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GM is nothing but a bully.

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  • Originally posted by rileyt View Post
    I have no problem with a teacher being brutally honest with someone. Especially at this level. Even if he had said, "If you can't ride this exercise better than that, you really don't belong here." or "If you can't get the right number of strides on this circle, you might as well get off your horse and put him away, because you'll never make it as a pro." I think either of those would be tremendously obnoxious... but if he truthfully believes that, fine.

    But calling someone a dumbell? Really. That is tremendously self-indulgent.

    Name calling and humiliation is just, as I said, unprofessional. It's counterproductive, and does nothing in terms of teaching or educating a rider. And I think it reflects poorly on the industry, and the organization (in this case the USEF) that tolerates it.
    I couldn't agree more. There's a lot of space between stroking people's egos and humiliating them in public. I don't understand why more people on this thread don't understand that.
    "She is not fragile like a flower. She is fragile like a bomb."

    Comment


    • WOW! Reading this is interesting....
      GM is not God. Yes he is extremely accomplished, experienced and respected. But he had to learn it somewhere! There are many, many other wonderful trainers out there. They may not have the experience of a 73 yr old man, yet, but they may by that age. Trainers are made, not born.
      George is very disciplined in his teaching methods, but that does not make name calling right. I have been to enough GM clinics to know how he runs them. ANyone who reads the threads on here can get the gist. He is a perfectionist, expects the rides to rise to the occasion, can be cranky. That being said, if you want to go to his clinics, you are on your own. Read a book of his if not, watch a clinic on disc.
      I am not a george as a person fan, I am however a fan of his knowledge and training. But the name calling , rudeness and I am holy attitude is uncalled for... He puts his pants on the same as everyone else.....

      Comment


      • I had to chime in after reading that line, too.

        To quote GM: "Tighten that turn, you dumbbell!" he barked to one rider. "I'm starting to think you're half-dumb. Don't waste my time."

        Seriously, if you're this frustrated with someone you're teaching, you don't start by blaming them, you look at yourself and try to figure out how YOU can teach them what you're trying to get across. If that's not working, and they really are wasting your time or you just are not able to teach the way they learn, then you stop worrying and give them easy things to do and give up the ghost--letting them move on to some other trainer.

        This behavior is just rude and obnoxious. I would have walked out and given him a piece of my mind (if I'd paid). Seriously, why put yourself through this if you obviously aren't learning what the arrogrant jerk is trying to teach you?
        "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

        Comment


        • Originally posted by SillyHorse View Post
          I couldn't agree more. There's a lot of space between stroking people's egos and humiliating them in public. I don't understand why more people on this thread don't understand that.
          That is your viewpoint. The fact others do not agree should not confuse you, they simply have a different opinion based on how they see and take his comments. Which most have paid for at some point.

          We understand just fine, we disagree.
          When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

          The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Velvet View Post
            I had to chime in after reading that line, too.

            To quote GM: "Tighten that turn, you dumbbell!" he barked to one rider. "I'm starting to think you're half-dumb. Don't waste my time."

            Seriously, if you're this frustrated with someone you're teaching, you don't start by blaming them, you look at yourself and try to figure out how YOU can teach them what you're trying to get across. If that's not working, and they really are wasting your time or you just are not able to teach the way they learn, then you stop worrying and give them easy things to do and give up the ghost--letting them move on to some other trainer.

            This behavior is just rude and obnoxious. I would have walked out and given him a piece of my mind (if I'd paid). Seriously, why put yourself through this if you obviously aren't learning what the arrogrant jerk is trying to teach you?
            The rider in question DID learn what he was teaching her, AFTER he got her to pay more attention to his instructions. The previous 3-4 riders had already done the exercise correctly.

            She went on to do that exercise and others correctly, as did all the kids by the end of the session.

            Comment


            • There's a lot of space between stroking people's egos and humiliating them in public. I don't understand why more people on this thread don't understand that.
              I think what's being misunderstood is that some people can't accept that not everyone is sensitive to mild name calling.

              Some even find it humerous. Yes, even when it happens to them. Especially when it happens to them.

              Not everyone thinks and feels the same way.

              Many of us just don't have issues with what he said. And many of us are speaking from personal opinion having ridden in front of him once, twice or more.

              And many of us simply would never imagine getting upset enough to rant and swear and insult online over what someone they'd never ride with anyway said to someone else they don't know.

              And there's nothing wrong with being sensitive just as there's nothing wrong with not being sensitive. It's what makes the world go 'round.

