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2Bays
Jul. 1, 2003, 06:39 PM
I don't understand why trainers get so angry when a boarder leaves -- particularly if the person leaves to ride in a different discipline. Is it their ego? The money? A friend of mine told his trainer he wanted to do jumpers, which the trainer won't do...so he thanked her but said he'd be moving to a new place where he can focus on jumpers, no hard feelings. She got mad and is badmouthing him...I told my previous trainer (who did eventing) that I wanted to do hunters, and she told me that "doing hunters will ruin any horse." What is with these crazy trainers, or is it just in my area??

2Bays
Jul. 1, 2003, 06:39 PM
I don't understand why trainers get so angry when a boarder leaves -- particularly if the person leaves to ride in a different discipline. Is it their ego? The money? A friend of mine told his trainer he wanted to do jumpers, which the trainer won't do...so he thanked her but said he'd be moving to a new place where he can focus on jumpers, no hard feelings. She got mad and is badmouthing him...I told my previous trainer (who did eventing) that I wanted to do hunters, and she told me that "doing hunters will ruin any horse." What is with these crazy trainers, or is it just in my area??

caryledee
Jul. 1, 2003, 06:45 PM
It certainly isn't just your area! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif I believe most of the time its an ego thing...unless the trainer is really hurting for business, and then it might be a money issue as well.

Madison
Jul. 1, 2003, 06:48 PM
Don't forget that sometimes the trainer has reason to be irritated - the person may have unpaid bills, have gone around bad-mouthing said trainer prior to leaving, have left in a rude/inconsiderate way, or been unappreciative of some assistance the trainer may have provided.

Though I agree - I'm sure ego or hurt feelings plays a role many times.

Glass230
Jul. 1, 2003, 06:54 PM
i often wonder the same thing... and usually the attitude towards the student is not the students fault. yes, there may be the ocassional argument or bill unpaid, but for the most part (some) trainers do get mad at a move of any kind.

can any trainers answer this for the rest of us??

MissingInAction
Jul. 1, 2003, 07:00 PM
I've had a trainer get mad at me because I was leaving to pursue a more 'show' barn with more suitable horses to ride. Of course I did not tell her this. I simply told her that I wanted to pursue other options. She took it VERY personal. I found out from a good lady (who I used to train with) that she threatened to slander me at the new barn and even more horrible things that I don't wish to share. And we were very good clients and she probably didn't want to lose us, I guess.

Trainers should not take petty things like this so personal. Some just can't handle being 'rejected'.

×Val×
http://community.webshots.com/user/falcon3888

barnbabe718
Jul. 1, 2003, 07:03 PM
It's an ego thing. Like Val said, they don't like being "rejected."

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barnie
Jul. 1, 2003, 07:06 PM
Honestly? It is all of those answers and none of them. Yes, you need the business, yes people leave owing $, yes people bad mouth you for no reason, and yes it hurts your ego. This is the way you make your living....all of the reasons some one leaves REALLY effect you. Even if you want them to leave, it still effects you. And imagine how it feels to be rejected in any form...then imagine it is about your business...I think many posts I read are really VERY tough on professionals...they are only people too...trying to support themselves the best way they know how...why should they be held to any different standard then anyone else??? Maybe there should be a post about how a customer would feel when asked to leave a barn?!?

Dusty
Jul. 1, 2003, 07:07 PM
I just left a barn yesterday because of a control-freak barn manager. The trainer totally understood (he knows the barn mgr is hard to deal with) and honestly wished us nothing but the best and said we were welcome back anytime.

What a refreshing attitude on this trainers part http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Trainers like him are too few and far between.

*Ride and let ride...*

Horseymama
Jul. 1, 2003, 07:35 PM
Even if it does effect your ego as a trainer when a client leaves, you shouldn't show it or talk to other clients about it. I left a trainer about 9 months ago because I moved away (350 miles!) and she was so angry that she has never spoken to me since and neither have any of her remaining clients! I gave her 6 months notice, made sure all my bills were paid, etc, etc. Whatever, it just makes her look bad and un-professional.

barnie
Jul. 1, 2003, 07:50 PM
I agree w/you HM, but there are immature people in every aspect of life these days....that doesn't mean other people don't have the "right" to be upset.

Liverpool
Jul. 1, 2003, 07:51 PM
I think it is partly the "public" aspect to such a change that makes the ditched pro feel so upset.

I mean, if I choose a new hairstylist... *they* know I thought someone else could do a better job for me - but the rest of their clientele hasn't a clue.

When a rider chooses a new barn, so many other people end up "knowing" about the move... other clients at the old AND the new barn, the folks at the local tack shop... people you see at the next horseshow. The implication - fair or not - is that the former trainer wasn't getting the job done, and the new one is considered more capable.

(Obviously people leave for a whole variety of reasons, some of them not even remotely connected to the trainer's competence...but I do think this is a big part of the sensitivity.)

It is a shame that more trainers cannot act with greater professionalism in these circumstances.

Of course the same could be said of many clients. Too many of us just cannot say, "oh, it was just one of those things," rather than laundering all of our complaints to all and sundry when we make a decision to move.

"It's a funny thing about life: If you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it." ---W. Somerset Maugham

El Grande Stimpendo
Jul. 1, 2003, 07:57 PM
1 word - substance abuse

barnie
Jul. 1, 2003, 07:58 PM
http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

I was trying to be serious....

So Intent
Jul. 1, 2003, 10:15 PM
I've had everything from the terrible "if you even think about leaving I will hurt your horse (I snuck out and was banned from the property. big loss)" to a wonderful wonderful very professional barn owner and trainer, who I would still ride with if I had the money, who told me I was welcome back any time, and that it had been a pleasure to have me there. I must say... will I ever go back to the first trainer? No. Will I go back to the second, oh yeah. And I'll recomend them to any one that asks.

Beezer
Jul. 1, 2003, 10:30 PM
Beezer claps for Liverpool! That was very well said. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I'd add one other thing: I think it often involves the level of professionalism in a barn. In other words, the more the trainer treats it as a business and not as a personality contest, and goes into it accepting that she or he cannot be all things to all people -- and keeps the lines of communication open -- I think feelings are less likely to be hurt. (As an aside, do trainers really think that making threats or pitching a fit is going to compel a client to stay?)

But a trainer who gets upset because the client moves 350 miles away? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif Honey, unless you've bought a jet to fly me back and forth to your barn to ride, you really don't have any sane, logical reason to get your knickers in a knot.

(Edited to fix an italics "issue" ... I am so anal that way! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif )

***Dear Sam: All I really want for my birthday is FLYING LEAD CHANGES!!*** http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_mad.gif

[This message was edited by Beezer on Jul. 02, 2003 at 02:16 AM.]

[This message was edited by Beezer on Jul. 02, 2003 at 02:20 AM.]

khobstetter
Jul. 1, 2003, 10:46 PM
You guys don't seem to give ANY credibility to the fact that every good trainer puts their heart and soul into their clients...

This industry IS NOT an 8 to 5...it's and entire lifestyle that goes home with us 24/7, keeps us up at night worrying about YOU and YOUR horse, stressing about how to make YOU a winner, fretting about the fact you can only spend $$ but you have a $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ mentality and expectation, compromising in your favor on your bills or your services per dollar, making arrangements for YOU to show and sooooooooo on to ad nauseaum...

We are not trainers for the money, we are trainers cause we love this sport, we committ to our clients, we drive to make you and your horse better, we dream of you winning "in the big ring" (different for each of you...)

We take you and your horse and your learning and your sucesses and your failures extremely personally ........ YOU become the extension of who we are as professionals..

It's NOT the fact you leave us...it's the fact that MOST of you want "everyone to be friends and friendly at the next shows.."

BUT the problem is that MOST - - - I am sure NOT YOU !!!!! bad mouth us all over town..usually in a nasty little trite way such as...." Pro X was really good to us BUT we needed to move on...they didn't know what to teach us next, they couldn't help anymore, my child out grew them, my daughter can jump bigger but THEY wouldn't let her, she yelled at my poor little Sarah, etc etc"

And they - - -I'm sure not YOU.. need to justify their move AT OUR EXPENSE...!!!

Trust me you guys...you don't want us to NOT get our feeling hurt, you don't want us to just not care when you leave, you don't want us to say OH WELL, you don't want us not to care...

If that is what you want I feel sorry for you... ...you will end up with non committed, non driven, non successful, non productive, non feeling, non caring trainers..

I don't think that is good for anyone...!!!!!

http://www.foxpointefarm.com
http://www.go-sho.org

SuperPony
Jul. 1, 2003, 11:46 PM
Actually, I think the reason that many trainer-leaving experiences are so bad is because most of those moves are CAUSED by bad/petty/controlling trainers. There are many good, professional trainers out there who would not badmouth clients, but, because of things like that, they don't lose clients. The ones who are possessive of thier clients lose clients because they are like that.

Messy trainer-client breakups are between good client/bad trainer, good trainer/bad client, or bad client/bad trainer combinations. Which means that 2/3 trainer-client break ups result in badmouthing.

And yes, I have personal experience on this one. I hope that I wasn't a bad client, but I definitly had the bad trainer, the messy break up, and the badmouthing that continues to this day ("she never helped out", "she was never there", "she made her friends do her work", etc.).

mrgan182
Jul. 1, 2003, 11:58 PM
I agree with caryledee. it seems to be a ego/pride thing.
Who wants to admit they could be the reason a customer went to another barn?

could it also be slightly embarrasing when the person who left you does extremely well with another trainer, when they did not do as well while training with the old trainer?


I know the last trainer I trained with, took it VERY personally when clients left. no matter the reason.
in fact, one of the reasons I left that barn because I was tired of hearing the negative comments about people http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif
~morgan~

If you start getting nervous about getting hurt you will be....If you are worrying about the danger it's time to give up.
~Jason Weaver

Kylie
Jul. 2, 2003, 03:45 AM
Not trying to flame trainers or single anyone out. But if if students become an "extension of who we are as professionals" and it comes time to leave- do you think it is easy to make the decision to leave in the first place?
Trainers should really take lessons from teachers. Because that is what trainers really are- they are teachers. And yet a 2nd grade teacher knows how to let a whole classroom of 20 to 30 or so students move on every year.

They have realized that they have taught them all that they could and let them move on to a higher learning. It's nothing personal, it's simply doing what's best for the student. AND how many people actually kept in contact with their old teachers from grade school for a while after they moved on to the next grade huh? I bet a lot of you did. So why should it be so hard to stay friendly with an X-barn if you left for what you think was for the right reason at the next show? Whatever happened to good sportsmanship?

The one thing I cannot stand the most is bad professionalism. You have to realize that this is your JOB- you chose it and it's for life. You chose to be a professional so act like one and stop being immature. Flaming your students in public for getting something wrong or not having all your hair tucked or anything else along those lines- is NOT grounds for you to turn into the student's parent and repremand them for it. What some have to grasp is that these are just kids- if under 18, you're considered a kid- and they WILL make mistakes. It is human nature afterall.

That said, I realize that trainers are human too and they are prone to make mistakes. But it all boils down to that they are all adults and they should know better. Even if their student is over 18. And if there is a bad seed, take the person aside and tell them your opinion. There is ABSOLUTELY no room for public embarassment or un-professionalism when you claim to be a professional.

Just speaking from an ongoing personal experience.

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dOñt hÃ¥Tê më bEcãuÅ¡e ¡m bʪut¡ful hÄtË më ߀çaù§è Â¥oü® mÃn â€*HÏñkÅ* i Ã¥m

Drifter
Jul. 2, 2003, 04:08 AM
We left a barn years ago and knew the people fairly well. Tried to leave on good terms, but due to lack of professionalism and ego , it has been awkward when we see them ever since. I'm sure there are clients who've had unpaid bills, attitudes ,etc., but for the most part with trainers, I'd have to agree it is all about "egos".

Policy of Truth
Jul. 2, 2003, 04:44 AM
So, let me understand this correctly:

When I left a barn due to them being under QUARENTINE before I moved there, and they failed to tell me they were under QUARANTINE for strangles (this would be against the law, I think), I'm supposed to NOT tell others why I left?

Uh, NO! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_mad.gif

If a trainer fails to feed my horse on a regular basis, not do his/her job well, allow others to ride my horse w/o permission, or let my horse into a dangerous health situation, I WILL TELL OTHERS AS A WARNING!

This is America. Here, we have a wonderful thing known as competition. If you can't do a good enough job with my horse and my money, someone else CAN AND WILL!

If more trainers/barn managers had a clue about business management, I think less of these issues might arise. Of course, I can't say for sure, since very few trainers/BM's have a formal business education...

What happened to logic and common sense? Why would I keep my horse somewhere I am not happy? Every good business owner knows one of the keys to a successful business is being able to keep the customers happy. I am not saying anyone is or should be perfect, but if a client is unhappy and wants to leave, it is MUCH wiser to let them leave on good terms so that they DON'T bad mouth you, then to piss them off further and have them ruin you reputation with two wags of the tongue!

"You smell like dead bunnies"
~ Ralph, The Simpsons

Member of Hot TB Mare Clique

JustJump
Jul. 2, 2003, 05:07 AM
As a teaching pro, I have learned that no matter how much of your heart and soul you put into students, that loyalty and gratitude are very rare traits, that a distressing percentage of fellow trainers have the integrity and ethics of a common shoplifter, and that the real reasons clients leave very often have NOTHING whatsoever to do with how well you teach, how fairly you conduct business, how good of a horseman you might be, but are more about peer pressure from friends who participate in the sport, and a feeling that no matter how good the pasture, the grass is greener elsewhere.

It is the RARE client-trainer relationship that is based 2 way system of trust, honesty, openness, and fair treatment. SO if these ingredients are missing, clients are less likely to have complimentary things to say about ex-trainers, and ex-trainers are more likely to feel used and resentful...

Just my theory.

[This message was edited by JustJump on Jul. 02, 2003 at 08:20 AM.]

Underthegun
Jul. 2, 2003, 05:15 AM
I agree!
The only time I get upset at someone leaving is if they do it for reasons such as a heated lounge or their "new" friend rides there...
If your horse is happy and well fed and you are learning something in each lesson and you move your wonderful horse to a barn that only turns out for mabey an hour a day because they have a pool table and a T.V in the veiwing room then yes I get upset.<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by khobstetter:
You guys don't seem to give ANY credibility to the fact that every good trainer puts their heart and soul into their clients...

This industry IS NOT an 8 to 5...it's and entire lifestyle that goes home with us 24/7, keeps us up at night worrying about YOU and YOUR horse, stressing about how to make YOU a winner, fretting about the fact you can only spend $$ but you have a $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ mentality and expectation, compromising in your favor on your bills or your services per dollar, making arrangements for YOU to show and sooooooooo on to ad nauseaum...

We are not trainers for the money, we are trainers cause we love this sport, we committ to our clients, we drive to make you and your horse better, we dream of you winning "in the big ring" (different for each of you...)

We take you and your horse and your learning and your sucesses and your failures extremely personally ........ YOU become the extension of who we are as professionals..

It's NOT the fact you leave us...it's the fact that MOST of you want _"everyone to be friends and friendly at the next shows.."_

BUT the problem is that MOST - - - _I am sure NOT YOU !!!!!_ bad mouth us all over town..usually in a nasty little trite way such as...._" Pro X was really good to us BUT we needed to move on...they didn't know what to teach us next, they couldn't help anymore, my child out grew them, my daughter can jump bigger but THEY wouldn't let her, she yelled at my poor little Sarah, etc etc"_

And they - - -_I'm sure not YOU.._ need to justify their move AT OUR EXPENSE...!!!

Trust me you guys...you don't want us to NOT get our feeling hurt, you don't want us to just not care when you leave, you don't want us to say OH WELL, you don't want us not to care...

_If that is what you want I feel sorry for you..._ ...you will end up with non committed, non driven, non successful, non productive, non feeling, non caring trainers..

_I don't think that is good for anyone...!!!!!_

http://www.foxpointefarm.com
http://www.go-sho.org<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Oakleigh
Jul. 2, 2003, 05:33 AM
Yup, I agree that it is all about egos.

I have moved my training horses a couple of times over a twenty year span, sometimes to concentrate on a different discipline.

Moving from an event barn to concentrate on dressage brought unrelenting ire from one trainer. There was no reason for it, either.

Unbelievable generosity on my part made no difference. Ego was bruised and the claws came out.

Nobody likes to be rejected. I guess that's what it's all about. Shame when adults can't act as such...

