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View Full Version : Best way to update trainer (long)



doublesstable
Mar. 31, 2011, 10:20 PM
I know this has been discussed a bit so maybe I can get some ideas of should I, or how to, or what to say.

I rode with Hunter trainer A for a few years; 6 years ago. Really love him - but horse went lame and had to give it up for a while and trainer A I had to trailer or board at their ranch if I wanted to do lessons. I have horses at home.

Several years later, horse got better found a local gal (trainer B) to come to my place - she was teaching another rider... Really like her but felt I was hitting a training wall a bit. Slowed down on the lessons.

Went to a show solo because trainer B couldn't make it. Ran into trainer A. Had a bad show. Horse was a nut job. Talked to trainer A and arranged a lesson.

Trainer A came out. Ended up taking my big horse to his place. Big horse needed help. Got lots of help. Love trainer A!!!

Went home because money and hubby's schedule was getting crazy where I couldn't lesson much.

Took a few lessons at my place with trainer B. Didn't go well. Told trainer B about taking my big horse to Trainer A's. Then later told trainer B I would not be lessoning becaues of money.

So I have been riding solo a few months. Not a big deal, lots of rain lately so things are going pretty good other than an alfalfa melt down with one of my horses. (posted about that horse :) )

I want to ride with trainer A so I scheduled a lesson and he will come to my place. YAY. I cannot go to his right now because my trailer is being painted. Okay, so if you are still following (thanks :D )....

Now trainer B comes out to my place sometimes for other riders. So I feel I need to tell trainer B that I am riding with trainer A so there isn't an issue if I happen to see trainer B when riding with trainer A.

I want to be up front, however I don't ever see trainer B. I could call or email; however I just don't know if I should, or how I should. I want to do it nicely because trainer B is as sweet as anyone you would ever meet and I hang out with some of her students....

Melissa.Van Doren
Mar. 31, 2011, 10:30 PM
Call and say something like, "Hi. So it's not a surprise if we're all at the barn at the same time, I'm just calling to let you know I'll be riding with Trainer A from time to time. I appreciate the help you've given me, but I think this is the best direction for me and Dobbin right now. I know you're a professional and understand these things, but I wanted to give you a courtesy head's up. See you soon. Hope you're having a good day."

If you're lucky, you'll get the answering machine. :)

mvp
Mar. 31, 2011, 10:34 PM
Yeah, I read it all.

Tough spot. I'd make sure I burned no bridges and hurt no feelings with Trainer B. You do need to tell her. I think you'll also have to tell her some version of why you are with Trainer A. The "I stopped training with you only for money reasons" isn't going to work. Can you put it in a way that only emphasizes what Trainer A did right, or your long relationship? Trainer A got Big Horse's number like no other. You want to keep going with that. Or, you have known Trainer A just forever.

In your spot, I'd only do this in person. Make the time. In person you can gauge her response and adjust your next sentence as needed. Do your best to make her know this isn't personal. She did help you out. She does to well enough for other riders on your place. It's not her fault she's not the phenom that Trainer A is. Presumably you are happy with her teaching on your farm. So let her know you're happy she's there.

I think you'll do all right in person.

Tha Ridge
Mar. 31, 2011, 11:39 PM
I don't think you need to say anything. In fact, it seems awkward if you just contact Trainer B out of the blue to let them know you're lessoning elsewhere.

People's situations change all the time and if Trainer B is a halfway decent trainer, she knows that and doesn't take it personally. It's not a one size fits all thing—hence why the top BNTs often share clients, horses, etc.

Jaideux
Apr. 1, 2011, 01:36 AM
When I switched trainers at my old barn, it was made easier with the half-truth that the trainer I was switching to had a better availability for the times that matched mine.

Or, now that the trainer seems willing to come all the way out to your barn, which he/she didn't previously seem able to do, you could chalk it up to the long-time relationship. Perhaps this other trainer has a slight emphasis in an area that is a weakness of the other. It was also helpful to say, in my case, that I was switching to the new trainer because of her strong equitation focus, and now that my horse was going along reasonably hunter-y, I wanted to get my butt back in good form to help him be a better hunter.

I left out the parts where I just didn't click with the old trainer, that I didn't feel I was improving much, that I didn't think she "got" me or or my horse, and that I didn't care for how she meddled in my personal life or offered judgments in areas that weren't related to horses.

