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WWYD?
Aug. 6, 2009, 02:16 PM
I am an adult who has been jumping for 30 years. I enjoy the lessons with my instructor greatly except for certain days. These are the days that gymnastics are set up. Normally, I enjoy this type of work. This particular instructor, however, typically sets the strides at very awkward distances. The striding is always set veeeerry loooong. I have gotten to the point where I just dread doing them because the only way to try and make it through is just to literally run at them. All students must trot into the gymnastics, but the kicker is that the next jump is set at the standard horse length of twelve feet. Just. Too. Hard.

For example, if I was jumping through a two stride, the first fence would be a trot-in followed 36 feet later by the second obstacle. Now, books about gymnastic design (for example, 101 Jumping Exercises for Horse & Rider, by Linda Allen), suggest that the trot in-fence should be compensated for by shortening the distance to the second fence. A one-stride (following a trot in first fence) should have a spacing of 18 feet, and a two stride should be set at about 28 feet. To try and make a two stride set at the full 36 feet requires a major flyer. All the students attempting this either had to run their horses hard at the fence to try and make the distance, or wind up chipping badly—it’s a mess. These gymnastics don’t accomplish anything and hurt my confidence level because they are just so awkward/difficult.

Well, I’ve just had it and so confronted my instructor recently in the lesson. The instructor replied that I was wrong, and that the distances should always be twelve feet even with a trot in. Instructor was also very icy in the response and I was a hairsbreadth away from being kicked out of the lesson.

I still do not want to jump through these scary/awkward gymnastics anymore. I also don’t want to change instructors because, except for this striding issue, the instruction really is quite good. (But believe me, I’ve thought about it.)

So, my question is, how can I ask my instructor to change things a little without causing offense? I’m afraid if I ask again, that I will be kicked out for talking back. On the other hand, these “gymnastics” are borderline dangerous. I just don’t enjoy doing them. But I know, sooner or later, the gymnastics will appear again and that there will be another confrontation.

How can I (A) have the instructor become more open minded and modify the gymnastics to a more comfortable distance?
Or (B) just tell her I don’t enjoy gymnastics and therefore don’t want to do them anymore?

Thanks, any advice would be appreciated, especially from students or instructors who have resolved a confrontation with a happy outcome.

SillyHorse
Aug. 6, 2009, 02:19 PM
Give her a copy (complete with gift wrapping and a bow) of 101 Jumping Exercises for Horse and Rider.

Seven-up
Aug. 6, 2009, 02:28 PM
I would say, "Hey, Instructor, I read about this really neat gymnastic exercise. Why don't we set it up and try it out?" Maybe pick one that's different than the ones she's been butchering. If Instructor is one of those who thinks that you couldn't possibly know anything even though you've been riding for 30 years, hand over the book so she can pretend she's getting info from the book instead of you.

I get the feeling that if she's already P.O.'ed about you challenging her, she'll smell what you're trying to do a mile away. You may end up having to make a decision about either quitting the gymnastics or finding a new trainer. That's a shame, because when set up correctly, gymnastics are wonderful. But as you already know, when they're set up wrong, they will make a mess out of horse and rider. The thing is, for the most part, gymnastics should be set up to fit the horse, not the other way around. It's not a one size fits all thing.


ETA: Oh, and I would try to not to correct a trainer during a lesson unless it's a private one. Unless of course she's asking everyone to jump a fence made of barbed wire that she sets on fire. Then I might speak up.

woops
Aug. 6, 2009, 02:32 PM
I would talk to the trainer privately and ask why she sets it that way,
let her know it rides long and makes you feel like he is pulling as opposed to rocking on his hocks-- and say something of the sort that it just feels risky on your horse.
You owe fairness & safety to the ole POny!!!

bornfreenowexpensive
Aug. 6, 2009, 02:33 PM
I'd get a new instructor. Sorry....any instructor that off on setting distances (and not adjusting an exercise for the horses to get a good training result) isn't very good and not worth spending money on. I would be questioning every thing they say or do.....that is just too basic of a mistake.

BuddyRoo
Aug. 6, 2009, 02:37 PM
Does instructor ride? Could you ask instructor to please get on your horse and show you how to "properly execute this gymnastic from the trot" because you're having difficulty? Perhaps if instructor had to actually ride it, instructor would hop on the clue train.

2bayboys
Aug. 6, 2009, 02:41 PM
I would also be looking elsewhere, and I have for this very reason. Gymnastics are basic and very necessary and can easily destroy a horse's confidence if set improperly. Not to mention why pay somebody for something when they obviously know less about it than you do and can't be bothered to learn?

It's not your job to train the trainer.

CenterStage123
Aug. 6, 2009, 02:41 PM
Or you could just ignore the trot in and canter into the gymnastic

fancyfooted
Aug. 6, 2009, 02:42 PM
Sounds to me like the instructor just doesn't know she's setting long. I would pull her aside with a copy of 101 Jumping Exercises and talk about distances for gymnastics, which are different than for regular canter-in work.

RugBug
Aug. 6, 2009, 02:44 PM
A trot in two-stride is not 36'. Usual protocol when trotting in a line (any line, even a combination or gymnastic) is to add one stride to the canter in count. If you're doing an average 4 stride at the canter (60') it would be a 5 stride if you trotted in. Trotting in to 36' should be about 3 strides (probably a quiet three for most horses).

If your trainer doesn't realize that, I would either a)add the stride myself or b)excuse myself from any gymnastic exercises.

I would not, however, try to correct trainer during a lesson. That's not going to go well and will only be seen as you trying to undermine her authority.

One thing I might do is set my own gymnastic and do it myself. Hopefully trainer would see you being successful and wonder what the difference is. 'Course this is a very passive-agressive way of dealing with the issue, but if all else fails...I'd give it a shot. :winkgrin:

Mee
Aug. 6, 2009, 02:46 PM
This is ridiculous. You should not be paying for instruction on something that is blatantly wrong. Why is this trainers instruction so much better without the gymnastics? Is she really teaching you anything? Why do you like her?

mvp
Aug. 6, 2009, 02:52 PM
You are right and she is wrong.

Problem 1: You are the paying ammy, she is the paid pro

Problem 2: Gymnastics can be fantastic when set intelligently and with a purpose. The best of the best hunter gurus do this. They can be something between "wasted jumps" and scary for horse and rider when done without enough knowledge.

So you must do something, even if that's skipping gymnastics day lessons.

Problem 3: You and trainer don't have a good way to talk about what you need at the moment. The pro should Man Up and get over the shock of your "challenge," but might not be able to just yet.

