Respect her time

One of the complaints I hear most frequently is that students don’t respect the instructor’s time. Let your instructor know you value that she/he has set a specific time period aside for your lesson. Do this by being on time.

Be there.  Sometimes, students cancel lessons at the last minute and then expect to be rescheduled. When you cancel late, the instructor may have difficulty filling that spot with another student. When she sets an hour out of her day aside for your lesson do your best to honor it. If you have to miss don’t grumble when you’re expected to pay a penalty. Not only does the instructor depend on your income, she/he has a progressive plan for your riding growth. Each time you cancel, you slow the growth.

Her time is valuable and your progress is important.
Show up on time
Follow her cancellation policy

Respect her finances

This may sound like a repeat, but it can be easy to forget that riding is not only your hobby or passion, it is a business for your instructor. 

She depends on the income from her clients to pay her own bills. All instructors know horses and their related activities are expensive and that includes lessons.  Your instructor has the same kind of living expenses that you have; rent, electric bill, phone, food, medical, clothing, car payment etc.  You’d be upset if your boss withheld your paycheck for a couple of weeks, the same way your instructor is annoyed when clients don’t pay on time. No one likes to hunt down a client in order to be paid.

Pay Your bill on time

Respect Yourself

Work between lessons to be as physically fit for riding as possible. Then arrive at your lesson with your head in the game so you can concentrate. Leave the distractions of friends, work, and other relationships behind.

Dress correctly for the skill you are trying to develop. 
Read, study, and learn between lessons to improve your knowledge.
Give yourself the best possible chance to succeed.

Respect your instructor’s knowledge and experience

A good amount of blood, sweat, and tears have gone into your riding instructor’s education.  Listen to him/her. At one point or another in her riding career she was where you currently are. Trust her to make good judgement calls for what you are ready to achieve or which activities you are ready to compete in. 

Trust, but if something bothers you, tell her. Instructors are not mind readers. Let her know if you don’t understand or fear something. Be willing to have discussions about progress, issues, and even things you disagree on.

Make an appointment for issues that cannot be handled during you lesson time, particularly if you take group lessons. (Respect the other students.)

Don’t smart off or whine.

Earn a gold star

Be easy to teach. Be teachable and eager to learn. Leave excuses at home.

Go the extra mile when it comes to attitude. Approach you lessons and time at the barn positively  and with a smile.  Good attitudes set the stage for good relationships and most people have a hard time ignoring someone who is cooperative and willing to try.

Take any complaints you have about your instructor or your lesson to her, not to your riding buddies and friends. Be the person who squashes gossip and help keep barn drama to a minimum. Make life easier for everyone involved. Gossip hurts people and gives them unnecessary obstacles to overcome. And it builds resentment.


Don’t forget to say thank you. Let her know when you’ve had a great lesson or he’s helped you through a problem. A simple compliment or encouraging word goes a long way toward boosting everyone’s moral.

It’s your turn.

Want to give a shout-out to someone who has helped you with your riding? Why not share in the comments?

In the mean time, I always love what Arethea Franklin has to say about RESPECT! Enjoy.

Here’s to great students and super instructors,

Barbara Ellin Fox

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