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Non-competing Ammies don't "need" good instruction. Discuss.

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  • Non-competing Ammies don't "need" good instruction. Discuss.

    A trainer recently told a friend that she has no interest in teaching ammies who aren't interested in prioritizing their competition careers. Friend rides at 3rd/4th level, has lovely HannoX gelding, but is perfectly happy learning well and not showing (she showed extensively in her younger years and just isn't into it any more).

    Now, the trainer has the right to run her business any way she sees fit. But, there were some other comments made that only those competing need good training. Is this a prevelent attitude? Do BNTs follow this kind of thinking?

    I always thought that Dressage was about the journey, not the competition so this made me a bit sad...
    "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."

  • #2
    Nonsense. Anyone who wishes to ride well needs instruction. Whether you compete or not is irrelevant. Certainly showing can be a good learning experience, but so can doing clinics with other instructors.

    I can begrudgingly see trainer's point, as it's easier to make a name for herself as a trainer when her students are out competing (and hopefully doing well). And I'd guess that most students who compete regularly spend more money with trainer than those who do not, but that's just based on what I've seen and may well not be accurate.

    But there are those people who for whatever reason do not wish to show. Maybe it's finances, maybe it's time, maybe it's performance anxiety. That doesn't at all mean that those people are less serious about their riding.
    Full-time bargain hunter.

    Comment


    • #3
      Oh dear, that comment stings for ammy's like me. My 2 horses are my priority on my "off hours", but I have a regular job/career, so I can't spend all day at the barn and ride all day.

      I KNOW I don't progress as quickly as the ammys who ride all day, but I do work very hard. Progressing in dressage is tough, in lessons or in show, so I figure as long as I'm "growing" and moving forward...even if it isn't as quickly as others...I'm satisfied. And my personal budget doesn't allow showing more than a few times a year in recognized shows--I'd rather spend it on the instruction.

      I DO understand trainers wanting to see commitment from students though, especially if they are going to list their trainer as their "trainer" in competitions.

      Comment


      • #4
        I've always made a point of asking a new trainer (I've only had 3) if they are willing to teach me, a non-showing ammie, with the same commitment as they would give a client who shows.
        I spend a lot of time and moolah on my horses, and I realize the trainer gets no PR from me--so if they don't want to teach me, so be it--but we have an understanding up front.
        I've had great trainers that were happy to be tough with me!

        I have 3 horses and ride 4 or 5 days a week. And a real job, house, and yard. So I put in a lot of effort, but I just don't care to show.

        Comment


        • #5
          That particular trainer doesn't really care about teaching or her students. What she wants is walking, riding billboards. I'll bet if she has a student who continually shows and gets poor scores, she'd find a way to drop them.
          Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

          Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

          Comment


          • #6
            Well, the people may not need good instruction...but their horses would sure appreciate it. From someone other than the idjit who was quoted by the OP, actually.
            When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE them- Maya Angelou
            www.americansaddlebredsporthorse.net
            http://www.asbsporthorse.blogspot.com/

            Comment


            • #7
              The comment that non competing ammies don't need good instruction is, of course, silly but some trainers base a substantial amount of their income on taking students to shows. Therefore, if they take on a rider who doesn't show and keep a competing rider on their waiting list, it doesn't make any sense for their bottom line.

              So, if the trainer in question is one of these trainer, then, hey so be it. I suppose they risk writing off a potential long term client for someone who will quickly move to the "flavour of the month" trainer, but I suppose that is always a risk unless you only take on students who have not had a long list of prior trainers.

              That, however, has very little to do with the assertion that non-competing ammies don't need good instruction. It could be argued that they need it even more since there won't be the objective "feedback" that showing can provide.

              Comment


              • #8
                Like AMom, when I consider lessoning with a trainer now, I ask upfront whether or not they have time for a non-competitive rider. It is not that I don't WANT to show, it just doesn't fit into my life, right now.

                Part of the reason I have strayed from the H/J world, is that I don't have the money to show regularly, and usually my various mounts have been ridiculously green, troubled, or semi-lame! While I've always gotten nice comments on my riding, I can understand why my trainers over the years have needed to be more committed to the showing clients, heck it just makes better business sense.

                Seems the Dressage crowd is a little more forgiving, in that there ARE more trainers/instructors who recognize that for a lot of adult ammies, it is all about the journey and less about a competitive goal.

