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View Full Version : Spinoff ... getting kicked out of lesson



dab
Aug. 6, 2009, 04:52 PM
I was surprised to read in another thread that an adult felt she could be kicked out of a lesson -- Does that happen to people?

I have on rare occassions excused myself from lessons and one clinic, but the idea of an adult being kicked out of a lesson is foreign to me --

I understand the phenomenom of being kicked out of a barn -- I'm aware of juniors who are disruptive in lessons being kicked out or at least threatenned with it -- But, has anyone actually seen an adult kicked out of a lesson?

Sunny Side Up
Aug. 6, 2009, 04:54 PM
Yeah, I knew a women who got kicked out of a lesson..I guess the trainer was getting frusturated with her, and she was riding a young, green horse! She was really upset and switched trainers after that (which is what I would do). I thought that was crazy!
But anyways, yeah, I might excuse myself from a lesson (never have but if I ever REALLY felt like I needed to), but if my trainer kicked me out..well...god!

dmj
Aug. 6, 2009, 04:56 PM
yes, once or twice with my wonderful trainer, who is the nicest, most pleasant man you will ever meet, but there are certain things he just won't tolerate... not listening and rudeness were the reasons he kicked the individual out of the lesson.

AliCat
Aug. 6, 2009, 04:58 PM
I don't know that it is the same as "kicking out" but my trainer told someone that if they kept making the other riders in the group fearful, she couldn't stay in the group anymore.

cranky
Aug. 6, 2009, 05:02 PM
I don't know that it is the same as "kicking out" but my trainer told someone that if they kept making the other riders in the group fearful, she couldn't stay in the group anymore.

What did she do to make them fearful?

cnvh
Aug. 6, 2009, 05:07 PM
I saw it done ONCE when I was taking lessons as a teenager... another student was getting very nasty with her horse for no reason, I forget the specifics but rider was screaming at/kicking/whipping the horse for something that was essentially her own fault. Girl had a history of blaming the horse for her own mistakes... Instructor took the horse's reins, loudly ordered the rider to dismount and leave the arena. We were all pretty horrified...

showjumpers66
Aug. 6, 2009, 05:16 PM
I will never forget (or forgive) being excused from a Tad Coffin clinic 25 years ago. I had saved all summer for that clinic ($350 is a lot of money for a 15 year old, especially when I was paying for twice weekly lessons myself) and had been so excited, but the horse that I ended up riding wasn't keen on the exercises. He was asking the group of horses to work nose to tail in a small circle and the horse that I was on was having a melt down over the situation. When I rode just outside the circle, he was fine. Tad tried getting on, but had no more luck than I did with the horse. Rather than letting me continue to participate and ride a circle outside the others, he excused me entirely from the clinic and was not nice about it at all.

AliCat
Aug. 6, 2009, 05:18 PM
What did she do to make them fearful?
My group was the most advanced that this particular person was teaching on that day. It was getting a little light in participants, and a couple other people wanted to join in.

At first it was ok, but then one of them started being nervous about courses and voicing it. She would eventually do them (but would usually have a stop or circle somewhere on course). I guess her being nervous and making mistakes made the other new rider in the group even more nervous (since she considered the other girl a more advanced rider). She would then start the course and have numerous stops (because she was so fearful, taking her leg off, dropping etc). I don't know what the real solution is. When the vocal nervous rider is not there, the fearful one rides better.

klmck63
Aug. 6, 2009, 05:26 PM
I will never forget (or forgive) being excused from a Tad Coffin clinic 25 years ago. I had saved all summer for that clinic ($350 is a lot of money for a 15 year old, especially when I was paying for twice weekly lessons myself) and had been so excited, but the horse that I ended up riding wasn't keen on the exercises. He was asking the group of horses to work nose to tail in a small circle and the horse that I was on was having a melt down over the situation. When I rode just outside the circle, he was fine. Tad tried getting on, but had no more luck than I did with the horse. Rather than letting me continue to participate and ride a circle outside the others, he excused me entirely from the clinic and was not nice about it at all.

That's kind of awful! I don't think anyone should be excused from a clinic or lesson for having horse troubles. Either help the person work through it in the group exercises or arrange to have a little non disruptive one on one afterwards.

In a clinic I was in this spring a boy was having trouble with his horse in such a way that he wasn't really benefiting from the clinic at all. The clinician pulled the barn owner aside and asked if the boy could ride the horse that the clinician was going to school later. Everyone agreed and this way the boy was able to learn without dealing with his horse being naughty. The next day they tried to ride his horse again and he was great.

Some people just need to drop their egos and be accommodating!

I think that good reasons to excuse someone from a lesson would be rudeness or disrespectful behaviour towards the instructor, the horse or other riders.

twofatponies
Aug. 6, 2009, 05:35 PM
I've seen it twice - once an adult rider in a group lesson I was in, who kept talking back and complaining about everything the instructor asked us to do - and the instructor finally lost her temper and told her to leave.

