View Full Version : Tough As Nails Riding Instructor Wanted!

08-04-10, 08:19 PM
I'm so sick of being a nervous rider. But, it's become almost like a crutch. So easy to hide behind. An excuse. I've done the hypnosis thing, had the sympathetic softly-softly instructors, and none of it appears to have worked. It's time to get tough. With me. I want someone who is going to shout at me. Rant. Rave. Give me so many damned instructions that I'm too busy carrying them out to be worrying about being nervous. Does anyone know (or can recommend) such a person in the Newcastle area? If I don't do something soon, I may as well give up. Desperate needs call for desperate measures ...

08-04-10, 08:44 PM
Come up to Toowoomba for a week. I'll sort you out.

08-04-10, 08:49 PM
Hmmm... I have been known to tell the odd client to "suck it up" :P
I think in conjunction with a no nonsense instructor you need a few good rides on a solid horse out on the trails. I find this is the best for nervous nellies as there is so much else to look at that the nerves become secondary.

Persevere Koala and drop me a line if you come down the Snowies way and we will get you out on a ride :)

08-04-10, 08:51 PM
Where in Newy are you Koalas? You can pm me if you'd prefer not to say in the thread. What kind of riding do you do, and do you want to do? I ask because, I'm in newcastle and I find the best thing for curage is a bit of fun :) You should come out trail riding with us. You know, have a bit of fun and go for a bit of a burn? the horse that I'm riding currently is super quiet so a good influence on other nervy horses.
I use to have a coach like that but she has retired :(

08-04-10, 08:54 PM
I'm pretty much at the stage of giving up too. I had my boy in work with a lady who was giving me lessons on the weekends and I started to go ok but as soon as I'm on my own... Everything falls apart. I think a lot of my problem is only having the weekends to ride. If I was riding most days (which is what my horse needs also), I think I might get to take some forward steps instead of going backwards, backwards, backwards. I've pretty much come to the conclusion that regardless of how hard I try, my horse is "too much" for me and the time I have for him is too little.

Sorry, my post isn't much help to you but it's been good therapy for me :)

08-04-10, 09:04 PM
You need someone who isn't that interested in having you continue with lessons!

I had Caroline Begg as an instructor years ago and some of her comments are still ringing in my ears. Like, "Oh, that's so ugly, Ros," and my favourite, "Too late with the half halt, AGAIN!"
Another, "I suppose you could go Elementary, that's if you don't care what people think."

Now, I've started to do similar things to some of the girls at my place. No more Mrs Nice Guy. Softly, softly isn't getting through. Pity I can't use the electronic collar we bought for one of our dogs!

Keep looking Koalas_rule. Some one who can put the pressure on is out there.

08-04-10, 09:18 PM
Actually I think a trail ride would be EXCELLENT therapy, but two issues: my horse has never been out on a trail ride (we plod about the paddock) and I don't have transport (I have a car, but it won't tow a horse trailer).

Thanks all for the suggestions - silverpen, njury - I may just take you up on those offers!

Jacki22 I'm at Raymond Terrace. Not too sure about the 'going for a burn' bit, at the moment a fast plod is about as fast as I can manage, but I'm sure that if I ride every single day I will improve.

Kelj whatever you do - DON'T GIVE UP!! I am not going to; I'm absolutely determined that this nerves thing isn't going to beat me. Unfortunately I'm surrounded by non-horsey people who have no concept of what being a nervous equestrian is all about, so it's difficult. But NOT impossible. Where are you located? Perhaps we could help each other?

08-04-10, 09:39 PM
Oh, if only you were in SA! We have the perfect hardass coach here, she isn't nasty & is very knowledgeable, but she WILL NOT put up with 'wussy-ness'! :D When I was hesitant to canter my young but very calm horse really forward cos I was a little worried about bucking, she screamed "GALLOP!!!" at me until I did indeed get him going forward from behind... lo & behold, he did not buck! So now if he's feeling sluggy or crooked cos he's not going forward, I hear "GALLOP!!!" in my head & confidently send him forward.

She's great - she makes you laugh, but she makes you ride good (& confidently!) too.

