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SimplyIdle
Feb. 15, 2010, 01:35 PM
I teach riding lessons to a girl who was having issues with her horse. We have finally reached a point where we have her guy figured out and things are progressing well. We have planned a cross country schooling this weekend, but I get an email message today saying they were going to take a riding lesson this week with someone else (who is equally qualified). In this same email, they compliment the "amazing" progress we have made with her horse (?)

Some history is they have done this switching stuff to me before as well as to other trainers they ride with. They have scheduled riding lessons with other trainers, yet called me when their horse was colicing - we hadn't had a riding lesson in over a month. I think that part of the problem with her horse is that she rides with 3 different trainers at once telling her different things. It is confusing the horse and rider especially since the horse and rider pair are only aiming to compete at BN.

Am I being unreasonable to say that I don't feel comfortable taking them XC schooling unless I do the prep lesson this week? Is it over stepping my bounds to tell them that I think it would be better to ride with only one trainer be it myself or someone else? Or should I just deal with it by continuing to ignore their wishy-washy behavior?

SonnysMom
Feb. 15, 2010, 01:50 PM
Are the different trainers the same discipline? If one of the other trainers is dressage only they may be fine.
If she hadn't had an over fences lesson with you in a few weeks I would tell her that that is required before a xc school.

Can you sit down with her and her parents and go over their goals for the upcoming year and how to get there? Maybe as part of that discussion you could ask about her other trainers and maybe they would be open to you contacting the other trainers so you could all work together for a common goal.
Take to opportunity to ask why they are going to the other trainers: is it money, school horses, facilities, she wants to ride with her friend who likes trainer B???? Answers to those questions may help you help her.

I know my hunter trainer has had students that keep their A show horse in another state with a BNT trainer that travels to FL in the winter and NY or VT in the summer. The student then trains locally with my trainer on their not as fancy horse. Both trainers touch base with each other on a regular basis to keep student on the same track. I think this is more common with hunter riders than eventers.

As long as the student and her parents understand this continuing to use multiple trainers with no coordination between the trainers may slow down her progression go ahead and keep working with her. If they begin to begin to bring other trainers methods to your lessons as way to undermine your teaching methods it might be time to cut them loose. (ie...I don't want to try it your way because trainer B has me doing it some other way.)

Kanga
Feb. 15, 2010, 01:55 PM
I have been in similar situations in the past and have had to have "the talk" with students before, regarding this issue. Personally, I refuse to train anyone that is riding with 3 different instructors because they are not getting what I am teaching, if they keep getting told something different by someone else. It is a waste of my time and I think a waste of their money to be doing something like that, especially as a Beg. Novice rider. The lower level riders really need consistant steady training with one trainer in order to progress well and have a clear understanding of a concept and program to follow.

If you do not feel comfortable with her ability cross country schooling without having a show jump lesson first then don't take her.

Good luck!

SevenDogs
Feb. 15, 2010, 02:00 PM
Safety should be paramount and schooling XC is not something that should be looked at lightly. However, I think you have to ask yourself a very hard question: Do you *really* think the rider is a safety hazard schooling XC without having done a prep lesson with you OR are you using it as an good excuse to prove a point because you are ticked off about not riding with you exclusively?

It is a hard question but one I think you need to ask yourself honestly. One of the toughest things about being a trainer has to be dealing with perceived loyalty issues. I have been with the same trainer since I started but have always been encouraged to clinic with others, etc. Then again, I have had the same doctor, dentist, and hair dresser for the past twenty years, so I may be a bit of an anomaly! ;)

However, I have seen other students come and go with my trainer and some are harder than others (specifically, situations like you described when the student goes to someone else after the trainer has fixed a lot of their issues). Unfortunately, it is part of being a professional and something trainers have to be able to deal with. That being said, you also have the right to require anything you think is really necessary to safely school XC, including prep lessons in the arena. Just be sure that your motives are pure.

QHquest
Feb. 15, 2010, 02:21 PM
I'm going to chime in as an ammy who takes lessons. I keep my horses at home for many reasons but a big one is so I am not bound to any particular trainer. I am upfront with whomever I am taking lessons with that I also may take a lesson with another trainer. It is a small world and word spreads fast. Sometimes you are progressing with a trainer in one area but still need help in another and a second opinion, training method might help. Sometimes it is the same thing, said in a different way and you suddenly get it. As a trainer you should be confident enough to have your student lesson with someone else and not be offended. They will be more likely to continue taking lessons with you if you are open to another prospective. One trainers method will not work on all horses and riders. The learning process is always continuing.

enjoytheride
Feb. 15, 2010, 02:59 PM
If you have had a lesson with this girl in the last few weeks and are confident in her safety then I don't see the big deal. She's paying you for the XC lesson anyway right? If you feel her one lesson with another instructor so damaged her then you can have her hop over little logs or something.

NeverTime
Feb. 15, 2010, 03:36 PM
Yes, a little unreasonable.
First, though, I completely understand why you'd like to have her taking lessons with just one person (you or someone else) and getting into a program where the instruction follows a logical progression and is uniform, rather than her getting potentially contradictory stuff from multiple instructors.
But it also sounds like you see what she's doing as "lesson-hopping" and disrespectful to you, which it might not really be. I think it's easy to assume that everyone should see it the way you do: pick an instructor and stick with that person. And that's usually a good plan.
But plenty of people don't see it that way. They also probably don't think they're being the least bit disloyal by taking lessons from several instructors (in fact, I'm guessing this hasn't crossed their minds if they are so open with you about who they are taking lessons with this week. If they felt guilty, they could've just made some other excuse for not doing a mid-week lesson). They see instructors kind of like restaurants: try it, keep going back if you like it. But even if you like it, that doesn't mean you'll only visit that one restaurant from this point forward.
And, like others said, if you think one mid-week lesson from someone else will prevent this girl from XC schooling safely over the weekend, she's probably not ready to XC school safely, period.

KateWooten
Feb. 15, 2010, 04:45 PM
I also keep my horses at home, so that I can pick and choose who to train with.... but I would never expect my regular trainer, or either of my occasional trainers to take me XC schooling if they didn't have a full, complete, current view of where I am at. That would just be completely unreasonable for the trainer ! Especially if it's a junior. I'm a grown-up (sort of) and can perfectly well take myself XC schooling just with friends, but no, I don't think you are being unreasonable - if you are not comfortable taking her, given the situation, then sit her down and tell her so. Tell her your criteria ... 3 successful jump lessons in the week prior to XC schooling ? 3 weeks of successful lessons ? Whatever it is, tell her. We had something similar with one of our juniors, and in the end, my trainer just said no, she was not prepared to take her to her first Novice, with the current level of preparation that she had seen. You're the trainer - you decide what you're comfortable with.

lstevenson
Feb. 15, 2010, 04:54 PM
They see instructors kind of like restaurants: try it, keep going back if you like it. But even if you like it, that doesn't mean you'll only visit that one restaurant from this point forward.



Lower level riders who think this way are doing their riding a huge disservice.

Learning a difficult and possibly dangerous sport is quite different than eating at a restaurant! Going to different restaurants for variety is a good thing. Going regularly to different instructors of the same discipline (unless one is the mentor of the other - meaning they are teaching out of the same system) only serves to confuse horse and rider and slow their progress, or even make them go backwards!

Good trainers have a SYSTEM. And there are many different systems out there - therein lies the problem.

The best way for lower level riders to progress is to find the best instructor that they have available to them, and stick with them until they understand the whole system, and have the skills to carry it out. Usually that's when they are solid at Preliminary level. Only at that point do they have the knowledge and experience to filter bits of info from other trainers to successfully decide whether or not it fits into their system. If a rider tries to include a technique or thought process into a system that doesn't fit, they will go backwards in their progress.

Clinics are a fun experience and are fine for anyone at any level, but again to benefit the riders they should then discuss new things that come up in clinics with their regular trainer, so that again it can be decided what new things fit into the current system.

This was discussed at length at the USEA convention a few years back, and the top experts unanimously agreed that this was true.

So to the OP, I totally understand where you are coming from. I would suggest having a very frank talk with them about this issue. Good luck!

Gry2Yng
Feb. 15, 2010, 05:01 PM
You HAVE to do what you are comfortable with. No question. No point in watching a kid get hurt when you inner alarm was ringing. However, I think part of the job as event instructors is to find a way to make it safe when confronted with any manner of things. This rider has rider with you fairly consistently. You should be able to design an xc school that keeps her safe and teaches her something. If you know the horse and rider, you know their weakness. Therefore, you should be able to create an "ah, ha" moment without putting them in physical danger.

Not ideal, but part of the job description in my little pond.

fatorangehorse
Feb. 15, 2010, 05:04 PM
I see both sides. Clearly they are not that knowledgeable, so they don't know the impact yet of their "dating" multiple trainers. For more advanced riders it can be very useful I think, but at this level I'm not sure I've seen much success.

YOu should definitely not take them XC schooling if you are not comfortable because of safety etc. I f you are just annoyed, which I understand, be prepared to lose them as a client. If you can live without their (even just occasional) $$, then explain to them why it is not ideal for either horse or rider etc.

If you can't live without their $$, I would handle more delicately. I may talk about the importance of consistency for a horse and rider who are learning. I would expose them to students who started with you and have made fantastic progress. - Particularly if you have someone who came with similar skill level and has by-passed this student - but still take them XC schooling.

Other than that, frustrating as it may be, they get to do as they wish. Again, if you think horse or rider safety is at stake, tell them so and explain why - regardless of risks to you. Other than that, focus on more loyal students

Beam Me Up
Feb. 15, 2010, 05:29 PM
If you don't feel comfortable taking them x-c schooling because you haven't seen them in a month, tell them that. I think that's totally reasonable, as well as your judgment. (Assuming that these people have not x-c schooled with you in the past--if they have I'm sure you could pick up from where you were?).

If you want them to cancel their other lesson, or don't want them to ride with other people (this week, or ever), that's different. Personally, it's not something I'd ever agree to, but some trainers (esp in h/j barns) have that rule, and I guess it's up to the students to decide how they feel.

I'm really not sure what this has to do with "loyalty" as much as safety, progress, etc. I'm not jealous of my trainer's other students.

I have ridden with people besides my "usual" trainer, normally more for reasons of convenience than preference (they were having a $20 winter indoor group lessons next door, they thought they could sell my horse, I trailered a horse in exchange, stuff like that). I never saw it as instead of or undermining my existing program--just additional opportunities to take advantage of.

I know riders better and richer than I who have also taken separate dressage or sj lessons to work on specific phases with specialists.

I don't know, trainers are free to make their own rules around riding with others, and students are free to decide if those work for them.

VicariousRider
Feb. 15, 2010, 05:59 PM
I don't think that you are being unreasonable. There are a lot of variables to a situation like this and if it makes you uncomfortable then don't play along.

IMO, the whole multiple trainers phenomenon is not really suitable for lower level riders. When a skill set is tenuous it is best to have progress monitored by one consistent eye so that the rider does not waste their own time or get over faced. I don't know if that is the case here, however.