I think other posters have given you good ideas about how to broach the subject. I agree that a private convo, and the innocent "Hey, look what I learned! The bigwigs do say to shorten the distances to accommodate for the fact that the trotting horse will land closer to the base of the first one" may work. But you might need to just put some time between your last discussion and this one.

On the other hand, I was in the same situation and learned something. The pro had set the distances at cantering-length distances and that got my panties in a wad. Of course, she and I agreed that my horse really needed to learn to canter slowly and stretch out his stride without me chasing and causing him to answer with "ok, bizzatch, you get shorter but faster." I'll be damned if he didn't do that by sizing up the too-long distance and making it work.

Come Shine
Aug. 6, 2009, 02:57 PM
lol. Does the instructor also judge? We had a judge once, in an eq work-off, who lowered the in of the in-and-out and wanted us to trot in. All righty.

MILOUTE55
Aug. 6, 2009, 02:58 PM
Does instructor ride? Could you ask instructor to please get on your horse and show you how to "properly execute this gymnastic from the trot" because you're having difficulty? Perhaps if instructor had to actually ride it, instructor would hop on the clue train.

yes, I think that would be the best thing to do :yes:

BaliBandido
Aug. 6, 2009, 02:58 PM
What state are you in? I know an instructor who does the same thing and when I discussed it with that person, the response I got back was not good! We were talking about distances changing in hunterland when the fences got higher- like from the 3' divisions to the 4' regulars. I was told there was no way the lines could be set any longer than a 12' stride because the only horses who could make that were racehorses!! huh? ok, then!

forestergirl99
Aug. 6, 2009, 03:02 PM
I would get a different instructor. I have only been riding 7 years, and I can set up fairly accurate related distances. If they are off, if is normally by no more than 1-2 feet, not by 10 or more feet. That's almost a whole stride off!!! :eek: If you ask me, that is simply ridiculous.

WWYD?
Aug. 6, 2009, 03:03 PM
Thanks for the responses so far. I'm actually quite worried about it because the instructor truly does NOT know that the gymnastics needs to be adjusted for the trot in. This is for my safety as well as the safety of the many juniors also taking instruction who do not yet realize that these distances are not set correctly.

Interestingly, the instructor does not jump though the gymnastics that he/she designs. I think if he/she did, that they would understand the awkwardness of the distance. I'm not going to let him/her go through on my horse though because it would put my horse in an awkward, crash worthy situation.

I would canter through if I could, but there is usually a trot pole or two set up in front of the first fence to prevent it. I do try and ask for the canter a step before the jump to try and get the distance in, but the jumps are still always flyers. I can't add up either because there are placement poles set at 12 foot intervals. I'm here right now still shaking about this.

I did make the confrontation in the middle of a group lesson--I guess that was an oops.

GreystoneKC
Aug. 6, 2009, 03:11 PM
This is a shame. You are right, she is wrong. Gymnastics are an amazing tool and something that can and SHOULD be taylored to each horse and rider and the desired goal for the day!

Even within one group lesson, it may be difficult to have all horses and riders in the lesson jumping the exact same gymnastic set at the same lengths. When I did camp 2 weeks ago, I had a gymnastics day and I had to set up our gymnastics line once for the ponies, and then again for the horses. When I was having my students come through with no reins, I shortened it up a little just to make it a little easier so that the test became the no reins, not the gymnastic. Gymnastics can easily scare a horse or rider when no set correctly!

Summit Springs Farm
Aug. 6, 2009, 03:29 PM
If your instructor doesn't know how to set fences then what else doesn't she know?
If she can't see with her own two eyes that the distance is wrong, then she is a not qualified to teach. IMO.

LH
Aug. 6, 2009, 03:36 PM
Get new trainer.

This is gymnastics 101. I won't pay $$ to people who know less about riding a horse than I do.

From your post, there is nothing positive that will come out of you trying to correct the trainer, even though you are totally correct.

And just fyi, we set the gymnastics even a little shorter than "standard", even when the jumps go up - teaches horse to rock back, slow down, etc. Not all horses can do this, but you get the picture.

SprinklerBandit
Aug. 6, 2009, 04:06 PM
It sounds like you addressed this in a group lesson, which the instructor could see as you undermining his/her authority. Although it sounds like you were correct, I can understand them having a bad reaction to it.

Unfortunately, you're now in a bit of a bind. The instructor is going to be very sensitive about this. If you want to stay with this instructor, I'd recommend a gift of some sort--gift certificate for dinner, something--with an apology for your behavior. Although you were right, you addressed it poorly. Then explain that you and your horse struggle with that distance and explain that it's easier for you to canter in.

I hope the situation isn't too far gone. If he/she doesn't want to listen and insists on this method, I would recommend changing trainers. This sounds rather unsafe.

suze
Aug. 6, 2009, 04:13 PM
If your instructor doesn't know how to set fences then what else doesn't she know?
If she can't see with her own two eyes that the distance is wrong, then she is a not qualified to teach. IMO.

My opinion, too. Any competent instructor knows distances and how important it is to set them correctly. I'd find someone who knows what they're doing.

mvp
Aug. 6, 2009, 04:16 PM
Along the striding lines. What up with the new "standard" stride of 13+ for hunter courses?

Yes, I understand that the total distance for a line between 4' fences will be longer than the same one between 3' fences because the horses will leave and land farther from their base.

But I'm confused. For as long as I can remember, the rule was 12' per stride plus 6' (twice) for take off and landing. This can't be ideal for all heights, but I seem to recall that every book and article traditionally counts in base 12 to establish a rather standard set of distances in feet for lines.

Has the world changed with the infusion of huge, long-strided "walking" WBs? Was it always this way and I just never got it because I didn't show on/with the Big Dogs?

2bayboys
Aug. 6, 2009, 04:17 PM
The instructor's authority comes from being right, knowing the job, and being able to back up whatever they teach with demonstration or proven theory. If an instructor is "challenged", then they should offer to get on the horse and perform the exercise correctly.

The OP does not owe the instructor an apology for pointing something out that was wrong and potentially dangerous. We owe at least that much to our horses.

LH
Aug. 6, 2009, 04:37 PM
Along the striding lines. What up with the new "standard" stride of 13+ for hunter courses?

Yes, I understand that the total distance for a line between 4' fences will be longer than the same one between 3' fences because the horses will leave and land farther from their base.

But I'm confused. For as long as I can remember, the rule was 12' per stride plus 6' (twice) for take off and landing. This can't be ideal for all heights, but I seem to recall that every book and article traditionally counts in base 12 to establish a rather standard set of distances in feet for lines.