But, I would only bring it up if you run into each other or it's like an obvious topic. Unless you are a regular, weekly client right now (or perhaps even just regular, like a set day/time she has in the schedule), I wouldn't call her up to say you're switching.

If it were me, I might wait until I run into her at the barn and either she brings up lessons or she sees you obviously lessoning with Trainer A. And then I would say, "Well, I'm giving Trainer A a try again. It's been awhile since I rode with him/her, and I think we're at a point now where he/she can be really useful for my goals. Thanks so much for x, y, z in the past, and if it doesn't work out long-term with Trainer A, you'll probably be my first call!"

karlymacrae
Apr. 1, 2011, 07:37 AM
I'd mention something along the lines of "trainer A is available to come out to my place, thank you so much for helping me for [x amount of time], I really appreciate it!"

I've had to go through this and it was hard, but I told my trainer that my new trainer was available to go to more shows than her and I needed new opportunities, etc.

wanderlust
Apr. 1, 2011, 07:53 AM
I don't think you need to say anything. Also agree it would be awkward to call up trainer B and say "hey, just wanted to let you know I'm riding with trainer A again, so don't be surprised if you see him out on the farm." You clearly have a pre-existing relationship with trainer A, you recently sent a horse off to him, trainer B is aware of this. You also haven't ridden with trainer B for some time, and it sounds like she doesn't help you much when you do, so I'd just be low key about the whole thing.

Sport
Apr. 1, 2011, 08:17 AM
I think if the last time you spoke with Trainer B they were working with you and you stopped for money reasons. In their mind you are likely still a client that has just taken some time off.

Now if you have taken your horse to trainer A before then trainer B should already be aware of that relationship between you and A.

I would just explain that you saw great progress when you had pony at A's and that A has agreed to come and help you give pony a tune up, get show ready, whatever you want to say.

It doesn't sound like you have been a consistent client of B's, so it shouldn't be a shock that you are riding with A, but I am sure they would appreciate the heads up, instead of it being a barn secret.

fordtraktor
Apr. 1, 2011, 09:13 AM
Does Trainer B know about your past with Trainer A? If you started with Trainer B on the premise of "I'm really happy with Trainer A but the logistics aren't working out, can you help me?" and now the logistics are working out with Trainer A, Trainer B will not be blindsided at all or even surprised you would go back to Trainer A, I would imagine. But I would mention it next time you see her with a "hey, how are you!?! Great to see you!?! Dobbin is doing so well. You know how long I've been riding with X, turns out he's able to fit me in again with the slow economy and all. Thanks for your help filling in, I'm so happy with how Dobbin is coming along."

If she's professional she should be cool with that, doubt any of this is a surprise. And it doesn't burn any bridges in case Trainer A picks up and can't come out to your place any more and you need Trainer B's services again.

doublesstable
Apr. 1, 2011, 11:16 AM
Thanks so much for all your thoughts on this.

I think trainer B knows a bit about my relationship with trainer A but we haven't really discussed it.

When I took my big horse to trainer A's, trainer B - when I would see her kept saying - "I can help you with him". I said that big horse (Dobbin, you guys are sooo funny) needs to be in a program. See, trainer A has big barn, lots of grooms, jumps galore, show program, etc etc.. trainer B not so much. Trainer B doesn't really have a show program "at all" and that's one of the things that makes me nuts anyway.

I tried riding big horse once with trainer B - wasn't good.

I so agree with you guys, I don't want to burn bridges or hurt anyone. But I do feel awkward just calling trainer B out of the blue..... still confuse-ed!

Also, wanted to add - trainer A is worth his weight and both my horses weight in GOLD!!!

findeight
Apr. 1, 2011, 11:30 AM
I wouldn't say anything unless the subject came up in person.

It's not like you have been an in house boarding client with trainer B...and she is not able to help you advance as much as trainer A is. Fact you are not an in house boading client with trainer A either. No long term exclusive arrangement has exsisted with either of these.

Just be nice but, no, I would not call trainer B up and offer any explanation-what if she wants a reason and wants to argue?

You'll see her, just be nice and friendly. If she asks, then you can offer but, really, as a free lancer who already knows you use another trainer, there is no committment implied or expressed.

Lucassb
Apr. 1, 2011, 11:56 AM
Thanks so much for all your thoughts on this.