And one a rider in a group jumping class at a clinic, who was dangerously overmounted on a very green horse and terribly below level as a rider - after his horse knocked down a jump for the third time and actually fell down, the instructor told him he could audit the rest of the three day clinic but not bring his horse or ride.

Pony+ an inch
Aug. 6, 2009, 05:40 PM
I have seen this happen in several barns--most of the time, it was because the student was being disrespectful/rude towards the trainer, OR the student was exhibiting unstable emotions--be it tears or tantrums. Both reasons I think are perfectly legit reasons for a trainer to kick a student, adult or child, out of a lesson.

In regards to being disrespectful towards the trainer, it's a waste of time for both parties--the student obviously doesn't want to learn, and the trainer isn't being paid to be snarked at.

In regards to unstable emotions, this is honestly for the good of the horse: no horse wants an angry, violent, terrified, or grief stricken rider on its back. It's not productive, and it can do more harm than good with green horses especially.

I have been kicked out of a lesson twice for unstable emotions. Once I was just having a really hard time getting my nerve together and had a breakdown, and the trainer gently excused me and said let's try again tomorrow. The other time was for losing my temper as an "angst-y" teenager, and I'll admit, being kicked out of the lesson and off my horse was the best thing that could have happened. I learned my lesson quickly, and to this day I am very, very aware of my emotional state around a horse, and it's helped me in the real world--it now takes quite a bit to really make me lose my temper or get over-dramatic about something!

zahena
Aug. 6, 2009, 05:47 PM
I excused a girl entirely from my program for being a beast to deal with outside of her lesson. Does that count? Treated the horses and the staff poorly out of my eyesight. I never saw it, but I could see she wasn't taking appropriate care of her lesson horse.

And the confrontation that ensued with Dad was not pleasant either.

Vindicated
Aug. 6, 2009, 05:48 PM
A student is a student.

Age should not matter once they are in an instuctor/student scenario.

Timex
Aug. 6, 2009, 06:08 PM
Of the few people I've had to eject from my lessons, the main cause is not listening, and the way I look at it is, if you're not listening to the directions being given, you're obviously not paying attention, therefore you're a hazard to yourself, the horse, me and anyone around. And usually its been a progressive thing, not just 1 day. And I can't recall the last time I kicked out an adult, although I'm sure it has and if they deserved it, I wouldn't hesitate to do it.

equest
Aug. 6, 2009, 06:15 PM
I will never forget (or forgive) being excused from a Tad Coffin clinic 25 years ago. I had saved all summer for that clinic ($350 is a lot of money for a 15 year old, especially when I was paying for twice weekly lessons myself) and had been so excited, but the horse that I ended up riding wasn't keen on the exercises.

Wow. Was the clinic almost finished when you were excused, or had it just begun? Because a refund should be in order, if it was close to the beginning. Unless he specifically stated in the description that you'd be riding in tight circles, it seems reasonable for a young or green horse to get upset and you'd think you would at least still get to participate....

Cita
Aug. 6, 2009, 06:22 PM
When I was a teenager, I once had my trainer declare "lesson over" and had me just walk the horse around for the rest of the lesson. It was a terrible experience for me. And no, it wasn't over me being rude toward the instructor (I wouldn't have dreamed of it).

I was riding badly, but I hadn't been on a horse in over a month, and I had spent the last 3 months visiting family far away and trail riding cross country (not ring-type h/j like in these lessons). Trainer knew all of the above but was still asking me to do small courses on a new, green horse of hers. I was doing very badly and my trainer got really angry at me when I chipped particularly badly over a fence and hit the horse in the mouth. She said, "That's it, you're done - walk the rest of the lesson and think about whether or not you deserve to ride that horse." We were about halfway into an hour-long private lesson, and I was riding the school horse she had assigned me to.

That lesson marked the beginning of the end with that trainer. :no: Still don't know why, except that maybe she was tired of the once-a-week deal (which was all my parents could afford). She was my first instructor and I'd been with her for over 5 years at that point.

Meredith Clark
Aug. 6, 2009, 06:24 PM
I guess I was an adult.. I was probably 20 and I was in a program that really wasn't working for me or my horse. Me and my trainer were not able to communicate well and I was becoming very frustrated and fearful of my horse. I don't deal well with fear (when riding) and I got very emotional one lesson.. ranging from angry to upset and my trainer freaked out on me and basically said he couldn't teach me if it was going to be like that.

Looking back I should have been able to express my fears to him, in the end my horse had major physical issues that were causing his problems (pain issues) and I regret that I wasn't able to see that and frustrated that I was paying someone money that couldn't notice either.

It's all about finding a trainer that you and your horse mesh well with. I've found that I don't do well with male trainers, I feel like I allow them to push me and pressure me more than female trainers. I can express my concerns better to female trainers which benefits me and my horse.

dab
Aug. 6, 2009, 06:34 PM
A student is a student.