I wonder if you might be well served to think about what it is that is the bothersome aspect of the situation: do you feel used (the colic scenario)? Do you worry about her skills/safety? Are you frustrated with the 2 steps forward 1 step back with the horse? All of these problems have different solutions. If you can identify the root problem and address it specifically and fairly (maybe even by instating a uniform policy) the you will likely be most satisfied.

ThirdCharm
Feb. 15, 2010, 06:08 PM
It is important for lower level riders to be in a consistent program with one underlying theory.... it takes some sophistication to pick and choose theories/methods from multiple programs and meld them into usable program.

Even if this rider and horse are not a DANGER if you take them xc schooling without them sticking with a consistent program--are there going to be other people at the venue? Is the student going to reflect badly on you due to their lack of (or improper) preparation?

Jennifer

80s rider
Feb. 15, 2010, 06:31 PM
Often times when a person is just starting out with riding, they need to take lessons from various people-to see what trainer is the best "fit" for them. As a mother of a child who is a young rider-we tried about 4 lesson barns in the area-often overlapping trainers, not to be disrespectful to the trainers, but to find out which barn/trainer would work the best for our needs. A few tried to get "possessive" of us after about 5-6 lessons-those were the ones we ended up moving on from....

enjoytheride
Feb. 15, 2010, 06:56 PM
The best way for lower level riders to progress is to find the best instructor that they have available to them, and stick with them until they understand the whole system, and have the skills to carry it out. Usually that's when they are solid at Preliminary level. Only at that point do they have the knowledge and experience to filter bits of info from other trainers to successfully decide whether or not it fits into their system. If a rider tries to include a technique or thought process into a system that doesn't fit, they will go backwards in their progress.

I absolutly and totally disagree with this theory completely. As a thinking reasonable adult with a good grasp on my current skill level and where I want to go I am perfectly capable of gaining on the different styles of instructional teaching.

These theory assumes that people taking instruction are basically morons, and the idea that you must stick with someone until prelim is silly.

Some trainers focus more on perfecting each component before moving on, which can make me feel stuck. Others don't dwell on things and instead add in something new to learn better, which can leave me wanting to fix the first thing. A combinatin of the two is the ideal learning structure for me.

I also think that when you ask this question you'll get a different answer from a trainer versus a client.

SevenDogs
Feb. 15, 2010, 07:03 PM
Don't mean this snarky at all, but I think that it is interesting that some of the posters here advocating one trainer/one way are some of the same folks that were so vehemently against ICP in that recent thread because it is too "singular philosophy/one way". I'm neither pro nor anti ICP, and I do value being involved long term with the same trainer, but I stay because I CHOOSE to stay... not because I am *required*. Usually the folks doing the requiring have a need to do so.

fatorangehorse
Feb. 15, 2010, 07:15 PM
OOOOOHHHHHHH! Good One!

lstevenson
Feb. 15, 2010, 07:22 PM
These theory assumes that people taking instruction are basically morons, and the idea that you must stick with someone until prelim is silly.


It does NOT assume that people taking instruction are morons, but that they don't have enough knowledge and experience on the subject matter to be able to know whether each piece of new information meshes with their current methods.

Surely you can see the difference between the two.


And if you think it's "silly" then you are also saying the panelists at the USEA convention are silly also, as they all felt strongly about it as well. If memory serves me correctly, that included Stephen Bradley, Amy Tryon, Karen O'Connor, Jan Bynny, Mara Dean, Mike Huber, and a few others.

lstevenson
Feb. 15, 2010, 07:35 PM
Don't mean this snarky at all, but I think that it is interesting that some of the posters here advocating one trainer/one way are some of the same folks that were so vehemently against ICP in that recent thread because it is too "singular philosophy/one way".


Uh, that shouldn't be suprising. As I said in my earlier post, there are many different "systems" out there - therein lies the problem with training with different instructors, IF their systems do not mesh. Trying to mesh bits of info from 2 or more different systems together can be a counter productive situation.

Some bits of info work in everybody's system, and some only work in some and really make horse and rider go backwards in others.

If a lower level rider is going to learn, progress, and move up the levels, they need to stick with a system, which ever one that is, until they reach a certain level.

The ICP really has nothing to do with this, but since you brought it up, they are trying to make one system "the only way", and who's to say that the way they have chosen is the right one? Many things they preach are not compatible with the ways of many of the undisputed greats of our sport, riders like Lucinda Green or Mark Todd.

bornfreenowexpensive
Feb. 15, 2010, 07:35 PM
Honestly...some people will do fine riding with multiple trainers and others do not.

I do think to progress as a rider, you do need to understand and have a system. You develop your own system and program (which will be slightly different for each horse) by learning other trainers' systems first...and taking from those what works best for you.

But at BN....it doesn't really take a program or system...it is still just the basics. So it is less important to me that a rider be in a "program" at that level...as long as they are getting good instruction. It should all still be the same stuff..the basics.

In the OP's case, if you honestly think that taking from multiple trainers is confusing the rider and horse....then tell the student that. But if all three trainers are decent and good....I would be surprised if they are really teaching all that differently.

SevenDogs
Feb. 15, 2010, 07:42 PM
I've stayed at the lowe levels by choice and have no intention of going anywhere near prelim but I can assure you that I am fully capable of evaluating instruction and "meshing" it with my existing knowledge. That's just an amazingly insulting overgeneralization, regardless of who did or did not say it at a USEA convention. Please!

Beam Me Up
Feb. 15, 2010, 07:43 PM
Would it be dangerous to watch/audit multiple trainers too, since you might not understand/filter that information, or might wrongly apply it to your situation?

lstevenson
Feb. 15, 2010, 08:14 PM
I can assure you that I am fully capable of evaluating instruction and "meshing" it with my existing knowledge.




Really? So you as a lower level rider know everything there is to know about the theories of riding so completely that you think you can easily filter any new information?

Or is it that you truely think that there is no piece of information that a trainer can say that shouldn't mesh with what you already know?

What about something simple like one trainer tells you to grip with your knees over jumps and another tells you not to? And they both have good arguements for their methods?

Or the fact that if you ask 10 different trainers how to do a half halt, you will get 10 different answers? How will you know which one is right? And if you change the way you half halt because a different trainer told you something different, will you also change the way you balance your horse in front of a down hill vertical? Because horses want consistancy. They don't want your aids to be completely different in one situation vs another. There's that system I was talking about.

Horsegal984
Feb. 15, 2010, 08:28 PM
What about something simple like one trainer tells you to grip with your knees over jumps and another tells you not to? And they both have good arguements for their methods?

Or the fact that if you ask 10 different trainers how to do a half halt, you will get 10 different answers? How will you know which one is right? And if you change the way you half halt because a different trainer told you something different, will you also change the way you balance your horse in front of a down hill vertical? Because horses want consistancy. They don't want your aids to be completely different in one situation vs another.

So you're also saying that a rider below prelim should never go to a clinic? Because that's the same sort of advice you might get at a clinic from one of those BNR you mentioned. And sorry, I see no problem with going to a clinic, and trying something new. Who knows, maybe what the clinician suggests will work better than what you had been doing. So you go back to your trainer and say "Hey, we tried such and such, and it worked great! Can we continue doing it that way for a while and see how it goes?" Sorry, I think if my trainer wanted so much control that we couldn't work together on an issue/solution then I would find a new trainer.

If you always do things one way and ONLY one way, how do you ever learn there might be a better way? It's a little late to wait to try things differently at prelim, if you're fighting to get around training. Sometimes a new way of saying things or even doing things can make a world of difference to a horse/rider team. Same as every trainer isn't the same, neither is every horse.

enjoytheride
Feb. 15, 2010, 08:38 PM
How do you know if the way your trainer is asking you to half halt is wrong? Or maybe you just need a different explanation?

Why isolate a rider totally from any outside instruction?

I can sign up right now for a clinic and circle BN, N, or any level I want never having actually ridden with them before. Clinicians are usually capable of telling if people are in over their heads and telling someone to go back to the barn if they are unsafe.

ss3777
Feb. 15, 2010, 08:40 PM
the same trainer, but I stay because I CHOOSE to stay... not because I am *required*. Usually the folks doing the requiring have a need to do so.

I have also seen this philosophy play out in the past. The trainer that is the most territorial has often been the one that has a problem holding onto his/her students. Trainers that have an open door policy often have folks that go out and try out other trainers, realize their mistake and come back. What is the percentage of folks that return to a territorial trainer that they believe they have angered?

OP...........if the student is safe, why not make some $$ and maybe make a difference in their journey?

Good luck!

lstevenson
Feb. 15, 2010, 08:42 PM
So you're also saying that a rider below prelim should never go to a clinic? Because that's the same sort of advice you might get at a clinic from one of those BNR you mentioned. And sorry, I see no problem with going to a clinic, and trying something new. Who knows, maybe what the clinician suggests will work better than what you had been doing. So you go back to your trainer and say "Hey, we tried such and such, and it worked great! Can we continue doing it that way for a while and see how it goes?" Sorry, I think if my trainer wanted so much control that we couldn't work together on an issue/solution then I would find a new trainer.

If you always do things one way and ONLY one way, how do you ever learn there might be a better way? It's a little late to wait to try things differently at prelim, if you're fighting to get around training. Sometimes a new way of saying things or even doing things can make a world of difference to a horse/rider team. Same as every trainer isn't the same, neither is every horse.


Please read my earlier post.



Clinics are a fun experience and are fine for anyone at any level, but again to benefit the riders they should then discuss new things that come up in clinics with their regular trainer, so that again it can be decided what new things fit into the current system.


Clinics are great, and as long as you discuss new things that come up with your trainer, can be very productive.

It's regular lessons with multiple trainers with different systems that are a problem.

Kanga
Feb. 15, 2010, 08:42 PM
SevenDogs, I think you might be missing what the point is here. Regardless of "which system" someone is choosing does not matter. The problem lies with students bouncing around from system to system. I can give you many, many examples here. But I'll give you just one so that you might get what we are trying to say.

I had a student that rode with me consistently for 6 years with multiple horses. She did very well during the time with me. She decided that she wanted to go train with someone else (who was a 4* rider) for a month. When she returned she was riding her horses in draw reins, ear pluging them prior to show jumping and giving one of them "a little something" prior to going cross-country. THESE WERE NOT THINGS I EVER TAUGHT HER IN THE 6 YEARS SHE HAD WITH ME. Nor are these things I would have any part of. That is not my "system".

The other point is David & Karen have a different system from Ian Stark who has a different system from Jimmy Wofford who has a different system from Ginny Leng who has a different system from Denny Emerson. It is very difficult as a lower level rider to bounce from one to the other and progress the way you could progress if you stuck with one trainer.

I have heard many of these people say....2 lessons a week we can basically stay about where you are at and improve slightly, 3 lessons a week is where we can start improving you and making steps forward. More lessons would be needed if there were any major issues to be dealing with. But by no means does that mean lessons with multiple trainers.

I have no problem with my students going to clinics or audits. But if they are going to ride with someone I would recommend them ride with someone that has a similar system to training like Ian Stark, Lucinda Green or The Bartles.

