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polebendingbeauty

Should trainer get the boot?

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Ok so I got a trainer to help me start english and over jumps. This lady, I'll call her "Darcy", was recommended by one of my fellow boarders. Says that she is a top trainer. Ok so I called her and asked her some questions and we agreed to have a lesson. The first thing she did was show up and look my horse over with a snarly look. I tack him up with her eagle eye watching over my shoulder. She double checked all my tack after I got everything on him. I have been riding for years and I felt like a 6 yr old again. so anyways I mounted up and we started the lesson. I started at a walk and she says take it up to a trot. That is when things went to well ****. She immediatly started barking out orders like wrong diagnol and take up more rein " straight line from bit to arm" "more leg" . good grief i didn't relize that i had hired a drill sgt. After the hlaf hr lesson she tells me that although he is a nice horse he is not english enough to win blues. His head is too high and his trot not smooth enough. She might work with me but she normally works with top riders and horses, but she guesses that she can work with me and my horse, that we MIGHT get good enough. I took offence and darcy and I got into it because i told her that I want to work with someone that believes that with work he and I can win. Isn't it the trainers job to help us learn and to get better not tell me that we will never be winners? I think he looks wonderful. A little long in his back but he has looooooooooooong legs.

Anyways I enclosed a standing picture of him. do you think he is horrible looking?

I am going to get a friend to take some action shots of us riding sometime this weekend well hopefully.

But anyways shoulf I kick darcy to the curb and hire another trainer? This is my first time with a trainer so I am looking for opinions.

-

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Don't train with someone like that unless that style works for you. Did you ride well? If not then find someone else.

I'd like to see more pics before determining whether he is horrible or not [Razz] . He looks like he's over at the knee and really upright in the front pasterns, in addition to standing way under himself. He also looks pretty badly sickle hocked but muc of this could be the way he has been photographed.

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Don't stay with them if their style doesn't work for you, but do understand (you said this was your first lesson with a trainer) that it's their JOB to yell instructions at you. You are paying them to tell you everything you're doing wrong.

However, different trainers work for different people. Personally I like a trainer that's super harsh and willing to say "don't be a whiny brat and get the job done." Other people like trainers that are more soft-spoken. It's whatever you work best with.

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To be fair...if I don't know a rider, I check over all their tack because I have no idea if what they claim to know is what they actually know. But if you don't like being yelled at, find someone else. However, I have no way of knowing if what she said is true or not. Regardless, you should at least find someone who breaks bad news to you (assuming it is true) in a way that you can handle. For example, "I'm not sure that he will be a top notch hunter, but we'll take him as far as you both can go" rather than "you are hopeless and suck".

On a different note, I'm always very weary about jumping a horse that is over in the knee as it poses safety issues.

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I can't say much about the way she teaches, everyone has their own way of teaching. I do not and would not teach that way, but everyone has their own style. I for one also check the tack of a new rider as well. I have had many students that brag about all this riding they have done in their life only to find out that they don't know how to groom or tack up. What I don't agree with is her belittling your horse like that. As a trainer she should give you some things to work on, if conformationly he's not a hunter, then she should discuss this with you in a professional manner. If he does turn out to be the winner that you hope he is then you will have the satisfaction of knowing that your hard work, patientce, and training made his that way. It is not her place to belittle him it is her place to point you in the right direction to find out what he can do! BTW he is a cutie!

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quote:

Originally posted by Mith:

On a different note, I'm always very weary about jumping a horse that is over in the knee as it poses safety issues.

Actually not true. Over at the knee may look funky but poses no safety or even soundness issues at all.

Back at the knee on the other hand risks severe soundness issues for jumping horses.

I've known many a jumping horse, upper levels even, that have been over at the knee with zero issues and no more propensity to stumble then a straight kneed horse. I have two or three in the barn right now and have known several in the course of my career.

The over at the knee horses I have known have been extremely sound, "made of steel" workhorse types so I have come to view this conformational type as a utilitarian model.

Run screaming from back at the knee but don't give over at the knee a second doubt. It's really the least of his conformational concerns.

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I have been told by other people and riders that I am a good rider. I can't believe that they all lied to me now. I have had almost everyone that has seen my horse in an english saddle that he looks better that way than in a western. His head is a little high but he has also been doing western gaming and is just in need of training to get hismefl into proper carrying form. He has a looong trot and very quick canter but I am wanting to get his walk and trot as close to perfect before i start his canter work.

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Just because the horse looks good in an english saddle isn't a reason to switch disciplines. Do what you want to do with your horse. If you want to do both do both. Gaming isn't going to be good for a hunter training wise (we teach slow relaxed pace, not flat out gallops and tight turns) but if you're not planning to show and want to do it for fun, or only plan to show at 4-h type shows you should be fine.

You hired a trainer with lots of showing clients that are winning consistantly (or so she says). People don't get to the top with sugar coated lessons. George Morris checks riders tack before teaching them as well. No matter what the level. Heck I watched a video of him giving Ian Miller a lesson and he checked his tack. This is normal. Judging from what you say she said, I'm guessing when you picked up your trot your reins were all over the place, you had the wrong diagonal and therefore were off balance. She probably called it out to you quickly to fix everything before making things worse. No reason to trot on the wrong diagonal, ask for your trot transition so that your first step is the outside shoulder going foward and rise right away. This makes it easy and will always put you on the right diagonal without having to check it. If you don't do this than be sure you check your diagonal as soon as you pick up your trot.