Oakleigh

~~~~&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;****~~*~~****&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;~~~~
Breeder of Holsteiner and Oldenburg prospects.
Oakleigh Sporthorses (http://hometown.aol.com/psulli1002/page1.html)

Dusty
Jul. 2, 2003, 06:10 AM
I don't know exactly how many trainers are actually the ones feeding my horse, mucking stalls, managing the expenses ect Those are normally the responsibilities of the barn mgr and barn workers. Therefore, IMHO a trainers operation is only as good as the sum of all parts.

I loved, loved my trainer but the rest of the operation was a disaster. The barn mgr (who lives on the property) did her job when it fit into her schedule and between all her social outings. It was NOT a priority nor a 8-5 job for her...we moved on.

*Ride and let ride...*

gwen
Jul. 2, 2003, 06:14 AM
I have had such WONDERFUL trainers and have only had a few...only left them to go to college, move to New York. I have only LEFT one mainly because of things I wasn't comfortable with...

**BARB***

Elghund2
Jul. 2, 2003, 06:43 AM
When I have changed trainers, it is usually because we had hit a plateau in our riding. I think part of the problem is that there seems to be an attitude from both parties that trainers are for life. That sets up a conflict because I don't think there is a trainer out there that can take a student from beginner status all the way up to the top levels.

"I thought I was dead once but it turns out, I was only in Nebraska."

AAJumper
Jul. 2, 2003, 07:49 AM
I think Elghund2 makes a good point. And I also think that if a trainer truly cares about a client and their ultimate goal of continually improving, then they will understand when a client has to leave. Not to say that they shouldn't feel disappointed that the client is leaving, but they should at least not feel angry with that person.

I was with my first trainer for about 6.5 years. We were very close and she gave me many opportunities that I wouldn't have had otherwise. She let me groom for her in exchange for lessons, etc. But there came a time when her focus and riding program just wasn't going in the direction I needed to go. Our parting was quite amicable, and I even went out to visit her a few times after I left. Later, I bought a horse from her and she came to my new barn to visit him a few times. We still keep in touch.

Liverpool
Jul. 2, 2003, 07:52 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Beezer:
Beezer claps for Liverpool! That was very well said. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I'd add one other thing: I think it often involves the _level_ of professionalism in a barn. In other words, the more the trainer treats it as a _business_ and not as a personality contest, and goes into it accepting that she or he cannot be all things to all people -- and keeps the lines of communication open -- I think feelings are less likely to be hurt. (As an aside, do trainers really think that making threats or pitching a fit is going to compel a client to stay?)

&lt;snip&gt; [QUOTE]

Liverpool says, "Why thank you, Beezer!" and returns a very civilized golf clap....

The point made about keeping the lines of communication open is a KEY issue, and sadly is rarely accomplished in this industry.

Someone else observed that there is more to a well run, successful barn than JUST riding and teaching talent. In fact, I'd venture to say that good customer service trumps talent most of the time.

The reason is that very few of us are training for the next World Cup.

This is what we do for recreation, and most of us work our @sses off to afford it. We do not want to have to struggle and bargain and wheedle and negotiate to get the services we want and need for our horses - we want someone to treat us with respect and yes, as valued customers.

Yes, most of us clients know that taking good care of competition horses is a difficult and time consuming, labor-intensive job. We know that many of us are a challenge to teach - and trust me, we know that many pros feel underappreciated, overworked, and underpaid.

Taking the high road and refusing to gossip or badmouth people you associate with - and particularly those who were clients - will go a long way to promote a riding and training business. It is just good business practice.

[This message was edited by Liverpool on Jul. 02, 2003 at 11:04 AM.]

2Bays
Jul. 2, 2003, 08:50 AM
Thanks everyone, for the feedback. When I just gave my current trainer notice, she basically flipped on me, cried, and accused me of being selfish, ungrateful,etc. I have ridden with her for 7 years and have been more than a great friend to her during her bad marriage, divorce, etc. I paid my board early (2 months in advance!!) because I knew she was low on money; helped around the barn 20+ hours a week for free; babysat her kids all the time; taught lessons when she “did not feel like it”; and managed the entire barn for free while she went on vacation. The reason I chose to leave is because her current boyfriend comes before the horse business, and she will only teach one day a week, which doesn’t work for me. I cannot show because she is never around on weekends (away with her BF, not her kids) other than a few hours Sunday afternoon, and she says that is not going to change. She now leaves the property unattended 2 overnights a week (with nobody on the property – what if there was a fire or a colic?) which really bothers me, and is not around at all from Friday through Sunday. Since all of the other boarders left, I have to find someone to come to the barn with me so that I can ride my greenie on weekends (my best time to ride since I work 60 hours a week). There is nobody to ride with or hang around with. I told her those are the reasons I am leaving, but that I think she is a great trainer, and she still went into a fury with me and said a lot of really mean things. I even gave her the opportunity to teach me at the new barn, and she refused. She really does not see anything wrong with her not being around and will not accept it. Anyway, sorry for the vent but it really bothered me that a trainer would come to this. I think I am just too nice and naieve. I move next week and am very excited to be around other horses and riders – but of course she says “how could you do this to me? You know I am low on money, etc.” to which my response was, “Will you put more time into the farm?” and of course she said no. Oh well, another life lesson learned!

RugBug
Jul. 2, 2003, 09:46 AM
I agree with a lot of what's been said here, but I also think Khobstetter has a very valid point.

Trainer's invest a lot, emotionally, into their clients. Most of them have spent a lot of time with clients, trying to pinpoint weakness and strengths, finding appropriate horses that they can be challenged by but still be successful on, helping them learn about horse management, bearing the brunt of the criticism if someone doesn't do well or a horse misbehaves, etc.

Trainers become scapegoats for clients. "I'm not progressing because she won't let me, doesn't have the skills to teach me more, is too controlling"...yada, yada, yada. Maybe it's just that the rider will never have the talent they think they have. Maybe the rider wasn't paying attention all those times when something was being taught...or that they never did the "homework" so they could succeed. But instead of facing the music, people move barns, start fresh (usually with a better attitude) and they will learn...for awhile...until this trainer is no longer good enough.

Yes, there are bad trainers out there. But even good trainers can feel hurt by someone leaving. They should. I want my trainer personally invested in my success. Otherwise s/he isn't trying hard enough to teach me, isn't invested enough to care that I am having a particularly hard time with something and creatively try to solve the problem.

Cassiopeia
Jul. 2, 2003, 10:20 AM
I absolutely agree that most trainers invest a lot in their students (and often we students invest a lot in our trainers as well), and that they have the right to their feelings - just not necessarily the right to act out because of them. The can still show professionalism and maturity. We recently had a couple of departures from my barn. Even where there were a few "issues" around a departure, my trainer still took the time to write a lengthy letter to the new trainer with useful/important information about the horse that was moving. She didn't go around saying bad things about the departing riders and all of us are friendly when we see them at shows.

I do see where there is limited room for sharing of negative information as well, when it's more of a professional courtesy between people in the business to warn each other of truly bad clients - if you are one of those people who moves from barn to barn leaving a trail of unpaid bills and bad blood in your wake, then you probably should expect word to get around.

"I never apologize. I'm sorry, but that's just the way it is." - Homer Simpson

(formerly known as kml)

goobs
Jul. 2, 2003, 12:13 PM
Pacificsolo - Bravo bravo bravo! That was very well said!

khobstetter
Jul. 2, 2003, 12:40 PM
Sooooooooooooooooo you want examples...this JUST happened in my barn..

Client comes 5 years ago with a shy, quiet, non athletic child. Client lives in a RICH section of Newport but claims "poor poor poor $$$$$$ me!!"

I, the trainer, give them extra lessons, provide wonderful horses for extra free practice, waive a few of the fees so they can go to Indio (etc) with the rest of the clients because "we are not like the rest, we just want to have a good time and ride good, WE WILL NEVER BE ONE OF THE "BIG" CLIENTS AND RIDERS"...

They owned a horse that was the "reciepient" of the timid child learning to ride, yank it's mouth, crawl the fences but we made it work and they went and WON alot...

Spring 2003 meetings, dinners, conversations with the MOM about now they can spend "a little money" and get a new one and can we at least get what we paid for the original horse???

YEP, even in this economy we got an additional $10,000 for the horse.....

Client arrives at the barn and says to me...."We have decided to move on so she can show ALL THE TIME on the "A" circuit" but we want everyone to be friends.. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

The FINAL blow was...."I hope there are no hard feelings.." http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_mad.gif

I simply replied in a very nice, calm manner that YES there were "hard feelings" as they were going to one of THE most expensive barns in the area that stays on the road ALL time...AND they would buy an expensive horse after nickleing and dimeing me all the time....

I NEVER SAID ANOTHER WORD TO ANYONE....

Then people start calling me about the nasty stuff they are saying BUT ALWAYS WITH THE TRITE LITTLE COMMENT.... "they were so good to us".. then followed with some series of nasty little comments...

I still have not returned their "favor" and gotten nasty BUT I SURE WANT TO......

If they want us to all be friends and talk and laugh at shows they need to shut the %$&%#* up and zip their lip...

Bad talk always comes back.... EVEN if it's with a nasty little trite cover up comment...

http://www.foxpointefarm.com
http://www.go-sho.org

AcademyAward
Jul. 2, 2003, 01:26 PM
Khobstetter -- maybe your client really DIDN'T have a lot of money to spend before? I'm in the same situation as your clients - only reverse. We could afford to do shows and take multiple lessons per week a year ago, but now money's running thin and my family can't afford to send me off on the "A" circuit. Yes, I live in a nice part of town, yes I go to a very nice private school, but my family's priorities DO NOT lie with my horseback riding. So your clients left to go to a big, fancy barn. It was their decision, maybe they came into money. You're a good person for trying to help them out and letting them ride your horse, etc. I think they were polite and responsible in telling you they wished to pursue other options, and I am sure you did all you could to help them out while they were with you. Why not make the best of things and try to be friendly? If they "bad mouth" you, why not be the bigger person and just bite the bullet? It doesn't seem like they are insulting your skills as a trainer, just that they wanted a change of pace.

What irritates me is after a boarder leaves and everyone around the barn is gossiping and speculating. For example, a client left the barn I ride at (pulling her two children from lessons to switch trainers) and told my trainer that she felt there was nothing more her kids could learn from him. The two girls were not progressing in his lessons and they felt that they could gain better experience elsewhere. Though the mother was somewhat rude, my trainer in turn went around "bad mouthing" the family and the girls. I saw them at a show not too long ago with their new trainer & horses and one was champion in her division and the other did quite well. The truth is that they just excelled more under a different way of teaching.

I think people should just let these kinds of things go. There is more to life than he-said/she-said gossip.

Liverpool
Jul. 2, 2003, 01:44 PM
There is another lesson here.

Trainers, don't go "giving away" services or opportunities that will make you resentful toward the client, now or in the future. Accept that in a business situation, everyone is entitled to negotiate for the best deal they can find - and that each party to the agreement gets to define what constitutes "best" for themselves.

If you are willing to offer something extra, or at a reduced cost... but only if you get something in return (client agrees to stay with you, etc) then have that conversation up front. There is nothing wrong with saying, "Gee, Mrs. So-and-so, I think little Susie is very talented. I know that you and I have discussed that your budget allows for X, but I do have a program for clients who are willing to commit to my program for (insert terms here)... If you are interested in that, I could offer (a practice horse, another lesson per week, or whatever)..."

Also, please respect that it is very difficult for a client to tell a professional - particularly one they like on a personal basis - that they are disappointed with their level of instruction or that they have decided another program would suit them better. No one can be all things to all people.

Far better to swallow your disappointment, say that you wish the client all the best, and - if you are so inclined - leave the door open for them to come back if the new situation turns out not to be what they hoped for.

I cannot count the number of times when clients I know would have "gone back home," somewhat sadder and wiser... had the trainer they left not been so nasty when they wanted to try something different.

"It's a funny thing about life: If you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it." ---W. Somerset Maugham

Varsity team
Jul. 2, 2003, 02:11 PM
You guys don't seem to give ANY credibility to the fact that every good trainer puts their heart and soul into their clients...

And their hands in our pockets.

I believe KHobstetter went on to say that "trainers aren't in it for the money."

ROFL

Honey,I don't know where you train, but it sure isn't in my neck of the woods!

RugBug
Jul. 2, 2003, 02:27 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Varsity team:
You guys don't seem to give ANY credibility to the fact that every good trainer puts their heart and soul into their clients...

And their hands in our pockets.

I believe KHobstetter went on to say that "trainers aren't in it for the money."

ROFL

Honey,I don't know where you train, but it sure isn't in my neck of the woods!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

WEll, of course every trainer wants to make a living, but not all are in it solely to make as much money as they can from each client. Khobstetter's example proves that. She was helping out someone for less than the going rate because she thought they could use a hand. The client should've stepped forward when finances were better to say thanks and that they could now pay the going rate. Instead they imposed on Khobstetter and you can tell that she's hurt by it. I would be too.

And it sounds like Khobstetter is taking the high road and not bad-mouthing anyone, unlike the client with her back-handed comments.

My trainer wants to make a living at training, but she isn't "in it for the money." She appreciates that a lot of us need to do horses on a budget, her rates are more than reasonable and she doesn't nickle and dime anyone. And yes, she was hurt by someone leaving the barn. Because she had invested in the kid for years and they just tossed her out for a "new and improved" version.

(Varsity Team: aren't you the author of the Owner's Bill of Rights letter? Maybe you have seen one extreme while there is a whole spectrum of trainers out there?)

Varsity team
Jul. 2, 2003, 02:38 PM
Rugbug,

Guilty as charged.And I must admit, I know a few honest trainers. But after forty plus years in the horse world, I know a whole heap more greedy, unscrupulous ones.

FatAppyRosie
Jul. 2, 2003, 03:25 PM
My trainer got mad when people left, she would give them the silent treatment. I think that some trainers think they know everything and take offense when someone leaves for a better trainer. I have tried to mantain a relationship with my old trainer, but it's hard when someone is giving you the silent treatment. I think trainers should be able to deal with that kind of stuff, but I think it's just as much the laeavees responsibility to not burn their bridges behind them.


http://community.webshots.com/user/ifihadwords4u

bitsy
Jul. 2, 2003, 03:48 PM
Here we go again - bashing in a general sense. The horse business is like any business - there are good ones and not so good. If you did your homework, you would find the good ones. Honestly, I have been boarding since I was 7 years old. I have worked for Trainers and Barn Mgrs. to make ends meet when I was a kid and I really think horsepeople are the strangest bunch of people and so anal about everything - get a life. If you are not happy, just don't go there. If you don't like certain horse shows - don't go there, but stop all the petty bad mouthing - it makes YOU look bad and pretty soon people think you are just a troublemaker and those that are truly in it to learn and enjoy riding don't care to be around those that spend all their time being petty about trainers, barn help and oh yes, even other customers behind their backs. Careful - they are probably talking about you now !! I just want to ride and and enjoy my horse and I get so sick of going to the barn and all the social b.s. w/ some customers that just makes me sick.

khobstetter
Jul. 2, 2003, 04:06 PM
Liverpool...

Maybe You are way to quick to ASSUME those conversations never took place with this client...they did..to ad nauseaum

I "gave" the extras because I believed there was a committment to work together to an end goal...the child was a winner, the horse was a winner, the horse was sound and the conversations (many many many many) all centered around the goals of this child, and never was there a disagreement between me and this client..

They did not come into more money, they nickled and dimed me...I am not angry NOR do I regret anything I did for that client...I am just extremely hurt and insulted they did what they did...

I have had many of the remaining parents say to me that I will probably never give and help any of them again...THEY ARE WRONG...I did not do it for any other reason than I adored that child, not for any other return...

I REFUSE to treat the rest, and any future clients, differently because one bad apple acted rotten...I will again give and enjoy kids and riders because that is who and what I am...

RUGBUG has a grip on this one issue...

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Khobstetter's example proves that. She was helping out someone for less than the going rate because she thought they could use a hand. The client should've stepped forward when finances were better to say thanks and that they could now pay the going rate. Instead they imposed on Khobstetter and you can tell that she's hurt by it. I would be too.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

VARSITY TEAM...

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> You guys don't seem to give ANY credibility to the fact that every good trainer puts their heart and soul into their clients...

And their hands in our pockets.

I believe KHobstetter went on to say that "trainers aren't in it for the money."

ROFL
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

ROFL if you wish..........

GEEZ girl...if I did what some other trainers did...I WOULD BE A RICH RICH PERSON...but I am not, I stress every month just to pay the bills...

PLEASE do not grouP us all together, just as you would not appreciate me lumping ALL OF YOU together and judging you by the worst client we know..

Seems like some of you are doing that..we won't judge you by "your" worst if you won't judge us by "our" worst..

PS..THEY NEVER EVEN SAID THANKS...

http://www.foxpointefarm.com
http://www.go-sho.org

Blue Devil
Jul. 2, 2003, 04:54 PM
I am surprised no one brought up the concept of "I 'made' her, she can't leave" yet (I'm not sure I know how to describe this in words well).

I've heard trainers say, "I am shocked so-and-so had the audacity to leave my barn. I made her. I took her from small ponies to winning the junior jumpers and big eqs in WPB."

Isn't there sometimes an issue of riders (typically older juniors) and 'ownership' in a sense by trainers? I think this plays into the "angry" trainer syndrome.

Sorry if I make no sense http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Funny Quotation for July (that week thing was just too hard):
"A horse may be coaxed to drink, but a pencil must be lead."
~ Stan Laurel

tatertot
Jul. 2, 2003, 05:08 PM
I think what happened to khobsetter was unfair and obviously those clients were more selfish and didn't consider her feelings at all, she helped their child and they should have at least compensated her in some way prior to leaving, it doesn't cost anything to say thank you and tell someone you appreciate them, that goes for trainers and clients alike. Trainers are only people and some are great, some are mediocre and some are horrible. I have experienced both and I have to say after being with the not so nice trainer I appreciate my nice trainer that much more.

Beezer
Jul. 2, 2003, 05:10 PM
Liverpool and Beezer, separated at birth! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Do I want my trainer to be "vested" in my success? Sure. But I do **not** expect her to be there for me 24/7. She has a life. This is her business, her livelihood. Frankly, if she doesn't have a life outside horses and her business, then she has very little life experience and probably can't carry on a normal conversation. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

I also do not expect her to go above and beyond for me ... it would make me feel horribly guilty, to be honest, and beholden.

KHobstetter, you presented your case and your reasons; allow me to present mine, which will explain why I feel the way I do. When I was not even a teen, I rode with a trainer I considered a god; I worshipped her. My parents had scrimped and saved every dime to buy a horse that could do the A's. This trainer gave us lots of breaks, gave me the opportunity to ride other horses, supplied me some show items out of her own tack shop. Heck, she even would buy my lunch when I forgot my lunch money.

She also kept track of every break, every ride I got on every horse, each show item, and every dime of lunch money. When she heard that my sister got a job with --GASP! -- another trainer, she wrongly assumed that my horse and I would be going, too.

She presented my parents with a bill for THOUSANDS of dollars. Put a padlock on my horse's door. Told them she was taking them to court for every single cent they owed her, even though none of this had ever been presented as being done except out of the goodness of heart for a worthy student.

My horse was sold to another kid in the barn to pay that bill. I stopped riding for years because of the experience.

So, while you and other trainers think that you are doing us a favor by "investing" so much of yourselves in us, I, for one, would prefer that you do not. Give me the services I want and can pay for; give me the professional treatment I deserve; give me the time and attention that I pay for. Anything else is going to make me, given what I have endured in the past, VERY uncomfortable and not likely to stick around.

It is also going to make me wonder what benefits other clients are getting ... and whether they are getting "more" for their dollars and I'm subsidizing them. Which is also not gonna make me happy. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

***Dear Sam: All I really want for my birthday is FLYING LEAD CHANGES!!*** http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_mad.gif

Blue Devil
Jul. 2, 2003, 05:41 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Beezer:
She presented my parents with a bill for THOUSANDS of dollars. Put a padlock on my horse's door. Told them she was taking them to court for every single cent they owed her, even though none of this had _ever_ been presented as being done except out of the goodness of heart for a worthy student.

My horse was sold to another kid in the barn to pay that bill. I stopped riding for years because of the experience.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif That's horrible of the trainer http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Funny Quotation for July (that week thing was just too hard):
"A horse may be coaxed to drink, but a pencil must be lead."
~ Stan Laurel

levremont
Jul. 2, 2003, 06:43 PM
Yes that's it we trainers, are ALL in it because of the money!!!How many hours do you work a week?

Liverpool
Jul. 2, 2003, 06:48 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Beezer:
Liverpool and Beezer, separated at birth! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
&lt;snip&gt;

So, while you and other trainers think that you are doing us a favor by "investing" so much of yourselves in us, I, for one, would prefer that you do not. Give me the services I want and can pay for; give me the professional treatment I deserve; give me the time and attention _that I pay for._ Anything else is going to make me, given what I have endured in the past, VERY uncomfortable and not likely to stick around.

It is also going to make me wonder what benefits other clients are getting ... and whether they are getting "more" for their dollars and I'm subsidizing them. Which is also not gonna make me happy. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Beezer!!! My long lost TWIN!!!!

All I have to say is... AMEN. You put my feelings into words so perfectly.

Thanks http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

"It's a funny thing about life: If you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it." ---W. Somerset Maugham

Horsepower
Jul. 2, 2003, 06:49 PM
It seems to me that the trainers participating in this debate ARE taking things too personally. The bottom line is that riders come and riders go. It is part of the business you are in. Some of us are more serious about riding than others. If we want to move to be with a friend or because another barn has a "pretty" lounge, that is our right. Or even if we are bored and want a change of scenery. You come across as a much classier professional if you just remain friendly with your current and former boarders. It really doesn't matter why we chose to leave. Even if we think MAYBE we might do better with a change. Why take this personally? It's silly. As far as how much of a financial break you give us or how much effort you invest in us, that is your choice. That's why we stayed with you when we did. If you are nice to us when we leave, we are much more likely to recommend that people use you. Never burn your bridges. It may come back to haunt you. I have changed trainers or barns for various reasons over the years, but the people who were kind to me after I left are the ones I constantly refer business to. Actually, I've been lucky. I have remained friendly with every former trainer or barn owner of mine. I think that is because all of them have been classy and as a result I send them as much business as I can and when I was horse hunting, I had all of them looking for me (they all knew that. I always try to be very upfront with anyone I deal with.) Anyway, my point is that you should never take it personally and always act classy when a client leaves. You won't regret it. It will ultimately benefit you.

"The older I get the harder the ground hits."

Glimmerglass
Jul. 2, 2003, 07:00 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Beezer:
She presented my parents with a bill for THOUSANDS of dollars. Put a padlock on my horse's door. Told them she was taking them to court for every single cent they owed her, even though none of this had _ever_ been presented as being done except out of the goodness of heart for a worthy student.

My horse was sold to another kid in the barn to pay that bill. I stopped riding for years because of the experience. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Obviously I don't know all the facts of this case but seriously if your parents had gone to court there is no way this EVER would have resulted in a verdict favoring the trainer.

Forfiture by reason of bogus charges you never agreed to (eg, lunches) simply wouldn't happen.

Perhaps just me but such a threat and subsequent sale would have resulted in an immediate counter suit that likely would've put said trainer in bankruptcy. And I also would've had ruined his/her reputation within minutes after I called every TV affiliate to air you crying with the horse padlocked up.

Again I don't know all the facts and I don't doubt the end result of losing the horse but sadly you didn't have to lose the horse on the face of the arguement.

Policy of Truth
Jul. 2, 2003, 07:10 PM
"Yes that's it we trainers, are ALL in it because of the money!!!How many hours do you work a week?"

http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif Yea, you're really rolling in the dough, aren't ya!

"You smell like dead bunnies"
~ Ralph, The Simpsons

Member of Hot TB Mare Clique

Beezer
Jul. 2, 2003, 07:26 PM
Glimmerglass, I'm sure you're probably correct. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif But this was a long time ago (a length of which I am not going to admit! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif ), and this trainer was a force to be reckoned with. I am quite certain my parents were simply trying to "do the right thing" and felt obligated to pay the bill. Plus, they simply wouldn't have had the heart to pursue it in court ... which is most likely exactly what the trainer figured.

