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View Full Version : trainer hires old friend-- don't want her to ride my horse? opinions please...



CuriousAlter90
May. 15, 2010, 01:30 PM
I'm going to preface this with the fact I *know* I'm using an alter. I just want to stay as anonymous as possible on this situation.

And I'm fully prepared to hear EVERYTHING, even telling me I'm perhaps jealous or overprotective. I can hear that. I'm posting this because I want to know if my reactions are way way way out of line because he's *my* horse and it's *my* money.

I board at a very very fancy "A" barn and ride with a wonderful very well known trainer. I couldn't be happier with his training program or the facility that we're at.

Through the wonders of facebook, I have found out that an old friend of mine who I used to event with back in the day is going to start riding for my trainer. I'm happy that she has this opportunity-- to ride the quality of horses we have and for the trainer that I have is an incredible gift. At first I didn't know who she was riding with, and then it came out it was my trainer.

Now, she's a great person, very sweet, loves her horse, good rider. She doesn't train with my trainer as she still does eventing. Anyways. I'm probably a slightly better rider than she is, I have a lot of miles, lots of experience etc. We're young, in our 20's, so we're not god but both are quite good riders.

So this is where you get to tell me I'm jealous and overprotective. I pay a LOT of money for the training I'm getting. I love my trainer and he does an incredible job with me and my horse. However, I really don't want someone riding him that's no better of a rider than I am. I would prefer it if my trainer was the one to do all the riding on him.

My next dilemma is this-- I'm a full time college student with a tough major. It only leaves me about 2-3 days to go out and ride. My trainer rides him on T/TH while I ride him W/F/S.

So, do I suck it up, push myself, and find a way to ride him more if I don't want her riding him? Or do I just trust my trainer? I mean, this girl is nice, but my horse is in the green stage and fairly difficult to ride properly. I just don't want to come out to the barn feeling like I have to fix something that was fine last week.

End of rant. I just don't want anyone but me or my trainer on him. With the amount of money I pay, is it ok to ask that she doesn't ride him? Do I just try and go crazy to make it out there an extra day a week? Or do I push my ego aside and let her ride my horse?

I have a feeling it's my ego. I *should* be happy for this girl, I know, I guess I'm a little overprotective of my ponay.

mypaintwattie
May. 15, 2010, 01:45 PM
Tell your trainer you don't want her on your horse. It's your horse, you're the one footing the bill, and he is the trainer you are paying to ride- not some amateur. I had to do this with my last trainer- he was away at shows nearly every week, but would still charge us for full training and have a 17 year old run the horses around the bull pen and then get on and 'school' them. When I and another person in training found out what was happening we approached the trainer, and when it didn't stop we pulled the horses from full training. Just go and voice your concerns to him. We went from the liability standpoint- that our insurance would not cover anyone but the trainer, much less a minor.

Bogie
May. 15, 2010, 01:49 PM
Two thoughts:

First, you are entitled to tell your trainer that you don't want anyone other than him riding your horse.

Second, watch your old friend ride. She might have gotten better. If you haven't seen her for awhile, you might be surprised.

But I hear what you're saying. I don't let many people ride my horse either.

Does your horse need to be ridden six days a week? Or is the five you've outlined sufficient.

AliCat518
May. 15, 2010, 01:56 PM
I would feel the same way you do. It doesnt really matter your reasons--its YOUR money and YOUR horse. You get to choose who rides him and who doesnt. Youre paying your trainer because hes a pro, and im guessing this girl isnt. If you express your concerns, your trainer should understand. (If it were me, I wouldnt feel the need to explain, I would just say to trainer, "I prefer you and I to be the only people riding pony.")

ThirdCharm
May. 15, 2010, 02:00 PM
Make sure that you and your trainer both understand clearly what service you are paying for. As long as you BOTH think that you are paying X amount per month for TRAINER to ride 2x/week, then you're fine. If you think you're paying for trainer to train and trainer thinks you are paying for "someone" to "exercise" your horse, then you have a problem.

Spell it out. Failure to do so causes some really ridiculous problems in the horse world.

Jennifer

Whisper
May. 15, 2010, 02:04 PM
I agree with the others so far. I wouldn't focus on the other rider, just tell your trainer that you want the two of you to be the only ones to ride your horse, unless you specifically give an exception. Are you ok with this other person longeing, tacking up, and otherwise handling your horse, just not riding?

Somermist
May. 15, 2010, 02:06 PM
I would feel the same way you do. It doesnt really matter your reasons--its YOUR money and YOUR horse. You get to choose who rides him and who doesnt. Youre paying your trainer because hes a pro, and im guessing this girl isnt. If you express your concerns, your trainer should understand. (If it were me, I wouldnt feel the need to explain, I would just say to trainer, "I prefer you and I to be the only people riding pony.")

Agree! You are paying for training with this trainer.

Giddy-up
May. 15, 2010, 02:13 PM
Can you approach your trainer about who will be riding your horse & say you prefer he continues the same program as it's working for you.

I don't think how you feel is out of line or crazy. You choose to train with this trainer & have them ride your horse. I pay my trainer to ride my horse otherwise I would ride him. I would not be happy if somebody else was doing the riding that is on the same level as me or lower yet I am still paying top dollar for it. My $$$ means my input in how it's spent.

NorthFaceFarm
May. 15, 2010, 02:16 PM
Yep - you're paying for the trainer, not this new girl. My clients understand that the full training ride price means I'm the one in the saddle. There is a separate exercise ride fee if you simply want the horses hacked because you can't make it out, and those rides are sometimes passed on to a very capable junior in my program. Owner's have the option of specifying whether that rider is ok or if it needs to be me every time. So far nobody has had a problem with my judgement and believe it is beneficial for said junior to work with the horse too. I wouldn't mind at all if they did though.

CuriousAlter90
May. 15, 2010, 02:18 PM
thank you all for your replies :)

horse is ridden only 5X a week. he's in a pretty strenuous program during those days so two days off for him seems fair. Trainer always rides him Tuesday because he's had the previous two days off and needs a pro ride. I'll be the first to admit that's the best thing for him. Not that I can't handle him on Tuesdays he just does better with a pro reminder ;)

The groom usually does the tacking up for Trainer, but I totally trust her with that task. She's a good horsewoman, no doubt, loves her own horse like crazy, and feel she would be completely capable of grooming him. Lunging is ok I guess as long as it's a free lunge. He's pretty picky about the Pessoa system and tends to react pretty strongly to it (like, if it's not done properly he feels like crap the next day. On his forhand etc.) However, I've never seen her do this so she may be capable of it, I'd have to watch tbh. My major concern is the rides.

My trainer is completely approachable and would understand, he's been a huge part of my support system and life this past year, we have a good honest business relationship. There's no doubt that he would take this fine, I guess I just wanted to know if I was being unreasonable before I approached him.

And I will certainly watch her ride. It has been a while, though I see her photos a lot on facebook etc. it is true that I haven't personally seen her ride for a while.

thanks for all the feedback!

ideayoda
May. 15, 2010, 02:41 PM
If the friend does a good job, and rides under the trainer, it is a great opportunity for the horse to get more mileage under a different person as well. Look at it from all points of view. Imho it is nice if the horse can get ridden daily/hacked out if you want it advanced easily. Go for it.

hb
May. 15, 2010, 02:57 PM
My trainer is completely approachable and would understand, he's been a huge part of my support system and life this past year, we have a good honest business relationship.


Kudo's to you for recognizing this is a "good, honest business relationship" and not thinking "my trainer is my friend, how could he do this to me!".


You sound like level-headed young person. Trust your gut and have an open conversation with the trainer about what you want and what you think you are paying for.

dwblover
May. 15, 2010, 03:03 PM
I say watch her ride one horse after she arrives, then make your decision. You do have every right to ask that only you and trainer ride your horse.

LaraNSpeedy
May. 15, 2010, 03:05 PM
HMMMM.

