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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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I agree with those who say you should not accept this kind of treatment. I am 66 yrs old, not very experienced with horses, and need a good trainer. Fortunately, I have one who tries to meet my needs for communication as well as instruction. She would never berate me like your trainer has you. Instead, she provides the reasons and descriptions I need so I can "get it". Even if your trainer was having a bad day, she's not allowed to take it out on you. I've read that you need to check your own "bad day" when you approach your horse so he/she experiences a balanced, fair, kind human. The same is true for trainers approaching their horse-student pair.
 

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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.
This is ridiculous. Your trainer should be calmly helping you to learn to ride a horse, not stressing you out by yelling at you. The worst possible thing for riding is tension and stress, when you’re anxious you tighten your muscles and to the horse it feels like a clamp on their back, something they can’t soften to. When you relax and enjoy yourself, your horse can relax as well. That’s the technical side, putting aside the fact that riding is a hobby and should be fun!! Everyone has bad days of course but it sounds like your trainer is the source of it and that’s not ok. Drop her! There are 95 million trainers in the world, find one who respects you.
 

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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.
People with a good knowledge and experience of any particular subject or topic, quite often then think they are in a position to teach. Unfortunately teaching itself is a whole new field of knowledge and just as important as knowing the subject matter itself. It involves not only management of students but equally management of yourself. It would appear that your instructor has knowledge of the horse training but very little knowledge of teaching, which is equally important. Stress is a very important aspect when training people or animals because this will seriously effect their ability to take in information. What is most important to the brain is survival and once you hit the stress button it is only interested in getting out of a potentially harmful situation. It this point processing information is of secondary importance. That is why you wanted to walk out. This is of particular importance when training animals as beating up an animal, because it doesn't understand, will only make matters worse. Your trainer may be terrific at her work with horses but you need teaching ability to make it come together. And may I add, at the end of the day you are paying good dollars for substandard service.
 

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Hi.
I am older and don’t take well to people yelling at me. It causes me to yell back.
The bottom line is that you are spending your money, you are paying her. Not the pther way around. She has the privilege to train you and get paid for it. If she doesn’t appreciate that and can’t be professional then walk.
Horses and training won’t be all kittens and rainbows but it should never leave you feeling like you are describing.
This woman sounds like a bully. Time to leave.
 

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Goodness......that’s terrible. I know I wouldn’t do well with a trainer like that, and I would absolutely dread lesson time. If she was having a bad day that’s one thing but if this is her “normal” I would end my relationship with her and find someone more encouraging. I’m 60 and very easy going but if someone berated me about the late situation I would definitely defend myself. And yes, it would give me great satisfaction if I wanted to end the lesson early to get off, go up to her and lecture her in a calm but serious tone on why I wouldn’t be having anymore lessons with her. Sometimes it just feels good to say your peace to someone who is making your paying time with them miserable for you-I’m not in a habit of being outspoken and can certainly hold my tongue to avoid any dreaded drama, but this person sounds like she needs someone to tell her her attack mode style of teaching is not helpful and make her aware of what others hear. I feel so sorry for her daughter, who must be young......she’s being set up to a life of never good enough and a mother who is nothing more than a bully herself. Thank goodness your situation will be changing soon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 · (Edited)
I heartily agree with all of the above and thank you. In an hour I am leaving to drive up there for another lesson. I am having to keep back the returning feelings of dread. I must not have this feeling when I ride my horse, like you say he will know. So I am replacing dread with imagining how happy I will be to see him, to groom him and feed him carrots, to make him mind his ground manners and give praise, the feel the joy of riding him, the way he moves. To see his astonishing beauty, to learn the signals he has been taught. I look forward to all these good things.

Heres the thing- in two weeks I am taking the horse home for the first time. Two weeks is not enough to develop a better relationship with this woman. So if and when she yells, and I do believe at the root of it she is thinking of what is best for the horse, when she yells I will quietly laugh to myself, relax and put up with it. It is only a couple of more lessons, at the most.
 

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So glad that you're leaving! Please remember - the bottom line is that you pay her, so SHE WORKS FOR YOU. I'm also an older rider who has been in a similar situation and almost walked out of a group lesson (but was too shocked and honestly also too much of a chicken), and will never tolerate that behavior again. And by the way, 'reasonably good looking'?? You're gorgeous, and your strength shines through!!
 