But, proving that good comes from bad, if it **hadn't** happened, I never would have wound up later seeking out a new trainer, who found me my wonderful Beezer. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif So ... for that little twist of fate, I am grateful.

Of course, if were to happen again today, you can bet I'd take the exact course you mention! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

***Dear Sam: All I really want for my birthday is FLYING LEAD CHANGES!!*** http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_mad.gif

CuriousGeorge
Jul. 2, 2003, 07:39 PM
KHobstetter, an extra $10,000 in profit on the sale of your example client's horse netted you at least an extra $1000. Probably more like $1500-$2000, depending on your commission rate.

Did you ever consider that maybe that was your "payment" for turning the child and the horse into a winning combination?

khobstetter
Jul. 2, 2003, 07:51 PM
Beezer....

Someone should have bitch slapped that trainer...several times..that is simply not right...

We do (or least I do) have "a life outside the barn"... Yep sure do..but so many times it gets interrupted by a colicky horse, a loose horse in the night, an injured child in the hospital, a horse coming cross country that needs to be met in the wee hours of the morning..etc

TBmare..
you are right, it really does not matter WHY people want to leave BUT be pleasant about it and then shut the heck up... that will stop alot of the nattering you guys are whinning about here...

Just be nice, say thank you, drop a nice note or a little TINY personal gift to say thanks for the days and nights we sweat over you and then shut the heck up...

AND ONE MORE TIME.... do not judge us by our "worst" and we won't judge you by your "worst".....

http://www.foxpointefarm.com
http://www.go-sho.org

khobstetter
Jul. 2, 2003, 08:11 PM
Curious george..

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Did you ever consider that maybe that was your "payment" for turning the child and the horse into a winning combination? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

NO NO NO....that was my "payment" for not screwing them and getting them more than someone esle would have...that was "payment" for fighting on their behalf to get a really great price to them for their horse...that was "payment" for putting up with at least 20 hours AND 25 PHONE CALLS (yes 20 and 25!!) of listening to them whine and gripe and vasilate and waver and make getting the deal done at all difficult...that was "payment" for trailering the horse to the buyer, clipping, bathing, riding, marketing, board for the days it was there (I paid), driving 1 entire day to pick up the cashier's checks from the buyers back to the sellers....

GEEZ Curious George, maybe I should have charged by the service instead of a fair %..then I would be richer by far..

Maybe that is part of the problem here..Curoius George seems to think that I made a commission based on the training and success of the child AND I THINK IT WAS A FAIR % ON THE SALE OF THE HORSE... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

http://www.foxpointefarm.com
http://www.go-sho.org

Liverpool
Jul. 2, 2003, 08:17 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by khobstetter:
Liverpool...

Maybe You are way to quick to ASSUME those conversations never took place with this client...they did..to ad nauseaum

I "gave" the extras because I believed there was a committment to work together to an end goal...the child was a winner, the horse was a winner, the horse was sound and the conversations (many many many many) all centered around the goals of this child, and never was there a disagreement between me and this client.. &lt;big snip&gt; <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Khobstetter, actually I was not directing my advice at your specific situation, although honestly I feel that it applies.

I am sorry that you went through this, and that you felt poorly treated.

All I am suggesting is that you do not do more than you feel is fair. Beezer said it better than I did - don't give to the point where you feel the client is indebted or beholden to you.

People's goals and ambitions do change. Focus your energy on your current clients, who sound like they do appreciate what you do...hang in there.

"It's a funny thing about life: If you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it." ---W. Somerset Maugham

brilyntrip
Jul. 2, 2003, 08:55 PM
Really what Knoby has said is very typical of what happens all too often.It's happened to me more than once , the last time was the final nail in the coffin.I think many of us pros do the extra mile because initially it doesn't seem TOO much to do that lil'extra.Then all of a sudden it really is too much and they are leaving for someone else who will take them to the cleaners.rarely do these types make that big step to the big time successfully.About my last one ?A kid that went from being so afraid to canter at all that many lessons were simply three steps at a time till she got calmer was champion in low level equitation at the biggest of east coast shows high score every thing for three years.Always mounted on lovely animals.Now rides with a local "EQUITATION TRAINER" hasn't won a class in a year.Recently at a show I managed the judge( who is a personal friend) in big equitation ring said to me about this rider "Now what the hell am I supposed to do with this ??Its just too awful to look at!"Needless to say I kept my mouth shut... But it cured me. I am interested in people who don't want or need hand holding mothering etc.I am very happy judging every single weekend.Anyone who isn't serious is wasting my time .I am literally done and am not interested in any more.Let them go buy something from a new trainer that makes a 40 k commission(sp?)My conscience is clear I can live with myself and sleep well.

Kylie
Jul. 3, 2003, 12:44 AM
http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/cry.gif To all trainers: how close are you to Lancaster California? Bought 60 miles north of Burbank... lol!

ñëllÃ¥,kÝlïê,§ädÃ*e
dOñt hÃ¥Tê më bEcãuÅ¡e ¡m bʪut¡ful hÄtË më ߀çaù§è Â¥oü® mÃn â€*HÏñkÅ* i Ã¥m

Monarch
Jul. 3, 2003, 04:53 AM
My thoughts on why this happens is because the lines between trainer & customer gets blurred with the underling thought of friendship not just business by both parties. As some people have shared their generousity extended to their clients of horse use and the like as well as clients extending their generousity of helping trainers who are going threw personal crisis & the like. I think people who do these things are wonderful for doing them but you are setting yourselves up to get burned IMO. One usually only does such things for a friend not a business acquaintance. So to me it is not surprising that trainers feel angry that people leave it is not only rejection of them professionaly but also personally, two fold.
Bottom line it is a business both parties need to see it that way & try to keep the line drawn clearly in the sand for both parties sanity. No one goes into this business to get rich but they need to make a living. A person who owns a horse & pays for service should expect that but no more.
Justy my two cents.

RolexH
Jul. 3, 2003, 05:30 AM
While I am reading this all I can hear is my old trainer in my head. He is passed away now, but before he died, he had a very successful business. He told the woman, who took over his barn after he passed, his best piece of advice. He said NEVER be best friends with your clients.

I never really understood that because we were a really close nit barn and all friends. But I don't think he ment it that way. He had been screwed bending over backwards in the past for his "friends." He realized that there was a higher respect for him and him for others if they mantained a more professional relationship. Less feelings involved.

This doesn't mean we didn't all have a great time and love one another. BUT I look back at him and how much I revered/respected him and I know a lot of that was because he defined the lines very well. He was my trainer, my mentor and teacher.

Since then I have ridden at barns where the trainer has been buddies with all the clients. Sleepovers with the kids before the shows, parents hanging out till all hours at the trainer's house, etc... That can work too for them.. However, feelings get hurt a lot more and people feel even more burnt when a client leaves.

That is just my experience.

Also knob: You sound like a great trainer with a great heart. I don't think it is as common it should be. There are some dirty dirty buisnessmen/women in this industry. They may be the minority, but when you run across just one it is all you remember for some time.

~~Lisa~~
Aiden's page.. DOING GREAT!! (http://www.hometown.aol.com/rolexh/Aidenshope.html)

Recycle yourself; Be an organ donor http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

2Bays
Jul. 3, 2003, 06:34 AM
Wow, some of these stories are terrible!! I think it goes both ways - sometimes trainers are jerks and sometimes clients are jerks. Khobstetter, I wish I had a trainer like you!!!

In my personal situation, I just don't know why my trainer is so upset when I have told her that her training is excellent but I want a trainer who IS AROUND ON WEEKENDS so that I can have lessons and show. I don't know why that is such a crime!!

khobstetter
Jul. 3, 2003, 06:43 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>All I am suggesting is that you do not do more than you feel is fair. Beezer said it better than I did - don't give to the point where you feel the client is indebted or beholden to you.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I really don't believe we (trainers) think people are "indebted or beholden" to us for the extras we do...

There is not enough money in any ones pocket to validate bad manners..It is simply good manners to say thank you and then shut the &$#^$% up with the nasty comments..

I can give you other examples over the years but I am not here to debate each and every client and situation..

AGAIN.. don't judge us by our "worst" and we won't judge you by your "worst"...

There is thread after thread after thread on these Boards about how awful and crappy and dishonest trainers are...and soooooooo many of you line up and take your pot shots...

If we, the trainers on these BB's, wanted to be really nasty we could create threads about how awful all of you clients are...we have nightmare stories that would make your's sound like Sunday school...

But we don't..we love what we do, we love the business, we love you clients, we love our lives and we sacrifice alot of good things to do this...

I think all most of us really would like, BUT DON'T EXPECT ANYMORE, is just good manners...

I have 2 young professionals working for my barn right now who were former clients.. both "went on" to "do other things" or "try other places" and BOTH are back and are now part of my staff...They and their parents were very pleasant, upfront and kind when they "moved on to other things"...

And they came back with their tails tucked..... AND THEY COULD COME BACK CAUSE THEY WERE HONEST IN THE BEGINNING, PLEASANT AFTER THEY LEFT....AND NEVER AIRED WHAT THEY CONSIDERED DIRTY LAUNDRY... and I of course never aired what I considered their dirty laundry while they were with the barn...

I value each and every rider/owner who travels through my barn...I will not change the way I treat them or give to them...I will continue to do extras...I will continue to make their "win" as important to me as it is to them..I will continue to treat their horses like they are mine..

and I will smile at myself in the mirror every morning... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

http://www.foxpointefarm.com
http://www.go-sho.org

Rosie
Jul. 3, 2003, 06:59 AM
Liverpool and Beezer - great comments, my thoughts exactly, except mine would not have been so well stated.
Beezer, what a crummy thing to have happen !
Knobstetter, you sound like a great trainer who puts your heart and soul into what you do. There will be clients who appreciate that and there will be those who take advantage of that - hopefully you will have more of the former.

Here's something no one has mentioned yet - what if the "old" trainer is being gracious, friendly and professional (at least I think they are), the client is being gracious, friendly and professional but the new trainer keeps making not so great comments about prior training? How do you say "knock it off, I recognize you do it differently...that's why I'm HERE!"?

Ghazzu
Jul. 3, 2003, 07:20 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Monarch:
My thoughts on why this happens is because the lines between trainer & customer gets blurred with the underling thought of friendship not just business by both parties. As some people have shared their generousity extended to their clients of horse use and the like as well as clients extending their generousity of helping trainers who are going threw personal crisis & the like. I think people who do these things are wonderful for doing them but you are setting yourselves up to get burned IMO. One usually only does such things for a friend not a business acquaintance. So to me it is not surprising that trainers feel angry that people leave it is not only rejection of them professionaly but also personally, two fold.
Bottom line it is a business both parties need to see it that way & try to keep the line drawn clearly in the sand for both parties sanity. No one goes into this business to get rich but they need to make a living. A person who owns a horse & pays for service should expect that but no more.
Justy my two cents.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Well said. I got my feelings hurt and felt rather taken advantage of at one point because I confused a business relationship with a trainer with a friendship. Once I realized that she was looking at the relationship as a professional one and not a personal one, I adjusted my expectations accordingly, and things were fine.
(Not that she was *unfriendly*, simply that to her, I was a client, not a personal friend.)

Unashamed member of the Arab clique...just settin' on the Group W bench.

Merry
Jul. 3, 2003, 07:40 AM
I have this credo where I never post on potentially cantankerous threads, but here goes anyway. What Beezer said is true. That exact thing happened with our original huntseat trainer when we were kids and it broke my sister's heart and I will feel guilty forever because it was my wanting to leave the trainer that provoked the whole situation. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

That being said, thank God there are very generous trainers who still go out of their way to lend a leg-up to juniors who otherwise would not have a chance to get near a good horse. Unfortunately, though, that does set the trainer up for hurt and disappointment if and when that client leaves, regardless of the reason.

My friends/acquaintances who are trainers tell me the one thing that bothers them most about their job, philosophically, is lack of client loyalty. Regardless of how well they treat their clients eventually, it seems, they all move on. Often, it hurts. I'm sure I would take it personally, which is another reason I'd never be a professional.

The bad mouthing of a past trainer? Eh. Honest to God, I've heard horror stories about pretty much every pro from coast to coast and unless there's something truly heinous that's unequivocally documented and becomes a pattern of behavior, I let it go in one ear and out the other. After a while, it's the gossiping past clients who are the tacky ones. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"A man in the house is worth two on the street." - Mae West

Varsity team
Jul. 3, 2003, 07:41 AM
Once again...This is a business. I own a restaurant. When my customers chose to dine somewhere other than my restaurant, I do not:

Stalk them
Talk about them amongt the other customers
Act rudely towards them when I see them
Call other restaurants and suggest they not serve them

I work harder to be the best proprieter. Sometimes this is ineffective. Sometimes peoplearejerks. But I go to bed at night knowing I work my butt off to do the best I can to keep my customers happy and healthy.

Liverpool
Jul. 3, 2003, 09:25 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> My friends/acquaintances who are trainers tell me the one thing that bothers them most about their job, philosophically, is lack of client loyalty. Regardless of how well they treat their clients eventually, it seems, they all move on. Often, it hurts. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I have heard the same thing numerous times.

My response is always the same: You are running a business, and you provide certain services and a philosophy that is unique to your style. You charge for these services, and your client pays for them. Done properly, you are "even" at all times.

It is not a personal attack when a client decides a different program would better suit their needs at a given point in time. People should not have to sign loyalty oaths to be decent clients.

Clients are entitled to act like the consumers that they are, and to pay for the services and the service provider that they prefer. To act like a dumped boyfriend or girlfriend in these situations is unprofessional and inappropriate.

Of course - the same is true of professionals, who are free to choose the customers they take on, and who can end the business relationship if and when they find that the arrangement is no longer productive.

Business relationships can be friendly and pleasant while remaining professional. To treat them otherwise puts the economic relationship at risk - not unlike embarking on a romantic relationship in the office. You *may* end up with an improved personal life... and you may wind up fired. Or... you may end up having to work with someone with whom you are no longer comfortable.

"It's a funny thing about life: If you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it." ---W. Somerset Maugham

AAJumper
Jul. 3, 2003, 09:45 AM
Beezer, that is a horrible story! How awful for a trainer to do that to a kid!

Also, I agree with Liverpool about things being upfront from the beginning. For example, I groomed in exchange for lessons when I first started riding. But it was a set wage...I earned $X/hour, and when I accumulated X hours, I got a lesson. My trainer trusted me to keep track of the hours, but still, we both felt fairly compensated and neither felt they were doing the other a favor. Inevitably, it seems when favors, etc. are traded in some way, that each party somehow winds up feeling like they are giving more than they are taking.

Hopeful Hunter
Jul. 3, 2003, 10:04 AM
I sometimes wonder why trainers don't take a business class or two BEFORE they go into training!

Trainers, no matter how good or bad, are in a service profession. After they differentiate themselves on discipline, style (full care or not, show barn or not, local or not) and such then their approach to how they provide their service is a main distinguishing factor. And let me say, if a trainer has NOT thought about where he/she wants to fit in on the "food chain" of the industry, that's a business problem imo.

I think, though, many trainers DON"T think of "what kind of business do I want to be and how do I want to run that business?" and then find themselves upset when a client does something that seems "wrong" within their secret, unspoken vision of what they are offering. And I think it doesn't have to be that way.

I run a showcase PR firm (think "boutique" but much smaller). I can't tell you the number of client's I've "raised" who have left for fancier, bigger agencies, or worse decided to "do it themselves." In some cases, they've come back, in others not. But with one exception, NONE of them has ever left on what I'd call bad terms.

Was I hurt by some of the situations? Yes, but usually only because I'd violated my OWN rules and done more or something different for that client and then felt silly for doing it. This isn't to say I never "toss in a bit" or go above and beyond our stated parameter of work. I do, certainly, more for some clients that I simply like better, of course. BUT...if I do so, I do so by my CHOICE. I do not expect the client to notice or to take it into consideration if they make a change.

It sounds like most of the issues raised - including Knobstetter's - could be avoided or minimized if clear, basic business and communication principles were followed.

Trainers: KNOW what business you're in and spell it out; communicate that to your clients and the public clearly; determine if you'll encourage/allow training with others or if you prefer clients to move on; give "extras" because YOU want to and/or because it will potentially reflect well on you (what I call the "enlightened self interest" aspect of things like donations) and make smart use of those gifts (ie Don't just coach the promising local kid for free, spend the $100 and take an ad in the local association program saying "Congrats Sally on your success! I'm glad all those extra hours we spent really made and impact and I'm proud of your efforts." THAT shows YOU helped her!); DO NOT expect any form of payback for going above and beyond your agreed scope of work besides that which you arrange.

Clients: KNOW what kind of barn/trainer you're with; be clear about your goals and resources UP FRONT; if your goals and/or resources change and that changes your riding, speak to the trainer/barn about it at once; if you are offered something extra ASK if there is a cost associated! Don't assume it's just being given to you (there is NO shame in saying "wow, I'd love the ride on your show horse but I don't think I can afford it" and seeing what the response is); GIVE CREDIT to the trainer for helping you; IMMEDIATELY DISCUSS any concerns but do so respectfully at an appropriate time and place (and trainers, this DESERVES a professional response).

If you DO do something that's petty or nasty or just wrong, apologize. Clients and trainers are human and often highly emotional about their horses and their riding. It's easy to let that overrule cool business sense sometimes. But it's never inappropriate to say "hey, I made an error there and I'd like to talk about it" and apologize and explain.

Both trainers and clients can and should expect to be treated with courtesy and professionalism. If either party is not, bring the issue up and resolve it, or agree that a parting is best.

The hardest thing is not to take it all personally. Because, on both ends, it IS personal to some extent, and it's very emotional. Training is a profession, but it's one that calls for large parts of counseling, caring and patience to do it well. But it's also one that requires good communication skills, and that's something to keep in mind.

Policy of Truth
Jul. 3, 2003, 10:14 AM
I am a VERY loyal person, to a fault. But when a person is ready to say good-bye, why not let them go? I see a lot of this as a boundary issue.

If you are dating someone, and they decide they no longer want the relationship to continue, it is much more healthy to let them go then to try and force them into staying with you. The truth is, the relationship is ineffective if one person is more invested than the other.

Knobsetter, I'm sure your situation is real, and I understand where you are comming from, but can you understand why some people leave some trainers? I could show you pics of my first horse that would make you cry, from where they were not feeding my horse hay, and saying he was dropping weight due to his age (16 at the time).

I admit, sometimes my mouth runs faster than my brain. But I am also the most outspoken person when a trainer does his/her job well and is honest. And believe it or not, I have trained with people who I was told were not any good...but I'm the kind of person that likes to experience a trainer for myself before I judge.

I guess what the OP was saying is that when a client leaves a barn, it is hard to understand why when it really isn't a good fit for us, that we have to endure "ugliness" when we leave? Why don't trainers want to keep the door open so we can return if we choose to?

[This message was edited by pacificsolo on Aug. 12, 2003 at 09:06 PM.]

icebird
Jul. 3, 2003, 10:38 AM
Well, for some it may be a question of economics, though that should not make them angry with the client who is leaving..It's not the client's fault that the trainer isn't earning enough. In your case, 2Bays, I think you have no reason to feel guilty about leaving your trainer. She sounds as if her commitment to her profession is sadly lacking and your horse could suffer for that reason. We own a boarding stable in the Sacramento area, and I can tell you that if we're going to be away for the evening (very rare!) that someone will be recruited to give the horses their dinner and evening snacks are made up and ready to be fed. If we go away overnight (even rarer!) there is someone there at the farm. Though our farm, at the moment, doesn't have anyone going to muti-day shows, those happen over the weekends, always, and since our trainer also does dog-agility shows, which also take place on weekends, we get together and plan which shows we are going to and if there is a conflict, we work that out...planning ahead.. You are obviously ready to move on to a trainer who is more committed to the profession and I don't think you need to feel bad about it in any way. Give your notice, and go, and just say, if anyone asks, that it was time for you to move on. If you hear of your trainer bad-mouthing you, you're welcome to answer any comments you hear with" No, that's not it, it was time to move on" and let it go. Believe me, that's a much classier thing to do than giving the real reason for your leaving this trainer..her lack of commitment to the job. It's time to move on.

Anyplace Farm
Jul. 3, 2003, 11:39 AM
I have to knock on wood when I say that in 20 years, I have only had one client leave me and that one really hurt...one of those that you put your heart and soul into, you do all kinds of stuff for free, the kid is champion every weekend then the parents want to trade up.

I have ended my relationship with three others and just let one walk away before it ever started because I could see the writing on the wall that the mother and child were going to be a headache. My other clients have been with me for 6+ years and others that drifted off thru normal attrition such as going to college, moving, etc. But then again, I only have a group of no more than four at a time so it is easier for me to give real one-on-one attention and I think it tends to hold your clients longer because getting all your TLC is unavoidable.

But those who run larger operations are going to suffer more relationship loss, I believe. I'm sure someone has already said it here but I think what all trainers hate is how a client decides to leave but keeps it a secret. I've seen it first hand and it's just not fair to the individual that gave you all that time. Granted, they were compensated for it, but the horse trainer/client relationship is pretty different from other business dealings.

True, if you don't like the food at a restaurant, you go to another. Last pedicure sucked, you switch salons, etc. But with horse stuff, it's just different and I don't need to bore you with the whys...you know why. That's why you tried to keep things secret in the first place.

What I do right at the beginning of a relationship is, I show them on paper what my expectations are, right down to how they dress themselves or groom their horses for schooling. I have them sign a relationship agreement that says that they understand what I'm looking for.

I tell them up front that at some point, we are going to have disagreements on a host of things. But to understand that it can all be worked out with discussion. I tell them that I plan on exposing them to as much as possible so that they know where they can go in this sport. I tell them that at some point, they may feel as though they have outgrown me, or I may feel the same. I tell them that should that happen, I will help them find a good trainer that is a move up, vs. a lateral or downward move. I always say, "If you're going to leave me, please trade up." Then, knowing that at some point, moving on might be inevitable, I have them sign a separation agreement that explains how to do it, i.e., let's have a conversation and part as friends. Then, no one is in the dark on whether or not I am approachable on a topic such as severance.

Given my track record with clients, it works for me and everyone stays happy and civil. The most important thing I have learned along the way is that people will take advantage of you, without even being cognizant of it. One of the ones that I fired, I did so because she just would not follow the basic expectations that others were dilligently following such as show preparation. As usual, I poured my efforts into her not-so-talented child because I truly believed in the child. I spent the last seven days of my vacation (which I can never, never take) driving over an hour to pick up her child, drive her to the barn and give her a 1-2 hr private lesson for a mere $35.

During a heated discussion with this client, I brought this up and she yelled at me saying, "You were PAID!" In her mind, I had been compensated for my time and guess what, she was right. Why? Because that's what I charged her. She wasn't the first to teach me this lesson but the lesson is, charge for your time. All of it. Everything. You feel a lot less ripped off when you don't do all those nice little things that the other smart trainers are making a living off of.

Lastly (and sorry this is long-winded), a good piece of advice a marriage counselor gave me after my divorce when I said to her, "I feel like I should do more...and I do so much. But I figure if I do more, he'll notice and appreciate it and will reciprocate. I'm killing myself constantly trying to do more and I never get anything in return." She said, "Ms. Anyplace, how many times do you recall thanking your mother for all the nice things she did for you? Bottom line is, it just doesn't work that way. Someone is only going to contribute what you see right up front. Just because you do more, doesn't mean they are going to give more as well. Like your mother was to you, you are designed to do more and give more. Accept that others will not." I did (but I did find a better man that matches my efforts).

A client goes to you for a service and it is up to you to charge them for it when you provide the service. If they feel you are longer able to provide the service, they will want to leave you. If you are able to maintain a good relationship, you should continue your professionalism by guiding them on their next path. And it is best to keep a certain professional distance so that everyone has some wiggle room if need be.

