Bullying by Riding Instructors

Wally

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One of the comnments on my teaching exam results was that I was not "loud" enough! :D :D Anyone who knows me might not agree whole heartedly on that one! ;) ;)

After a day teaching at moderate volume I am hoarse by evening.
 

Wobblydeb

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Wally - my (lovely) instructor is the same as you. I've only heard her shout at me once, and it was because I was going out the side door, and she was urgently trying to get me to rebalance my weight so I didn't fall off! :eek:
 

Wally

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Isn't it funny, horses throughout the industry are accepted as having back, front and side doors! :D :D :D lol :rolleyes:
 

MI Horsey

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when I was a teen the best instructor I had screamed constantly ,she also liked to insult me and my lack of height :rolleyes: ,but honestly I learned so much from her that I tolerated it . This lady knew her stuff !!!!
Now , as an adult , there is no way I will be talked to like that no matter how knowledgeable someone is .HAH ,the last barn I rode at had an instructor that was teaching me nothing ,she was on her cell phone for an hour !!!
The barn I ride at now has the best instuctors I've had yet though , no yelling (she's naturally loud , her voice carries well ) and no degrading ever .She knows she pushes people to be really good (she's a show instructor , it's her job )but only as far as your willing to go . :)
 

Sumitra

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To be fair I have never had a bullying instructor but I have had some incompetent ones who have blamed me and others for their own lack of knowledge/laziness in teaching by blaming us for not progressing.One instructor I have now is quite hard at times and can be caustic but I enjoy her sense of humour. She is utterly commited to her pupils and their horses though, vastly knowledgeable and utterly and rightly revered by everyone.
 

intouch

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While I appreciate that noone nowadays pays to be insulted, does anyone else remember Col Jamie Crawford at Porlock in the 60's? Now HE was a Riding Teacher worth being yelled at by!
 

BuckskinsRule

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Bullying

I figure at 53, during the course of the day , I take enough "stuff" from people. Riding and lessons is something I do to de-stress from a stressful work week. I refuse to be bullied in an activity that I do to relax. I'd take my hard-earned $$$ elsewhere. Constructive criticism -okay -but bullying no way!
 

Luxie

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intouch said:
Now HE was a Riding Teacher worth being yelled at by!

Makes me remember Capt. Sumovsky (?sp) from Robin Hood Gate stables in Richmond Park - the one he yelled at loudest and most consistently was his wife ....
 

ridingstar

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I certainly do not condone bullying, but I've made most progress under instructors who have pushed me hard and insisted on doing things correclty.

Probably my favourite ever instructor was a notoroius disciplinarian who would not stand for anything less than 100% effort and concentration from both horse and rider for the full lesson. In our class lessons, if one of the riders was struggling with their horse and could not get them to listen, she would summon the naughty horse for a swishing, as she called it. She would then mount the naughty horse herself, and with the rest of the class watching, put him through his paces, using the whip liberally if he put a foot wrong.

She used to shout at us a lot, but in my opinion, not in an abusive way, but she was just being insistent that we did things correctly. Some people, however, thought she was a bully and would not go in her classes.

So, I guess everyone looks for different qualities in their instructor and we must be grateful if we find someone we like.
 

Crazyhorse

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My instructor is loud and can shout, but she is always constructive in her critisim and always give positives. She pushes you to what she knows what you can do, and I have come on leaps and bounds since having her :D I have had an instructor who shouted constantly when I shared a lesson with another girl, and he destroyed our confidence saying that if he could do it so could we. We tried to politely point out that he was a qualified instructor and we were there to learn... The best bit though was when he mounted, and looked like an egg riding a horse! In the end we complained, as after all we were paying good money for a service we werent getting. I think I would be scared of your instructor ridingstar and as she sounds as though she is a bit liberal with the whip, and would be concerned that she would force her students to back up their aids too harshly. I have learnt from having a few instructors that if there is too much disipline then it is almost impossible to achieve relaxation and lightness when riding.
 

MissFliss

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On the other hand...

My last instructor was so very introverted that she didn't criticise me at all. In fact she never actually commented on my riding at all, good or bad, just gave me directions and occasionally suggested half halting on the inside rein (that wrong, isn't it?). She never explained how to apply the aids for any of the movements she asked and was basically useless as a sounding board. Even when asked directly she'd merely reply that my riding was "fine". My riding truely is awful, so I don't have lessons with her any more.

I did have a shouter once. She used to make me really angry at times, but when she wasn't shouting she was good. I think with her she set a high level to attain, as it seemed the better the rider, the more often she shouted. I got quite chuffed when I figured that out.

Given the choice between the 2 I'd pick the shouter, but there is a huge range in between, and I've had some great instructors that could teach me with humor and skill, without shouting once.
 

belgianwaffle

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my riding instructor is a screamer. I think the only reason i keep taking from her is because she is the most accomplished instructor in my area, and regularly produces very good riders. She usually only yells at me if i do something wrong that she knows that i can do right. or if she thinks im not trying hard enough (although i ALWAYS try my hardest, so i feel its pretty unfair sometimes when she says "your not trying!" when i in fact am trying everything i possibly can!). The only time i ever really questioned her teaching was when she told me to do something, and i tried to do it, but fell off, and she screamed at me for falling off, telling me that she knows i can do this (when in fact i couldnt, and proved it by falling off 3 more times :rolleyes: ) She was so mad at me because i wasnt able to jump this one jump that she ignored me for the whole rest of the lesson.