Age should not matter once they are in an instuctor/student scenario.I agree with this, but I expect more maturity from adults -- I guess there are always exceptions that prove the rule, but I don't expect to see adults be rude to others or unfair to their horses to the extent that would necessitate them being removed from a lesson --

I can see the unsuitable horse in a group causing a problem -- I really don't expect to see that in a lesson -- I'm used to trainers arranging for the first lesson to be private if they're not familiar with the horse or rider -- Then, I expect them to place the pair in a suitable group --

zahena
Aug. 6, 2009, 06:53 PM
Sometimes my adults are harder and complain more. Whereas my girls will just hop on and do their job. If they have questions, they ask. Otherwise they go for it. But the majority of my kids all have a healthy respect for adults.

KateKat
Aug. 6, 2009, 06:55 PM
I've never seen any adults kicked out of my lessons, although most of the time I am riding with teens. Or little kids. It seems that with adults, especially the ones that I ride with, are older and we listen to the trainer with wide-eyed obedience. At least I know I do since I oftentimes feel like I have no idea what I'm doing!

Salty
Aug. 6, 2009, 07:06 PM
SJ66--that was inexcusable & I really hope you got your money back! I've been in a similar situation, and was allowed to work quietly outside the circle.

I was in a group clinic once with an adult woman who challenged everything the clinician said. "But I WAS looking up!!" "But I DIDN'T!!" After a short time of this he just would say, "Very good." And turn away.

This prevented any more drama, gave the serious students a chance to learn, and the Clueless One actually said, "Oh, he thinks I'm doing so well now!"

If he'd done that to me, I would have left in tears.

*jumper*
Aug. 6, 2009, 07:23 PM
At my old barn a few girls were "excused" from lessons because they weren't getting the exercise right. I don't remember exactly what went down, but they weren't misbehaving or acting out, just not riding strongly or not getting what was asked of them correct. I didn't understand it as they obviously were trying but just weren't up to par I suppose. I actually was in this situation once now that I think about it...I guess I somehow managed to do what my trainer wanted out of pure fear.

SmileItLooksGoodOnYou
Aug. 6, 2009, 07:26 PM
We have a three strikes rule in lessons at my barn. You fall three times in a lesson and you're out.

It's only happened a few times, but I understand that it happened to an adult rider and she was excused from the lesson.

I think it's a fair rule. If you come off three times, at any age, clearly there's something wrong. Weather it's that the horse is being stupid, that something's hurting the horse or rider or even just that the rider isn't mentally in the game... At that point it's time to re-group.

Personally, I think that if a rider is arguing, unwilling to try what the trainer suggests, or being rude/disrespectful the trainer should have the right to dismiss them from a GROUP lesson. (I would hope that the trainer would then speak with the person they dismissed, explain their stand and listen to the student, at a later time, in private.) There is a point that a trainer needs to focus on the rest of the group and not have an issue with one student that holds others back.

I can't see dismissing a rider for not being as good as others in the lesson or not being able to preform an exercise perfectly. That's where the trainer should be able to step in and offer a way to correct, or a variation on the course or exercise for a rider that's having trouble.

luvs2ride
Aug. 6, 2009, 07:30 PM
To me it would seem really bizarre and awkward to get kicked out of your own lesson. I mean, you're paying for it and the trainer is in the ring for you. What are they gonna do, just walk away with your money and expect you to keep training with them?

IMO there are other ways to solve a problem rather than kicking a student out of their own lesson (like painful longe line exercises :D)

cranky
Aug. 6, 2009, 07:34 PM
I actually pulled myself out of my lesson last night. I was riding really poorly, was just getting more & more frustrated and felt like I wasn't doing myself or my horse any favors by continuing. So I rode out in the field and hacked out and jumped a couple of logs while the rest of the lesson continued -- I relaxed and Ruby (my horse) relaxed, so I think it was the right decision for the day, since I was able to end on a positive note.

Quin
Aug. 6, 2009, 07:48 PM
IMO there are other ways to solve a problem rather than kicking a student out of their own lesson (like painful longe line exercises :D)


Not so much in a group lesson; you can't have the rest of the group lose out on their lesson just to fix the prima donna.

I've seen 2 different kids get kicked out of their lesson, both in groups. One was a kid who owned a pony and was taking a very bad temper out on the pony's mouth. Trainer booted her off the pony and out of the lesson; then talked with her later and all was well. The other was a teenager who trailered in. Teen had been getting more and more of an attitude. One day during her group she went above and beyond; trainer not only kicked her out of that lesson but told the mom that unless kid wanted to be more respectful there was no point in continuing lessons with her. Kid decided to try another trainer at another barn.

Point is that both kids were very bad examples to the others in the lesson, particularly any younger riders. Monkey see, monkey do. And the pre-teens in a barn do tend to imitate the 'cooler' older girls.

