The Horse Forum banner

21 - 40 of 77 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
883 Posts
Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Believe me I can hardly wait to get out of there but I'm paid up until the last week of this month. I just want to find out how she had trained my horse. What are his signals? And I want to learn to reproduce these signals. He does get excellent care and is healthy and fit. When he got there shipped from New Jersey 8 months ago he was stressed out, thin, dull coat, had ulcers and was a squirrel temperamentally.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
I walked out on a lesson once. I didn't have a horse at the time and was just starting, so I didn't have any commitment to the place. The woman was a yeller too, but worse than that she seemed a little unhinged. I hopped off 10 minutes into my third lesson. I mean, it was super awkward. A lot of people where there. It was such IMMEDIATE relief, I can't even tell you. Later I would learn that she had a bad reputation and the first word people use about her is "crazy". I've also refused to get on an overly spooky horse for a lesson. That got me berated until the barn worker (who rides horses for a living!) hopped up and was unseated half way around the arena because of a spook.

I also took lessons for a long time with another yeller. I kept telling myself "it's like having a tough coach" (I played sports in high school and a good coach can bring out good things and sometimes a little toughness helps). I kept telling myself, "she can't help it". I kept telling myself, "she's tough, but she's a good person." I kept telling myself, "she takes good care of my horse". I believe all of those things, but it didn't matter. The yelling is disrespectful to me as an adult. It's counter-productive to me as a student. The overwhelming tone of exasperation implying idiocy on my part was killing my confidence. It set me back. Confidence can be tough to recover. Best not to let anyone take it from you or chip away at it.

I really agree with @farmpony84 . I would consider whether riding out the lessons is worth it, even if you've already paid for them. Can you even learn those signals from her when she keeps yelling down your questions? Your husband sounds like he can do more for your horse's training and for your riding than this trainer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
883 Posts
Discussion Starter · #23 · (Edited)
Meditative rider, here is the original subject What would you expect after 180 training rides?

Girl....in 2010 I fell off from where you throw stuff off of at the dump. I fell 16' straight down and hit my head on bare steel. It was an empty giant dumpster they haul away on semi trucks. I was found in a pool of blood 1/2 an hour later and was flown away in the helicopter to the ICU where I used to work. and put on a vent. The side of my head was caved in and I had a LaForte fracture Grade 3. That is when every bone in your face is broken. I had bleeding and air inside my brain, plus a broken pelvis and a compound fracture of my arm. It is a miracle of God that I am not a vegetable. I had 2 operations on my arm, three on my face and the sight was restored in one eye. Not only that, but I am still reasonably good looking. My IQ was tested by my neurologist and it is still high and unchanged. Do you think some egotistical female dog of a trainer going to break me? Heck no! One thing that many head injury people have is loss of inhibition. They get instantly furiously mad and will do rash things. I am on a medicine for that. Boy, recently that medicine has sure been tested. I think I should suggest the trainer should be on this medicine

GoBlue, if I can make it back from having my head caved in I can make it through these lessons, get what can be gotten for the sake of my horse. Then I can have my husband teach me and take a lesson or two locally for outside eyes opinion. There is a lady in this county that owns and runs a stable. I could go watch some lessons and see if it would be a fit (with no fits) :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,156 Posts
You can probably find out what your horse's cues are by having another professional ride him, unless she is off the wall with her training. Have you watched her ride him? Does he look obedient under saddle, accomplishing what you were wanting?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,783 Posts
There is yelling in encouragement or frustration "c'mon I KNOW you can do this".. then there is angry yelling and belittling comments. I like strict instructors with a good and empathetic work ethic and I rather enjoy being whipped into shape occasionally ;)

I've walked out of quite a few and one even flipped the bird on my way out. You come across in all your posts as having enough common sense and experience to work your horse out with a better instructor anyway ^>^ My only other suggestion was maybe a few rides with her on him and asking her to talk through what she's doing, maybe recording it, the limelight might butter her up a bit. A lot of what helped me with my mare in the early days was doing exactly this. It gave me so much more confidence to try copy them when I got on (and then subsequently beat myself up when they did it beautifully and I looked like spaghetti :p).

I only know of three instructors of the 30ish (feels like hundreds) I've tried that really have a passion for teaching both horse and rider. You can just see them beaming at every bit of progress. Especially hard when I have zero intention to show which puts quite a few off. Amazing story about your recovery you'd never know!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
883 Posts
Discussion Starter · #27 · (Edited)
Whinny, no, she never let me see her ride him. As I said in the 180 rides thread she won't ride him while I watch. I said I will pay you, its a lesson. Nope, she would not do it. I don't remember what the excuse was.

