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View Full Version : Junior hunters w/o doing the 1st years



southernbell
Sep. 17, 2009, 02:09 PM
I'm new here - so "hi" - here's my question......

We have a nice horse that we are planning on doing the juniors with in the new show year. I'm pretty sure at this point we are not going to do any shows in the 1st years because our training situation is a little tricky - we love our trainer as a trainer but she does not ride this horse particularly well.

I can reach out to have a friend who is a pro to do one or two 1st year rides before she leaves for Fla but it might cause some *very* ruffled feathers. WWYD???

TIA!!!

joiedevie99
Sep. 17, 2009, 02:25 PM
If you are competent to ride the horse in the juniors, show your own horse in the 1st years if you want it to have that on its show record. If you don't care about the record, go forth and enjoy the juniors.

ponymom64
Sep. 17, 2009, 02:32 PM
Agree with above poster - if you don't care about the 1st record then don't worry about it as long as the ride the horse will be getting is good.

The horse, Huntington, in our neighboring zone didn't do the greens but his owner/rider is a trainer's kid.....

Giddy-up
Sep. 17, 2009, 03:35 PM
Why does the horse need to show in the 1st years? Does it need some mileage before the junior shows it? Is the junior rider a good rider or do they want the horse to jump around before they do it?

Personally if the horse didn't need the extra showing for mileage or confidence building & the junior was a strong enough rider to get the job done in the junior ring, I would skip it. Save the horse & save yourself some money. Or let the junior show in the 1st years.

southernbell
Sep. 17, 2009, 03:47 PM
The rider is my daughter and neither the trainer or I have any issues with her doing the horse in the juniors but I thought it was not *done* to have the horse show only in the jrs w/o any 1st year rides.......

nycrider2004
Sep. 17, 2009, 04:25 PM
I don't think there is any written rule that says you have to campaign a horse in the first years but there are reasons to consider doing it that mostly relate to increasing the value/notariety of the animal...only you can know if, given your situation and the talent of the horse, if that would be necessary and if it's important enough to you as an owner to risk ruffling some feathers.

I will add, not that you asked, but I'd also count it as a strike against my trainer if they weren't big enough to recognize that they weren't the right ride for the horse and to help me find the best person who is (which in fact was a situation I found myself in a few years ago). My horse needed the extra mileage in the ring, and similar to you, my trainer just didn't get along with his high strung personality, i.e. they could totally ride him but they knew the horse and he could get ribbons but also knew that those ribbons could possibly be even better with another rider, so they helped me find the person who ended up showing the horse for us.

Green Acres
Sep. 17, 2009, 04:43 PM
The rider is my daughter and neither the trainer or I have any issues with her doing the horse in the juniors but I thought it was not *done* to have the horse show only in the jrs w/o any 1st year rides.......

One thing to remember is that 1st year classes are normally during the week so that may not fit into her your daughter's schedule. She could ride in the classes if the trainer thought if she was ready.

The horse doesn't have to do 1st years unless he needed mileage or you wanted to have him shown in 1st years for points, etc. Personally I would think if your trainer knew she didn't want to ride the horse, then she would help find an appropriate pro to show the horse.

Lucassb
Sep. 17, 2009, 04:54 PM
I am guessing that the question is not so much about the horse's record but whether the horse ought to have a couple of his first trips at 3'6" piloted by a capable pro before the OP's daughter tries to move up on him.

If that is the case...frankly I would suggest the pro rides. The confidence gains for both horse and the kid that would come of having some successful, solid trips could really be invaluable.

The ruffled feather issue is a tricky one but it is usually possible to attend a show that is, er... not convenient for the pro one wishes not to offend.

southernbell
Sep. 17, 2009, 05:23 PM
I am guessing that the question is not so much about the horse's record but whether the horse ought to have a couple of his first trips at 3'6" piloted by a capable pro before the OP's daughter tries to move up on him.

If that is the case...frankly I would suggest the pro rides. The confidence gains for both horse and the kid that would come of having some successful, solid trips could really be invaluable.

The ruffled feather issue is a tricky one but it is usually possible to attend a show that is, er... not convenient for the pro one wishes not to offend.

Lucassb - you are understanding my dilema perfectly ;)

We only really care about the horse's record in the juniors, but I do agree that having a pro ride the first time or two can only help the horse and if the horse did both divisions at one or two shows, it would be a lot but that would not be his show schedule for the rest of the year.....

