Lesson rant

Xanthoria
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Lesson rant

Postby Xanthoria » Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:51 pm

OK this is a rant. I don't need advice, just roll your eyes along with me if you're inclined :lol: I felt minor irritation yesterday and I'm over it, but still cannot quite believe the gall...

I know a local GP jumper rider casually. My horse is lame, so I asked if I could take a jump lesson with him if he had a "school horse" which I wasn't sure of, as they breed WBs there and have a big training operation. Very expensive board rates!

Yes he said, no probs - come over x day/time. I was expecting it to be expensive but didn't ask. And I was pretty excited to do some jumping, as well as ask head trainer about horses he has for sale!

What ended up happening? I got a lesson from a young working student who I could barely hear as she was so softly spoken. I kept stopping to ask her to speak up. The horse was a very tricky ride, trained to go on completely loose reins, would root hard if you tried to take ANY contact, and who did not respond to any canter aid I know. We trotted over a cavaletti 3x, then cantered over it 2x. It cost $125.

She admitted eventually that the horses there are all trained the same and it's taken her months to decipher this way of riding. So for 45 mins and $125 I got "how to ride our way, which I don't really understand". The whole time I was thinking "I bet I could retrain this horse in a few rides..." To cap it all off, the tack was absolutely filthy and so incredibly ancient - the girth billets were literally splitting in half (like they were originally two laminated pieces?) and I would be ashamed to put such a filthy saddle pad on a horse. This is a place that charges $1000/month for pasture board IIRC...

The working students were incredibly nice, but they ride 8 horses a day and seemed tired. And very much under qualified for the barn to be charging that much.

Needless to say, not going back. And no, not feeding back to the head trainer either. Or recommending them to anyone, ever. :roll:

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Imperini
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Re: Lesson rant

Postby Imperini » Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:15 pm

Ugh how frustrating, I guess it goes to show that "you get what you pay for" isn't always true.

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Re: Lesson rant

Postby heddylamar » Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:08 pm

Rant away!!!! I had a former instructor try that with me.

Current trainer is 100% mine for our entire ride, it's refreshing.

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Re: Lesson rant

Postby PaulaO » Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:19 pm

Horrible.

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Re: Lesson rant

Postby StraightForward » Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:31 pm

Wow, I would be fuming. I guess you at least learned relatively cheaply to not do any business with them.
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Re: Lesson rant

Postby khall » Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:40 pm

Ick! So not fun. I'm sorry you had such a bad experience there.

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Re: Lesson rant

Postby scruffy the cat » Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:48 am

Effing annoying, I'd say. I pay the same amount but my instructor was 5th at the Olympics, shouts at me, and knows everything.

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Re: Lesson rant

Postby Moutaineer » Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:46 am

That would make me pretty darned ranty, too.

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Re: Lesson rant

Postby exvet » Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:49 pm

I had a trainer/riding instructor do this to me as well after I asked for the horror of all horrors - lunge lessons. Instead of her working student it was her barn manager that was assigned to the task. I liked her as a person but had seen her ride, knew she had never taught a lesson in her life, and needed lunge lessons as much if not more than I did so I was pretty sure she had never taken one let alone ever taught one. Point being was that she didn't even know any exercises - fortunately I did from my PC days. The horse they had was lame so we used mine (who I brought with me to school in their full size dressage arena preparing for a show). Needless to say, other than hold the end of the lunge line and tell me to sit up occasionally, there wasn't much gained from time spent. At least the cost of the lesson wasn't more than the usual fee. I left that 'trainer/riding instructor' shortly after that. I had been a client of hers for 4 years. It was the best decision I ever made - found someone who was capable of teaching on the lunge, had horses as well as used mine and improved my seat tremendously. Long story short, it opened up an otherwise closed door for me. I found that person after venting on the UDBB. Hopefully a silver lining will be found out of your experience.

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Re: Lesson rant

Postby Xanthoria » Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:06 pm

Thanks all! Yes exvet I guess ya gotta kiss a few toads... I’m going to try another trainer who I am pretty sure has no working students to palm me off on. :lol:

I came away from that last lesson feeling like a crappy rider. And like my horse is really pretty nice and pretty well trained, if those two statements together make sense!