Coppers mom
Aug. 6, 2009, 08:05 PM
I've excused myself from lessons a couple times, and once from a clinic. Most of it was me admitting I was riding badly and just making things worse, and the trainer agreed we'd pick up where we left off tomorrow. The clinic I excused myself from was when I was on my fairly new, very green horse. He was giving me a ton of trouble, and the clinician said something along the lines of "He's nothing like Copper!", and I just had a meltdown. It was pathetic, and not the clinician's fault, but I was already pretty wound up and ready to cry anyways. Now he asks me if I could put a list of things together that'll make me cry before I lesson or clinic with him :lol:

I think that it's perfectly acceptable to kick someone out of a lesson if they're taking things out on the horse or are an emotional wreck. If you're showing your temper, you may not like it at first, but I think most feel bad later in the day for the way they've acted. Those that are upset usually appreciate the trainer saying "It's ok, tomorrow's a new day". I don't think people should be kicked out just because they aren't getting the exercises. It's the trainer's job to help them figure it out, and usually the trainer's fault when they can't.

Czar
Aug. 6, 2009, 08:15 PM
To me it would seem really bizarre and awkward to get kicked out of your own lesson. I mean, you're paying for it and the trainer is in the ring for you. What are they gonna do, just walk away with your money and expect you to keep training with them?

IMO there are other ways to solve a problem rather than kicking a student out of their own lesson (like painful longe line exercises :D)

See, I don't get this reasoning. You think b/c YOU pay an instructor, that you can be as rude as you want & they have to put up with your crap b/c they are the paid employee.

That is just wrong. It's just as wrong as an instructor thinking that b/c you are coming to THEM for a lesson, that they can treat you like crap.

Mutual respect people regardless of who is paying whom.

It's common human decency...you don't treat someone as any less of a person just b/c you happen to be on paying end (like those nasty people who treat their waitresses like they are some kind of sub-standard human :dead:).

If we were looking at it in a business light...those employers that think they can walk all over their employees often have a high turn over and certainly don't produce any sort of loyalty in their staff.

Now let's be honest...it can be frustrating as a trainer for someone to make the same mistake over and over again especially at the expense of the horse. I think in those cases, trainer needs to back it down a few notches and do something that rider can be successful at and end on a good note. I think a lot of trainers are perfectionists (it DOES take a certain type of personality to be a GOOD trainer) and want to fix it NOW....but that just really isn't realistic in some cases and the trainer needs to be aware of that.

Foxtrot's
Aug. 6, 2009, 08:15 PM
On those PMS days, it is probably better not to ride :)

But I always feel that the instructor is the employee and the rider the employer and I'd not take kindly to being treated that way. However, since, to me, respect is the most important part of an instructor/student relaionship it would be unlikely to happen to me. I think the world of my trainer and hopefully he thinks well of me and my horse.

mvp
Aug. 6, 2009, 11:08 PM
I can't imagine getting kicked out of a lesson as an adult.

There is one lesson I can recall that I should have ended. I knew almost immediately that the (new, and quite the DQ) trainer, I and the horse (someone else's I didn't know terribly well and not suited for the job) were not going to have a productive day. Yet I rode and rode, and we got nowhere. Regardless of their part in the problem, the trainer's and mare's frustration were my fault because I didn't call a spade a spade. I regret it.

Pat
Aug. 6, 2009, 11:41 PM
See, I don't get this reasoning. You think b/c YOU pay an instructor, that you can be as rude as you want & they have to put up with your crap b/c they are the paid employee.



THAT!

I've only flat out excused a girl once. She had a crappy attitude that day, and was repeatedly messing up a simple exercise. It was a while ago, so I don't remember the particulars, but it was something like "jump the line and then halt/turn right/turn left, depending on my directions."

Not at all above her skill level. And she just kept doing beyond badly, AND had a snippy excuse each time.

After a few times (and snippy answers) I told her if I got ONE more snippy answer for her F'ing up, she was DONE.

You guessed it, she did it again and was sent OUT. Grumbling, I was told. Paid or not, I am an adult, you will respect me. Daddy THANKED me the next week when she was dropped off. And it never had to happen again. We chalked it up to "being 13" and moved on.

There was one other kid, who was potentially a couple of fries short of a Happy Meal. Similar thing, here's the excercise, now go do it. And do it wrong, no matter how many different ways I tell her how to do it right. After a while the horse *knew* she didn't have any reason to do it right any more, so it started to fall apart and get ugly. I had the kid stand in the middle and save myself the need to "fix" the horse. Like I said, missing some fries, so I didn't just send her away, I let her stay and watch the kid who *could* get the excercise right. I was hoping for some sort of Osmosis to occur... Mommy strolls in and whines that she missed Poopsie's "jumping part" and I relented. I let her do the course one last time.

BIG mistake. Horse needed plenty of schooling to get that out of her head.

SIGH. I won't say that sometimes people get big heads, but just how many times in a row do you get to make a mistake? Isn't one of the reasons you PAY for those lessons is to get that PROFESSIONAL's insight?? Or would you rather carry on, messing up? Sometimes you need to know when to throw in the towel. If you can't get that on your own, well, there ya go, I'll tell you to hit the showers.

mvp
Aug. 6, 2009, 11:57 PM
I teach undergrads at a fancy university. I can't imagine explaining to the chair of my department or a dean that I kicked a student out of my class because they made the same mistake over and over.

I learned that bit of professionalism (decency, actually) from the old "It's never the horse's fault" philosophy we practice here.

