Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Put up or Shut up!

As a student taking lessons I for the most part always trusted my trainers. I always got to watch them ride their horses and I would sit in awe and absorb everything I could. If there was ever a question on if I felt safe or confident enough to do something, then my trainers would actually SHOW me. That worked out great as I am more of a visual learner anyway. I always figured, well if my trainer could do, and he asks me to do it, then why the hell not?!?!?!?

I kind of adopted that as one of mantras. I will NEVER ask a student to do something that I myself, won't, can't am to scared to do.
This all came into play after I met a student who was a bit older than me and she told me that her instructor was having her do these terrifying jump combos, and she kept screwing them up. She didn't feel advanced enough or confident enough. She was having trouble understanding what is was that she was doing wrong, let alone what she doing period!!! So one day before her lesson she asked her instructor to show her how to actually do the combo. Well her instructor skirted around the subject, told her to get ready and get into the arena. So it came time to do the jump and again she said, "I really want to see YOU do this combo so that I can understand it better. Can you please, please show me." Well the instructor grabbed ANOTHER student, threw her up on the horse and made the other student do it instead. Hmmmm that doesn't seem too fair now does it? When you are paying for a PROFESSIONAL to school you and teach you and they charge you an arm and a leg, don't you think you see some proof in the pudding? Well as it turned out that particular student actually NEVER saw the instructor EVER ride!! Her "assistant" would always ride. Now I happen to know the instructor that she was referring too and even knew a couple other people who had ridden with her and there was NEVER a reason for her not to ride or show her students. She wasn't hurt, disabled, old, fat, skinny, NOTHING!! Now as it actually turns out when the instructor was younger, apparently she took a spill in a 3'6 hunter over fences class. That's it. Nothing hurt but her pride. So why does this seem to be a pet peeve of mine???

Well as a trainer/instructor there is a definite level of trust that you have to have with your students and vice versa. I get nervous over some things and when I do I just have to pull that confidence back out and do it. OR I will re-evaluate the situation. So if I, as a trainer don't feel comfortable with something why would I throw my students under the bus? I don't want them hurt or scared away from riding?? If I ask them to do something that they're sketchy on I will either A. find out why. What are their concerns? What are they feeling? or B. Show them. If it's a training issue like they're not ready or prepared to safely accomplish the task then that as a trainer is my fault. But if they're anxious, nervous or just excited, but are capable enough riders to accomplish said task, then if they need me to, I'll show them.

I am fully well aware that there are some fabulous trainers out there who MAY be incapable of doing this and that's fine too. Maybe they do have an injury, or can't do certain things for some reason, and actually those trainers are the damn BEST at explaining how to actual perform the task. And there maybe some students who just want to see the trainer ride, well I'm not going to be getting get up and down off a horse 20 times in one lesson, but I will do whatever I can to make sure that my lessons are being taught and understood clearly. Sometimes you won't be able to get your trainer on your horse because it's something that YOU need to learn to handle, and I do that as well, but there is no reason that you can't watch your trainer ride some other time. Find out when they ride and if they mind a small inquiring audience. You can also watch another more advanced rider take a lesson as well and see how the trainer is then too. You'll learn a lot by watching others ride. As a trainer my (our) mission should be (is) to keep everyone safe, learning, and having fun. Again some trainers may NOT be able to physically show you, don't hold that against them (make sure that it's genuine and they're not just being scaredy-pusses). BUT, for the most part they/we really need to put up or SHUT UP!!!

23 comments:

Rachel said...

LOL. I can't imagine having a trainer that wasn't riding regularly, or was jumping heights smaller than me. I don't think I could trust a trainer like that.

http://badwaystosellyourhorse.blogspot.com/

2toads2luv said...

Hey, anyone can stay at a Holiday Inn Express and call themselves a "trainer" or "instructor". But you'd better be able to walk the walk too. I've been in both situations, where said instructor was unable to get on my horse and demonstrate said manuever. I've also been floored by others who show that magic touch, and can TEACH you what they did to get the result.

Great post!

Trainer X said...

I just couldn't imagine putting my students in a situation that, I wouldn't do. Now that i think about that goes for horses too. If I'm training a horse, I wouldn't treat or have that horse do something any different than my own either...

MomofthePolka-DotPony said...

I agree with this. I did not personally see my coach ride for probably the first 5 years of my taking lessons with her, but I knew she evented up to Intermediate so I really have no problem with anything she asks me to do. If i do say so myself, my coach is pretty damn brilliant - and even more so after I've had a chance to see her ride!

kestrel said...

Oh yeah, and the trainer who's own horses are complete jerks...that know everything, just ask them!
I actually had a situation where I was training my horse at a friend's barn, and came in early to find another trainer using my horse...WITHOUT PERMISSION...as a lesson horse for kids who couldn't even ride the flat! Poor guy was getting his lips jerked off. The trainer owned 3 lesson horses that were so sour she couldn't use them. Ya think? Okay, obviously not!
Air turned purple, chased other trainer with riding crop, took my horse home. Got rep of being an unreasonable bitch..yup, that's me!

Trainer X said...

Chased her with a riding crop!?!??! She's lucky that's ALL you chased her with!!! Amen Kestrel!!! It's ok I thoroughly enjoy my bitchfits too!! LMAO!!!

kestrel said...

Hey, who knew the woman could run that fast!?

Trainer X said...

LMFAO!!!!

2toads2luv said...

Kestrel, unreasonable bitch? Good for you! I'll take your "unreasonable bitch" ANYDAY over some pissant who thinks they can take and use my horse w/o permission.

What the hell????

Another stop on our road trip to ask, WTF were you thinking?

Trainer X said...

