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Alter4a
Apr. 28, 2010, 01:00 PM
The story:

Been riding with the same trainer for the last 8 years. Really well educated trainer, turns out some decent horse rider combinations and seems to be able to take anything green and make it into something nice - quick. Great right?

The issue is that I ride alot and that includes other horses for variety, learn alot on my own, read other people's opinions on riding and other aspects of riding. I feel that the trainer knows what he knows and does not think he needs to roll with the times and expand his education in riding since he already knows-it-all. But, sigh he does not.

I find myself during a lesson more often then not knowing why the horse did that and I know how to fix it. The trainer will say do this and that when in my head that is not the proper fix.

He does not ride much at all anymore but still thinks he knows what is going on between my hand and my legs on a horse that he has never rode. I know a trainer can see tons from the ground that's why we have them but when I truly feel I am more educated than the trainer, here the problem lies.

Issue is I have interest in the stable it self. There is no a chance of my upping and leaving. And, the trainer is great with lower levels and everyone parent to kid loves him.

I inquired about riding somewhere else and am going this week. I feel a bit bad about this and I guess that is why I came here to hear some opinions and maybe tell me it is ok to ride elsewhere and still where I am.

I am not looking to be the next GP rider, but I do want that next push forward. I want someone elses opinion of my riding. I want 'new air' of what another trainer can offer my riding.

I am just an adult who likes to show on a nice horse and have a good time. However, I am serious about my riding and always open my mind to futhering my education riding wise/horse wise in general.

How many people are at a barn that they plan on being there for a long time or have been there a long time? With the same trainer? Any grips about riding with the same person for what seems like a lifetime? Big question: How many of you have multiple trainers and how do the trainers feel about that? Do you find your riding is conflicting with one trainer to the next? One tell you do it this way, the other expects it the other way?

TY.

scribbles
Apr. 28, 2010, 01:13 PM
i have ridden with multiple trainers, but it can cause problems if you do it on a regular basis, a lot of trainers are possessive, and it might be a problem especially since you have been with this trainer for 8 years.
I would talk to the trainer you have now and explain what you want to do.

nlk
Apr. 28, 2010, 01:16 PM
Honestly my first thought was oh wow another teenager who thinks they know better! now towards the end when you mentioned you were an adult, you probably have a little more awareness of the actual situation and don't have a chip on your shoulder like a lot of girls get when they start winning!

All in all I think having another trainers view on your riding is a great idea. They often say the same thing just in a different way, or just have a fresh eye and pick up on different things. However beware because everyone wants money and they are going to try to pull you in by either telling you, you are perfect and doing everything right OR they are going to tell you you wasted the last 8 yrs and they person you rode with was a schmuck!

Now I understand that sometimes when our trainer has never ridden our horse we feel like we know our animal better and if you feel like you have gained all knowledge that you could possibly get from this guy then by all means move on! however if you are just of the mind set because he is not telling you what YOU want to hear then maybe you need to take a step back and re-evaluate the trainer who turns out nice horse and rider combinations- fast, and realize he does it somehow and it's probably not because he's stuck in old school land and doesn't want to learn anything new.

Chaila
Apr. 28, 2010, 01:21 PM
It's really normal to outgrow a trainer after a certain point. I don't see anything wrong with trying out different trainers and barns along the way. I don't think most people stay with trainers forever as their needs change.

It's tricky. It's kind of like cheating on your hairdresser. But ultimately you're writing the check.

Any teacher, not just of riding but anything should not be offended when you move on after 8 years. It's not a marriage! It's a business relationship that can be ended on a very positive non-bridge-burning note if you handle it correctly and said trainer is an adult about the whole thing.

findeight
Apr. 28, 2010, 01:23 PM
You may have outgrown this guy. If he really is professional, he will realize this. If he does not want to keep his skills sharp, you have every right to seek somebody that does and he should not get a bruised ego over it.

Do I understand you are part owner of this stable? If so, the care is good and you don't want to move, that's fine. You are both adults and, in a perfect world, there should not be a problem.

Tell him your thoughts in a positive way. Do NOT mention his shortcomings-men so hate that. Outline your goals and maybe even ask for input in finding somebody to haul to a few times a month. Maybe you'll get lucky, we can but hope.

"Hey, Bob, I enjoy working with you and you have taught me so very much. Lately I feel would like to try more and take a few lessons outside just to polish and get some new ideas, do you know of anybody that would compliment what you have taught me?".

