Question about *private* lessons

Discussion in 'New Riders' started by JackiAH, Mar 19, 2001.

  1. JackiAH

    JackiAH New Member

    Hi - This is Jacki's mom, and I just wanted to know if it's common for a trainer to leave a student unattended in the ring during a private lesson, or to accept phone calls (cell and wireless) on a regular basis while giving a private lesson. My gut tells me that this is wrong - and no matter how great the trainer is, it's not worth the risk to safety. Am I being overly protective or should we seek another barn/trainer?

    Would appreciate any advice :)

    Jacki's Mom
  2. Emarmite

    Emarmite New Member

    Question about private lessons


    I actually think it is down right bad manners to be taking calls whilst teaching. I do not think for one she should be leaving her student unattended, for both safety and insurance reasons, and she should not be taking calls during the lesson. If you have paid for a private lesson your instructor should give you her/his undivided attention

    I would be tempted to have a word with either your instructor, or her boss and if things do not improve I would seriously consider changing schools.

  3. KarlR

    KarlR New Member

    I fully agree.

    I've had the situation where the instructor talkes calls, but if it occurs with my current instructors they are both professional enough to say simply "I'm busy - please call later".

    As regards leaving the lesson, this occurs occasionally with my current instructors, but only for a minute or so (usually to use the toilet!), and only after asking my permission. I doubt that either of them would do so if they hadn't known me for a long time. There are also serious insurance implications as Beverly says - it the horse bucked (as they all can) and Jacki was dismounted, what then? This is clearly indicative of an unprofessional instructor. You have every right to be concerned.
  4. horselover

    horselover Hunter-Jumper

    Sometimes instrudtors just get too comfortable...

    The instructor probably isn't even thinking about what he is doing. I would mention that it bothers you.

    Both of my instructors have answered the cell phone while instructing me, but they either talk for about a minute if it's important or ask the person to call back since they are teaching a lesson.

    In regards to leaving, that is probably not a good idea, especially if they do itoften. As mentioned, if an accident occurred while they were gone, they would be in a lot of trouble.

    Try mentioning your concerns in a tactful way, I am sure, as professionals being paid by you, they will listen.
  5. Gracie

    Gracie Pony Lover

    Emergency calls only!

    I have to say that the instructor should only be leaving the ring for emergencies only and certainly not to talk on her/his cell phone. Not all the fact about safety... but you are also paying for the lessons of child... why should it be innturrupted by someone else who's not in the lesson! Like others have said talk to the instructor or owner of the stable!! Best Wishes:)
  6. Silvia

    Silvia New Member

    It would not be so much the phone calls that worry me, but that the instructor leaves her unattended. This is very bad form. What if something happened while she is on her own!But phone calls are not o.k. either, of course. And after all you are paying for the lesson.
  7. Wally

    Wally Well-Known Member

    What terrible treatment. This is totally unacceptable.
  8. FRED

    FRED New Member


    Hi,its bad enough seeing children fall,with a trainer in the
    ring{they should all be trained in 1st aid}but fora trainer to disappear,its beyond belief.
    Ive never seen an adult that can hold back a grown horse when it takes flight,so how is a child to cope,and we should all know what can go wrong, and it nearly always happens when it was not expected.It may seem uncomfortable taking issue with the trainer,but thats what I would do 1st
    ps;could you tell Jacki that we hope to have some pictures of PoppyS my 10 yrs old niece in Allies picture show,Poppy
    loves reading Jacki's stories
    best wishes from Fred
  9. Allie

    Allie Calypso & Champagne

    My trainer occasionally (very occasionally) leaves me in the barn by myslef for a few minutes. It is sort of a different situation though. Her barn aisle is wide and bedded with shavings, so we can ride up and down the aisle during the winter. If the phone rings while we are having a lesson, she will go into the tack room (attached to the aisle, not far away) and answer it. Unless it is an emergency she just asks them if she can call back, but being a trainer and having to earn a living, she can't just ignore the phone. In her situation there is no one else to answer the phone, so she has to. She has occasionally gone into her house to get something also, which doens't take very long. While she is gone, all I do is just keep walking up and down the barn aisle. It is not that big of a deal for me personally, but since it bugs you, ask your trainer about it. You are paying for the lesson and you deserve the trainer's full attention. This is not something I would change trainer's for, unless she absolutely refuses to take your feelings into consideration. There may be some reason she can't let the phone go unanswered - maybe there is no one else to answer it?