Well another thought is - my experience is that at most Top A farms - the head trainer does not ride all the green horses all the time. Usually he or she is far too busy. And is at shows a lot - a lot of the assistant trainers do some or most of the riding too. So if you have had this trainer on your horse every time so far, you ARE very fortuneate. Now, you might approach this a little open minded wiht the trainer. Maybe he has gotten super busy or is planning to be gone a bit and NEEDS this rider to help him ride all the horses.

You are not in full training I suspect - usually 4-5 times a week riding for fulltime training. PT training is 2-3x. SOUNDS like you are paying the trainer to ride the horse 2x a week. If you are paying the trainer for HIM to ride the horse that is something else. I fyou are paying for training - like you are IN a program, then you usually have to buy into the trainer's program. BUT you should be able 100% to share your concerns too.

So I would be open to letting someone he feels is right to ride your horse. But I agree with the others that you might have a sit down with the trainer and talk about goal setting and what your wants are and he share what he thinks the program needs to be. You should share with the trainer that you know this person and think she is not a god enough rider for her to warrant PAYING for her to ride him. Like if this girl is going to ride him, you might rather ride him. BUT he MIGHT say that the girl with ride him and HE will be on the ground. Some trainers get a lot accomplished being on the ground and having an assistant on the horse.

I think you should have a sit down with the trainer so you can find out what his plans are with this rider - she might not be on his mind TO ride your horse at all and all this worry is for nothing.

CuriousAlter90
May. 15, 2010, 03:32 PM
thank you all again.

I pay for full training. I get lessons 3X a week, he rides horse 2X per week. And thats a rough schedule. For instance, I have finals next week so I took this week off and next week off so I can study so he's riding him for two weeks. If I can ride more, I do. If I can only get out there 1X a week, that's what happens. My horse is probably costing me close to 2K a month (including board but not showing), so it's a lot of money to fork over.

It is a good point that I am paying for full training thus paying for his training package.

I will talk to my trainer soon, I may be able to escape my studies and hop over to the barn to smooch my horsey and give him some orange crunchies anyways.

Tha Ridge
May. 15, 2010, 03:42 PM
If the friend does a good job, and rides under the trainer, it is a great opportunity for the horse to get more mileage under a different person as well. Look at it from all points of view. Imho it is nice if the horse can get ridden daily/hacked out if you want it advanced easily. Go for it.

You've gotten some great advice, and I agree with the others who have said that you sound level-headed and don't come across like a psycho, over-protective owner.

But, I do think ideayoda raises a good point: if this rider is just as capable as you, it could be beneficial to have her on the horse. I realize it's not the "pro ride" you're asking for, but assuming that she's just hacking the horse, she's not going to cause damage.

Having said that, it is your horse and you do ultimately have the right to dictate who can and cannot ride him - but hopefully you trust your trainer enough to believe that he wouldn't hire someone incapable of riding to his standards.

Gideon
May. 15, 2010, 05:17 PM
You're paying for the trainer to ride your horse, not the assistant.
Be honest and tell trainer, he is the only one to ride your horse.:D

superpony123
May. 15, 2010, 05:22 PM
You're paying for the trainer to ride your horse, not the assistant.
Be honest and tell trainer, he is the only one to ride your horse.:D

agreed

Ibex
May. 15, 2010, 05:23 PM
Hmmm. I'm going to take a different view here.

Sometimes the trainer doesn't need to be the one riding the horse.

You've admitted that you can't make it to the barn for a couple of weeks. So what would be the problem with having the assistant ride on your days? Especially if the horse is being ridden under the supervision of the trainer (which I think is a fully reasonable expectation).

If people think that the trainer, and only the trainer, is riding their horse 5x a week, in a busy A barn, they're kidding themselves. :cool:

goeslikestink
May. 15, 2010, 05:27 PM
your the paying customer hes the service provider- your paying him to work for you
so tell him- under no circumstances do you want anyone else riding your horse
- period end off- and dont pussy foot around with him
say it as you mean it - authority - as no doubt if your a student you i think might be younger than the trianer - but your paying for that service so speak clear and pricise let him know you mean business

enjoytheride
May. 15, 2010, 05:51 PM
At a barn I was at the lesson people would ride the training horses. The trainer would get the fee for the lesson and a fee for the "training" ride. Double dipping but the trainer thought that since they were teaching it was just the same.

Whisper
May. 15, 2010, 06:16 PM
Ibex, if the trainer is honest about that, then no problem. If they claim to be riding the horse, but are actually putting their assistant or a lesson person up, then they are liars. In that case, they deserve to have people move on to someone who isn't behaving fraudulently.

Enjoytheride, I don't see a problem with "double dipping" as long as the owner is ok with the person taking a lesson on their horse. I've been allowed to ride privately owned horses in lessons, sometimes for an extra fee, sometimes not. Usually they watched me ride at least once, to make sure they were comfortable. In that situation, they may also ask me to sign a release of liability for them in addition to the one for the barn. Some owners have also allowed me to ride when they were out of town or pregnant or whatever.

Curious, Ibex and Ideayoda both make a good point - if you can't make it out to the barn for a week, and your trainer will be out of town at a show, or too busy to ride your horse every day, you need to be on the same page on how to handle it. If you just want the assistant to free longe, instead of ride, you need to make that really clear. Is there another boarder at your barn who is a better rider than you are, who you would prefer to exercise your horse when you and your trainer are both busy? Ask your trainer if that would be ok with them before approaching the other boarder to find out if they are interested.

RockinHorse
May. 15, 2010, 06:17 PM
I board at a very very fancy "A" barn and ride with a wonderful very well known trainer. I couldn't be happier with his training program or the facility that we're at.

<snip>
So this is where you get to tell me I'm jealous and overprotective. I pay a LOT of money for the training I'm getting. I love my trainer and he does an incredible job with me and my horse. However, I really don't want someone riding him that's no better of a rider than I am. I would prefer it if my trainer was the one to do all the riding on him.



If what you have said above about your trainer is true, I think I might be inclined to trust that he will only put your friend on your horse if and when it is in the best interest of your horse.

That being said, it is your horse and your money and if you have any concerns, I think they should be brought up with your trainer.

Carol Ames
May. 15, 2010, 06:27 PM
talk with your trainer:yes:; I was very particular about who rode my horses, too:yes: Is it possible that she has moved up to your :cool:trainers' level of riding?:confused:

Ibex
May. 15, 2010, 06:27 PM
Fully agreed that the Trainer has to be up front and honest about who rides the horse, and unless otherwise arranged, should also be supervising. My trainer does this, we all know who is riding when (and quite frankly, the Working Student is a lovely rider), and it works for everyone.

amastrike
May. 15, 2010, 06:30 PM
I honestly cannot imagine why any trainer would think it's acceptable to put another person on a horse in training. If you're paying for the trainer to ride, then you are paying for the trainer to ride. I would certainly hope he would discuss it with you before putting another rider up.

Carol Ames
May. 15, 2010, 06:44 PM
Tell your trainer that you are happy to pay him to ride/ train your horse; but, you do not want this other person on him; and yes, you are very protective of him ; as you say your friend is of her horse; you certainly have the right to say that;:yes: but, do watch this new person and see if she is competent ;):cool:now to ride more difficult horses:confused:

Carol Ames
May. 15, 2010, 06:50 PM
Why is your trainer bringing in this person? Is there a physical/ medical problem?Is he going to be away for a while?

80s rider
May. 15, 2010, 07:13 PM
This is just a general question..because I'm curious and not familiar how these things work....

If you pay a pro to ride your horse and instead an assistant rides the horse-Do they give you a discount? Pro ride $50 assistant ride $30?

Seems that would be fair. Kinda like paying a Nurse practitioner instead of a Dr.

Lucassb
May. 15, 2010, 07:24 PM
OP, I feel your pain, and I don't think you are being jealous or overprotective.