Has the world changed with the infusion of huge, long-strided "walking" WBs? Was it always this way and I just never got it because I didn't show on/with the Big Dogs?

yep - not to highjack the OP's topic, but although gymnastics are generally set on the 12' (or shorter to encourage horse to learn how to balance, or longer to teach them to stretch), the lines in 3'6" hunter classes are generally set on a 12'6" or 13' step. This is not anything new. The 3' hunters are typically on a 12' stride, with maybe another 2 or 3 feet in a line if it's a big ring.

dab
Aug. 6, 2009, 04:38 PM
I liked the idea of asking the instructor to ride the exercise, but I wouldn't do that with my own horse either --

I've given Linda Allen's book before as a gift to a trainer who seemed stuck in a rut, but it didn't help (She was going through a tough time in her personnal life, and I just don't think she was feeling up to put much energy into lessons at that time) -- I still like the idea of giving that or a similar book -- But, I may be showing my bias -- I learn a lot by reading -- I think most pros tend to be 'natural' riders, and they tend to learn either by seeing or feeling -- Still Linda's book, or Jimmy Wofford's small book of gymnastic exercises, are full of diagrams and might work well for a visual learner --

I would avoid confrontations in a group lesson --

I like the idea of picking a suitable gymnastic from a book and asking to work on that -- Bring the book in so that she can take the info from the source -- Maybe ask for a private lesson to work on this --

But, the fact that this instructor is watching riders have problems with the exercise, yet doesn't adjust it, is a big red flag for me -- Good trainers watch the horse and tweek the exercises to get the best from horse and rider -- If this instructor can't see or is ignoring what is happenning, then I worry about her putting horses and riders into more dangerous situation -- I'd be looking for a new instructor --

mvp
Aug. 6, 2009, 04:44 PM
Jimmy Toon and Jimmy Wofford are two masters of gymnastics. They set them to make a particular point to a horse and neither is afraid to move poles as necessary.

They rarely need to get one and ride it. They don't want the rider to help the horse as that defeats the purpose of letting the poles do the training, and the horse doing the thinking in a very simple situation. They also jump the minimum number of reps to get the change they want from the horse.

To me, these guys and their approach set the pace. If the trainer doesn't use gymnastics this way, and if the horse doesn't get better each time, it's time to get a new gymnastics trainer.

2bayboys
Aug. 6, 2009, 04:55 PM
I love Jimmy Wofford's little book on gymnastics, it's a great resource. He also explains that the standard distances in each exercise can and should be adjusted for each individual horse within reasonable bounds.

The other point about gymnastics exercises is that they are designed for specific purposes depending on the way they are set up. OP, can you ask your instructor what the specific purpose is behind the way he/she sets the exercise? A good instructor should be able to articulate the reason behind the lesson.

Vitriolic
Aug. 6, 2009, 05:07 PM
Get new trainer.

This is gymnastics 101. I won't pay $$ to people who know less about riding a horse than I do.

From your post, there is nothing positive that will come out of you trying to correct the trainer, even though you are totally correct.

And just fyi, we set the gymnastics even a little shorter than "standard", even when the jumps go up - teaches horse to rock back, slow down, etc. Not all horses can do this, but you get the picture.


I agree. For my 17.1 hh green with a huge stride TB, I set a bounce at 10' and have set a small in and out to 16 or 17' to trot in and lope out. If she is that incompetent and doesn't notice that your poor horse has to chip or launch, she is not capable of setting any jumps or noticing what you need to work on IMHO. . Why would someone think that jumping small quiet exercises to be entered from a trot could be done at the same distance you use for cantering courses?

ThirdCharm
Aug. 6, 2009, 05:46 PM
Oh. My. God.

I would not only interrupt the idjit b**ch in a lesson I would hire a skywriter to fly over her farm at regular intervals with a banner that says "TROT GYMNASTICS ARE NOT SET ON A 12' STRIDE, RUN KIDS RUN!!!"

Someone that ignorant should NOT be teaching lessons. All she has to do is PICK UP A BOOK! For the love of mercy!

Jennifer

Lucassb
Aug. 6, 2009, 05:55 PM
Any rider in any lesson with a *competent* professional trainer should be able to say, politely, "I do not feel comfortable doing that exercise," without penalty.

The trainer may then explain why they feel it would be beneficial, or perhaps provide a bit of extra confidence or encouragement, which may lead the rider to give it a try... but ultimately the decision is up to the one in the irons, and needs to be respected.

I personally would not ride with someone who didn't understand basic striding, not only because of the potential danger but because that is a real 101 issue and I would then question what else they might not know.

kookicat
Aug. 6, 2009, 06:04 PM
:eek:

I'd ask her for a quiet word before your lesson, and tell her exactly what you said here, that you're not comfortable riding the distances she sets. Then I would ask her to shorten them. If she says no, I would be looking for a new trainer or not riding the grids she sets.

spmoonie
Aug. 6, 2009, 06:45 PM
I had a trainer who set the gymnastics exercises at the most awful distances (and she had the 101 exercises book!!). Once it got to the point where my "jump-anything/never stops" pony started refusing, I left. It actually got pretty dangerous several times. Totally not worth it.

WWYD?
Aug. 6, 2009, 10:52 PM
I think there is alot of pressure on trainers to use gymnastics, because everyone knows that they are the cure for a host of evils including bad form, rushing, pulling, bucking, alien abductions and cellulite. However, setting the distances properly in a grid is not intuitive. Yet trainers set them up anyway.

mvp
Aug. 6, 2009, 10:57 PM
But useful grids, ground poles, shapes of fences to solve problems aren't rocket science, either.

I'm no Jimmy, but I think I could figure it out. Or buy a book. Or send many horses through a grid in a lesson and experiment until I learned how shorter/longer, pole somewhere, oxer vs. vertical or whatever affected the horse's mind and body.

WWYD?
Aug. 6, 2009, 11:52 PM
Yes mvp (and others), I would love to modify the plan away from the rigid 12 foot distance. This is what bothers me the most. Why would you send your students through this type of thing time after time? The only explanation I can come up with is that the instructor has been doing it this way for years so it just doesn't seem that incorrect anymore. Personally, I am still trying to figure out why, and have come to the conclusion that I just won't do the grids anymore if the striding remains screwy.

fourmares
Aug. 7, 2009, 03:06 AM
What makes you think that the rest of the training is good? Go in to the local tack shop and ask about your trainer as thought you are looking for a new trainer if they don't know who you ride with, or send a friend to do the same thing if the people working in the store know who you ride with... it's probably the best way to get an honest opinion of the quality of the training that you are receiving. Pay close attention to the wording response and the body language because they might be willing to be outright negative.

Vitriolic
Aug. 7, 2009, 07:55 AM
If you want to stay with this instructor, I'd recommend a gift of some sort--gift certificate for dinner, something--with an apology for your behavior. Although you were right, you addressed it poorly. Then explain that you and your horse struggle with that distance and explain that it's easier for you to canter in.