Many upper level trainers would tell you the same.

Find who you like and STICK with them. All this bouncing around does not do anyone any good....Including the trainer!

lstevenson
Feb. 15, 2010, 08:44 PM
Why isolate a rider totally from any outside instruction?


Where is the "head banging on wall" icon?

Please read for comprehension.

yellowbritches
Feb. 15, 2010, 08:54 PM
SevenDogs, I think you might be missing what the point is here. Regardless of "which system" someone is choosing does not matter. The problem lies with students bouncing around from system to system. I can give you many, many examples here. But I'll give you just one so that you might get what we are trying to say.

I had a student that rode with me consistently for 6 years with multiple horses. She did very well during the time with me. She decided that she wanted to go train with someone else (who was a 4* rider) for a month. When she returned she was riding her horses in draw reins, ear pluging them prior to show jumping and giving one of them "a little something" prior to going cross-country. THESE WERE NOT THINGS I EVER TAUGHT HER IN THE 6 YEARS SHE HAD WITH ME. Nor are these things I would have any part of. That is not my "system".

The other point is David & Karen have a different system from Ian Stark who has a different system from Jimmy Wofford who has a different system from Ginny Leng who has a different system from Denny Emerson. It is very difficult as a lower level rider to bounce from one to the other and progress the way you could progress if you stuck with one trainer.

I have heard many of these people say....2 lessons a week we can basically stay about where you are at and improve slightly, 3 lessons a week is where we can start improving you and making steps forward. More lessons would be needed if there were any major issues to be dealing with. But by no means does that mean lessons with multiple trainers.

I have no problem with my students going to clinics or audits. But if they are going to ride with someone I would recommend them ride with someone that has a similar system to training like Ian Stark, Lucinda Green or The Bartles.

Many upper level trainers would tell you the same.

Find who you like and STICK with them. All this bouncing around does not do anyone any good....Including the trainer!
Yes. :yes:

VicariousRider
Feb. 15, 2010, 09:00 PM
What is ICP?

I searched the eventing forum but noting comes up.

SimplyIdle
Feb. 15, 2010, 09:16 PM
Very interesting ideas brought up here. All very helpful. Thank you!

I don't have a problem at all with people - including my own students - riding with multiple trainers. I do it myself! And I think clinics, both auditing and riding, are great. But all of this is only as great as your ability to understand and apply what works for you and your horse and what doesn't.

My problem is this teenage girl has ridden with other trainers before and has come back to me with problems we had previously fixed. We have that rather aggravating conversation of, "Well so-n-so said XYZ" when we have already found out that XYZ doesn't work on her mount. I'm not saying she didn't get anything from these lessons - many times she comes back with something insightful that I hadn't thought about before. It is very frustrating for me to see a talented kid on a talented horse not progressing because they don't see the importance of sticking to a program when your still learning the basics.

And your right, I don't think one lesson with a different trainer before our XC school will make her unsafe that I don't feel good taking her. If I thought that, she shouldn't go XC schooling in the first place. I just wish the timing was better. Maybe I could suggest doing this lesson the week following the XC school?

Thanks again for the insight.

Horsegal984
Feb. 15, 2010, 09:27 PM
Clinics are great, and as long as you discuss new things that come up with your trainer, can be very productive.

It's regular lessons with multiple trainers with different systems that are a problem.

So why the assumption that the different lesson trainer is using a different system, while the clinic trainer doesn't? How is it any different if it's called a lesson or a clinic? I guess I'm just confused on what the difference is, because to me I can call it training either way and get the same info out of it.

I think as long as the student is being open about lessons with other trainers it gives a good opurtunity to discuss what was covered, and how things were handled differently. If the student has some points they feel other trainer helped more with, then maybe the OP can help build on that so they don't need to go back. If the student feels they didn't gain anything out of it or can't explain why they wanted/needed a different opinion then it's a good chance for the OP to explan why training with different people can continue to delay her progress in this case.

To me it really all comes down to comunication with most importantly the main trainer, but everyone you ride with.

SevenDogs
Feb. 15, 2010, 10:26 PM
Really? So you as a lower level rider know everything there is to know about the theories of riding so completely that you think you can easily filter any new information?

Or is it that you truely think that there is no piece of information that a trainer can say that shouldn't mesh with what you already know?

What about something simple like one trainer tells you to grip with your knees over jumps and another tells you not to? And they both have good arguements for their methods?

Or the fact that if you ask 10 different trainers how to do a half halt, you will get 10 different answers? How will you know which one is right? And if you change the way you half halt because a different trainer told you something different, will you also change the way you balance your horse in front of a down hill vertical? Because horses want consistancy. They don't want your aids to be completely different in one situation vs another. There's that system I was talking about.

Um....wow... just wow! You are making me feel incredibly fortunate!

I am incredibly lucky to have a trainer who actually treats me with respect and doesn't feel the need to control my every move, even though he has ridden to the four star level, has years of teaching experience, and several certifications. I want to thank him for being confident enough in his skills/teaching ability that he can teach me so many things, including that even a "lower level rider" like me might be able to actually comprend that there are different ways to explain the same thing and be able to process such a concept without self destructing. I am fortunate that he instills confidence in me to go and ride with some of the best in the business, knowing I have the tools to ask questions and assimilate new material (even if it doesn't work for me at that time). Dear Lord... I might even be able to survive the "gripping with your knees" scenario that you are so sure would throw me over the edge!

I would NEVER ride with someone who thought so little of me (and so much of themselves!) that they think I couldn't possibly understand that there are different explanations of the same thing. A trainer that is so controlling that they would not encourage me to ride in a clinic because the clinician might (horrors of horrors!) explain a half halt differently.

Thank you for making me realize how incredibly blessed I am to have found my trainer!

Kanga: I think *you* are missing my point -- I have ridden with the same trainer for many years. I am not advocating "bouncing around" -- quite the contrary. Having been in this program for many years, I have witnessed how counter productive "bouncing" can be, which is why I have never done it. However, I am also not willing to a trainer so controlling (and/or egotistical) that they think that I couldn't possibly understand a concept presented differently by another competent trainer.

I do understand the idea of riding with different trainers who come from similar training perspectives, which is why I found it so ironic that you and other were so vehemently opposed to the ICP program. That being said, I don't think I would self destruct if I rode with a clinician that came from a different perspective... oh wait... I actually did that and lived to tell the tale!


OP: Sorry this thread got a little derailed -- I'm going to pull off now. It sounds like you have really evaluated the situation and have a great plan. Best of luck.

Bif
Feb. 15, 2010, 10:48 PM
I wish the OP had mentioned the age of the girl... and what the reason for the problems with the horse were.

Bornfreenowexpensive makes good points. :yes: If the rider's has very good basics and a working brain, I think it is good to work with a variety of trainers.

For Kanga, your rider was... an idiot, or (spineless) if she would rather use gimmicks than ride her horse, because a big name told her to...



I absolutly and totally disagree with this theory completely. As a thinking reasonable adult with a good grasp on my current skill level and where I want to go I am perfectly capable of gaining on the different styles of instructional teaching.

These theory assumes that people taking instruction are basically morons, and the idea that you must stick with someone until prelim is silly.

Well said.

I think the problem we see is riders that do not have good equitation and lack a full understanding of the basics (much less some finer points) are trying to do above their level (even if that's BN or greener than grass). A rider should mentally understand what they are doing on course, and WHY they are doing it. I have seen riders unable to warm up their horses (and packers!!) without their trainer. Their trainer was too busy, the girl didn't know how to warm up her own horse. :eek: THAT IS TRAGIC. If you NEED an instructor to warm you up for Novice or lower, you don't understand what you are doing and don't belong on the course. Or you need a different horse.

Teach the horse to think for itself, but accept direction. Teach the rider to think for herself... and she'll know which direction to go!

enjoytheride
Feb. 15, 2010, 11:03 PM
So explain how so many people can teach the same end goal (to do well in eventing) and have such completely and totally different systems that they are absoloutly incompatable with each other and would so confuse a student?

I would assume that most GOOD instruction should follow basically the same lines with different offshoots for a trainer's particular area of interest or specialty and that the major differences are in explanation of how to do something with can make a very big difference in someone's learning absorbtion.

I am sure that Lucinda Green and Ian Stark would have a different method but the end result is the same and perhaps taking a clinic with BOTH of them would give a student what they need.

To again use the half halt question: while there might be 10 different methods of half halting I should be able to find out which one exactly gets through to my head and which one works best for me. Come to think of it, why would I bother even learning about the half halt if it were so vague and ridiculous that every person on the planet had a different method? How on earth would you purchase a new horse without retraining him totally from the beginning. Should the half halt have a base set of rules that all people draw from but explain in a different manner?

Carol Ames
Feb. 15, 2010, 11:20 PM
I think that giving her have a jumping lesson, consider it an” update:winkgrin:”, for both of you:yes:, is perfectly reasonable and responsible, make it a recommendation;) FOR SAFETY OF both horse ;)and rider; TO UPDATE YOURSELF on :lol:where she and her horse stand in their training,;) as well as in their conditioning :eek:“” at this point in time. also to remind yourselves of how you communicate with one another:winkgrin:; what type of learner she is , where their "comfort zone:lol: is and, what she wants to get from this school.fancy it up with "high priced":Dwords":cool:

lstevenson
Feb. 15, 2010, 11:23 PM
, including that even a "lower level rider" like me might be able to actually comprend that there are different ways to explain the same thing and be able to process such a concept without self destructing.


Good Lord SevenDogs you really, really don't get it do you??

We are NOT talking about "different ways to explain the same thing", we are talking about different, opposing methods.

Take Kanga's great example of someone who came back from a month of working with someone else with draw reins. That is destructive to the principles of classical training. If we've been working on sending the horse TO the bit, and now he's being taught to tuck his nose from bit pressure, these are diametrically opposite things which will send horse and rider backwards.

No one is trying to "control ones every move", but merely want riders to be the best that they can be. And I can see you will never agree, and it's a shame, but it really does make a difference to find the best trainer you can and avoid trainer hopping.

SevenDogs
Feb. 15, 2010, 11:26 PM
Good Lord SevenDogs you really, really don't get it do you??


Oh... I get it. You just don't like that someone disagrees with you. You spend an awful lot of time telling people that don't agree with you that "we just don't get it"; "can't read for comprehension", or are just aren't advanced as you are!

You need to go back and read your own posts.

Thanks again though, for making me oh so appreciative of my great trainer! As someone who has been with the same trainer and never "trainer hopped", I guess it is important to be exposed to others, to realize how great you really have it.

enjoytheride
Feb. 15, 2010, 11:32 PM
Obviously if someone can't tell the difference between correct riding and drawreins then they shouldn't be moving around.

However, I think that many people have a good base of what they should be learning.

SevenDogs
Feb. 15, 2010, 11:37 PM
Obviously if someone can't tell the difference between correct riding and drawreins then they shouldn't be moving around.

However, I think that many people have a good base of what they should be learning.