My trainer recently "promoted" another rider at our barn to the position of assistant trainer. She is a nice girl and rides well, but she is just a decent adult amateur, and nowhere near as competent as the trainer in terms of riding.

Like most experienced adult ammies, she is certainly capable of teaching up down lessons and I would have no problem with her *hacking* my horse for exercise if I couldn't make it out... in fact, she used to routinely offer to hack customers' horses when they were available since she cannot afford one of her own. There is NO way I'd pay her to do a schooling ride or take a lesson with her myself.

My situation is slightly different in that I have a very easy going, made horse that doesn't require much in the way of pro schooling, so the issue was more about lessons and rides on the days I couldn't get to the barn.

I just told my trainer that I thought "Susie" was a lovely person, but I did not feel comfortable having her school my horse (or myself.) By saying you aren't comfortable, you don't say anything negative about the other person (the classic, "it's not you, it's me" approach) which may make it a bit easier for the trainer to accept. In your case I think you could say that you just don't want to change a program that is working so well at this point in your horse's development, and see if you can keep things as they are "for right now."

My trainer was disappointed but she did understand and accept my decision. I hope yours does the same.

twobays
May. 15, 2010, 07:43 PM
I wouldn't make a huge deal about it, but I'd have a friendly chat with your trainer and make it clear that you (and your horse) are happy with the current situation and that going forward, you'd like to keep things as they are.

Our horses are our babies and there's nothing wrong with being protective of them. I'd certainly be uncomfortable if I was paying for my pro's time and getting an ammie's ride. Not a thing wrong with that.

twobays
May. 15, 2010, 07:44 PM
If people think that the trainer, and only the trainer, is riding their horse 5x a week, in a busy A barn, they're kidding themselves. :cool:

In a full training situation, of course, because some of those rides are just hacks, not really schooling rides. The OP is talking about paying her pro for two schooling rides a week, which is a totally different story.

findeight
May. 15, 2010, 07:52 PM
Now, she's a great person, very sweet, loves her horse, good rider. She doesn't train with my trainer as she still does eventing.


Ummmm, say what? She does NOT ride with your wonderful, well known A show trainer or any A show trainer but still Events and he hired her to ride and school A show calibre horses (Hunters?)?

I don't get it.

Am I missing something?

Why would he think his clients want somebody with little or no A show experience to school their A show horses in an A show barn? For the same price as he gets as a successful A show trainer??

Just does not make sense.

Oh, and about an assistant riding? If this guy really is a wonderful and very well known A show trainer? He's at shows 30 to 40 weeks a year and has to have a competent assistant at home-frequently these are better then 80% of the so called "trainers" taking money from people. But not always.

You certainly can be "picky" about who schools your horse when you are paying for specific talent-A level competency.

Just don't like the sound of this from what was posted. And, OP? There ARE other trainers out there. Speak up on this one.

You are not being jealous, just not wanting to pay for that A show level school from somebody who has no background as an A show rider. That is certainly sensible. I wouldn't either and have not let assistants school even my very nice Hunter until I am sure of their abilities. Or ever in one or two instances (and those did not stay at the barn that long, I was not the only one).

Peggy
May. 15, 2010, 08:00 PM
Talk to the trainer and let him know how you feel. Also ask him how he plans to use this person--is she going to hack horses lightly, school horses under his direct supervision, school horses on her own, school horses o/f, run the barn for two weeks while he goes on vacation? Now, what's planned could change, but at least it would give you more data with which to proceed.

Watch the person ride. If she does end up riding your horse, see if you like what you feel the next time you ride. If you don't, talk to your trainer and be specific.

Yes, you have the right to have someone better than you riding your horse on a regular basis if you are paying for training.

I am one of those ammys that often gets rides on other people's horses. But it's always with permission from the owner. Any true schooling is done with the trainer present. It mostly doesn't involve jumping. In a few cases, I'm used as the intermediate ride between the trainer and the owner--the horse needs a less expert ride than the pro ride, but a good enough rider to deal with the aftermath of a less-than-expert ride. And I am very grateful for those rides.

Go Fish
May. 15, 2010, 10:36 PM
Hmmm. I'm going to take a different view here.

Sometimes the trainer doesn't need to be the one riding the horse.

You've admitted that you can't make it to the barn for a couple of weeks. So what would be the problem with having the assistant ride on your days? Especially if the horse is being ridden under the supervision of the trainer (which I think is a fully reasonable expectation).

If people think that the trainer, and only the trainer, is riding their horse 5x a week, in a busy A barn, they're kidding themselves. :cool:

This...

My trainer has about 35 in training. He can't possibly ride all of them every day. He has one assistant that starts all the green ones. Another smaller rider does the ponies and helps with the greenies. Trainer pretty much restricts himself to the going show horses that are on the road. But with 35 in training, the assistants are going to get on the going horses occasionally. Usually just to hack, but there's no way around it. Both assistants do a pretty good job...were top notch juniors and went directly to pro status when they aged out.

One thing I've noticed is that trainer and both assistants ride together. This allows trainer to keep an eye on the assistants while they are riding. And, someone needs to keep the home fires burning when the trainer is on the road.

If we didn't let good juniors move up the ranks and give them opportunities once they turn pro, we'd surely run out of good trainers, fast.

Peggy
May. 15, 2010, 10:43 PM
This...

My trainer has about 35 in training. He can't possibly ride all of them every day. He has one assistant that starts all the green ones. Another smaller rider does the ponies and helps with the greenies. Trainer pretty much restricts himself to the going show horses that are on the road. But with 35 in training, the assistants are going to get on the going horses occasionally. Usually just to hack, but there's no way around it. Both assistants do a pretty good job...were top notch juniors and went directly to pro status when they aged out.

One thing I've noticed is that trainer and both assistants ride together. This allows trainer to keep an eye on the assistants while they are riding. And, someone needs to keep the home fires burning when the trainer is on the road.

If we didn't let good juniors move up the ranks and give them opportunities once they turn pro, we'd surely run out of good trainers, fast.
But I'm not convinced that the person in question in the OP is an actual assistant trainer. And she apparently was not a top-notch junior, at least in hunter land. There can be a rather large difference b/w a bona fide assistant who is capable of schooling horses, giving lessons and taking clients to shows versus someone who "hacks" horses and maybe gives the occasional beginner lesson.

BTW, my trainer's assistant was the primary rider on my horse.

SaddleFitterVA
May. 15, 2010, 11:15 PM
OP, I feel your pain, and I don't think you are being jealous or overprotective.

My trainer recently "promoted" another rider at our barn to the position of assistant trainer. She is a nice girl and rides well, but she is just a decent adult amateur, and nowhere near as competent as the trainer in terms of riding.

Like most experienced adult ammies, she is certainly capable of teaching up down lessons and I would have no problem with her *hacking* my horse for exercise if I couldn't make it out... in fact, she used to routinely offer to hack customers' horses when they were available since she cannot afford one of her own. There is NO way I'd pay her to do a schooling ride or take a lesson with her myself.

<snipped>

After all the threads on this forum about amateur vs. professional, are you really saying that an adult amateur is teaching lessons and riding horses in your barn?

Or has she made the switch to professional, which, as you know, has absolutely nothing to do with riding skills, and you don't want this pro riding your horse?

Or, are there really amateurs out there who are teaching up/down lessons for free, riding horses for free, and still paying full board on their own horse(s)?

CuriousAlter90
May. 15, 2010, 11:32 PM
Ok, I'm going to try and respond to most everyone's comments I can remember while I'm typing here!

Firstly, this rider is a hacking rider-- not assistant trainer. My trainer rides in the GP's so she's no where near as experienced as him.

