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View Full Version : You probably see 100 of these but I need advice LONG.



EquitationRider
Feb. 24, 2012, 10:00 PM
WARNING LONG!! sorry :)

So here's the deal, I'm a working student in high school. Can't afford my own horse or more than 1 lesson a week, do a few shows, the usual. I am extremely lucky to be a working student at a barn with fabulous school horses. Ive been riding a school horse for the past 5 years and he is amazing. Capable of doing the 3'6", really awesome but a super hard ride. I also get to ride some of my trainers horses who are super awesome and other clients horses in love it!
But recently I've been feeling a little used. There is another girl who used to help out and get rides in return but as of late she has not been out to the barn at all. She comes maybe two or three times a week. She shows up late and sits in the tack room until the trainer tells her who she can ride. While I work my butt off and sometimes don't get anything to ride.
To be more specific the girl I find very fake. There have been many incidents where she has been getting rides without putting in the work.
INCIDENT 1: over Christmas the trainer wasn't going to be around. I was planning on doing work around the barn while it was quiet. I began cleaning out the blanket room and the trainer came down to the barn to pick something up. The girl ran to the room i was working on and acted like she was helping then when the trainer left she went back to the tack room, later that day girl go to ride and was thanked for cleaning the room, me nothing
INCIDENT 2: i had surgery just after christmas and the doctor me permission to start working at the barn again. The trainer is at a show for the week. Said girl has been riding A LOT of horses. I go out to the barn and fine it a mess, gum wads all over the tack room floor, the arena sand is banked a foot against the walls and dry as a rock, like dry enough to make a horse lame, and laundry is overflowing. I spend hours raking and shoveling the track and watering the arena while the girl rode 4 horses a day. I am not even thanked for doing all the work.
INCIDENT 3: I just got back from taking 2 weeks off school to go to a horse show and be a groom. I cleaned all the stalls, tack, brought horses up to the ring, bathed, ect, by myself. I was happy to do it, because I am the working student and that is what I'm suppose to do. The day after we get back I go to the barn and get a text from trainer asking me and said girl to unload the trailer. She also gave me and girl 2 horses each ton ride. Girl didn't show up to unload trailer so I did it all and shoveled the arena because yet again it was hard and dry. Girl shows up, rides, and leaves.
INCIDENT 4: just today I am there right after school and start doing all the usual work, tacking up horses cleaning tack, sweeping, catching lesson ponies, ect. Girl shows up at 530 and trainer gives her a free private lesson on a new pony. Trainer is going to be gone next week and asks girl to ride the pony while she's gone because the pony is very green. After girl gets off the trainer asks her to ride another horse, who the trainer had told me I could ride whenever I wanted to and I had been planning on riding later tonight. I lunged and tacked up horses for trainer. At 8pm trainer said in could ride this other horse. She asked girl to shovel the arena. Girl left without shoveling, I shoveled for 2 hours after riding.

I'm sorry this is so long. These are the main incidents but there have been other times similar to them. She is suppose to be helping to get rides but she isn't she is getting the rides handed to her while I am working so hard and getting hardly anything. I know I must sound bitter but I've been a working student for 3 years and I am feeling used. I hate to be ungrateful but I want to be rewarded for my work. I miss so much school to go work at shows and I there'd for hours everyday. I love it but lately things haven't been what they used to be.
So here's my question, finally. Do I talk to the trainer? Do I suck it up and deal with it? What should I do, if anything? Thanks!

Laurierace
Feb. 24, 2012, 10:05 PM
Feel free to talk to her but don't be shocked to hear that she is a much better rider than you and therefore they feel like they are getting value from her rides instead of having to work for her rides. Not everyone is equal.

EquitationRider
Feb. 24, 2012, 10:09 PM
Feel free to talk to her but don't be shocked to hear that she is a much better rider than you and therefore they feel like they are getting value from her rides instead of having to work for her rides. Not everyone is equal.

I totally understand this but here's the thing, and I'm not trying to sound arrogant but I am a more experienced rider. Have been riding 5 years longer than girl i have more knowledge about flat work, ride greenies, ect. Really not trying to toot my own horn, that's the facts. Girl rides well but is more of a "pretty rider" than an effective one.

FLeventer
Feb. 24, 2012, 10:53 PM
I totally understand this but here's the thing, and I'm not trying to sound arrogant but I am a more experienced rider. Have been riding 5 years longer than girl i have more knowledge about flat work, ride greenies, ect. Really not trying to toot my own horn, that's the facts. Girl rides well but is more of a "pretty rider" than an effective one.

Uhh, yeah. I'm pretty sure that you are cleaning up her messes and her stuff and so the trainer thinks she is doing it. Also you sound pretty whiny. Life is not fair, learn it quick.

Another thing is that you think you may be effective but really you are not. So big whoop you have been riding longer, but she may be better. Again not fair, but that's life.

Also the pretty rider is usually a quieter rider. Maybe that is what your trainer wants.

You ask your trainer and you run the risk of sounding whiny and ungrateful. stop cleaning up after this girl and do your stuff, ride your horses and leave. Simple.

Hullabaloo
Feb. 24, 2012, 11:07 PM
Definitely talk to your trainer. Explain the situation and everything that has been happening, and maybe even make a print out of all the incidents and describe them in detail. Tell the trainer that you don't want to throw anyone under the bus, but for the amount of work you do, you feel that you aren't being treated equally to horses. Ask her if there is something that is causing her to not want to let you ride more horses, and ask if you can improve something.

Be polite, honest, and calm. Try not to come off as whiny or like your complaining.

She probably isn't aware that anything is amiss, especially if you haven't talked to her about it. She may even thing that the other girl is doing more work than you are.

The best thing you can do for yourself is talk to the trainer.

Hope it works out. :)

Hunter Mom
Feb. 24, 2012, 11:25 PM
..
Definitely talk to your trainer. Explain the situation and everything that has been happening, and maybe even make a print out of all the incidents and describe them in detail. Tell the trainer that you don't want to throw anyone under the bus, but for the amount of work you do, you feel that you aren't being treated equally to horses. Ask her if there is something that is causing her to not want to let you ride more horses, and ask if you can improve something.