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Re: Lesson rant

Postby exvet » Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:20 pm

LOL, well if it's any more of a consolation, I'm sure my furry tanky pony will make me feel like a crappy rider all the while people will tell me how far along he's come for just a 4 year old......We're doing our first schooling show today. I've never ridden these tests before though I have ridden hundreds (literally) of training level tests over the years. I have visions of him turning into a giraffe underneath me as the judge stands up as we enter and then the looky loo moments whenever a grey horse comes into view. I found out last Sunday that he seems to be mesmerized by pintos as well. I just keep on filing all the information away for later use. Being a crazy horse person certainly gives us many character building moments, doesn't it? LOL....

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Re: Lesson rant

Postby Hayburner » Sat Oct 20, 2018 3:01 pm

Well, at least you found out about the place and will probably ask the price before you booked a lesson anywhere else.

Tho, if they would have told you the price you probably would have still gone thinking you were going to get a lot out of it.

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Re: Lesson rant

Postby Rockabilly » Sat Oct 20, 2018 3:38 pm

Oh, I had something similiar happen to me some years ago and I'm not sure if I am over it yet so I understand completely your frustration.

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Re: Lesson rant

Postby WheresMyWhite » Sat Oct 20, 2018 3:57 pm

Xanthoria wrote:Thanks all! Yes exvet I guess ya gotta kiss a few toads... I’m going to try another trainer who I am pretty sure has no working students to palm me off on. :lol:


Perhaps also suggest auditing a lesson first to see if their "style" matches what you are looking for? As well as asking if the lesson would be taught by jumper rider or someone else.

I totally understand your frustration and disappointment in the lesson, such as it was, that you got but maybe a bit of assumption on your part on what would happen vs what did happen.

:x

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Re: Lesson rant

Postby kande50 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:36 pm

exvet wrote:I have visions of him turning into a giraffe underneath me as the judge stands up as we enter and then the looky loo moments whenever a grey horse comes into view. I found out last Sunday that he seems to be mesmerized by pintos as well. I just keep on filing all the information away for later use.


Also watch out for horses wearing coolers, and any horse who looks like it might be one of his herd mates. Although I guess you won't need to watch out for them because he'll take care of that.

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Re: Lesson rant

Postby kande50 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:37 pm

WheresMyWhite wrote:
Perhaps also suggest auditing a lesson first to see if their "style" matches what you are looking for? As well as asking if the lesson would be taught by jumper rider or someone else.

I totally understand your frustration and disappointment in the lesson, such as it was, that you got but maybe a bit of assumption on your part on what would happen vs what did happen.

:x


Exactly my thoughts too, although I learned that about the same way Xan learned it.

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Re: Lesson rant

Postby Rockabilly » Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:49 pm

kande50 wrote:
WheresMyWhite wrote:
Perhaps also suggest auditing a lesson first to see if their "style" matches what you are looking for? As well as asking if the lesson would be taught by jumper rider or someone else.

I totally understand your frustration and disappointment in the lesson, such as it was, that you got but maybe a bit of assumption on your part on what would happen vs what did happen.

:x


Exactly my thoughts too, although I learned that about the same way Xan learned it.



Me too because sometimes you just can't believe that a person won't do the right thing. I used to "assume" that people would do the right thing, but I am long over that now.

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Re: Lesson rant

Postby StraightForward » Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:01 pm

exvet wrote:I found out last Sunday that he seems to be mesmerized by pintos as well. I just keep on filing all the information away for later use. Being a crazy horse person certainly gives us many character building moments, doesn't it? LOL....


:lol: Maya was that way. So odd since she was appy and raised with leopard-spot appies. Eventually she got over it after sharing the arena with a paint for several training sessions. Someone was hand-walking a black horse with high whites at our last show and Annabelle was enthralled with it. She ignored the other horses and stared at that horse and wanted to follow it. :lol:
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Re: Lesson rant

Postby kande50 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:49 pm

Rockabilly wrote:

Me too because sometimes you just can't believe that a person won't do the right thing. I used to "assume" that people would do the right thing, but I am long over that now.


Providers sometimes make the same mistakes the consumer does, by not asking enough questions. As in, what kind of lesson are you looking for? IOW, what level are you, and what are your expectations for this lesson?

If the trainer had given the lesson himself I might have thought that maybe they always put new students on safe horses so they can evaluate them, but if he handed it off to a ws who didn't have that ability then that wasn't it.