Gosh... even a lower level "know nothing" like me knows that! ;)

lstevenson
Feb. 15, 2010, 11:39 PM
Oh... I get it. You just don't like that someone disagrees with you.


I really don't think you do. You keep saying different ways of teaching the same concept, and that is not what we are talking about. At all. We are talking about teachers teaching OPPOSING concepts. Sorry you don't seem to understand the difference.

SevenDogs
Feb. 15, 2010, 11:42 PM
I really don't think you do. You keep saying different ways of teaching the same concept, and that is not what we are talking about. At all. We are talking about teachers teaching OPPOSING concepts. Sorry you don't seem to understand the difference.

Are you this offensive with your students?

Bif
Feb. 15, 2010, 11:42 PM
Lstevenson,

If we look at it from the perspective that the rider trusts and uses classical methods, I don't see how using (learning from) different instructors is an issue. (You always learn something, including what not to do... hopefully "what not to do" only in a clinic you're auditing!) HOWEVER... that is why it is important to teach riders to think and evaluate for themselves, and understand why the classical route, while at times longer, is always better for the animal and ultimately performance.

I've used different trainers at different times. I have told trainers during a lesson that I did not think that exercise/method was appropriate for my horse, why (all in politest ways) and we either found something else to work on, or shortened the lesson. My horse and my training principles are more important than that trainer's ego. If one choses wisely, she'll be working with trainers with good values, goals, and methods of instruction.

I had one lesson I'm sure I pissed off the "instructor" no end because I had worked on developing a positive forward attitude in this mare, and she wanted me to ride her in her good frame for longer than I felt the mare was up to. I said no, before that mare had a chance to get tired and be unwilling to give. Oh, well... I make take 6 months or a year longer, but the mare will be a happy volunteer, in a plain caveson, and not a sulky, irritated horse with her mouth buckled shut.

If you like your instructor, rejoice. You'll be willing to try new things if they've proven themselves sensible and safety minded. If you don't think your instructor is correct on a big issue, use your spine and save your horse.

But you can only do that if you've learned how to think for yourself...

Horsegal984
Feb. 15, 2010, 11:42 PM
Sorry, to me, what Kanga described is NOT good training in general. I think everyone on this board can agree that training with a bad trainer is as harmful as training with no one at all. Just another example that who ou are and what you have accomplished doesn't mean you can train ;)

And I can't count the number of people who tried to explain proper jumping position to me; close your hip angle, let the horse fold you, fold at the waist, etc. Finally my current trainer got the message across, by telling me to stick my butt out. If I had blindly followed the first person to train with and never looked elsewhere for help I might still not get it.

And no, I don't bounce between trainers, butover the course of a few years I have ridden with several trainers, and now I have found a good fit that I plan to stick with

lstevenson
Feb. 15, 2010, 11:46 PM
Are you this offensive with your students?


Nope. But I guess that's because my students are all reasonable people. ;)

SevenDogs
Feb. 15, 2010, 11:49 PM
Nope. My students are all reasonable people. ;)

...who obviously never dare to disagree with you or think on their own, lest they be told how little they really know. ;)

I'll say it again, if nothing else, you have made me realize how fortunate I am to have found my trainer!

lstevenson
Feb. 15, 2010, 11:55 PM
And I can't count the number of people who tried to explain proper jumping position to me; close your hip angle, let the horse fold you, fold at the waist, etc. Finally my current trainer got the message across, by telling me to stick my butt out. If I had blindly followed the first person to train with and never looked elsewhere for help I might still not get it.


Once again though, you are talking about multiple trainers simply explaining the SAME concept in different ways. NOT opposing concepts. Yes, if another trainer explains the same concept in a different way that can be very helpful. But often it happens that opposing concepts are taught. And THAT is when there is trouble.

Horsegal984
Feb. 16, 2010, 12:02 AM
Once again though, you are talking about multiple trainers simply explaining the SAME concept in different ways. NOT opposing concepts. Yes, if another trainer explains the same concept in a different way that can be very helpful. But often it happens that opposing concepts are taught. And THAT is when there is trouble.

And again, you're continuing to assume that ANY trainer a student decides to take another lesson with is going to oppose 'the system.' I'm not disagreeing that the draw reins example is the extreme situation you are trying to argue, however I believe that part of being a good trainer is teaching your students to recogonize the difference. I don't believe you ahve to be a 4* rider to understand what bad instruction is. However, I do believe you are the one who said anyone not riding at prelim or above is too ignorant to know the difference, which at least with me is a big part of why I disagree with you.

lstevenson
Feb. 16, 2010, 12:05 AM
...who obviously never dare to disagree with you or think on their own, lest they be told how little they really know. ;)



Actually I LOVE a good intelligent question or discussion on different theories from a student or anyone for that matter. That's one reason I love the COTH forums. It's a great place to have some really interesting discussions.

But you have made no attempt whatsoever to even think about or discuss rationally what I, and others, are saying.

Kairoshorses
Feb. 16, 2010, 12:08 AM
I am ambivalent about this issue. On one hand, most of the work I do professionally is collaborative; I encourage my students at the university to collaborate. As a result, I really like taking lessons with a "main" person, but I also LOVE doing clinics (and occasionally taking lessons from a discipline-specific person like a dressage person).

However, my "main" trainer doesn't approve of my "lesson hopping", and for good reason; she believes other people have over-faced me, or have taught me bad habits.

I don't see it that way, but I understand where they're coming from.

We've compromised: I lesson with the "main" trainer as much as I can, and I discuss the clinics I want to attend with this trainer. The trainer DOES like several clinicians, so I'm "blessed" in terms of doing those clinics/riding with these people.

I was initially annoyed, but I also recognize that the "main" trainer had an investment in me and my horse, and I like that. I also think I've learned a lot. So I think our compromise is a good one.

(btw, I should note that I keep my horses at home, and live three hours from the main trainer, six hours from the nearest event where I might lesson with a clinician...which complicates things!)
Perhaps you can have a discussion like this one?

SevenDogs
Feb. 16, 2010, 12:08 AM
Actually I LOVE a good intelligent question or discussion on different theories from a student or anyone for that matter.

But you have made no attempt whatsoever to even think about or discuss rationally what I, and others, are saying.

Keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better!

Bif
Feb. 16, 2010, 12:19 AM
SimplyIdle,
I just caught this response
Very interesting ideas brought up here. All very helpful. Thank you!

I don't have a problem at all with people - including my own students - riding with multiple trainers. I do it myself! And I think clinics, both auditing and riding, are great. But all of this is only as great as your ability to understand and apply what works for you and your horse and what doesn't.

My problem is this teenage girl has ridden with other trainers before and has come back to me with problems we had previously fixed. We have that rather aggravating conversation of, "Well so-n-so said XYZ" when we have already found out that XYZ doesn't work on her mount. I'm not saying she didn't get anything from these lessons - many times she comes back with something insightful that I hadn't thought about before. It is very frustrating for me to see a talented kid on a talented horse not progressing because they don't see the importance of sticking to a program when your still learning the basics.

This actually strikes me as a very good way to open up talking to the student on your philosophy on your methods; how you two determined that XYZ doesn't work and ask why she tried XYZ when she knew it didn't work. Teaching her HOW to evaluate trainers comments and whether they fit into her philosophy, and as a check always if her philosophy is as correct as it could be.

Like you mentioned, it's a chance "to understand and apply what works for you and your horse and what doesn't." Because the ultimate goal is to make a good horsewoman, capable in riding, with the horse's welfare at the top of her priorities, and able to teach future riders the same principles.

But people don't always realize they have to think until you make them. They will happily follow instructions rather than think, then are lost if they have to think for themselves. This is a big chance for her to figure out that your method works better because the horse performs better.

lstevenson
Feb. 16, 2010, 12:19 AM
And again, you're continuing to assume that ANY trainer a student decides to take another lesson with is going to oppose 'the system.'

It's a good possibility that they would.



However, I do believe you are the one who said anyone not riding at prelim or above is too ignorant to know the difference, which at least with me is a big part of why I disagree with you.


What I said was that they didn't have the knowledge and experience to understand the nuances of the differences in training concepts w/o being confused or getting the horse confused. That says nothing about a rider's intelligence, it instead speaks of their level of knowledge on the subject. Isn't that why riders take lessons? To improve their riding ability and their knowledge on the subject?

Except for SevenDogs, who knows it all already. ;)

SevenDogs
Feb. 16, 2010, 12:27 AM
Except for SevenDogs, who knows it all already. ;)

I never said that I knew it all... I just said that maybe you didn't! ;)

Carol Ames
Feb. 16, 2010, 12:35 AM
I had a very quick, sensitive and lght to the aids Intermediate TB mare who, I lent to a local Pony Clubber; She took her to a prelim H. T. did a good dressage test; rode very quietly and balanced placed in the top `10; jumped around XC safely, and clean; in a division with several Olympians; then her PC got:cry: involved, sent her to a local BNT, dressage, she came back, leaning wayyyy back, hands locked down on the horses' neck; spurs in her ribs:eek: all that to "get the horse "on the bit:mad::o"so, no, trainers neither:( teach nor:no: mean the same thing, though, they may use the same terms:o

Bif
Feb. 16, 2010, 12:36 AM
Not just in lessons. There are other ways of getting knowledge.

If they are intelligent enough to read, :rolleyes: they can get an excellent education reading books by Leslie Law, Jimmie Wooford, articles by Denny and Bruce and Mike Huber and Mike Plumb, etc... think about what those riders are saying, and their experiences. Learn what they think they agree and don't and why they agree and don't... I'm not saying you can ride from reading books, just that you owe to you riding to read books by deKunfey, Podjasky, whoever so you can install your filters.

Most of us could tell from the drawreins (unless used very carefully by very educated hands for very limited applications) and overflexing that that's not our cup of tea, they don't need a lesson to figure it out.

Carol Ames
Feb. 16, 2010, 12:41 AM
owever, I think that many people have a good base of what they should be learning. _______

lstevenson
Feb. 16, 2010, 12:43 AM
Lstevenson,

If we look at it from the perspective that the rider trusts and uses classical methods, I don't see how using (learning from) different instructors is an issue. (You always learn something, including what not to do... hopefully "what not to do" only in a clinic you're auditing!) HOWEVER... that is why it is important to teach riders to think and evaluate for themselves, and understand why the classical route, while at times longer, is always better for the animal and ultimately performance.


Totally agree that if the rider understands classical principles completely , and has the guts to stand up for them when someone is telling them to do something that isn't right, then that rider would be fine riding with others.

But many riders fall for the bs that some trainers bestow on them, telling them that things like draw reins or RK really are correct and classical.

And then there is the current divide in theory on jumping training. Whether to teach the horse to think for itself or whether the rider controls where the horse puts his feet at all times.

Those are just a few examples, but there are tons of little ones, such as: hands up or hands down? weight on inside seat bone, outside seat bone, or right in the middle? indirect rein or no? deep and btv or no? stronger bit to teach the horse to back off the bit or training to change the carriage of the horse so he doesn't lean on the hand? sit all the way to jumps or approach in a half seat? forward first or balance first?