Be polite, honest, and calm. Try not to come off as whiny or like your complaining.

She probably isn't aware that anything is amiss, especially if you haven't talked to her about it. She may even thing that the other girl is doing more work than you are.

The best thing you can do for yourself is talk to the trainer.

Hope it works out. :)

Sorry, but isn't that throwing someone under the bus?

IF you need to talk to your trainer, do so very carefully. Ask her how you can get more rides. Not more rides than someone else. Don't make it about anyone else. You can't control what they do. You can control ONLY your own actions, not someone else's.

In my "real" life, I work at a school. I've been a school administrator. A big part of my job in working with kids is to help them be accountable for what they say and do. Not what happens with someone else. Or to someone else. It's a tough lesson to learn.

fourmares
Feb. 25, 2012, 01:17 AM
Stop doing the other girls work. Just stop.

indygirl2560
Feb. 25, 2012, 01:27 AM
You may not want to hear this, but if she's getting that many more rides, she's probably a better rider than you. Just because you've ridden for longer doesn't necessarily make you better; sometimes people just have a natural talent too. As a working student, you're not going to be constantly thanked for doing what you're supposed to.

If this girl is like what she sounds like, her laziness will catch up to her at some point. Just don't go out of your way to help her. I personally wouldn't talk with your trainer about the other girl, since it will most likely look like your whining or jealous if you bring her up. I do agree with Hunter Mom about making the conversation about you and how you can earn more rides though.

Sometimes you have to work with people who don't pull their weight. In most cases, you do what you need to to accomplish things yourself and move on.

Tapperjockey
Feb. 25, 2012, 01:30 AM
I would talk to the trainer. Not about the other girl at all, but just ask if there is anything you should work on to earn more rides. What OG does work wise is none of your business, nor is her deal with the trainer.

Long Spot
Feb. 25, 2012, 01:42 AM
I'm jumping on the "stop doing the other girl's work" bus.

The other night you had a perfect opportunity. You heard the trainer ask girl to rake the arena. She didn't. You should have left it as it was, so the trainer would know she hadn't done it. Had trainer then asked you to do it the next day you could have very innocently said "Oh..didn't so-and-so do that? I'll get right on it."

It sounds like part of the issue is that you take a lot of pride in your work. That's a great quality, but what stinks about it is that some people will take advantage of that. Sounds like this girl knows that about you and is going along for the ride. Time to shut the ride down for maintenance. That's not to say you need to stop doing your job or doing it sub par, but it's time to make it impossible (or very uncomfortable for her) to take credit for your hard work.

marginall
Feb. 25, 2012, 01:48 AM
I don't think you're whiny. But, I do think this other chick is getting the rides because she's a better rider. Trainers don't give the good rides to the hardest worker, they give them to the best rider at their disposal.

If I were you, I would talk to your trainer about your goals and dreams. Don't talk smack about the other chick. Find out how you can be a better rider and get more rides. Don't worry about what other people are doing, figure out what you want and make it happen.

Cindyg
Feb. 25, 2012, 02:18 AM
I don't think you're whiny either. You sound like a hard worker.

Stop cleaning up after the other girl. She's the one who is using you.

Does the other girl even work there? You mentioned that she *used* to work there. What arrangement does she have with the trainer?

You might need to clarify your responsibilities and your rewards with the trainer. It sounds like you're getting the rides you're supposed to get (not compared to the other girl, but compared to what you agreed to); but it sounds like you're doing more work than you're supposed to be doing.

Also, a hint from Corporate America: document everything. Just make a quick note of incidents in a very private notebook for your eyes only. The purpose of documenting is not necessarily to "tell on" the other girl. But if things ever escalate, you'll have more than your memory to rely on.

Slewdledo
Feb. 25, 2012, 02:27 AM
It's a very hard lesson to learn and remember.

You can only control what YOU do. You cannot control what anyone else does. Trainer, the other girl, you have no say in that at all. You can only control the things that you do and how you react to the things that other people do.

Being someone's doormat, hoping that doing so will make them love you, is not an appropriate way to react.

War Admiral
Feb. 25, 2012, 06:12 AM
I don't think you're whinny either. You sound like a hard worker.

Stop cleaning up after the other girl. She's the one who is using you.

Does the other girl even work there? You mentioned that she *used* to work there. What arrangement does she have with the trainer?

You might need to clarify your responsibilities and your rewards with the trainer. It sounds like you're getting the rides you're supposed to get (not compared to the other girl, but compared to what you agreed to); but it sounds like you're doing more work than you're supposed to be doing.

Also, a hint from Corporate America: document everything. Just make a quick note of incidents in a very private notebook for your eyes only. The purpose of documenting is not necessarily to "tell on" the other girl. But if things ever escalate, you'll have more than your memory to rely on.

This, absolutely. I do NOT get "whiny" out of this and am amazed that others claim to. Absolutely document everything. The other girl sounds extremely manipulative and lazy, and you're going to have to learn to fight back on that account. With the blanket room incident, the gum on the floor, and the raking the arena incident, you'd be perfectly within your rights to let the trainer KNOW you did all the work - not in a snotty way; if you can find a way to make a joke out of it that'll be better, or at least do it with a smile. Also, remember the trainer probably doesn't KNOW that you're doing the other girl's work if you don't TELL her!

Without seeing both of you ride I'm not about to make any value judgments on the quality of either your or the other girl's riding, but I bet I know which one of you *tries* harder. :) And having been someone not naturally built to ride who had to try ten times as hard to get one third as far, I'd probably have you up on horses if I were the trainer.

Good luck, and know that there are lots of us out here that have been in your shoes. I don't know how horsey your area is, but generally when the barn situation gets *that* abusive I would have tended to give trainer a choice - either PAY me as a groom/assistant barn manager or let me move on.

alterhorse
Feb. 25, 2012, 06:43 AM
Stop doing the other girls work. Just stop.

this^

OP,

if I am understanding correctly from what you have posted...

