I have been riding dressage on and off for almost 30 years. Never progressed a lot due to being inbetween horses at times and raising my kids.

I got back in seriously 3 years ago. I found a good trainer and was doing ok until my new horse dumped me last summer. I thought I had bounced back but after having to take the whole winter off due to finances I slowly started getting back into riding. Then one thing after another this year. Illness, finances, getting dumped AGAIN, fear, and a trainer whose snarkiness is getting harder and harder to ignore.
After my last show which was a total disaster I have lost all confidence in my riding, my trainer and my horse. I have a wonderful horse, but the last tumble made it harder for me to come back mentally. And my trainer, who is quite hard nosed, doesn't help by nitpicking and screeching when I am not doing things the absolute way she demands they be.
So, I am about ready to chuck it all. The horse, the discipline, everything.
This isn't fun anymore. It is stressful, costly and I feel beaten down all the time.

Has anyone been in or is in this scenario? Did you hang in there, give yourself time to think it all over or did you just scrap the whole dressage thing and change disciplines to something you knew you would enjoy more?

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I agree with the responses. Why would anyone with common sense pay someone to nitpick, yell and generally degrade them is something I cannot understand. It is your money, time and confidence. Take charge and do what works for you and only you.

I came so close to selling my horse, even had a buyer, but stumbled across this awesome trainer. She is patient and understanding and worth every cent I pay for lessons with her. I see a positive change with each and every lesson.

Good luck and I hope you continue riding - it is a work in progress!
If you can, it might do you ALOT of good to switch to jumping for a while. This can help strengthen your seat (well, at least your legs) and get your BODY used to sudden, strong accelerations from your horse.
It will also give your horse a break from being yelled at by the instructor. I think that the horses think THEY are being yelled at, and while they don't understand the words they understand the tone. Of course there are abusive jumping teachers too, in any discipline you must pick and choose. It will also help your horse work out any "kinks" that are in their body.
You and your horse need to do something different to have fun again. Just decide to reevaluate yourself and your horse every 3 months. Take your time, do cross-rails for a few months just to get used to the movements. Then increase the heighth gradually. If you don't show at jumping you will have all the time in the world to make the both of you happier. It won't matter if you never jump above 2 1/2 feet, this will be enough to get the kinks out.
Impatience is undesirable in a professional horseman. An impatient instructor/trainer will push horse and rider to "just try out" things that hurt the horse's and rider's body, as the horse/rider have yet gone through the needed systematic gymnastic conditioning. Ambition is fine, but the discipline of doing all the preparatory work is what wins rewards at shows. Without this physical preparation an instructor's/trainer's/owner's/rider's impatience can cripple any horse and any rider. Figure on spending years to train yourself and your horse for dressage competition, years of daily riding,and daily practice.
Jumping, polo, 3-Day, dressage, in any horse sport, it takes YEARS to become good.
Hi, Kathi:

I think everyone's given you good advice thus far. Most of us have experienced these kinds of things, or know people who have or are!

I think the first thing you need to do is recognize that there's nothing terrible about your feelings, and that the feelings you're currently experiencing have nothing to do with your love of horses, and nothing to do with your being a "failure". They are logical and rational feelings, and you have good reasons for having them.

That said, you clearly need a different trainer, one who is empathetic and supportive, and who will do whatever it takes to re-awaken the spark in you. This discipline is hard work, and it is costly, but a good trainer/coach helps to mitigate those issues, not exacerbate them. Your coach also has (or should have) the ability to make this journey fun. Even competition can be fun, if the work is done properly and with joy and celebration of successes (whatever they are), and goal-setting is realistically approached. I would go and watch lessons with other trainers, and choose a trainer based on all of the different kinds of support riders need from time to time, not just technical skill. Also, you can often audit lessons/clinics for a very small fee, rather than paying for so many "hands-on" lessons, and keep going with that information.

Bear in mind that most of us experience difficulties with the finaicial end of things, and if your trainer is compassionate and creative there can be ways around it. I have clients who perform other work for me in exchange for lessons, and for some who have seasonal work we just keep track of lessons and when they have the cash they pay me. I know they're good for the money, and when they need help they need help, so we work it out between us. Many of them are middle-aged women with families, mortgages, vehicles, etc., all of which can cause sudden financial crises and time crunches, and I just have to work around those.

Good luck, Kathi. I hope you don't give up, but I really do understand the urge!
Hi Kathi, how are you doing..... my trainer is gone for 6 weeks shooting a movie.... he's a stunt man and rider too, and when he gets back I am going to start my lessons again... I just wondered how you are doing???

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