The horse is young, brave and very willing, so I want his foundation to be good.

I guess our real problem is the ruffled feathers - my daughter is loyal to a fault sometimes and while she realizes that our trainer is not the right rider in this case she is worried about hurt feelings and whatnot. My kid is a nice rider and works hard but is not the trainers favorite by any means (not that it really matters to her BUT....) so she is also worried that by asking another pro to do the ride, she will sink to the bottom of the pile and even if we go to a show that our trainer would not be at - they ALWAYS find out - LOL!!

what to do, what to do.......

ETA - I don't think it would even occur to our trainer A) should the horse do the first years and B) who should the trainer find to do the ride if we felt we wanted it

toomanyponies
Sep. 17, 2009, 06:12 PM
ouch - maybe new trainer?

And in reference to the above example of Huntington - no it did not do first years on a regular basis, but it prior to the juniors it did do a year of childrens, and had some pro rides in the lows and hi-lows. And the first year in the juniors was a little rough - even with pro rides at home, in the morning and some hi-lows. It should have done the first years on a more regular basis but the kid was young and it was ok to have a few 'learning' shows. This year that horse has been fabulous consistently.

JinxyFish313
Sep. 17, 2009, 06:36 PM
Sounds like its time for a new trainer.

bascher
Sep. 17, 2009, 06:42 PM
The rider is my daughter and neither the trainer or I have any issues with her doing the horse in the juniors but I thought it was not *done* to have the horse show only in the jrs w/o any 1st year rides.......

I know of quite a few junior horses who did not/currently do not, show in the first years along with jrs. I don't think it's necessary but if you think your daughter can do it, I'd say go for it if the divisions fit in with your schedule.

WorthTheWait95
Sep. 17, 2009, 06:43 PM
ETA - I don't think it would even occur to our trainer A) should the horse do the first years and B) who should the trainer find to do the ride if we felt we wanted it

Have you actually TALKED to your trainer about this? Because if not then that's is your answer. Simple communication approached in a business like manner will solve most problems ;). Just tell her your concerns and that you want the horse to do the first years with a pro and ask for her recs so she can feel involved in the decision.

If she is so deeply offended she 'fires' you as a client then she clearly isn't a trainer worth subsidizing with your hard earned money. If she's smart she'll recognize that you just want to do what is best for the horse and your daughter and help you.

Green Acres
Sep. 17, 2009, 08:18 PM
Have you actually TALKED to your trainer about this? Because if not then that's is your answer. Simple communication approached in a business like manner will solve most problems ;). Just tell her your concerns and that you want the horse to do the first years with a pro and ask for her recs so she can feel involved in the decision.

If she is so deeply offended she 'fires' you as a client then she clearly isn't a trainer worth subsidizing with your hard earned money. If she's smart she'll recognize that you just want to do what is best for the horse and your daughter and help you.

Excellent post - I agree 100%!!!

trv_at_tacf
Sep. 17, 2009, 08:30 PM
I started my horse in the A/Os this year without him having any 3'6 show experience. I have had one of my trainers that i ship to sometimes ride him and school him over 3'6 a few times, but thats about it. We are doing well considering the horses and their experience that ive showed against so far.

southernbell
Sep. 17, 2009, 09:42 PM
Have you actually TALKED to your trainer about this? Because if not then that's is your answer. Simple communication approached in a business like manner will solve most problems ;). Just tell her your concerns and that you want the horse to do the first years with a pro and ask for her recs so she can feel involved in the decision.

If she is so deeply offended she 'fires' you as a client then she clearly isn't a trainer worth subsidizing with your hard earned money. If she's smart she'll recognize that you just want to do what is best for the horse and your daughter and help you.

I have mentioned it, yes and but have not pressed the issue as yet.

Lucassb
Sep. 17, 2009, 09:44 PM
Lucassb - you are understanding my dilema perfectly ;)

We only really care about the horse's record in the juniors, but I do agree that having a pro ride the first time or two can only help the horse and if the horse did both divisions at one or two shows, it would be a lot but that would not be his show schedule for the rest of the year.....

The horse is young, brave and very willing, so I want his foundation to be good.

I guess our real problem is the ruffled feathers - my daughter is loyal to a fault sometimes and while she realizes that our trainer is not the right rider in this case she is worried about hurt feelings and whatnot. My kid is a nice rider and works hard but is not the trainers favorite by any means (not that it really matters to her BUT....) so she is also worried that by asking another pro to do the ride, she will sink to the bottom of the pile and even if we go to a show that our trainer would not be at - they ALWAYS find out - LOL!!

what to do, what to do.......

