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Jan Byyny as a teacher?

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  • Jan Byyny as a teacher?

    Please may I have your thoughts on Jan Byyny for lessons? I'm on greenies and coming back from a broken back, so it will take some adjusting for the instructor. I'm a visual learner and petite.
    Intermediate Riding Skills

  • #2
    Two thumbs up. DH takes jumping lessons with her when he is working at Morven and really likes her teaching style- she keeps things simple but he always walks away having learned and improved something about his riding. I also think she would have a lot of empathy for your situation, given that she is just getting back to competing at the upper levels after her accident.
    Balanced Care Equine


    • #3
      I really like her.
      She is too far from me to be my regular instructor but I try to get out to her periodically for xc lessons.
      There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)


      • #4
        I rode in a clinic with her and wouldn't ride with her again only because I felt that I was over-faced.

        I was pretty honest about my abilities at the beginning (I had never ridden a full XC course at the time, just some schooling) but I felt like I was pushed past comfort and into fear. I eventually said that I was done for the day.

        I didn't get as much out of the clinic as I should have because I was struggling with "should I try this or should I stop now" going on in my head.


        • Original Poster

          Thank you for your help!

          How long ago did you ride with her? Was it a clinic or a private lesson?

          Thank you to those who have posted or p.m ed me.

          Since Jan has been coming back from her fall, she will have, I think, an understanding of the joys of the process.
          Intermediate Riding Skills


          • #6
            Had a friend who rode with her back when she was still married and everything in that barn struck me as very expensive, from the cost of the lessons to the nickel-and-diming extras that students had to pay for. Maybe she's got a different business model now, or maybe those things don't factor in if you are just trailering in for a lesson and paying a flat fee.


            • #7
              I watched Jan teach my coach this winter down in Aiken. I had not heard Jan teach before and I thought she was B.R.I.L.L.I.A.N.T. Also really fun and amusing and yes, a real get it done attitude but in a cheery sort of way and got amazing things out of my coach's horses.
              Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.


              • #8
                When I was a working student, Jan and my employer shared a barn in Aiken. It was great, because I got to observe not only her riding and teaching, but how she and her staff ran the barn. My trainer was taking lessons with her, so I got great second-hand instruction, too! It was a very educational winter.

                I have not seen her teach an XC school, but even as a non-riding observer of several dressage and stadium lessons, I learned a lot and would recommend riding with her.
                Leap, and the net will appear


                • #9
                  I have not had Jan push me past what I am capable of- she has pushed me out of my comfort zone a few times but it was always a good thing. One of the reasons I like xc schooling with her is because I trust that she won't ask me to do something that I cannot do. But then again, she knows me a bit since I do not ride with her in a clinic setting.
                  I am not sure what nickel and diming lesson students could get hit with- I have only ever paid a lesson fee.
                  There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by whicker View Post
                    How long ago did you ride with her? Was it a clinic or a private lesson?
                    This would have been 3 years ago and certainly a lot has changed for her since then. This was a clinic over two days with 3 people in each group.

                    I'm really not sure how I felt about her teaching style - she was engaged, funny and an exciting teacher. But she also spent a lot of time on the phone and didn't relate as well to weaker riders as lots of other clinicians can.

                    On a side note, she really didn't impress me much until I listened to all of her Eventing Radio interviews and then I have to say if she was able to portray the same level of passion and compassion as she expressed in her interviews about her horses, grooms, family, in her lessons, she might be incredible. It's amazing how much your impression of someone can change when they open up themselves up and let their true personalities shine.


                    • #11
                      Jan is amazing. I went to her a couple summers ago with confidence issues. A mare I had run at the * level and then was not even being successful at the training level. I was worried and the mare was taking a advantage of that. In one weeks time I went from being eliminated all spring (even the weekend before this one) to winning the following weekend. She shot my confidence sky high and got my mare and I back to the prelim level. She is extremely caring and will absolutely understand your situation. Highly recommended.


                      • #12
                        Jan is fantastic, would recommend her to anyone.


                        • #13
                          I have taken cross country clinics with Jan before and shes AMAZING!!! She does push you but if you don't push yourself how do you expect to get better. By the time i was done with her clinics i was jumping prelim jumps at the age of 10. Shes an awesome trainer and she figures out how you ride and will help you with everything!!


                          • #14
                            I must not snark at the new people.
                            I must not snark at the new people.
                            I must not....oh, never mind.


                            • #15
                              My personal experience with her has been great. I've done 3 clinics with her and enjoyed her aggressive teaching style. I've also had a good friend who had Jan help her on her lead up to Kentucky a few years ago and loved her. On the other hand, my college roommate worked for Jan 2 summers ago, and her confidence was shot. Her horse was VERY hot but very bold, and by the end of the summer, a horse who had never had a stop BN-I was stopping at X's....

                              On anther note, her coaching and lesson fees are outrageously pricey...


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by FlightCheck View Post
                                I must not snark at the new people.
                                I must not snark at the new people.
                                I must not....oh, never mind.


                                • #17
                                  I think it depends on what you are looking for. For an experienced pair looking to put polish on to the jumps, I think Jan is really really good. I've seen and had some exceptional coaching from her, particularly in show jumping, and think she's particularly good at identifying some of the small nuances that really can make a huge difference.

                                  She might not be my pick for a less experienced or timid rider, however. That's not to say anything bad about her style, I just think there are other folks (off the top of my head, people like Sean McQuillan, Allison Springer, Skyler Voss, Tiffany Catledge come to mind - I'm sure there are others) who might be a better fit for either a lower level rider or someone looking for regular help as they regain confidence and build skills, in part because they may have a wider range of students on a regular basis.