                I have come across Dressage instructors of both ends of the spectrum-- those that see it as a process, and a benefit, whether or not showing is involved. And those that are focused on competitive goals and thus prefer students of a similiar mindset. I suppose neither is wrong, it is just a matter of sifting through, asking the right questions, and choosing the Pro who is best suited to your needs/wants.
                We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I agree with the previous posters. Of course trainer can run her business as she sees fit, but I don't think I would ever knowingly train with such a person.

                  I usually ride 4-6 days a week. My horse has been back in training since January, but we are leaving next week. I've been taking 2-3 lessons a week on her, and even after she's "home" I'll have 1-2 lessons a week, depending upon what I need. So, yes, I think I already spend a fair amount of money on riding, and devote time to it.

                  But I don't have a trailer, and yesterday as I was hosing off my lots-of-white paint mare, I was thinking showing would be more work than I was willing to take on for something that's supposed to be fun. And I realize I would have acute performance anxiety. Actually, if I went to a show and could breathe one time around the ring, I would consider my outing a huge success and would want to be excused so I could pass out from relief.

                  I am committed to progressing as a rider, and when I see where I am now, compared to where I was even 3 months ago, I know I'm moving forward. But I wouldn't pay good money to someone who thinks less of non-showing riders. That's silly.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well there is a world of difference between a trainer saying she only wants to teach people who wish to show and a trainer saying only people who want to show need good instruction.

                    The OP sort of fudges these two things together so I wonder what actually was said.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      where are the ammies?

                      Speaking of ammies, at the shows around here it seems like they have disappeared. There will be 10 profis showing training/first in the open classes, and maybe two ammies in the AO class. Is it the economy?
                      2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

                      A helmet saved my life.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Every instructor I've ever spoken with honestly has told me they hate teaching beginners. They want great students who need minimal teaching, show tons and make them look good!

                        I'd also like a horse that could jump backwards over 5' with a blindfold on... doesn't mean that's whats best for your business.

                        I'd tell her instructor to go fly a kite, if she doesn't want to take things seriously thats your friend's decision and then she can just sit back as her old instructor slowly runs out of clients .
                        "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
                        Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
                        Need You Now Equine

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Nes View Post
                          Every instructor I've ever spoken with honestly has told me they hate teaching beginners. They want great students who need minimal teaching, show tons and make them look good!
                          I do think my trainer struggles more with me, a relative beginner, compared to her other students... who are largely competent dressage riders on green or otherwise "in training" horses. I don't think she "hates" teaching me as much as she finds it frustrating at times. But I get frustrated with her, too.

                          One nice thing about training with someone who's "Been there;done that" is that she's pretty open to whatever her students want to do. Not enough of us show for show fees to be a big part of her income. She has several students who have zero interest in showing, and that's fine. She has students who are eventers, and that's fine, too. She doesn't seem to have a lot of interest in teaching the super-competitive "move up the levels ASAP" DQ kind of rider.

                          (That said, the fact that she thinks maresy and I are ready for prime time later this summer -- if Training Level at a recognized show even qualifies! -- makes me feel pretty good, because she would not want us out in public and connected to her if we were not ready!)
                          You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                          1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Nes View Post
                            Every instructor I've ever spoken with honestly has told me they hate teaching beginners. They want great students who need minimal teaching, show tons and make them look good!
                            But "rides at 3rd/4th" isn't a beginner.
                            Janet

                            chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Janet, the discussion is not about beginners, just amateurs that do not show.

                              Reasons why I love my trainer. She likes it when I show, but by no means thinks I need to. She encourages me to improve myself and knows that I am the type that likes to compete, but if I ever get my boyfriend on a horse, she would teach him for years without asking him to show. She does love eventing and may encourage him to join me on the dark side, but will not teach him less if he never wants to show.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                OH! I AGREE with her! God knows no one would ever get to the Olympics without showing in 20 local shows a year and lining her wallet.

                                Dear, calm down. That is a wannabe thing. It is not a 'real' thing.

                                It's a part of a very, very annoying and self limiting affliction called Third-and-Fourth-Level-itis.

                                IT CAN BECOME CHRONIC! In fact, you can often see constant symptoms through out a person's riding life. It tends to go along with lack of accomplishment and jealousy, as well as a tendecy to be money grubbing.