The girl has given you multiple opportunities to just walk away and leave her designated tasks undone, but you are doing her work for her so the trainer never gets the chance to see that the girl is not accomplishing what the trainer is asking of her.

I'd suggest that you start keeping a work, riding, and lesson journal (which I think is a prudent thing for all working students to do anyways). Keep the journal at home and enter a brief accounting of what happened each day. Record what work your trainer tells you to do each day, the horses that you ride, and the approx.. amount of time you worked.

Be sure to include short accountings of various unique events, especially those that involve your interactions with others and clients, the basics of what was said, and date everything so the journal represents accuracy and completeness..

A journal can be a general, prudent way of recording what truthfully occurred on each day you've worked, so in the event that you may ever need to accurately recollect a past event, you'll have more then just your memory to rely on in order to recall what had happened.

bizbachfan
Feb. 25, 2012, 06:55 AM
You have already gotten lots of good advice. Try to focus on yourself, your riding and not on her at all. And yes please do stop doing her work. Go to the barn with a positive attitude, don't worry about what horse she is riding, what chores she is asked to do, just worry about you. Do ask your trainer what you can do to improve your riding, get more rides, ride the better horses, but at this point I would not bring up "the other girl."

HorseLover3
Feb. 25, 2012, 07:02 AM
Personally, I would ask her why she isn't doing the work. I would talk to the trainer about you having to clean up her mess after her. The trainer probally thinks that shes doing all the work, when in reality, you are. If none of that "works" wait until the trainer leaves again, and don't go to the barn that week. Tell her you had to study, or something. When she returns, she'll she the mess, and know who made it!
p.s It's great that dispite not being treated fairly, you were passionate enough to keep returning to do all the work. Riders like you are the ones that are going to be sucessfull. Good luck!

mrsbradbury
Feb. 25, 2012, 07:18 AM
I am on board with the stop cleaning up after her. It does sound like you are more than pulling your weight.

You also need to have a meeting with the trainer. Make a list of simple questions about the trainer's expectations, your goals, as wellin this meeting, you should be able to share "your" frustration with the other girl. be honest, sound concerned, but share your frustration. The journal will be really helpful here.

The trainer may have vague idea, I have an idea that my current WS is sliding down that path, having many snacks, rests, and wants to know when and what she's riding, leaving tasks half-finished, acting more like a client than my helper. I see her boss the other girls around. It won't be going on much longer.

Talk to the trainer, be open, be honest, you'll be surprised. But don't..... come across like your tattling.

I think you can pull it off.

Oh, and I'm not sure about the other posters who said she's a better rider, that's slightly irrelevant, she's accessible. Your head is in the sand cleaning diligently, she is standing around spotless, with her helmet on her arm awaiting the ride.

EquitationRider
Feb. 25, 2012, 07:36 AM
I don't think you're whinny either. You sound like a hard worker.

Stop cleaning up after the other girl. She's the one who is using you.

Does the other girl even work there? You mentioned that she *used* to work there. What arrangement does she have with the trainer?

You might need to clarify your responsibilities and your rewards with the trainer. It sounds like you're getting the rides you're supposed to get (not compared to the other girl, but compared to what you agreed to); but it sounds like you're doing more work than you're supposed to be doing.

Also, a hint from Corporate America: document everything. Just make a quick note of incidents in a very private notebook for your eyes only. The purpose of documenting is not necessarily to "tell on" the other girl. But if things ever escalate, you'll have more than your memory to rely on.

No girl doesn't work there. She lessons once a week. She used to voluntarily help out and in exchange ride some of the ponies (she's small). My trainer asked me to work for her 3 years ago after I had been a student there for 2. She has told me in the past things like "ride so and so whenever you'd like" or "so and so needs to get back and shape ride them whenever" but she never really lives up to that and gives the other girl "my" horses.

And for everybody I know the who rides better question as came up, and I am sticking by my earlier statement that I am the stronger ride, but throwing riding abilities out the door, i need advice! Thanks!!

S1969
Feb. 25, 2012, 08:24 AM
No girl doesn't work there. She lessons once a week. She used to voluntarily help out and in exchange ride some of the ponies (she's small). My trainer asked me to work for her 3 years ago after I had been a student there for 2. She has told me in the past things like "ride so and so whenever you'd like" or "so and so needs to get back and shape ride them whenever" but she never really lives up to that and gives the other girl "my" horses.

And for everybody I know the who rides better question as came up, and I am sticking by my earlier statement that I am the stronger ride, but throwing riding abilities out the door, i need advice! Thanks!!

I agree with the other poster that said you need to clarify your role/responsibilities. What exactly do you get out of this arrangement? Are you paid? Free lessons/training? It sounds to me that the trainer just likes this other girl, and will give her rides. And if she doesn't have a formal arrangement where she needs to work certain hours in exchange, then it's just out of your hands....and probably will never change.

If you are getting something in exchange for your work - I'd clarify it and make sure you are getting what you are supposed to be getting. If someone else has a better deal, it really doesn't change your arrangement. And that is something you will deal with at every single job for the rest of your life. ;)

EquitationRider
Feb. 25, 2012, 08:29 AM
I agree with the other poster that said you need to clarify your role/responsibilities. What exactly do you get out of this arrangement? Are you paid? Free lessons/training? It sounds to me that the trainer just likes this other girl, and will give her rides. And if she doesn't have a formal arrangement where she needs to work certain hours in exchange, then it's just out of your hands....and probably will never change.

If you are getting something in exchange for your work - I'd clarify it and make sure you are getting what you are supposed to be getting. If someone else has a better deal, it really doesn't change your arrangement. And that is something you will deal with at every single job for the rest of your life. ;)

I am not paid nor do I recieve training. In exchange for my work I am suppose to receive rides and a discount off my show bill.

Lord Helpus
Feb. 25, 2012, 09:26 AM
Sounds like there are 2 separate issues: The other girl getting credit for work you do and, 2. the trainer giving the other girl rides you thought were yours.