I feel weird saying this, because I'm a pretty humble person, but I'm one of the best riders my trainer has. There is one other adult ammie who I think can outride my pants but she is an incredibly hard working woman who has a difficult work schedule and doesn't live very close by so I wouldn't ask her to ride my horse. I'm a good, experienced rider. Shown on the A circuit, started, finished, schooled many horses, graduated high school a year early so I could be a WS, etc. etc. etc. I'm a pretty confident young girl, I *know* my limits, though. I'm not cocky, I just know how to ride. This rider is good, however I'm concerned that I may know more than she. And this could be my ego talking-- the "I'm better than her" but that's how I'm seeing it. And I don't want to sound ridiculous either. But it's the truth.

Trainer has someone come in and train us while he's away at shows. She's awesome. Love her. She can ride my horse, no problem.

There's absolutely no reason to switch trainers, at all. I cannot go into full detail about the past year (would disclose my anonymity) but in short, had serious health problems that forced me out of the saddle for a year. I was not even in the same state as my horse for a large portion of that time, so it was humanly impossible for me to even SEE my beloved horse. He took the most outstanding care of him, treated him as if he was his, and I came back to a fit, healthy, beautifully trained and very confident horse. Finding another trainer is out of the question, I'm keeping mine!

I was blessed as a junior to ride some super fancy, well kept show horses. I got to ride 6 horses a day, 7 days a week under my trainers eye (different trainer btw). I got to work the farm, I've gotten to teach young kids, I get that we have to give juniors a leg up so to speak, but, but but but, not on my horse. Selfish, I know, but I JUST aged out, I'm not even 20 yet! I'm a poor college student with awesome parents who help support my horsey fun, as I work by butt off in school to get my degrees.

And I'm totally putting faith in my wonderful trainer that he knows what is best. I will talk to him, but I trust his judgement.

Sithly
May. 16, 2010, 12:45 AM
Well, I guess I would try to keep an open mind. Instead of simply ranking her as a lesser rider, see what she has to offer your horse. She might have a different skillset that is beneficial.

If not, at least you gave it a chance.

findeight
May. 16, 2010, 07:59 AM
After all the threads on this forum about amateur vs. professional, are you really saying that an adult amateur is teaching lessons and riding horses in your barn?

Or has she made the switch to professional, which, as you know, has absolutely nothing to do with riding skills, and you don't want this pro riding your horse?

Or, are there really amateurs out there who are teaching up/down lessons for free, riding horses for free, and still paying full board on their own horse(s)?

I think I can answer that one. Alot of us in big show barns tend to refer to people by their riding level and not Pro status.

So you get that "glorified Junior" term that does not refer to anything other then maturity and riding level. They have aged out but are still immature and not able to run a business without mummy and her money.

Or you can hear that Adult Ammie used to mean that is about the apex of the persons ability and wouldn't be someone you'd pay pro rates pay to have ride yours.

Both terms refer to ability, not having an Ammie card.

I'll give anybody a chance BUT am not going to pay $60-$100 for a qualified AA Pro ride and get an average, relatively inexperienced rider who knows less then I do.

Lucassb
May. 16, 2010, 08:27 AM
After all the threads on this forum about amateur vs. professional, are you really saying that an adult amateur is teaching lessons and riding horses in your barn?

Or has she made the switch to professional, which, as you know, has absolutely nothing to do with riding skills, and you don't want this pro riding your horse?

Or, are there really amateurs out there who are teaching up/down lessons for free, riding horses for free, and still paying full board on their own horse(s)?


I think I can answer that one. Alot of us in big show barns tend to refer to people by their riding level and not Pro status.

So you get that "glorified Junior" term that does not refer to anything other then maturity and riding level. They have aged out but are still immature and not able to run a business without mummy and her money.

Or you can hear that Adult Ammie used to mean that is about the apex of the persons ability and wouldn't be someone you'd pay pro rates pay to have ride yours.

Both terms refer to ability, not having an Ammie card.

I'll give anybody a chance BUT am not going to pay $60-$100 for a qualified AA Pro ride and get an average, relatively inexperienced rider who knows less then I do.

Thanks, Findeight, you explained it better than I would have.

Whisper
May. 16, 2010, 11:28 AM
I always thought "glorified junior" meant that they had done really well in the juniors, and used that as a launch pad for turning pro, but weren't good enough to compete open. If there is an amateur or a junior who rides as well or better than your local pros, do you call them "pros" as well? I'm a little confused.

meupatdoes
May. 16, 2010, 01:13 PM
Or, are there really amateurs out there who are teaching up/down lessons for free, riding horses for free, and still paying full board on their own horse(s)?

I absolutely did this before I switched over (because I started getting a board discount).
Then again, I learned how to ride by being the one who was the beneficiary of these sorts of rides, so I have always been willing to pay it forward now that I have managed to learn something.

Anyway, to respond to the OP:
I have a quibble about the OP's post.
OP keeps saying "*I* am paying for full training," *I* am paying a small fortune, it's *my* horse and it's *my* money etc.

Really?
OP is in her 20's and taking two weeks off for finals.
OP ain't paying.
Someone else is.

Yes, it is possible that the OP has some sort of extracurricular job that allows her to singlehandedly by the sweat of her brow put her horse in FULL TRAINING (and take two weeks off for finals), and if this is the case I truly apologize for the assumption, but please forgive me for assuming you were in the 99% category and not in the 1%. I myself paid every cent of my horses through loans while I was in school, so I know it is possible, but they sure as shizzle were not in "extremely expensive" full training.

I mention this for a couple of reasons.

1. I find it disrespectful to the real check writers when a kid does this. Maybe I'm funny that way, but I just do.

2. A lot of times it is the people who have never had to catch ride who are the least willing to share their horses. They have their own, and they have the "Pay to play" attitude, which is fine, but half the time ...they're not even the ones paying. Someone else has handed them a horse to ride all expenses paid but when someone else comes along who might do a ride here and there, they don't want to share. Of course they always say they are grateful and they understand what a privilege they being afforded but the second it comes time to pay it forward even for a ride or two per month the first words out of their mouths are "NUH. UH."

3. College will be over soon. Again, maybe OP really is paying 100% for that full training program, in which case that is awesome for her. But if someone else is, at some point the gravy train is going to stop. A lot of ex-juniors on here have posted about how the second their parents pulled the plug all of a sudden they started reevaluating their horse show bills. Suddenly hugely expensive stall splits at the horse shows were no bueno, and they left the fancy trainer. Or they had to quit riding. Many people had their best showing years as juniors on someone else's tab.

In other words, OP has a nice horse paid for now, but might want to be the recipient of such a ride in the not so distant future.


The above part of the post is all assuming that the OP isn't ACTUALLY funding the entirety of her horse's full training expenses on the side while she is in college. Again, I understand the possibility that I am completely wrong in this assumption (hey, someone I went to college with had a computer software company that he started when he was like, 11, and owned his own plane. As in, HIS OWN. That HE wrote the check for. In addition to the check for his entire tuition. And car.), and I apologize if that is the case. I am just discussing the likely scenario.


BUT.
Even if she IS paying this small fortune entirely on her own, I personally do not think it is a huge deal for this other kid to ride her horse when she can't come out. The trainer is still doing his 3 rides per week, and on the 2 days this other person is riding the horse who rides about the same as the OP. This is no skin off her back. The horse will not be negatively affected. In fact, he will probably benefit from having an additional pilot.


Yes, she has the right to insist that only the trainer ride the horse ever if that is their deal (which if he is running a big program will get increasingly unrealistic, though) but there comes a point where you have to decide if you want to be only the type of person you have A RIGHT to be, or if you want to maybe go a little beyond that and be the type of person you would really LIKE to be. You know, maybe be the person who is willing to bend a little here to give this "old friend" an opportunity to ride your nice horse.

Of course you have the RIGHT to tell her no and close up ranks.

But you also have the option to be the person who tells her yes.

Lucassb
May. 16, 2010, 01:45 PM
snip
BUT.
Even if she IS paying this small fortune entirely on her own, I personally do not think it is a huge deal for this other kid to ride her horse when she can't come out. The trainer is still doing his 3 rides per week, and on the 2 days this other person is riding the horse who rides about the same as the OP. This is no skin off her back. The horse will not be negatively affected. In fact, he will probably benefit from having an additional pilot.


