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

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

    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
    I think you should tell her exactly what you said here. Life is too short not to do what you love. In all honesty, the lessons you had in dressage were not a waste of time and can be applied across many disciplines. She will understand.

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    • #3
      dressage only improves other disciplines so there's no reason why your new horse would not benefit from continued lessons with instructor 1. She sounds like the person to stick with anyhow.
      I'd take both to look at your Arab's potential successors.

      Just think, she's going to make some arab loving dressage diva's day, ride after ride after ride
      www.destinationconsensusequus.com
      chaque pas est fait ensemble

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      • #4
        You'll be a vastly more effective rider for all the time you have spent working on dressage, and it sounds like you are aware of the value of what you have learned from your dressage instructor. Just tell the instructor how much you appreciate her help, and then be just as honest as you were here. A good instructor who is truly committed to seeing their students succeed and enjoy their riding will never be offended by this sort of choice.
        "Winter's a good time to stay in and cuddle,
        but put me in summer and I'll be a... happy snowman!!!"

        Trolls be trollin'! -DH

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Thanks guys! This is my first horse so I guess I'm just second guessing my self.

          She isn't really one to fly off the panhandle easily so I think I'll be fine. I was just really worried.

          Thanks for your replies! You guys are awesome.

          Comment


          • #6
            So, you say you want to sell your Arab and get a "competitive 3' hunter" instead.

            Has your H/J trainer gone over with you what the expected pricerange on those is? If you are looking at doing shows you could be spending anywhere from $10,000-$75,000+ depending on what you mean by 'competitive.'

            Yes, of course it is possible to buy a greenie, make it up, and then compete in a bracket you otherwise would not be able to afford but that often involves several years of work and some luck.

            Not trying to discourage you, as I am a dyed-in-the-wool make-up-my-own-Hunters girl myself, but just make sure you know what you're getting into before you sell your horse.
            The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
            Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
            Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
            The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

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            • #7
              I'd recommend that you consider sticking with the dressage trainer at least for occasional lessons (maybe 1 a month?) if she's that good. Kind of sounds to me like maybe she fills in some holes where the jumping instructor isn't so strong. I know lots of people who take lessons like that and have done it myself.

              Beyond that, I think you're way overthinking this! People stop taking lessons with instructors all the time for various reasons, and "I want to switch disciplines" is a totally valid one which even most not-so-professional professionals tend to take well IME. Since your dressage instructor doesn't sound crazy or unprofessional at all, I'm guessing she'll wish you luck and tell you you're welcome back. Take a deep breath and just tell her how much you value her work with you, but that you want to return to jumping. No big deal.
              exploring the relationship between horse and human

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                So, you say you want to sell your Arab and get a "competitive 3' hunter" instead.

                Has your H/J trainer gone over with you what the expected pricerange on those is? If you are looking at doing shows you could be spending anywhere from $10,000-$75,000+ depending on what you mean by 'competitive.'

                Yes, of course it is possible to buy a greenie, make it up, and then compete in a bracket you otherwise would not be able to afford but that often involves several years of work and some luck.

                Not trying to discourage you, as I am a dyed-in-the-wool make-up-my-own-Hunters girl myself, but just make sure you know what you're getting into before you sell your horse.

                My current definition of competitive...well, being able to stay in the competition by keeping one leg on each side of the horse that is not trying to run-out, refuse or rush for no good reason. lol I don't mind having a horse that doesn't do flying changes yet, I can work with that. I would, however, enjoy a horse that doesn't think that it is against its rights to not get to look at a jump [ie: refuse] 4 times before going over it. UG! See what I mean by " She won't ever be a hunter". Possibly why we shouldn't try jumpers either. She honestly is really good for dressage!

                But I am sincerely appreciative of you concern

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                • #9
                  Heads up on protecting ammy status.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Sounds like you should be asking Instructor number 1 (as well as 2) for help in selling your horse. She knows Arabs...and by your description you should be trying to sell this mare into a dressage home. Who better to know who might be looking than your instructor.

                    You are NOT changing disiplines....you are just turning back your focus to jumping. You should continue working with both once you get your mare sold and have a new horse. Many horses can do (and are happier doing) more than one thing. Perhaps your next horse will LIKE dressage AND jumping....many do.
                    Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; Aug. 18, 2011, 06:12 PM.
                    ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Coreene View Post
                      Heads up on protecting ammy status.

                      working off lessons on your own horse doesn't affect ammy status. Only if you ride/train other horses. If she barters doing barn work or any other work (other than riding or showing other people's horses) in exchange for being taught on her own horse...that is just fine. Or at least was last time I checked
                      ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I would stick with both instructors, personally, even if moving on to a more focussed approach on hunters with a new horse. It's not everybody who is lucky enough to have two instructors willing to let them work off lessons! Dressage lessons can and will help you in hunters. Not only that, but both instructors may have leads on good horses as you search for your competitive hunter, and both may know of people who could be interested in buying your Arab.

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