im usually a very quiet and "submissive" person, but lately i find myself talking back to her. The other day she screamed at me to do something and i screamed right back at her saying "im trying to, but i cant clearly think because your screaming at me!!!" I thought she wouldnt teach me after that... but actually she seems to be more interested in my success! :p

maybe the key to dealing with screaming teachers, is to scream back :eek:
 

winterbalto

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Belgianwaffle - Wow you must be going through the same thing as me. It seems as though I have been screaming back at my very loud instructor for the first time since I've started taking lessons with her. There are a few reasons for this: 1. I'm more comfortable at the barn and 2. I've been more angry lately dealing with some hardships at work. At first I was shocked by my loud outbursts in the middle of class. There was this one time when I couldn't get a horse on his right lead. She was yelling at me repeatedly to bring my left hand back to my hip and was following me around the arena and shouting at me "LEFT HAND TO HIP! LEFT HAND TO HIP! LEFT HAND STAYS ON LEFT SIDE! GOT IT?" over and over again that I looked her right in the eye and said with teeth clenched "GOT IT!" Well I guess I did cause suddenly we got the right lead and my instructor happily said "Good job! Finally got through that thick skull of yours!" I've also been cursing during class and I really should stop that.

~Nicole
 

Kerry Claire

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belgianwaffle said:
im usually a very quiet and "submissive" person, but lately i find myself talking back to her. The other day she screamed at me to do something and i screamed right back at her saying "im trying to, but i cant clearly think because your screaming at me!!!" I thought she wouldnt teach me after that... but actually she seems to be more interested in my success! :p

maybe the key to dealing with screaming teachers, is to scream back :eek:

That reminded me of myseelf! :p At school I'm always very quiet and polite to the teachers but riding's a different story! I suppose it's fear for me really and the fact that I do riding for fun. If I'm scared of something someone's trying to make me do I might burst into tears but I'll yell at them aswell so they get the point! :rolleyes: I've yelled at quite a few riding instructors and come to think f it, I've dismounted a few times aswell :)
 

belgianwaffle

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it seemed the better the rider, the more often she shouted.


thats so very true! My instructor yells the most at the best riders, and usually ignores the other ones, just giving them directions, but never really telling them what to do. Whenever i feel like im having a good ride, i can be sure shes going to scream. In a way, it almost makes you happy to be yelled at :p
 

Skib

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Having been damaged by bullying riding instructors, I really appreciate all those brave enough to report on their own experiences. One or two further thoughts.
Public humiliation of a learner does not necessarily involve shouting.
As the thread has developed there has been a tendency to equate shouting with bullying, (not so) and to express a preference for a good i.e assertive teacher who shouts to a bad i.e. passive teacher who does not shout.
Not all expert teachers are abusive or shout.
The "good" teacher who shouts and insults the learners may have found it an effective technique for shedding her less competent and less robust students - in other words she secures her reputation as an expert teacher by making sure that the weakest riders with the most difficulties drop out of her class. Thus the "best" schools often recommended by knowledgeable riders on this list, may also be selective, creaming off the best riders by being dire for the elderly or average.
At some schools (I must defend the one near Robin Hood Gate, unfortunately mentioned in this thread, as an example) the owners simply will not tolerate any bullying of or rudeness to clients. The policy is known to both staff and clients and it works.
Some people have described shouting back at teachers. Other how difficult it is to defend oneself. One thinks it is one's own fault. Some posts even seem to suggest that those of us who won't be shouted at ought to brave it out.
I thought that myself until my teacher declared loudly to everyone in the bar that I was so ignorant that I was not worth explaining to.
Let's not blame the victim. One thing I learned is that a rider who is made to feel worthless or stressed will never exert authority over a horse. A bullying teacher creates a situation in which one is doomed to be an incompetent rider.
Another thing I learned is about fear. I've had young men teachers get furious with me for my unwillingness to take risks. They think by getting angry they might make me brave. It makes me wonder whether nervousness about riding arises from this sort of "I dare you" teaching.
My present expert teacher by contrast told me, don't do anything that frightens you. Good teachers can ensure progress in other ways. They may cut the tasks down into tiny steps, each of which is an almost imperceptable advance on what went before.
Or they can introduce a new horse or more demanding exercise as presenting more problems, but problems which (with their help) one is probably now capable of solving. Difficulty (problem solving) is presented as a reward and not as a punishment to show everyone how useless one is. And is optional.
 
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Luxie

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Skib said:
(I must defend the one near Robin Hood Gate, unfortunately mentioned in this thread, as an example)

So sorry Skib, no offence intended. In the first place, I'm going back to the distant past here, I rode from the stables in the early 60s; secondly, I was not suggesting that bullying was involved, far from it - and I loved the all-too-few lessons I was able to take there, and learned an immense amount.
 
L

Lora

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A few things appall me...

Ok, I understand this drill instructor business to a point. Yep, I developed a hard skin with mine, but I certainly don't worship her... nor agree with her methods. I seen girls doing the best of their abilities lay in waste from a sharp tongued sarcastic instructor. Bull... Not all of us will be competing, and not all of us have ridden for years. (some for maybe 8-10 weeks!)

And guess what! Most of us in those classes only get to ride one hour a week. So if you explain something at the end of a class half-assed, then a week later wonder why that girl hasn't mastered it, maybe the problem is the instructor's expectations and memory for what happened in each lesson. (taking notes is NOT a bad idea)

I seen the part about the instructor making fun of a woman's height. Wow.. That would definately merit a good swift kick to the instructor's ego and a leveling. I seen the other post about "no point in explaining to her, she's too ignorant". Good grief! What sort of boastful overbearing *ss says that to her students?!

I'm in with previous posters about the mentality that one cannot master a horse properly when you're being tore down and humiliated mentally. I totally believe good riding is at least 75 percent mental condition. My head should be attempting to connect with that mare, not some instructor with ego/insecurity issues. When i'm feeling good, I ride better... everytime. If I'm upset or distracted, I'm not doing so well. I don't think that is just me either. Agree/disagree?
 
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