You don't have to win at shows to determine whether or not you have a nice horse. Set personal goals for yourself. Achieve those goals. If you get a ribbon, great, if not, at least you accomplished something. Plus you aren't going to be showing for a while anyways if you are just starting out. I'd try another lesson if you think it's worth it. Go into the lesson with a better attitude and try and stay positive. See what you can learn. Do what she says, try her suggestions, get used to it being tough. Don't go in with a "I've been riding for 6 years and I know everything" attitude. You haven't been riding hunters for 6 years, in our sport you're a beginner. So she's going to teach the lesson like you are one.

[ 09-28-2007, 12:48 PM: Message edited by: tvp ]

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If you don't like her or mesh well with her, yes get a new trainer. A trainer should be positive and upbeat, make you feel good at the same time as helping you fix faults [smile]

You are the one paying, pay for somebody you mesh well with [smile]

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Something like this happened to me once lol. I was so mad, I quit the barn and moved on to a new one. I was nervous to canter after I broke my wrist cantering my mare at a show, I had just started learning to canter, I asked her to canter, my saddle slid around her tummy and I landed on my wrist breaking it. My case isnt quite as bad as yours lol, but it was still discouraging. I started taking lessons at this well recommended barn, I rode there for maybe a month, I was having a horrible time with my cantering issues, I would go into a canter and I would blank right out, and the horse would gallop for the front door of the arena everytime. It was scaring me more and more. So finally by the end of the month, the lady said, maybe riding isnt for you, maybe you should take up something else, like art, or something...like I siad its not that bad, but I didnt want to do something else, I already had three horses at home, and I wanted to ride! I was going to her for help to over come my fear. I left that barn and started riding at another barn not long after, and I was canter dressage pattern by that fall. It was great. I have had a decent canter ever since, thanks to that second instructor not giving up on me. SOme instructors and riders just dont match, I would look else where if you were not comfy with her. Good luck.

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Some people aren't cut out for riding with the "drill sergeant" types.. and some are. Instead of thinking of it poorly, think of it positively. The trainer is there to point out what you're doing wrong, and reward what you're doing right. Obviously if she pointed things out, you needed to correct them. Changing a diagonal should be automatic, by her telling you more leg, more whoa.. whatever.. That is a GOOD thing. Be glad you don't have a lazy trainer that only sits on their lazy duff saying good job, excellent, well done, gooooooooood.. etc. I cannot STAND those people, and I refuse to ride with anyone that would give a lesson that way. I want to be told what I am doing and how to fix it. Not sitting wondering if I am potentially doing something incorrectly. If that is not the type of teaching style you like, by all means find someone else.. because it will never work.

Granted I think that if she honestly did say I only work with top riders.. Just like that.. THAT is not the best way to word it. However, I do know trainers that really only accept clients willing to be showing on the circuit. Big deal. They don't just say something like that. They let the client know what is expected or what have you.

What has been said about the horse looking great under tack. That's great. It means very little though. A horse has to be able to do his job correctly to be functional and successful as a mount. Perhaps he is not suited for a career as an english riding horse. Who is to say without seeing him personally. You will not always find a trainer that is going to bow down and promise you things that may or may not be attainable. Make sense? You have to be willing to work with the trainer, not against them.

If it were me that you'd gotten into it with, I'd never accept you as a client after that. Granted I'd NEVER tell someone that they weren't of my standard.. because that's not who I am. I enjoy clients that have passion, determination and at least some form of talent... heck I enjoyed all the students I had back when I was still working with horses. I think in your instance finding a new and more suitable trainer is your best bet.

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If you don't like the way she taught you in your first lesson by barking out orders of what you are doing wrong, dump her but that could be just the first lesson. If I were you I would have one more lesson to see if thats just her and the way she teaches or mabey she just had a bad day. I don't know. If you had a horrible first lesson and you hated how it went then I wouldn't give it another try with her. A trainer is supposed to tell you what you are doing wrong but encourage you in a positive way do correct it. Not down grade you and your horse by saying yall will never win. You are also supposed to have fun in your lessons and it sounded like you didn't. I think you should give her one more try and if she is the same find a new trainer.

Good Luck!! [Wink]

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quote:

I think you should give her one more try

I called her and asked her if she would try one more lesson and she told me that she has picked up 3 new students and would not be taking on anymore. Said good luck in finding a trainer. I asked her if she could recommend someone who might be avalable and she said no and hung up. oh well just wasn't meant to be i guess so anyways I just talked to a firend from the barn because i was whining to her and she says she knows a lady that has done hunter and jumper for about 10 years and she might be willing to coach me. So I am awaiting a return call from my friend to see if this lady will actually help. I will keep everyone posted.

Thanks for all the replys.

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Where in Oregon are you? You can pm the answer if you want. Although I don't teach anymore I do have a great network of very good trainer friends I would happily recommend in the West Portland area. If not some of them may know people in other areas. This board is a great resource for networking. Don't give up OK? [Huggy]

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