`````````````````````````````````````````
"I NOW INFORM YOU THAT YOU ARE TOO FAR FROM REALITY."
Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, Iraqi Minister of Information

"Life ain't certain...ride your best horse first." Unknown

jackson
Jul. 3, 2003, 12:34 PM
My take on it is that because most of those who are in this business make it personal. Trainers & owners of facilities take it personally when you leave them. You really cant mix business with pleasure. I forget what professional rider made that statement years ago, but I will always remember that and I will never be in the business. I want it to be fun, not work.

"Anger is the only thing that won't go away by losing it." - Jack Nicholson in Anger Management

---They all laughed at me when I said warmbloods would make good hunters. But I knew! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif---

CuteHunter
Jul. 3, 2003, 01:31 PM
I definitely think one of the major issues is that is that for some reason in riding the line between client and friend doesnt seem to exist. Most trainers I have trained with treated all their students like friends. I wonder what the riding world would be like if trainers were required to act like teachers- they get each student for a set amount of time, then the kid moves on- while the student is training with them, they act like teachers do now, NO hugging, NO real comforting, NO special treatment. I dont think I would personally want that, but it would be interesting to see what that would be like.

Personally, I like my trainers to take a personal interest in me (khobstetter would be the perfect trainer for me) and because I often need to be able to work off some of my fees, I need the trainer to care enough about me to make that work. That being said, if a trainer is kind enough to do that, I will always treat that job as i would any other job- always on time or early, working hard to keep the job and if I have to leave, I will give as much notice as possible. Unless the situation was dangerous, I will not talk about after I leave- there is no point.

Personally, I was in a situation once where half the barn was leaving to go to another situation and half was staying. I was in the part that was leaving and as an 12 year old kid, i burned all sorts of bridges. Now mistakes were made by all parties (i am sure everyone involved had something to lose/gain by the splitting of the barn) but I think I may have made the most. At 18, I went back to the original barn. A lot had changed there but many of the people were the same. I was impressed to see that everyone involved took the high road- we all acted like we were meeting for the first time, no negative past history. I left that barn again (because i moved far far away) but I would recommend to anyone because of the professional attitude I obsereved.

Trainers- you dont have to not care about your clients, we love it when you care but you always have to remember that we are clients- whether you are helping us out or not- we chose to come to you and we can choose to leave.

Clients- understand that most trainers want to help you, they want you to succeed. Understand also that they are people with feelings- they give up much of their lives so we can ride and so our horses are cared for. When/if you decide to leave, say thank-you and maybe get a small gift and then (as khobstetter said) SHUT UP- unless there are dangerous practices involved, NO ONE benefits from trash talking each other.

Whew, long post http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

CuriousGeorge
Jul. 3, 2003, 04:15 PM
"and I of course never aired what I considered their dirty laundry while they were with the barn"

Pot I mean khobstetter, this is kettle calling. What exactly do you consider the information you have revealed on this thread regarding your example exclient? I don't live on your coast much less in your area but if I did, I would probably know whom you were discussing. That's hardly fair, since your exclient is not here posting their family's side of the story.

Copper Queen
Jul. 3, 2003, 04:25 PM
I've never had a client go to another barn. They just get so fed up with horses and showing they quit altogether!

khobstetter
Jul. 3, 2003, 04:32 PM
OK guys,,,,getting nasty here....I'm out of here....

Relaying an example here just pissed off curious george....

Sorry...be nasty away if you wish....I tried to help..but nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo..
The point is still the same..

Never do you pay us enough money for bad manners...NOR nasty tongues...

PS curious george..you would NOT http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif know who it is, I left out the really good parts that would indicate just exactly who it was....

http://www.foxpointefarm.com
http://www.go-sho.org

Horsepower
Jul. 3, 2003, 08:42 PM
OK. I hope this isn't too off-topic but I am curious to know what everyone's reaction is to this question. What do you think the right thing is for a trainer to do when a client takes a bad fall and has to be rushed to the hospital in an ambulance? A barn-owner and I were discussing this true situation once. A trainer we knew who had taught a girl for 6+ years was very well treated by her. The girl bought the trainer expensive gifts such as a new Butet saddle. The girl bought two very expensive horses with the trainer and paid hefty commissions. The trainer, who had no horses of his own, got to show these horses on the A circuit. The girl lived in this country all alone with no parents. After taking a terrible fall in a lesson, the girl was shoved in the ambulence and the trainer continued to teach the rest of his lessons. I said that for such a good client, where the trainer doesn't know if the client may be paralyzed or die, the trainer had a moral obligation to go in the ambulence. This girl did not even have any family in this country to go to the hospital. This girl subsequently left the trainer after this incident. So what do you guys think? I say a trainer should go with the client when an accident is very serious. What's your take?

"The older I get the harder the ground hits."

CrazyCorgi
Jul. 3, 2003, 08:59 PM
I have given notices at barns and been kicked out before my notice was up. Not owing bills, not bad mouthing and just the feeling that I needed to move on or changing disciplines.

I am now a trainer and I can tell you that the only thing that upsets me are people that don't pay, parents that don't understand a childs love of horses and rips them away from it when you are doing everything financially to make it happen. Mostly my heart and soul goes into my business and had to get out if it for a while because the bad apples ruined it for the good ones. People who are energy vampires. I felt I was becoming one of those heartless trainers I was with.

I have since stepped back to step back in again with a new perspective.

I have never kicked someone out because they needed to move on or change, I feel that I am not the norm. I want to always be a compassionate always improving trainer and teacher. My hope is that I made a difference or touched the lives of those around me in a positive way.

It is actually a challenge to keep a perspective on the fact that this is a love and a dream come true and not to let anyone ruin it because it is not there dream.

Darlene
http://www.kidssportsnet.com/equestrian/crazycorgi/

*Polo*
*Wicked Wanda*

*It's what you learn after you know it all that counts* JW

AAJumper
Jul. 3, 2003, 09:06 PM
TBMare, I suppose it depends on the situation. Did the trainer go to the hospital at least after teaching lessons? How old of a girl are we talking about?

When I had a nasty crash at a show, my friend rode in the ambulance with me (not that it would have mattered because I was so out of it mentally) and my trainer stayed at the show to finish up with two students. Then she immediately came to the hospital. I had no problem with that and definitely appreciated that she came. Depending on the type of accident, there is nothing for the person accompanying you to do. However, I think it would be nice of them to show up later on! My friend and my trainer spent quite some time with me in the ER and also in ICU (the nurses let them sneak in even though only family is usually allowed), and while I don't really remember much (HEAVY drugs) I did really appreciate that they were there. If she hadn't have come at all, I might have been upset, but the fact that she stayed to finish the clients didn't bother me. In fact, the first thing I remember after the accident was her telling me what happened, and that my horse was fine. I was remembering an accident she told me about a fews years back where the horse died and they didn't tell the rider right away, so in my altered mental stated I said, accusingly "are you LYING to me????" My poor trainer!

Horsepower
Jul. 3, 2003, 09:14 PM
The girl was in her early 20s. I don't think he ever went to the hospital. He just called the next day. The horse had stepped on the girl's chest so it could have been life threatening. I thought he should have done more. But I really wanted to know what trainers thought was the right thing to do in many different situations. Not just in this one. It's hard for me to picture teaching the next student when you know the one you just finished with might be seriously hurt. How do trainers concentrate on the next lesson? I don't think I'd be able to.

"The older I get the harder the ground hits."

RolexH
Jul. 4, 2003, 06:19 AM
Wow this trainer sounds like a real jerk. I don't know if he is obligated to go, but I am shocked he didn't!

