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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Today was horrible. To start with I was on time and the trainer was nowhere to be seen. I was told she would be back in a little while. I went to get my horse. When I came back with him she was there and scolded me for being late. "These lessons start at 2: you know. You should be ready to go. Just groom the saddle and girth areas. I quietly said this is the first I've heard of this (it's been 8 months). I always arrive at the specified time and prepare my horse. She even scolded me for picking his feet out "He doesn't need that" as I dug some stones out from under a branch of his shoe.

Then the lesson.. I did fine walking him and she said it was good. Then she asked for the trot- in my opinion he was going too fast and I tried to slow him down and rate him like she taught the last time. "What are you doing!" and the yelling began. I tried to explain and she went off WHY do you want to fight with me? I am a professional and you are a student! This horse has done nothing wrong! I got tensed up and angry and I knew my young horse could feel that. I wondered- why continue? I almost dismounted, put up the stirrups and led him out.

I didn't and did not say anything. It was not a great smooth lesson, it was a horrible lesson. I tried to do what she said. At times I could not hear plainly what she was saying and "soften" sounded like "sock him". I knew this cannot be right. Finally I did learn something useful about planting the outside foot when asking for the canter and loosen, don't tighten the reins.

I must add that I am 67 years old and she is a woman in her 30s.I am the eldest daughter and a nurse that ran a hospital at night. I do not take well to being disrespected. And there is nothing wrong with my hearing. She has an earphone communication device but it was not there today.

On the drive home I did not re ride the lesson in my mind like I have done in the past. I just thought about how great it would have been to dismount and lead him out. Do you think I should get a different trainer? Or does everybody have bad days.
 

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A person with your experience in life should not be letting someone you are paying treat you like this. You need to find a place closer with a good trainer and relocate your horse and quit letting someone like this be employed. Letting her treat you and your horse as she does is only enabling her. There are many good trainer/instructors out there go find one. When I was still working before retirement I had at times over 125 men/women working for me and I never treated anyone unfair or not like I wanted to be treat and you shouldn't let someone treat you that way. Find someone closer and better and let her know why you are leaving otherwise one as "thick" as her won't understand.
 

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I don't know. Has she been like this consistently in multiple lessons, or was it just this lesson. I like to err on the side of thinking everyone has bad days sometimes and to not take it to heart. Yes if they did it multiple times over, then I would move on, but otherwise, I would just try and forget it.

You said she was not there at the start of the lesson, perhaps she had something going on in her life that made her late, and it extended into her being not in a good space for teaching.

Regarding the lesson start time, maybe she has told others and not you, and she thought she had told you. Then combined with the maybe something going on in her life, she reacted to that inappropriately.

Sorry you had a non-fulfilling lesson anyway. I hope the next one is better.
 

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Sorry to hear! It is so strange how some trainers can be great with horses and terrible with people. Is your trainer always abrupt/harsh like this or was it maybe a bad day? Is there another trainer you could switch to? Is the trainer also the barn owner? If so that makes it more complicated.

If you feel that overall the instruction is sound and the relationship has been ok, probably best to chalk it up to an off day. Or if it is consistent, then tell her that you are really sensitive (though it’s her not you, she would hear it better this way) and prefer if she could be a little lighter in her correction and that you need the communication device during lessons (could be she was yelling to be heard and also frustrated about that; less able to put the nuance into her instructions).

As a trainer, she should be adept in adapting her approach to what the horse needs so hopefully it’s not a far stretch for her to soften up to better meet the needs of her paying student. If she can’t and there are other places you can go to board/train, then I agree with the previous poster, time to look elsewhere. You shouldn’t have to accept behaviour like this (especially the yelling) in a service you are paying for.
 

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None ot this is ok. If I would have treated anyone like this when I was working, I would have been told to get out and don’t let the door hit your backside on the way!
You have been having doubts about this trainer for a while now so it is time to be proactive and do what is best for you and the horse and GET OUT of there. She is rude, unprofessional, not a great trainer nor teacher, and questionably abusive. I sure hope that the horse doesn’t end up with issues that you will be dealing with for years.
 

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Yes, everyone can have a bad day. Don't let her treat you this way a third time. Meaning: If it happens a second time, be done with her.

I did have a coach who was mean to me. Frequently made fun of me in group sessions. But I was learning and improving, so I continued.

The good part was when we both ended up at a party and she was tipsy. She laughed and said she couldn't believe i kept coming back. I smiled and said, "I was amused that, in spite of your apparent dislike, you kept working for me." And we all laughed. I actually got a lucrative little side job from a local businessman who overheard that exchange. He liked my grit.
 

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Guys if you have been following Arago's threads on the on going problems she has been having with this trainer including the trainer being abusive to her horse and her. To top it off she is driving a 300 mile round trip to see her horse and take this abuse.
My goodness!
 

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My old instructor was like this. Anything you did wrong in a lesson she'd treat as though you had done it deliberately to upset her. Everything was your fault. And she wouldn't raise her voice on windy days and then she's get upset because people weren't "listening" to her. I sat in on so many kids lessons where the kids couldn't hear her, but she would turn around every time and tell me the kids had oppositional defiant disorder. The kids would even come up to her and say they couldn't hear her, but she would just ignore it. If you did something wrong, she'd go off on a lecture on a subject that was only tangentially related, e.g. if I'd lose contact because I was doing some exercise where I was concentrating really hard on something else, she'd give me a ten-minute lecture on how I thought I was being kind by not having consistent contact, but really it was bad for him and I needed to get the idea out of my head. I knew all of that and did not need to be lectured on it. Once she got started she was unstoppable.