ETA - I don't think it would even occur to our trainer A) should the horse do the first years and B) who should the trainer find to do the ride if we felt we wanted it

Yes, well... I do agree that the problem is working out the ruffled feathers thing with the trainer, but IMO, the bottom line is that your main concern needs to be making sure the horse (and the kid) get the right start they need in that division to build confidence and continue. And I'd say that means a couple of pro rides at least, and that only after the kid is schooling confidently at home over courses at that height.

I really do think that you can give the current trainer an "out" by choosing some shows she is not going to, and asking for her help selecting someone else who might be able to assist. Not suggesting that you do it behind her back at all... just giving everyone a face-saving way to get the job done, which she might welcome in the circumstances.

Tex Mex
Sep. 17, 2009, 10:37 PM
Think about some other pros that your trainer either looks up to or has a close relationship with. Then think about your horse in particular and what makes him not the right match with your trainer- is he a little sensitive? Is he super dull or strong? Could you suggest "Hey maybe your friend Joe BNT would ride this horse really well since he's a big strong guy"? Or could you suggest that a really BNT ride the horse at a show to get him some attention from the judges?

southernbell
Sep. 18, 2009, 09:42 AM
Think about some other pros that your trainer either looks up to or has a close relationship with. Then think about your horse in particular and what makes him not the right match with your trainer- is he a little sensitive? Is he super dull or strong? Could you suggest "Hey maybe your friend Joe BNT would ride this horse really well since he's a big strong guy"? Or could you suggest that a really BNT ride the horse at a show to get him some attention from the judges?

Trainer rides him on the "jumper-y" side and he likes a nice soft hunter ride. Not strong or dull at all, maybe a little sensitive since when he doesn't have a rider with a light seat or soft contact he wants to go with his head in the air.

Most of the trainer's "friends" are jumper riders or are not available in the winter as they ship to Florida at the end of November.

I guess this will sort itself out......

Treasmare2
Sep. 18, 2009, 10:26 AM
You sound like an active involved owner/parent of owner and these ar emajor considerations that will set the horse up for a good confident career or a season with soem shakes. The sport of showing horses is one of the only situations where we pay for a service where we have to follow orders and not ruffle feathers. It never makes real sense to me. I always ride with trainers that I can be the final decision maker and that there is open communication. In the end it is my horse and I am responsible for getting/doing the best by my horse ....no one else will ever be as invested in my horse than me so I have to find the way to get what my horse needs (each one may have a different set of needs). If you have a trainer that makes this a messy thing then I think you need to look at that situation first. That said if your kid rides well enough then doing the 1st years herself gives both her and the horse the extra milage and confidence but I hear you about getting a few rides under a pro to set the tone. I have switched trainers when I am feeling that what I need is going to rock someone's boat but first I would get more direct with the trainer about who would be a good ride for a few trips on your horse. See what the reaction is going to be or if she is actually fairly open to this option. You just never know until you approach the issue. You might want to do that with some possible people in mind and know what other options you have if things do not go well. If you switch trainers you need to let them know your plans, goals and expectations. I always let my trainers know I am perhaps the client from hell because I do not just turn my life and horse over to anyone. This is a little easier for me becauase I do keep my horses at home and this puts me in a better position to be the decision maker....communication is key. Hope all works out well. Also I assume with it being this late in th eyear you are planning for the next show season so you do have some limited time to put the best plan for you into place.

JinxyFish313
Sep. 18, 2009, 10:35 AM
If the trainer can't ride with a light seat and soft hand how can he/she possibly teach students to ride that way? :confused:

Lucassb
Sep. 18, 2009, 11:07 AM
If the trainer can't ride with a light seat and soft hand how can he/she possibly teach students to ride that way? :confused:

Even very accomplished trainers don't get along with every.single.horse.on.the.planet. It doesn't make them bad trainers or mean they are unable to teach the proper skills.

It is easy for us to say to the OP, "just find another trainer," but the reality is that it is often not so easy - finding a trainer is difficult, and finding one that will work with you on an a la carte basis even tougher.

Even in my very horsey area, with tons of BNTs, most programs pack up and head to FL for the winter; they leave in November and return in April sometime. For those of us that have work and family obligations that prevent us from spending the winter at WEF, the pickings are somewhat slim.