I could go on and on. And if a rider knows where they stand on every issue then they are safe to ride with anybody without being confused or confusing their horse. Usually they get to that level of understanding around Prelim, but I'm sure some particularly studious get there earlier.

lstevenson
Feb. 16, 2010, 12:53 AM
I was initially annoyed, but I also recognize that the "main" trainer had an investment in me and my horse, and I like that. I also think I've learned a lot. So I think our compromise is a good one.


This is a great way to look at it. Good for you for understanding that your trainer not trying to "control" you but is highly invested in making you the best that you can be.

Bif
Feb. 16, 2010, 01:11 AM
Totally agree that if the rider understands classical principles completely , and has the guts to stand up for them when someone is telling them to do something that isn't right, then that rider would be fine riding with others.
I think SPINE is an important part of equestrian pursuits.
But many riders fall for the bs that some trainers bestow on them, telling them that things like draw reins or RK really are correct and classical.
Until a rider has learned to think they should only be learning excellent equitation on schoolies, and not attempt to train. (I am going to be so popular with that one!)
And then there is the current divide in theory on jumping training. Whether to teach the horse to think for itself or whether the rider controls where the horse puts his feet at all times.
Well, considering he's the one required to do the work, knows his body best, has the most up to date sensations on footing, etc... The question is do our riders know how to teach the horse to think for itself (quite different from just letting it "do it's own thing")... as I said earlier: Teach the horse to think for itself, but accept direction. Teach the rider to think for herself... and she'll know which direction to go!
Those are just a few examples, but there are tons of little ones, such as (you ask, I'll answer:winkgrin:): hands up or hands down? In a straight line to the bit, and with the upper arm perpendicular to the ground, hands at forty five and relaxed... is this really a question out there right now?! weight on inside seat bone, outside seat bone, or right in the middle? indirect rein or no? situation dependent deep and btv or no? BTV is a great way to end up with zero control over the horse stronger bit to teach the horse to back off the bit or training to change the carriage of the horse so he doesn't lean on the hand? Training! Horse must always want to carry itself sit all the way to jumps or approach in a half seat? You jump ahead, you jump alone... otherwise, you can stay in halfseat if the fence allows, sit if you need to (fence specific)...
forward first or balance first? Personally, I'm a forward first girl on the flat, and once they establish that, teach jumping. I hate rushers, hate stoppers, and believe a balanced horse can have the impulsion for quite a range of fences before they need pace
I could go on and on. And if a rider knows where they stand on every issue then they are safe to ride with anybody without being confused or confusing their horse. Usually they get to that level of understanding around Prelim, but I'm sure some particularly studious get there earlier.Some of just will never have the money and the horse at the same time (and maybe the talent!) to do prelim, but it doesn't mean we aren't serious about what we do, or enjoying learning all we can :yes::yes:


Well, you asked :winkgrin:

lstevenson
Feb. 16, 2010, 01:24 AM
Well, you asked :winkgrin:


Ha! Good for you Bif. I agree with you on almost every answer. Your trainer must have a similar system to mine. :)

But my point is, many riders would listen to a good pitch from a trainer teaching something other than your answers, and be swayed or confused.

Beam Me Up
Feb. 16, 2010, 01:42 AM
I think Bif makes an important point about personal responsibility and keeping our "filter" on at all times.

We each have a system, we each know our horse(s), and we each are ultimately responsible for whatever happens each time we ride, even in lessons with our trainer. If the horse has a bad experience and loses confidence, or an injury, those consequences (vet bills, ruined horse) are ours to bear, not the trainer's.

We are responsible for understanding the "why" of what we're doing, for asking questions, and for raising concerns if we might know something about the horse that could favor another approach.

Having a trainer (regular or clinician) there cannot prevent disaster. I know some of the rides I most wish I could take back happened in lessons. Not the trainer's fault--it was I who should have known better.

It's important to remember that having a trainer, no matter how great or how frequent, doesn't absolve you from the ultimate responsibility for the ride.

Carol Ames
Feb. 16, 2010, 01:58 AM
Opened a "can of worms:eek:," eh?:lol:




weight on inside seat bone, outside seat bone, or right in the middle? indirect rein or no? situation dependent deep and btv or no? BTV is a great way to end up with zero control over the horse stronger bit to teach the horse to

Carol Ames
Feb. 16, 2010, 02:01 AM
Thia, usually comes with adulthood:yes: they stand on every issue then they are safe to ride with anybody without being confused or confusing their horse. Usually they get to that level of understanding around Prelim, but I'm sure some

Bif
Feb. 16, 2010, 02:26 AM
Do we really need a serving of worms?:winkgrin:

I have my reasons, I understand my reasons, I can explain my reasons.

It's like religion... some might be swayed by my reasons, some have opposing reasons, some see no reasons, and none of us will know the reason until it's all said and done.

I just know a horse with its head on its chest galloping out of control is terrifying, as the only answer is forward to get the head back (I mean forward!) in the riders control. Why (don't ask it! don't ask it!) pull, pick, annoy the horse to put it's head behind the vertical when you train a horse to follow the hand with his nose and follow the nose with his body? He's supposed to follow into his chest?

I always hated ridden flexing where the horse doesn't follow the bend with it's body and movement. I know lots of people do it. I happily agree to disagree, as I see some of their logic, it's just not what I want to do with my beasties. (I like to make and ride packers, and a rider really likes for the horse to be totally honest, to not know there is another answer besides follow his nose.) It's just my humble, humble opinion. There are no worms.:uhoh: Just my opinion :winkgrin:, I SO need to get out more!

lstevenson
Feb. 16, 2010, 02:26 AM
Opened a "can of worms:eek:," eh?:lol:


:lol: That's alright Carol. You know I love a good challenge!

SEPowell
Feb. 16, 2010, 10:09 AM
To the OP

It might be interesting to reprase your question to "what strategies would be useful for instructing a student who receives input from many trainers?". We're going for a cross country school, how should I proceed?

My answer is, FWIW :D

You could begin the lesson by asking for an exercise that would give you the information you need for where she and the horse are at that given moment and then proceed from there. It's essentially what you'd do if you'd given her a lesson a week before. There's going to be x amount of variability in their performance regardless of when you saw them last, just be more flexible with the x.

It seems to me any lesson is similar to working with green horses. One proceeds with ongoing evaluation and never with a rigid or predetermined plan based on past performance.

If you see real regression in her performance this is a question the two of you could analyze together. It may help her understand how she and her horse learn or in some cases unlearn.

AKB
Feb. 16, 2010, 12:00 PM
My daughter took weekly lessons from the same instructor, a well known ULR, for about 15 years. She also took lessons with any other instructors she could find through pony club and our local eventing association. After each lesson with another person, our regular instructor asked her to talk about what she learned from the other instructor. They would then discuss if the techniques were helpful for her horse, and in what situations they might be helpful. This was a really good approach. It helped my daughter think about her riding, and really made her grateful for her own top notch instructor. My daughter doesn't have time to event seriously now because of her career, but when she has time, she goes and gets lessons from her long time instructor.

eventersmom
Feb. 16, 2010, 12:02 PM
Am I being unreasonable to say that I don't feel comfortable taking them XC schooling unless I do the prep lesson this week? Is it over stepping my bounds to tell them that I think it would be better to ride with only one trainer be it myself or someone else? Or should I just deal with it by continuing to ignore their wishy-washy behavior?

I don't believe you are being unreasonable. This is your lesson program, you have a system and methodology that you use and they are paying you for that system and your opinion. As a parent, I would appreciate you explaining your concerns and why you feel it would be best for this student to stay with one trainer for the time being. Perhaps they skip around because they don't understand?

My daughter started riding at age 6 and I had zero clue about lessons, horses, training, etc. While she has always had a "main trainer" and supplemented lessons with clinics, there was a time that I believed that having her in multiple lessons with multiple trainers would benefit her riding. (If one trainer is good then 3 would be great, right?) Luckily I discussed it first with her trainer at the time and she explained exactly why this would be detrimental to her riding at that stage in her training. Even though my daughter is now basically grown and ready for college, she still prefers to have one trainer that knows her strengths and weaknesses, knows her horse and one that she can trust to say "this isn't working, let's try something else."

I would suggest discussing your concerns with the girl and the parents. If they choose to keep doing what they are doing after your talk, then it's up to you whether you are comfortable continuing to keep the girl as a student. IMHO there is nothing wrong with telling a student that you have a different approach and it's not working out, particularly if you have concerns about her safety. Good luck!

Kanga
Feb. 16, 2010, 12:58 PM
BIF-

For Kanga, your rider was... an idiot, or (spineless) if she would rather use gimmicks than ride her horse, because a big name told her to...

YOUR RIGHT!! This is one reason why she is a former student.

All others...

This has nothing to do about control or ego as sevendogs has pointed out several times. This has to do with certain trainers seem to take a much more vested interest in their students and students horses. I know my students horses inside out, I ride them, I take care of them, I help make their conditioning & feeding schedules, I'm there with the vet when there is a problem to make sure we are doing the right thing to take care of the situation and also with the farrier, I'm constantly a second mother for many, and I am always someone they can come to if they have any questions about anything. I just don't run a business where it is just about the lesson time as many trainers do. There is a whole package and that is how students grow.

Now from the student in me....
When I was in full training with my trainers this is how I always WANTED it. I had no desire to train or take lessons here and there with other people. I always felt like they had more to teach me so why would I want to look anywhere else?? Mabey if students feel there is a hole in their training than they need to ride with multiple instructors and that is why they do it. (I don't know!?) I think if you are content with your trainer and getting out of it what you want & progressing the way you want, why would you want to put others into that equation if it is working for you?

If you are not getting what you want or need, then that is a different subject. You must ask yourself a different set of questions...
1)Do I not get along with this instructor?
2)Do I not feel I am being "pushed" enough?
3)Do I feel I am being "pushed" to much?
4)Do I feel I have learned everything this person can possibly teach me?
5)I'm I putting the time in that needs to be put in practice to improve?
6)I'm I being realistic about my goals?

This can go on and on but you get my point......I hope!!

Signing off on this thread now....Pretty much said everything with the last 3 posts I made. Sorry if I offended anyone!!

flabbergasted
Feb. 16, 2010, 01:38 PM
Am I being unreasonable to say that I don't feel comfortable taking them XC schooling unless I do the prep lesson this week? Is it over stepping my bounds to tell them that I think it would be better to ride with only one trainer be it myself or someone else? Or should I just deal with it by continuing to ignore their wishy-washy behavior?

You need to ask the parents why the kid is lessoning with different instructors. It could be a matter of cost or convenience, or they may believe that your instruction is deficient in some way, or the kid may simply like changing things up from time to time to keep things fun and fresh. Once you understand why this is happening, you will be able to make a good decision about how to proceed.

If you tell them that they have to fish or cut bait, you need to be prepared (pride-wise and financially) for them to cut bait.

magnolia73
Feb. 16, 2010, 03:12 PM
I think the key is to ride with good trainers. Probably in the last 10 years I have ridden with 10 different people. All of whom had different ways of presenting info, but all of the end goal was the same. Even ranging from HJ to eventing, the information was very similar. Everyone was seeking the same outcome using similar methods, witha few different tricks/techniques here and there.