She wasn't like this every lesson, but it was frequent. It's hard to learn from someone who is making a lot of incorrect assumptions about why you are doing what you are doing.

I don't think the two situations are entirely the same, but they are similar. If you're not learning from her, then stop the lessons. I know you were thinking about moving him -- I'd do it sooner rather than later.
 

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Arago, you need to take lessons from someone else. She is wrong for you. Period. It doesn't matter whether she treats others as poorly as she treats you or not, she is being dismissive and perhaps she really doesn't want to give you lessons and is trying to get you to find another instructor. I am pushing 70 and there are some instructors who just don't like working with older people and have a bit of a bias. BTDT. Kudos to you for taking lessons and learning to ride!
 

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If you need a referral for a good trainer in Oregon, I know one who is highly experienced and educated, gentle with horses, and encouraging with people. What you are experiencing is not ok. You can pm me if you’d like her name.
 

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I dismounted and walked off a few times. Rude instructor, rank horse or (usually) both. Once I didn’t even take the horse back to the stable, I just handed it to the rude instructor. I am usually a very, very friendly person who almost never looses her cool but that is mostly because I don’t allow anyone to push me around and people feel it without me having to demonstrate it.

Strangely, it’s only people in the equestrian industry who sometimes fail to pick up on this in advance. Outside of the industry I never have to make such gestures.

In short, would you let anyone else you pay for a service treat you like that? Your plumber? Dentist? Hairdresser? French teacher? I’m guessing not.

I have no idea why it’s so common for people in the equestrian industry to feel like they are irreplaceable super stars.
 

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When I read the title, I thought I'd come in here and say we've all felt like it just wasn't coming together and you should always follow through so you feel you are progressing. But then I read your post. Walk away. Especially if this is not the first time you have a bad experience with this person. She reminds me of a dressage coach my daughter worked with many years ago. She was a complete nutjob. We found someone else pretty quickly.

Some coaches are tough, and some make a lot of assumptions about what you might know, so this can certainly lead to frustration on the part of riders. But it sounds to me like you are really not enjoying your riding and quite bluntly, do you really want to waste your time and money on this? I think it's important to find a coach that you're happy to work with. You deserve that.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
She yells at students like this. It's not just me. Her own daughter she insults horribly and threatens to take her horse away and she will never ride again. The lesson before this when she yelled (and granted it was for something I was doing wrong or not doing) and when calmed down she said "I know you're sensitive and that you've had a head injury. So I try to be nicer." When she yells it is in the horse's best interest. Because I am doing something that could confuse or harm the horse. She yelled because I was snatching back the reins when I got him to canter. She said (yelled) The reins are not the handlebars of a bicycle! She said that could teach him to rear and then she'd have to shoot him! I said you'd have to shoot me too. This certainly wound me up tighter even BUT. Because I did not quit right there I did learn to ask for the canter correctly. To sit down and sit back and hold the reins in a way to open the gate for the horse, so to speak.

I had wanted him to trot slower. She yelled This is a big moving Saddlebred not a jogging Quarterhorse! They don't move like that. In my experience the horse has a relaxed trot, a ground covering trot and a fast flying trot. I love this trot.

This ride he was halting by taking many extra steps. Last time he just halted. So I had read in a book that you want to halt you should give the horse a signal to get ready to halt by begin to squeezing the reins and begin to close your fingers. I was doing this and she yelled What are you doing? I said what I was doing and she said He has been under saddle for 8 months! That takes years,YEARS. She yelled Every time you pull on a rein it must mean something you are telling horse or else all your signals will become meaningless. This squeeze on the rein does not mean anything to him.

Later I told my cowboy horseman husband about all this and he said laughed and said If he was ridden 30 miles I bet he would jog and stop :) He says you stop a horse with your whole body. You 'stop riding' you become like a sack of potatos, you relax and sit back like in a chair. Then you give a soft rein signal to stop. This in a trained horse it takes riding but not years.

In three weeks from now I am bring my horse home. As much as I now dread these lessons I think I might as well ride this out. She means well and I do somehow learn things. I will have a talk with her. I will say my rides need to be on days she is not time stressed and I would like the earpiece system so Soften does not sound like Sock him. Also, maybe then she will not yell. If she yells with the earpiece I am dismounting and leading him out.
 

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There is no excuse for an instructor yelling and being hostile. So damaging to one's self esteem. I would not be able to relax and ride with all that yelling. She sounds like the classic military drill instructor, tearing down the recruits. Hope if you continue she gets to the "building back up " phase. Does she ever tell you what you are doing right?
 

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If you stay - you will go backwards. I would go somewhere else or get a different instructor. She isn't going to work for you.
 

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I am sorry you have had a history of this with the instructor; I have not read any of your previous posts.

Sorry you have had a head injury. I hope your healing continues to progress over time.

I would not be anti-staying if I knew I had a leaving date, was learning something, and it was something that would not affect my mental health. If it is affecting your mental health, then leave. If you want to see our the last 3 weeks, I would tell both the instructor and myself some things firmly. The instructor would be firmly told that she needs the communication device for every lesson, and if you are driving a long distance, I would be ringing her or texting her first too on the day to remind her to have it ready; and I would tell her in no uncertain terms she is a paid professional there to teach you and any fair and polite critique of your riding is fair but she is not allowed to yell or resort to personal insults. If she threw her toys with being told that, then I would leave immediately. I would also tell myself firmly that it is her not me. She has a lot of noise and not much signal; I would tell myself to ignore the noise and just try pick up on the signal.
 
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