It strikes me as unethical for teachers to blame students (of any intelligence or species) unless they are damned sure the student could have done otherwise, knows that, and chose not to. Can you be absolutely sure that repeated mistakes come from willfulness? If not, don't worry about finding their source and do worry about finding another way to get the performance you want from your student.

dghunter
Aug. 7, 2009, 12:51 AM
I can assure you that my repeated mistakes are not on purpose :lol: I get into "oh crap" situations and shut down. We're working on it and it has gotten a lot better but we've had more than a few fences that we went over with a wing and a prayer :winkgrin: The jumps are all small and my horse is quite the forgiving type and my trainer (bless his heart) has all the patience in the world :yes: Perhaps it's because he's currently raising a toddler?

I can totally understand being kicked out for attitude and have no problems with that. However, just because I'm not understanding/doing something correctly isn't any reason to kick me out. I can't imagine as an English teacher telling one of my students "No, you just don't understand prepositions, leave my room now." Something tells me the principal might have something to say about that :lol:

dogchushu
Aug. 7, 2009, 08:10 AM
I actually pulled myself out of my lesson last night. I was riding really poorly, was just getting more & more frustrated and felt like I wasn't doing myself or my horse any favors by continuing. So I rode out in the field and hacked out and jumped a couple of logs while the rest of the lesson continued -- I relaxed and Ruby (my horse) relaxed, so I think it was the right decision for the day, since I was able to end on a positive note.

Oh yeah. The day my project at work exploded, my boss yelled at me, and I had my performance review the very next morning? Nothing was going to stop me radiating waves of stress and get my brain back on track! :lol: We rescheduled that lesson after about 15 minutes.

I think being flexible and realizing that nothing will make this a good day for horse or rider is a bit different from being kicked out.

zahena
Aug. 7, 2009, 10:51 AM
I can't imagine excusing someone because they aren't getting the exercise right. To me, that sounds like a trainer who needs to explain it further? I have a small dry wipe board I bring with me for my most complex exercises. Or I have one of my other riders who "get" it ride first so the group can see. Mistakes will happen. Sometimes kids don't get it. But to excuse them? No.

The physical abuse will get you kicked outta my lesson, but also it gets you kicked out of our barn. We're small. We'll send ya packin'. I've taken crops away before.

I've ridden badly at a clinic but sometimes the lesson learned is how to "save" it. I rode with Steve McAllister recently and he NAILED me for being too hard on my horse and myself. so I learned TONS about why some days my rides really suck. I was in tears afterwards and he took the time and effort to come up to me while I untacked and talk to me. That really meant a lot.

Meliora
Aug. 7, 2009, 03:09 PM
As an instructor, I believe that it is my responsibility to figure out how to make each exercise a positive experience...even if that means breaking it down into very simple elements. Now, if I have a student that has a bad "attitude" I still consider it my responsibilty to figure out "why" and how to turn that around while still getting the job done (whatever exercise we are working on). In 15 years of teaching lessons, I have NEVER thrown a student out of a lesson. We may have had a frank discussion here or there regarding attitude, but never to the point that someone left (or I threw them out) JMHO:sadsmile:

Czar
Aug. 7, 2009, 04:02 PM
As an instructor, I believe that it is my responsibility to figure out how to make each exercise a positive experience...even if that means breaking it down into very simple elements. Now, if I have a student that has a bad "attitude" I still consider it my responsibilty to figure out "why" and how to turn that around while still getting the job done (whatever exercise we are working on). In 15 years of teaching lessons, I have NEVER thrown a student out of a lesson. We may have had a frank discussion here or there regarding attitude, but never to the point that someone left (or I threw them out) JMHO:sadsmile:

Well...having a bad attitude towards a trainer may somehow be addressed but towards a horse - it is unforgivable.

I would give a warning as some teens might not have quite figured out how to harness all their emotions yet and we all have bad days but if I had to say it twice? Well, I wouldn't. Out you would go - take it out on me, your parents whatever...but NOT on a horse.

There is only one situation that I can remember in the 27 years I have been kicking around the barn and in that situation...I should have politely asked the clients to leave. It still bothers me to this day.

However, being young and lacking the experience of how to deal with such things - I let it go waayyy too far until I blew up (at the wrong time - not that any time is the right time) and parted ways less than amicably. In that case, the clients had been with me for a little over a year -the mom owned horses and rode but they had no knowledge of the H/J world. She had an aggressive personality and I didn't know to handle her correctly and I think b/c I was young she felt she could get away with being overbearing and rude.

The horse I helped turn around for them wasn't going to cut it for the level they wanted to move up to so they wanted to buy something. I tried to direct them to the type of horse they would need for what the kid said she wanted and we discussed looking at some horses together. Didn't really go anywhere and they took a month off during the winter and when they called me again...mom told me they had bought a TB gelding at an auction. When they arrived for their first lesson it was obvious that the horse was a total nutcase and had ended up at auction as a last resort. Not the kind of horse you pick for a 13 yr old. Anyway, I was ticked. The horse was impossible to teach on and was be-bopping around the ring with kid hanging on for dear life. Ironically, the thing that ended that lesson (and consequently our relationship) was me getting mad b/c they didn't have their own martingale :o:lol: It wasn't actually that but that's the straw that broke the camels back.

