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View Full Version : "'Trainer-Bashing,' or a Call for Professionalism?"...are you honest with your trainer, and s/he with you?



fleur
Jan. 27, 2003, 11:59 AM
Anyone else read this article by Geoff Teall in PH February? After all the discussion here about the relationship between a trainer and a client and the idea that it is simpler to switch barns than to try and change your barn's policies, this article was very interesting. It made me wonder -- how many of us out there actually have this ideal relationship with our trainers that we would feel comfortable bringing up issues such as commission ammounts, extra fees, and barn care? Likewise, would your trainer, as the article describes, admit that "'I bought you the wrong horse. We need to sell him, and you're going to lose money'"?
If I needed a new trainer and had the resources, I would certainly search for a trainer like Geoff Teall. Are there many of these trainers out there, that truly believe in the need for a mutual trust between client and trainer?

*EMMA*
emmaspace (http://emma12384.tripod.com)

fleur
Jan. 27, 2003, 11:59 AM
Anyone else read this article by Geoff Teall in PH February? After all the discussion here about the relationship between a trainer and a client and the idea that it is simpler to switch barns than to try and change your barn's policies, this article was very interesting. It made me wonder -- how many of us out there actually have this ideal relationship with our trainers that we would feel comfortable bringing up issues such as commission ammounts, extra fees, and barn care? Likewise, would your trainer, as the article describes, admit that "'I bought you the wrong horse. We need to sell him, and you're going to lose money'"?
If I needed a new trainer and had the resources, I would certainly search for a trainer like Geoff Teall. Are there many of these trainers out there, that truly believe in the need for a mutual trust between client and trainer?

*EMMA*
emmaspace (http://emma12384.tripod.com)

Pocket Pony
Jan. 27, 2003, 12:14 PM
I appreciate his honesty in saying that his program may not be for everyone. I think a lot more trainers should be so honest up front about what it takes to be in a certain barn. I think there would be a lot less disgruntled clients if they knew what to expect in all areas.

What I questioned about that article, though, is his need for a vet check for a new horse that comes into his barn....without the client present. The client ISN'T allowed to be there. Then he'll have a separate follow up meeting with his client to discuss the vet's findings. I just found that very odd. I can understand him wanting to have a vet come out to evalutae a horse, but why can't the owner be there to help give the horse's history and her own two cents?

"Both rider and horse must enjoy the work. This is the essence of success" - Reiner Klimke

Bumpkin
Jan. 27, 2003, 12:18 PM
I have not read the article yet, does he mean the buyer or the seller?

"Proud Member Of The I Loff Starman Babies, Sunnieflax and Horse Boxes Cliques" Bora Da

Dusty
Jan. 27, 2003, 12:20 PM
I don't get PH but would love to see this article - can someone post it online or is there a link to it somewhere?? Thanks

*Ride and let ride...*

Anne
Jan. 27, 2003, 12:27 PM
Batgirl, I had the same issue with that point that you do. He also mentions that all future consultations with the vet and farrier REQUIRE his presence. I can see how his willingness to take total control is helpful for busy ammies who don't have time to manange their horses lives. However, by assuming these responsibilities himself, and indeed by discouraging owners from being present, he's certainly not making horsemen. And I find this somewhat hypocritical since Geoff claims to be an advocate of the "let them be horses" philosophy.

If you WANT to do things yourself, you aren't allowed to benefit from his knowledge. He also emphatically stated that he does not allow clients to ship in or to work with him at horse shows only; he must totally control the horse's program.

All I can say is, I hope his client base isn't hurt by the current economy, because I don't think his business plan is aimed at "real" clients.

I also think a 15% commission is excessive when you are going to be making megabucks by indoctrinating the horse into the magic "program" but that's a personal beef. I think in that situation 10% should be plenty. I don't think there should be ANY commission when you bear the brunt of the "this horse isn't working, we need to sell him and you're going to lose money" situation. Commission on the purchase of the replacement horse, yes, but not the sale of the mistake horse.

I applaud the use and distribution of a rate sheet. I do think it's excessive to sit a new client down and tell her what her yearly show budget will be. It's nice to give people some idea of the costs, but he expects his clients to never vary from his "program" going to every horse show. He basically flat out says that he only wants clients who are willing to pay, period. This reminds me of the old equitation adage that the parents pay the bills and shut up. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif Seriously, I think trainers like this, who are inflexible with the demands of the real world, only serve to give our sport more of an elitist reputation.
*****************************
Custom Needlepoint Belts (http://www.freewebs.com/belts)

[This message was edited by Anne on Jan. 27, 2003 at 02:40 PM.]

fleur
Jan. 27, 2003, 12:47 PM
I don't think copying the article is allowed, but if it is I wouldn't mind writing it up for you, Dusty http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Now that I look back on it, his "total control" policy might turn me off a bit. I'm not sure I would be comfortable having him there EVERY time I talk to the vet or farrier.

*EMMA*
emmaspace (http://emma12384.tripod.com)

Liverpool
Jan. 27, 2003, 12:54 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Anne:
Batgirl, I had the same issue with that point that you do. He also mentions that all future consultations with the vet and farrier REQUIRE his presence. I can see how his willingness to take total control is helpful for busy ammies who don't have time to manange their horses lives. However, by assuming these responsibilities himself, and indeed by discouraging owners from being present, he's certainly not making horsemen. And I find this somewhat hypocritical since Geoff claims to be an advocate of the "let them be horses" philosophy.