Good luck. 50/50 shot but that's good enough to try.

nlk
Apr. 28, 2010, 01:26 PM
Honestly my first thought was oh wow another teenager who thinks they know better! now towards the end when you mentioned you were an adult, you probably have a little more awareness of the actual situation and don't have a chip on your shoulder like a lot of girls get when they start winning!



I would like to point out that this is just a thorn in my side and has nothing to do with your post! it was just my first thought!!!!

Lucassb
Apr. 28, 2010, 01:28 PM
I feel for you; it is a very difficult situation to be in. I've recently been in a similar place and I have been lucky to work something out with the two trainers involved, but I would say that is the exception rather than the rule.

I love the barn where my horse is boarded and I like the trainer there very much as well. She does a good job and has students that are successful at the local A shows, but there is a limit to her experience and she is not at the point where she is on par with the BNTs in the area.

After riding with her for some time, I became a little frustrated by our lack of progress in getting past a certain level despite diligent effort. I was sure that my horse and I were capable of improving beyond where we were, but I was equally sure it wasn't going to happen without some different help.

I went to a BNT's barn for six months and got what I needed to move to the next level. My previous trainer was very gracious about it and understood my decision, and kept the door open for me to return.

I have since moved back, but with the understanding that I will continue to ship out to the BNT for tune ups on a regular basis so that we can maintain the progress we have made.

It was a difficult conversation to have and frankly it only works because the local trainer is mature and secure enough to accept that she does not "know it all," and she respects the BNT that I went to.

Also, the local trainer's business is doing very well (she is full with a waiting list) which I think takes some of the economic pressure off the situation. I do not "short" the local trainer on lessons when I ship out, which I think helps a lot. (In other words, the BNT's lessons are added to my regular schedule, they don't take the place of the lessons I take at home, so there is no loss of income to the local trainer as a result.) I am one of the local trainer's most active clients, and I make sure I go above and beyond to support her program. I take a lot of lessons, attend a lot of shows, am always the first to buy a seat at the VIP table for a big show, or contribute to whatever barn event is going on, etc. That is my way of showing my appreciation for her tolerance of my riding with another pro.

Most trainers I have met and worked with over time would frankly not be OK with this arrangement, at least in show barns. They seem to feel it is an affront for a student to seek instruction elsewhere on a regular basis. Heck, some even object to their students doing clinics, although I personally think that is ridiculous.

However, it is also true that allowing a student to seek regular instruction from another professional can sometimes cause other clients to question the trainer's ability, and lead to problems. This is especially true if the client in question is one of the trainer's more experienced students. The more novice riders can start to wonder about why the better riders feel the need to ship out and wonder if they should do the same. Trainers know this can happen and are understandably reluctant to "open the door" to that kind of thing, particularly if they are at all insecure about their own abilities.

Tini Sea Soldier
Apr. 28, 2010, 01:28 PM
I've ridden with multiple trainers... but I've always had a great excuse for it.

For example, pony is at sales barn... so I lesson/school her there to keep her going in that environment...
Hunter horse is with regular trainer at another barn... so lesson on him with trainer there.

OR... hunter is with regular trainer at one barn... riding jumper pony for someone else at another barn, so school with their trainer to keep her going for kid and possible customers.

It makes it easier for everyone's egos.

However, in your circumstance, I'd try the approach of looking into clinics in your region. Start going on a regularish basis... and then you can always say... "Oh, we touched on something really interesting at the clinic today... so the group is gonna get together again and work on it at the clinician's farm". It makes it sound less like you're dumping or blowing off your trainer... and more like you're just working on a specific problem that came up and doing it with a group (safety in numbers). More passive... less aggressive.

If there are no clinics... make up "a friend"... and say... my friend suggested I come over and have a lesson with her. We think it would be fun to swap horses and get a feel for each other's rides and stuff!

findeight
Apr. 28, 2010, 01:34 PM
That clinic angle is a great one, didn't think of that.

Strikes me, if he does not mind you doing a clinic off the property, he should not mind you hauling out as long as you STILL take some lessons from him at home.

If he is one of those knucklheads who forbids clients from taking a clinic elsewhere? It will not work. At all.

So I'd start by finding a clinic and asking him if he has any objection to you going. That ought to give you a clue about the rest.

