View Full Version : Jumping lesson- can't decide whether it was positive or negative :s

25th August 2010, 07:51 PM
Don't get the chance to have much training any more but we've been having our fair share of problems and i'm desperate to improve so off we went to try a new instructor. He was on hand to give advice when we went to do some clear round jumping last week and he seemed to get us going so we thought we'd try him for a proper lesson.

You know what, it's probably the first lesson i've ever had where i really can't make my mind up whether it was a good or bad session :confused: Started off on the flat and got me rather confused by completely going against everything i've ever been taught. I was now being told to ask for walk and trot with the inside leg only and canter with only the outside leg. We played with walk to canter transitions which mol's never done before and being asked with alien aids she did pretty damn well to pick that up quickly. Wasn't sure what i made of all that, i could completely see his logic but it wasn't what i was used to doing.

Moved onto some jumps, he had me jumping the jump then halting and patting her, if she stopped though, i was to not let her turn away, crack her with the whip then come again. I actually thought this method worked really well, it made everything absolutely black and white and she responded really well. She had a stop at a jump with scary fillers but by the time she was asked to jump a spread with scary brush fillers under it she cat leapt it but at least she went, i doubt she would have gone first time before!

He was one of those people who tells it like it is and it kind of made me feel completely rubbish. He picked fault with my position saying i was too upright and didn't give enough with my hands and if i keep on like that it'll only be so long before she doesn't want to jump at all. I dunno, i welcome criticism but it just seemed a bit too much, he said that the only reason we have problems and she stops is because i put her on a duff stride but as someone who isn't out there jumping horses everyday i hold my hands up and admit that i'm not always great at seeing a stride but i'm not a pro lol

I felt a bit upset at the time because i'd gone in expecting to pop round a whole course and instead we only jumped 3 jumps and i felt like i couldn't even get that right! lol It was just so different from what i'm used to, my normal instructor is an eventer and she always says my position is fine and she'd rather i was more upright than throw myself forwards because it's safer and also i've always been taught that as long as the canter is good enough it doesn't matter if your on the wrong stride, it's important the horse learns to sort itself out.

I'm not really sure what to think! He definitely knew his stuff but i'm not sure he was suitable for me, i'm my harshest critic anyway so i prefer a bit of encouragement, not going out feeling like i'm ruining my horse. I am going to take some of his methods on board and we're going to go out SJ on friday to have a play round some courses and see how it goes :)

some pics, please don't be too harsh :ashamed:


started with a X pole

then asking her to halt before praising her


moved onto the upright



then moved onto the brush filler, first time she went to stop then leapt it leaving me rather behind :ashamed:



then eventually we got it right lol we hit a good stride, i finally managed to give with my hands and as a result mol threw a cracking jump :)


Think he's got a point, i really do need to work on my position more!

Sorry it's so long, really proud of mol though, she's starting to feel a bit more grown up about things now lol

25th August 2010, 08:12 PM
I don't know much about anything but I do think that some instructors can be too harsh for certain people. IMO you should generally come out of a lesson feeling you have gained something from it and enjoyed the experience. Your position is lovely and you have such nice light hands, seems he's being a bit OTT saying she'll stop jumping soon because of your riding!! If I remember rightly it was you who brought her on to be the horse she is today, thats def not ruining a horse now, is it?!

Up to you but I don't think you need someone who demoralises you, you need a bit of encouragement as well as criticism.

Maybe give it another go incase he was just having an off day or you were having an over sensitive day, but if he makes such negative comments where they're not needed again then I'd look elsewhere for your training sessions xxx

Evening Star
26th August 2010, 12:23 AM
She really looks fantastic in those last two stills
I think its always beneficial to try new instructors and see what they can add to the mix but not every instructor is going to be right for you. Some people love being criticised as they feel it motivates them to get better but then others like to be encouraged as it gives them confidence in their ability. Personally I would take the good bits from the lesson and have them under your belt but if you are happy with your other instructor stick with them.
You definitely aren't crap - Molly is living proof of that

26th August 2010, 09:44 AM
I think you should be able to take a lot of positive from the session. She certainly looks good from those stills. Sometimes it takes some harsh criticism to make you look at your riding in a different way, which can help a lot. Personally i like a good balance of criticism and encouragement, but i do know people who just want to be told what they are doing wrong. Dont be demoralised, you have done wonders with molly :)

26th August 2010, 02:40 PM
That last jump where you gave with your hands was really lovely. Imagine if every jump was like that! It might be worth going to this person for a few lessons and just seeing how much you and your horse improve? Promise yourself a course of 5 say, and see how you feel after that? There's nothing better than feeling a real improvement in yourself and your horse, and if he will give you that, maybe you'll be able to put up with his teaching style?

My instructor regularly tells me what I'm doing wrong, and her best comment is 'why did you do that, then?' lol, but the improvement in both me and the horse has lifted my confidence more than anything. We used to have a lovely lady who filled us with confidence, but it was a waste of money tbh, as we didn't get very far in the 3 yrs she taught us. One year with current instructor and we're jumping affiliated and my horse looks like a different animal (muscled up, enjoying it etc)!

As you say, regarding giving with your hands he does have a point that you need to do this more, and maybe he was just trying to scare you into listening - is he used to stroppy teenagers maybe who won't do as they are taught? Maybe as he gets used to you actually listening, things will improve?

26th August 2010, 05:29 PM
Ditto Welly, couldn't have said it better! xx

26th August 2010, 07:05 PM
I think Teazle's idea could be a good one (going for a few and seeing if you feel any better). I know personally I wouldn't like just being made to feel crap. A good teacher (of anything) should encourage as well as reining in faults. I do agree with his way of not letting them turn away from jumps. I've done this with Saffy (she used to refuse a LOT) and she's definitely learning that jumping first time is the easiest way to do it. You've done such an amazing job with Molly though, you're anything but crap!!!

26th August 2010, 07:25 PM
The last two stills look fab!

I'm quite a sensitive person as far as teachers go, I like them to point out things and i dont mind if they're blunt about it, but I dont think it's on if you dont get some praise for doing things right!

If you dont feel good after the lesson then, in my opinion, it's not worth it even if you do make an improvement. There are lots of teachers out there that can teach as well as he does (the hard part is finding them!) but you need to feel you're happy with it! I'd give him some more chances, it could have just been a bad day all round; see how it goes. You dont have to stick with it if it doesnt work out!

26th August 2010, 08:00 PM
thanks for the comments :)

Yeah at the time i felt a bit rubbish but on reflection i think it did me good, it's been a long while since i've had any regular lessons and i think it's quite easy to get stuck in a rut thinking your doing just fine when really it's good to have someone point out the issues. I don't think i'll be having any more lessons with him, only because he was a considerable distance further than my normal instructor and also more expensive and with the cost of petrol as well i don't think its realistic. Also because he's the kind of trainer than wants to take you right back to basics and get it right i don't think we'd truly benefit unless we could go every week which is not really possible.

I'm definitely going to work on my hands though, i don't have a particularly tight grip on the reins anyway so if we got it really wrong they slip through my fingers but i'm going to work on it so mol has more freedom. I'm going to carry on with the lots of praise for doing it right and the correcting her when she goes wrong and i'm going to go out to a few comps, have a play and build up her confidence as i genuinely think we've both lost trust in each other recently. Overall, i feel loads more positive now and i now know what i'm aiming for :)

26th August 2010, 08:32 PM
I'm wierd and love a harsh instructor as it really makes me work harder as you know when you recieve a compliment they really mean it.

You look fab on the last picture x