I drove up there to watch her ride her 2 best dressage mares in a lesson given by her dressage judge trainer. She was getting lessons and polishing her riding for an upcoming show or test, whatever they call it. They used the earpiece so I could only hear what her teacher was saying. There was no yelling. They kept practicing some kind of change of lead exercise that is done diagonally across the arena. She was using a snaffle. The trainer said if you go to a full bridle this expects a higher level.

Here is what dressage looks like to me to my untrained eyes. It looks like people are holding them back while spurring them on. They use all kinds of straps and nosebands to hold what is supposed to be a willing horse's mouth shut. I never had a lesson in my life of 50 years riding trail. I learned from books and experience. Somehow I got my horses to cross mountains and forests on and off trails, cross rivers, get out of forest fires by jumping, ride at night, race, ride in parades. Somehow I survived. Granted, my horses were not light and well trained and I am not trained. I don't want to make my beautiful Saddlebred dull, hard mouthed and hard sided because of my lack of knowledge.

After her lesson my trainers 12 year old daughter had a lesson on her own horse. The dressage teacher kept asking the child questions about what she's been taught to do and what she should do and what she is doing and the child, teenager-like, kept saying I don't know. Finally the teacher quietly said If you cannot say anything but I don't know why I am here and the lesson is finished.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,783 Posts
Wow she would never demonstrate to you her training or riding skills? I've NEVER had that. Usually they are too eager to show off for free never had the opposite :O That alone would give me pause. I was a bit naïve and frightened when I got my mare so I went with the flow. I fortunately had lovely people to patiently demonstrate. Even THEN I still insisted on watching people ride, even my first sharer. I don't think I'd ever be happy having someone train any animal of mine that is afraid to demonstrate in person. I always explained that I don't expect perfect, in fact learning how they navigate any weaknesses or a problem was far more educational. She might be a nice rider but from what you've said struggling likely as a teacher, on the defensive...

I think dressage is amazing at its core and my all three of my favourite instructors funnily enough were all highly rated dressage trainers, one an ex-national level judge, following the footsteps of her own mother who founded their school. All three emphasized relaxation, consistency and teaching the horse to carry itself, no gadgets or "shortcuts". Those that truly understand dressage, and I say this as someone still learning basics, are very different from those I've met, more commonly, that are interested in just ribbons and prestige and fancy moves. Honestly there was nothing more amazing for me than watching the process of teaching a horse a flying lead change. Or teaching my mare how to do haunches in from the ground. Watching her brain tick over, trying to please and enjoying learning something new. How happy everyone was when she took that first step correctly, albeit a bit wonky. I can see it being addictive, definitely. I also see how in any activity or obstacle faced on the trail would also bring the same amount of challenge and joy. Ultimately it's people that ruin it :<

Your instructor feels like she's maybe a bit insecure, a bit of a perfectionist afraid to show up? Clearly struggling with communication. I feel sorry for her but its your money and you and your horse deserve better!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
883 Posts
Discussion Starter · #29 ·
She freely admits that she "came up poor". Not from rich parents with $300,000 horses with even more expensive trainers. I think that may be the root of it. She is really a very good rider. I have only a few weeks to go. But its funny, as puffed up as I am about my life and riding experience and toughness at overcoming obstacles, I feel dread at the idea of the next lesson. I have never felt that was before.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,293 Posts
Are you getting anything out of these lessons? If not, then just stop them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,322 Posts
Here is what dressage looks like to me to my untrained eyes. It looks like people are holding them back while spurring them on. They use all kinds of straps and nosebands to hold what is supposed to be a willing horse's mouth shut.
Um, no, that's not what dressage should look like at all. True, the riders are asking the horses to engage from behind and be on the bit in the front, but if you watch this video of one of the greatest dressage riders today, Charlotte Dujardin on Valegro, the horse's bottom lip is moving the entire time and his mouth isn't held shut.


Spurs are used, yes, but must not be abused as that will get the rider disqualified. The spurs are there to give the horse very subtle cues because in dressage, the riders try to make their cues near invisible. The double set of reins also allows for a broader range of cues.

At a far more basic level, this was my daughter working on Level 1 dressage last year with her coach. Notice her horse is wearing a very simple bridle with a plain D-ring snaffle bit. The reins are not even tight - there is contact, but she isn't forcing this head set. This is all achieved through gentle training - not yelling or gadgets. My point is that it is possible. It just requires a lot of time and patience to train a horse rather than force it. Is your trainer riding your horse with all kinds of gadgets on his face? Because if so, once they come off, he will not maintain the same headset/posture without them. That's the problem with using gadgets in my very humble opinion.