I think its when you get involved with trainers that really don't have solid backgrounds that you get into trouble. For example, my barn has a lady who is astute at using a neck stretcher to get her horses behind the vertical and on the forehand. Or just people in general with bizarre methods. I think that can be very bad for those with less knowledge, especially since that profile is good at marketing. These trainers tend to suck in the unknowing....

I do think for lower level riders, it is most effective to stick with one trainer for regular lessons. It is what has been most effcient for me, but it is ALWAYS valuable to take from someone new on occasion as they can help solve problems or help you see things in a different manner. Many times one lesson with a different trainer has helped solve a long time problem simply due to their wording or ideas.

But just skipping around to random trainers at the lower levels probably is not an efficient way to learn.

Kairoshorses
Feb. 16, 2010, 04:35 PM
I like what BMU says below, but again, it's problematic. While I'm a confident, educated, even opinionated adult, when it comes to my riding, I'm MORE than willing (read: too eager, alas) to take someone else's advice because I'm less confident in that area....and often they are, in my eyes, the "expert", the upper level successful rider/trainer.

But they often have very different ways of dealing with students, with horses, and with training...and that can be problematic. So while my "filter is on", I may let too much through because of my lack of experience/confidence.

I'm willing to compromise BECAUSE I know that I tend to see folks who've "been there, done that" as knowing a lot--even if it doesn't agree with what I think should be done...because they are the "knowers". I'm a learner. And in that world, taking responsibility means listening to those who know more than you do, even if you're not sure based on your experience.

Obviously, there's a tipping point...but it's often NOT black and white.


I think Bif makes an important point about personal responsibility and keeping our "filter" on at all times.

We each have a system, we each know our horse(s), and we each are ultimately responsible for whatever happens each time we ride, even in lessons with our trainer. If the horse has a bad experience and loses confidence, or an injury, those consequences (vet bills, ruined horse) are ours to bear, not the trainer's.

We are responsible for understanding the "why" of what we're doing, for asking questions, and for raising concerns if we might know something about the horse that could favor another approach.

Having a trainer (regular or clinician) there cannot prevent disaster. I know some of the rides I most wish I could take back happened in lessons. Not the trainer's fault--it was I who should have known better.

It's important to remember that having a trainer, no matter how great or how frequent, doesn't absolve you from the ultimate responsibility for the ride.

Dawnd
Feb. 16, 2010, 04:36 PM
It does NOT assume that people taking instruction are morons, but that they don't have enough knowledge and experience on the subject matter to be able to know whether each piece of new information meshes with their current methods.

Surely you can see the difference between the two.

I'm going to have to differ with you as well, lsteve. Most adult riders who are lower level are completely capable of discerning theory and are also capable of trying different teaching styles without it causing a major problem with "a program". Perhaps the student is trying to say, "don't put a program on me yet".

The OP is asking about a kid, though which perhaps has a different spin to it.

There are many different ways to learn. Student-centered learning (IMO) is what it is all about. If the OP looks at it from that point of view, perhaps his/her reaction might be different.



And if you think it's "silly" then you are also saying the panelists at the USEA convention are silly also, as they all felt strongly about it as well. If memory serves me correctly, that included Stephen Bradley, Amy Tryon, Karen O'Connor, Jan Bynny, Mara Dean, Mike Huber, and a few others.

IMHO this is a list of several "silly" people. A group who is thinking mainly about Numero Uno (and that is themselves).

mcw
Feb. 16, 2010, 05:29 PM
I have always preferred to work with one trainer. They see me week to week, really get to know me and my horse, and I get to know them and the way they communicate. When I clinic, I try to clinic with people who are my trainer's mentors so that I get instruction that is similar to what I have been hearing. They often say the same thing in a different way, and I get the lightbulb moment I have been working toward for months- but it is the same general program.

That being said, I was a working student for 4 1/2 years, and watched a lot of students come and go. The ones who were known to be flaky and take lessons from everyone in town were the slowest to progress. The ones who stuck with one trainer, be it mine or someone else, progressed faster.

Beam Me Up
Feb. 16, 2010, 07:34 PM
I like what BMU says below, but again, it's problematic. While I'm a confident, educated, even opinionated adult, when it comes to my riding, I'm MORE than willing (read: too eager, alas) to take someone else's advice because I'm less confident in that area....and often they are, in my eyes, the "expert", the upper level successful rider/trainer.

But they often have very different ways of dealing with students, with horses, and with training...and that can be problematic. So while my "filter is on", I may let too much through because of my lack of experience/confidence.

I'm willing to compromise BECAUSE I know that I tend to see folks who've "been there, done that" as knowing a lot--even if it doesn't agree with what I think should be done...because they are the "knowers". I'm a learner. And in that world, taking responsibility means listening to those who know more than you do, even if you're not sure based on your experience.

Obviously, there's a tipping point...but it's often NOT black and white.


Totally agree it's a gray area.
Especially since we go to trainers precisely because we trust their greater knowledge/experience (and if we didn't, and didn't plan on taking their instruction, what would be the point)?

I just think it's important to remind ourselves that trust in our trainer's judgment is not a replacement for our own judgment, and regardless of who is guiding us on the ground (regular trainer, clinician, whatever), we are ultimately responsible for the outcome.

I am the same though. I don't want to be a wimp. I don't like to *not* try things that other students are doing. I don't want to waste money. But if someone's approach is clearly not making sense or not working for my horse, then I try to remind myself that I owe it to my horse to dig a little deeper, despite my respect for my trainer. Not every approach works for every horse.

lstevenson
Feb. 16, 2010, 08:58 PM
So while my "filter is on", I may let too much through because of my lack of experience/confidence.

I'm willing to compromise BECAUSE I know that I tend to see folks who've "been there, done that" as knowing a lot--even if it doesn't agree with what I think should be done...because they are the "knowers". I'm a learner. And in that world, taking responsibility means listening to those who know more than you do, even if you're not sure based on your experience.

Obviously, there's a tipping point...but it's often NOT black and white.


Exactly. And this happens to most riders to a degree. Some are just not aware of it.

lstevenson
Feb. 16, 2010, 09:02 PM
IMHO this is a list of several "silly" people.


He he, I'm not going to touch this one. :winkgrin:

CookiePony
Feb. 16, 2010, 10:02 PM
I have always preferred to work with one trainer. They see me week to week, really get to know me and my horse, and I get to know them and the way they communicate.


Yes, it is the same for me. I find that consistency is key. I have a close working relationship with one person, and then I can supplement with clinics if I want to get the perspective of someone else. I can't imagine not returning to my regular trainer and debriefing about the clinic, however. It just helps to have one person who has the whole picture of my progress and goals.

To the OP: maybe this is not helpful, but maybe it can give you ideas about articulating your perspective when you talk to the student.

mcw
Feb. 16, 2010, 10:16 PM
One other thing that I think it is important to remember is that your horse isn't reading the books and learning the theory. They don't understand why you are trying to "skin the cat" a different way each week. They need to be asked the same thing the same way to learn. If someone does too much switching around, the horse gets confused and can't give the rider the response they are looking for, then the rider gets frustrated, and no progress gets made. And that is the part that is really frustrating for a trainer who has an interest in his or her students' progress.

Trixie
Feb. 17, 2010, 11:44 AM
Lstevenson, if a lower level rider picks a trainer and sticks with them, how do they know that the trainer they’ve picked is qualified without at least looking around? You’ve already said they don’t have “knowledge or experience” in the subject matter… I would think the best thing to do would be to ask questions and educate themselves.


It does NOT assume that people taking instruction are morons, but that they don't have enough knowledge and experience on the subject matter to be able to know whether each piece of new information meshes with their current methods.

I know folks that have ridden for twenty years that will never be “solid at prelim” but that are capable, conscientious riders who do, in fact, have the knowledge to draw analytical conclusions – GASP – even from “opposing viewpoints.” To think that they can’t learn to analyze and apply theories is condescending – perhaps answering their questions would be more helpful.



But many riders fall for the bs that some trainers bestow on them,

So, without looking around – again – explain to me how they’re going to find a trainer that’s not going to “bs” them?

I don’t disagree that it’s good to have one trainer install the basics on you. I just don’t necessarily agree that staying in one program is going to be the ultimate answer – I’m only advocating ASKING the questions and wondering why it’s so unacceptable for a “minimally experienced” rider to look around or perhaps try a different approach.



I think if you are content with your trainer and getting out of it what you want & progressing the way you want, why would you want to put others into that equation if it is working for you?

I’ve found that I get different things from different trainers. Now, I’ve got some of experience in developing my “filter” but I do find that some trainers really excel at certain things, and others at other things. The ones I’ve chosen are not in opposing viewpoints because I’ve chosen them to mesh with my personal “system” but they do often have different techniques and ways of explaining things.

flabbergasted
Feb. 17, 2010, 05:52 PM
Riding at prelim is hardly an indicator of one's ability to discern the pros and cons of different methods. Give me a break.

I also have to add: there are some god awful "trainers" out there who prey upon the uninitiated. Sometimes you have to just thank god that they ventured out and had a lesson with someone else, and saw the light.

lstevenson
Feb. 17, 2010, 09:18 PM
Lstevenson, if a lower level rider picks a trainer and sticks with them, how do they know that the trainer they’ve picked is qualified without at least looking around? You’ve already said they don’t have “knowledge or experience” in the subject matter… I would think the best thing to do would be to ask questions and educate themselves.


Of course a rider needs to try many instructors, and do research on each of them, before DECIDING on which one they think is the best available instructor for them.

But once they pick one, they should stick with them and learn the program from beginning to end (not that there really is an end) in order with no "holes" in their education.

lstevenson
Feb. 17, 2010, 09:26 PM
Riding at prelim is hardly an indicator of one's ability to discern the pros and cons of different methods. Give me a break.

I also have to add: there are some god awful "trainers" out there who prey upon the uninitiated. Sometimes you have to just thank god that they ventured out and had a lesson with someone else, and saw the light.


Discerning the pros and cons of different methods is a bit different than understanding whether some methods "mesh" with others. In fact I think it possibly takes a rider who has enough understanding of the subject to teach it to others to truely grasp it.

And yes, I agree that any rider who is not happy or not progressing in their lessons should definitely try other trainers. Or if they are hearing things that are contrary to what they read in books. Any rider that is not progressing should look to a different instructor rather than assume that they just don't have the talent. It is usually the instructors fault!

But if a rider is HAPPY with their trainer and is learning a lot from them, I stand by by statement that it can be detrimental to their progress to regularly take lessons from multiple instructors of the same discipline unless they have the exact same system, which usually means one is the other's mentor, or they have both mentored under the same master.

Trixie
Feb. 18, 2010, 11:28 AM
Of course a rider needs to try many instructors, and do research on each of them, before DECIDING on which one they think is the best available instructor for them.

But once they pick one, they should stick with them and learn the program from beginning to end (not that there really is an end) in order with no "holes" in their education.