08-04-10, 09:52 PM
Oh rats! Damn, I've got a car that could pull a float, but no float! lol. Sorry, Koalas. :( You could, (capability wise) ride the mare I ride now, but the owner has been very specific about the fact she doesn't like anybody riding her... More than that, you probably need to be riding your own horse. No good being confident on someone else's horse, but still nervous on your own. Still... I'll talk to my agistment property owner and see if she'd mind you using her gelding.

We don't have to ride any faster than a walk, but I can promise you after half an hour out there, laughing and chatting away, people change there minds :D

08-04-10, 10:13 PM
You should try Ann-Marie Cambridge (used to be Ann-Marie Lourey). Excellent instructor from all accounts and great for nervous nellies.

08-04-10, 10:26 PM
I don't like instructors who yell and abuse people. The only reason they have to get shouty at me is because I'm half deaf, and can't hear them. I refuse to pay somebody to be rude to me. I want to be taught, I want to improve, I want to learn, and I want my horse to go well. If that sort of enthusiasm isn't enough, even if my body doesn't always obey my brain, then tough titties.

08-04-10, 10:35 PM
Hi koalas_rule

I have pm'd you with some details.

Cheers, Harmony

Tb Lover
08-04-10, 10:46 PM
Well . . . I have not read all your posts (mainly due I am using a sub. computer - mine is getting a new "heart" :D) . . . . But . . .

I am advocate of people and horses being in harmony . . . If you are tense WELL horse is tense . . . no???

So I go for the "Pina Colada" song AND "sing" it to horse and rider . . . Rider relaxes AND the horse relaxes . . . . THEN BUT ONLY THEN we can get what "you" the rider wants to do . . . .

Next question : "What would you like to do?" . . . . THEN we go from there . . . . Make any sense?

Doubt it from me! :D

08-04-10, 10:53 PM
Ill come and yell at your Koalas :) Cant vouch for my instructing abilities, but I can definately yell at you to suck it up and get moving into trot and canter! :D
Im not sure of any instructors, all the instructors I know are more performance/competition based (and charge alot of $$$ per lesson)


08-04-10, 10:55 PM
PS, where are you Jacki? Im up for a trail ride if the offer extends to others (quietly to start with on my young horse who has never been out)


08-04-10, 11:02 PM
Ha,ha ,ha Koala-I'm more of a tragic than you!I bought a horse 5 months ago but have managed to talk myself out of being able to ride her.I don't need someone to just yell at me-a good boot up the butt may work wonders!

08-04-10, 11:03 PM
Sure Dragoness :D I'm, well the horses, are in Fullerton Cove. It's great cos we can ride straight into the bush and across to the Stockton sand dunes :D

08-04-10, 11:06 PM
Come up to Toowoomba for a week. I'll sort you out.

LOL I was going to say exactly the same thing, only Geelong way :)

08-04-10, 11:07 PM
You're near Raymond Terrace and want an instructor who will yell at you? Why on earth hasn't anyone mentioned HEATH!!!!!! He yells, but not in a demeaning, put you down sort of way, more a massive amount of enthusiasm and a "willing you to do better" sort of way. Gordon Bishop has been known to yell too, as does Malcolm Kerridge (in fact most people trained by Heath :)). I found Shane Rose very encouraging and able to get my wimpy self to jump things I never thought possible. Maybe it's just the way it comes across, but i've found some of the more bossy female instructors to get a bit personal and bitchy with their comments, rather than just striving to get the best out of you. If you want to be really bitched at, maybe try George Morris :D.

Tb Lover
08-04-10, 11:18 PM
Well . . . I have not read all your posts (mainly due I am using a sub. computer - mine is getting a new "heart" :D) . . . . But . . .

I am advocate of people and horses being in harmony . . . If you are tense WELL horse is tense . . . no???

So I go for the "Pina Colada" song AND "sing" it to horse and rider . . . Rider relaxes AND the horse relaxes . . . . THEN BUT ONLY THEN we can get what "you" the rider wants to do . . . .

Next question : "What would you like to do?" . . . . THEN we go from there . . . . Make any sense?

Doubt it from me! :D

Here and as well I read " Draognness" on the "message board" LOCALLY they are looking for a "nice trail ride" types in the Lake MacQuarrie region . . . name is "Jacki" - Will forward details if you are interested?