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Re: Lesson rant

Postby Flight » Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:53 pm

That would have been disappointing! If it's not what you expected. I tend to go and watch lessons now if I can, before going myself to make sure it's what I'm after.

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Re: Lesson rant

Postby Xanthoria » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:01 am

Well that’s the thing - the whole email conversation was about me having a lesson with HIM and no mention ever made of a WS doing it. So if I’d audited him it would t have made a difference! I think it was a bit of bait and switch. He’s ESL too so perhaps a bit of that?

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Re: Lesson rant

Postby Chisamba » Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:07 am

That is disappointing and sounds a bit unethical

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Re: Lesson rant

Postby WheresMyWhite » Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:22 pm

Rockabilly wrote:Me too because sometimes you just can't believe that a person won't do the right thing. I used to "assume" that people would do the right thing, but I am long over that now.


Rockabilly, you do know that 'assume' is an acronym, don't you?? :) It makes an *ss out of you and me :lol:

Unfortunately it is all to often exactly that...

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Re: Lesson rant

Postby Josette » Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:53 pm

IMO there should be a discount price taking the lesson from the WS versus the trainer you had emailed. I agree bait and switch.

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Re: Lesson rant

Postby paownyc » Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:51 pm

I hate to say this, but it doesn't surprise me at all in this area. It's so very frustrating. And some of the stuff I saw when we were working at a bunch of different barns around here... :roll:

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Re: Lesson rant

Postby Ryeissa » Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:58 pm

That is crazy, but we don't really have WS give lessons here in the midwest (at least that I know of!)
I'm sorry and I feel bad for those horses.

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Re: Lesson rant

Postby Chancellor » Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:53 pm

Rockabilly wrote:

Me too because sometimes you just can't believe that a person won't do the right thing. I used to "assume" that people would do the right thing, but I am long over that now.


I too used to assume that people would do the right thing. Sadly, it seems to be the exception to the rule these days!

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Re: Lesson rant

Postby Hot4Spots » Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:17 pm

Wow. That is truly annoying. I agree, bait and switch. As you know, I started some jumping lessons lately, and they were certainly much more upfront and responsible, and it's just a little lesson program at a big boarding barn with multiple trainers - the kind that runs a summer camp for kids as well. I went there, and the first lesson, slightly discounted ($100 private as opposed to $125 private), was a flat lesson - sort of "Let's see if she can ride at all, even if she does say she evented to Preliminary." It was a full 45 mins and a good workout. I was then told I was fine and could join their group jumping lessons. I've had two lessons now, and while I'm only jumping xes at this point, it was on a nice horse, group of four, individual exercises then small courses. It has been fun. $95 a lesson, and you're expected to show up to groom and saddle, clean/put horse up afterwards and clean at least the bridle - but all their tack is so clean that a wipe down is all it takes.

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Re: Lesson rant

Postby Tuddy » Fri Oct 26, 2018 2:42 pm

Hot4Spots wrote:Wow. That is truly annoying. I agree, bait and switch. As you know, I started some jumping lessons lately, and they were certainly much more upfront and responsible, and it's just a little lesson program at a big boarding barn with multiple trainers - the kind that runs a summer camp for kids as well. I went there, and the first lesson, slightly discounted ($100 private as opposed to $125 private), was a flat lesson - sort of "Let's see if she can ride at all, even if she does say she evented to Preliminary." It was a full 45 mins and a good workout. I was then told I was fine and could join their group jumping lessons. I've had two lessons now, and while I'm only jumping xes at this point, it was on a nice horse, group of four, individual exercises then small courses. It has been fun. $95 a lesson, and you're expected to show up to groom and saddle, clean/put horse up afterwards and clean at least the bridle - but all their tack is so clean that a wipe down is all it takes.


I am never going to complain about paying $75 (Canadian) for a private 45 minute lesson again. Ever. I have never paid more than $75. I have paid more in a clinic setting, but not a private, horse provided one on one lesson.

I am sorry your lesson was not at all what you expected!

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Re: Lesson rant

Postby Xanthoria » Fri Oct 26, 2018 8:07 pm

This just in: today (a week later) I got an email from GP jumper dude asking how my lesson was, and wanting to know if I wanted more. For an unrelated reason I'm not going to give him my unvarnished opinion of the lesson. I AM considering giving him a carefully lacquered version, purely for the sake of not burning the bridge to smithereens...