In college, I had this embarressing fall. (feel off on a flying lead CHANGE!! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif ) It didn't look too bad but it HURT! I couldn't walk my hip was jammed up and an old tailbone injury was haunting me. My trainer came with me sat in the ER for HOURS, helped fill out papers, etc... She was NOT obligated but just being nice. I guess she knew I wouldn't stop whining if I didn't go the the ER. I was a BIG TIME baby before I had Aiden. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Anyway, After that all of these barn kids came to visit and cheer me up. It was really nice. They had me laughing in stiches the whole time. After the pain meds kicked in. HAHA

~~Lisa~~
Aiden's page.. DOING GREAT!! (http://www.hometown.aol.com/rolexh/Aidenshope.html)

Recycle yourself; Be an organ donor http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Rocky
Jul. 4, 2003, 09:27 AM
TBMare- I am going to play "devils advocate" here. What if you were one of the clients in the next lesson, and the trainer, with no notice to the rest of the riders, rushed off to the hospital with an injured rider.

I am not refering to you specifically, but I have been in that situation, I followed the ambulance to the hospital, waited for 16 hours, only to return to the barn to an answering machine full of complaints about not being at the farm for the regularly scheduled lessons....Even after explaining the situation to each and every person, who's lesson I missed, there were still several who were totally p***ed off that I chose to go to the hospital at that time.

Trainers/Instructors who manage "big" riding programs on their own are often placed in that "damned if they do;damned if they don't" situation. It is possible that the man you are referring to felt a greater need to stay at the farm.

In retrospect, I probably should have finished that day's lessons and then to the hospital. After all we are the horse trainers not the medical professionals.

po*po
Jul. 4, 2003, 11:06 AM
I think a lot of it is money... when someone leaves the trainer loses some money. A lot of this business is the money (for some). Another is after some people leave, they have friends from the old barn, they tell them how good their new barn is and how they should come to. One person leaving could mean 5 or 6 in the end...

J*C
-when I'm upon my horse my heart is no longer in my chest, but between my knees-

AAJumper
Jul. 4, 2003, 01:28 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TBMare:
The girl was in her early 20s. I don't think he ever went to the hospital. He just called the next day. The horse had stepped on the girl's chest so it could have been life threatening. I thought he should have done more. But I really wanted to know what trainers thought was the right thing to do in many different situations. Not just in this one. It's hard for me to picture teaching the next student when you know the one you just finished with might be seriously hurt. How do trainers concentrate on the next lesson? I don't think I'd be able to.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, my trainer was extremely upset...I mean, she thought I was dead at first (literally), but as they say, "the show must go on." I don't know how she managed to school someone after that happened, especially since he was doing the same class that I crashed in, but she did. Of course, that is a different situation that just lessons. But usually they make everyone stay out in the waiting room anyway when someone has to go to the ER, initially at least. Anyhow, I just wanted to point out that just because she didn't ride in the ambulance with me didn't mean that she didn't care...she was very upset and she came as soon as she could, which was rather quickly.

khobstetter
Jul. 4, 2003, 06:02 PM
AAJumper...

Your trainer is absolutely one of the most sincere and feeling trainers in the LA area.... if she didn't go right with you it had NOTHING to do with her not caring or feeling...

I personally do not know her BUT I do know "the word on the street" and she is one of the best with her clients and one of the most supportive...

It is a shame someone would interpret that as not feeling...

But thats how "bad rumors" get started..someone without all the facts makes a judgement, jumps on the band wagon and starts to bad mouth someone they don't even know....usually just for the heck of it!!!!!!

Not fair, not right and so on...........

HUH...I guess that happened to me once.... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

http://www.foxpointefarm.com
http://www.go-sho.org

AAJumper
Jul. 5, 2003, 08:57 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by khobstetter:
AAJumper...

Your trainer is absolutely one of the most sincere and feeling trainers in the LA area.... if she didn't go right with you it had NOTHING to do with her not caring or feeling...
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Exactly....which is why I was using the incident of what happened as an example of how even a trainer who cares a lot might not be there in the ambulance....but it doesn't mean they care any less. But in my situation, anyone who was there knows exactly what happened and wouldn't jump to any conclusions or make judgements.

Lin
Jul. 5, 2003, 09:26 AM
I feel that if there is a bad accident and the rider is rushed to the Hospital - then the trainer's responsibility is to stay behind and continue to supervise the other riders. Especially if there are juniors or novice types. If the trainer rushes off to the hospital - there is nothing they can do anyway. Calling and visiting later once the person is allowed, is, however, much appreciated.

Lost In Space
Jul. 5, 2003, 01:41 PM
I've posted my thoughts about why trainer's act badly when a customer leaves, IMHO, I believe it's an ego thing. Most trainer's can't stand to have their clients do well under someone else. (Not all, I said most.) We changed barns because the trainer never rode my daughter's horse, he needed pro rides at least 1-2X a week. After almost 1 1/2 years we decided it was not working with the trainer and moved to a barn where he was put in training. Within 4 days after the move the old trainer called the new trainer and told her that they had a buyer for the horse (we weren't thinking about selling at that time). I was so dumbfounded as to why the old trainer never gave any indication that one of the rider's at the old barn was interested in the horse. It was finally made clear to me as to why she wanted the horse back in her barn, she could not stand watching the horse do well under the new trainer, this would have been a reflection on her as a trainer!! The horse was not sold right away but stayed in the new trainers program for 2 months before we sold him (yes back to the old barn), at the first show with the new program I had at least 6 trainers, no exageration, come up and say how glad they were that I had gotten my daughter out of the old trainer's barn and that they had never seen the horse go so well. Many told me that they thought that the old trainer was just plain mean and nasty to my daughter. My new barn cost me about 2X more a month but I knew what I was getting into, professionalism and 2 trainers who truely want what is best for the rider and their family.

Cognac
Jul. 5, 2003, 07:29 PM
With the experiences I've had leaving farms and trainers, sigh, next time I have half a mind to not have any sort of conversation and just leave. I wouldn't do that of course, but I certainly wouldn't know how to approach it again.

The last two times, I was payed up, Even payed ahead for 30 days at the last one. Politely thanked them and said I had to leave... It went down hill from there. The first place there was screaming. In hindsight I prefer that tactic more then what happened with the last farm, lol. The last one, all seemed 'okay', and as of two weeks ago, I heard yet another bit of 'crap' the trainer was flipping around.

I give up and I'm praying we just don't have to leave again. We're at a very highly regarded farm now, so I believe all is good and there won't be any farm changes necessary. Thank heavens. I'm happily paying way more than the other two, and with it has come a higher level of professionalism... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

rider11
Jul. 6, 2003, 11:10 AM
Okay, so the majority of you believe that egos are the reason trainers become upset and they should act as adults.

Let me ask this...How many of you would take it with a smile if all the trainers you left, had left you instead?? They told you that - you are just not a good enough rider, don't have enough talent, don't have enough money, your horse is not nice enough - to ride as their student. You just do not meet their standards to claim you as their students and do not want other trainers to associate your riding abilities with their training abilities.

Honestly, I don't think many of you would smile about it and be polite afterward.

barnie
Jul. 6, 2003, 11:42 AM
rider11: me thinks you may have struck upon something!! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif I would love to read some thoughtful, honest replys to this question.

Varsity team
Jul. 6, 2003, 11:55 AM
Rider11:

If that was the way it was presented, of course, any rider, any human being, would be upset because you attacked them on a personal level. BUT...Once again, trainers are in business. This is not a personal relationship. Business ethics and standards apply. You are not breaking up with your boyfriend. This is the biggest problem between customers and trainers. Trainers inability to keep their relationships professionally based. And customers inability to keep their relationships professionally based. Both parties need to remember that an exchange of dollars is what the relationship is based on.
And like any other business...the customer isn't always right, but they're still the customer. And if they are unhappy with the services a trainer is providing, it is the customers duty to themselves, and their animals, to find another trainer who can meet their needs.

barnie
Jul. 6, 2003, 12:56 PM
But Varsity Team, the customer must also remember that it is a business relationship on their end too. What I mean is...if you get fired by your trainer, they are ending a business relationship they have w/you. So you should not take it any more personally than a trainer would if they are fired by their customer. However, I believe that rider11 pointed out a valid point. Because it is a hobby for most customers, they view getting fired differently. Just as a trainer doesn't like to be told that they are no longer considered good enough to teach you, a customer wouldn't like to hear that they aren't good enough to fit in the trainers program anymore either. Get my point? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

barnie
Jul. 6, 2003, 12:59 PM
I just think customers should be as professional...it isn't always about the trainers ego.

Varsity team
Jul. 6, 2003, 01:59 PM
Yeah, I do, Barnie. I think what we're both talking about is not only ending a relationship that no longer works for either or both parties, but doing it maturely and professionally.

You as a trainer are interested in making your living by supplying me, the customer, with a service. We both have responsibiites in the relationship.It is when these responsibilities are not clearly defined that the trouble begins.

Sadly, I have seen customers, but more often trainers, act reprehensibly. Trainers are dependent on customers for $$$. This inherent dependence on your customers puts you in a vulnerable position. It is threatening for a customer to leave you. It is your bread and butter. THAT is why most trainers behave so angrily when customers leave. It's a knee jerk survival thing. BUT what you have to ask yourself is WHY? Why is this customer leaving? Are their reasons valid? Could I have provided better service? How could I improve my operation so I would have a bettter customer retention level?

It's business, Barnie. And if I operated my business the way most horse trainers operate theirs, I'd have been in the poorhouse long ago.

Liverpool
Jul. 6, 2003, 02:41 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by rider11:
Okay, so the majority of you believe that egos are the reason trainers become upset and they should act as adults.

Let me ask this...How many of you would take it with a smile if all the trainers you left, had left you instead?? They told you that - you are just not a good enough rider, don't have enough talent, don't have enough money, your horse is not nice enough - to ride as their student. You just do not meet their standards to claim you as their students and do not want other trainers to associate _your riding abilities_ with _their training abilities._

Honestly, I don't think many of you would smile about it and be polite afterward.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I disagree. And for the record, personally I think it would be refreshing to find a pro that would be honest enough to turn away business upfront - for any of those reasons.

It sure would beat the usual practice, of taking the money anyway, and then treating the client poorly or complaining about them behind their back.

And yes - I *was* fired as a client once - by a well known trainer - for having A) not having enough money and B) having a not-nice-enough-horse.

It was handled professionally. Trainer said, "I don't think my program is a good fit for you, please make other arrangements by X date." We both knew what the details were - she didn't care for my (then-green) horse, and I had elected not to send said green horse on the road with her until he could/would be competitive. We still see each other from time to time at horseshows, and everyone is polite.

However, it is VERY rare for a trainer to fire a client. WHY? Because they want the *money* those clients spend, talented or not.

I have yet to meet a trainer who would fire a client because they were worried about associating the clients' riding abilities with their teaching abilities. In my experience, most will take money from just about anyone who will pay. And unfortunately, if the rider in question really is less talented, then it is not uncommon to hear the trainer bemoan that fact to all and sundry as said client performs in public.

"It's a funny thing about life: If you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it." ---W. Somerset Maugham

MellowM
Jul. 6, 2003, 02:58 PM
Being a "trainer" IS NOT A REAL JOB! There are no qualifications necessary and just plain ole anyone can be a trainer if they want! This is why there are so many unprofessional trainers.

mickey
Jul. 6, 2003, 03:56 PM
UMMM.......Awfully STRONG WORDS used in that post.....

I spend about 12 hrs a day often 7 days a week at my job (which spans riding, teaching, showing and managing the 33 horse barn), and I get paid for it, and I am successful at it, so what part of that is not REAL?

I am sure there are plenty of people working at "real jobs" who are not qualified for them or successful at them, or may be qualified but not successful, or successful but not "qualified", so I don't think it is fair to take anyone's CAREER choice and label it.
For example, I have met unprofessional hair dressers, waitresses, nurses, accountants, and yes, horse trainers, but let's not belittle the good ones because there are bad ones.
When you get a bad hair cut, you don't go back, so if you think you have a bad trainer, go somewhere else! It IS a "consumer based industry" and just like the hair dresser that stays in business because people keep going back for bad hair cuts, the bad trainers stay in business because their customers don't look around to see something better. I don't expect as good a hair cut at the mall salon as the exclusive salon, and I don't expect to pay as much either, so you have to shop and ask and look around to find quality just like for anything else, and then you have to be willing to pay for it.

Varsity team
Jul. 6, 2003, 04:48 PM
Amen Liverpool!

Varsity team
Jul. 6, 2003, 04:51 PM
And Mickey..the only problem with your logic is that most people can tell a bad haircut from a good one. And most people pay 30 bucks for a haircut.

Copper Queen
Jul. 6, 2003, 05:35 PM
If being a trainer isnt a 'real' job, how do mine keep getting fired?

2Bays
Jul. 6, 2003, 05:44 PM
Well, I've done evrything I possibly could: told her it has nothing to do with her training (in fact, told her how great her training had been), just that I need a change of scenery; gave 30+ days notice; paid board for a month and a half AFTER I'll be gone; told her I'd be willing to help her out as always if she needs me; etc. and guess what? she won't even say "hello" to me anymore. I am counting down the days until my move. It's a shame that she has to make it so uncomfortable, since I have done nothing wrong!! That HAS to be her ego.

barnie
Jul. 6, 2003, 08:12 PM
OR...maybe,horror of horrors, she needed/will miss your business. I'm not sure why so many of you say with such distain that pro's do it for the money....DUH! They may love horses, but this is how they have choses to support themselves....and no exceptions for the "rich" pro's who don't(according to their customers) need the money! If you were as good a customer as you think you were, she probably IS upset you are leaving...may have nothing to do w/her ego.

Duffy
Jul. 6, 2003, 08:14 PM
My first instructor moved me on to her sister because I had "outgrown" her part of the business. That trainer suggested to my mother that perhaps I should go to a big show barn for my last junior year to gain experience and horses that her barn did not have. THOSE are the types of experiences customers/clients should have.

Speaking of loyalty, I moved from the next trainer because I went to college. The next trainer moved to a different state, so I went to a professional who he recommended and who I'd met and felt comfortable with. She decided to leave the business and by then had a partner, who I've been with for over 20 years, along with her more recent partner (quite a few years as well). I adore both of my trainers and yes, our relationship has gone beyond "professional". But, the bottom line is that we TRUST each other, to do the right thing for both human and equines. They "allowed" me to go to a clinic with another professional...Wait - they were excited about it! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif What a novel idea, eh? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

They HAVE invested more than most have, imo. But, I have as well. It's been a two-way, (or rather three-way) giving situation for a long time. We all realize our relative strengths (and weaknesses http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif ) and work within those parameters to build the business as well as my relationship with my horse, (when I have the time/money), as well as my daughter's partnership with her pony.

Rambling here and probably not making much sense...sorry...I'll call it quits now. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

"B***h in training"

Duffy
Jul. 6, 2003, 08:16 PM
And no, I don't know of many (make that any) scrupulous trainers who have gotten rich off of clients, whether "ripping them off" or being paid fair prices for their services.

"B***h in training"

brilyntrip
Jul. 6, 2003, 08:37 PM
Trainer should've gone .Honestly I don't think I'd take on situation where there was No responsible party around.

Indian Outlaw
Jul. 6, 2003, 08:58 PM
I must be honest- I skimmed the responses here and feel the need to vent. I think that the bad mouthing between trainers and past customers is so far out of control that it's a crime. I have (train and manage) a local show barn. We do about 4 "A" shows a year, a schooling show every month, and that's about it. I have a very interesting mix of customers, and am pleased to say that it works for me. It is rare that I have an empty stall, but when someone leaves, it is almost always a reason out of my control. I know my limitations, and will not change my whole program for one person-I just can't. I have sent some riders on to more show oriented barns, and I have always maintained a good rapport with them. In fact , at a show last weekend I saw an old customer (recently left the barn) there with her new trainer- whom I love and keep a great relationship with. I watched her classes, told her that I was glad to see her getting her lead changes, and said that I was happy to be a part of finding her the right horse. Honestly, it hurt a bit, but only a little bit...I did the right thing.
How can you turn your back on the people that make your business what it is? I just think that an open door policy (burn no bridges) is the best way to be.

silly*mare!
Jul. 7, 2003, 05:45 AM
I think that if losing your business is the reason behind them getting angry, then they are STILL being immature and frankly an adult should be able to distinguish the client from their feelings about losing money.

The image of a kid banging his foot on the ground because his mom won't give him money for candy. What's he gonna do, bad-mouth his mom on the playground?
Hey, maybe even kids are more mature... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

I tend to believe the ego excuse.

mickey
Jul. 7, 2003, 06:03 PM
OK Varsity Team, but the hairdresser was an analogy, so let's go with something a little more pricey....

Do you buy the first car from the first car dealer you meet? Or do you shop around, read Consumer Reports, ask about the Dealer's service dept, warranties, payment plan etc. Most people research that kind of investment. So look at buying and boarding a horse like purchasing a car and making payments. If you are a smart consumer, you educate yourself before "buying".

Now I know that many people do not approach the horses this way......you LOVE a horse; you don't get attached to a car (although I did have a great VW stationwagon, cryed when I sold it http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif), and many people have more personal relationships with their trainers than a car dealer, but if the money spent compared to the services provided is the issue, it is only fair the view it as a business relationship, and the boarder is the consumer.

It is not impossible to educate yourself to what is quality in the horse industry, this board and magazine are examples of ways to learn, along with asking questions and observing.

So my point is that those who are receiving substandard services perhap need to reseach their options and understand the differences in the quality that is available and what it costs. You are not going to get Rolls Royce services at VW prices, but you don't have to car shop at the junk yard, and it doesn't mean that you won't get good service from VW or that they are not professional (back to the "real job" issue), it's a matter of what your budget allows, and how to get the best quality for your dollar, and how to be sure that you are getting what you PAY for.

If you picked yourself a "lemon" in the horse world (horse or trainer), cut your losses and move on. If you are met with uglyness when you leave, it is just another reinforcement of the decision you have made. And again, the examples of unprofessionalism are, I am sure, reflected in many industries(how about ENRON?)not just the horse industry.