I think trainer B knows a bit about my relationship with trainer A but we haven't really discussed it.

When I took my big horse to trainer A's, trainer B - when I would see her kept saying - "I can help you with him". I said that big horse (Dobbin, you guys are sooo funny) needs to be in a program. See, trainer A has big barn, lots of grooms, jumps galore, show program, etc etc.. trainer B not so much. Trainer B doesn't really have a show program "at all" and that's one of the things that makes me nuts anyway.

I tried riding big horse once with trainer B - wasn't good.

I so agree with you guys, I don't want to burn bridges or hurt anyone. But I do feel awkward just calling trainer B out of the blue..... still confuse-ed!

Also, wanted to add - trainer A is worth his weight and both my horses weight in GOLD!!!

I don't think I would go out of my way to seek out Trainer B to say, "hey, in case you are wondering, I intend to continue riding with Trainer A."

If/when you run into Trainer B at the barn, of course you will be friendly, nice, etc. If she pitches you again on working with your big horse, you can smile and say, "Gosh, that is really kind of you to offer. Right now the program I have him in seems to be working great so I think we're OK, but if that changes in the future, of course I will give you a call!"

ktm2007
Apr. 1, 2011, 01:06 PM
I don't think I would go out of my way to seek out Trainer B to say, "hey, in case you are wondering, I intend to continue riding with Trainer A."

If/when you run into Trainer B at the barn, of course you will be friendly, nice, etc. If she pitches you again on working with your big horse, you can smile and say, "Gosh, that is really kind of you to offer. Right now the program I have him in seems to be working great so I think we're OK, but if that changes in the future, of course I will give you a call!"

This 100%!

fordtraktor
Apr. 1, 2011, 01:13 PM
Yep, given your update, if you haven't talked openly about the Trainer A thing with Trainer B in the past, don't start now! I think Lucassb's advice is perfect.

doublesstable
Apr. 2, 2011, 11:29 PM
First let me say that I'm not trying to be snarky whatsoever...but I might come across that way, hopefully not!
In my opinion, after going through this over a year ago and especially since you had a trainerless gap just like I did, I do not think you owe trainer B any sort of explanation. People change, money situations change, horses change...you don't need to divulge any personal details with B because you haven't been working with her for quite some time, correct? Any professional would take it with a grain of salt, there are always more and new clients to be had. Hopefully trainer B will handle this well and not pry for information.
To play devil's advocate, some trainers ask because they want to k ow why to better improve themselves. Makes sense, then it's your choice what you want to share and what you don't want to share. Example: "trainer A seems to really have a great connection with big horse and I've worked with him in years past" or a simple "I understand, but my reasons are personal".
Hopefully whatever you chose to do works out!


I didn't read snarky at all, just realistic. :) I haven't ridden with trainer B for about 5 - 6 months.

I do have reasons that I think might help her ? but more than likely would only upset her. So I will keep the reasons to myself.

I think that will work; once she pitches me - to thank her and say the program is working well right now with trainer A... and if it changes I will give her a call....etc. etc.

However one issue may come up that I need the wise directon from you guys (because you are not emotionally involved as I am) :D

If I am out lessoning with trainer A and trainer B shows up... I don't think trainer B would say anything but I really wouldn't know how to deal with that and what should and shouldn't be said...

Lucassb
Apr. 3, 2011, 01:45 PM
(snip)

However one issue may come up that I need the wise directon from you guys (because you are not emotionally involved as I am) :D

If I am out lessoning with trainer A and trainer B shows up... I don't think trainer B would say anything but I really wouldn't know how to deal with that and what should and shouldn't be said...

Well, I can appreciate that it might make you feel a bit awkward, but really... I don't think you need to offer any justification to Trainer B. Just say hello, nice to see you, and leave it at that.

If Trainer B says something pointed to you - "I didn't realize you were riding with Trainer A," or something along those lines, you can simply reply, "Oh, yes - her program seems to be working well for us right now," and leave it at that.

In the event that Trainer B is REALLY aggressive and says something like, "You know, I can really help you with that horse," or even "I can't believe you are riding with Trainer A after all I did to help you," (which is what you are concerned about, yes?) I think you can simply remain gracious, and say, unemotionally, "I really appreciate the help you gave us. Right now I think the horse is going well and the current program is working, but I will certainly let you know if that changes." Big smile, pleasant demeanor... keep walking.