                                It's CONTAGIOUS! It behaves as all viruses do - it spreads when people open their mouths! The virus is called WANIBE1.

                                Watch out, you could get it too!

                                SO don't catch it! You're MOST vulnerable after your first ribbon at first level! It can take the form of First-Level-itis too!

                                Some people are far more vulnerable, and catch it even before they get out of intro...some even before they go to a show! (People's suceptibility varies!)

                                Just remember! Much like swine flu, this bug can mutate, and make even TRAINING LEVEL RIDERS SICK! SO BE CAREFUL!

                                WHAT SHOULD YOU DO! Wash your hands frequently, keep your mouth shut, and most important of all, keep as far away from the source of contagion as possible!

                                The best instructor I ever was internationally medaled, and couldn't have given a flying mouse patootie if I wanted to show or not!

                                As Cindy Ishoy told me, and I quote, verbatim, word for word, 'If you can write a check and get your leg over the saddle, I will work with you'. And she MEANT it. I rushed right off to work with her as according to the criteria, I was fully qualified(that is til my boss informed me i wasn't getting any vacation that year, but oh well)!

                                George Williams, ALL the great ones, they ALL will work with ANYONE who wants to work.

                                The good ones are generous with their knowledge, and very patient, and they've had every bit of 'snob' and 'wannabe poser' knocked out of them years and years ago, if they ever had any at all to start with. They have a passion and an enthusiasm for what they do and they just want to share it with others. They don't care if the person shows or not. They want to see horses ridden well, and that's why they do what they do. There are many things that pay far more and are far less frustrating. People teach because they have a passion for an art, and a desire to share their knowledge.

                                And all joking aside - YES, actually, for most people, their milestones, and there 'I need to get out there and ride' does, indeed come from showing. People DO avoid improving themselves and use 'I don't show' as an excuse for not making a lot of effort and diligently working on something. Avoiding evaluation by a judge is a very, very popular way to not be measured or evaluated. It CAN be a way to avoid putting out effort. But there are people who work for other things, and there are DEFINITELY instructors who are delighted to work for them.
                                Last edited by slc2; May. 18, 2009, 07:22 PM.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  As Cindy Ishoy told me, and I quote, verbatim, word for word, 'If you can write a check and get your leg over the saddle, I will work with you'. And she MEANT it. I rushed right off to work with her as according to the criteria, I was fully qualified!
                                  Every other time you told this same story, you did not then go train with her. See, this is why many will call you on your bullpucky. fess up. You did not ever train with Cindy Ishoy, or you would have mentioned it every other time you told the story about how she would teach anyone with money. That can be taken many different ways.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Ibex View Post
                                    A trainer recently told a friend that she has no interest in teaching ammies who aren't interested in prioritizing their competition careers. Friend rides at 3rd/4th level, has lovely HannoX gelding, but is perfectly happy learning well and not showing (she showed extensively in her younger years and just isn't into it any more).

                                    Now, the trainer has the right to run her business any way she sees fit. But, there were some other comments made that only those competing need good training. Is this a prevelent attitude? Do BNTs follow this kind of thinking?

                                    I always thought that Dressage was about the journey, not the competition so this made me a bit sad...
                                    Well, not a good business to limit yourself...but a non competing Ammie can't be a walking advetisement for the business so maybe said trainer wants to attract competitors. I would think in this economy if you have the greenback, you can get a lesson.

                                    Everyone needs good instruction. Finding good instruction can be difficult.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I think to be fair, if the trainer wants to work 40 hrs a week teaching and he can fill his dance card with Grand Prix horses of wealthy owners and top riders, who tend to very generously sling around foldin' money, one can't exactly fault him for making hay while the sun shines. Money is money.

                                      But actually, most of the really classy folks in the business are very generous with their time and make time for a lot of well...not exactly wealthy advancing customers.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Nes View Post
                                        then she can just sit back as her old instructor slowly runs out of clients .
                                        Or not.....

                                        I also don't understand how 'trainer only wants clients that show' translates to 'riders that don't show don't need good instruction' ?????
                                        * <-- RR Certified Gold Star {) <-- RR Golden Croissant Award
                                        Training Tip of the Day: If you can’t beat your best competitor, buy his horse.
                                        NO! What was the question?

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