Varsity team
Jul. 7, 2003, 08:17 PM
Mickey,

I like your style! But the horse world doesn't really work that way, does it? Most people's entry into the horse world is based on passion, either theirs or their child's. And most people who fall in love with horses don't know very much about them. So they are forced to rely on a trainer to "educate" them. A trainer who they believe has their best interests at heart because they would have no reason to believe otherwise. The customer cannot be a smart consumer because they have no experience with the product they are purchasing.

There is really no place to go to become educated. You suggest this BB and The Chronicle, but very few people entering into the horse world have knowledge of these excellent sources. Many trainers would like to keep their clients as ignorant as possible. In fact, as Denny Emerson so eloquently put it...The trainer's credo..."Treat your customers like mushrooms. Keep 'em in the dark and feed them lots of bullshit," is the norm rather than the exception in the horse world.

.

denny
Jul. 8, 2003, 05:55 AM
That is a famous race horse trainer quote which I`ve read repeatedly over the years, "treat the owners like mushrooms", and a widespread concern of the owners in that world. Not so prevalent in the sport horse world, but still a concern, I gather.

Janet
Jul. 8, 2003, 06:50 AM
As in "keep them in the dark and feed them manure"?

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

Anyplace Farm
Jul. 8, 2003, 06:50 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TBMare:
What do you think the right thing is for a trainer to do when a client takes a bad fall and has to be rushed to the hospital in an ambulance? A barn-owner and I I say a trainer should go with the client when an accident is very serious. What's your take?

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Um, when my junior client was crushed under her horse, I was the one that rode in the ambulance with her while her mother stayed behind and put the horse away, then drove to meet us at the hospital later.

I think she was a nervous wreck about her daughter, needed some space from what was visually a horrific incident, knew she was going to be OK and trusts me 100%. She handled it better than I did.