I hope the situation isn't too far gone. If he/she doesn't want to listen and insists on this method, I would recommend changing trainers. This sounds rather unsafe.

I am stunned by this response. Why suck up to a dangerous, incompetent trainer. They are out there and often get and keep clients by the strength of their personalities, not the strength of their skills. I briefly boarded at a barn where the trainer took me aside when I was walking by and he was teaching a lesson and asked if he should tell people to ride off their calves or their knees. He had a buyer (little kid) lined up to buy the 2 yr TB I just got free from the track for $3500 so we could split the money. I hightailed it out of there with my baby. His background was in western pleasure, but they had figured him out there so he decided to coach h/j instead. The day I shipped, he was trying to back a TB yearling in tight side reins. When I mentioned I feared for his life as well as the horses, he replied that he wanted the horse to know it had to go with "a bow in its neck from the beginning". It flipped and died a few days later. These people are out there maiming horses and riders. Don't encourage them. Find someone who isn't aggressive to questioning and isn't trying to kill you. :)

Addison
Aug. 7, 2009, 08:04 AM
SPRINKLERBANDIT...

The trainer is the one who made the mistake therefore, she is the one who should apologize to everyone she put through the gymnastic. Jumps with incorrect distances set between them are dangerous and someone could have been seriously injured.

A dangerous situation should be addressed the moment it is recognized without worrying about undermining someone's "authority".

And to the OP....I would find a new trainer, preferably someone who knows at least as much as you do.

fair judy
Aug. 7, 2009, 10:15 AM
give the woman a tape measure. :cool:

bumknees
Aug. 7, 2009, 12:15 PM
I had an instructor like this once. Only beyond being an instructor she was also the director of the equine program I was majoring in at the time. She wanted me to do something simular with the screwy horse I was riding. The horse was screwy before it arrived at hte university so she didnt have a hnd in that. But anyway she was dong nearly the same thing and she had the 101 books.. But apparently never botherd to actually read them. She set up the jumps and after a huge horse managed to fall trip what ever over the jump ( 16.3ish h vs the if lucky 15 h horse I was on) because hte distance was wrong I pulled up she started yelling at me to trot in canter out etc. I got off went to center of ring and said 'nope not going to risk my health or the health of the horse im riding because you cant count." This proceeded to become a screaming match with her screaming and me just going mmm that is nice etc with out raising my voice. After a few minutes of this I proceeded to hold out the reins for her to take which she did so I just dropped them and walked out. She threatened etc as i continued to walk out and straight to the pres. of the university's office to file a complaint against her.

She want happy about it but it got the point across at that time.. and at least with my class she didnt push the off distances again... But from what I have heard apparently the next fall she had forgotten what she had read only this time a student fell off and broke her back and attempted to bully the girl int ostandig up and getting back ont othe horse and continue to ride. Only when someone stopped her by physically holding her back did she stop and listen to the girl on the ground saying i cant feel my toes my back hurts etc.

Sad thing is the instructor is still employeed by the university... Life is way to short to do things that you know are not safe for you or the horse you are riding.

laves81
Aug. 7, 2009, 12:23 PM
Bumknees- you realize that you were in the wrong too. The part where you let the reigns drop and let your horse, is obnoxious. If you were excusing yourself from the lesson because it was unsafe, that's fine, but why didn't you put your horse away? I mean, come on- there is a difference between being assertive, and just being down right rude.

As for riding with a broken neck, or back or whatever it was that you "heard" I am not sure that's possible- I'm no MD though.

2bayboys
Aug. 7, 2009, 12:31 PM
Um, where does bumknees say that someone rode with a broken back? That's not what I read.

laves81, yours was an awfully defensive post, makes one wonder if you are perhaps the instructor that bumknees was talking about. Purely speculative on my part of course..................

There's no reason for anyone to be rude in a lesson, but my safety comes first and I would never allow myself to be bullied into doing something I knew was stupid.

WWYD?
Aug. 7, 2009, 12:58 PM
Thank-you everyone for the responses. I have put serious consideration into each. I kind of liked Sprinkerbandits idea for an apology and a gift. Here goes:

Dear Instructor,

I apologize for my inappropriate behavior the other day when I rudely interrupted your lesson. I feel especially badly about asking if you even “knew what the distance was supposed to be..” That was particularly harsh. Yes, and I would like to further apologize for not being able to ride in grids anymore if the striding is wacky. With my apologies, please accept this copy of “101 Exercises for Horse and Rider” with my compliments.

Yours,
WWYD

RugBug
Aug. 7, 2009, 01:11 PM
Thank-you everyone for the responses. I have put serious consideration into each. I kind of liked Sprinkerbandits idea for an apology and a gift. Here goes:

Dear Instructor,

I apologize for my inappropriate behavior the other day when I rudely interrupted your lesson. I feel especially badly about asking if you even “knew what the distance was supposed to be..” That was particularly harsh. Yes, and I would like to further apologize for not being able to ride in grids anymore if the striding is wacky. With my apologies, please accept this copy of “101 Exercises for Horse and Rider” with my compliments.

Yours,
WWYD

:eek: :lol: :eek:

You want to continue with this instructor, right? Your note isn't the way to go. It's not an apology at all (leaving whether or not she deserves one out of it).

You started out on a decent track, apologizing for being rude (which, wow, that comment was quite rude). But apologizing for not being able to ride wacky distances and 'oh, by the way, here's a book that proves I'm right?' :eek: :lol: don't fool yourself into thinking that's going to do anything but upset the trainer more...which may not be a bad thing and will force you to find someone new when you get kicked out of the barn.

If you really want to stay with the trainer, a simple 'I apologize for being rude in the lesson. I don't feel comfortable jumping the gymnastics as set, so in the future, I will excuse myself from any portion of a lesson involving them.'

Then, if she asks you to expound, come armed with information from the big names of the sport (GM, Bill Steinkraus, Frank Chapot, anyone you can get your hands on. I'm not sure Linda Allen will be household name enough...although she should be) and their knowledge on gymanstic distances.

dghunter
Aug. 7, 2009, 01:39 PM
I think even apologizing in a nice way but then giving the book might be thought of as rude. Sorry but if the trainer is sensitive then she might still get upset. It sucks, but it happens.

If I were you, I really would find a new instructor. For an instructor to not realize that the distances are set wrong and fix them is ridiculous. My trainer is always adjusting the striding for grids after the first time through depending on how we're going that day. I can understand working on a grid-like thing to work on shortening the strides or w/e. My trainer is currently working on getting a slightly tighter spot to fences to really make my horse use himself so our grids are set *slightly* short. Nothing that makes it a nasty spot or dangerous at all, which it sounds like yours are.

