Absolutely Furious (warning: long rant)


Yup, that utter newbie!
Feb 25, 2006
Crouch End, London
OH and I go to a riding school where they don't guarantee you a particular instructor every time. We're both beginners, having ridden about 2 months. Had a lesson yesterday and I can't believe the nerve of the instructor we got!

First, he went on for about 10 minutes about our stirrups being too short. That's fair play to him, we can accept that. But he adjusted it and made it so long, we found it hard to ride. Couple that with us being beginners and the horses acting up a little frustration started to creep in. OH told the RI that he really needed * a little* shorter, after some sarcastic oks and emphasizing that this is wrong, he called OH over and put his stirrups all the way up himself, FIVE holes shorter.

I had a very forward going horse, chosen for me by my friend at the riding school so I was having a very good riding day. OH's horse, however, was all over the place. Usually it's the other way around for us heh. This RI kept playing the two of us off each other! Going: Look how good she's doing! She is not doing what you're doing. Look at her look at her blah blah blah. This, was making OH even more frustrated and starting to lose patience.

The RI saw that OH was getting frustrated but he just kept edging him, saying things like: It's not the horse's fault! It's your fault. It's your fault. You're doing X wrong, Y wrong, Z wrong, wrong wrong wrong nonstop. If you're training, then they wouldn't let you ride anymore. You shouldn't be allowed to ride anymore. (SAY WHAT?!)

Then he comes in with (and i'm quoting almost verbatim here): You're bullying the horse. You're a bully. Don't bully the horse. I don't know what kind of business you're in and how you run your business. Maybe you bully your workers around but you can't bully the horse. You can't run a business like that.

I thought OH was gonna jump off the horse and punch him in the face. Hell, I was on the verge myself. Now, before anyone jumps, OH wasn't doing ANYTHING cruel to the horse, he wasn't whipping the horse, wasn't kicking the horse overtly in the stomach. He was using his hands a little harder out of pure frustration but nothing that would constitute a bully. If anything, every lesson the two of us get a lot of "leg on leg on, he can't feel that!"

How dare he start making insults about our personal life?! OH doens't even run a business! THE GOAT DOESN"T EVEN KNOW US! I mean, we PAY to have a riding lesson. What gives him the bloody right! I'm so furious!!!! OH has said if we get this RI again, he's just gonna walk out. :(


New Member
Feb 20, 2005
I am afraid i would complain to the management there if they have someone or the owners after all you are the customer , you may be there to learn and take instruction, but the RI sounds out of order and i would complain never mind walk out if you get him again i would refuse to have him again



New Member
Feb 27, 2002
Some personalities just don't mesh!

There are actually people who would feel goaded on and driven to perform better by such a teaching style. Some people--like yourselves--would be offended. Some might be hurt. So though it was an unproductive lesson for you, that doesn't mean the instructor is a bad one, just that he doesn't work well for you.

Makes sense to refuse to take another lesson with this instructor, though.


New Member
Aug 26, 2005
I would deffinatly mention it to someone in charge and tell them you never want him to teach you again. That is just wrong so much negativity. Either make sure they never give him to you again or I would try to find a new yard with more posative coaches.

laura jeanne

Active Member
Jan 7, 2004
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It's clear who the bully was in this case. What an awful teacher to have when you are just starting. I hope you will refuse to be "taught" by this person again. It sounds like he is completely unprofessional and has no idea what he is doing. I hope your next lesson is better!


Yup, that utter newbie!
Feb 25, 2006
Crouch End, London
Hmm yes, our personalities certainly didn't mesh.

If I were in the military, yeah sure, I can accept I'm going to be goaded. If I were on my way to becoming world champion, sure. But we're just two older riders starting out, still trying to get the rising trot. We're not two young kids or teenagers. We're a long ways past our college years and we're certainly not "in training" to be anything at the moment. And really don't need to be taking insults about our lives outside the horse school.

Sigh. On a happier note, we're moving homes in a couple of weeks and will most likely go to another riding school. :p Looking forward to the future! :)


Trainee legal eagle!
Nov 27, 2001
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Did you to a BHS approved stables? If so, you should contact them and let them know what this man is like! Poor you, hope it doesn't put you and your OH off riding. There are some good ones out there;)

mad mare1

I would have had no hesitation in punching his lights out! Cheeky so and so!!! Complain, and explain that you are paying for this, and you don't expect insults and slurs on your personal life!


Gimpy Gimp Gimp
Jan 19, 2005
blimey I cant believe I just read that!! I think I would of accidently steered my trusty steed over him!

Maddison's girl

what a horrible instructor. I afraid I probably would have told him to p**s off in no uncertain terms! Riding is suppose to be fun, dont let someone like that take the enjoyment out of it for you! See if you can trip him up next to the poo pile! :D


New Member
Sep 19, 2005
That sounds absolutely awful :mad: :(
I would be mad if that was me but I think its best not to sink down to his level. If you complain and he finds out then it might cause more trouble. As someone said before this style of teaching works for some people. I think you should stop having lessons at that place or with that 'teacher' and look forwards to your new place :D
As a beginner, I stress that it is very important to get the same horse and more importantly, the same instructor for most of your regular lessons (at least either one should be the same most of the time). Obviously this one isn't going to work out for you two. Change riding schools, but not after filing a complaint! Yes, you might end up paying for a reputable school, but it is really worth every penny. You'll progress faster, it's less stressful, more enjoyable and safer. When you have gotten more confidence and got down all your basic riding skills you can mix and match as much as you like.

