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Trainers- Do parents interfere with your lessons?

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  • Trainers- Do parents interfere with your lessons?

    This has been really bugging me. Is is just me?

    We have a beautiful viewing deck next to our ring. Parents sit and watch lessons (no problem) But this drive me nuts: Every time I give a little walk break after a flat work set, some of the riders make a bee-line over to that deck and mommy gets up, hands them their water bottle, kid sucks down the drink, mommy offers words of encouragement, whatever. Meanwhile, teacher is standing in the middle of the ring, waiting for riders to rehydrate and feel ready to continue.

    Yesterday, it was 75 degrees and absolutely beautiful in Atlanta. I had one group of beginners (now how dehydrated could they have been?)stop 3 times for a drink.

    I just think its rude to the teacher and ridiculous in terms of health. I never, never took a drink to the ring with me when I rode. I hydrated before and after the lesson. Of course, July is possibly another matter, but really!

    I just think this is very subtle interference with my lesson. I think "breaks" should be used for stretching, resting and reflecting- not getting a "fix" from mommy!

    Okay, I'm done.

    "Everyone has special circumstances. Trot on....."
    http://patchworkfarmga.com
  • Original Poster

    #2
    This has been really bugging me. Is is just me?

    We have a beautiful viewing deck next to our ring. Parents sit and watch lessons (no problem) But this drive me nuts: Every time I give a little walk break after a flat work set, some of the riders make a bee-line over to that deck and mommy gets up, hands them their water bottle, kid sucks down the drink, mommy offers words of encouragement, whatever. Meanwhile, teacher is standing in the middle of the ring, waiting for riders to rehydrate and feel ready to continue.

    Yesterday, it was 75 degrees and absolutely beautiful in Atlanta. I had one group of beginners (now how dehydrated could they have been?)stop 3 times for a drink.

    I just think its rude to the teacher and ridiculous in terms of health. I never, never took a drink to the ring with me when I rode. I hydrated before and after the lesson. Of course, July is possibly another matter, but really!

    I just think this is very subtle interference with my lesson. I think "breaks" should be used for stretching, resting and reflecting- not getting a "fix" from mommy!

    Okay, I'm done.

    "Everyone has special circumstances. Trot on....."
    http://patchworkfarmga.com

    Comment


    • #3
      If they are beginners, and possibly young children, cut them some slack, especially if it is 75+ degrees outside. The kids I work with ask if it's ok for them to have a water break if they've got some with them and usually I let them because it's a very rare occurance, plus one of my kids has diabetes so she has to take breaks sometimes. I haven't had any problems with parents yet. Most of them come down to the ring and watch. One parent will ask questions or make comments, but only to learn herself and not interfere with the lesson.

      Adult Pony Rider Clique

      Comment


      • #4
        Gawd, jsalem, lighten up!!!! Maybe these beginners needs a little support from their moms. Big deal and so what? They are paying CUSTOMERS aren't they?

        Comment


        • #5
          We have a cute little girl (8-9 yr old) that rides at our barn and she always get thirsty. She solved the problem by having her mom get her one of those "camelback" packs, it's like a mini backpack with a long straw attached. Now she wears it when she rides and if she ever needs a drink, it's right there with her.
          We're still trying to explain to her that "no, you can't wear it under your hunt coat when you are at a show".
          Susan

          Comment


          • #6
            The only break I get in the lesson is after flatting while jumps are being set. And then the break is more for my horse. I personally don't like breaks because they break the rhythm of the ride but some people, especially beginners, need them.

            Is it really the break that bothers you, or is it the parental coddling?

            You should set a specific time, say five minutes while jumps are being set or inbetween trot and canter where the riders may get a drink, etc. After the five minutes it's back to work. That way, instructors aren't waiting around and parents can do their thing as well.
            Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
            Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

            Comment


            • #7
              Ok, I have a problem with parent coaching from the sidelines ("heels down, honey!"). You are paying the trainer for that purpose. If the parents know so much, they can teach lessons on their own property.

              However, taking water breaks? I think you are being a little TOO demanding. Some people are especially susceptible to heat (like me), especially if the weather has suddenly warmed up and you aren't used to it. I have been a teaching assistant at a geology field camp in Wyoming during the heat of the summer. I have seen lots of people get very sick because of the heat. Heat stroke is scary, and is easily avoided by staying hydrated. I would NEVER protest someone who requested a short break to take a drink. They are paying you, and if they want to take 5 minutes of their lesson for their HEALTH, I think you should respect that.