Alter4a
Apr. 28, 2010, 02:25 PM
Wow thank you for your input. It gives me mixed emotions.

Everyone who said talk to my trainer. Would love to but he-man as he is would find some reason to turn it around and his trainer-posessiveness would rear. He has an ego, a big head, old school yes, but updated ... not sure. I have learned ton from him don't get me wrong but I find myself questioning him at times. I don't think your suppose to have a trainer where you question his advice.

I can move forward with riding. I am capable and so are the horses. I feel I have hit a wall. I am working on the same areas contantly and I feel accomplished and secure now I need something encouraging and fresh.

I would rather go with Tini Sea Soldier's idea of saying I am going to a clinic, to a friends to ride other than telling straight out the truth. I know it sounds shady as I am not a lier but I have to deal with this with kid-gloves.

Lucassb, another reason for me keeping quiet is that I do not in any way want to alter the program as it is today with other riders questioning my looking for training elsewhere. It does not look good and I would never want to cause an issue. I've been under instruction of this trainer for a long time and I would not want to be the cause of business loss.

Yes I am part owner of the stable. Not with the trainer but other folk. Everything on the working end of the stable is smooth, happy and comfortable.

THIS is my problem: I feel like it is looked down upon of why should the owner of that stable be riding somewhere else. Am I telling the world that the trainer is not good enough for me to ride with? Than why is it ok to have others ride with him (even so that I've been riding with him for a long time, other may not see it that way)? He also has a large list of people waiting.

Than on the other hand I come to the thought that why should I be getting worked up about this? The stable is different from the trainer/lessons. I am on the working/$ end, not the trainer end even if it is under the same roof so what's the big deal? I would never knock him, the clients really like him. He seems fitted better to an advanced clientel but not a polished set. I am seeking polish.

Nlk: I took no offense to your post. Just a mid-aged adult here looking to get all I can out of riding before I get too old to do so :)

With that, and this cluster I need a margarita (hold the salt) please!

Limone
Apr. 28, 2010, 02:28 PM
I ride with two trainers that work together. I am really lucky because they are both really amazing. I have been with them for 7 years and still learn something new every day. Thus said I am extremely lucky because they understand that there is always something more to learn from another trainer. If I ask to have a lesson with another trainer they are happy to set it up. Especially through the summer and in Florida I love getting the chance to have lessons with other well known trainers. Often they say exactly the same thing as my trainers about my faults but sometimes hearing it from someone else makes me actually fix it. But the best part is being able to learn new things from other people. I had the honor to have a few lessons with Charlie Weaver a few summers back and he helped me immensely with my mare and helping her use herself properly. I would never go behind my trainers back and ride with someone else because I see that as being disrespectful. Likely your trainer has many contacts and will be able to help you have the occasional lesson from another well respected professional that can help you become the best rider you can be!

Lucassb
Apr. 28, 2010, 02:35 PM
Well, you've hit the nail on the head really.

You ARE seeking instruction that this pro cannot or will not provide. This can be construed as "the trainer is not good enough" for you (or at least, not good enough to get the job done the way you want it on his own.)

Ideally this will not be apparent to other customers - which is why the clinic idea is a good one - but be aware that the horse world is small and if you are shipping out to someone else more than once or twice, chances are that the trainer at home is going to learn the truth sooner or later.

Very possible that your barn's clients also have friends who ride at other barns, and may hear about your "clinics" too. Especially if they are happening on a regular basis and look a lot like, well, you know... regular lessons.

Even if the other professionals don't call your current trainer and discuss the matter (and they DO, don't kid yourself) I think it's unlikely you will be able to keep this under wraps for long, unless you are only going to ship out once or twice.

If you are an owner in this business, you should be able to tell the trainer that you would like a second set of eyes on your ride "just to freshen things up a bit" without too much in the way of fireworks. I would assure them that you are not auditioning new trainers to take his job, or planning to advertise your decison to sway other clients.

findeight
Apr. 28, 2010, 02:47 PM
...but I find myself questioning him at times. I don't think your suppose to have a trainer where you question his advice.

Yes I am part owner of the stable. Not with the trainer but other folk. Everything on the working end of the stable is smooth, happy and comfortable.

Am I telling the world that the trainer is not good enough for me to ride with? Than why is it ok to have others ride with him (even so that I've been riding with him for a long time, other may not see it that way)? He also has a large list of people waiting.