Silly and embarassing to admit but that whole fiasco taught me a valuable lesson - don't wait until you lose it over something completely inconsequential...address the issue and be honest with yourself. The mom and I had never seen eye to eye and I should have just told her that within the first few months of aggravation and politely ended the training relationship. On a positive note, I still see her and her daughters from time to time and there have never been any hard feelings - I suppose so many years have passed and the mother probably realized that most of what happened was b/c I was young.

RugBug
Aug. 7, 2009, 04:13 PM
But I always feel that the instructor is the employee and the rider the employer and I'd not take kindly to being treated that way. However, since, to me, respect is the most important part of an instructor/student relaionship it would be unlikely to happen to me. I think the world of my trainer and hopefully he thinks well of me and my horse.

I agree it's about respect, but I have never understood the employee/employer analogy regarding trainers. You ARE NOT their employer. They are an independent contractor whom you are paying for their expertise. Is your lawyer, dentist, doctor, heck even your electrician or plumber your employee? No. All of those people have the right to tell you to take a hike (hopefully in a polite manner) if you are combative, abusive, or they just plain don't like you.

I've had my trainer walk out of a lesson on me once. I got frustrated and didn't understand what she was trying to get me to do...and I let her know. I was a little rude, she was already on edge and it went south. We made up pretty quickly.

Just a few weeks ago, I stopped a lesson. I couldn't find a distance to save my life and was lacking confidence in the horse. He just felt 'tired' to me and I couldn't make myself push him any harder. After trying something one more time, I told my trainer I was done and told her why. She listened, and whether or not she believed what I had to say, she didn't push it nor did she get angry or have her feelings hurt. Came out the next week and did just fine.

RnR
Aug. 7, 2009, 04:35 PM
My trainer is the calmest, kindest woman in the world, and the barn is mostly made up of younger girls (10-17), and then a few "older" girls. I have never heard her raise her voice, and she stays calm in all situations, which must be hard, because I won't lie, some of those girls are in snippy teenage years.

The ONLY time I have ever seen her throw someone out of a lesson, it was well deserved, and done in as non-demeaning manor as possible, and the student was separately pulled aside after and it was discussed. The student started off in a bad mood, and was tugging a lot on the horse. Trainer repeatedly told her to leave his head alone, and actually ride him with her body. It proceeded to jumping, and him stopping several times when she wouldn't let go of his face, and finally after a refusal she gave him a good whop with the whip, which badly flustered him. Trainer calmly walked up, pulled the reins over his head, and said, "I think your lessons over. Go take him for a walk."


That was enough of a message to shock all of us, and in my opinion very tactfully done. We all knew she meant business, but she wasn't about to humiliate the student and cause a scene. Back in the barn she discussed the situation with the student, and all was well.

analise
Aug. 7, 2009, 04:57 PM
Not so much in a group lesson; you can't have the rest of the group lose out on their lesson just to fix the prima donna.

On a similar note, it was beyond frustrating for me when I was in group lessons for, several weeks in a row, the instructor to focus on the one or two people in the group who were a little "behind" everyone else. So basically the rest of us spent most of an hour doing the posting trot around the ring with nary a glance from the instructor. Or so it seemed.

JinxyFish313
Aug. 7, 2009, 04:58 PM
Of the few people I've had to eject from my lessons, the main cause is not listening, and the way I look at it is, if you're not listening to the directions being given, you're obviously not paying attention, therefore you're a hazard to yourself, the horse, me and anyone around. And usually its been a progressive thing, not just 1 day. And I can't recall the last time I kicked out an adult, although I'm sure it has and if they deserved it, I wouldn't hesitate to do it.
Same here. If a student, regardless of age, is ignoring my instruction and creating a dangerous situation - game over. I do have more patience with the adults than the kids, but I stick to a warning system. If you willfully ignore my polite and constructive instruction the first time I'm going to get loud and unpleasant the second time. If it goes beyond that, you can either stand in the middle of the ring for the rest of the lesson or take the poor horse back to the barn. Its one thing if the rider is struggling to do what you ask...I'm more than willing to coach you through that, thats my job, but if I know you understand me and you're choosing to do it your way instead, nooooope.

I also refuse to tolerate whining. If you don't want to learn and try new things, don't waste both our time.

Meliora
Aug. 7, 2009, 05:09 PM
CZAR- I hadn't really addressed the horse abuse situation, so let me do that for you right now...
I WILL NOT tolerate any kind of negative behavior towards and animal of any kind. I have sent children (teens) to get a drink of water or cool off for a moment, while I have held their horse. Then we will discuss why it is unfair and wrong to take our frustrations out on others (the horse). I have taken away crops, spurs, (and once a bridle) as well. If they are just cranky, then perhaps they are not challanged enough. For example, the worse the student's attitude the longer we work without stirrups. You would be suprised how many times that changes ones view on the world. Just thought I should clairify that for you...