If this is the only trainer in the area that does h/j stuff then I would try and explain that you don't feel comfortable doing gymnastics anymore. I would also suggest something along the lines of "<horse> seems to really be <doing something> I think this grid will help, can we try it?" and then show her the grid that you found and set it up. Perhaps even offer to set it up for her if she'll let you.

laves81
Aug. 7, 2009, 01:43 PM
Um, where does bumknees say that someone rode with a broken back? That's not what I read.

laves81, yours was an awfully defensive post, makes one wonder if you are perhaps the instructor that bumknees was talking about. Purely speculative on my part of course..................

There's no reason for anyone to be rude in a lesson, but my safety comes first and I would never allow myself to be bullied into doing something I knew was stupid.

To answer your first question- it says someone broke their back in the second to last paragraph of her post. I misread that- I thought she said the girl got back on the horse.

I don't think that anyone should be bullied into doing something they aren't comfortable with, or that is dangerous either- which I said.

And your speculation is ridiculous. Laughable. You think I am the trainer in the story, because I see fault on both sides? I am just a big believer that a true horseman make care a priority. A disagreement with a trainer doesn't warrant abdoning your mount for someone else to take care of.

RugBug
Aug. 7, 2009, 01:47 PM
To answer your first question- it says someone broke their back in the second to last paragraph of her post.


Yes, it says someone broke their back, but it doesn't say that the person rode with a broken back. It says the trainer attempted to get the girl up and back on the horse but had to be restrained by another rider. You read it wrong to come up with this comment:


As for riding with a broken neck, or back or whatever it was that you "heard" I am not sure that's possible- I'm no MD though.

:rolleyes:

laves81
Aug. 7, 2009, 02:00 PM
Rugbug, you are correct. I was editing as you were responding.

bumknees
Aug. 7, 2009, 03:41 PM
No as far as i know lavs is not the person in question. Unless she has since moved east and commutes to a grt lake state to teach daily.

Imo with that particular person dropping the reins in front of her (and remember she had the oppertunity to take them from me prior to me dropping them) was the only way to get my point that I was leaving across. She reguards her self as a toughie and while she is short in stature(sp) she held the reins to my grades. And as she was the one who resorted to shouting at me and refusing to listen to comon sense it got my point across.

Cita
Aug. 7, 2009, 03:46 PM
:
You want to continue with this instructor, right? Your note isn't the way to go. It's not an apology at all (leaving whether or not she deserves one out of it).

You started out on a decent track, apologizing for being rude (which, wow, that comment was quite rude). But apologizing for not being able to ride wacky distances and 'oh, by the way, here's a book that proves I'm right?' :eek: :lol: don't fool yourself into thinking that's going to do anything but upset the trainer more...which may not be a bad thing and will force you to find someone new when you get kicked out of the barn.

If you really want to stay with the trainer, a simple 'I apologize for being rude in the lesson. I don't feel comfortable jumping the gymnastics as set, so in the future, I will excuse myself from any portion of a lesson involving them.'

Then, if she asks you to expound, come armed with information from the big names of the sport (GM, Bill Steinkraus, Frank Chapot, anyone you can get your hands on. I'm not sure Linda Allen will be household name enough...although she should be) and their knowledge on gymanstic distances.

Agreed!!

Though any time someone has a glaring lack of knowledge in one area, it does always make me think twice about what else they might be wrong about... I think you really need to sit down and take a good, long, hard look at why you want to stay with this trainer. If the trainer set up another type of jump/exercise that you felt was unsafe, would you still stay (just excusing yourself from that exercise)?

WWYD?
Aug. 7, 2009, 04:16 PM
Hmmm, you guys are giving me a lot to think about. I was rude, I do need to give a polite, sincere apology. However, I’m also beginning to think that my instructor needs to apologize in some way too. This apology should come through learning (maybe by reading- or ??) to set up safe, comfortable grids. If this doesn’t happen, then I’m starting to agree that there really is no point in continuing.. Like any training, gymnastics should be a great learning experience. When used incorrectly, they do more harm than good.

tcgelec
Aug. 7, 2009, 04:45 PM
One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from Michael Page, former Olympic Eventer. I DON'T normally hang around in those circles...but I was privileged to meet him when he was visiting at a barn that my daughter was taking lessons/showing at. DD's trainer had studied with Michael back in the day.

Anyway, Michael told me this: "If you don't have 100% trust in your trainer, go find another one". I thought that the statement was slightly over the top, at the time. You, know, exaggerated a little for effect...but I have since taken his words to heart. As I look back, in any student/trainer relationship that went bad, it was always precipitated by an incident that caused me to lose trust. As much as I might have wanted it to not be that way, for personal reasons, etc...once I longer trusted that the trainer was competent, and had my and my horse's best interest at heart all the time, the situation was no longer workable. Now that I realize that, I no longer let those situations drag out. And I am happy to say, that for the past year I have had the good fortune to be working with a trainer that I do trust 100%. It makes a big difference. I look forward to every lesson, and every show now.

dghunter
Aug. 7, 2009, 04:54 PM
One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from Michael Page, former Olympic Eventer. I DON'T normally hang around in those circles...but I was privileged to meet him when he was visiting at a barn that my daughter was taking lessons/showing at. DD's trainer had studied with Michael back in the day.

Anyway, Michael told me this: "If you don't have 100% trust in your trainer, go find another one". I thought that the statement was slightly over the top, at the time. You, know, exaggerated a little for effect...but I have since taken his words to heart. As I look back, in any student/trainer relationship that went bad, it was always precipitated by an incident that caused me to lose trust. As much as I might have wanted it to not be that way, for personal reasons, etc...once I longer trusted what the trainer was competent, and had my and my horse's best interest at heart all the time, the situation was no longer workable. Now that I realize that, I no longer let those situations drag out. And I am happy to say, that for the past year I have had the good fortune to be working with a trainer that I do trust 100%. It makes a big difference. I look forward to every lesson, and every show now.

I think that he was spot on in that and it's great advice :yes: I know more than half the time I just have to trust that my trainer knows what's best for me. We're currently dealing with my confidence issues and they are such that if it was up to me I'd keep jumping at 2' forever :lol::lol: But I know that I can do 3' successfully and have done it successfully so for me it's a matter of trainer sets the fences and I *know* that he would never put up anything that we aren't capable of so I do it. It's definitely helping me confidence wise and I never feel overfaced :yes:

I think another big thing of finding a great trainer is being able to always communicate your concerns or thoughts. Whether it be a new exercise or that you're uncomfortable with something. My trainer always takes the time to hear me out about different suggestions or problems I have and takes them seriously and it's a great help. I always take the more active role of student and like to figure some things out on my own. I also don't board with my trainer so I have to do things on my own. I think that's what makes me really loff my trainer :yes::D

Trixie's mom
Aug. 7, 2009, 05:45 PM
maybe it's just me but why are we worried about the trainer's feelings? if i'm paying someone and i question their choices i will speak up. especially if i think they are putting me and my horse in a dangerous situation. we have gut feelings for a reason.

you don't owe her an apology. whomever hired her owes you an apology. if someone doesn't know what they are doing they have no business teaching. period.

i know i'm being blunt but i'm too old to be any other way. my opinion? find another instructor and don't look back.