With that, and this cluster I need a margarita (hold the salt) please!

:DCheers.

Listen, if you have been with him for 8 years? He ought to LIKE you asking questions-or he has not been doing that good a job. Most better trainers do not mind being questioned after years with a client. Not yammering, self seeking attention getting prattle, mind you. Theoretical questions or asking for a better explanation of the why's of an excercise. That SHOULD mean he taught you to be a horseman. Whether he sees it that way or prefers to hand hold and blow your nose for you? Another issue. Trainer I have been for 15 years now with encourages questions and makes all her assistants take clinics when offered and doen't mind if we go off property to one. Most of the real BNT folks also don't mind questions or clinics.

I don't envy you. I do think if you continue to ride with him and just augment that off the property, you MIGHT be able to swing it.

I dunno about how others will see it. If he has a waiting list and is good up to a certain point? Might not look bad at all. Just don't get mixed up with somebody on an ego trip who flaunts the fact you haul to them over your at home trainer. Most good Pros understand and won't keep it a secret but will not fly that flag in his face.

Alter4a
Apr. 28, 2010, 02:52 PM
Thank you.

I am going to take my first lesson with the new trainer and see how it goes. If I want to continue than I will inform my current trainer.

I want be light with my trainer. His job is never at risk and he knows this without me mentioning it.

I would not want to put it as if he is not good enough for me, more like I am missing something and he cannot find it.

Cheers Back :) Findeight!

touchstone-
Apr. 28, 2010, 03:16 PM
If you really want to stay at this barn, I'd be very careful. I'd recommend shopping for local clinics, and biting your tongue with current trainer. It is so easy to hurt feelings, and if you're not ready to face possible eviction, I wouldn't risk it.

Janet
Apr. 28, 2010, 03:23 PM
If you really want to stay at this barn, I'd be very careful. I'd recommend shopping for local clinics, and biting your tongue with current trainer. It is so easy to hurt feelings, and if you're not ready to face possible eviction, I wouldn't risk it.
It would be a bit difficult to "evict" her, since she is a part owner, and the trainer is not.

Chaila
Apr. 28, 2010, 03:29 PM
I don't see what the big deal is... If you're a part owner, work with the trainer to bring in clinicians to enhance your program. No need to sneak around. All good show barns do that at least monthly if not more often. Everybody benefits and you make money.

I wouldn't think twice if one of the owners at my barn had a different trainer come in sometimes.

But then, I'm not terribly nosy.

bits619
Apr. 29, 2010, 11:19 AM
I've ridden with two trainers simultaneously on two separate occassions. No, scratch that- I rode for YEARS at two separate barns- one was close to me, but not the hands-on experience I wanted, the other one was totally perfect horsemanship/opportunitiy-wise, but was far away. That wasn't an issue- I rode with the close barn for 10 years and didn't feel guilty eventually leaving because the (show, horse care/management) opportunities and experiences just weren't there.

Then at one stable, I had my regular hunter lessons, then worked with a dressage trainer on occassion. Because they were two different disciplines, it wasn't an issue one bit and i think H/J trainer saw the improvement and appreciated it.

But then in college I tried out the IHSA team while riding with my regular trainer. Big train wreck. I was doing 3' courses with ease at reg trainer's barn, then deemed unworthy to do anything more than trot poles at the other. The riding styles each taught were totally different, and the teaching methods were at opposite ends of the spectrum. IHSA barn said I wasn't ready for anything more than 18" when I had been riding in lessons for 12 years successfully (meaning, kind to the horse's mouth and back, quiet legs and hands, etc...). It was more of a memory game than I could have guessed- oh right, this trainer likes riders to be perched like this, this trainer wants more seat,... You can imagine how long I lasted.

It certainly CAN work out, but I wish I had taken a few more trial lessons with the IHSA barn before committing my time and money, oh the money involved!, to them.

blackcat95
Apr. 29, 2010, 08:39 PM
I ride with two trainers, but not at the same time. One I ride with during the school year, and one I ride with during the summer because I go to a different state... My school year trainer is definitely more serious and the barn is definitely a show barn. The summer trainer is more laid back and the shows are more casual, but I'd never go to another barn where I am in the summer because this trainer taught me how to jump and to really ride. Both trainers know about each other and understand why I have to switch (it's a family thing) so I've never had a problem.