              _________________________________

              ** Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is serious. **

              Comment


              • #8
                Guess it depends on the "break". Do they ride over, grab a drink quick, and ride right back to continue the lesson? Or is it they go over for drink, re-hash first 1/2 of lesson with parents giving their opinion also, discuss after lesson plans (dinner, movie, etc...), then after say 10/15 minutes stroll back over to continue lesson? I would have to say the 2nd scenario would really bug me! Especially if it was a group lesson. What do the other riders do while waiting for the "break taker" to return? And what about the poor horse? Their "lesson" is also extended in the heat with no refreshments if the break takes an extra 10/15 minutes.
                "I'm not crazy...my mother had me tested"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Riding, for most of us, is supposed to be recreational and FUN. Particularly for beginners, I don't see what a big deal it is for them to get a quick drink of water during a couple minutes' break. If they get a few words of encouragement in the process, so much the better.

                  Learning to ride is difficult. It is likely these riders are less fit than you might think, and are both tired and hot/thirsty by the time a break is needed. Once they have rehydrated, they can go back to "work" and focus again, without being distracted by feeling how they are feeling (hot, tired, thirsty) and will probably be able to concentrate better on what you are asking them to do.

                  "It's a funny thing about life: If you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it." ---W. Somerset Maugham

                  \"It\'s a funny thing about life: If you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.\" ---W. Somerset Maugham

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You should just tell them that if they want water that they should set it on a jump and get it from there. Then no parents are involved and getting the drink would probably go faster.

                    ~Jenna & Beethoven~
                    Proud Member of the Thoroughbred Clique & the Children's Jumpers Clique & the GA Clique & TS Clique "To ride or not to ride? What a stupid question!"
                    I love cats, I love every single cat....
                    So anyway I am a cat lover
                    And I love to run.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      What's the big deal? Especially if they are young kids - they like getting a tiny bit of encouragement from Mom, and having a drink when they are thirsty. It's not like the Moms are yelling instructions at their kids from the sidelines! Maybe it's just a hot button for you, but I wouldn't let my annoyance show - I'm sure the Moms would be kind of mad if their kids taking a fun lesson were being snapped at or glared at for having a quick drink!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I started riding as an adult and my wife would come watch. She'd hold a bottle of water for me and I'd pick it up as I came by, get a drink and then give it back to her.

                        These kids and their parents are being smart.

                        "I thought I was dead once but it turns out, I was only in Nebraska."

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          What bothers me is that the kids take their attention off the lesson. Believe me, I am not rough and tough. Ask Beethoven. I'm pretty entertaining and give frequent breaks depending on the level and age of the kids. During the breaks, we laugh and talk and take the pressure off.

                          I guess my position is that parents don't sit in the kindergarten class and wait on their kids. Nor do they interject themselves into ballet class or gymnastics class, etc. I don't think it's appropriate. I am absolutely not advocating unhealthy practices- this is a sport and we have to be careful with our athletes. I am a mom myself and am really pretty nuturing to my students.

                          I have decided to take all drinks from parents at the beginning of the lessons and put them inside the ring on a jump. When we take a break, kids can come in for a break and chit chat with the other class members- not the audience.

                          "Everyone has special circumstances. Trot on....."
                          http://patchworkfarmga.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My goodness...times sure have changed since I was a kid taking lessons. What's all this about a break? Never heard of such a thing. It's one hour, if that, for crying out loud!! I can certainly see how people with health issues might need a break but really...one riding lesson is hardly that much of a work out especially at the beginner stage.

                            Jsalem...I can empathize with you. I would find it incredibly irritating and rude if my students seemed to think that I had nothing better to do than stand around and wait for them to finish their break. Yes, you are being paid, but horseback riding lessons aren't like other services...the trainer is taking time out of their day (which is often extremely busy as such is life with horses) so wasting it by dawdling around, showing up late, or taking extensive breaks is uncalled for.

                            As much as a client is doing you a favour by paying you, as a trainer, you are also doing them a favour by teaching them. This is an equal relationship - unlike other services where the customer is always right.
                            \"Don\'t go throwing effort after foolishness\" >>>Spur, Man From Snowy River

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I teach in florida. I have to encourage everyone to bring water and drink.Look on the bright side, if your teaching from 5-6, they can take as many breaks as they want...the lesson still ends at 6
                              Corner Stone Farm
                              Weeki Wachee,FL .Follow us on FB!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I guess it would be better to take a water break than having the rider get dehyrated and fall off! I, personally never get a break unless it's really hot and my trainer is setting up jumps. Although sometimes that never happens because the horse spooks at the water bottle! As long as the break isn't too long and is not in the middle of, let's say, trotting or cantering, I don't see a major problem.