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Get a different instructor! I'm also an older rider at 56 years old. As a doctor, I've been the student and the teacher. I also homeschooled 8 children. Four of them were adopted as old as teens and Russian was their native language. A GOOD teacher knows how to take a skill, break it down, and MAKE LEARNING FUN! It doesn't matter how old you are. Learning something new, especially a physical activity, is really good for your mind and body! However, if the teacher isn't excited to teach you something, you will quickly be reduced to her level of anger and frustration. Some people simply are gifted to teach and you deserve that kind of person! I know how much it matters because I taught 8 children everyday to LOVE LEARNING anything new! They very quickly picked up on my attitude and excitement. As a Dressage student myself, starting in my late 40's, I had a teacher that wasn't excited to teach. It did matter, but I kept her because she had a talent for breaking skills down to smaller parts and being able to communicate it. It's difficult to find a teacher that knows how to do this effectively, so I tolerated her. It has colored my wanting to go back and find somebody new, and that makes me angry. Don't make my mistake. I'd pay double what I did for my old Dressage teacher to have a person who is fun and enthusiastic. I'd go one step farther. I wouldn't have a confrontation, but I would write a short, honest note about why I was leaving. It may change nothing. I'd venture to say it won't. But I feel as the wiser person, we should impart our wisdom to a person when they need it. It's up to them if they listen and change things.
 

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Sorry, I am a little confused, your original post starting this thread seemed that you were very upset and asking opinions on these lessons and the instructor, and then as opinions were offered it seemed you are defending and justifying the instructor's behavior?
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 · (Edited)
I am not defending and justifying her behavior. Like a mature adult, I am simply trying to understand this from all sides. She is a good trainer of horses and an excellent rider, she is just not a great teacher. Before our most recent lesson the day before yesterday she rode her retired 22 year old Grand Prix horse she bought back from a friend because the lady is pregnant. While I was warming up my horse she worked him, showed me his Piaffe, Spanish Walk, flying change of lead every 4 strides and other ballet moves I do not know the names of. The horse can literally dance. Then she had her barn manager take him cool him out and put him up to concentrate on my lesson.

I think she has been thinking about she and I not meshing. She really tried. This latest lesson she was positive and kind. She did not yell, she said not like that, like this. I found out a defect in our communication. She had me trot my horse, rate him slow him down and instantly stop rein pressure and give praise when he is at the desired speed. Later in the lesson she had me trot him and said What are you doing? Why are you pulling on his face like that? (it is a bitless bridle) I said I am trying to slow him down. She said but I was asking for his normal fast trot. I realized what I was doing is carrying forward things I had learned in other lessons that were not the new skill we were working on. This really messes me up. I learned that in a lesson the way she teaches you have to do exactly what is asked for, you have to live in the moment like a horse does.

She did not have a lot to do that day. She had timed the lesson so it would be like that. At the end I sat on my horse and we had a great heart to heart talk. She said that she knows I had had a head injury but I yelled at her too. She said people have commented about it. I did not notice that I had been yelling. To me I was explaining what I was doing and why. She said she knows I am really a sweet and sensitive person but because of traumatic brain injury people have loss of inhibition. She told me about her her own issues she has to deal with in life. That she has ADHD and dyslexia. When she rides a dressage test she has to wear two different colored gloves because she does not know her right from her left. She said she is bipolar. That she had gotten her first horse when she was 15 and rode for years having no lessons like I have done. Then she wanted to learn the art of riding and took lessons and studied hard. And that she had only figured it out and found out the feel of it when she was 32 (she is 37 now). Thats how long it took her to learn and she is still a student. If I had dismounted and led him out three lessons ago these things would never have been known.
 

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I am not defending and justifying her behavior. Like an adult, I am simply trying to understand this from all sides. She is a good trainer of horses and an excellent rider, she is just not a great teacher. Before our most recent lesson the day before yesterday she rode her retired 22 year old Grand Prix horse she bought back from a friend because the lady is pregnant. While I was warming up my horse she worked him, showed me his Piaffe, Spanish Walk, flying change of lead every 4 strides and other ballet moves I do not know the names of. The horse can literally dance. Then she had her barn manager take him cool him out and put him up to concentrate on my lesson.