1111694


I'm sorry about your accident - it sounds horrific. Glad you're ok. But it is NOT normal for someone to train your horse then refuse to ride him in front of you. That sends all kinds of red flags up. You're right to want to know how she trained him, but you don't need to take any abuse from this coach.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,156 Posts
Even though you are paid up until the end of the month, if it were me I would just leave and cut my losses. Big red flag that she won't ride your horse for you to observe. You have paid her to work that horse. She blames you for the horse not performing correctly, but her not wanting to show what the horse can do under saddle tells me that you didn't get the training you paid for and she is putting you on the horse and then blaming you for the poor performance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
883 Posts
Discussion Starter · #34 ·
I agree with you ladies and I can't wait to get out of there. But at these two last awful lessons I did learn something about how to ride this horse. I might as well tough it out.

At her own lesson with the dressage judge/teacher she rode in a snaffle with a flash noseband. There was some discussion of going to a full bridle but this would be a higher level. There is level 1,2 3 I guess.

I admire dressage. When I was a working nurse I took care of Colonel Rochawansky and flew him back to England as his flight nurse. He gave me this picture.
1111703


To me, the ideal is dressage is like dancing the waltz with a horse instead of a person. Like leading with small pressures of their hand at the small of your back. This is the ideal. It is not something I wish to devote my life to at this stage.

She is not riding him with all kinds of gadgets on his face- she says- but I don't know for sure since she does not let me see her ride. She says she rides him in my bitless bridle. It is a Dr. Cook, but I don't have the reins crossed under his jaw. They are attached to the side rings on the bridle. It seems to me that the cross under jaw gives signals that are counter intuitive. This is a bridle I used to ride my Arab stallion in.

Anyway, at first I rode him lessons in a snaffle but my untrained hands and arms made so much 'noise' she wanted me to go bitless. Well, as hard as I have to haul on him to turn, give cues or stop the horse plus the stupid things I do it is a good thing I am not in his mouth. She says you will develop lightness, it takes time. Meanwhile, I have ordered a nice snaffle bridle to use at home under the teaching of my husband and any local qualified trainer I can find.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
553 Posts
I agree with everybody recommending that you ditch this trainer. In my opinion, it's important for you to be calm and maintain your dignity while you tell her that the way she treats others is not acceptable, and that the reason you won't be going back there is because she has been rude and disrespectful. Perhaps give some specific examples, if you can do so without losing your dignity. It seems unfathomable that some people have no idea how they come across - and it's actually helpful to them if you tell them. She has no right to treat you the way she's treating you and you certainly do not have to put up with it. If you feel like giving her a chance to improve her behavior you can, but you don't owe her anything.

My boss treats people very poorly and many have quit because of it. She makes extremely negative assumptions about people. I do not intend to leave my position unless I find a better one. Since it's a good position, I decided to speak up with dignity. I practiced what I would say and then when she insulted me I said "What you just said to me is incredibly insulting. I do not know why you would have hired me if you think so lowly of me." She was taken aback and has been much more careful about what she says to me since then. She now has it in her head that I'm overly sensitive so before she gives me negative feedback she prefaces it with a compliment and phrases things more carefully. That's OK with me - I've noticed she's more careful about how she talks to others now, too. I don't know how many people quit without telling her how she made them feel.

Your trainer is not your boss - she is your employee. You have every right to demand respect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
883 Posts
Discussion Starter · #36 ·
I was thinking of explaining it like this- You know how when a horse is trained with rough methods and beatings and now dreads being ridden?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
553 Posts
I was thinking of explaining it like this- You know how when a horse is trained with rough methods and beatings and now dreads being ridden?
Great way to start the conversation. You can continue with something like "Well, you may not realize it but you're treating me roughly and it's making me dread coming to lessons."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
883 Posts
Discussion Starter · #39 · (Edited)
I don't and won't focus on myself. My self esteem is home made and is very high. :) I'll say you know how if a trainer beats a horse, especially a sensitive horse, they dread being ridden? Thats what you are doing to me. Just show me the cues you taught him and leave me out of it, personally. If I do it wrong say not like that, like this.

If I criticize her she will go off, and I will not be able to learn what I need to learn in the time I have to learn it for the best for the horse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
553 Posts
I
I don't and won't focus on myself. My self esteem is home made and is very high. :) I'll say you know how if a trainer beats a horse, especially a sensitive horse, they dread being ridden? Thats what you are doing to me. Just show me the cues you taught him and leave me out of it, personally. If I do it wrong say not like that, like this.

If I criticize her she will go off, and I will not be able to learn what I need to learn in the time I have to learn it for the best for the horse.
Yes! I can't wait to hear how it goes.
 
21 - 40 of 77 Posts
Top