OMG! Greatest Road Trip EVER!!!!! Look OUT Asshats!!! You've got some tough angry bitches after you!!!!! Mwuahahahahaa!!!!!

kestrel said...

Sign me up and I'll bring the tequila! Walk by slappings...so we have time to do it right.

Trainer X said...

I see margaritas in our future!!! Yum Yum!!!

2toads2luv said...

Ok, so we have TX, GoLightly, Kestrel, Amanda, and 2toads2luv.. SO FAR. Let's see how many else want to join the ASSHAT BEATING by BITCHES ROADTRIP...

Kestrel has tequila, so I get to sit next to her! I'll bring the chips and dip, and a nasty, double twisted wire long shanked bitch of a bit to shove in the mouths of the asshats we visit along the way...

Trainer X said...

Yes, and this is going to be even MORE super funzies under the infuence of Tequila!!! *Woot woot* And my weapon of choice shall be... hmmmmmm dressage whip? Spurs? My own fists? Oooh I'll need to think on it!

2toads2luv said...

Duct tape, did I mention that? To hold the bit in place... Oh yeah, did I forget that part? Bawahaha!

Hyena Overlord said...

My last trainer hadn't ridden in years. Didn't ride her previous horse, always cited kids, time, traffic blah blah. When he was gone she wouldn't ride, didn't have a horse, then she bought a horse but she doesn't ride it. It's leased to two girls who ride it where she teaches.

She held our horses so we could get on and off. We did our lessons indoors, only changed direction once, did serpentines, circles and no cantering. I'd ridden with her for over 12 years. We used to have fun lessons then everything stopped being fun.

When I complained the barn owner said it was the instructors job to plan her lessons as she saw fit. Even saying that no one was learing anything didn't do any good. Neither did asking to be moved to another lesson or to take private lessons.

I found another barn, not a easy task here in Nova Scotia. Now I have two fabulous instructors who both ride and still show. I should have left years ago. There's so much time to make up. Leave, if your instructor is bored with their job, doesn't know what they're doing or has coach/B/O employer monitoring their services.

Hyena Overlord said...

doesn't have a their lessons monitored is what I meant

GoLightly said...

Hmm, this ones a bit tricky for me to opinion8 on. My cousin, a great rider/trainer, was diagnosed with epilepsy 30 years ago.. She doesn't ride much at all anymore. But she can, and does, coach really well, at her great old age:)
But yeah, young strong fit, get on that damned beast! Show me how it's done! I got to ride several horses deemed not worthy of riding, by the resident trainer, it was a boon to me, more beasts to ride:)
Kestrel, wow, and the person lived! You have SUCH self control.

And call me when the bus leaves..

Mikolaj said...

Our friend Wendy used to coach when she lived up in Yellowknife, and when we met her, due to a schedule, she hadn't ridden in quite awhile (nothing serious anyway). We were fully aware of this, and seeing as how my friend was just learning English, I think she was a great coach. It's one thing to admit your limitations and be totally honest with students and let them decide if you're still a suitable trainer - trying to skirt the issue is just idiotic. We were all aware Wendy could never coach us doing 3'0" courses, and she'd never TRY for that exact risk - of someone getting hurt. I don't know how people can be so bloody retarded and full of themselves that they're prepared to teach shit they know nothing about.

Trainer X said...

Golightly~ and that is exactly what I'm talking about. A rider/trainer who is actually WORTH their salt, but due to some unfortunate circumstance is unable to ride. Those people I will stand behind 100% but the not pussy, big talker, loudmouthed, A-Holes *WHOA got a little carried away!!*
OH and I made my font bigger just for you, so it can't be that bad to read ;) LOLZ Luv ya!

horsesandponies4ever said...

This is the one reason why I love my instructor so much. She has patients with me, when most people would throw in their hats T_T;. She's more than willing to have me hop down, and she'll hop up, and show me what I was doing wrong, and how it was affecting the horse, and what I should be doing in order to improve. Plus when she explains something, it's straight to the point. My previous instructors, one who through she was better than everyone else (slams head against wall), and than two very old people. The one who thought she was better than everyone else, she belittled everything you did wrong, and would only pay attention to one person. Needless to say, I only stayed with her for a month. I would rather be with 'he who talks wwwaayyy to much', because he was more forth coming. Yes and he was old, and so was his wife.... And when I came across my current instructor, it was like fate was being kind (shock). She gave me the confidence that I needed. I knew she had show experience, but didn't gloat about it, unlike other said instructor.... The distance was twice the distance of the previous stable, but I liked her, so needless to say, as long as she keeps teaching, I'll keep being her student.

Paigeley said...

here in my town there is a trainer that has NEVER, that's right NEVER ridden a horse in her life!!! and you ask how she teaches??? she audited at her daughter's lessons, yup you heard that right. and just for your entertainment pleasure here are some of her "training techniques that she developed" exhibit A: chasing said lazy horse that isn't getting enough food around said arena with said golf cart exhibit B: learning to jump higher jumps before smaller ones helps you learn to jump the smaller ones exhibit C: putting your heels down is WRONG!! instead pull them up!! exhibit D: my friend (who quit jumping because of her, now does saddleseat) was at a show and got bucked off by the "kid-safe horse" and got thrown into the fence, don't worry she was lucky and didn't break anything, scared the shit out of her though!!

Paigeley said...

OH!!! i forgot and i quote " she is the number one trainer of children in our area, teaching them to be safe around horses, she also has the number one winning barn in the area!!" ok first NOT THE SHOWS I'VE BEEN TO!! every single one fell off!!
anyway on the road trip can we make a stop here i'd really love to beat her with a PVC pipe and chase her with a golf cart!!
paige
http://sincerelypaigeley.blogspot.com/