I cried all the way to the hospital to the point where the EMT said, "Ma'am, your daughter is going to be OK."

`````````````````````````````````````````
"I NOW INFORM YOU THAT YOU ARE TOO FAR FROM REALITY."
Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, Iraqi Minister of Information

"Life ain't certain...ride your best horse first." Unknown

Varsity team
Jul. 8, 2003, 05:54 PM
Denny,

Don't know too much about race horses. But can sure say the quote is applicable to the hunter world.

Indian Outlaw
Jul. 8, 2003, 08:44 PM
It is so sad that all trainers get such a bad rep here. There are some honest ones left. Trust me, I am one of them. The problem in the hunter world is POLITICS. Most big trainers are so concerned with the image that their customers best interests are lost in the wash. We need a governing body, other than USA Eq. The problem is, anyone who hangs out a shingle can get business. Educated or not. There is a definate lack of professionalism in this business, and it only hurts the customers. As someone said earlier, customers need to shop for barns. Don't enter blindly into the night. I know that I expect to be interviewed by a customer, and in return I must make sure that before I take someone that won't fit my program, I interview them.

Get Ye Up!
Aug. 16, 2003, 09:44 PM
I was reading though old threads regarding the issues that come with leaving barns; I hope it's ok to post on an "older" thread.

I think many times people leave under what they think are good and acceptable terms, then find out later that their trainer was dishonest about how they felt about the former-boarder leaving.

It's unfortunate that some trainers are not able to view a boarder's change of interest/needs/finances/(insert other here). This makes it very hard for both boarder and trainer to be honest in their evaluation of the situation. It also makes the boarder feel bad for not only having to leave (even though they want to), but knowing they are by proxy making an enemy out of the trainer.

Sometimes people change their goals or they may respect their trainer, but have disagreements over training methods that just can't be fixed. Why should those people have to suffer the "wrath" of their former trainer?

I know from PT's that many people who post here are going through some pretty nasty stuff while either in process of leaving, or having just left their trainer/barn. One person even stayed at the barn, but switched to another trainer! She's a lot stronger than I am!

I know some trainers put their hearts into some of us; beleive me when I say THAT is what makes separating ourselves from the commited trainers so difficult. Sometimes, we have to, though. Sometimes it's the only way we can see ourselves staying commited to horses. If we are unhappy with our trainers, we really do have an obligation to be honest with ourselves. And you.

Just one more thought, and then I'll jump off my soapbox: If we disagree with your training methods/feeding/lifestyle etc, we're NOT saying we hate you or think you are neccesarily a bad person. Rather, we are excercising our right to our OPINION and whether you agree or disagree, it doesn't really matter. Bottom line is, WE (the students) pay YOU (the trainers). We can leave...but it IS possible to let us leave on positive terms.

A_Trainer
Aug. 16, 2003, 11:49 PM
rider11, you posted:
"Let me ask this...How many of you would take it with a smile if all the trainers you left, had left you instead?? They told you that - you are just not a good enough rider, don't have enough talent, don't have enough money, your horse is not nice enough - to ride as their student. You just do not meet their standards to claim you as their students and do not want other trainers to associate your riding abilities with their training abilities."

Varsity Team, you replied that this was attacking the customer on a personal level, and that "like any other business...the customer isn't always right, but they're still the customer."

Varsity Team, I don't mean to single you out, but you put into words what I believe many people think, so I'm quoting you, ok? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I don't believe that any of the reasons listed by rider11 are personal attacks.
The following are all based on experiences I have had with customers.

If the customer is not a good enough rider, obviously it's the trainer's job to improve them. If the trainer does everything in his/her power to teach customer, but customer doesn't improve say, due to a perpetual "poor me" attitude, I can't do it, it's because I have a cheap horse (even though horse is the second most expensive horse in the barn, and more than twice what I myself have ever spent on any horse - some who have become national champions, and several who have become Grand Prix horses), or I'm going to listen to what you're telling me to do and then exaggerate it 1000% just to prove a point, or I'm going to pretend that I can't hear you and have a temper tantrum in this horse's face, then guess what?? You're outta here, and fast (contractual notice period given, of course)!


If the customer is simply not a good enough rider because they haven't been taught how to be, but they have a good attitude (occasional frustrations expected), and show a desire to improve I would never DREAM of "firing" them.

Same goes with the "not enough talent"... some people have no natural abilities on a horse. It's not a crime. But if you have no talent, and try hard, you'll know how much I appreciate and respect you and you WILL become a good enough rider.

As far as not having enough money, I don't think that would be personal at all. I'm running a business, this is not my hobby. If you have conveyed to me that finances are tight, and can you split the training board into two payments per month, I will be happy with that arrangement. But if I do that, and still hear you whine and complain about how broke you are every time I see you, I won't be very sympathetic. If "not enough money" means the training board checks come to me 30 or more days late consistantly, this is certainly not a personal issue. It's pure business. I have expenses, huge overhead, and enough other good, happy customers that I will get rid of the one constantly throwing off my books. Nothing personal.

Regarding the "your horse isn't good enough". Well, in my mind there is no such thing. But it depends on the context. If the customer has dreams of being champion in the A/O's at Upperville, but their horse is a ewe-necked, trappy moving, hot leg-hanger, well then, no it's not good enough. I'm sure the horse is good enough for something, for competing at some level and for providing a source of enjoyment for his owner, but beyond that I will be honest with the customer. If the customer doesn't believe the opinion he/she's paying me for and is adamant about showing the horse at an innapropriate level, I will ask them to go elsewhere. You are a reflection of me, my barn, and really, all of my other customers every time you step in the ring. You are a reflection of my business (there's that key word again!)

It's been noted that trainers are "providing a service" to the customers. Yes I am, of course. But this isn't like buying a pair of shoes. The customer in a trainer/customer business relationship has to put forth effort also. I will provide a service to the best of my abilities, if you follow the advice and work with me, you will improve.

If you want to butt heads, whine, complain, or even think about venting whatever's stressing you today towards your horse, it's obvious that I'm wasting my time... that makes me tired and disappointed. I've found that there are too many good customers waiting to come in for me to make myself sick over the unpleasant ones. For the services I provide, I expect to see a return of a better, more understanding and correct rider, a better, happier, more competent horse, and ultimately plenty of wins in the ring, because that's where I'm "advertising" my business. It's how I make my living, if you could call what I make a "living", and more importantly, it's what makes me happy.

End of novel. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Weatherford
Aug. 17, 2003, 02:31 AM
Do you guys realize this "trainer" business is pretty much an American (NA - I guess I should include Canadiens here http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif ) phenomena?

Here in Ireland, you train with the person most available, willing to teach you and with whom you get along. One week it may be a dressage person, another week, a jumper person, another week, a green horse specialist. It really is the person available.

And you generally go to horse shows alone. Although, some of the Juniors have "trainers" and travel with them.

I like it.

A friend of mine who does the A/O Jumpers on the big circuit in the US "trains" herself now. Takes lessons when she feels she needs them from whomever is around, and goes to shows with her helper. She wins. Trainers, I guess, are used to her by now and don't give her grief about it.

http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

It's OUT! Linda Allen's 101 Exercises for Jumping co-authored by MOI!!! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

MsHunter
Aug. 17, 2003, 05:55 AM
Ok I haven't read this whole thread but I have skimmed it and it is a topic near and dear to my heart. One other trainer brought up the "not burning bridges policy and the open door". I am a firm believer in this philisophy. One case in point I have had a rider who I started ride with me on and off for 12 years. Yes, she has left and gone to other trainers, even so much as just to have one for a day at a show. She is at a competitive level and it is one way to educate her on who is out there. What she continually tells me is that some of the trainers in NJ have really nice farms and treat her very well (meaning they tell her she rides great, she is wonderful, has she thought of being a pro etc etc). She really went to further her knowledge. She keeps coming back to me and tells me the same thing again and again, and I do understand this point. Here in NJ until you have a farm with ALL the amenities, your not going to be full.
Your an "A" circuit trainer with a "C" circuit barn with "AAA" care. Customers want all the amenities and to be coddled, they can buy the horse to get the job done. Anyway, her leaving and returning has really created a mutual respect and a strong bond between us. I know she is with me for the care and training and sacrificing the indoor arena and fancy wash stall. Hey, we are a work in progress. There is another thread talking about board charges.
Well, I own my land (all 75 acres) free and clear as of this year. So, next year the indoor goes up. But, guess what? I am not even nearly interested in the people who care more about the facility then the training and care
coming from it. I will still be fairly reasonably priced and I will interview potential customers. I actually like starting my own riders so we have a toddler program in place! easier to teach new habits than to break old ones.

Another situation I'd love to hear views about.
I lost a fairly new customer recently. Funny thing was it was after a big away show that we did extremely well at! BUT.. Ship ins. People that have their own farm, administer their own care, who have switched to your vet, your farrier, have tried to learn as much as they can from you, the program starts to result in success, and that then becomes used against you.
They start to make their own decisions which normally you'd be involved in and now they tell YOU at the shows what the horse/pony needs etc etc.
Well, I have not burnt the bridge, but the gossip starts (hear it from the other customers who are upset) and I am not sure why? I continue to give lessons or training that someone wants to pay me for whether it be occassionally, at the shows, or just at home ( the I am here if you need me philisophy). Therefore in my mind, the communication broke down in this particular situation because while at the show I had no idea we had an issue. If you want to leave, tell me, talk about it and have CLOSURE. When you have closure the gossip subsides! If I have done something to offend you or made a decision you do not agree with me on, talk to me about it, I am NOT a mind reader. Telling my other customers who tell me isn't the way to go about it.
I really don't have an issue with people who have their own farm, but please do not hire me if you are a conditional listener. When you first arrived you needed help, we figured out what was wrong and fixed it, and had MANY trainers give positive feedback at the shows! These individuals had a trainer before who just didn't attack the program and fix it, but, they actually liked the prior situation better (IMHO). They think they wanted to learn and chang things, but in reality when you make decisions and suggest new ideas, they have a reason why it won't work or they can't do it.
So in reality, they still want to be totally in charge. While at this away show, the footing was VERY HARD and the pony very green still, although starting to really do it's job. It needed to show on the weekend, therefore, we took a conservative approach to making it up properly and not overjumping it each day. Well, I was told firmly "to please jump it more today than yesterday". Once you do that you od not work in my program. You could have asked me why I hadn't been jumping the pony hard, or can we jump more today and if not can you explain why not? Then at the gate, if I sit you out for awhile did you ever think it was for the rider more than the pony? For once we're not at a C show hurry hurry hurry. What does everyone else think? Also, this was their very first away show and they continued to try to find out when they were going, get their #s in, do the grooms job and basically make the whole barn uptight and nervous. I guess I just don't understand.
Sorry so wordy, but this was a first for me!

Owner/Trainer of http://www.geocities.com/plumstedequestrianctr/

[This message was edited by MsHunter on Aug. 17, 2003 at 09:10 AM.]

mareseatoats
Aug. 17, 2003, 07:14 AM
http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif
GREED & EGO are right on target!!!!! unless there is something more personal involved, but even so, greed & ego is it. If they say something different, they're only fooling themselves.

Linny
Aug. 17, 2003, 08:37 AM
I can't remember if I posted on this thread before, but I did read it all, a while ago.

To the trainers who are defending their profession: We appreciate the time and concern you put into us but PLEASE keep it professional. We like it is we can be friends, have a beer after the show or just chat when we have time to kill. Please though, if your business and our needs are moving apart from each other, kindly acknowledge it. Don't badmouth us if we go elsewhere. Don't take it personally if our decision is professional.
Be honest with uis when we or our horse don't "fit in" with the barn. If I want to trail ride and you want show boarders TELL ME. Don't gossip behind my back about my "ratty little horse" or about how I never show and such.
To owners/students: Be honest with trainers. If you don't want to show, tell the trainer before you move in. Respect the trainers knowledge. As you observe and read and learn more resist the temptation to be a know it all. ASK the trainer his or her opinion about what you have learned. Ask if applies to your horse or your training. If you decide to leave be upfront about it. If you are changing disciplines explain why. If you just feel you need a change explain why. Don't badmouth your former trainer. Unless the situation is truly DANGEROUS there is no reason to say anything negative about a former trainer. When asked why you are no longer with "So and So" just say you wanted to try something new.

Resident racing historian
Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique

Policy of Truth
Aug. 17, 2003, 10:22 AM
MsHunter, I understand what you were saying...I'm sure it was very confusing for you as to why that client left.

But what if your training methods conflicted with the clients'? That's what it sounds like - they wanted you to go faster, while you wanted to play it safe. I'm not saying either of you was wrong, but unless you are both in agreement, how could it EVER work?

Sometimes trainers make the assumption that because we are paying for training, that we don't have experience of our own, and preferences for certain training methods that we KNOW work for us. The poster findeight has a quote that says something about "2 horse people, 3 opinions". I think she's very correct! I believe STRONGLY in equifinality - that two very different approaches to the same issue can both be correct. BUT what works for you, may not work for me. It doesn't mean one is wrong and one is right. That's where we get into trouble.

I think I would much prefer the type of freedom that Weatherford spoke of; that sounds very healthy to ME. But it doesn't make it right or wrong...it just sounds good to ME.

Sometimes it is very hard for us as the clients to tell our trainers that we don't feel comfortable doing "it" their way. Sometimes this inability to tell our trainer is caused by us hearing that trainer bad-mouth other clients for being honest about wanting to try a different way. Trust me, we clients hear a lot more than you may think!

Sometimes we don't know our ideas are going to clash until later in the relationship. That doesn't mean we don't like you...it means we are becomming aware of what the differences are and are accepting that the relationship may not be the best for both of us.

I also think some trainers believe they are more capapble than they really are. We all know there are not any regulatory credentials that trainers in the US must have to hang out their shingle.

I know one trainer that barley knows more than her students, but when one of the VERY talented students tries to use another method to fix an issue, she is chastised by the trainer...the trainer says something like "I think I know what I'm doing" in a rude voice. To me, this is wrong, because a good teacher will give their students room to experiment...to see what works and what doesn't. Unless it has a high risk of causing an accident, why not give us the space to use our knowledge...some of which we learned from YOU, the trainer?

Sorry this was so long, but MsHunter's post really got the wheels spinning!

MsHunter
Aug. 17, 2003, 03:34 PM
Ok Pacificsolo I see some of what your saying as again it goes into "communication". These are the only people I have had trouble with in regard to training. What I have to say though is this " Don't pay me to train you and then not listen to me". If you want to do things your way, then I am going to say that you don't need a trainer and a program you need an instructor to take a lesson from time to time.
The problem with wanting to do it your own way is that most trainers have a goal, a program for a horse and rider that they explain to you when you get started. We are trainers because we have the foresight and the experience to know where different forks in the path lead the horse and rider so to speak. Now, in a case where all the prior horses and ponies in that persons stable have all wound up with "problems" which led them to a trainer, I'd think it would be wise to give any trainer
sufficient time to prove to them what they can accomplish. IN this case, we are talking about one that was stopping, went on trial to big barn, and stopped there too, to 4 months later walking in cold to a ring and jumping around and getting prizes at the "A"s. So, why would you question the trainer when everything is working? Also, since they knew what I was about, (flatwork, flatwork, flatwork, straight , straight, straight, and MUST GO FROM ONE SIDE TO THE OTHER) and please don't jump when not lessoning, then why would you blow it all off when you were getting results and decide you now knew the horse/pony better than me?

My customer from 12 years of being with me, she has earned the right for discussions. She is throwing back at me what I have taught her and thinking very intuitively into the horses programs.

Don't you have to earn the respect? Mutual respect? Doesn't it come from results in many different ways? Why do you want a trainer if you want to handle the decisions?

I think it is different in every situation, but I feel their are certain people who are known for so called trainer hopping. I think they hop around until they get what they want, which is controlling their situation.

Owner/Trainer of http://www.geocities.com/plumstedequestrianctr/

Liverpool
Aug. 17, 2003, 05:34 PM
I can see both sides of this situation. I think BOTH client and trainer ought to start out with respect, simply by virtue of the professional relationship that they enter into.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Why do you want a trainer if you want to handle the decisions? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I have ridden for several decades. I want a trainer because I want to *continue* to learn and improve my skills - NOT because I am going to hand over all the decisions about my horses.

I am not a novice; I know my horses quite well and while I welcome the input of a knowledgeable professional, at the end of the day, I am the one who makes the final decisions about their care. There are many trainers who simply won't tolerate that. (Which is OK - everyone has the right to run their business the way they see fit, but to say that the clients s*ck because they won't hand over absolute control is a little screwy IMO.)

I think a lot of pros would do well to remember that while most clients do this for fun, they are also mostly intelligent people who expect to be treated as thinking adults - especially given the expense of this sport. And if they want to be more educated about their program, or what is being done with their horse, it generally is because they want to learn and understand, not because they are being critical or lack trust in the pro. It is simply staggering how many trainers take simple questions or the request for discussion as someone questioning their ability or authority.

Meanwhile, I can appreciate that clients can be difficult as well. The rider who trains sporadically but still expects a winning round; the ones who expect work gratis because money is tight, or the one who shows up with a horse of limited ability and expects the trainer to work miracles... all hugely frustrating. Of course, communication is the first step in resolving any of those issues, and in minimizing unrealistic expectations on the part of either party.

"It's a funny thing about life: If you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it." ---W. Somerset Maugham

MsHunter
Aug. 17, 2003, 05:41 PM
Very well said Liverpool. I think what I am referring to as mutual respect is what I said in my post. If you want to discuss that is fine and appropriate it is your horse/pony afterall, BUT give me that same respect. Don't all of sudden at an "A" show tell me how to do my job and forget the discussion part that you have employed with me from day 1. It has to be a win/win situation, the lines have to be open both ways and neither should be in a 100% controlling situation. It is unhealthy for everyone involved. A show has to be the worst place IMO to tell a trainer how to do their job.
These things must be talked about in advance and discussed during scheduled training times, this way neither trainer or customer are in for any real surprises.

Owner/Trainer of http://www.geocities.com/plumstedequestrianctr/

Policy of Truth
Aug. 17, 2003, 08:50 PM
"If you want to do things your way, then I am going to say that you don't need a trainer and a program you need an instructor to take a lesson from time to time."

OR, that maybe the trainer the person needs is not the trainer they have.

"I'd think it would be wise to give any trainer
sufficient time to prove to them what they can accomplish"

And when the client decides they still don't feel right with the trainer, then that trainer should let that client go on good terms.

"I think it is different in every situation, but I feel their are certain people who are known for so called trainer hopping. I think they hop around until they get what they want, which is controlling their situation"

OR, the clients are not going to pay someone to control them. Like Liverpool said "I have ridden for several decades. I want a trainer because I want to *continue* to learn and improve my skills - NOT because I am going to hand over all the decisions about my horses".

MsHunter, I'm sure your situation is confusing from what you have shared on this BB in regards to this particular client. However, in the broader sense, we as clients resent paying a trainer to control us and our horse(s). Many of us are very well-educated on horses, though most would admit we're never done learning. We want to be considered intelligent, and not unlearned (which is how some trainers treat their clients). We also want to be part of the decisions regarding our horses' care and our learning curve as well as goals.

I personally have never thought of paying a trainer to make all my decisions. I pay a trainer to help me become a better rider within my personal goals. I also like a trainer that appreciates the art of integration. Many trainers have taught me many things over the years. I take issue with someone who claims its their way or the highway. The best trainers recognize that they are building on another trainer's foundation. The really talented trainers are capable of looking at on issue several differnt ways and realize that what works for one horse/rider doesn't necessarily work for another.

Luckyduck and I had a rough begining with each other; but once I realized she was willing to learn how to teach me best, she not only remained my trainer for 8 years, she became my best friend. She has always encouraged me to recognize that I have a right as a client to be part of the decisions that affect me and my horse...and she is a VERY succesful pro.

HorseeHunter
Aug. 17, 2003, 09:12 PM
i think there is always ill feelings whenever you leave someone even if its in the nicest situation bc they feel unwanted

Kryswyn
Aug. 18, 2003, 05:46 AM
*Forgive me if I'm addressing something already covered, don't have the time now to read the entire thread*

Beyond "mutual respect", training is a matter of trust. Trainer must repect client's intelligence which presumably creates the $$$$ for the client to be in the sport, and client must respect the trainer's education, ability, and position of management. But trust in the trainer must be given from the start, or don't sign up for the program! If a student (of any age) doesn't trust the trainer from the beginning that student can get hurt or the horse can get hurt.

I personally will not be in a situation where a student/client is going to second guess me all the time. If they don't think I have their best interests and safety at the forefront of EVERY decision I make for them, then yes, they should leave. If I screw up and make bad decisions, then by all means they should leave! But if my methods have made marked improvements in their riding/mount's performance then they should be happy and stick with the program that's delivered what they wanted when they came to me. If their wants have changed, then we should discuss the new directions they'd like to go in.

And I agree with whomever said it's the qualified reasons for leaving that end up causing ill will. A simple, "It was time to move on and we're going to miss them." is plenty to say to anyone who isn't your best friend (who presumably already knows why you're leaving).

~Kryswyn~
"Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo"

QueenMother
Aug. 18, 2003, 07:28 AM
well said, A Trainer. you sound like someone I know! Are you in Maryland?

Policy of Truth
Aug. 18, 2003, 07:55 AM
"But trust in the trainer must be given from the start, or don't sign up for the program!"

This is not only impossible, but dysfunctional!
A healthy person does not dole out their trust in the begining. Trust is EARNED.

If I move to a new city and try to get opinions on area trainers, I'm going to likely hear several names given, and several people will have several opinions on them. If I meet some of these trainers, and take a few lessons, I'll narrow my field. I'll eventually settle on the one that seems to fit me best. But this is only the begining. I may figure out that this is the right trainer and stick with them...or I may figure out that this trainer lacks the skills/insight/teaching ability/whatever else that I need and/or want. That means I would leave, and find another trainer that would hopefully meet my needs.

How many of you met your SO for the first time and trusted them off the bat and said "I'll stick with this person no matter what I learn about them in this relationship, and even if I realize that I DON'T trust them in the future"?

If you're healthy, NONE of you will say that! It's a rediculous notion that when you sign up with a trainer that you are stuck with that person for life...and that if you leave, you're somehow wrong.

Whisper
Aug. 18, 2003, 02:03 PM
I just gave notice to my current instructor, because I am moving about an hour away. She is fine with it, and I don't think there will be any badmouthing whatsoever in either direction. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I've asked on another board for recommendations of instructors in my new area (I will probably post about it here in a separate thread, too). I am being very specific about my level of experience, the things that I need, and so forth. It's entirely possible that some of the instructors I will be contacting won't be able to accomadate me, even if they have room in their program, because I'll only be able to take one or two lessons a week, I don't have my own horse (and don't really have time for a part-lease right now), and I'd like to go to a few schooling shows if possible, but it would be a waste of time and money for me to go to A rated (and the dressage equivalent) shows until I'm more solid at the schooling level. There is an instructor in the area who I've taken lessons from before. I like her and her schoolhorses a lot. (I left due to health, logistical, and financial reasons that had nothing to do with her). I just want to try a few different programs, and see what works best for me. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I *have* been turned down by one instructor, because she prefers to focus on beginner riders, while I am more of an intermediate person. She recommended a couple of people who she felt were a better match. I wasn't offended at all. Likewise, someone who shows FEI dressage, or at Indio and the other top H/J shows, might feel that I'm better off with someone who has a different program. A bad fit doesn't mean that I'm a bad rider, or that they are snooty, or anything of that sort.

Stay me with coffee, comfort me with chocolate, for I am sick of love.

LawnOrnamentLuvr
Aug. 18, 2003, 08:32 PM
I look at the trainer/client relationship the same way I look at a doctor/patient or vet/patient relationship. The best doctors I've ever had were ones that would listen to me and work with me on health issues. Same for pediatricians and teachers for my children. I have a vet that asks ME what I think... because we have built a trusting relationship and he accepts my thoughts and input.
I'm not sure why a trainer would find this sort of partnership a threat to their experience and expertise. I've had lessons where I was screamed at for not being able to get the horse to cooperate... only to have the trainer finally get on and find out it wasn't just my "poor riding" that day. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_mad.gif
A little trust would go a long way between trainer and client, not an atmosphere of "my way or the highway". It sure would make it a lot more fun. Sometimes I think trainers forget that horses as a hobby should be fun.. even though it's work for them.

Lawny

A_Trainer
Aug. 18, 2003, 09:53 PM
Go No, I'm not in Maryland but I am in a contiguous state.

And LawnOrnamentLuvr, I'm so sorry you were yelled at. That's something I've never understood and I try to always keep in mind that my customers need to be having fun, first and foremost! I remember that the fun part was why I got hooked on horses in the first place.

Kryswyn
Aug. 18, 2003, 10:13 PM
Pacificsolo:

Do you participate in riding clinics? If so, you know that while you're in the clinic you do whatever you're asked to do. (I'm presuming you know of/are intrigued by/respect the clinician) You do NOT sign up for a George Morris clinic and then when he asks you to canter an oxer say, "I don't do oxers, my horse doesn't like them."


The reason folks take clinics is to learn something new (probably the same reason many people change trainers). If you're going to argue with the clinician, there's no point in taking the clinic.

When you find a new doctor, hire a contractor or any other professional you MUST have some sort of trust (not deep marrying trust) in their professionalism. Of course you'll look out for obvious errors, but if the plumber says "Don't turn this faucet on until I tell you" you'd be kinda dumb, and prolly wet, if you didn't trust his professional judgement.

~Kryswyn~
"Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo"

Kryswyn
Aug. 18, 2003, 10:41 PM
Trainer vs Instructor vs Ground Person.

I think there is a basic communication problem underlying this entire thread. Namely the difference between the 3 terms above. If you put your horse or yourself in a defined program w/ specific goals with a person, that person is a TRAINER and as part of that program, the MAJOR decision making is made by the trainer specifically because of their expertise and ability to get the job done.