              And FWIW...you can't be humiliated by being called a dumbell in public without your own permission to do so. Other people do not define your personal opinion of yourself or control your reactions or feelings. Only you (the collective you) do. Don't give others that kind of power over your life.
              You jump in the saddle,
              Hold onto the bridle!
              Jump in the line!
              ...Belefonte

              Comment


              • Well put Velvet! I forgot to add that after I hit post. I always find it amusing when a trainer is mad a student did do what they are told to do. If GM had stopped, backed up and maybe explained what he wanted a different way, the name calling would have not been needed.....Maybe GM was frustrated with himself for not being able to explain what he wanted so he took it out on the kid..... Just not needed....

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Jumphigh83 View Post
                  So help me understand what seems to be duplicitous thinking. So defenders, what if a school teacher had used this technique in the classroom? How long before that teacher would be in front of the school board and/or looking for a new job? The "real" world is cruel, why wait? How about a coach? A mentor? A counselor? I'm not sure I understand the need to be cruel to anyone. Truthful, yes. Mean, never. How long before the whole class laughs at you do you continue to raise your hand and perhaps give the "wrong" answer? Just wondering.
                  I get your point; IMHO you don't think a college professor hasn't spouted a comment or two to a student? These are top riders not grade school children.

                  Besides - sitting in a class room is A LOT different than sitting on top of a 1500 lb beast that could kill you if you screw up!

                  And as far as OPINIONS on a "word = dumbell" more often than not; OPINIONS don't have a RIGHT OR WRONG answer...
                  Put your energy on what you want to grow!

                  Comment


                  • So I'm curious...why is it so awful for him to call her a dumbbell (I still think that's a cute word) in a "public lesson" with, I don't know, but I'll guess 100+/- people watching but it's a-ok for you to call him many other words on a public forum with 5,650 views (so far, and likely many more to come)?

                    It would be interesting to hear the rider's take on it.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Velvet View Post
                      I had to chime in after reading that line, too.

                      To quote GM: "Tighten that turn, you dumbbell!" he barked to one rider. "I'm starting to think you're half-dumb. Don't waste my time."

                      Seriously, if you're this frustrated with someone you're teaching, you don't start by blaming them, you look at yourself and try to figure out how YOU can teach them what you're trying to get across. If that's not working, and they really are wasting your time or you just are not able to teach the way they learn, then you stop worrying and give them easy things to do and give up the ghost--letting them move on to some other trainer.

                      This behavior is just rude and obnoxious. I would have walked out and given him a piece of my mind (if I'd paid). Seriously, why put yourself through this if you obviously aren't learning what the arrogrant jerk is trying to teach you?

                      How your post sounds reasonable, did you watch prior to what was going on in the lesson???

                      Sometimes a smack on the rear is necessary to get a point across trying to be made after other techniques have been exhausted.

                      Life is about a balance and it seems to me so often people take one extreme or the other!

                      GM has had great success in the horse world because of his understanding of balance. Some of you may feel it's unecessary or abusive - and at times it may appear that way - but if you really pay attention to his training you will see there is reward and punishment with both horses, riders as well as himself.
                      Put your energy on what you want to grow!

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by QHmom View Post
                        Maybe GM was frustrated with himself for not being able to explain what he wanted so he took it out on the kid..... Just not needed....
                        Yep. And while I had an instructor like this when I was a teenager, I now know that it was my teachers in ability to teach that caused most of the problem. He only had one way of explaining things and he was frustrated, but he took it out on me. That was wrong. I'm not about being PC and petting people and making them feel happy all the time. (I did learn that it was wrong and that there were much better ways to teach. So I learned one good lesson from that experience. I learned what NOT to do as a teacher.)

                        I just know that when you teach more impressionable riders this way, you are teach more than just riding skills. You are teaching them that it's okay to scream at someone out of frustration and belittle them. Especially when the trainer is revered by so many. In emulation, they not only treat other riders poorly, but they often become impatient and downright horrible to their horses. I'm generalizing a bit, but remember that old instructor I had? I've seen what that did to some people.

                        The older you get, and the more accolades you receive, does not excuse you from having verbal diarrhea. On the contrary, you should be showing more grace and wisdom.
                        "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

                        Comment


                        • The biggest disconnect I'm seeing on this thread is between people who actually saw what happened during this (or another) clinic, and understood the context of it, and those who just read about the comment after the fact.

                          There are also differing opinions about whether calling someone a dumbbell when they do something dumb is mean or just honest.

                          Again, I was watching the clinic online, and it looked to me like the comment was due to the fact that the rider had already seen what GM asked the previous 3-4 riders to do, and she still did something else.

                          Comment


                          • So...being clearly and repeatedly told to spiral in several times (a common excercise at top levels) was too complicated?

                            And responding by making big, irregular shapes with the horse counter bent and over flexed needed a warm fuzzy hug and detailed explanation while the other 10 or so in the group and the 100 or so that paid to audit sit and wait...and wait...and wait?
                            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by doublesstable View Post
                              Sometimes a smack on the rear is necessary to get a point across trying to be made after other techniques have been exhausted.
                              I will part company with you on this one. All it does is intimidate. If you need to intimidate someone, you are no longer teaching.

