Tuff Love Coaching in Tears When is too far to far?

Hi I was wondering on Coaches and Riders thoughts on the old school "Hard love Tuff Love Coaching" gosh its still alive and active, i thought those days had passed as i grew up but no they are alive. My question is when is it crossing the line? Has it gone too far in making the rider crack in silent tears because the Old school coach just patronized the crappers out of ya???Or seemed to be loudly mean?? is it done deliberately because the Coach has got the shits cause your just "not getting it" ?? or are they doing it to make you angry and fight for correctness and dig your heals in and "get it" . Should the rider just grow some grit and try harder? Do some Coaches burst the bubble deliberately in the rider as there teaching tool to bring submission? "Hard Tuff Coaching" is it still acceptable or has that gone with the "Fear Campaign of training", Do we just sit back and take this or do we approach the coach with our concerns or just grin and bear it and it will make you tougher. Cheers Rachel

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Hi Elaine
I really appreciate your comments and it makes sense what you have said " An instructor who yells is only showing signs of his own weakness" its a shame that there are coaches out there that do patronize and belittle it really is a " downer" for the rider. I also love your comment " If the student has not learned the teacher has not taught" and YES Relaxation of horse and rider and how can a rider be relaxed when an coach is " putting you down in a demeaning manner" I think the only choice is not to go in this particular coaches class.
many thanks Rachel
I agree too. I don't think there is any place for this kind of student abuse - and it is abuse. I only knew one instructor like this, and believe me, I stayed as far away as possible.
I also have no room for a screaming instructor. For one, I don't plan on making it to the Olympics anytime soon so I don't need some hard a$$ sitting on the side lines yelling at me. At that, even if I was at a higher level of riding, I still don't think it's acceptable to yell. Being harsh or tough and yelling are a little different IMO. Especially if a rider is endangering her life or others then there is a time and a place to be more strict.

I learn best by encouragement and level headedness. Please tell me what you see that I am doing wrong and help me figure out how to fix it. A good trainer adapts to each rider since everyone learns differently. I think getting screamed at is unproductive and often leads to riders giving up and leaving the sport.
Hi IrishRider
Yes i think as you have said "encouragement and level headedness " is the way to coach riding not putting down the rider over and over again. Its very old school and army officer like. Its not the yelling so much if there yelling something encouraging its when there yelling put downs that it gets upsetting.Therefore upsetting the rider is only going to upset the whole lesson. Its a shame there still out there doing this.
I agree with the other posters. I have had trainers who yell and trainers who explain things in a quiet, calm manner. Even if I sometimes pushed myself for those yelling trainers and seemed to be making more progress, it was not solid progress. I jumped much higher than I was ready to at an early age, and was pushed to show when I still didn't feel confident schooling at the same level. Unfortunately, since I was young and didn't really know how to stick up for myself, I was scared to be upfront with these trainers. Today I figure that it's my hard-earned money going toward my lessons, so why deal with someone who is going to patronize me and intimidate me?

A lot of the harsher trainers I knew were taught this way as well. Perhaps the best way we can make a difference right now is leading by example.
I work in a medium size company which is owned by a large US corporation. I have done a lot of teaching to adults for my company. The poorest teaching technique is the on where you yell louder and louder. The next poorest is the one where you criticize/belittle/demean endlessly. If the message is not getting though then it is the teachers fault. The teacher must convey the information in a manner that the student can understand. The teacher can use visual aids, break the generalization down into smaller chunks and work on pieces then bring it all together at a later time, student visualization, reward the desired behaviour,etc. There are many techniques for the skilled instructor/coach/trainer/teacher to use. Unfortunately what Rachel describes above is all too common in the horse world and when it happens it is time to move to a new coach. Nobody should be paying for verbal abuse!
I have actually heard of a horse that had had enough of hearing the coach "SCREAMING AND HOLLERING" who dithed the rider and actually attacked the coach.....what must it be like to have a horse so upset that he actually told the screaming person that even the horse had heard enough????
The only reason to yell is if you're in a giant arena and your student is far away and can't hear you. LOL. Seriously though..A tense annoyed coach is going to make for a tense rider and thus a tense horse and you won't be able to get much done with a pair like that!

I had a coach when I was a kid who was a real bag. She would yell and scream...I remember when I was 10 years old she told me I needed to loose weight! LOL Who says that to a ten year old??? I wasn't even over weight at the time! This coach ended up with a pretty short lived teaching existence in that neighborhood, she got a bad rep pretty quick.

A trainer can be tough for sure, but there's a big difference between being tough and being mean.
I agree with everyone here! I just left a barn after enduring months of screaming. I just knew there had to be someplace better out there! I can't say I learned much of anything those few months. I spend the entire time calming a nervous, and jittery horse. Yes, there are times when a trainer must be strict I understand this, but mindless screaming will teach you nothing and take you nowhere.
I once had a trainer that used to yell a lot. I felt like all they did was tell me what was wrong but not how I could fix it. If I tried to ask a question they made feel like I was stupid for not knowing the answer. My current trainer is great. She really explains everything well and tells me what each excersice does for the horse and rider. I'm always free to ask questions because she WANTS me to learn. It's a much better atmosphere and both me and my horse are much happier.
Hi Everyone that has responded, you have all made such valid points and im pleased im not alone in thinking this way, it was really great to get such a response that brings in positive "ideals" of coaching.
It is correct we are not headed at all if many or few riders to the Olympics, if your at that level im sure there is huge pressure put on oneself to be the best of the best. Support is so imperative If crumbling under pressure you need support not bullying like its a boot camp! Support all students riding to "bring out the best in the rider and the best of the horse" A great team rider and coach growing and supporting with learning and achieving. Students are there because they want to be.... because its fun....and the many things it brings to us this horse riding. To improve from each lesson and to grow. The smile of your child happy riding is special its a million dollar smile and it cant be faked it is real, tears are for hearts that are breaking and need reassurance. This is a photo of my daughter Amber when she just finished doing her first 1metre round at the local Show Jumping Freshmans, She did a really good job and was happy in herself for her success it was a great clear round. Her smile is priceless to me in this photo she is so happy and thats how i want her to be.
Gosh the horse attacking the instructor now thats Telepathy hey ! on the same level what partnership lol.
This is a fantastic picture!


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