If one take a riding lesson a week on a school horse, one has an INSTRUCTOR. There may be goals attached to a group of lessons ("Riders will be able to walk, trot and know their diagonals by the 8th class session"). Usually, by definition an instructor has less experience and expertise than a trainer.

A GROUND PERSON is an experienced person of some degree who can make helpful comments and provide feedback to the rider as well as put up and arrange jumps. People who know enough to make most of their OWN decisions find riding with a ground person helpful from time to time.

It sounds like many people here want the cache' of saying "Well MY TRAINER SAID," and the ability to blame things on someone when their own decisions are faulty, when what they really need is a ground person.

~Kryswyn~
"Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo"

Policy of Truth
Aug. 18, 2003, 11:53 PM
If I were in a clinic, and the clinician asked me to do something I was uncomfortable with, I'd stand up for myself. But that's just me http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

I had an OB-GYN who wouldn't listen to me when I told her something was severly wrong. Luckily, the guy on call knew from just a short description of my symptoms that I needed emergency surgery ASAP. I switched to the new OB-GYN that day. I do not feel guilty at all for leaving my 3-year OB-GYN. She screwed up.

I had no idea that my OB-GYN would be so pathetic in a time of severe need...but once I learned that was how she handles issues like that, I moved on. I love America. We have such freedom to choose who we give our money to (except taxes http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_mad.gif).

And for the record, Kryswyn, I'm not picking on you...I hope you know that http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif Just standing up for what I believe as a client.

Sparky
Aug. 19, 2003, 10:28 AM
Kryswyn, there's another category--don't know quite what to call it, though. It's the person who doesn't ride much anymore, who brings their horse to you to train and be shown. They have the program explained to them, accept it,in fact, express enthusiasm, thanks and admiration for it, and then stand by the schooling jumps and tell you how they want the horse ridden. So I guess they fall into the ground person category, only they become the authority of all things equine the minute they step into the warm-up ring, then want to tell you after the horse's class how he should have been ridden http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

wanderlust
Aug. 19, 2003, 11:54 AM
I'm fascinated as I read through the responses that many of the trainers seem to be, at the least annoyed, and at an extreme threatened, by clients who want to have input into their horse's training or who question a decision you may make.

Y'all may be "professionals", but you certainly aren't perfect, you don't know everything and believe it or not, for the most part your clients ARE NOT idiots. I find it an offense to my intelligence and to my 2 decades of riding and horse ownership that you would expect blind adherence to your every wish and whim with MY horse. I am paying you to train it, not to take full custody and complete power of attorney while I continue to foot the bills.

MsHunter, why does it take your client 12 years to "earn" the right to ask questions of your methods? That is, IMHO, nothing short of arrogant. I don't care if you are the second coming of George Morris... if I am paying you an exorbitant amount of money and I don't understand something or disagree with what you are asking me to do, I am going to question you.

Businss people, lawyers and medical professionals would never dare treat their clients the way horse trainers treat theirs. The vast majority of lawyers/doctors/MBAs treat their clients with courtesy, deference and respect their opinions. If this happens with highly educated, degreed professionals, why can't it happen with horse professionals?

As long as horse professionals (particularly hunter/jumper trainers) continue to have attitudes of "I'm the trainer, I know everything, pay me all your hard-earned money but don't dare question me or make observations" there will continue to be incredibly dysfunctional relationships between trainers and clients.

[This message was edited by Master Tally on Aug. 19, 2003 at 03:12 PM.]

Policy of Truth
Aug. 19, 2003, 12:07 PM
VERY well-said, Master Tally! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif

MsHunter
Aug. 19, 2003, 12:56 PM
I can tell you Master Tally that I do not speak to any of my customers the way you have spoken to me. I am always friendly, professional and nice to them. You misinterpreted what I said about my customer who has been with me a long time. I said that is goes without say that she would have alot of input as her knowledge and ability give her the right to administer the program with her trainer. You can't take only the part that says we want to do our jobs and than say that means we have total control. There are some trainers that make it that way, but not all. In my particular case, I was saying with ONLY ONE customer that was NEWER
they should let me do my job, then we discuss we together make decisions, I do my job more, than we talk etc etc. While I am doing my job, ask me all the questions you'd like, that is what your paying me for, my knowledge, I give it freely. When I have finished and we are out of the ring, then lets discuss the strategy together and move forward again. What I was saying disturbed me is in the middle of the program at a show ; to tell me how to do my job. If you do that, You don't need me. Yell at me if what I did wasn't appropriate or ask me defensively if it didn't work, but if it resulted in success, what IS the problem? Shouldn 't we both be happy and be discussing where we are now and what is next?

Owner/Trainer of http://www.geocities.com/plumstedequestrianctr/

wanderlust
Aug. 19, 2003, 01:08 PM
Thank you for the clarification, MsHunter. I didn't mean for it to appear that I was attacking you in particular. And in the case you are citing, I would be perplexed, too. But I find it all too common in the h/j world that trainers do take the attitude I referred to in my last post. And the normally intelligent, highly paid career women sit there and take the attitude and veiled insults, many times against their better judgement.

Sometimes it is enough to make me want to go back to eventing.

MsHunter
Aug. 19, 2003, 05:37 PM
Thanks Master Tally! I thought by just being involved in this discussion, it proved I had an open mind http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif!!!

I have always taken the stance that my customers should be happy, and enjoy what they are doing. The show to me should be a time without any stress. At home is where the REAL work should be done and the show is the time to measure the progress. I am definitely more laid back at a show than at home, as that is the time IMO to enjoy!! I also believe that while training to NEVER be negative, train in a positive manner (do this, as opposed to Don't do that) and to praise when results are achieved. I have NEVER said in my life training "because I told you so" that is humiliating at best.

Listen, I have been ringside with TWO trainers in my area that I do NOT speak to while an ADULT came out of the ring and they said " you do not deserve to be on that horse the way you just rode", followed by another one SCREAMING at her adult stating "get off that horse you don't deserve to be sitting on it".

That to me is UNACCEPTABLE behavior. Yet, the one person USED to ride with me LOL! I guess some people LIKE to be embarrassed and demeaned.

When my adults come out of the ring they either get" Hey that was a great trip except for this or that" or they get" OK tell me what you liked about your trip and what you want to change in the next one" in both cases followed by a discussion.

Or if it was really bad they get " what DID you see" The response is always NOTHING until it was too late LOL!

We know it isn't funny when it doesn't come out right, but darn, what the heck can you do? Make light of it, have fun and try harder next time right?!

Owner/Trainer of http://www.geocities.com/plumstedequestrianctr/

Silver Bells
Aug. 19, 2003, 05:49 PM
Why Master Tally, how elequent you are! Simply stated and to the point.
Eventing...bite your tongue.... However, that maybe a venue for you MS HUNTER!

MsHunter
Aug. 19, 2003, 07:07 PM
http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
Nope Silver Bells, I like my young horses! Hunter Breeding, to getting them broke, to getting around the jumps. Let the BNTs take over after we are done. Someone has to get them started after all don't they? I only do a few performance customers, I tend to enjoy the babies. It is more gratifying to me to have gone to Vermont with ones we started and have them jump around and be good and get prizes than to win with packers. Although, it is always fun to see one you started jump around the Garden and ribbon too!

Owner/Trainer of http://www.geocities.com/plumstedequestrianctr/

ESG
Aug. 19, 2003, 07:20 PM
I've painstakingly read my way through all eight pages of this thread, and now feel prepared to comment.

I've been a trainer for the past seventeen years. I'm primarily a dressage trainer, although being a not-quite-reformed-eventer, I can't leave the jumpers alone and indulge in that discipline as well. After numerous years in others' facilities, and the last five or so with my own, competing and coaching successfully in three disciplines in several different parts of the country, these are some of the more important lessons I've learned:

1) No good deed goes unpunished. As has been stated here numerous times, it's always the "little extras" and "going the extra mile" (always unpaid) that get you into trouble with a client. This is the trainer's fault, and I'll tell you why, since I've been guilty of it for quite some time. You MUST treat your clients as CUSTOMERS, NOT FRIENDS! Yes, you can maybe pull those standing bandages off and hose off the poultice on your client's jumper once in a while, but don't make a habit of it without CHARGING for it. It's your time, and that's the only thing you have to sell - CHARGE for it! Keeping things professional keeps you in business. And if the clients bitch, show them your barn rules and list of charges (to be handed out when they sign the boarding contract, and a copy of same to be kept in the client's file along with the boarding contract original) and remind them with a smile that this is what they agreed to. That way, no one can cry foul for being "nickled and dimed" (something I personally hate to do) or not being aware of what things cost. Sounds harsh, but not as harsh as you getting pi**ed at a client and ultimately driving them off because you feel you're doing more than you're getting paid for. And all the bad feelings in the bargain.

2) Stick to your guns. If your rule is that no dogs run loose on your facility, NO DOGS RUN LOOSE ON YOUR FACILITY. Don't compromise your rules for anyone for any reason. Have the rules posted clearly in several different places around the facility, so no one can claim ignorance. Repeated failure to respect and obey the rules will (not can, but WILL) result in ejection from the facility. You pay for this place, you run it to the best of your ability, you get to make the rules. Pure and simple.

3) Do not let the client tell you what to do or how to run your business. Sounds harsh, especially in light of some of the posts I've read. Specifically, Liverpool's comment that "clients are mostly intelligent people who expect to be treated as thinking adults", and Kryswyn's statement that "trainers must respect client intelligence". Also, Master Tally's statement that "I'm paying you to train it (the horse), not to take full custody and complete power of attorney while I continue to foot the bills". Excuse me, folks, but have you ACTED like "intelligent, thinking adults"? Have you gone to shows, watched a pro deal with students of all ages and levels? Have you gone and taken an "interview lesson" on one of a pro's school horses and see just what they produce as far as their training abilities go? Have you asked trainers for references from both current AND former students? If not, then you are not allowed to cry foul when things don't go your way. Preparation and research are the best possible protection against getting screwed by an unscrupulous "professional"! You wouldn't go to a dentist, let him drill your teeth and generally entrust your oral health to him without finding out SOMETHING about him, would you? Of course not, especially if you're one of the "mostly intelligent people who expect to be treated as thinking adults". Well, ACT like a thinking adult and find out about the person to whom you are prepared to hand hundreds (and probably thousands) of dollars to train your horse and teach you. Because if you don't, you've no one to blame but yourself.

We all know that there are really crappy trainers out there, and really crappy clients. I work my butt off. I charge a fair price for both my board and my services. Am I going to be able to please everyone all the time? Hell no, could you? In any facet of your life? I'm not saying I'm perfect, or that I expect you as a client to be. I'm just looking for that small, loyal (yes, I DO expect loyalty when I've given you exactly what you said you wanted when you move into my facility) bunch of students with whom I can have a good professional relationship. Sorry, but I'm human, too. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif

LawnOrnamentLuvr
Aug. 19, 2003, 07:27 PM
This is exactly why I quit riding with a trainer. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

ESG
Aug. 19, 2003, 08:08 PM
"Exactly" which part, pray tell?

Nylar
Aug. 19, 2003, 08:21 PM
Would someone please explain to me what loyalty has to do with a trainer/client relationship?

If you do your job and the client likes the way things are going, they stay. If they don't like the way things are going, nothing is forcing them to stay. If they're not happy then let them go - keeping them there is only going to make both you and the client miserable.

Having spent 8 years busting my butt for a trainer who emphasized loyalty to the point of making us a cult following (only to be dropped on the aforementioned butt the second I wanted to think for myself), I can no longer see where that word fits in this kind of relationship. Especially since so many people are trying to relate "trainer" to "doctor/dentist/whatever". I wouldn't continue seeing a doctor simply out of loyalty, and I won't do it for a trainer either anymore.

But then again, maybe I'm just projecting my individual problems here. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

http://www.geocities.com/dunnbypicasso/

SBT
Aug. 19, 2003, 09:54 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by LawnOrnamentLuvr:
This is exactly why I quit riding with a trainer. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

DITTO! I am extremely anti-trainer right now. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/no.gif I've dealt with trainers who didn't just think they were the second coming of George Morris, they thought they were BETTER THAN George Morris. I took exception to the crappy training practices of one trainer and when she gave me the boot (note that I should have given HER the boot long before), she made a point of saying, "My word is gospel because around here, I AM GOD!" http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_redface.gif Yeah, her and a million other BNT-wannabes. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

I can't stand the egos, I can't stand the trash talk, and I can't stand the abusiveness. NO trainer will ever have absolute power over me and my horse. I write the checks, I make the decisions. End of story.

I suppose I don't like trainers because trainers don't like me. I don't follow blindly. I have the ability to learn and figure things out on my own. I am highly independent. And I have my own opinions (read: I am a closet DQ who believes in gradually building muscle and balance, not forcing a horse into an instant "pretty" frame). Yep. Most of them hated me. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/winkgrin.gif

In my life I have only ever dealt with two TRUE professionals: my dressage/CT instructor and GM. They were the only two trainers I've ever been able to have an intelligent conversation with, and the only two who took the TIME to listen to what I had to say. For my hour (and often more), I had their undivided attention. I could ask any question and get an honest, knowledgeable answer. THAT is the only kind of trainer I am willing to work with. GM of course was "GM," and my dressage/CT trainer was a relative unknown...but BOTH had that great professionalism, talent for teaching, and sincerity. THAT'S what I want for myself, not (pardon the cliche) some lazy-ass, spoiled-rotten 45 y/o hunter princess who, based on her enormous attitude, finds her students to be a complete annoyance...and who considers the solution for every "difficult" horse to be a syringe full of Ace, since she clearly can't ride her way out of a paper bag. NOTHING but BS. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif I can do better than that on my own, thanks. And if I want BS, I can come up with plenty of it by myself. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

So, my experience with two truly great trainers has completely soured me on the rest. In my not-so-humble opinion, it's their loss. Well, the money part anyway. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/winkgrin.gif

Before you flame me for the hunter trainer cliche, think about how many of those you saw at YOUR last big show. Uh-huh. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif



"It's not getting what you want, it's wanting what you've got." -Sheryl Crow

Policy of Truth
Aug. 19, 2003, 10:16 PM
"When I have finished and we are out of the ring, then lets discuss the strategy together and move forward again. What I was saying disturbed me is in the middle of the program at a show"

I can see your point here...But what if they saw something they were uncomfortable with (not that they did, or you actually did anything wrong!)? For instance, what would you say if you were watching your trainer work with your horse, and you saw them begin to pole your horse and you disagreed with this method...wouldn't you say something at the time it was being done so your trainer would stop?

CWO
Aug. 19, 2003, 10:18 PM
communication is the key!

People change. Situations change. Goals change. And so on. As those changes take place, communication must take place.

Beezer, Varsity, and Liverpool you've said it all very nicely, so I'm not going to jump into this anymore than I already have. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Only one question. . . why do some trainers believe that they are doing clients a favor, and should be given parting gifts just because they've put their "heart & soul" into their business? In my many years as a CPA, interacting with many individuals in many different industries, it is the provider of services (the salesman) who buys gifts for the clients!! They are working to make sales of their services! I find it comical that some trainers think just the opposite!! I have always put my heart and soul into my profession! That's what being a professional is all about. I've worked many many hours and have had to miss getting to the barn because of work so trainers shouldn't think they're such martyrs. They perform a service and they get paid for that service. That's life. And just because I have to get dressed up for work, doesn't mean it's not grueling, frustrating, physically and mentally demanding and leaves me exhausted at the end of crazy days. But that's what I chose to do. (And have after 16 years decided to change careers) And yes, I have worked in barns, I have had my own farm, and have frequently groomed for one of the toughest most demanding BNTs around, so I can speak comparatively, from experience. Can you?

CWO
Aug. 19, 2003, 10:22 PM
Oops, I forgot to add. . .

This thread is exactly the reason why I love eventers!! I can't be bothered with this kind of petty trainer crap!

Eventers ride with whomever they choose, clinic as much as they want/can afford and can compete on their own!!

Eventers rock!

LawnOrnamentLuvr
Aug. 19, 2003, 10:26 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by ESG:


1) "No good deed goes unpunished." I've been the client that help set up at shows... did I get a discount? NO I've been the client that took a backseat to a client that spent more money than I did, so I got backseat treatment.
I've been the client that shoveled manure at shows when the help didn't show up... I've groomed, shampooed, held horses for the braider.. etc. I've gone the extra mile many times.
2) "Stick to your guns. If your rule is that no dogs run loose on your facility, NO DOGS RUN LOOSE ON YOUR FACILITY." The only dogs that ran loose on the property belonged to the trainer.. causing accidents where young riders got hurt. "You pay for this place, you run it to the best of your ability, you get to make the rules. Pure and simple." You make the rules.. I pay for board. If your rules are that I can't step in the arena to exercise my horse because you are running a clinic or a lesson.. what am I paying for? I can't turn my horse out because other clients take preference.. and we pay the same board.. ahem.

3) "Do not let the client tell you what to do or how to run your business. Sounds harsh, especially in light of some of the posts I've read." I've never told a trainer how to run her business.. nor have I ever been asked what I would like. "Have you asked trainers for references from both current AND former students? If not, then you are not allowed to cry foul when things don't go your way. Preparation and research are the best possible protection against getting screwed by an unscrupulous "professional"!" Blaming the victim is not only unkind, it's illogical.
By the way, being told by a trainer that your horse doesn't need the vet... while said trainer practices his/her "voodoo" medicine doesn't thrill me either.
When my broodmare reached day 330, I started foal watch. Trainer told me I was "ridiculous".. mares foal at 365 days. Uh huh http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Lawny

[This message was edited by LawnOrnamentLuvr on Aug. 20, 2003 at 01:42 AM.]

ESG
Aug. 20, 2003, 04:44 AM
As I said, we all know there are crappy trainers and crappy clients. Don't tar us all with the same brush because you've had bad experiences. And you get the government you deserve. If you were shunted aside because the trainer was giving precedence to other clients who paid the same as you did, your choices were to either go to the trainer and complain and get fair treatment or to move. And any trainer who forbids the arena with no notice (since there SHOULD be enough room for everyone) to the boarders who pay for it deserves exactly what she'll get - an empty barn.

As far as "blaming the victim", that's exactly what I'm talking about - you're NOT a victim unless you choose to be. You're a client who is entitled to the same treatment and services that other clients who pay for those same services and treatment get. If you don't, either confront the trainer and fix it or move. As you said, you'd not continue to patronize any service provider that didn't come up to standard. But if you go into a situation (and put your horse into a situation) blindly, with no research done on the person you're trusting with your horse and your riding career, you deserve exactly what you get. Now, if the trainer gives you rules and fee schedules and contracts that spell out exactly what you can and cannot expect for your money and THEN renegs, THEN you're a victim. Again, your choices are to either confront the trainer or move. But most of the aforementioned problems can be avoided if you just do some research. And don't tell me that you can't get info on just about any trainer you want in your area. Horse people love to talk and love to gossip, and everyone usually knows everyone within a certain area or even a state (Texas and Florid are reeeaaaalllly small when it comes to this!). And if it's something scandalous, you can REALLY get a lot of information. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

My point is that we all take responsibility for our horse's safety and well being, and our own riding career. If someone gets through my interview and moves into my facility and then we have problems, we talk. If we can't resolve the problems, I suggest they go to someone who can fulfil their goals and expectations, since it's become clear that I can't. I don't have a problem with this because I'm a professional - in every sense of the word. I don't talk trash about former clients. When I see them at the shows, I'm polite, nothing more. I expect the same treatment but seldom get it. I have a client who is about to leave me now, and will probably talk trash about me after she's gone. Will I do the same? No. Will I be angry? Annoyed, maybe, but I just consider the source. She can't hurt my reputation as a trainer. Only I can do that by acting unprofessionally, and there's no danger of that. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif

Liverpool
Aug. 20, 2003, 07:44 AM
ESG, you are to be commended for treating your clients with professionalism. Not every trainer does, and those that do should reap the rewards.

As you pointed out, tarring everyone with the same brush is inappropriate, and that goes for clients, too.

The discussion centered around why so many trainers seem to be unable to part with a client in a civil and professional manner - and also why many feel they have to insist on their clients' unquestioning acceptance of the trainer's views and actions.

To many clients, it seems ridiculous that you can't independently determine that a situation isn't working and make other arrangements without being called names and treated like some sort of pariah - and it IS ridiculous.

It is not a case of playing a victim. Most clients expect to be treated as valued customers, which includes getting what they pay for, being treated with respect, and being able to discuss their horse(s), training and care questions without being chastised or denigrated for it.

By the same token, professionals who provide that kind of service should also be treated as valued service providers, which means being paid in full and on time, being advised of how much time, energy and other resources are available from the client, and being able to discuss and agree on what the goals and program are for each client.

Please remember that most clients do this for fun. Many of us work hard and deal with quite a lot during the day so that we can afford this - it is our recreation. The prospect of having to show up at the barn, pay a fortune and THEN have to deal with a lot of negotiation, confrontation etc is just not what we are looking for. At that point, it becomes more work instead of the recreation it is supposed to be.

"It's a funny thing about life: If you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it." ---W. Somerset Maugham

ESG
Aug. 20, 2003, 08:26 AM
I agree. As I often tell my students, "This is too expensive and too much work to bother with if it isn't fun." This is why I stress doing research for a prospective trainer and then after finding one whose philosophy appeals to you, keeping the lines of communication open. You have a much better chance of establishing a good relationship if you're aware of the ground rules and know something about the trainer going in. Forewarned is forearmed, after all....... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

I think too many trainers want total control of their clients and their horses. I don't. I'm not interested in babysitting. And I don't accept clients that want a minder that strokes their ego and tells them what wonderful riders they are instead of teaching them. I'm a trainer, not a psychologist or a nanny. If you come out for a lesson and aren't in the frame of mind to work, sure, I'll go have a glass of wine with you and act as a sounding board..........occasionally. Everyone has off days, after all. But then, the next time you come out, you'd better be ready to work. Because that's my job; to educate you and your horse and help you towards a better understanding of each other and a partnership. I don't give a rat's patoot whether you ever show, but don't resent me for spending more time with those who do; they need more of my time than you do to properly prepare for competition. Since I give 100% during every lesson ( I don't talk to railbirds while teaching), I expect that same effort from you during your ring time with me. If you can't give that, you need to ride elsewhere. I make riders (and horses), not socialites.

Again, I maintain that the trainer has an obligation to the client to give his/her very best, and the client has the SAME obligation to the trainer. As we all know, you only get out of something what you put in. Don't ask the trainer to give 100% and you're only doing about 45%; that math will never equal a good, productive relationship.

LawnOrnamentLuvr
Aug. 22, 2003, 06:59 PM
Liverpool, your reply was right on the money and I am utterly impressed with your tactfullness. My hat is off to you. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif This is a good thread.. perhaps we can all learn something from it, whether we are clients or trainers. BTW, I did leave the barn I was at.

Lawny

Liverpool
Aug. 22, 2003, 09:20 PM
Why, thank you, Lawny!!

I hope your new situation works out great http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/winkgrin.gif

"It's a funny thing about life: If you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it." ---W. Somerset Maugham

mareseatoats
Aug. 25, 2003, 04:46 PM
WHO CARES.

Rosie
Aug. 25, 2003, 10:01 PM
Here's an example of what I think is a terrible way to conduct your business:

My daughter and I have been riding at a stable for about ten years. We've bought and sold horses thru the owner, we've shown extensively (locally but very regularly), we've stayed thru trainer turnover, always paid our "not insignificant" bills on time, didn't participate in gossip or barn/trainer bashing when they came up with other boarders - and even swept up our horses poop in the grooming stalls! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

Recently, we decided the time had come to move on - daughter wanted to show at a different level and I have a really nice greenie that I wanted to bring along carefully with someone who is good at that. Not something that the barn that we were at could offer.

When I gave them notice, (two weeks, which is what they asked for) everything was great....door is always open, etc. We have been VERY careful not to say anything derogatory about old barn to anyone! Even though some of the old barn friends have tried to "get the dirt" on why we left.

Now, a few months later, old trainer passes my daughter at a show and refuses to even speak to her! My daughter can't understand how someone who she has had as a trainer since she was 7 would act like that - especially since we left on "good terms". Ha! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/no.gif

Policy of Truth
Aug. 25, 2003, 10:25 PM
I don't think there is any such thing as being able to leave on good terms. People can say things are ok all they want, but when it comes down to it, few mean it. This is extremely difficult for me to understand as well. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/no.gif

Frisc
Aug. 26, 2003, 01:34 AM
Rosie - Your in Dallas? Sounds like we might have been at the same barn before!

Rocky
Aug. 26, 2003, 04:52 AM
http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif It is a shame that your daughter was snubbed by the old trainer. I am certainly not condonning the trainer's rude behavior. Of the few people who have left me over the years, I make it a point to say hello when I see them and keep on walking.

You said that moving to another barn was more or less a "business" decision for you-ie your daughter wants to show at a higher level and you have a greenie to bring along. So treat it like a separtion in a business partnership and get on with your equestrian life.

You are wanting to twist-up a 10 year personal relationship with this business relationship, and some trainers are not able to handle that.

Many trainers feel that when the business relationship is terminated, they don't "owe" you anything, you are not their client, you have chosen to be someone else's client, so why should they feel the need to keep up the personal part of the relationship.

Trainers are human too, and maybe, just maybe, the trainer was waiting for your daughter to say something first. Afterall you left her, she didn't kick you out. You made the decision to leave-and from your post it looks like you did everything you could to keep the bridge in tact, but your relationship both business and personal is over with that trainer.

PA-where the air is green, the grass is brown, and the plants are smarter than the politicians

tu mamá
Aug. 26, 2003, 07:20 AM
I've never left a barn on bad terms. Oftentimes I still see my old trainers who I talk with.

At an earlier barn of mine, I thought it was going to be extremely difficult to leave since one of my best friends rode there. (I was friends with her before we rode together) I thanked them for all they had done, even though much of the training I had received was all backward, and I was glad to get out of there before more damage was done. The trainer took it very well and in a professional manner, which suprised me since the barn was basically the opposite by means of riding professionalism/skill (although horsemanship at that barn gets A+). Also the trainer screamed at students for petty things, such as dropping a lead rope in shavings. I am sure my friend was wondering what was up since I moved to a nicer barn.