SprinklerBandit
Aug. 7, 2009, 05:47 PM
Why suck up to a dangerous, incompetent trainer. They are out there and often get and keep clients by the strength of their personalities, not the strength of their skills.

I wasn't so much commenting on the training aspect as the relationship. If OP truly wants to preserve the relationship, it will probably take repairing.

I agree with you that it sounds dangerous and if I were in the situation, I would go elsewhere.

KaraAD
Aug. 7, 2009, 05:57 PM
Hmmm, you guys are giving me a lot to think about. I was rude, I do need to give a polite, sincere apology. However, I’m also beginning to think that my instructor needs to apologize in some way too. This apology should come through learning (maybe by reading- or ??) to set up safe, comfortable grids. ...

You should probably apologize for interupting the lesson and having the discussion in front of others but just so that you don't burn any bridges on your way out.

Give some thought as to whether her doing a little reading should be enough to make you stay. Even if the pro doesn't know about gymnastics (and didn't bother to learn before she set them up) any pro worth their salt would have watched one or two of her students struggle / or do a radio flyer and promptly realized they miscalculated and change the exercise. As someone else said, if she doesn't know something this basic, what else doesn't she know? If she did know she set it wrong or screwed up the math but was too insecure to fix it, you have another huge problem b/c to her, her ego is more important that your safety or the horses welfare.

As you have already surmised, trotting in to 36' and gallping for a 2 completely defeats the purpose of a "gymnastic" and is probably teaching your horse to rush and jump as flat as possible. Now, trotting in and doing a collected 3, that would be worth while but I can tell you that when setting up a gymnastic, my trainor would probably set it at more like 33' and ask us to trot in for collected 3. But she likes our horse to be schooled up and jump tight and round! haha

Vindicated
Aug. 8, 2009, 03:00 AM
One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from Michael Page, former Olympic Eventer. I DON'T normally hang around in those circles...but I was privileged to meet him when he was visiting at a barn that my daughter was taking lessons/showing at. DD's trainer had studied with Michael back in the day.

Anyway, Michael told me this: "If you don't have 100% trust in your trainer, go find another one". I thought that the statement was slightly over the top, at the time. You, know, exaggerated a little for effect...but I have since taken his words to heart. As I look back, in any student/trainer relationship that went bad, it was always precipitated by an incident that caused me to lose trust. As much as I might have wanted it to not be that way, for personal reasons, etc...once I longer trusted that the trainer was competent, and had my and my horse's best interest at heart all the time, the situation was no longer workable. Now that I realize that, I no longer let those situations drag out. And I am happy to say, that for the past year I have had the good fortune to be working with a trainer that I do trust 100%. It makes a big difference. I look forward to every lesson, and every show now.

May I use a written copy of this for speaking with a friend about a much needed trainer change?

tcgelec
Aug. 8, 2009, 07:12 AM
May I use a written copy of this for speaking with a friend about a much needed trainer change?

Of course. Oops, almost typed, "off course".

MintHillFarm
Aug. 8, 2009, 07:46 AM
Not so sure you need to send a note of apology frankly...

You can apologize in person for bringing this up in the lesson and say you did not mean to make a scene; but also tell her again you are not comfortable, on your horse, jumping the gymnastics they way they are currently set.

I would say that you would like them shortened up or that for those lessons that she uses them you will skip them. Tell her it is not helping your confidence or your horse's. Be up front about it, there is no reason not too. I assume you like her lessons on other days, however if you are skeptical on those too, then time for an instructor change...

Nothing worse than a situation that is both uncomfortable and unsafe...do what is right for you and your horse. You are not wrong about the issue.

sunico
Aug. 8, 2009, 08:11 AM
I really don't think you owe the instructor an apology. She was putting students and horses in danger. You brought this to her attention, she shot you down.

Personally, I would not go back to this trainer. She obviously has a big hole in her knowledge. Reading up about it isn't going to help. If she can't watch a horse go through a grid and realize that something's going wrong, then what is she doing teaching?

You need to be able to question your instructor. If something isn't working for your horse, you should be encouraged to speak up, not slammed for doing so.

slantedhorse
Aug. 8, 2009, 09:01 AM
Does instructor ride? Could you ask instructor to please get on your horse and show you how to "properly execute this gymnastic from the trot" because you're having difficulty? Perhaps if instructor had to actually ride it, instructor would hop on the clue train.

love this one

fourmares
Aug. 9, 2009, 02:16 AM
If I'm picturing the exercise correctly it was trot poles to an x 18 ft to a verticle, 36 ft to either a verticle or oxer... considering that a three would be set at 37 - 40 ft maybe the best choice would have been to hold for the add? Trying to get the two would envolve going from a 9 - 10 foot stride to a 12 foot stride on landing... while I can see the usefulness of such a skill, and perhaps why a trainer would set such an exercise on purpose, that does not sound like what was happening here. (unless the trainer subscribes to the Socratic method of training riders.) While I understand the desire to run at fence one, or even try to get the canter stride in, I don't think that is the correct method. I think that you would want to come in with your horse fairly collected and really pushing from his hind end. Ideally you want to really coil the spring so that you can open up the step easily... this would be an advanced exercise and certainly not one for building confidence in the rider or green horses... like I said before, I'm fairly sure that was not what this trainer had in mind.

kellidahorsegirl
Aug. 9, 2009, 03:03 AM
Maybe it all would have gone better if your approach was a little softer? I don't know this instructor, so I can't say.

I think its awesome when a student questions why the instructor does something...but I don't mean to question in a deviant way, but more to learn whats going on and why. Your instructor should have answered your question (that you should have asked)....

you: what is the purpose of the distances you've set? What will this encourage my horse to do? And how should I ride it?

instructor: the purpose is ______, your horse should _____ and you ride it _____ way.

I know you said you like this instructor otherwise (I can't judge cuz I'm not there)....so maybe just take flat only lessons from her? Just remove the jumping from your program and school fences with someone else. If you're knowledgeable enough to know that the distance is whack....then you should know enough to set your own exercises to work on with a friend on the ground (or something of the sort).