And yes, I agree that any rider who is not happy or not progressing in their lessons should definitely try other trainers. Or if they are hearing things that are contrary to what they read in books. Any rider that is not progressing should look to a different instructor rather than assume that they just don't have the talent. It is usually the instructors fault!

So which is it, sticking with one trainer or looking to different instructors? Again, how do they decide, if they know NOTHING about the sport? Sometimes it takes a while before people understand what a good and qualified trainer is.

I don’t agree with educating oneself ONLY by what one person says and by books. I’d rather draw from many resources and ask questions. And I’d never ride with a trainer that discouraged me from learning from the resources available.



But if a rider is HAPPY with their trainer and is learning a lot from them, I stand by by statement that it can be detrimental to their progress to regularly take lessons from multiple instructors of the same discipline unless they have the exact same system, which usually means one is the other's mentor, or they have both mentored under the same master.

I disagree. In horses, it’s pretty rare that there’s only ONE right method. Part of the learning process, in any form of education, involves analyzing information and drawing conclusions about what works. You may think that can only be done when one has an established “filter” – I think that the filter can, in fact, be established through that type of analysis.

mellsmom
Feb. 18, 2010, 01:59 PM
I think that will make more sense to people.
If you are an experienced rider who prefers to stay at the lower levels, you should have had some good consistent instruction early on in your career and at some point you are absolutely competent to decide who is and isn't someone you want to clinic with. Before then (and even after), you might ask your current insrtuctor if a particular clinic you have read about would be good for you and why or why not. Then LISTEN to what your current instructor says about that clinician. aka... they don't do as well with green on green combinations, they don't do well with timid adults, or yes, you should absolutely go ride with them. In fact, if your trainer is truly awesome he/she will come watch you ride wtih BNT and see what they work on with you. If it's all the same stuff you have been working on already then that is awesome. If the BNT picks another issue to work on, then that's cool too, especialy if it fixes a problem that you and trainer have been battling with. If your trainer knows BNT she may even mention to them that you all are having an issue with something and perhaps ask if at some point she wouldn't mind addressing it and can the trainer perhaps stand within ear shot to listen to what is transpiring.
If your trainer can't go woth you, be sure to report back on what you did and how it went and then ASK your trainer to talk to you about it.

I am one who wants my students to take advantage or the opportunity to ride with good people. If I know the instructor or have ridden with them, I will urge my students to ride with them. If it's not someone I care for, I will explain to my student why I don't recommend the clinican and exactly why I feel that way. Ultimately, the student will decide for themselves. If someone is bouncing from trainer to trainer and you feel it's bad for them, their riding and their horse, then you always have the option to stop coaching them. There are some people who are just like that and they won't ever change. If it bothers you then don't frustrate yourself with trying to work with them. Life's too short.

lstevenson
Feb. 18, 2010, 04:56 PM
So which is it, sticking with one trainer or looking to different instructors?


Are you trying to imply that I am contradicting myself ??

I'm not sure why it's hard to understand, but I will summerize one more time:

A rider should definitely try lots of different instructors when trying to find a new instructor of if they are unhappy withor not progressing with their current instructor.

But once they have figured out which is the best instructor that they have available to them, they will progress the fastest, and with the least amount of confliction and confusion for horse and rider if they stick with that trainer instead of trainer hopping and trying to stuff bits of info from other trainers systems into the one that they are learning from that instructor. Clinics with different people are always (or I should say almost always) a good experience, as long as new bits of info are then discussed with regular trainer. But regular lessons with multiple instructors of the same exact discipline can be detrimental to a rider's progress.

Those who prefer to trainer hop, have at it! I'm sick of arguing about this. You will be most likely slowing down your progress, whether you are aware of it or not! But if variety is more important to you then by all means, have fun with it.

And you're right Mellsmom! I should have been saying inexperienced riders vs lower level riders.

Carol Ames
Feb. 19, 2010, 12:33 AM
Learning a difficult and possibly dangerous sport is quite different than eating at a restaurant! Going to different restaurants for variety is a good thing. Going regularly to different instructors of the same discipline (unless one is the mentor of the other - meaning they are teaching out of the same system) only serves to confuse horse and rider and slow their progress, or even make them go backwards!

Good trainers have a SYSTEM. And there are many different systems out there - therein lies the problem.

The best way for lower level riders to progress is to find the best instructor that they have available to them, and stick with them until they understand the whole system, and have the skills to carry it out. Usually that's when they are solid at Preliminary level. Only at that point do they have the knowledge and experience to filter bits of info from other trainers to successfully decide whether or not it fits into their system. If a rider tries to include a technique or thought process into a system that doesn't fit, they will go backwards in their progress.

Clinics are a fun experience and are fine for anyone at any level, but again to benefit the riders they should then discuss new things that come up in clinics with their regular trainer, so that again it can be decided what new things fit into the current system.




Can you find a copy of an article about this discussion?

That way you could give it to them. and let them come to the decision themselves, which, is always preferable:yes:; with humans , as with trainng 4 leggeds:lol:

This was discussed at length at the USEA convention a few years back, and the top experts unanimously agreed that this was true.

So to the OP, I totally understand where you are coming from. I would suggest having a very frank talk with them about this issue. Good luck![/quote]

Trixie
Feb. 19, 2010, 10:42 AM
But once they have figured out which is the best instructor that they have available to them, they will progress the fastest, and with the least amount of confliction and confusion for horse and rider if they stick with that trainer instead of trainer hopping and trying to stuff bits of info from other trainers systems into the one that they are learning from that instructor.

What?


Clinics with different people are always (or I should say almost always) a good experience, as long as new bits of info are then discussed with regular trainer. But regular lessons with multiple instructors of the same exact discipline can be detrimental to a rider's progress.

Why would you think that riders wouldn’t discuss new information with their regular trainer?

You know, I’m with the person who said you really dislike it when people disagree with you, and I’ll add a caveat that you REALLY dislike it when people tell you that there are other methods beyond your own. I can count at least five times in this thread where you’ve said something unbelievably condescending like “I’m not sure why it’s hard to understand” or “sorry you don’t seem to understand” or “you really don’t get it,” and the only thing I can think of is the fact that anyone who would speak to people like that in order to make their point really doesn’t understand a thing about education.

lstevenson
Feb. 19, 2010, 12:25 PM
What?



:lol: I'm sorry, is that really that confusing?

And you wonder why I say things like "I'm not sure why this is hard to understand"??

You may call me condescending if you like, but I simply call a spade a spade.

And I don't mind at all if someone doesn't agree with me, as long as they can have a rational discussion, and that they actually THINK about my viewpoint before coming back at me.

Which you definitely do not. And you never answered my question. It sure seemed like you were implying that I was contradicting myself, is that the case?

Trixie
Feb. 19, 2010, 12:57 PM
Take it as you will.

And yes, that sentence WAS hard to understand, because the sentence structure was extremely poor (and run-on). If you would try to write concisely, perhaps you would find that folks are able to comprehend what you're saying, and you wouldn’t find it necessary to ask every four seconds if it’s all “so hard to understand.” :winkgrin:

I thought that most of the posters that were responding to you were perfectly rational.

Everythingbutwings
Feb. 19, 2010, 01:04 PM
As teachers go, if everyone else "just doesn't get it" then you are not explaining it well.

lstevenson
Feb. 19, 2010, 01:12 PM
Can you find a copy of an article about this discussion?

That way you could give it to them. and let them come to the decision themselves, which, is always preferable:yes:; with humans , as with trainng 4 leggeds:lol:


Thanks for your support Carol. But so far I've not been able to find an article on it.

And even if I could find one I'm sure Trixie would just say that the people who wrote the article are just condescending, silly people who don't understand a thing about education. ;)

lstevenson
Feb. 19, 2010, 01:16 PM
As teachers go, if everyone else "just doesn't get it" then you are not explaining it well.


I agree! But I don't think there are many who "don't get" what I'm saying.

lstevenson
Feb. 19, 2010, 01:17 PM
I thought that most of the posters that were responding to you were perfectly rational.


They were. Except you and SevenDogs.

Trixie
Feb. 19, 2010, 01:23 PM
I never said anyone was silly. I did say you were being condescending and lacked the ability to convey your point.

And I imagine if you found articles supporting your viewpoint (which you apparently cannot), I'd share my viewpoint - which, again, is that there are different ways to learn, and what's right for some is not correct for others. Some folks do well simply following their instructors, particularly if they luck into good instructors. Others do well by drawing a conclusion from analyzing multiple sources.

(Why is that so hard to understand? :lol:)

lstevenson
Feb. 19, 2010, 01:29 PM
which, again, is that there are different ways to learn, and what's right for some is not correct for others.


My "point" is obviously still over your head, as I'm not talking about "different ways to learn" the same thing. But possible opposing concepts from different systems causing confusion.

Trixie
Feb. 19, 2010, 01:36 PM
See what I wrote above:


I know folks that have ridden for twenty years that will never be “solid at prelim” but that are capable, conscientious riders who do, in fact, have the knowledge to draw analytical conclusions – GASP – even from “opposing viewpoints.”

Sometimes hearing opposing viewpoints and then asking questions about them brings clarity and a broader understanding of the issue. There is no "one right way" in the horse industry. People can learn a variety of different methods and then draw conclusions that work for them.

wendy
Feb. 19, 2010, 01:43 PM
But possible opposing concepts from different systems causing confusion.

I am mystified about this "different systems" concept. Good riders all more-or-less do exactly the same things. Unless some trainer is teaching weirdo things like "spur stops" I just can't wrap my brain about the idea that each trainer has his/her own unique system of riding/training that may somehow be in contradiction to other trainer's unique systems. I mean, we all want to stay on and keep the jumps up and not interfere with our horse and get good dressage scores. There just can't be dozens of totally unique systems with "opposing concepts" in existence.
Honestly, this "system" thing? sounds like a trainer made it up to try to get students to lesson with one trainer only, which is good for that trainer and very possibly not good for the students.

lstevenson
Feb. 19, 2010, 01:44 PM
Sometimes hearing opposing viewpoints and then asking questions about them brings clarity and a broader understanding of the issue. There is no "one right way" in the horse industry. People can learn a variety of different methods and then draw conclusions that work for them.


So do you really think that an inexperienced rider training regularly with two trainers who teach them opposing concepts is productive?? And not confusing for horse and rider?? Really??

Everythingbutwings
Feb. 19, 2010, 01:54 PM
inexperienced rider training regularly with two trainers who teach them opposing concepts is productive??

Just what would someone be teaching an inexperienced rider that could possibly conflict?

Trixie
Feb. 19, 2010, 01:55 PM
So do you really think that an inexperienced rider training regularly with two trainers who teach them opposing concepts is productive?? And not confusing for horse and rider?? Really??

If there are actual opposing concepts, were I the rider, I'd use that as an opportunity to ask more questions and try to learn from each. It's generally only confusing if a trainer can't explain their reasoning.

That being said, in my experience, there aren't that many "opposing concepts" at the lower levels. Developing the proper basics seem to take precedence, and those are fairly universal.

