More Sneaky Trainer Types To Avoid At All Cost

Yesterday’s post was so insulting.

As promised, here are the next 3 riding instructor types to watch out for.

1     The Non-Stop Criticizer

With this instructor, constant negative comments is the the norm during lessons.  It’s all suck it up buttercup or get off, in a George-Morris-Hopped-Up-On-Meth way.

No, that’s not it, don’t do that, stop, what are you doing, NO not like that, I see nothing, you’re not even trying, hands look awful, you’re not getting it, that’s never going to work, you can never ride with legs like that, too tight, that’s awful, I don’t think you’re getting anywhere.

Go girl!  It’s never felt so good.  To get off.

Growth comes from failure.  Reluctance to try, fail, and try again will never result in mastering any new skill – any area of life.  Somehow though, especially in the dressage ring (?), there’s been an older tradition of heavy critique.

Look I’ve run endless 400 meter repeats in the dark and wind on the track, winter nights.  Only two people would show up.  And a coach with a watch.  The dedicated ones.  I’d run them at  the very best effort, and do it well, for nothing else than a – “Good job” at the end.  I’ve had very good coaches, one an Olympian, and been able to run results that maybe this body wasn’t made for.  Still it did.

Think it would have worked as good if the coach would have screamed -“You’re never going to make it in under 70” when approaching the back curve?  Or, -“If you can’t stick 7.10 minute/mile pace for the whole 12 miles you might as well quit!  Or, -“Keep toeing out like that and you’ll cap out at 5.55 pace in the 5K and that’s it!”

In riding, there is a huge stifling of physical capability when a rider is told what not to do.  The Non-Stop Criticizer is best left for toughening up coddled millennials, not the best ticket for learning.

dressage training level test 3

2     The Monologuist

This one is simply exhausting.  Lessons contain long monologues about the instructor’s own riding, or horses, or accomplishments.  Current and past competition or training challenges.  Yes, some snippets of really good information!  A sprinkle of anecdotes from other riders and horses.

Chummy and chatty, sure.  Easy to get stuck in this, because hey, it’s way more comfortable than sitting the trot after another unbalanced canter transition.  But aren’t most of us too horse-poor to pay for this?

Best suited for “fill up” while getting the wedgie out of the breeches.  Or, OK I admit it, catching my breath.

large dressage braids elinor yee

3     The Horse Wrangler

No avoiding it – this one will be around.  Forever.  It’s a classic.  The Horse Wrangler gives repeated pitches to sell your current incompetent scumbag of a horse and buy something else, preferably from their barn.

To be honest, if the right horse was there I would really want the trainer to bring up the connection,  to help make better riding possible.  Because better riding is.  Better.  (Please make this happen, now.)

If it was within budget…  Which it usually never is.  Instead it’s a waste of time.  And riders training for The Horse Wrangler will always feel inferior.

Eventually they’ll think of leaving their discipline.  Pick up trail riding.  In a treeless.  Mission accomplished?  I haven’t figured this one out yet.  Maybe it was the goal for The Horse Wrangler from the start…?

I’ll be over here doing equine agility with my Wiener dog horse.  For some time at least.  Beats not riding, it’s still fun!  Join in at any time, there’s more room!


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Dressage On A Dime A Horse For Elinor

22 thoughts on “More Sneaky Trainer Types To Avoid At All Cost

  1. I had the fortunate experience of riding with a trainer who 1. confirmed for my that my current horse was absolutely wrong for me (I knew it, but needed outside confirmation that I wasn’t just being a wimp) and 2. had the perfect horse for me in her barn. AND, she managed it so everything fell into an even trade situation for me. …but I think trainers such as her are rare. I’ve experienced many of the types you list. Ugh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is the absolute best situation! I think we all need that “outside confirmation” sometimes…

      I’m sad to hear you, too, have experienced first hand these lowly ambition drainers…


  2. Nope, not interested in any of these either. Just as bad though is the ego stroker. I’d rather have no compliments than fake and placating ones. I live for a positive word from my trainer, but I know that when I get one, it is well earned.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think (hope?!) most riders figure out the Ego Stoker sooner or later.
      We’ll never get anywhere with one of those, sigh.

      I think you’ve landed in excellent territory with yours Karen!


  3. And now for an article on several of the positive types of coaches? For there are several types that work well…although not all types work for all types of riders. Some need more explanation (and/or hand holding) than others do; some want a lot of technical speak, while others like metaphors; some want to be pushed hard while others need a lot of praise…you get the idea. Maybe the next article is to think about yourself, what YOU need to succeed (there is a hint of this in your analysis of what worked to get you running your best), and then find that coach. Of course, the HUGE PROBLEM is that for most of us, there is only one or maybe two dressage coaches around, so we don’t really have much choice. Alas. Maybe an article on how to push back and protect yourself (and your horse) so you get what you need from the lesson? I’ve become an expert at that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But HEY, This is exactly the post I want to read from you then! 🤗
      I don’t think I push back a whole lot. (Who am I to say…)

      I do know that I am in an Excellent spot right now, and I know it’s a great environment for me to grow.

      I know I am a good student Because I try very hard.
      I also know I am not a good student Because I want to often do things on my own haha😎👿

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Nailed it- it’s one of the biggest chores with creating posts; there has to be at least something of an image to go along…

          Don’t have a whole lot of advice on this, other than having the phone in a pocket, and committing to taking it out at least 3 days per week and snapping a few.
          I never really know just what will come out of it 🙂
          Most recent, blurry Shot of the absolutely terrifying piglets. I might just have to post it!


          1. Piglets!!! That does sound terrifying. Now if only I had my phone with me yesterday, when a super cute, incredibly hairy small white pony was next to Star in the cross ties. Big black mare, little shaggy white pony: cute shot. But of course, my camera was a long way away, a five minute walk up the hill in my car…You are right, I need to just shove it in a jacket pocket in the hopes of a shot being there.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Yes! Would have been a great shot! But then again, we can’t be slaves to always having the phone around for pictures. It’s too stressful.
            I find that wintertime I have way more shots 🙂
            Just because of jacket pockets! As soon as the end of April, everything comes off, and magically, only half the shots in a week…

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Alli, you’re an artist, so automatically my hero. You can pull something off. Well, maybe 9 instead… These are 6 fatties, and one little sad squiggly at the end. I know your girl has got some serious thick flowy growth…. 🦄

      Liked by 1 person

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