I think she has been thinking about she and I not meshing. She really tried. This latest lesson she was positive and kind. She did not yell, she said not like that, like this. I found out a defect in our communication. She had me trot my horse, rate him slow him down and instantly stop rein pressure and give praise when he is at the desired speed. Later in the lesson she had me trot him and said What are you doing? Why are you pulling on his face like that? (it is a bitless bridle) I said I am trying to slow him down. She said but I was asking for his normal fast trot. I realized what I was doing is carrying forward things I had learned in other lessons that were not the new skill we were working on. This really messes me up. I learned that in a lesson the way she teaches you have to do exactly what is asked for, you have to live in the moment like a horse does.

She did not have a lot to do that day. She had timed the lesson so it would be like that. At the end I sat on my horse and we had a great heart to heart talk. She said that she knows I had had a head injury but I yelled at her too. She said people have commented about it. I did not notice that I had been yelling. To me I was explaining what I was doing and why. She said she knows I am really a sweet and sensitive person but because of traumatic brain injury people have loss of inhibition. She told me about her her own issues she has to deal with in life. That she has ADHD and dyslexia. When she rides a dressage test she has to wear two different colored gloves because she does not know her right from her left. She said she is bipolar. That she had gotten her first horse when she was 15 and rode for years having no lessons like I have done. Then she wanted to learn the art of riding and took lessons and studied hard. And that she had only figured it out and found out the feel of it when she was 32 (she is 37 now). Thats how long it took her to learn and she is still a student. If I had dismounted and led him out three lessons ago these things would never have been known.
Looks like you found a place to meet half way?
 

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I think its great you went back and with such an open mind to things. I am the same as you and think we can always have something to learn from everyone.

The different colored gloves is a genius idea. I also don't know my left from right. Well obviously I know them but if you say go left to me when I am riding (or use your left leg), I cannot make those brain connections. My coach does a lot of "go this way" and walking things out to show me. Really I should have been able to think of something like putting a colored sticker on each glove that I can see. At my daughter's ballet, for the kids that can't do left and right, the teacher sticks a red hair scrunchy on their right leg.
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
Another way is to think of it is left is the driver's side. Although in your country the right is the driver's side I guess. :)

I am glad I stuck it out too. It was best for the horse.
 

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I've read all of this thread and near every post you have ever written on this forum...
You do recognize that this instructor gave you a list of excuses for her deplorable behavior towards you...and you accepted it and swallowed every bit of it.
I'm not saying she doesn't also have issues...
I am saying it gives her no right to treat you as she has...that is her problem.
And she has snowballed you into placating your anger in how she has treated you, and she already knew when this all started that you have issues that "taking a magical pill for ADHD" has awesome effects for thousands of people also afflicted with her ailment{s}....will not work for the kind of brain issues you do have.

Your time is limited in when you ride and I truly understand you wanting to know as much about how your horse has been worked and trained...
Have you asked her to please legibly write out...type it on a computer if she rather...but put it in writing she does this to achieve that.
A written tutorial because her in-person training of you astride has left much uncovered.
If she won't write it she can dictate it to a recording device...hand-held cassette tape works wonderfully. As she is riding she can vocalize what she is doing so you learn and can copy her as best you can.
The fact she refuses to allow you to see her ride your horse she is paid to "train" makes me truly wonder if she is riding or if she has someone else riding while she screeches at them.. This is a enormous red-flag to me...enormous.
Regardless of where the horse is in the education astride, you need to know where they are and what buttons she has taught so you can work with those buttons to either keep them or change them if you not approve of them in honesty.
That is only fair a request made by you and met by her, period!

Now...my other immediate response to "she proudly got on a retired 22 year old Grand Prix horse she bought back from someone pregnant...".....
So...she rode a schoolmaster and made it look effortless and the horse did all these intricate maneuvers....
That horse if at that level,.. by moving your butt cheek should of been dancing for her in honesty....
Wiggle your finger, shift your behind, ride with a leg in a bit of different position, drop your hip....
She sat on a made animal does not mean she trained it...
I am a effective rider and can work with many a animal to find their buttons that get them ticking in unison with me..and more importantly...I'm in unison and communication with them.
Do not be snowballed but take off the rosy glasses she tried to cover your eyes with and see her for what she is, what she has done, what she has not done and ...what is going to need to be retrained to your horse by someone who fills in the holes in the training you are about to discover when this animal goes home with you.