I do, however, see several different ways of explaining similar concepts, which can actually be helpful.

whbar158
Feb. 19, 2010, 02:06 PM
I do think while you are learning the basics it is easier to stay with one trainer (as long as you are progressing!) because every person has a different way and order of teaching things. Some want to work on hands first then worry about the leg etc...

Personally I think bouncing around week to week, not getting back to back lessons with the same trainer makes it hard to progress. Even as an adult I feel like I would get stuck at times because the teaching is not consistent. I think it is fine to take a lesson with someone different to get a different perspective and take clinics then talk about the new ideas with the trainer.

Also with kids it is harder for them to bounce around. I know a kid that rode with 3 different instructors in a week! On all different horses as she didn't own one. She would say to my friend who taught her "but my other trainer says to do it this way..." While neither way was wrong, often the way my friend was explaining was best for the horse she was riding.

Blugal
Feb. 19, 2010, 03:58 PM
I'm going to jump in here and answer one thing: the "opposing concepts" question.

Trainer 1 allows inexperienced student to ride weakly and horse stops. This happens several times. Trainer 1 continues correcting rider, as she knows when student gets it together, horse will go. But horse learns to go only if student is 100% on the ball.

Trainer 2 believes that horses shouldn't learn that stopping is OK. Trainer 2 in fact believes that if the rider isn't ready for jumping, the rider shouldn't be jumping. Trainer 2 wants the rider to have correct basics before asking a horse to jump. Trainer 2 would put the rider on a program to teach them to jump, on a horse that already knows its job, and confidence would be gained by rider and maintained by horse.

In an ideal world, student is probably better off with Trainer 2. In the real world, student stays with both for a while, thinking that she is getting a stronger position with Trainer 2 and jumping experience with Trainer 1. Eventually she feels Trainer 2 doesn't actually want her to progress (i.e. she wants to jump more/higher or compete even though not ready) and she leaves Trainer 2 forever, sticking with Trainer 1. 2 years later, she has completed 7 events at Novice, 3 of them clear, but since her stops were only because she wasn't 100% on the ball, she knows that as long as she rides well, her move up to Training should be fine. Then she wonders why she got E'd at her first Training and is starting to think that her horse is a dirty stopper. Meanwhile spectators are breathing a sigh of relief because they thought it was a close call that the pair didn't have a crash somewhere, luckily they only got eliminated - hopefully they will learn something from this and go take some lessons to figure out the problem!

Sound familiar?

lstevenson
Feb. 19, 2010, 05:17 PM
Just what would someone be teaching an inexperienced rider that could possibly conflict?


OMG there are TONS of possibilities!

Let me give you a specific example of a former student of mine. This girl was taking regular lessons from me and another upper level trainer at the same time. And her horse was difficult to balance in front of fences. MY philosophy on balancing a horse in front of a fence is to work on the proper flatwork, half halts ridden properly from seat and leg into hand to get the horse to shift it's weight back. Then when that flatwork is going well, apply it to your jumping. Land from a fence, and do your flatwork to get the horse back into the proper canter to prepare for the next fence. It's all about the balance of the canter!

The other trainer would simply tell this girl to lift her hands to balance her horse on the approach to the fences. Which only lifts the horse's head and made him hollow his back, and did nothing to get the horse in better balance. So from that trainer she was hearing "hands up, hands up!" on the approach to her fences, and from me she was hearing "hands down, hands down!" on the approach to her fences, as I want the hands in a normal position so the horse can bring his body together correctly from behind.

She is still with that other trainer, and is out there having the scariest stadium rounds ever, and crashing and burning regularly.

Another BIG one is hand riding vs non hand riding. I teach classical principles with the seat and leg riding into a quiet receiving hand at all times. And there are SO many out there who teach riders to have busy hands. Usually it's those who go at getting the horse "round" up front to make him look the part. And it ranges from the worst offenders who use draw reins, to ones who see saw the reins back and forth to get the head down, to the milder but still wrong IMO version of tweak tweak here, wiggle wiggle there. This is such a big one, because any horse who has learned to tuck his nose in response to the rider's hand like these things teach them, will tend to be forever difficult to get to really go TO the bit with confidence. One method is completely diametrically opposite of the other and they are not compatible in any way.

And it can even be as simple as somthing like position. I teach a two point position where the rider keeps his/her center of gravity over their feet at all times, which means their hips will be well back over the middle of the saddle. And MANY teach the forward hunter style two point where the rider's center of gravity are way up over the pommel.

Trixie
Feb. 19, 2010, 05:17 PM
Does this rider choose to discuss her problems with either of the trainers?

It would seem she actively made the choice to ride with Trainer 1. Sticking to only one trainer isn't necessarily going to make riders pick the "better" trainer. There aren't any provisions in place to prevent unqualified people from teaching, either.

However, given the reaction of the spectators, perhaps if she'd gotten another outside opinion, she would realize that Trainer 1 was incorrect in her process. If she's not asking questions or soliciting opinions, she's simply following the "system" of one person - misguidedly.


She is still with that other trainer, and is out there having the scariest stadium rounds ever, and crashing and burning regularly.

Wouldn't that then be a good time to re-evaluate and ask questions?

I asked earlier how "sticking with one trainer's system" prevents a rider from having "issues." Both of your examples tell me that sticking with one trainer's system doesn't actually prevent issues or poor information in the slightest.

FWIW, I’ve never had a hunter trainer tell me to put my center of gravity in front of the pommel.

RegentLion
Feb. 19, 2010, 07:01 PM
I'm going to jump in here and answer one thing: the "opposing concepts" question.

Trainer 1 allows inexperienced student to ride weakly and horse stops. This happens several times. Trainer 1 continues correcting rider, as she knows when student gets it together, horse will go. But horse learns to go only if student is 100% on the ball.

Trainer 2 believes that horses shouldn't learn that stopping is OK. Trainer 2 in fact believes that if the rider isn't ready for jumping, the rider shouldn't be jumping. Trainer 2 wants the rider to have correct basics before asking a horse to jump. Trainer 2 would put the rider on a program to teach them to jump, on a horse that already knows its job, and confidence would be gained by rider and maintained by horse.
<snip>
Sound familiar?

Ah, yes. I know of a situation VERY similar to this. Trainer 2 was teaching rider basics; said rider wasn't ready to jump yet. Still struggling with a few basic issues..... like, control. ;) Kid/parents shopped around, discovered a Trainer 1 that would let them jump... NOW. Probably with the use of draw reins.....

The whole thing really shocked Trainer 2 who was worried for the safety of the kid etc. I have yet to see how *this* will pan out but given the history of Trainer 1, I think I know how this is going to go down. :no:

As far as I PERSONALLY am concerned. I'm not an UL rider, (I'm a weenie who feels very very happy at the LLs). I'm not a super rider either. But I'm fairly educated and I've got a spine ;) and I enjoy riding with different trainers at different times.

That said, however, upon reflection, I see how some things I learned from an H/J trainer really were detrimental to my WP/HUS riding and my Eventing.

I rode with the H/J trainer a few years ago, and tried it again recently..... and then I "broke up" with the H/J trainer because things just weren't meshing. I did learn some bad habits here.... and I didn't learn much good stuff either.

Should I have done this way back when? Yes. Did I know it then? No.

INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, however, the things I've learned from the WP/HUS trainer are very analogous to riding Event/Dressage horses.... with regard to proper balance, use of hind end/back/lifting of shoulders/ leg not hand, etc. I learned some "bad habits" here, too, but I think the benefits have far outweighed the negative points.

I'm not still riding WP/HUS. I'm back in eventing full force... and I'm riding with ONE great eventing trainer who I respect and works for me.

In my VERY YOUNGER PC years, yes it was confusing to have many different trainers--which was the norm for our PC--many instructors saying many things...until I settled on one main trainer and one supplemental. Looking back I learned a TON from my PC lessons, but at the time couldn't assimilate it into a picture that worked for me.

But in prepping for my C3 I rode with two different trainers which worked well for me at that time... I was very prepared for the things the examiners would ask of me and the two instructors weren't posing blatantly opposing techniques. They were ALWAYS able to describe what the other was getting at if I got confused. It was an ideal situation.

I don't think the situation is as black and white as it would seem. I think some people should get credit for being able to think critically and evaluate situations as they happen..... where some people simply CAN'T do it on the fly. And some people can't stand up to an instructor and say "uh, no way".

At the end of the day, whatever you decide to do, you need to evaluate evaluate evaluate! Even if you're riding with the same instructor day in and day out. No trainer is infallible. ;)

Gry2Yng
Feb. 19, 2010, 08:46 PM
I'm going to jump in here and answer one thing: the "opposing concepts" question.

Trainer 1 allows inexperienced student to ride weakly and horse stops. This happens several times. Trainer 1 continues correcting rider, as she knows when student gets it together, horse will go. But horse learns to go only if student is 100% on the ball.

Trainer 2 believes that horses shouldn't learn that stopping is OK. Trainer 2 in fact believes that if the rider isn't ready for jumping, the rider shouldn't be jumping. Trainer 2 wants the rider to have correct basics before asking a horse to jump. Trainer 2 would put the rider on a program to teach them to jump, on a horse that already knows its job, and confidence would be gained by rider and maintained by horse.

In an ideal world, student is probably better off with Trainer 2. In the real world, student stays with both for a while, thinking that she is getting a stronger position with Trainer 2 and jumping experience with Trainer 1. Eventually she feels Trainer 2 doesn't actually want her to progress (i.e. she wants to jump more/higher or compete even though not ready) and she leaves Trainer 2 forever, sticking with Trainer 1. 2 years later, she has completed 7 events at Novice, 3 of them clear, but since her stops were only because she wasn't 100% on the ball, she knows that as long as she rides well, her move up to Training should be fine. Then she wonders why she got E'd at her first Training and is starting to think that her horse is a dirty stopper. Meanwhile spectators are breathing a sigh of relief because they thought it was a close call that the pair didn't have a crash somewhere, luckily they only got eliminated - hopefully they will learn something from this and go take some lessons to figure out the problem!

Sound familiar?

:yes:


"Systems" is a PC way of saying what one trainer does screws up what the other trainer is trying to do. There are some trainers who think forward comes first, others who pull their horse into a frame. I had a student come to me with her horse in a three ring gag. Horse dwelled over every jump. Hmmmmm.

I also believe two trainers can be perfectly correct and can go about training in different ways. You can only really work on two things at a time - if the student is good at taking instruction. Otherwise, only one thing. So if I choose to approach training by working on a stronger leg and the other trainer is working on finding a rhythm, is either of us wrong? Does this confuse the student? I have one or two that would get confused. I have others who can understand the fact that the trainers have a different focus.

ETA: Quite honestly, I have a young horse. I am working on ride ability right now. I would love to take him to a clinic, but I worry about doing exercises that will focus on other skills. Right now, he is a know it all. I won't expose him to anyone who can't appreciate that his bravery and scope do not need to be tested right now. So, I think two very intelligent trainers can focus on different things and that may not be the best answer for a horse or rider.