I would keep the 2 issues separate, as others have suggested. If the OG is not a working student, then it sounds like she is not getting rides in exchange for work. Your trainer may be asking her to help out, but that is not part of her deal in exchange for rides. But, if she doesn't do what she is asked to do, do not do her work for her.

As others have said: you cannot control other people, only yourself. At first you said that you were the better rider, but then you later added that she is petite and gets the ponies to ride. So she does have something you do not have -- and it is not necessarily being a better rider.

I would also carefully look at the horses she gets and how she rides them. Sometimes a trainer prefers someone who just hacks a horse when it needs it, and is not always trying to train it. Be careful that you are not so busy trying to prove you skills that you are overdoing it.

If your trainer asks you to hack a horse, she probably means exactly that -- W,T,C on light contact. Your job is to ride the horse the way the trainer wants it to be ridden and not to use it as an opportunity to polish your skills.

Not saying you are doing that, just a caveat to make sure you are not doing it.

PNWjumper
Feb. 25, 2012, 02:20 PM
I would also carefully look at the horses she gets and how she rides them. Sometimes a trainer prefers someone who just hacks a horse when it needs it, and is not always trying to train it. Be careful that you are not so busy trying to prove you skills that you are overdoing it.

If your trainer asks you to hack a horse, she probably means exactly that -- W,T,C on light contact. Your job is to ride the horse the way the trainer wants it to be ridden and not to use it as an opportunity to polish your skills.

I want to reiterate this point made by LordHelpus (as well as her entire post).

I've had a lot of kids come through here to help me keep my horses fit over the years. I quickly sort out those who want to "train" my horses from those who have "zero impact rides" on my horses. I want my horses conditioned, NOT trained. It is amazing how hard it is to find someone who will simply hack a horse and not try to improve something (or everything!) during every ride. I've spent many "learning weekends" (for me ;)) fixing the things a kid has done that because they don't have an understanding of what I'm trying to accomplish with that particular horse, is completely against the overall goal for that horse.

The point is that I rarely pick the "better" rider as my helper. The "better" rider (especially at younger ages) is much more likely to make mistakes or confuse a horse (my message vs. their message.....and as a quick note, MY way isn't always right either, but at least it's consistent).

In regards to your situation, as LH mentions, it seems that the other rider has SOMETHING more to offer than you, be it better availability (because of her slacking off on other chores or otherwise), ability to ride the smaller ponies, ability to ride "impact-free," or some other factor. Or maybe your trainer is offering her more because she's essentially working for free. I have a kid who helps me out here who I'm always trying to do things for because she does so much work out of pure helpfulness.

I do agree with the general theme of responses. If you talk to your trainer, stick to the variable YOU can control. I manage a team of people and I can't tell you how often I have to focus conversations around "What YOU (or WE) can control" versus outside factors. You can't control your trainer's actions or those of the other girl. You can control your own. It would be perfectly reasonable to sit down with your trainer and ask what you can do to get more rides. You could even say that you feel that horses you consider "your" ride are going to the other girl and ask what you can do to get back on those horses. Could be that the other girl is more available, could be that your trainer wants to help her out (which could be for a hundred different reaons from the obvious to circumstances in her life that you have no knowledge of), or it could just be that your trainer has gotten into a routine and isn't thinking much about it.

If you are open to suggestion and change you may end up having a very fruitful conversation. You, of course, have to decide whether your trainer is likely to have that type of a conversation with you. If not, then quit picking up the slack and focus only on the tasks assigned to you and perhaps talk to the trainer every time you think about doing something extra...especially if it was assigned to the other girl. "I noticed that the arena hasn't been raked today. Would you like for me to do it?" instead of just doing it, for example. No need to bring her name into it, the trainer obviously knows if she already asked the girl to do it or not.

EquitationRider
Feb. 25, 2012, 05:03 PM
Sounds like there are 2 separate issues: The other girl getting credit for work you do and, 2. the trainer giving the other girl rides you thought were yours.

I would keep the 2 issues separate, as others have suggested. If the OG is not a working student, then it sounds like she is not getting rides in exchange for work. Your trainer may be asking her to help out, but that is not part of her deal in exchange for rides. But, if she doesn't do what she is asked to do, do not do her work for her.

As others have said: you cannot control other people, only yourself. At first you said that you were the better rider, but then you later added that she is petite and gets the ponies to ride. So she does have something you do not have -- and it is not necessarily being a better rider.

I would also carefully look at the horses she gets and how she rides them. Sometimes a trainer prefers someone who just hacks a horse when it needs it, and is not always trying to train it. Be careful that you are not so busy trying to prove you skills that you are overdoing it.

If your trainer asks you to hack a horse, she probably means exactly that -- W,T,C on light contact. Your job is to ride the horse the way the trainer wants it to be ridden and not to use it as an opportunity to polish your skills.

Not saying you are doing that, just a caveat to make sure you are not doing it.

Thanks I found this very helpful! Other girl is not titled as a working student but trainer has told her in the past that if she helps out she will let her ride. She suppose to do the things that I really don't have time to do because working more for the trainer than the whole barn, if that makes any sense.
As far as the the pony thing, I also on a rare occasion ride the ponies I am under 5'4" and dont top 100 lbs. So capable of riding a pony.
My trainer will usually tell me what to work on on different horses when I ride them. If she doesn't say anything before I get on than i will usually just hack and if I feel something totally messed up I will ask for her advice before going anywhere. I am pretty conservative with her and other client's horses.

CHT
Feb. 25, 2012, 05:44 PM
Have you ever said anything when the other girl is given a horse that you had planned to ride?

If I were in your shoes, that would bother me the most...but I also know that at your age, I would have just stewed about it, and not said anything at the time and gotten bitter about it.

If you are there when the trainer assigns the horse to the other girl a simple "I had planned to ride him later; is there an other horse you would like me to ride instead?" will be helpful. It is very possible the trainer doesn't know you planned to ride the horse(s) later, or that she forgot who she told to ride the horse, so gives the horse to the first person she sees while thinking about it.