Bay Mare

Jun 21, 2004
In my jods!
I like to be pushed and quite like 'shouty' instructors but if I'd had your instructor, especially as a beginner I would have voted with my feet and my wallet and gone elsewhere.

Is this guy qualified? It really hacks me off that beginners tend to be given the student teachers whereas, IMO, the basics are the most important thing that you need to learn. Get them wrong and it makes everything else so much more difficult.

He sounds remarkably like a student instructor I've come across and refused to have lessons with. Would you mind pm'ing me the school and his name, even his first name?

I would definitely complain to the YO because you shouldn't have to put up with this. If they don't sort it out for you then look for somewhere else.

Edited to add that I know that all students aren't bad, I've had some very good students teach me, but there are a lot of 'students' out there who don't even have their Stage 1!!!
Last edited:

laura jeanne

Active Member
Jan 7, 2004
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I would like to add that it is easy to adjust your own stirrups while sitting on the horse. Just move your leg, pull up the stirrup leather and change the hole the buckle is in and then stretch them back down.


New Member
Nov 28, 2005
I'm afraid I would have dismounted and handed the horse back to him and told him to stuff his lessons and his riding school somewhere the sun dont shine!!!!


my riding instructor can be a bossy so and so! but i love her for it. she quite often tells me to stop being so bl**dy lazy and to start useing my legs properly and not like some weak old lady, she has also been known for conducting an hour long lesson without stirrups and realy realy working me hard so hard i find it difficult to get muscles to respond afterwards!. However i know this instructor and she knows me well, have been useing the same instructor for years, i ride my horse mainly and it NEVER, ever ventures into personal life when in a lesson!
I would not take that from an instructor i didnt know and who didnt know me! i probably would have thumped your instructor!! Vote with your feet! write a letter of complaint then refuse to take lessons there or pay for lessons with that particular instructor!


New Member
Jan 4, 2006
That is just awful.

Please make a stand right now.

My OH and I put up with nothing like that but we were viewed as the 'nice' ones who wouldn't mind having a trainee teach them. Sometimes we had a great lesson, other times it was an aimless one hour of no beginning, middle or end with a bumbling trainee being told what to say each time. Now, I know they have to learn and I teach people how to teach myself but we hand over £80 for our semi private lesson and I want to learn/achieve something in that hour.

An older couple who ride after us made a stand right from the beginning. They had one poor lesson by a trainee and refused to accept another. Hence, everyweek OH and I were getting the trainee or the freelance instructor who didn't know us and we didn't know her for about a month. Whereas the ones who went 'ape****' (as described by our regular instructor and head girl) got either the head girl or owner schooling them.

We were disadvantaged for being too nice!:eek: :eek:

After a month or so we did address in a 'nice' way and it soon stopped.

We learned a great lesson that you are a customer paying good money so should demand a minimum service.

I would definately talk to Riding School owner and just refuse to have him again.

He definately needed a good slap!:cool:


Well-Known Member
Dec 21, 2003
Sorry, I disagree Galadriel. This type of difficulty is more than a personality clash. In any educational establishment certain standards have to be met. Whatever subject they teach, rudeness and bullying by teachers (who are in authority over students) is intolerable.
There is another issue here. Safety. The drastic shortening up of stirrups. When adults start to ride some of them, like me, may find it literally impossible to ride and to control a horse with short stirrups.
There are contrasting schools of thought on stirrup length. Dressage teachers are inclined to encourage their students to ride without stirrups to stretch the leg down, and ride with stirrups as long as they can manage. One's legs stretch securely down either side of the horse. An experienced teacher recommended I ride in longer stirrups and it enabled me to ride.

The other school of thought (like this teacher desc ribed) horse feels that stirrups should be short. The rider's legs, particularly the new riders legs may be more stable with short stirrups and the calves brought back in contact with the horse's side. So the stirrups are shortened.
But for a new rider this may have the effect of tipping them forward, making them entirely insecure on the horse. I had a new teacher arrive, (I had been learnings 15 months) and angrily shorten up my stirrups. It made me so unsafe that I refused to proceed with the lesson and had to leave that school.
Recently I have had the same thing happen again, my stirrups have been shortened by a new instructor who then expresses surprise that I cannot trot.

A teacher teaching adult beginners to ride should have an open mind and look for ways to facilitate their riding. Stirrup length is a nightmare for new riders because we find it hard to manage for ourselves, and that undermines our confidence and ability to function as adults. And once our self respect has gone we cant control a horse.
The riding instructor (sounds like he wasa insecure) had another adult at a disadvantage and then used his power to be abusive, to increase his own stature and diminish that of his student who should not even be allowed to ride.
Frankly I wouldnt leave it to "if" you have this instructor again; I would speak to the school owner, make a complaint and ask not to have this instructor again. And if the school cannot find you another instructor, do as I did and find another school. I never regretted it.
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