Yes, there are a few programs that operate year round, but of those - I can't think of one that I would suggest to the OP as being a good choice to help a kid moving up from the children's ring to the junior hunters - particularly on a GREEN horse that will also be making a big step up in the process.

Actually in this case, I might suggest that the OP let her current trainer do a couple of first year classes on the horse even if she thinks the style won't be a winning one. The important thing is really that the horse gets a confident, solid ride around the bigger track, and the kid gets to see the horse is capable of jumping around that height before they try to tackle it themselves. Also, depending on how many times the current trainer has ridden the horse... the OP may find that the trainer adapts her style to better suit the animal, and may be surprised at how well it goes for her once she's had more of a chance to figure him out.

joiedevie99
Sep. 18, 2009, 11:10 AM
Is there a more experienced junior with a bunch of 3'6" miles in the barn that rides the horse well? If so, let the horse have a few rides around the juniors with the kid instead of around the first years with the trainer. Horse just needs a good ride- doesn't matter which class he's entered in. That might be easier to find and less intimidating to your trainer: just say your daughter is nervous about her first 3'6" trip and her friend x could use the extra rides so you'd like to work something out with her for a show or two.

JinxyFish313
Sep. 18, 2009, 11:15 AM
Even very accomplished trainers don't get along with every.single.horse.on.the.planet. It doesn't make them bad trainers or mean they are unable to teach the proper skills.

I agree, not everyone gets along with every horse BUT imo a trainer should be able to ride the clients' horses at least decently. If he has to go with his head up in the air because of the ride, the rider should be able to modify his/her style.

The OP's comments about the trainer's inability to ride the horse and the fact that it wouldn't dawn on him/her to have the horse get some miles with a more experienced rider are a major red flag to me that perhaps its time to find a new program.

SquishTheBunny
Sep. 18, 2009, 11:57 AM
My horse has never done the 1st years. Threw him up to 3'6 this year in the amateur owners, handled it well. No need for a pro division, the horse packed at 3', doing the same a 3'6.

If your horse doesnt NEED someone to school it before an amateur division, my thought is why bother?

Lucassb
Sep. 18, 2009, 11:58 AM
My horse has never done the 1st years. Threw him up to 3'6 this year in the amateur owners, handled it well. No need for a pro division, the horse packed at 3', doing the same a 3'6.

If your horse doesnt NEED someone to school it before an amateur division, my thought is why bother?

I think there is a big difference between moving up on a made, "packer" type vs. a green horse, particularly if the rider is also moving up for the first time.

RockinHorse
Sep. 18, 2009, 12:49 PM
Trainer rides him on the "jumper-y" side and he likes a nice soft hunter ride. Not strong or dull at all, maybe a little sensitive since when he doesn't have a rider with a light seat or soft contact he wants to go with his head in the air.

Most of the trainer's "friends" are jumper riders or are not available in the winter as they ship to Florida at the end of November.

I guess this will sort itself out......

How many times has this trainer ridden the horse? Does he/she only get on to fix issues? If so, that may explain the less than pretty ride, especially if she is trying to work through some resistence type issues. My trainer is perfectly capable of riding my horse (or any horse for that matter) with a nice soft hunter ride but since he is green, she sometimes needs to use a little bit of stronger ride to help him understand what is being asked.

BAC
Sep. 18, 2009, 01:02 PM
we love our trainer as a trainer but she does not ride this horse particularly well.

I find this an interesting comment, what is it about your trainer's riding that you don't like?

If the other pro you mentioned is a friend, why not just tell your current trainer that she offered to give the horse a few rides at shows as a favor to you and your daughter?

TSWJB
Sep. 18, 2009, 01:23 PM
II will add, not that you asked, but I'd also count it as a strike against my trainer if they weren't big enough to recognize that they weren't the right ride for the horse and to help me find the best person who is (.
i agree with this! my friend had a small horse that the trainer had to really get after to get him to do his job. the trainer wanted to find someone else to show the horse because he said he was too big for it and the horse didnt really like him. and he was a very good rider.
so i would really have to think about who your training with if they are going to get upsett by your doing what is right for the horse.
of course your trainer should have first option to show the horse, but since the trainer doesnt really get along with the horse, they should help you find someone else.
in your situation though, if your kid can pilot the horse around nicely him/herself, just have your child show. but have a backup rider just in case things go wrong.