You could also do something like make a list of what you plan to do the next day work and riding wise on a section of the trainers whiteboard (ask her first), then she knows who you planned to ride, and can add to the list or change something based on what the priorities are.

oldpony66
Feb. 26, 2012, 08:45 AM
Ask your trainer to list/divide the work responsibilities. For your trainer it's easier to just say what has to be done, but as long as it gets done your trainer is going to assume you split the work. CHT's whiteboard idea is perfect, but even a good old fashioned clipboard with pencil & paper will suffice.

Then, DON'T DO HER WORK.

You sound like a very dependable and responsible person, but don't let that mean you will end up doing everyone else's job. I see that happen even with adults in paying jobs. If the boss doesn't actually know who is doing the work, it's likely that the slacker is going to get raises and promotions right alongside you, or worse, instead of you.

M. O'Connor
Feb. 26, 2012, 09:41 AM
No girl doesn't work there. She lessons once a week. She used to voluntarily help out and in exchange ride some of the ponies (she's small). My trainer asked me to work for her 3 years ago after I had been a student there for 2. She has told me in the past things like "ride so and so whenever you'd like" or "so and so needs to get back and shape ride them whenever" but she never really lives up to that and gives the other girl "my" horses.

And for everybody I know the who rides better question as came up, and I am sticking by my earlier statement that I am the stronger ride, but throwing riding abilities out the door, i need advice! Thanks!!

Paying customers are a good thing, and it sounds like this other girl pays--this is likely why it's a very important priority to your trainer to keep her busy riding.

Are you still a junior? How many years before you go to college? If you are going on the road and missing school in exchange for NO money, where are your parents in this picture? (This should NOT be OK with them). Show grooms make money (sometimes quite a bit of it) in exchange for their hard work, but it's not a job for a high school kid unless it's summer, on weekends, and over vacations.

Your time might be better spend braiding, and charging for it. (The good braiders I know on the A circuit all own their own houses!)

In any case, it is very likely you have remained in this situation because it's 'better than nothing.' But unless you want to stay in this rut, it's probably time to reassess, and change things up. If you have been at this for 5 years, maybe you've taken this situation as far as it can go.

What are your goals? How is what you are presently doing helping you to reach them? Don't worry about the other kid; if your description of the situation is accurate, her place in the barn should be neither here nor there to you. Setting realistic goals for YOU, and making a concrete plan for YOU to reach them is what you should be talking to your trainer about.

EquitationRider
Feb. 26, 2012, 10:50 AM
Paying customers are a good thing, and it sounds like this other girl pays--this is likely why it's a very important priority to your trainer to keep her busy riding.

Are you still a junior? How many years before you go to college? If you are going on the road and missing school in exchange for NO money, where are your parents in this picture? (This should NOT be OK with them). Show grooms make money (sometimes quite a bit of it) in exchange for their hard work, but it's not a job for a high school kid unless it's summer, on weekends, and over vacations.

Your time might be better spend braiding, and charging for it. (The good braiders I know on the A circuit all own their own houses!)

In any case, it is very likely you have remained in this situation because it's 'better than nothing.' But unless you want to stay in this rut, it's probably time to reassess, and change things up. If you have been at this for 5 years, maybe you've taken this situation as far as it can go.

What are your goals? How is what you are presently doing helping you to reach them? Don't worry about the other kid; if your description of the situation is accurate, her place in the barn should be neither here nor there to you. Setting realistic goals for YOU, and making a concrete plan for YOU to reach them is what you should be talking to your trainer about.

Girl hardly pays more than me. Actually probably less because she doesn't show as much and when she does it is a lot of times paid for by trainer.
Yes I am a sophomore in high school. My parents are pretty supportive in me working at the shows. Usually my trainer talks to them about it and my school is very generous on absences. I make straight As in all my classes, some are honors classes, so both my parent and the school are Noreen lenient on me missing a week here and there.
I am in the process of teaching myself to braid, but I am not very handy with it. I can't even braid my own hair! I am very slow so I'm working on perfecting it. Right now I wouldn't feel comfortable charging people with my braiding job. Lol
Te barns in my area charge way more than the one I'm at now does. Also most barns have a rule were you have to own your horse to jump over 2ft and have to go to x amount of A shows per year. I can't afford that. I love the horse I've been riding at my barn. None of the other barns have 3'6" school horses. I am extremely lucky to ride a horse I can be competitive on at the As in the jumper ring. So I guess I am doing this because it is the best I can do. Without the small discount I get on my bills I would never be able to show as much as I do.
My goals? Well right now I am on the brink of moving up to the 3'6". I would really like to be in the child/adults by the end of the year. My trainer said that in order to move up I will have to show a little more.

PonyPenny
Feb. 26, 2012, 11:24 AM
You should definitely be paid for grooming at the show. The trainer is charging the clients, so there is no reason you should not be paid. I was a working student when I was a junior. My payment was not being charged for lessons. At shows I was treated like any other groom and paid a standard wage, plus tips. I would come home from a week long show with close to a $1,000 in my pocket.

You need to have a talk with your trainer, but only make it about you. Ask her to give you an evaluation of your work performance and your riding skills. Ask her if there are areas where you can improve and what her expectations are of you. Talk to her about compensation at the shows. Understand that you may not get the feedback you want and you may have to make a decision if the current working arrangement is right for you. Once you can legally drive, you may have other options for a working student opportunity elsewhere. Just remember not to burn your bridges. The horse world is small.

texan
Feb. 26, 2012, 12:28 PM
You should definitely be paid for grooming at the show. The trainer is charging the clients, so there is no reason you should not be paid. I was a working student when I was a junior. My payment was not being charged for lessons. At shows I was treated like any other groom and paid a standard wage, plus tips. I would come home from a week long show with close to a $1,000 in my pocket.

You need to have a talk with your trainer, but only make it about you. Ask her to give you an evaluation of your work performance and your riding skills. Ask her if there are areas where you can improve and what her expectations are of you. Talk to her about compensation at the shows. Understand that you may not get the feedback you want and you may have to make a decision if the current working arrangement is right for you. Once you can legally drive, you may have other options for a working student opportunity elsewhere. Just remember not to burn your bridges. The horse world is small.