                                If the parents were teaching from the sidelines, I could see the problem. I hate when I see parents teaching their child when their trainer is right in the ring.
                                \"Luck is when preparation meets oportunity.\"

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Czar:
                                  one riding lesson is hardly that much of a work out especially at the beginner stage.

                                  <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                                  Do you remember what it was like learning how to post? And learning two point? Yikes...those were some of the hardest and most tiring lessons.

                                  <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
                                  Yes, you are being paid, but horseback riding lessons aren't like other services...the trainer is taking time out of their day (which is often extremely busy as such is life with horses)

                                  As much as a client is doing you a favour by paying you, as a trainer, you are also doing them a favour by teaching them. This is an equal relationship - unlike other services where the customer is always right.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                                  Since when aren't riding lessons like other services? Yes, they are not like shopping in Bloomies, but they are like any other type of lesson (dance, music, tae kwan doe, whatever) situation. Favours aren't being handed out...it's a business and each side has responsibilities. I would never ride with someone who made me feel like they were "taking time out of their busy schedule" to give me a lesson.

                                  JSalem think it's distracting for her students to get water from their parents so she's come up with a way that will keep the lesson focused while still giving a water break. Sounds fine with me.

                                  Short story about parents: my mom came and watched me ride for the first time in about 15 years. She wanted to take a picture of me and horse in front of the panel jump with my barn's name on it. So during the flat/jump transition she tells me to go stand by it. Eesh! I had to remind her I was in the middle of my lesson and to wait til afterward. Parents!
                                  Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                                  Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I think you're being too picky.

                                    I was going to suggest if it'simply the interaction with parents in the middle of the lesson that irks you, to just hold their bottles for them in the ring somewhere. You have a right to your pet peeves - so that seems like a fair compromise. You already said that was your plan though.

                                    I might be a minority - but the one thing that really really hurts my focus and enjoyment of riding is being thirsty. And I get thirsty really easily when the weather hits 70+... for some reason.

                                    The need to have water consumes my brain and I spend every moment I'm not specifically doing something under watch wishing I could have a drink and lamenting my dry mouth. It seems worthwhile to simply take some gulps of water during the lesson rather than be miserable and unfocused.

                                    It's fair to say riding is hard work, requires determination and is demanding and not always a walk in the park.... but I don't think denying a student water as necessary qualifies as "hard work" or "determination"!

                                    I like requiring them to give you any items needy during class and forbidding them interaction with parents during the lesson.

                                    That way they can have their water, and take a lesson too!

                                    martha

                                    Proud member of the * Hoof Fetish Clique *

                                    **Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach that person to use the Internet and they won't bother you for weeks. **
                                    Proud member of the * Hoof Fetish & the NervousNellieWorryWart* cliques!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      If it's just a 'hydration' break, YOU could be the keeper of the water/drink.

                                      When you all take a rest, they come to the middle to you and you hand them a drink.

                                      That's what we do here in the desert. Of course, we're riding in 100 degree weather, even though it's a 'dry heat'. We do get awfully thirsty!

                                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                                      There is nothing so grand as to fly on the back of a horse!
                                      ~* Be kind to one another *~

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Rugbug...

                                        How many hundreds of threads on this BB deal with clients who are with trainers who are demanding, over sensitive, or apathetic? Do you think these people would take that from someone else in the service world? I highly doubt it.

                                        I respected all of the trainers that I have dealt with and taken lessons from. I always felt that I was there b/c they had agreed to teach me and that they were doing me a favor and as such, I would NEVER contradict or make excuses. Than again, I have had great trainers.

                                        <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> JSalem think it's distracting for her students to get water from their parents so she's come up with a way that will keep the lesson focused while still giving a water break. Sounds fine with me.
                                        <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                                        I never said it wasn't...but I still think that it's rude to take an extended break during a lesson while the trainer is standing there waiting for you to finish.

                                        Also, if a student was having trouble with a particular issue (two point, sitting trot) than they can walk for a couple of minutes and talk to the trainer about it...they don't need to go off and have a chat with mommy or daddy. That's for after the lesson.
                                        \"Don\'t go throwing effort after foolishness\" >>>Spur, Man From Snowy River

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