/does not yet understand how to achieve correct way of going (no offense meant!), as well as a rider that is new to horse ownership.

Whether a rider has goals of competition, or casual laid-back rides, it is, IMHO, important to have the horse moving correctly. It will benefit the horse greatly, vs. running around with their head in the air. Of course, I have not seen the horse moving, however I can only assume due to what OP says about the horse being "forward" and the instructor wanting the horse to engage it's hind and work on collection. It is of zero benefit to the horse to run around like a giraffe. Just my two cents.

While I agree that this sound like it is not the right instructor for OP (pushing for 5 lessons a week when all OP wants to do is have laid back rides? Seriously, 5 a week is a lot for anyone, most I've done is 3-4 a week back when I was competing, and that was only leading up to a show, and absolute most I'd take at a time..5 a week is unheard of. Sounds like instructor isn't listening to OP's goals. However, I do agree with what instructor seems to have said about working on proper collection and not being ready to jump. If a horse does not/is not able to go around correctly, then NO, they are not at all ready to be jumping anything.

My advice to you OP, is either have a serious chat with trainer about your goals for riding so they understand that 5 per week is just too much for you considering your future goals. I obviously don't know your instructor, none of us do, but I do agree 100% with what your instructor has stated to you (considering the facts we've been given regarding your instructors goals for your horse/you/collection/jumping). If your instructor is more geared toward competition riders (ie: heavier lesson schedule), then in your case I would find a new instructor that is more accepting of a laid back schedule. That in no way means that you should disregard what current instructor has said, but just find a instructor that will teach the same things (correct way of going, not running around like a giraffe/important things for ANY rider/horse) in a more laid-back schedule. Unless you are competing, you don't need 5 lessons per week, even then 5 is pushing it IMHO.
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post #32 of 59 Old 11-28-2016, 12:09 PM
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Oh my.
5 lessons a week is a LOT. I only have one lesson a week & that's enough, LOL I ride on the other days myself but I couldn't handle a lesson every single day haha.
Continue to have fun & enjoy your time together! :)
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post #33 of 59 Old 11-28-2016, 03:27 PM
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5 times a week when you're not actively working towards something like a show is nuts. Why pay that much money to be frustrated and burnt out?

Try telling the BO that you can now only do one lesson a week because you need to free up some cash flow for other things at home. And keep an eye out - you never know what other barns are out there.

Just enjoy your horse!
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post #34 of 59 Old 11-28-2016, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Horsef View Post

So, I've been riding for 4 years, bought my mare in spring this year. I'm taking 5 lessons a week. I don't particularly want to do anything with my horse other than spend time with her and ride.
Then do that.

Do what makes you happy. You have your horse for the purpose of enjoyment. So enjoy her!

So if you aren't enjoying the lessons, then don't do them.

Do what makes you happy.
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post #35 of 59 Old 11-28-2016, 04:22 PM
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As a huge supporter of lessons, even I think 5 is too much if you don't have a drive to show or something. For you, I'd drop it down to one or two a week.

I'd, personally, LOVE to have 5 a week. But with my instructor, my horse and I would DIE. She works us. HARD. But she's packing as much information into one lesson as she can because she knows I can't afford to take a ton of them. I have my husband record them so I can go back and see things I may have forgotten.

I always say there are only two times when people can demand something from me: when I'm getting paid and when I'm paying them to demand things of me. You want to be a hobby rider. And there is nothing wrong with that. As a Dressage rider, there IS benefits to teaching the horse to work correctly, even if people want to argue that case. Most likely the barns near you training in Dressage are the black marks on the industry. My mare has never needed time off for a riding related injury. Ever. And she has only ever done Dressage. It's a good type of riding for basics. You'll need to move over from time to time. That is basic Dressage leg yielding. The horse should work over it's back. It protects the spine by building the muscles to allow the horse to carry you. Everything she is trying to teach you has very worthwhile ideas to put toward trail riding. Or lower level jumping. Or whatever you want to do.

But you need to go into a lesson honest with yourself and honest with your trainer. Just going through the motions isn't fair to either one of you. I am not, nor will I ever be, a trainer. But I do give out tips and pointers, and my friend routinely asks if one of her barn kids can ride my horse since she will work and stretch into contact IF you ask her correctly. I'd be pretty annoyed if I was having someone ride her around me and they just tuned me out to ride my horse. Granted, this is your horse, but similar concept. So drop the lessons down and be honest with yourself.
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post #36 of 59 Old 11-29-2016, 04:27 AM
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For a starters in my book riding should be enjoyable.