I dont agree with this at all. The girl basically gets to ride a horse that can do 3.6'', plus go to A shows. How many people here have paid to lease a horse.... whats the going rate? I bet this is a value of at least 2500.00 . Now lets talk about going to A shows. Coaching fees, stall fees, show fees.. how much of a discount does she get.
Lets face it those fees could be at least 2000.00 per show. What about accomodation at those shows, is that free. See the problem is working students, never see the value of what they are getting, because usually they are young and have never had to pay these types of fees. Its very easy to get into the poor me thinking. I see it happen a lot.
This girl seems like a good hard worker, and i think is deserving of what she gets, but she needs to just do what her trainer asks her to do and never mind what everyone else is doing. Stop doing the other persons job, just do her own and let things play out.

alto
Feb. 26, 2012, 02:40 PM
The trainer has never once given away your ride/horse - the trainer has given away a ride on her horse.

Accept that & move on.

Do your work, then ride.

From your description, it sounds as if you'd rather work than ride ... blankets can get sorted another day, gum can be tidied another day - the horses needs should be met first & the rest later ... even the banked sand, don't ride the edges ...

You've got your vent out here, now let it go.
Don't talk to your trainer in any words about the other girl - if you want to talk about your issues/goals, then go ahead.
(there is no way for you to mention the other rider without criticising your trainer in the same breath, so why would you even consider it :confused: )

Jaideux
Feb. 27, 2012, 11:27 AM
Sounds like you need to make concrete plans to ride horses when they are assigned. If Trainer says "Rake the ring, and then ride Dobbin whenever", respond with "I will rake the ring and then hop on Dobbin at 3pm today- what kind of ride do you want me to give him?".

Then, later, if Trainer tells The Other Girl to ride Dobbin, you can simply say "I was going to ride him at 3 today. Would you like me to switch to a different horse?"

If the trainer can't come up with a different horse for you to ride at a concrete time (and not just, "Oh, ride Snowflake when ever"), you have to re-assess with them what you are getting for working.

There is a lovely benefit to catching whatever perks come your way as a working student, and nickel and dime-ing can really put a hamper on those spontaneous benefits, but at the same time if you are getting a variety of unspecific payments it is hard to keep any track of whether you are each getting your fair share of the bargain. If your work is paid out to you with reduced show fees, free lessons, free hacks... it can be hard to keep track of if you've been "paid" or not. Your trainer may have been planning to "pay" you for X task with a free lesson later in the week, but you didn't know that and thought your hack was the payment.

See how it can get confusing?

I would see if you can narrow down the work/pay relationship. It worked well for me growing up as a barn rat that my first bill I worked off was the cost of lessons. If I worked beyond that cost (and I usually did, as I was there 6-7 days a week), it was then applied to my board. If I worked beyond that, like the times during breaks when I did my work and covered the people out on vacation, money above and beyond board was applied to training/trailering fees for shows. If there were no shows happening within the next month, the balance carried over to the following month's bills (as I was unlikely to be working triply hard for more than a week or two at a time).

Foundgreenergrass
Feb. 27, 2012, 04:55 PM
Girl...i have been there done that . Kept my mouth shut for years, and what ended up happening was maybe easily preventable. If i would have had a discussion with my trainer before i just got so sick of everything and left and no longer have any relationship with that women.i was older then most of the many "working students" that she had therefore i could drive the trailer and watch the little kids at shows. I was used and abused while another girl that did less work and would randomly disappeared for weeks got way better treatment than me. Better riding was not the issue she was a great rider but as a junior i was very successful winning multiple equitation classics and state medal finals. I would usually have to pay my show fees n then i had no trainer fees because i worked my butt off. Which was very helpful but said other girl paid nothing and once randomly got a new pair of sergio tall boots from this trainer. It was a joke... The horse shows that i did less attend got so stressful because i stayed up all night getting stuff set up and the whole day getting everyone else's horses cleaned and prepped and when it came time for me to show in my one division i was so rushed and stressed it was awful. Sounds like a lot of these people have never been in the situation and its hard to go everyday work your butt off and see other people just going along for the ride.

Pm me i have a lot of advice
hang in there

justathought
Feb. 27, 2012, 07:03 PM
Great advice here ---

Agree - STOP doing the other girl's work - and keep a record of what work you do EVERYDAY --- IME you will never get credit for doing another persons work and ultimately you will end up expected to do it because you always have ---

Make sure that you understand the agreement with your trainer. Being a working student is difficult. THere are trainers who are quite clear on the work you are expected to do and on what you get in exchange for that work. These situations tend to work out well. Then, there are the more common situations where things are less than clear --- work for me and I'll get you some rides.... IME this always dissolves into one party or another feeling taken advantage of (sometimes the trainer and sometimes the working student).

It is absolutely your trainer's right to give rides to whoever she/he wants. It is absolutely your right not to work for what you consider to be a less than fair exchange.

It will take some time for your trainer to realize that things are not being done - and (you may want to leave your trainer notes at the end of the day or week listing the assignments you had and when they were accomplished) foryou to get credit for your work ethic.

It may be that you still do not get the rides you want - the trainer may prefer the ther rider for whatever reasons - but if you are not getting what you feel is a fair exchange then address THAT issue NOT the other girl...

Again as others have said control and address what you can --- leave the other stuff behind -- and sometimes the exchange will not meet your needs and sometimes you will need to move on or accept less or renegotiate

Life is not fair - but you do have the right to renegotiate the agreement, change trainers, or walk away if the fairness level becomes unacceptable to you. It doesn't mean that you will like any of the choices that you have, but you do need to choose and then live happily with that choice --- or change again

Long Spot
Feb. 27, 2012, 07:12 PM
OP, I just wanted to mention that you sound like a really hard worker, not only at the barn but at school and just in general. You would be great to have around the barn. Your trainer sure is lucky.

It's also been nice to read a thread by a teenager that is well written and easy to read.