PhoenixFarm
Aug. 7, 2009, 05:11 PM
I've only seen adults being excused for treating their horses badly/unfairly--as in the rider screws up, but starts whaling on the horse or ripping it in the face. I've done it once as an instructor, went over, took the reins, told her to get off and take a walk on foot. Handed the horse to my BM to cool off and put away.

I suppose depending on your definition of timing, I got kicked out of a clinic with a CCI**** event rider once. She was asking us to jump an XC fence backwards (and it wasn't one that was meant to be jumped both ways) and as a result my normally honest guy was slamming on the brakes. As was every other horse in my group.

So, I politely said something must be off with my horse, he doesn't normally stop, so I'm going to end things here, and take him home, but thanks for your time. This woman proceeded to scream at me that I couldn't leave until she said I could, and when I turned and started walking off she followed me on her bike, screaching at the top of her lungs that I was a "QUITTER" and finally that it was a good thing I was leaving because she was about to excuse me anyway because I was a terrible rider, and my horse was a piece of sh!t, so I better get out of there.

Followed me all the way back to my trailer too, LOL. I just smiled, said nothing, untacked, loaded up and drove home.

Two of the horses that stayed never jumped clean XC again.:no:

I've never seen an adult get asked to leave over their attitude/behavior towards others, although I have seen two adults warned to tone down their language or they would be asked to leave. Both of them, a man and a woman, totally unrelated to each other, could not seem to jump a course without a string of profanitites pouring from them at the top of their lungs. :confused:. They weren't necessarily mad about anything, it was like their horses were cursing-powered and they thought if they stopped something would go awry. F-bombs, S-words, they just poured out of them--whether they were having a great ride or a sketchy one. Really odd and proved very difficult to control. It took them along time to be able to show because they were both told by their respective coaches, I am not taking you out in public until you stop cursing. ANd that proved tough.

I've seen teens booted for brattiness frequently, LOL.

whbar158
Aug. 7, 2009, 11:22 PM
I have threatened a student that their lesson would be over if they didn't do X. For example a few weeks ago I was working with a young child (6) on posting, she knew how to post but decided she wanted to bounce around instead, deal was if you posted you could keep riding if not you would get off and take care of the pony. Worked like a charm, I think her parents were actually scared of her and she always got her way, but she wanted to ride the pony so off she started posting!

I agree most adults are mature enough to not be talking during the lesson and often do not talk back.

As for being excused for repeating a mistake, chipping/missing lead change isn't a reason I would think one would get kicked out for, but not following directions as simple as HALT after the jump or canter to X point (barring no horse misbehavior) is just plain not listening and reason for not being able to jump or have your lesson end early.

My experience (from being little too!) is that the threat often works great on kids, adults are harder, but most adults really do want to learn and often do not have these problems.

ReSomething
Aug. 8, 2009, 04:32 AM
. . . . . could not seem to jump a course without a string of profanitites pouring from them at the top of their lungs. :confused:. They weren't necessarily mad about anything, it was like their horses were cursing-powered and they thought if they stopped something would go awry. F-bombs, S-words, they just poured out of them--whether they were having a great ride or a sketchy one. Really odd and proved very difficult to control. It took them along time to be able to show because they were both told by their respective coaches, I am not taking you out in public until you stop cursing. ANd that proved tough.

. . . .
Um, I never showed in CA :uhoh:. Well at least not since the '70's. And "Oh, s**********t!" doesn't count. So it can't have been me.

I've excused myself when I was just too wrung out from work to handle anything more than a pony ride. (BTW, why is it you can look forward to something every week, then when it rolls around you are too distracted, tired, whatever to get the full enjoyment/benefit of it?? Over anticipation maybe?)

I've deeply desired the instructor to boot two otherwise nice people from the group lesson, one of them was, I guess, used to private lessons and couldn't figure out the need to park her horse out of the way of the other students, I wound up screeching "line!" as we wove around her, she still completely oblivious; the other pulled over or stopped a lot to take her cell phone calls, during class, and not always in the most opportune places.

I suppose they were good practice for crowded warm up arenas though.

Silver Snaffles
Aug. 8, 2009, 04:54 AM
When I was 15 At a pony club rally, in a cross country lesson.

The instructor had an issue with my mother, who wouldn't sell her horse to her so instructor took it out on me.

We were schooling over a log, one by one, troting in a large circle whilst the rest of the group were waiting our turn over the fence. The mare was my mums old showjumper, who's favorite trick was to drop her outside shoulder and duck out during a circle so she could jump the nearest fence. She loved to jump.

My mum had previously instructed me to tap her on the shoulder with the crop ( lightly so it didn't make a sound and put my outside leg on when she went to do her duck, fang and jump act.

Trotting around near another log jump, mare drops the shoulder and fangs over to the fence, a disagreement ensues, in which I end up dropping the crop and don't have time to tap the mare.