Yes, she has the right to insist that only the trainer ride the horse ever if that is their deal (which if he is running a big program will get increasingly unrealistic, though) but there comes a point where you have to decide if you want to be only the type of person you have A RIGHT to be, or if you want to maybe go a little beyond that and be the type of person you would really LIKE to be. You know, maybe be the person who is willing to bend a little here to give this "old friend" an opportunity to ride your nice horse.

Of course you have the RIGHT to tell her no and close up ranks.

But you also have the option to be the person who tells her yes.

I think you are being a bit unfair. This is not a situation where an "old friend" just wants to ride the OP's nice horse and the OP is saying, "sorry, all mine, find your own."

The OP is talking about paying for one thing (a schooling ride from an accomplished professional trainer) and getting something entirely different (a ride similar to one the OP could do herself, done by someone who isn't even in her discipline.) Those are not comparable experiences for the horse, and I see no reason why the OP should pay BNT rates if she's getting what amounts to a hack from a fellow amateur.

Whether the OP is paying or someone in her family is footing the bills (none of our business either way) it is an issue of getting what you pay for. And particularly with a green horse, it simply doesn't make sense to pay for rides that don't advance the horse's training.

Thomas_1
May. 16, 2010, 02:23 PM
Of course you can do whatever you want to do and I'm not entirely sure I understand the arrangement in terms of what your trainer is doing.

I'm getting the impression though that you're concerned that perhaps your horse could be ridden more frequently?

If that's the case and your trainer can't do that then you might want to give it some serious thought.

The worst thing you can do for a horse is to NOT have it ridden sufficiently for what you want and to let it be unfit for your useage.

It seems to me that you trust your trainer and I'm thinking a conversation to ask why he/she is suggesting this rider might be helpful for you. You might also want to check if the horse were to be ridden under supervision of your trainer or not.

I personally would be concerned to ensure that the suggested rider is a decent rider if the horse is being brought on but I'd see it as an advantage providing that was the case that the horse also gets used to the experience of being ridden by a variety of folks and so doesn't get bored.

Furthermore it will help to bring him on and gain experience in addition to making him more affordable. If that's not an issue then not to be taken into account.

With regard to how much he's being ridden - if he's fit and healthy then anything up to 4 hours a day 5 days a week isn't going to be much trouble at all. Not even what I'd necessarily categorise as hard work. You might though not want him to fit dependent on what you're doing and how often you ride.

Now often folks get concerned about horses learning bad habits - In my opinion though there too often seems to be an arrogant presumption from a lot of folks that ONLY they ride correctly. Once the basics with a horse are established having more than one person riding him increases his confidence and its an important part of a horse's education to be ridden by others. I have a presumption that the horse will be ridden reasonably of course.

IMO far too many folks kid themselves into thinking they and only they can ride a particular horse but its NEVER the case. You can kid yourself, but you can never kid the horse.

Now I run an equestrian centre and so my horses are all my own and I'll tell you straight that I'm delighted to let others use them under supervision and after I've assessed their ability to ensure they're matched up with something appropriate to their ability. It means they are always in good condition and not hanging around on the off chance I might have the time and inclination to take them out. It means they have a routine and do not have to suffer like all too many "hobby horses" by being pasture ornaments 5 days and only ridden weekends and spend Mondays suffering from sore muscles and then hanging around and just getting right before their owner turns up for another occassional riding or competition show.

My wife has a young hunter - aged nearly 8 and he's being used occasionally by other experienced riders and is all the better for that experience. Indeed if her own horses weren't ridden by others, then to be frank she well knows she couldn't own horses and do them justice. There's 2 folks even sent her youngster Christmas presents!!

I've spent too much time TELLING or persuading owners that: they haven't got time to do a horse justice, can't afford a horse, haven't got the skill to teach it or bring it on themselves, are too inconsistent with their exercise programme, are over-feeding in relation to what work it does. Those horses are MUCH more likely to suffer.

If you're confident that you've got great arrangements for your trainer to ride the horse sufficiently to keep it fit for what you want and to give it the variety and stimulation it needs then just say no. If you've any concerns that you may be missing out on an opportunity though then talk to your trainer and ask why he thinks there'd be a benefit and check out the other rider and then decide.

CuriousAlter90
May. 16, 2010, 02:31 PM
I do believe I said this:


I'm a poor college student with awesome parents who help support my horsey fun, as I work by butt off in school to get my degrees.


And if you actually read my posts, you'll notice that I, too, was a beneficiary of these kinds of rides. I've worked my butt off since I was 12, mucking stalls, brining horses in, feeding, riding, you name it I've done it, in order to afford my horsey passion. While I have an incredible horse, ride at a beautiful barn with an amazing trainer, in no way am I handed these things. If I could or wanted to go into more detail about this, I would, but I don't find it necessary. But to assume that I'm some young girl getting handed fancy horses and good training because my parents can simply pay for it? yikes.

And yes, college will be over, parents stop paying. But the thing is, I'm working my ass off in school to get degrees that will allow me to continue riding. I'm not diddly dadeling around here, I'm working hard in school so that I too will be able to afford my horse.

And it's not like this old friend doesn't have a horse or exceptional training. She's got a great mare and a fabulous event trainer. Anyways, that seems a bit of a moot point right now.

So.

Thank you all who have replied. I see many sides of things right now-- that I'm paying for full training thus for his training package, which may include hacks from my friend. I see that I'm a little jealous because he's MY horse and I'd rather ride him than her. I see that he may benefit from another rider. Also that it wouldn't be the end of the world to let this friend ride a nice horse. I can also recognize that I have the right as the paying client to ask trainer to ride him, and if necessary, to try and find more ways to come out to the barn on the days he's unable to ride. I know that right now school comes first (so that hey, I can pay for this) and that may mean that someone else rides my horse other than my trainer.

lcw579
May. 16, 2010, 02:53 PM
Tell your trainer to keep the girl off your horse. Could you be a bit worried about finding a posting on facebook about how much better your horse goes with her on it? You aren't 20 yet so I am assuming that she isn't either and girls that age can be catty, both intentionally and unintentionally. I am supposing you are worried about her feeling competitive with you and it becoming a bit of a battle of oneupmanship? The simplest way to not let this issue stew and to maintain the friendship is to keep her off your horse.

nlk
May. 16, 2010, 03:32 PM
My biggest worry would be your friendship with this other rider! If something goes wrong, your horse hurts her or she hurts your horse.. Or she rides him once or twice and you have t pull the ride. It's going to be detrimental to your relationship!

Personally you and your horse are use to the trainer riding your horse. If that's what you have been paying for and that's what you get then it shouldn't change unless the trainer approaches you. To save you, the trainer, and your friend any confusion approach it now. You don't have to bring up who's the better rider but voice it more as you're uncomfortable with the effects this could have on your relationship!

Personally if my best friend came to ride horses at my barn (which I am the trainer at!) it would be impossible. Not only do we have different approaches to training/ridding BUT there is that I'm in charge problem to! :lol:

HealingHeart
May. 16, 2010, 06:12 PM
I think you have answered your own reason and justifiction here. You were very kind in your comments about everything, but bottom line, you don't want just anyone on your horse, you want the best, not third, forth best for your horse, but what you view as the best.




Now, she's a great person, very sweet, loves her horse, good rider. She doesn't train with my trainer as she still does eventing. Anyways. I'm probably a slightly better rider than she is, I have a lot of miles, lots of experience etc. We're young, in our 20's, so we're not god but both are quite good riders.


Have a private conversation with your trainer and just tell them the truth about your expections. Hopefully they will understand and not push anything one way or another. From your experience, the new trainer can not add anything NEW to your horse's training.

headsupheelsdown
May. 16, 2010, 11:31 PM
Let me ask you... are you worried at all your trainer will tell you no? Stop being your trainer and ask you to leave?