You are a smart cookie. I can tell.

Foundgreenergrass
Feb. 27, 2012, 08:23 PM
I totally disagree with you running the risk of sounding whiney. Are people just supposed to ignore unfair situations because they will sound whiney? Ignoring the situation is just gonna make it worse especially if the trainer doesn't realize what is actually going on. Being taken advantage of is not something anyone should just ignore.

Mac123
Feb. 27, 2012, 11:10 PM
This is why working students can end up feeling used and abused....there's oftentimes no structure to the program.

My working student program is very clear and organized and it's STILL difficult to keep things on track. We have an hourly rate that we "pay" the working students in lessons. So the lesson cost (or hack cost, etc.) / hourly wage = hours they must work for that lesson (or hack, etc.)

They have to write down their hours for each shift and also write down what they're receiving in return to keep everything straight.

OP, I would try to get something set from your trainer - so many hours of work = so many rides, lessons, etc. Otherwise, you're bound to feel like you're not getting what you deserve. When you're doing the work,

As to the other person, STOP doing her work! Your trainer isn't psychic; if she tells the other girl to do something and it gets done, how is she to know it's you doing it?

If you've got an agreement on what exactly you're working for, and you stop doing the other girl's work, you've done all you can do for the situation. The rest of it, you can't control, I'm afraid. You sound like a very hard worker and responsible. That's a lot in this business!!

findeight
Feb. 28, 2012, 12:43 PM
On a constructive note...

My trainer has always made anybody working off lessons or show fees keep a written time card kept on a sheet of paper on the clipboard in the office. Time in, time out for lunch, time back in, time out for the day. It's on the honor system. Credit is 10 per hour. Totals are applied to the charge for lessons and school horse.

Trainer also has an official working student but they are always over 18 and there 5-6 days a week 8-10 hours a day on a seperate agreement, more like an apprentice then working off lessons.

You got nuthin here. No defined expectation, no specific credit applied.

I would talk to the trainer about getting specific credit towards fees and how to track your work towards that.

I would not mention the other girl to trainer because you really don't have any idea what the trainer has privately told her, or her parents, and there may well be things not shared with you involved. And you have said the OG does not WORK there? It is the trainers horse or a client who pay her to manage it and her call who rides what as she sees fit. Questioning trainers choice of rider on that might not get the result you desire and backfire.

So, get a system to track your work towards rides and fees and stick to getting that in place when you talk to trainer. DO NOT CLEAN UP after that other girl when she is specifically asked to do something. The "Oh I thought OG did that already. I'll get right on it" is an excellent way to deal with the situation.

You know, I HATE alot of these so called WS arrangements because of something like this. No agreement, no tracking, no consistency and hurt feelings along the way.

JMO but I would guess trainer thinks OGs parents may be on track to buy a horse for her and it's marketing-that IS how trainer earns her living and part of the business. being nice is just that, nice. Doesn't pay any bills for trainer and doesn't earn any ride time in return for OPs time. Both sides need to be more professional.

TSWJB
Feb. 28, 2012, 12:52 PM
Being someone's doormat, hoping that doing so will make them love you, is not an appropriate way to react.

LOVE THIS!
also i would not do her part of the work. if you are both to clean out the trailer then you do your half. if you both need to rake the ring, you do your half only. do not rat on the girl. throwing someone under the bus is just not cool.
but let the trainer start asking why half the ring was raked, and half the trailer was unloaded.
i agree, that the other rider is probably better than you and that is why she is getting rides. you cannot tell the trainer how to allocate the horses.
keep your chin up and if you feel this is not enjoyable anymore then i guess you will have to quit. if you still enjoy it, then stop fretting about the other girl!

TSWJB
Feb. 28, 2012, 01:05 PM
Sounds like a lot of these people have never been in the situation and its hard to go everyday work your butt off and see other people just going along for the ride.


yes it is hard! but unless you have something better, you are cutting your nose off to spite your face. if it is really awful, then the only choice you have is to quit.
many people work in corporate jobs and watch this happen every day. the unfair promotion that the incompetent worker but great butt kisser gets. the only thing you can do is find another job, and that may not be possible in a bad economy. so you just have to change your attitude to survive and not drive yourself crazy.
this may be a good lesson for OP to learn in preparation for entering the corporate world.

Gloria
Feb. 28, 2012, 02:46 PM
The mature way is to talk to your trainer. Do no whine. Do not complain that it is not fair that she is given more rides than you. Focus on what you should be doing to be given more opportunities.

Word it in this way,

"So and So, may I talk to you for a minute?" Once given permission, proceed with the following: "I love working around horses and I appreciate you to give me the opportunity to work and ride here, and I work very hard not to disappoint you. However, I have noticed that I'm given less rides than the other girl. I need to know why. Is there something else I should improve upon so I might be given more opportunities?"

You may get answer that you need to improve your riding more; you may get answer that it is a simple oversight. On the other hand, if you are not given a fair answer, it's time to leave.

Stand up for yourself. Be strong and be courteous. Your desire to do the right thing and your work ethic will set you apart, believe me, in so many ways. This will also be an extremely valuable skill you will possess in your future career.

Foundgreenergrass
Feb. 28, 2012, 04:05 PM
The mature way is to talk to your trainer. Do no whine. Do not complain that it is not fair that she is given more rides than you. Focus on what you should be doing to be given more opportunities.

Word it in this way,

"So and So, may I talk to you for a minute?" Once given permission, proceed with the following: "I love working around horses and I appreciate you to give me the opportunity to work and ride here, and I work very hard not to disappoint you. However, I have noticed that I'm given less rides than the other girl. I need to know why.[B] Is there something else I should improve upon so I might be given more opportunity

Stand up for yourself. Be strong and be courteous. Your desire to do the right thing and your work ethic will set you apart, believe me, in so many ways. This will also be an extremely valuable skill you will possess in your future career.