Tb Lover
08-04-10, 11:20 PM
The "link" was supposed to go BEFORE what I said sorry . . . . can't wait 'til I get my new "computer" back!!!!

09-04-10, 12:46 AM
Yes, Heath would be the obvious choice, but I doubt you'd get in for a lesson. He's always way too busy and you have to book too far in advance.
Anyway, seriously, you can come down this way (2 hours south of you) and I'll sort you out, so you've got plenty of offers KR :)
Seriously, you can stay here too, it's what I do :)

09-04-10, 08:35 AM
Im with you StElmos.....there is a massive difference between encouragement and being ripped to shreds! I have no interest in paying someone to be horrid to me while I'm trying to improve myself either :eek:

09-04-10, 09:19 AM
You can do it Koalas! And when you do you will be over the moon! I promise! A good instructor will help you get your confidence back SoOoOOoo much and riding will become so fun again!

I'd put an example, but didn't want to steal your thread so I'll make a brag thread :)

It will be SO worth it! You'll be THRILLED beyond belief at the results!

09-04-10, 09:43 AM
ditto on a good instructor
In my opinion nothing replaces saddle time...
I confess until recently I have been a very nervous rider
having got back into riding after nearly 20 years..
My confidence re-installed by "time in the saddle" at every opportunity
even if it was for only 10 mins
Trail rides have been an awesome help...especially ones solo
oh...& I have an amazing Standie who looks after me

09-04-10, 10:22 AM
Thanks folks, I'm really heartened by your encouragement. Not only is it reassuring to know that there are others who are like me, but it's heartening to know that the support is there.

Thanks to the PMs, I will contact the people concerned at the weekend.

To those who mentioned something about a foot and a rear end, I am thinking that's EXACTLY what I need! Forget the shouting etc, give me a kick up the arse ... please!

As for Heath - he's probably THE only instructor who intimidates the hell out of me. I had a lesson with him about 25 years ago (or probably longer) and it was a humbling experience. If I had a lesson with him now I'd be in tears ...

I also agree that time in the saddle is the best thing I can do. My problem at the moment is that I need to get INTO the saddle, and unless someone is there with me I can think of a million excuses NOT to ride. Sigh ...

09-04-10, 10:25 AM
LOL Koala......excuses are a killer....they have doomed many a person

09-04-10, 10:28 AM
I just wanted to add Koala that our round yard has been such an unbelievable help to me
with confidence...nothing better than feeling safe in your environment when you are nervous

09-04-10, 10:40 AM
Cruisader - have to say what a nice looking horse! Such a kind face. And it looks after you - a gem! Enjoy!

Good luck all to all of you who are cross with yourselves......once you're into it again you'll love it, I'm sure.


09-04-10, 12:21 PM
Koala, You don't need lessons with Heath you would be wasteing each others time ..and your money.
Maybe you need to send your horse to somebody and have him ridden for a few weeks. You sound like you have lost all confidence.. and a lesson wouldn't help very much. Can your horse be a little fresh and up on his toes or are you worried about what MIGHT happen? ..
I agree you need to get out there and ride but you don't need to be scared doing that.. Riding the right horse is what counts..One that you can have fun on and not have to worry about what might happen ..
If you would like to just ride with me on the little mare Paups rode the other day your more than welcome down this way .. :)
Wish I was closer!!
BTW that offer goes for anybody who can ride but has lost their confidence.. it shouldn't be that way!!

09-04-10, 12:32 PM
Yep I could thing of many thousands of excuses but in the end I had to discipline myself to get into the saddle and just ride, especially my canter and it has worked.

Not saying that it has totaly cured my confidence but it does go a long way to helping.

Sure you can have an instructor giving you a boot up the backside, yelling and screaming at you but in the end it is YOU who has to decide on getting your butt in the saddle and riding. Don't worry about whether it all looks ugly and pear shaped, fine tuning can come later, for the time being just get in the saddle and walk/trot around the paddock a squillion times (yeah horse will be soooooo bored he might go to sleep on you!).

You need to find your passion again, even if it means leasing/buying another horse if that is possible. Get one that will give you the excitement to get back in the saddle, stop you procrastinating.