Honestly, I see no reason why you cannot set this stipulation that the girl not ride your horse. None at all. Your horse, your money.

And geeeeeesh... to the person who is all worried that it is OP's parent's money and not OP's. What difference does that make at all to you? Technically it IS OP's money given to her to spend for her sport by her parents. I fail to see where this makes any point whatsoever in her dilemma.

*******************
And yeah, I honestly have never seen the sense in the whole "double dipping" thing. It's actually "triple dipping" if you think about it. Not only does the trainer 1)collect from the owner for a training ride and 2)collect from the student for the lesson... 3)the trainer doesn't have the expense of buying and maintaining nice lesson horses, they just use their clients' horses. So... it's really "triple dipping". Don't really know why people (owners) put up with it for the most part, they are REALLY helping out the trainer in that case. And you have to wonder, did the trainer recommend that I buy this horse because it is good for ME or because they want it in their lesson program? And finally, you are open to a whole world of liability if someone gets seriously injured lessoning on your horse. No matter what, you will be dealing with that.
*******************

Jsalem
May. 17, 2010, 08:05 AM
At our barn, we offer "training packages" at a discount. Our pro does the majority of the riding, but we do use another adult several times a week to keep up with the riding. She may also fill in when our pro leaves early to show. I'll also ride occassionally to help us keep up with the workload.

We're very careful about who rides what and for what reason. Our goal is keep the horses tuned, fit, fresh and happy. We like for our horses to be worked 5 or 6 days a week with one or more of those rides occurring outside of the ring- up and down hills or even just a pleasant hack out of doors. We take each case individually. A horse that needs to be jumped or that needs lead change work- our pro will do. A horse that is being ridden several times that week because the rider is busy or out of town- we might have the other adult do a good flatwork school. She has a very strong dressage background. We also like to use her if we're working a horse that belongs to a crooked rider. For a rider that is nervous riding out of the ring or that we feel pounds the horse too much- that horse will hack out.

If we have a client that insists our pro ride- no problem, but we can't offer the discounted package. We simply can't get the rides done if our pro is off at a show and the horse is at home. In that case, we'll just bill individual schools as they're done.

If a kid is out of school, a rider asks for an "extra", or we use a client's horse for a lesson (we always ask permission)- that ride is never billed or used as a "package ride". The package rides are always ridden by staff.

I think the "package" idea is a win/win situation, but the client has to be reasonable. The pro can't possibly keep up riding 10 or more horses a day without a day off. That's not good for anyone. Bottom line, you need to trust the program and the judgement of your trainer. I think it's a good thing for a trainer to hire help rather than say your horse is ridden when it's not- which I think happens more than people think.

findeight
May. 17, 2010, 08:34 AM
My biggest worry would be your friendship with this other rider! If something goes wrong, your horse hurts her or she hurts your horse.. Or she rides him once or twice and you have t pull the ride. It's going to be detrimental to your relationship!



Ahhhh, therein lies the rub. OP is paying a BUSINESS for a service provided by a professional. Having a friend get paid for riding when rates are for a competent Pro? That destroys the business relationship and puts OP in an awkward position. Her horse and what she is paying for are paramount in this scenario, not her pre exsisting but not lately close relationship with this new rider. This one is all about business, the friendship has to be outside the business relationship. The issue boils down to value received for $$$ paid.

Not going to help OP with this but I like the barns that offer a la carte pricing-pay per ride. As well as assign competent juniors to just hack them around if you cannot get to the barn-no schooling-at no charge.

Jsalem
May. 17, 2010, 08:43 AM
OP states that her trainer is hiring her friend. It sounds as though trainer thinks enough of this rider to have her join his staff. It sounds as though trainer appreciates new rider's skills, attitude, work ethic, etc. I bet the new staff member will be riding trainer's own horses. Are you questioning trainer's hiring judgement? Or are you jealous that friend has the opportunity to make a living riding and not you?

If OP doesn't like the staff, then there is a problem.

findeight
May. 17, 2010, 09:13 AM
...It sounds as though trainer thinks enough of this rider to have her join his staff. It sounds as though trainer appreciates new rider's skills, attitude, work ethic, etc. I bet the new staff member will be riding trainer's own horses. Are you questioning trainer's hiring judgement? Or are you jealous that friend has the opportunity to make a living riding and not you?



Umm...or he can't get anybody else to stay home and do the schooling rides and grunt work????? It is not easy getting top quality riders willing to give the Adult and kid horses at home a solid, professional jump school when the GP and "glamour" horses are on the road.

For what OP is paying in this GP rider's barn? She is entitled to question who does that twice a week serious school on her horse and have doubts if no rate reduction is offered.

I just got a problem with being in an AA show barn paying AA rates and getting an Eventer with little or no show experience to jump my AA competitive Hunter around. I'd have even more doubts if it was a level 7 or up Jumper. They may be good riders but how would they know what and how to polish for the AA show ring if they were not even in that part of the sport? How can they "nuance" the trip and get those little details that make a 78 an 85? Or school the open water (over, not into)? That's what a real AA trainer can do and why they cost.

Jsalem
May. 17, 2010, 09:22 AM
My point is that perhaps the horse doesn't need a twice per week "serious school". Is the OP also taking lessons on the horse? I, for one, wouldn't want the horse pounded 4 days per week.

I agree with earlier posters. OP should get what she's paying for. If she's paying a discounted package, she may be receiving staff rides some of the time. If she wants just the bigwig, pay individually.

We're also taking the word of the OP that the new rider isn't that good. Maybe the trainer knows something that she doesn't? Like the eventer has a great dressage background that greatly benefits the hunters?

findeight
May. 17, 2010, 09:27 AM
Could be the Dressage background he is interested in and could be she is just going to be doing mainly flatwork. And that makes alot of sense.

Whatever, OP needs to schedual a sit down chat and ask about it. if she does not like the answer, she should have the right to say no.

Jsalem
May. 17, 2010, 09:33 AM
Agreed. This is the kind of situation that creates the DRAMA in barns. Sit down with trainer and find out about the new hiring. How will this new hire affect the service that client is paying for? Perhaps trainer is stretched too thin and clients will actually get more for their money! Communicate.

Jaideux
May. 17, 2010, 09:54 AM
What I took away from the OP is the part where she is concerned about paying $X for a pro ride and actually getting an assistant's ride which is worth $Y. Not necessarily saying the assistant's ride would be worthless, but rather is it truly worth the same money she pays her trainer. OP: would you be more comfortable with the arrangement if you were paying a (significantly) reduced rate for the non-head trainer ride?


I definitely understand the quandry of paying for training that is no better, and perhaps a smidgen less good, than your own work. On one hand you want the horse to stay working and in shape, but on the other hand is the hacking ride of an equivalently skilled rider as you worth the same as a training ride of your BNT?

It isn't.

I am in the student boat, and my horse really needed to be worked. Luckily for me, the BO's junior daughter is a kick-ass rider and was willing to give me a super cheap deal on riding him a few days a week. I benefitted in that she is a WAY better rider than I'll ever be, but it was important enough to me that he be working (not even in a "training" context) that I was willing to pay for the rides, and I would have even if the kid was at my level or even a little lower. I was so pleased with her I actually ended up giving her a 50% raise about two months in :)

What it would come down to for me is 1) How important is it to me for the horse to work x number of days a week? 2) On the days I can't come out to fulfill those x days, how much am I willing to pay to make sure he gets worked? If it's super important to you he work all those days, you may not have a choice in the billing for a lesser-ride. Demand and supply, etc. But, if I were you I would see if you could work out a plan where you pay less if that girl will be hacking your horse, especially if it is not under the direct tutilage of your trainer in a training-ride context.

If the important part for you is that he be getting excellent training, and not just busy work, then your algorithm may vary.