  10. Maci

    Maci Equestrianesse

    Phone And Fun....

    Not during a lesson, that is! My instructor takes business phone calls sometimes during our lesson, but she makes sure they don't last over 2 minutes, even though our barn phone is in the hallway to our indoor riding ring. Very rarly my instructor leaves us alone on a lesson, only when it's an emergency, like one time she got sick and had to run to the washroom. She thinks that's down right rude and not professional to leave your student on a horse while they are paying for her time and knowledge.

    Speak Up! Question The Instructor!
    You're The Customer, So It Won't Hurt!
    Maci :)
  11. JackiAH

    JackiAH New Member

    Thanks to all who responded...

    and confirmed what I've thought all along. I think we'll stick with the new trainer (who does not take calls or leave!) and forget about going back to the old barn/trainer.

    Thanks again -
    Jacki's mom
  12. Liz E.

    Liz E. Guest

    Hi, I agree with the people who suggest changing barns. That is extremely unprofessional! I changed barns last year, and I definitely benefitted from it. For me it was the case that the instructor (who was incredibly smart and wonderful) had me riding a blind horse and kept her barn in terrible condition. It was my first experience so I figured that all barns had to be like that, right? Wrong. The stable I'm at now has floors you can eat off of!(Though I'm not exactly sure I'd want to... ;) ) My point is, if the trainer is unsafe, leave. Just don't look for any stables like Pine Hollow.
  13. Maci

    Maci Equestrianesse

    Blind Horse???

    Do you mean literally blind, as in can't see? :confused: This makes no sense to me! Why would he be a school horse if he was blind? Am I missing something?

    Please Un-puzzle Me Someone!
    Maci :)
  14. Wally

    Wally Well-Known Member

    Blind? We had a horswe with Moon Blindness, it progressed to a stage that he could no longer see at night so we had him humainly destroyed. To use a blind horse in a riding school is probably in breach of one's insurance! PLease tell me that blind means something in American!!

    Having said this, it is perfectly possible to ride a horse that has impared eyesight, so long as you are not offering this horse for hire!
  15. Liz E.

    Liz E. Guest

    Yep, blind

    The horse's name was April and she was blind. I rode her for a year, but as I said, mostly on a lunge line. When I was finally let off it, I actually improved my aids (especially my hands). I said that I moved barns because I was being held back so much. Part of this reason was that I could never progress to ground poles, cavaletti, or cross-rails. So I stayed at a w/t for a year. That may sound normal to some people, but it sounded extremely long wait to me! April is still used in the lessons and though, yes, blind horses can be safely ridden, in April's case, she was spooky and fell to the ground with me on her. Her being blind was not the entire reason behind the safety hazard, but it was indirectly a factor.
  16. horselover

    horselover Hunter-Jumper

    Blind horses

    I worked at a stable this summer that had a blind horse. She's an Appaloosa, and was a champion, both before and afetr she became blind. Wonderful horse, about 20 now. I rode her a couple times and was very impressed.

    The kids I taught this summer didn't like riding her b/c they were nervous since she was blind. THe reason they didn't like it was that they actually had to give her aids. She would walk into the walls if the rider didn't turn her- it was sadly amusing, actually. SHe was so even-tempered that she would walk into the arena fence- BAM!- then calmly turn and continue on. I used to get so aggravated by this! But there were a few kids who did a wonderful job with her and never hit the fence once.

    A blind horse is a wonderful teacher, in my opinion. They completely depend on the rider for direction. You really learn about aids when you ride a blind horse. I enjoyed riding her.
  17. Liz E.

    Liz E. Guest

    I totally agree

    Because I learned to ride on April (also an Appy) and started from square 1, I learned that I had to use my aids together and effectively. It was quite beneficial to my riding.
  18. horselover

    horselover Hunter-Jumper

    Appys and blindness...

    Just a note... did you know that appaloosas are more prone to blindness? It's one of those diseases or problems that is common to a specific breed. Just thought I would share that :)
  19. Liz E.

    Liz E. Guest

    Thanks! I wasn't sure if I should assume that or not, when I heard the horse you mentioned here was an appaloosa. Hey, well ya learn somethin new every day. ;)
  20. Maci

    Maci Equestrianesse


    Did You Know.... Dalmations are also prone to blindness? Many dalmation puppies are born blind! Sad...:(

    Maci :)

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