                              Calling people names is a bullying technique. Doesn't matter how high and might you are--it still makes you a bully.
                              "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

                              Comment


                              • Dumbbell? Really. He called a rider a dumbbell who was consistently erring? I've heard worse.

                                It seems like 20-30 years ago, trainers got frustrated and mad when you kept messing up. Kind of jarred you into attention. Worked pretty damn well. It's not fun getting yelled at- but when it kicks you in the butt and you get results- you appreciate it.

                                I'm going to bet the girl in question is not really losing sleep over being called a dumbbell.

                                The nice thing is that there are plenty o' trainers who will praise you all day long. Ride with them if you are sensitive.

                                Comment


                                • Originally posted by findeight View Post
                                  That is your viewpoint. The fact others do not agree should not confuse you, they simply have a different opinion based on how they see and take his comments. Which most have paid for at some point.

                                  We understand just fine, we disagree.
                                  Your tag line is perfect... multiple opinions on the same issue - yep absolutely.

                                  No confusion here.... but in a world that is grossly lacking common courtesy, decorum and respect - simply do not understand endorsing that approach - especially when there are equally effective alternatives.

                                  As to the poster who mentioned the rider did learn - none of us will ever know whether that happened because of or despite the name-calling.

                                  Also... as a college professor - name calling and embarrassment are not encouraged or tolerated as teaching techniques. Honest feedback and correction are - and surprise they work.

                                  Comment


                                  • I'm at the clinic

                                    If it makes you feel any better, she was eating lunch with him today and laughing with him.

                                    And, to respond to someone else who defended him on his notorious 'you need to be fit to do this sport' comments, while he critiqued his own pictures yesterday, he kept going on and on about how fat he was. Even though we know he's not fat. He said, "Look. I'm fat and I'm old. I need to start exercising more."

                                    Also, he is especially - I guess...perturbed at this particular rider because he really believes in her! He said to her yesterday, something like, "Don't do X (whatever it was)! I moved you up 20 places!!" He moved her up 20 places in the medal (or Maclay - whichever he judged this year)."

                                    Trust me, they totally get him and are completely unaffected.

                                    "If you have the time, spend it. If you have a hand, lend it. If you have the money, give it. If you have a heart, share it." by me

                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by QHmom View Post
                                      GM is not God.
                                      I am so glad you cleared this up for me! I have a GM doll that I put on a pedestal and whose brown boots I polish to a military shine every day promptly at 4:30 PM GMT-5. I guess I can stop doing that now because it was really cutting into my social life.

                                      Originally posted by QHmom View Post
                                      He puts his pants on the same as everyone else.....
                                      He might tell you he has special technique for how HE puts HIS pants on that is vastly better than how YOU do it! LOL
                                      Stoneybrook Farm Afton TN

                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by MHM View Post
                                        There are also differing opinions about whether calling someone a dumbbell when they do something dumb is mean or just honest.
                                        Okay, would you accept this from a cop? I once saw a cop scream at a woman and call her stupid (and a few other choice names) because she did not see him raising a hand to stop pedestrian traffic near a parking ramp exit. (It was raining and it was very hard to see him.) He called her often and started calling her names and giving her a lecture. I saw the whole thing. She just had her umbrella tipped in front of her (for good reason) and honestly did not see him.

                                        When I called to complain because this guy was treating someone so poorly and calling her names, I was told by the officer on the phone, "We're trained tell the truth to people."

                                        Seriously? They hide behind that? Seriously, George can hide behind that just because it worked?

                                        Like I said, I am NOT a PC person, but this just smacks of bullying an an inability on the screamer's part to communicate. They need to go learn better communication skills.
                                        "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

                                        Comment


                                        • Originally posted by Velvet View Post
                                          ....I did learn that it was wrong and that there were much better ways to teach. So I learned one good lesson from that experience. I learned what NOT to do as a teacher....

                                          I just know that when you teach more impressionable riders this way, you are teach more than just riding skills. You are teaching them that it's okay to scream at someone out of frustration and belittle them. Especially when the trainer is revered by so many. In emulation, they not only treat other riders poorly, but they often become impatient and downright horrible to their horses. I'm generalizing a bit, but remember that old instructor I had? I've seen what that did to some people.
                                          So if I understand what you are tyring to say - since you were screamed at from a previous instructor when you were young; then you say you learned what NOT to do, but then the next sentence you say it's not right to scream at someone because they will emulate it.... This is contradicting.

                                          Also, where in the article did it say he "screamed"?
                                          Put your energy on what you want to grow!

                                          Comment

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