In my ideal world, I would want an itemized bill where it shows me like, 4 pro rides at $X and 6 assistant rides at $Y, where Y is a fair amount less than X. And it probably couldn't hurt to tell your trainer that you are friends with this girl, and you would really appreciate an arrangement that keeps this a BUSINESS like as possible, meaning it stays between you and your BNT as much as possible, and not you, her, and your BNT.

How many threads have been on here about a friendship that turned sour because the relationship adopted a business angle to it, or the opposite where a business relationship turned sour because a personal friendship developed? I assume all 3 of you are mature enough to keep things lovely, but... is it worth the risk to either end of your relationships to blur the line between them?

Anyway, long story short: in a black and white world, I don't think it's fair to bill a BNT rate for an ammy ride, no matter how much better the ammy is than you. A per-ride bill would sit better with me, or a reduced training package.

ExJumper
May. 17, 2010, 10:00 AM
My point is that perhaps the horse doesn't need a twice per week "serious school". Is the OP also taking lessons on the horse? I, for one, wouldn't want the horse pounded 4 days per week.

5 days. OP has 3 lessons a week and trainer schools it twice. It has Sunday and Monday off.

I hadn't thought about it, but the dressage background could be a key here. I've often asked a dressage lady to ride my horse. She tunes him up very nicely with a dressage saddle.

I'm also a little confused about the history of the friendship. If the other girl is an eventer, did she USED to do A shows? How and when did she and the OP ride together?

If you sign on for your trainer's "package," you are expected to take part in that package. If you don't want one of his assistants to ride your horse, then you'll need to discuss with him your options. Just talk to him! All this debate is just talk!

Poniesofmydreams
May. 17, 2010, 10:02 AM
If you truly trust your trainer, why not listen to his recommendations? He is the paid professional and you are paying him to do his job.
Your horse may do very well with this girl riding him. If your trainer is giving her a chance then maybe you should too. And having your friend at the barn may end up being a fun experience for you.
Just because you may be a better rider it doesn't mean you can't gain something positive from the situation. Keep an open mind.

whbar158
May. 17, 2010, 10:22 AM
From the sound of the program you have right now for your horse she would only ride your horse on some hack days if you couldn't come out at all for a week or more. I am much like you and often want to be the one that is the worst that rides my horse and not let anyone else lesser ride them. Horses do learn from lesser people and benefit from other people riding them.

My horse was 12 when I got him, he was western and was a barrel horse and had never jumped until we went to try him. He was very hard and strong, for the first 5 or so years I owned him no one but me or a trainer rode him with maybe a few rides from other people thrown in over time. When I quite showing him at the bigger shows I moved him to my friends lesson barn, at this point he was much less strong and very quiet (QH) and about 17 and had been showing at our C and A shows for 5 years. He did not know what to do with kids riding him consistently and it really took him a long time to figure out how to handle the kids and their signals which were different from anything he had felt before. Now at age 21 he is an awesome teacher, he is still picky about correct signals but instead of being confused he just ignores incorrect stuff. My point is he really could have benefited from being ridden by other people a little more earlier in his training.

This is what I would do if I was in your situation. I would tell your trainer that you really like the program you have going with your horse right now and really would like to keep it up. If you can't come out for a few weeks say I would be ok for the working student to hack my horse but I would prefer if you watched and you did the training rides. Which from the sound of his program already sounds like what he would do.

rugbygirl
May. 17, 2010, 10:53 AM
Pay for pro, get a pro. We absolutely get a discount when the WS rides our horses instead.

No trainer worth anything in my area would put a rider up on a privately owned horse without permission from the owner. It's a huge liability for the owner, they need to be ok with the risk, and aware of the rider's own insurance standing.

My horses are always left at the barn with a "feel free to use in lessons" clause, as I figure that any lesson kid is going to be at least equal to or better than me, so we aren't in the same boat BUT there was one sweet girl that looooved my horse but I couldn't stand how she rode him. Trainer and I had a two minute discussion about what I didn't like, that horse was no longer available to that rider on a regular basis.

I agree that a few rides here and there isn't going to wreck a horse. We do, as owners, tend to get a little blind to our own riding faults and assume that no one else can ride the horse. When you get that pang, nagging feeling, it's a clue to put on your objective hat and ask yourself: "what don't I like about this?" If there is no real REASON, then the rides are probably ok and you need to get over it. With my horse, rider liked to take a death grip, and sawed on his mouth to get him "in a frame"...now, obviously trainer was working with her on this habit, but my horse was very averse to it. Other horses in the barn were a lot less bothered. This was especially important with my horse, because it had taken a ton of work to override his previous mouth-deadening job training. I had a real, legitimate concern, and trainer had no problem.

NCE
May. 17, 2010, 11:28 AM
Trainer chiming in here....

I have a very good assistant who can ride the hair off about any horse on the planet. She is competent and handles the horses well, and the clients like her a lot and also respect her.

I also have a client who has multiple horses, all very nice with successful show records and so on. Horses anyone would love to ride. One of the horses is younger, and something we have been bringing along together for some time now. Client, when she purchased the horse, requested that my assistant not ride it. She specifically requested that the only people to ride this horse be me and her. My assistant was welcome to continue riding the other ones, just not this one.

I was absolutely okay with it, and understood that since the horse was young at the time, my client wanted him to have a specific program with just the two of us riding him. I also had to talk to her about what would happen with the horse if/when I went out of town, since she did not want the assistant riding. We came to an agreement that made everyone happy, and the horse has done extremely well. My assistant was disappointed, of course, since it is a very nice horse, and also somewhat insulting to be told she can't ride something. But, I explained to her that this is part of being a professional businesswoman. It is not just about riding horses and teaching lessons. Client management is the cornerstone of it all. No clients=no horses.

I think the OP needs to have the same chat with her trainer as my client did with me. Explain it not in terms of ego (I ride better than her, so I don't want her riding my horse), but instead in terms of continuing with a program that you are happy with. Be aware that you will likely have to make some concessions- if the trainer is away, and you don't want the assistant on, then what happens? Are you going to come ride more? Will the horse have just some time off for turn out? Will the assistant lunge him? Decide what you are willing to handle (and what you are not), and I'm sure you and your trainer can come to an agreement.

Keeping clients happy is the number one concern of anyone who aspires to run a successful business. Good luck!

Linny
May. 17, 2010, 11:35 AM
Enjoytheride, I don't see a problem with "double dipping" as long as the owner is ok with the person taking a lesson on their horse. I've been allowed to ride privately owned horses in lessons, sometimes for an extra fee, sometimes not. Usually they watched me ride at least once, to make sure they were comfortable. In that situation, they may also ask me to sign a release of liability for them in addition to the one for the barn. Some owners have also allowed me to ride when they were out of town or pregnant or whatever.



If my horse is used in a lesson I want to be PAID FOR IT, not paying for it.

If I am paying for training rides, I want to know who is riding and what they are doing. If the policy is that the pro rides will be either with the "main trainer" or an assistant, I want to know which assistant it is that rides and I think that it should be on the billing.
I don't think that the pro teaching a lesson student on my horse is a pro ride. Maybe head trainer teaching one of the assistants would be OK.
I do think that is you have a problem with a certain trainer riding your horse you have every right to ask they they not ride him. Maybe you think that they are not right for your horse (too much hand, too much seat etc) or maybe you just don't care for their style.
Whatever the trainer does, I think should be docmented and listed on the billing. If I were to find out that something other than what I expect (different rider etc) was done, I wouldn't be pleased. I'd rather just seek out a capable, solid lesson student looking for a bit of extra saddle time to hack my horse than find out later that my trainer was billing me for pro rides that never happened.

ETA: As for the OP, discuss it with the trainer but consider this. There may be a psychological issue with you not wanting to pay for a training ride when your friend is providing it. You see her a peer, not a pro. If the trainer you are with is hiring her, he must be pretty confident in her. OTOH, I see your point. I was in a somewhat similar position once where a barn hired one of my former lessonmates as an instructor.

headsupheelsdown
May. 17, 2010, 06:49 PM
If my horse is used in a lesson I want to be PAID FOR IT, not paying for it.