One of the CH posters (Renvers I think) said in a post to me, when you go out to your horse, don't fluff around, just ride like you have 10 other horses to ride, that really made a lot of difference, I don't go out all namby pamby now, I go out on a mission, firm but fair on both horse and myself. It is working. Try it.

09-04-10, 12:55 PM
Cant really help Koala as I am really in the same boat as you but thanks for starting the thread there are some great ideas here and its comforting to know that it just isnt me that suffers from lack of confidence. I would love to find myself an instructor that isnt too far away. If nothing else knowing you have a lesson coming up can give you the motivation to get in the saddle and ride even if it is only at the walk.

09-04-10, 03:19 PM
I don't think that you need someone to yell at you. You need someone who will fill you with confidence so that you are calmly making the decision to trot\canter etc YOURSELF.

Having been with one of the yelling abusing instructors, its enough to make anyone lacking confidence totally give up.

On the other side though, no good having an instructor that lets you get away without trying. Start with a few strides, then half a circle, full circle, 2 circles etc.

09-04-10, 04:14 PM
Well said cookies. Simple and true.

Get yourself an instructor who you WANT to show off to on how much you have improved since last lesson :D

09-04-10, 06:15 PM
hi ... yes I know it says Ann-Maree Lourey but yes it's Ann-Maree Cambridge now ... I don't know that yelling at you is truly what you need ... if it was I could do that for you but truly it's more a matter of getting you soooo bored with what you do that you want to go a little further; more to do with just pushing you that little bit further each lesson without scaring the hell out of you, so that you feel good about yourself instead of useless when you go home ... I'll give you an example - I had one pupil who arrived for lessons on the school horse to be lunged. She was hyperventilating just getting on. Had ridden years before and wanted to again. Fell off the crate getting on, totally breathless, nearly gave up again right then. That was maybe in September/October? I gave her a lesson on her own horse this week. She fetched it in, tacked it up, got on alone (used to take two people to calm her and hold horse), walked and trotted around arena before lesson started, and towards the end when I said right, you don't get to finish till you've cantered, she said "Okay can I do it from walk?" instead of having a heart attack. And proceeded to canter each way. Now, not around the short sides of the arena, but she's getting there, down each long side. And she's been out on a trail ride after I rode the horse out to prove it was fine, and then she took it out, with babysitters, and a lead rope in case she needed security. Miracles do happen, it's just a matter of chipping away at it with the right person. This particular pupil made up her own mantra which is unrepeatable but basically meant she had to say to herself to get on with it. And during those six months she did fall off once (loose girth, her fault, not horse) and nearly packed it in but is now having a ball.

Had another pupil once who wouldn't even canter in every lesson but somehow we got her to compete medium dressage - even if sometimes she only cantered in the ring!

So to the original poster, I bet I can cure you. Feel free to call for a lesson. We have horses of all kinds if you can't tow your own. And Raymond Terrace is only 40 minutes away ....

ann-maree cambridge
0407 453 494


09-04-10, 06:43 PM
Well I think you are all very brave having lessons. Me, I'm, not game to get on and ride a horse in front of anyone till I have managed to do so in the privacy of my own backyard. Of course as none of the horses have been ridden in donkeys ages, that means the prospect of getting on one is rather daunting..........

Soon I will have no more excuses though as the little mare will be over her 6 months bed rest and I can start with her. At least she is close to the ground.

09-04-10, 07:12 PM
What a great offer from Anne-Marie... with references too! Those ladies sound as if they were unbelievably timid. Know how it feels, 'cos I lost my nerve once, many years ago, after a series of nasty frights with a little mare who had a brain tumour (didn't know it at the time) But my gorgeous Arabian stallion got me going again. I'd take two hours to psych myself into getting on, then if he spooked or danced, I'd freeze and shake. 'Saab obvioiusly thought he had a right basket case for a mother, but he was so sweet the way he looked after me, and he was like the old ad for White Horse Scotch Whisky - "you can take a white horse anywhere".... and I could, because he looked after me so well. I'm grateful to him for so many things... the 24 years we had him were truly blessed ones.

So screw up your courage and begin your journey.... you have all of us here cheering you on, and waiting to hear how you're progressing!:)