You are a novice and as a novice you are going to have to think about what to do as in bending your horse around your legs, it is not automatic.

Think of it like learning to drive a car with a stick shift. On starting you have to think about listening to the noise of the engine and how to change gear but, after a while it just becomes automatic. Much the same with riding.

You do need time to ride on your own and to have fun going out on trail rides which I think, are the best way to learn.

As for the difference in the teaching of the instructor and BO you should ask why onensays one thing and the other the opposite. The only way to learn is to do and in doing ask questions as to why.
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post #37 of 59 Old 11-29-2016, 02:11 PM
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"That's the crux of my issue. I wouldn't have to change barns but I would most probably lose the BO's and instructor's support if I needed it. They are a united front and I've seen it play out before. No lessons - no support. I suppose that's fair enough.

I think I will try to reduce the number of lessons without causing an upset. I'll try to pay for some other service by the barn to keep the BO happy."

Had you not said that you jump the jumps when the instructor is not around I would assume they just prefer supervised riding and that is how they make the gravy. 5 lessons a week is over the top if you aren't set on achieving something specific at a high level and that is your life. For most once a week is sufficient as long as you and the instructor or on the same page. Different instructors have different methods, theories and expectations. Talk to the BO does her meaner of instruction fit more with what you are looking for and is she qualified to instruct. If so ask if you can work with her. As for support - your animal is under their care, you are paying for that basic care and as a new owner you are going to have/ask questions. If they are reasonable and warranted then there should be no problem. I have boarded though in situations where the BO was totally hands off. All they did was open the mail to collect their checks. You don't say what the expectations are for other boarders or if you have developed friendships with them.
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post #38 of 59 Old 11-29-2016, 03:49 PM
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I've experienced similar with a trainer I really like.

Wanted to better my riding and better my horse.

But I came to the conclusion that for what I want, he isn't the trainer for me. It was a hard decision to make but I realized I was just wasting my $.

He too would tell me these things and I just can't see them or feel them. I just couldn't understand the difference or see what he wanted. Fine details. I read my horse well but I guess not the way that trainer does.

My horse does NOT do well with him either. The trainer told me all sort of things about my horse, which for me riding him, arent true. My horse for him was different horse.

So I save the $ from going to the trainer to use for gas to go riding different places. Trail riding is what I want to do. Yes. I would love to have a beautifully trained horse and I suppose I could take the time to do it for myself. But I am content to go down trails.

A wise horse person told me that some horses do well in arenas and some do well on trails and often time its one or the other but not both. Made me realize.... my horse is not an arena horse and not to make him do stuff he isn't cut out for.

Now, it sounds like the trainer is an awful trainer. But he is not. He turns out a lot of great horses. And I like the guy as a person but as a trainer.... no we dont click.
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post #39 of 59 Old 11-29-2016, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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I rode by myself today and it was perfect. My mare was bending, chewing the bit, not rushing... I loved it. There was no wiggling, head-tossing and leaning on the bit. It seems that I either don't like what she is teaching or I don't understand what she is telling me. Or we have a personality conflict.

Whichever it is, it's not working. My mare responded nicely to aids which I was thought by my previous instructor. The aids this instructor is teaching either don't work all that well or I'm totally misunderstanding what I'm supposed to be doing. I need to think very hard about changing barns - which is very difficult where I live.

Thank you everyone for helping me think this through. I used to love lessons with my previous instructor. This instructor gets both me and my horse irritable and disjointed.
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post #40 of 59 Old 11-29-2016, 04:35 PM
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Dressage is perhaps the closest thing to the best a person can achieve as a rider at its highest levels. I think there are a number of good lessons from Dressage for anything you want to do as a rider.

If for example you just want to trail ride, join a drill team and have fun at the local team penning club... That could be a little like learning to drive at Texas Motor Speedway from an Indie Car instructor.

Some organizations and classes have started to show up because there is a demand for the horse that does more than get hauled to shows. Ranch Pleasure, Cowboy Dressage, SHOT to name a few.

I believe that is because the average person, with an average horse can enjoy being average doing a lot of different things. Very serious trainers in one discipline or another almost can't admit that their horses are basically useless outside of their very focused intense training for the arena. Case in point, you would be half crazy to take a finished Reiner who has spent their life in an arena to a branding.

Coming full circle. There aren't people who teach "having general fun with horses" outside of a few of the well known clinicians. I say learn what you can from each. You have been riding long enough you can determine for yourself if you are with the right coach for the thing you want to accomplish.
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