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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 23, 2007
    Location
    Windsor, PA
    Posts
    366

    Default How to tell riding instructor you'd like to take lessons with another instructor?

    I'm having a hard time bringing myself to tell my riding instructor that I want to take lessons from another instructor from now on. My riding instructor is wonderful and has become a pretty close friend, but I'm afraid of causing hard feelings when I tell her I want to take lessons from someone else. The man who was training my young horse this past spring had given me lessons with my horse & we just clicked, he knew how to read my horse & me very well. He knew when to push us and he explained things in a way that broke it down so my horse & I were able to understand. I always walk away from his lessons feeling positive & like we've really accomplished a lot & challenged just enough not to blow our confidence. I have really gained a lot of knowledge working with him & I feel less stressed in the private type atmosphere lessons. So does anyone have suggestions on how to approach this with my friend/instructor?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2008
    Location
    In the midst of cornfields
    Posts
    329

    Default

    Honesty is the best policy.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2007
    Location
    Illinois, USA
    Posts
    8,174

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mysaygrace View Post
    I'm having a hard time bringing myself to tell my riding instructor that I want to take lessons from another instructor from now on. My riding instructor is wonderful and has become a pretty close friend, but I'm afraid of causing hard feelings when I tell her I want to take lessons from someone else. The man who was training my young horse this past spring had given me lessons with my horse & we just clicked, he knew how to read my horse & me very well. He knew when to push us and he explained things in a way that broke it down so my horse & I were able to understand. I always walk away from his lessons feeling positive & like we've really accomplished a lot & challenged just enough not to blow our confidence. I have really gained a lot of knowledge working with him & I feel less stressed in the private type atmosphere lessons. So does anyone have suggestions on how to approach this with my friend/instructor?
    Those 2 things I'd just say right to your current trainer. Don't make it about what she doesn't do, or what the new trainer does better or anything. Just concise and to the point. And perhaps bring cookies to smooth things over, too.
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 2007
    Location
    Rising Sun, MD
    Posts
    3,472

    Default

    Just be honest and tell her exactly what you said here. I hate game playing and pussy footing about- just tell her the truth.
    “While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats.” Mark Twain



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 22, 2007
    Location
    South of Georgia, North of Miami
    Posts
    1,117

    Default

    "I want to thank you Sally for everything you've done for me, but when I took Dobber to Sam for training last spring I was able to take lessons from him with my horse & we just clicked, he knew how to read my horse & me very well. I also like the private type atmosphere lessons and I think I'm going to go in that direction for a while. I hope you'll understand."

    Short and sweet and a basket of cookies probably wouldn't hurt. You don't want to close any doors. If people ask why you changed (and they will) just repeat what you already told her.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 1, 2009
    Posts
    573

    Default

    This happened with me a few years ago. The trainer I was using was also the BO of my boarding stable. I was really afraid to tell her and start hauling out, not just our friendship, but I was concerned from the boarding end. I went early one morning while no one was around and just had an honest heart to heart with her. I had talked with another trainer at a show a couple weeks past (took me that long to get up the courage to talk to her) and she pointed out some things that really clicked with my horse. Wanted to let you know that I was planning on trying a few lessons with her. She was a bit pissed at the other trainer (who knew I was working with someone), but everyone has moved on. She now asks how my lessons went, etc and has had nothing but nice things to say about how my horse is going. I will say it was hard to ride in front of her for a while, but that was my own stuff-not her.
    Do not toy with the dragon, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2010
    Location
    West Michigan
    Posts
    447

    Default

    No coach matter how good, is ever the right one forever. If a trainer has done thier job well, eventually you will outgrow them - that is the way its supposed to work. A good coach knows this. It's never easy when it's time for a student to move on, but like I said, thats the way it's supposed to work.

    If he/she doesn't understand that, do the best you can to nicely break it off, and then just let them get over it with time.
    Concordia means "Harmony" in Latin.
    Full Time Dressage Addict



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 19, 2010
    Posts
    85

    Default

    I have left many trainers (I just couldn't find the right one), and its still hard for me to leave. Like others have said, just be honest. But also be sure to thank them for what they have done for you, and tell them that you appreciate what they have taught you. That way you aren't just blowing them off. I am still very close with my first trainer, we still ride together (but now as friends), and she still has me ride some of her horses. Best of luck and I hope everything goes well



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 2004
    Posts
    1,798

    Default

    I'd keep it very informal, and just mention that you're going to try a lesson with the new trainer. Don't make it like a big production like you're leaving the old trainer and moving on 100%. I've done that before only to find out that the next few lessons with the new trainer weren't all they were cracked up to be. Just let her know you would like to try some new things to broaden your skill set, and that way you'll leave the door open to come back if you need or want to, and it won't be awkward if the new trainer doesn't work out.

    Same thing when you start with the new trainer. Just let him know you enjoyed your last lesson and you'd like to try another, without getting 100% married to him. You never know when you might want to try something else. I've had a few trainers, and some were very territorial and didn't encourage lessoning with other, while others actually suggested other trainers that might be more helpful with a certain issue. Are you apprehensive because the old trainer is territorial, or because you're afraid that you'll hurt her feelings? If it is the former, I wouldn't give a rodent's donkey; if it's the latter, I'd just tell her that you really appreciate how much she's taught you and your horse and thank her for preparing you both so well to move on to new adventures. Every good instructor I've ever had has had the philosophy that at some point you will need to move on in order to continue your learning.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2002
    Location
    between the barn and the pond
    Posts
    14,129

    Default

    were it me, just tell me. Don't bribe me with cookies. That feels like pity and guilt. This is business.



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