Instructor screams out my name, everyone comes to a halt. She spends the next 5 minutes screaming at me for "beating the horse about the head and neck" whilst I thought her back was turned. She pulls the reins out of my hands and pulls me off the horse, then marches over to the DC of the club saying I should be banned from pony club as I'm " A cruel animal abuser"

5 different witnesses all confirmed what actually happened, mare ducked and bolted to the outside, I droped my crop in the process, mare was never touched with the crop . In fact, mare was calm as a cucumber during the whole thing.

Instructor still maintained that I had beaten the mare around the head ( Which I never would do ever!) to this day.. She still tells everyone that my mother and I both beat horses..

Bit of a nutter!

meupatdoes
Aug. 9, 2009, 06:45 AM
Something I find very annoying in a group lesson is when one of the other participants takes FOR. EVER. to make it around the course.

I mean, first of course we have a biiiiig circle to get our pace.
Then we lock and load on the first jump.
BUT! We pull out at the last minute because the distance wasn't quite right so we go on a trail ride around the ring again.
Then we make it in and out of the first line but have to stop and pull up and discuss it with the trainer before going on.
Recommencing obviously involves a large circle.

And so on. 8 jumps takes 10 minutes.

So in the group lesson context I for one can see why an instructor would excuse someone who kept making endless mistakes and taking up all the time and attention of the lesson. Obviously if someone is having an unusual problem it is totally acceptable to work it out and move on, but if somebody just constantly makes the lesson all about them with endless circling, "Can I just try that once more"'s, never getting simple instructions like "Halt after the line" right and whoopsiedaisies having to try it again, repeatedly getting lost on course and having to try it again and the need to discuss everything before, after, AND DURING the course it gets a little ridiculous. People can be perfectly polite and charming as they circle and discuss and try again discuss some more, but under the larger picture the other lessoners are there to RIDE, not to audit. Part of an instructor's job if they do it well is to spread the lesson around evenly, so for a group lesson I can definitely sympathize with instructors who excuse people that are disruptive to the rest of the lesson whether through outright misbehavior or just requiring far more than their fair share of attention/instruction to get it done.

mvp
Aug. 9, 2009, 09:38 AM
Why kick out the "Can I try again?" or "So sorry I can't remember instructions" student?

How about the stern, "No, you can't circle on course. You can't do it at a show, so you can't do it here. You need to learn to pick a distance and ride the one you get." Or "The horse has only so many jumps in him. You are burning those up here." Or, "You need to do what I say when I say it, or you will effectively train your horse to go badly."

Assuming this last case was about the student who forgets to halt mid course where the trainer asks, it might be wise to explain it's logic. I can't tell you how many times I have seen instructors tell riders to stop their too-forward horses after a line. The rider gets the job done roughly, assuming it was punishment for rushing. But the instructor has the student pick up the canter again in a heartbeat, giving the horse no time to think or settle... which is the point. The next line, no surprise, rides the same.

My point is that if you explain *why* you have asked for what you have, you get two things done. First, your student gets a clue that will make her more cooperative and even effective at helping you to school the horse as you'd like. Second, she gets the sense that every ride is a training ride and stops "phoning it in" as so many riders can do when they become dependent on or dominated by an instructor who does the brain work from the middle of the ring.

cocopuff
Aug. 9, 2009, 05:34 PM
Many moons ago I was taking a lesson with another young woman. We had only been going for a few minutes when she talked back to the instructor. I don't remember what she said but it got her excused from the ring. To this day, I secretly thank her :lol: for talking back because I got a private lesson and that was the day I felt self carriage for the first time.

This one was also a long, long time ago. I was partaking in a jumping lesson and according to the instructor, I wasn't coming through this one line correctly. I asked what I was doing wrong and he yelled at me. The saint of a horse I was riding kept carrying me through the line but something wasn't right and I just wasn't getting it. He kept yelling louder and louder until he finally shut down and ignored me. I never did figure out what I was doing wrong. That was the last lesson I took with him.

Treasmare2
Aug. 9, 2009, 06:15 PM
Shame on Tad Coffin....that settles the saddle and other tack issue. I am disappointed he did such a thing.

Come Shine
Aug. 9, 2009, 06:54 PM
I remember a lesson with a VBNT - Olympian no less. I was extremely disappointed when there were no suggestions to help work through an issue in the lesson, aside from a veiled suggestion that I excuse myself. It wasn't being asked to stop that was the problem, it just felt like we weren't worth the effort.

Beenthere
Aug. 9, 2009, 06:57 PM
Firesuit zipped up tight...

I find that some instructors have no formal education thus their lack of being able to teach, develop a lesson plan and be prepared to handle changes in personalties of horses and people. I mean they have nothing to call upon for those skills. So I try and locate those folks with formal education because it helps the flow. I get excited to see junior riders go off to college and come back years later to be amazing instructors.

That said, if someone is upset, had a bad day etc they should just pass on riding. I had one bad day at work and knew the instructor came solely out for me. I handed her my lesson money and thanked her for coming out but explained the day I had would not end with anything productive in the lesson. She laughed and said maybe I should give you money because you just taught me a lesson.....it takes alot for a person to think enough about their instructor not to put the instructor through hell for an hour.