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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 22, 2011
    Posts
    108

    Default COTH advice...changing disiplines, how do I tell my dressage instcuctor?

    I'm posting this in the dressage forum too. Just FYI

    Where do I start? Um...ok I have a full arab mare (15) that I have had for 3 years. She has been passed around most of her life, but after 3 years of hard work she is coming around beautifully for dressage. However she is not doing so well for over fences stuff. She has certainly improved since I got her but is nowhere near consistent enough to compete on. For some reason of which I have no idea the jumping thing is not clicking. She is arab so can tend to be high strung [and used to be-ALL THE TIME!!!]but when I am doing dressage I can usually get her focus back and still have a fun ride. When I am jumping sometimes it seems that all has gone out the window. I usually jump around 2' to 2'6" and have never gone much higher because we still have problems with the basics. She is 14.1 so if I were to compete I would be doing 3' and there is no way we are ready for that! I have worked with her for 2 1/2 years on this and every day it seems like we start again at square 1! It is so frustrating! I really want to do hunters competitively so I kept trying to work on over fences when it finally dawned on me that I was trying to make her a hunter and she never will be. It's not that she knocks rails repeatedly or anything, she is actually a very scopey jumper but simply to nervous going over fences. As soon as I realized that she wasn't cut out for it I quit jumping on her and did just dressage and she started improving so much faster! So she is just doing dressage and loving it. But I'm not. I really miss jumping and it makes me sorta sad. So I realized that if I wanted to jump I would have to get a different horse . I love a lot of things about here except for no jumping. UG!!! So I made the very hard decision to sell her.

    Having two horses is totally out of the question.

    Instructor 1: Dressage. Best instructor ever!! Great at explaining things, works very well with arabs and definitely knows what she is talking about when it comes to dressage [she rode with/boarded at Hilda's barn when she lived in CA. ] Nicest lady in the world!!

    Instructor 2: Evented heavily when she was younger. Also very knowledgeable about H/J stuff. Maybe not as good at explaining things but still very qualified. Also a very wonderful lady!

    Both of them are very generous and let me work off lessons.

    So here is where it gets interesting. Instructor 2 already knows I am selling my horse and probably realized that she wasn't a hunter before I did (go figure ) . But Instructor 1 doesn't know and I'm worried she will be really disappointed with me. She has been so generous with her time helping me and I feel like I'm letting her down. Ga!!! Why does this have to be so complicated??? How do I tell her I'm selling my horse and getting a more hunter-y pony? I just don't want her to feel like she helped me for nothing. I will do some dressage with my new horse but still....I don't know.

    Advice?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2007
    Location
    Landrum, SC
    Posts
    1,739

    Default

    1. If you paid your instructor, she didn't help you "for nothing." She was doing her job.

    2. If she's a professional, it's highly unlikely she'll be disappointed in you for making a decision that works best for your goals.

    3. Begin your conversation by saying "thank you" for what she's taught you. Then just simply tell her your horse is for sale. She may even know someone who would be interested.

    It's only a big deal if you make it a big deal.
    Athletic Horses. Educated Riders.
    www.Ride-With-Confidence.com



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2000
    Location
    Concord, NH
    Posts
    4,907

    Default

    I just went through this with my event horse although for now I am keeping her and trying some hunter stuff (she dislikes XC but is a good jumper and so-so dressage horse). If you have been struggling to fit the square peg in the round hole, everyone will breathe a huge sigh of relief that you have finally come to terms with what they knew ages ago.

    Be honest, and just tell the dressage person that you have really learned a ton from her and your mare is good at it, but YOU love jumping and she doesn't so you are going to find her a home where she can do the job she likes and you can have a horse who likes what you like.

    No one will judge you for that.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    14,949

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CuteArabHunter View Post
    Instructor 1: Dressage. Best instructor ever!! Great at explaining things, works very well with arabs and definitely knows what she is talking about when it comes to dressage [she rode with/boarded at Hilda's barn when she lived in CA. ] Nicest lady in the world!!
    You have a potential triple win on your hands, here. Let this trainer sell your mare for you and pay her the commission.

    Look, you get what you want. "It costs the same to feed a good horse as a bad horse." If you have improved this mare and made her useful for someone else, this is the time to sell her. You did well by her.

    The horse gets a job she's good at. She also gets a good trainer who likes her as the seller's agent, and you as a realistic, caring owner. She has a good shot at getting a great new owner.

    The trainer, who works well with Arabs, gets credit for doing a good job for you and the mare... and gets paid for her expertise.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 17, 2007
    Location
    Phoenix
    Posts
    178

    Default

    I must be missing the hard part!

    You are going to sell your horse and change disciplines. ??? I am sure that #1 would like things to be different, but unless she is going to change disciplines, i don't see how there could be a different outcome.

    I think you can be very polite and appreciative that what you learned riding with #1 will make you successful in your new discipline. You can give her the best compliment ever, by referring students to her! There seem to be more folks going from jumping to not jumping than vice versa .

    If she says that she is going to start working with jumping clients, then it's gonna get sticky. I am assuming this is not the case, so i don't see the big deal.

    If she likes you as a student, she's going to be disappointed not to have you as a client anymore, but like I said, there's no way around that. Everybody will adjust, and then it's back to real life.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2011
    Posts
    59

    Default

    Why don't you try jumpers instead of hunters?? She will probably be better in that field (: And I am sure your trainer will understand. You are paying her!! She isn't paying you. So, you should be in control of the business half.
    www.youtube.com/oxletsgocanterxo



  7. #7
    Join Date
    May. 21, 2011
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by oxLetsGoCanterxo View Post
    Why don't you try jumpers instead of hunters??
    I was thinking the same thing where style is secondary to getting it done quickly.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    May. 22, 2011
    Posts
    108

    Default

    I've thought about doing jumpers but I don't think I'm bold enough to ride her jumpers! She sometimes really looks at new jumps the first time too. So I don't know if that would work out...



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 12, 2006
    Posts
    4,343

    Default



    I was thinking the same thing where style is secondary to getting it done quickly.
    OK, jumpers should not be a dumping ground for horses that don't like to/is nervous about being asked jump. If the horse excels at dressage, find her a dressage home with the help of the dressage trainer.



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