This great advice

NCRider
Feb. 29, 2012, 12:59 AM
I wouldn't mention the other girl at all. It would be almost impossible to do without sounding whiny. What would do is ask to speak with trainer to go over your goals for the year and during that conversation say something like:

"trainer, you know that I enjoy working here and developing my skills as an all around horse person, but I wanted you to know that I am still interested on riding as much as I can. I am grateful for all the opportunities you have given me. What can I do to increase my saddle time? If there's ever a time when there's a horse you need riding and something else around the farm that needs doing, I am willing to stay later than usual to finish both if that works wiithin your schedule. You know I take pride in my work and always want to do the best job possible bit I didn't want you to think that I was losing interest in the riding part because of my commitment to doing my work to high standards.

This lets her know you've noticed that your saddle time has decreased without necessarily forcing her into a possibly uncomfortable conversation as to why. She may not have noticed it happening or she may have been hoping you'd never say something. Try something like the above and see if things change. In the real world I'd suggest a more direct conversation but most barns are closer to middle school than professional environments so the really direct approach has a good chance of backfiring and you do have a lot to lose.
Good luck, sneaky credit stealers are never fun to deal with. Stop doing her work unless you can be certain the trainer knows you did it.

justathought
Feb. 29, 2012, 09:42 AM
I wouldn't mention the other girl at all. ....."trainer, you know that I enjoy working here and developing my skills as an all around horse person, but I wanted you to know that I am still interested on riding as much as I can. I am grateful for all the opportunities you have given me. What can I do to increase my saddle time? ..."

.... Try something like the above and see if things change. In the real world I'd suggest a more direct conversation but most barns are closer to middle school than professional environments so the really direct approach has a good chance of backfiring and you do have a lot to lose.Good luck, sneaky credit stealers are never fun to deal with. Stop doing her work unless you can be certain the trainer knows you did it.

^This
Don't mention the other girl --- stick to what you can do/change and be aware

findeight
Feb. 29, 2012, 10:32 AM
There is too much unknown to conclude the barn is run like a high school girls club. We are talking about a 14 or 15 year old kid working off rides in a casual arrangement with no record keeping or tracking and another kid who does NOT work for rides but OP perceives is getting better rides.

I HATE these things. Without a specific agreement, expectations are rarely in line with the reality of getting rides on other peoples horses when there are more riders then horses available.

OP has NO idea what the arrangement is with OG and her parents...or client owners who may have sepecifically requested OG as a rider, as is their right.

It is up to the trainer to assign rides. Riders must accept any and all rides delegated and not worry about somebody getting a ride they perceive as "better". A ride is a ride when it's not your horse.

OP can go to trainer and try to formalize credit for work tracking towards rides and show fees. But that will not necessarily translate into "better" rides.

axl
Feb. 29, 2012, 10:49 AM
If she has told you there are a couple of horses you can ride whenever you want, and you're planning to ride them when you finish working, she probably doesn't realize that. So she knows they haven't been ridden, she wants them to get out, she sees the other girl sitting there doing nothing, voila, other girl is asked to ride.

A whiteboard would eliminate this. Every day write what tasks you plan to complete and what horses you plan to ride and check things off as you go. This would be an easy way for her too see that the horse is going to get ridden so she doesn't need to find someone to do it, AND a way for her to see how much work you're doing.

findeight
Feb. 29, 2012, 11:06 AM
A whiteboard would eliminate this.

Most good barns have these things posted right in the aisle or tack room, each horse with the name of that days assigned rider. Only the trainer can fill it out and/or change any named rider. It goes a long way to avoid hurt feelings and duplicate rides when everybody can see who rides what.

That is another constructive suggestion OP can take to trainer when she goes to them with tracking her work towards rides more formally. Still may not get her the rides she wants but at least it would be organized.

AlyssaSpellman
Feb. 29, 2012, 12:59 PM
There is another girl who used to help out and get rides in return but as of late she has not been out to the barn at all. She comes maybe two or three times a week. She shows up late and sits in the tack room until the trainer tells her who she can ride. While I work my butt off and sometimes don't get anything to ride.


So this other girl is not a working student so to speak? If that's the case, I don't really see a huge issue. At my old barn, there were working students who "worked their butt off" and got one free lesson a day everyday they worked after all their work was completed.
Then there was me. I had a great relationship with my trainer, and she felt I was a hard worker and a talented rider. I was at the barn 7 days a week at breakfast time, and one of the last ones to leave at night (I'm homeschooled). I was willing to help with whatever needed to be done, however I was rarely ever asked to do the same "muck work" that the working students did (dumping buckets, raking arenas, sweeping, hay or water, catching ponies, etc.).
My "job" at this barn was to work horses. I was able to work 4-8 horses a day everyday, get free lessons when I jumped them around, and I even got the opportunity to catch ride clients horses at shows.

To get to the point of my post: My trainer approached me one day and said she sensed some jealousy coming from the working students, and decided she wanted to define roles. We had a group meeting where she pointed out that the working students were given the opportunity to learn in a barn environment and earn riding lessons from it.. riding lessons that they could not otherwise afford. She then pointed out to them that my role had started out as more of an unpaid exercise rider, and that I had proved to be hard working, dedicated, and in my trainers opinion, talented. Therefore my role had evolved and I gained more opportunities. She then went on to explain that that's not to say that either of us worked harder than the other.. just that the WS's worked hard on the ground and around the barn to earn saddle time they couldn't otherwise afford, and that I worked hard in the saddle to better my riding and earn bigger opportunities.

Obviously that situation and yours aren't exactly the same, but it sounds to me like the two of you play different roles in your barn. If you choose to talk to your trainer about anything, I would ask her what YOUR role is (although if you have the title of a working student, you should pretty much already know).

My advice: Stop doing the other girls work for her so that your trainer knows what the other girl is or isn't doing, and then let things play out. Play whatever role your trainer wants you to play, keep to yourself, and remember that if it wasn't for your trainer, you wouldn't have saddle time at all. If your trainer chooses to give the other girl a different role, that is her opinion, and I'm sure she has her own reasons for doing so, which you need to respect.

Just keep up with your good work ethic, do what you're told (not what others are told), take what you're given, and don't burn any bridges. It will pay off. :)