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Horse stable issues....need some help!

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#1 ginger12508


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Posted 13 March 2012 - 11:05 AM

Now, I don't think you have to be a horse person to understand all this, and I seriously need some help deciding on what to do :/

So...this is about my stable. I started riding there two years ago, and absolutely loved it. I thought it was the best barn ever. I looked forward to every lesson, I thought the girls there were nice, thought I was actually moving up with my riding and jumping.

Two years later, I've thought of moving more than once. Several months after I started there, the girls that I thought were nice weren't. I was never really friends with them in the first place, but had friendly conversations with them. They don't really treat their horses well, and are “back-stabby” at other girls. They critique everything everyone does. I thought I could just ignore them, keep to myself, and move on. I tried that. But lately it's been more than that.

For about a couple of months, I've felt that I've been put on the “back burner” (Not that I want to be the center of attention! Definitely no). I've been jumping the same height for a little over a year now, and my instructor no longer really helps me as much with my riding. After I do a jump course, she just says that was good, and moves on. I literally have to ask her each time about my position. I know some of what I'm doing wrong: I know I'm hunching, I feel my leg slipping back, I know that sometimes I need to release a little more. But I can't watch myself. Only when I see a video that my mom or dad took of me do I see what I look like, and I always think to myself “Why didn't she say anything?” Meanwhile, other girls are moving up and getting the opportunity to ride other horses, while she no longer asks me if I would like to help with anything or ride anyone. And with those girls, I wouldn't trust any living with them!

And there was a little horse show this past Sunday. It was just for fun, no biggie, just something fun for the whole stable to be involved in. I just felt that my instructor made it all a big deal. Honestly, I was there to have fun and enjoy myself, and the whole time when I was practicing, she was being a little too harsh, such as saying, very loudly: “Stop hanging on his mouth!” (Meant that I was jerking on the reins too much or not giving the horse enough rein). I've been shareboarding this horse since September. You can't just drop the reins while jumping and trust him to do everything. He'll take control and run out to the side right before the jump. I know this, because I've been dumped into the dirt several times because of this. But I definitely was not “hanging on his mouth.” She was saying other things too, and all that just kinda hurt. I mean, why? Why so harsh? And the course that we had to do was set at a faster pace than what I'm used to (To those that may understand this: for example, the number of strides between some jumps were supposed to be four, but in my lessons I've always added a stride or two because the horse I ride does better when he has more time to see the jump, as he can be a bit spooky with some jumps). So I didn't do too well, but that's okay because I'm not really a bit show person myself, but she didn't seem too happy with me. And she didn't talk to me afterward with what I could have done or helped me with any tips.

And with seven of her main students buying their own horses and doing all the shows (and we're not talking the big A-rated shows, just some schooling shows and possibly lower level shows at other stables), it seems as if they've taken priority over everyone else. She's been having a couple of other students “join in” on my lesson, when I wasn't given a choice. She usually only offers private lessons, but suddenly, the group ones are always during my lesson. At my last lesson, two other girls joined in that I didn't even know about! And now I have to ask her what I should pay for that, because I'm not paying the private lesson rate.

So I guess the question here is: Should I move to another stable? I did a search yesterday and found some possible stables, two of which I really like with cheaper boarding prices if I decide to shareboard again. So there are other stables out there. I mean, I'd hate to leave the horse I'm shareboarding now, he's such a sweetie, but I don't own him. It would be very, very hard to leave him, but I am thinking of possibly moving. I'm just not enjoying it like I did. I'm the kind of rider that rides for fun, enjoys trail rides, and trying anything new. I'm not the rider that only cares about showing (unlike some of the people at the stable) and nothing else. Also, just to keep in mind, I leave for college in about a year and a half. Should I just stick it out, or move?

If you read that novel, have some ice cream! Wow, so sorry that was so long...and I already deleted some stuff to make it shorter XD For those that post anything here, thank you so much :) This is just something that's been on my mind for a long time, and finally I just had to let it out.