WWYD?
Aug. 9, 2009, 09:43 PM
I really do appreciate all the advice. I read everyone's comments at least 4-5 times, many of them even more. This is hard for me. I was all set to call my instructor and cancel any further lessons. But the thought makes me too sad. My jumping lesson is one of the highlight's of my week. There would be hole without it. Also, I have a relationship with the current instructor and would need to start over with someone new, or just not take any lessons for awhile. And its coming up on the best time of year for riding, and ect. ect....

So, I decided to give my instructor one more chance. If/when the gymnastics come up again, I will talk to her privately (rationally, I hope this time) using the constructive comments/advice from here. If no adjustments are made, then I will excuse myself from lessons permanently.

INoMrEd
Aug. 9, 2009, 10:13 PM
I did make the confrontation in the middle of a group lesson--I guess that was an oops.

As someone who has ridden for 40+ years, I wouldn’t worry about asking about this worrisome distance in the group lesson. If your safety is a concern, my feeling is that you have every right to speak up. Running your horse down the line just doesn't seem very safe.

When confidence (or lack thereof) becomes an issue you are no longer trusting. Gymnastics are basic exercises meant to establish a nice rhythm and build confidence.

It never ceases to amaze either Mr. Ed or me, how many “pros” are out there are lacking basic knowledge and are successfully hanging a shingle and making a living.

Trust your instinct; you know what’s right after spending so many years riding and jumping.

If you can get your trainer to accept the copy of the book – more power to you! If not I think you should look for a new trainer ASAP.

Good luck!

M. O'Connor
Aug. 9, 2009, 10:17 PM
If what you are saying is accurate, I'm amazed that no one has been badly injured attempting her gymnastics.

You can improve a horse by setting appropriate distances, which takes some skill.

And you can absolutely get someone (literally) killed by setting a wrong distance, especially when they are too long.

It might make you "sad" not to have a jumping lesson, but it will make you even "sadder" if you wind up permanently disabled or worse.

And it will make you guilty if your horse pays the price, too.

kellidahorsegirl
Aug. 9, 2009, 11:19 PM
What you just said, OP, sounds to me like something I am sorta going through. When it becomes time to move on,,,its HARD. I'mnot gonna lie. It requires making a change, stepping out of your comfort zone and possibly hurting someone's feelings...no one likes to do it.

BUT if things become this troubled, maybe its time to be really honest with yourself about where you need to be (whether that means to stay and deal....or move on). Best of luck.....its never easy to decide to leave a trainer...

LookinSouth
Aug. 9, 2009, 11:36 PM
I'd get a new instructor. Sorry....any instructor that off on setting distances (and not adjusting an exercise for the horses to get a good training result) isn't very good and not worth spending money on. I would be questioning every thing they say or do.....that is just too basic of a mistake.


Ditto. I think I wouldn't have confidence in the instructors ability and would fear for my own safety and that of my horse. Especially if the instructor can SEE the horses having an issue in the gymnastic and isn't making adjustments. That is pretty troublesome.

WWYD?
Aug. 11, 2009, 11:27 PM
Well, the day I hoped wouldn’t come will happen tomorrow. There is a grid already set up in the arena. The striding is long again, but not as bad as last time. It’s only about a foot and a half per stride off. Nonetheless, this will still create that uncomfortable diving sensation from my horse, rather than the pleasant rocking back on the hocks that a properly set grid will achieve.

Now, if I say I’m not comfortable doing the grid, I will probably get told to suck it up and deal. But if I truthfully say that I’m scared to do the grid, that might get some attention. Hopefully (although I am not optimistic) this will encourage the instructor to modify the grid.

The most likely outcome is that I will need to excuse myself from further lessons because frankly, I don’t see a trainer accepting instruction from a student.

So, those of you that work on your own, how do you do it? I should also mention that my horse is a total cupcake, very sweet and will try anything,

Seven-up
Aug. 11, 2009, 11:49 PM
Personally, I'd ask if I could shorten it up a little (to correct distances) and see if it works any better. I'd even offer to do it myself before the lesson so trainer doesn't have to lift a finger, and promise to switch it back if it didn't work. Hopefully, trainer would see it works better and go with it.

Worst case scenario would be me out in the ring at midnight moving the jumps around in the dark, and hoping trainer wouldn't notice during the lesson. :winkgrin:

If all that failed, I'd excuse myself from the lesson and start making plans to ride with someone else.

But I mean really, what trainer doesn't skooch the jumps in a foot or two when they see a horse swimming thru a grid? Seriously. Even if it's just at first and you push them back out once the horse gets it. WTF? What does she do for ponies? Does she expect them to levitate to make a 12' stride too?

WWYD?
Aug. 12, 2009, 12:00 AM
I have tried moving jumps in the night before:D The instructor is usually meticulous about marking off the distance and changing it back. She treats grids like they are a course. You just deal with it if you have a smaller horse. There are no acceptions and no adjustments. Surprisingly, most horses and ponies just learn to deal. I only saw one that was injured. Here, the mare was shorter strided and kept landing in the placement poles. She was looking lame even during the lesson. Next day, the vet was out. Horse was lame for months. You would think that could be a clue.

wanderlust
Aug. 12, 2009, 02:04 AM
I have tried moving jumps in the night before:D The instructor is usually meticulous about marking off the distance and changing it back. She treats grids like they are a course. You just deal with it if you have a smaller horse. There are no acceptions and no adjustments. Surprisingly, most horses and ponies just learn to deal. I only saw one that was injured. Here, the mare was shorter strided and kept landing in the placement poles. She was looking lame even during the lesson. Next day, the vet was out. Horse was lame for months. You would think that could be a clue.
Seriously? Not to be harsh, but you know this is a serious problem, another horse was injured, and you continue to do this to yourself and your horse? After having a horse ruined by someone like this, I have become probably over-reactive, and pull my horses from trainers if I have the slightest doubt. I'd rather screw them up all on my own. ;)

Seven-up
Aug. 12, 2009, 02:08 AM
I have tried moving jumps in the night before:D The instructor is usually meticulous about marking off the distance and changing it back. She treats grids like they are a course. You just deal with it if you have a smaller horse. There are no acceptions and no adjustments. Surprisingly, most horses and ponies just learn to deal. I only saw one that was injured. Here, the mare was shorter strided and kept landing in the placement poles. She was looking lame even during the lesson. Next day, the vet was out. Horse was lame for months. You would think that could be a clue.

Jeebus. It's easy for me to say, but damn, I'd be outta there before the lesson tomorrow. That is ridiculous. What the hell is the point of doing a 1 to a 1 to a 1 if a pony has to do the adds to keep from killing itself? Kinda defeats the purpose.

Wow. Hope you can find a way to make it work or make something else work instead.