What you know you have is a animal you can get astride and ride.
The horse understands the basic of basics of w/t/c, turns and halt/stop.
Bitless bridle is fine to ride with when used correctly so communication as proper as possible can be delivered to the animal with gentleness and finesse.
You though need to know how to ride with a bit and quiet hand combination....
Has the horse been taught to ride with a bit and if so, you want to see the bit, photograph it and know where she bought it or the exact name, manufacturer of it so you can replicate it yourself with your new tack bought.
Snaffle bits, the most basic of them....must be several hundred choices between manufacturers and intricacies small but to the horse who carries that metal in its mouth mean a ton of difference in communication and understanding.

I have a gut feeling that you and with your husbands guidance will make enormous strides in the training of this horse that has had more than 180 rides on it and yet appears to know so little...
Her comment you relayed... "she had gotten her first horse when she was 15 and rode for years having no lessons like I have done. Then she wanted to learn the art of riding and took lessons and studied hard. And that she had only figured it out and found out the feel of it when she was 32 (she is 37 now). " and the fact the retired 22 year old Grand Prix horse do not mesh together when you do the simple math.
She bought a schoolmaster in the horse, but she did not train it by her own admission of what she knows, what she learned and when....yea, no. I don't believe it..nope, no way.
To those who have understanding of what a true Grand Prix animal has been trained to do are also shaking their head...
I've sat on Grand Prix horses and did things I had no idea I moved or asked for...surprised I was was a understatement.
Holy cow the things I could in my innocence do astride on those animals..

Take your lessons, the few you have left.
Ask her for her to write or dictate those things she has worked on your horse with so you have a reference when riding and growing in your ability so you not confuse the animal....
Take all of your equipment, forget nothing, and leave when the time is up....
What you choose to say as a review of her or her business practice and tactics is your business...for me, honesty or say nothing is what she would face cause what she treated you and also the horse too is ridiculous...
Wait till the yelling and bad temper tantrums she has stop affecting your horse and bet you see a new animal emerge once home for a few weeks...the shell of the animal you think you know shall crack and a new animal emerge for you.
You are very right, she is not a good instructor, and she also is snowballing a lot of people of she did all this training...
She can't snowball people who have been there and understand a lot more of what is seen than what they hear come from her mouth...her actions speak loudly.
I hate to be watched riding...but I will mount up to demonstrate a animal can do or how to do if I must...
I have the knowledge, I don't have the gift to share my knowledge when it must be spoken during a live lesson...
I am not a trainer, and no way a instructor either. I am a rider, decent but far from great...
That if you are lucky is what has had your horse to train....
Any good rider with solid basics should be able to evaluate your horse and what has been taught and what was not in about an hours ride...then you go forward to fix, fill in or truly educate the animal, then both of you to learn together.
180 rides your horse should know and been introduced, but far from "made"...the foundation though should firmly be in place or the holes will be glaring to a real rider of decent ability. Truth.
You needed basic education put in place, not fancy if you are wanting a safe trail horse as you said elsewhere I remember. This horse needs to understand w/t/c, turns, stop...how to navigate uneven surfaces, think and be nonreactive if it gets the hooves caught in something...how to cross water safely, how to protect you, go over or around trees, open gates, close gates...ride in company or alone...how to load on a trailer of any design and stay put till told to get off.
It needs exposure to all the things we take for granted of garbage roadside blowing, smoke from a fire and not to panic but listen to you to get away from danger.
This animal needs life skills not the skills of a show horse but a working horse who will ride trails...basics that then as you ride together, learn to trust each other you expand and progress together in your expertise...

I'm glad you are leaving.
It's past time to go elsewhere or home as you want.
You both, the horse and you deserve better and add your husband into that as you are so stressed & unhappy he walks on egg-shells to not upset you further. Truth...yes?
Now...don't allow her to walk all over you with excuses of why she can't give you verbal or written directions/instructions on what has been trained and is it finished, accomplished learned or a work in progress.
She can, she must and no excuses do you take...for the sake of your horse you need to know.

I will now go 🤐 and continue to read and follow.
I promise I will try to keep my fingers and hands still, away from the keyboard.
I wish you all the best....you got this and don't let this person tell you otherwise!
🐴...
 

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“It was best for the horse.”
Well only the future will tell for sure! I hope for his and your sake that this holds true.
 
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