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Re: Lesson rant

Postby kande50 » Sat Oct 27, 2018 6:12 pm

Xanthoria wrote:This just in: today (a week later) I got an email from GP jumper dude asking how my lesson was, and wanting to know if I wanted more. For an unrelated reason I'm not going to give him my unvarnished opinion of the lesson. I AM considering giving him a carefully lacquered version, purely for the sake of not burning the bridge to smithereens...


I wonder if GP jumper dude suspects that he may not be getting a stellar yelp review?

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Re: Lesson rant

Postby Xanthoria » Sat Oct 27, 2018 6:26 pm

kande I am pretty sure his client base doesn’t bother themselves with such lowly things as yelp. They are Much Too Posh!

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Re: Lesson rant

Postby scruffy the cat » Sat Oct 27, 2018 7:30 pm

Xanthoria wrote:This just in: today (a week later) I got an email from GP jumper dude asking how my lesson was, and wanting to know if I wanted more. For an unrelated reason I'm not going to give him my unvarnished opinion of the lesson. I AM considering giving him a carefully lacquered version, purely for the sake of not burning the bridge to smithereens...


I do think it's possible to express disappointment that you didn't get to ride with him (after all, his ego probably would just love that) without burning bridges. Hope he realizes what he missed in not teaching you directly!

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Re: Lesson rant

Postby kande50 » Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:50 am

Xanthoria wrote:kande I am pretty sure his client base doesn’t bother themselves with such lowly things as yelp. They are Much Too Posh!


So maybe you were paying for the photo op at the snazzy farm rather than the lesson? :-)

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Re: Lesson rant

Postby chantal » Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:57 pm

I was looking for an in-between farm after I lost my free-lease horse at a very nice farm. I was not at the level of the horse but worked my butt off learning. And had to stop riding him because I was pregnant... Anywho, while I was looking for a place, I went to this highly recommended place about 30 mins away. Supposed BNT (not) delegated low-level eventer to give me a dressage lesson on a schoolie. Now I love taking dressage lessons on schoolies from good instructors, those animals are the best! But it was terrible. As the instructor came in to give BNT her lesson, I got instructor's name and went to her farm just down the road. She was awesome! Moral of the story, whoever they recommend you to, find their instructor. :lol: (And I only needed a horse for 6 months it turned out. Had a 5 1/2 year free lease after that at original farm on a nice SWB)

I feel for you. I would give him a review. Write what you want, delete/edit it and rework it. Take the emotion out of it and send it.

If you have the time. Otherwise don't. 8-)

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Re: Lesson rant

Postby lorilu » Fri Nov 02, 2018 3:54 am

I would certainly tell him that it seemed the horses were SO well trained that the expectation of the rider's ability FAR exceeded yours, so sorry, but apparently I need another instructor. Ladle that sarcasm thickly.

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Re: Lesson rant

Postby Hot4Spots » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:41 pm

Tuddy wrote:
Hot4Spots wrote:Wow. That is truly annoying. I agree, bait and switch. As you know, I started some jumping lessons lately, and they were certainly much more upfront and responsible, and it's just a little lesson program at a big boarding barn with multiple trainers - the kind that runs a summer camp for kids as well. I went there, and the first lesson, slightly discounted ($100 private as opposed to $125 private), was a flat lesson - sort of "Let's see if she can ride at all, even if she does say she evented to Preliminary." It was a full 45 mins and a good workout. I was then told I was fine and could join their group jumping lessons. I've had two lessons now, and while I'm only jumping xes at this point, it was on a nice horse, group of four, individual exercises then small courses. It has been fun. $95 a lesson, and you're expected to show up to groom and saddle, clean/put horse up afterwards and clean at least the bridle - but all their tack is so clean that a wipe down is all it takes.


I am never going to complain about paying $75 (Canadian) for a private 45 minute lesson again. Ever. I have never paid more than $75. I have paid more in a clinic setting, but not a private, horse provided one on one lesson.

I am sorry your lesson was not at all what you expected!


Well, while I was momentarily taken aback by the cost, I rationalized that, after all, I was paying to rent the horse as well as for the instructions. I'm sure it's less if it's your own horse. I wasn't disappointed as such - I'm rusty and x-es are find now, though I find I'm getting my eye back pretty quickly. However, because of my boarding situation (I have to move my horse and there isn't much available), I've dropped out for now. I do intend to start up again once I get my boarding situation resolved.


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