ETA: and I have to say, on my way out, I'd leave that grid book that was discussed earlier in my empty stall with a big fat bow on it. Maybe I'd make the bow out of a measuring tape.

DancingQueen
Aug. 12, 2009, 02:21 AM
What comes to mind here for me is a conversation i had with a lawyer friend of mine regarding malpractice and doctors. I said that I thought it unfair to slap a lawsuit on somebody who was trying to save a life, it's only natural that it doesn't work sometimes, right?

My friend explained to me that a doctor would not find himself in a malpractice case if he followed general practice. If the doctor did what was commonly practiced and understood to have a good sucess rate or at least the best sucess rate he wold not be held responsible if things didn't work out. However if he deviated from general practice he could be charged with malpractice or similar even if his intentions were good.


In the case of the disfunctional gymnastics, your trainer may have the best intentions but he/she lacks the knowledge and also severely deviates from industry standards.
If a horse or rider had an accident while performing these exercises he could perhaps find himself in more then a little bit of troubble?

I think that we all had to sign a release from at one point or other but this form covers the inherit risks with horseback riding but not dangerous training methods? Am I right?

2bayboys
Aug. 12, 2009, 09:28 AM
OP, enough! Please say you are out of there!

GrayCatFarm
Aug. 12, 2009, 10:02 AM
This situation is a disaster waiting to happen. Not one more attempt at this - too much risk! You've moved the grids, she moves them back. Gymnastics are not a course - if they were, we'd see them in the shows. You fully understand their purpose, and she doesn't. Show up for the lesson well in advance, pull her aside and tell her that you are not comfortable riding the gymnastics as she has them set. Ask her in private to reset the gymnastics to the proper distance in advance of the lesson so that you can see how your horse handles it. If she is unwilling to reset, then she's had the chance and you will have to gracicusly decline to ride in the lesson that day. Tell her upfront that you are no longer comfortable subjecting your horse to the task. Remind her that you have ridden these repeatedly, but the horse is not mastering it and you cannot continue like this. In situations like this I find that the word CAN NOT conveys something entirely different than "I don't want to". As it is a last minute cancellation (even in a group), pay her for the scheduled time so she has one less negative things to say about you. You and your horse are too good, and it is time for another instructor. I ride a 16.2 warmblood in lessons with medium and small ponies, and my instructor shoves jumps back and forth all the time.

Flying W
Aug. 12, 2009, 10:21 AM
I have tried moving jumps in the night before:D The instructor is usually meticulous about marking off the distance and changing it back. She treats grids like they are a course. You just deal with it if you have a smaller horse. There are no acceptions and no adjustments. Surprisingly, most horses and ponies just learn to deal. I only saw one that was injured. Here, the mare was shorter strided and kept landing in the placement poles. She was looking lame even during the lesson. Next day, the vet was out. Horse was lame for months. You would think that could be a clue.

Well, not to be harsh, but more to be blunt: yes, you would think that could be a clue. To you. You know the grids are dangerous and you've seen a horse hurt by it. You've seen your trainer refuse to accomodate horses that have a problem with it. It is unlikely that this is the only weird spot in the trainer's belief system. Quit entrusting your own horse to someone who can't properly look out for him. You're aware of the risks so now if something bad happens, it's really on your shoulders.

findeight
Aug. 12, 2009, 10:37 AM
Was not going to add anything here until WWYD said she felt bad about speaking up and some posters mentioned speaking out in a lesson as questionable.

BS. All our horses have to protect them is US, their riders and trainers. We make the decisions, they suffer the consequences for bad ones.

Running down a bounce, 1 or 2 stride gymnastic (or any line, really) puts the horse at risk because there is no recovery room. If they get unbalanced or pull a rail because they are not rocked back and coming up behind (because they are running at it), they cannot regain anything and will just go right thru that next fence. Or, they can hook a leg struggling to get over and do a classic rotational fall, something dreaded for causing horse and rider injury and death. Or they can just land and fold up in front with the back end coming up and over. This kind if sh*t is exactly what produces this kind of wreck-even over low height.

ANYBODY who sets something for students and then watches them run and gun to get thru and struggle to get over the fence and tells the rider to suck it up is an idiot. Period. Of course since they do not ride them, they are not at risk-YOU are.

Ask any top teacher and their mantra is Long Spots are bad, learn to love the chip when you miss. Ask any top teacher what the point would be in deliberately setting long spots to create rushing and flat jumping within a gymnastic and they'd call the guys in the white coats to come and take you away.

IMO you were RIGHT to speak up...may not have worded it politely but, ya know, I bet it scared you. You spoke out of fear. And you SHOULD be scared of this kind of crap because YOU are at risk and you are taking an awful chance on hurting that horse or getting them to hate their jobs.

Any competent trainer should know this and also be able to handle occasional client issues, even in a lesson. Bet most would just say, "We can talk after the lesson"...of course none of them would put you and the horse at risk like this in the first place.

Respect yourself. Respect your horse. Respect your trainer. BUT if your trainer shows little or no respct for you and the horse and puts you at risk? You need to change trainers because she is going to seriously hurt a rider or horse at some point.

You owe her no apology for speaking up out of fear. Life is too short and this sport can scare the heck out of you sometimes even when not deliberately set in an unsafe manner to teach you unsafe and bad riding habits.

Get out of there.

RockinHorse
Aug. 12, 2009, 10:54 AM
Well said, Findeight :yes:

Come Shine
Aug. 12, 2009, 11:03 AM
Sigh. Going through the elementary levels to become a certified coach, one of the early lessons is setting a gymnastic. Simply a basic exercise.

So, without derailing this thread into benefits of certification, setting a gymnastic properly is simply a BASIC safety issue.

If you are dead set about staying with this instructor: Get a tape measure. Put it along side the fences and use it to have a discussion and learning experience about striding and how to make the exercise work.

sahara511
Aug. 12, 2009, 11:46 AM
Definately say something - I was warming up at a show one time, jumpers, and trainer set up a bounce gymnastics - fine when the 2nd jump was lower, but then he raised it, didnt move the small 1st jump, which I didnt know at the time, came through and horse almost flipped, I went flying and landed right where horse was about to land, got stepped on head to toe. Not fun.

WWYD?
Aug. 12, 2009, 12:06 PM
This is such a basic exercise. I would expect all trainers to know it. You all are right, this is too big of a hole in knowledge. I'm much better off on my own.

Now to derail the thread-- I'm done with Kami Kazee jumping!!

ETA: I'm pretty timid, so it is difficult for me to be confrontational. In this case, I had to be though. I'm outta there, but others are still left behind. So for everyone's safety:

Hey, if your instructor sets up grids, have them explain why the distances are set a certain way. It should not be one size fits all.