THIS!

You could use the money to get liability coverage to protect your assets in case anyone gets seriously hurt on your horse.

izzy 2
May. 17, 2010, 08:28 PM
sort of in the same vein... how do you disagree with your trainer? If you bring up concerns, is it really awkward? Do they listen? Anytime I bring up any issue, my trainer finds ways to make digs about it for weeks. I'm happy with the training, but unhappy with their program which I find completely ridiculous (injections before a 2 week horse show, and more in between weeks, jumping SEVEN 1.20 and 1.30 jumper rounds in 5 days...) am I just being naive? are they all like this? How can I look out for my horses, and get them the training they need (though not to such excess) and still keep the peace?

Bogie
May. 17, 2010, 09:11 PM
sort of in the same vein... how do you disagree with your trainer? If you bring up concerns, is it really awkward? Do they listen? Anytime I bring up any issue, my trainer finds ways to make digs about it for weeks. I'm happy with the training, but unhappy with their program which I find completely ridiculous (injections before a 2 week horse show, and more in between weeks, jumping SEVEN 1.20 and 1.30 jumper rounds in 5 days...) am I just being naive? are they all like this? How can I look out for my horses, and get them the training they need (though not to such excess) and still keep the peace?

I am frequently surprised by how many people seem to be intimidated by their trainers. You are your horse's only advocate. You need to protect him from too many injections and too many jumps.

However, it's not clear to me what type of injections you're talking about. I know many show barns that give Adequan/Legend shots leading up to shows. I used to give my foxhunter adequan twice a month during the foxhunting seasons to keep him comfortable.

If it's joint injections, then you might want to discuss with your vet the long term implications.

izzy 2
May. 17, 2010, 10:52 PM
joint injections... get them done sunday and jump again weds, which is wayyy sooner than i thought could even help-- i thought working too soon on them would actually more likely do harm than good.

JKTaLu
May. 18, 2010, 10:01 AM
Bottom Line: Your horse..your money...your wish as to who rides the beasty. Have a quiet chat with your trainer on whether or not the friend will be hacking your horse.

Bogie
May. 18, 2010, 12:19 PM
joint injections... get them done sunday and jump again weds, which is wayyy sooner than i thought could even help-- i thought working too soon on them would actually more likely do harm than good. :eek:

That's a very aggressive schedule. When my horse had his hocks injected he was on restricted turnout for 24 hours, regular turnout for 24, light hack for two days and then put back into work. My vet's schedule is more lenient than many I know. He's told me at the big show barns he does injections every six months for some horses . . . but it sounds like at your barn it's more frequent.

For my horse, yearly injections were sufficient.

Certainly I would want more information about the long term implications of such aggressive joint treatments before letting the trainer dictate the injection schedule.

However, I sympathize with your position. Many barns have a system that you either go with . . . or leave.

findeight
May. 18, 2010, 02:07 PM
joint injections... get them done sunday and jump again weds, which is wayyy sooner than i thought could even help-- i thought working too soon on them would actually more likely do harm than good.

Do you get itemized statements from your vet for exactly what is being done? Mostly it's every few months at most. I'd want to see those statements and review what is being done. Schedual a talk with your trainer for an explanation and a look at those vet records.

But the 7 1.2 to 1.3 classes in a week? Ehh...should not be a problem, many can do more then that with no harm assuming they are not overprepared or giving lessons on top of all that. Long as it is not 3 or 4 weeks a month every month, should not be an issue.

But the joint injection schedual seems excessive, even for a regular, over the road show horse. There are other trainers if you get sick of what your vet bill must look like.

meupatdoes
May. 18, 2010, 02:22 PM
:eek:

That's a very aggressive schedule. When my horse had his hocks injected he was on restricted turnout for 24 hours, regular turnout for 24, light hack for two days and then put back into work. My vet's schedule is more lenient than many I know. He's told me at the big show barns he does injections every six months for some horses . . . but it sounds like at your barn it's more frequent.

For my horse, yearly injections were sufficient.

Certainly I would want more information about the long term implications of such aggressive joint treatments before letting the trainer dictate the injection schedule.

However, I sympathize with your position. Many barns have a system that you either go with . . . or leave.

What izzy mentioned sounds to me like it is a routine regimen of IM Adequan or IV Legend injections, which is normal to do at that frequency(although the trainer or barn manager should be able to give them to avoid astronomical call fees), not injections that actually go into the hock.

findeight
May. 18, 2010, 02:32 PM
What izzy mentioned sounds to me like it is a routine regimen of IM Adequan or IV Legend injections, which is normal to do at that frequency(although the trainer or barn manager should be able to give them to avoid astronomical call fees), not injections that actually go into the hock.


Indeed that does sound more normal on that kind of scedual. That is why that poster needs to see the itemized vet statements and they should be available. She may well be misundestanding what is being done (and what she is paying for). Or not. Nothing surprises me anymore.

Midge
May. 18, 2010, 03:56 PM
Or, are there really amateurs out there who are teaching up/down lessons for free, riding horses for free, and still paying full board on their own horse(s)?

Yes, although we didn't teach lessons. And this also leads into my response to the op.

I had my young horse in full training for a year and a half. There were horses only the trainer rode. There were also horses that only he would jump but me and another adult would flat or trail ride. Then there were horses that all three of us might ride and jump. Unless we were trail riding, we were almost always supervised by the trainer.

My horse was ridden most often by me, then the other adult, then the trainer. It was a great learning experience for him. His riders were smart enough to keep him out of trouble, but not so smart that we showed him the perfect distance every time, or kept him perfectly straight every time, or kept him perfectly balanced between hand and leg every time. He had to gain an understanding of how to do these things for himself. The trainer rode him to remind him of how to do it correctly, and to double check on any habits we might be teaching him. it worked out well because my horses tend to go right, while the other adult tended to get them to go left.

Unless your horse has some specific training issues that are best handled by a professional, there is really no reason to not have other people ride your horse. Just being ridden by someone else is good training. They learn they are not going to get the same ride every time, they do not have as much opportunity to build in resistances to one rider's particular habits, etc.

As far as the assistant being an eventer, big deal. She is not being hired to show the horses, she's being paid to train them. I live in an extremely horsey area and the amount of cross pollination going on is fun to see. The same person I had training my horse also trains an upper level eventer. The trainer before him got help with his GP horses from a dressage rider. The girl who legs up my friend's fox hunters in the summer starts all the babies at a dressage breeding facility. Any good trainer wil tell you to get experience in other disciplines. You horse can benefit from a different viewpoint, as well.

FineAlready
May. 18, 2010, 05:22 PM
Having recently successfully addressed a smiliar situation myself, here's my advice:

Just casually say to your trainer, "Hey Trainer, I hear that you have hired Friend. I think that is great! Friend is a great person and a really good rider. I just wanted to mention, though, that I would prefer that we keep Horsie's riding and training program as is, with only you and I riding him. It has absolutely nothing to do with Friend's qualifications or anything - I am just so happy with the way Horsie is going under the current program and I don't want to mess with what is working by changing things around."

I pretty much said exactly this to my trainer very recently in a slightly different but nonetheless similar situation and it was very well-received. My trainer simply said, "Oh, yes, that's fine. I'm glad you are happy with how he is going, and we can keep his schedule the same as it has always been."

I liked this approach because it is both a request that the new person not ride the horse, as well as a compliment of the results you are getting out of the current program. It is hard for a trainer to get pissy when you are paying them a compliment!

Bogie
May. 18, 2010, 05:42 PM
What izzy mentioned sounds to me like it is a routine regimen of IM Adequan or IV Legend injections, which is normal to do at that frequency(although the trainer or barn manager should be able to give them to avoid astronomical call fees), not injections that actually go into the hock.

That's why I asked. Legend/Adequan 2x/month and/or before shows seems reasonable.