(snip)

I also think a 15% commission is excessive when you are going to be making megabucks by indoctrinating the horse into the magic "program" but that's a personal beef. I think in that situation 10% should be plenty. I don't think there should be ANY commission when you bear the brunt of the "this horse isn't working, we need to sell him and you're going to lose money" situation. Commission on the purchase of the replacement horse, yes, but not the sale of the mistake horse.

I applaud the use and distribution of a rate sheet. I do think it's excessive to sit a new client down and tell her what her yearly show budget will be. It's nice to give people some idea of the costs, but he expects his clients to never vary from his "program" going to every horse show. He basically flat out says that he only wants clients who are willing to pay, period. This reminds me of the old equitation adage that the parents pay the bills and shut up. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif Seriously, I think trainers like this, who are inflexible with the demands of the real world, only serve to give our sport more of an elitist reputation.
*****************************
http://www.freewebs.com/belts

[This message was edited by Anne on Jan. 27, 2003 at 02:40 PM.]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hmm, glad I wasn't the only one who thought the comments about his private consultation with the vet and farrier - with the OWNER not being ALLOWED - were a little odd. It would make me wonder, what is being said that I, as the owner, cannot hear?

They struck me as inconsistent with the "building horsemen" approach that Geoff usually espouses.

However, apparently that program works for him and at least he is up front about it. And he does say that in the event that he makes a mistake in recommending a horse for purchase that doesn't work out, that he tries to make it up to the client by finding a replacement that can be had for the sales price of the mistake. (Of course, in that case I wonder, why did the client have to pay more in the first place...?)

But then, I am a cynic.

I do think that he at least does offer a businesslike approach and you would at least know where you stand with a trainer like that. He makes no bones about the fact that he basically is only interested in the top (financial) tier of clients, and that his program is not going to be suitable for the do-it- yourself types. He has a niche and has been successful.

It wouldn't work for me, which I am secretly disappointed about -- I have watched his lessons and thought he was great. One of those "Maybe someday... " things. Guess not!!!

I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their intellects. A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.
Oscar Wilde (1854–1900)

Anne
Jan. 27, 2003, 01:00 PM
Hey Liverpool, does he clinic much?

*****************************
Custom Needlepoint Belts (http://www.freewebs.com/belts)

rileyt
Jan. 27, 2003, 01:01 PM
I must say, I think G.T.'s article was great, and stressed the "up-front" attitude that is KEY KEY KEY!!! That said, I would appreciate his involvement, but I wouldn't be comfortable with the farrier/vet talking to G.T. and making decisions, and then me being told later. I like to be more involved.

That said, he is up front that he requires total control when people come there. So I'm glad.

I think one of the issues I've noticed, (maybe ESPECIALLY with H/J riders, but with all riders too), is this treatment of trainers as Gods. Adult Amatures tend to be the worst. I can't tell you how many times I've seen competent, smart, educated people (including attorneys, doctors, PhDs, etc.) be reduced to sniviling wimps when they're around their trainers. They can't do ANYTHING without having their hands held, and they would never DREAM of confronting someone about how big a but they took on that new horse the client purchased.

It's truly bizarre.

I tried to be as communicative as possible with students. I spelled out costs up front. I spelled out expectations. I *think* I was approachable. Even so, I had several hesistant adult amatures who were scared to talk to me. So, I started handing out class review forms,... I asked them what they wanted out of their class, how I was doing, were they getting what they wanted, what were their goals, what would they like to do more of, etc. etc.

With SOME students, I made a special time to sit down and talk about it with them. One beginner student was upset that she felt I wasn't spending more time teaching her "dressage"... i.e., I was relatively unconcerned about how the horse was going. We sat down and talked about it, and I tried to explain to her why I thought she needed to focus SOLELY on her position for a little, and why that was necessary before we starting "doing dressage".

You can't always please them... nor do you want to. The adult amature mentioned above left me a short time later... but on good terms. I wasn't willing to teach her what she wanted quite yet. That's her choice, but at least she knew where we were headed.

I'm rambling. In short, I think G.T. has the right idea. But I think professionals should be aware of the "aura" that surrounds them, and maybe go out of their way a little to encourage the customer to feel comfortable discussing things with them.

Anyone who has taught for any length of time, I suspect will tell you... 90% of riding students who aren't getting what they want... just LEAVE (and then maybe bash the trainer). They rarely are forthright enough to say "Here's what I want, and here's why I'm not happy."

Half of Riding is 30% mental ... no wonder there are so many bad riders http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

husgurl
Jan. 27, 2003, 01:02 PM
that is the only thing that bothered me reading the article <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Hmm, glad I wasn't the only one who thought the comments about his private consultation with the vet and farrier - with the OWNER not being ALLOWED - were a little odd.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

i really like the article in general too...

fleur
Jan. 27, 2003, 01:02 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Liverpool:
I do think that he at least does offer a businesslike approach and you would at least know where you stand with a trainer like that.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

This is what made me appreciate his methods -- from what I read on this BB, it sure seems like there are a lot of trainers who will open their arms to clients who really are not what they are interested in training, simply to get the $$ from that person's boarding. They might seem friendly and welcoming, but down the road when the client might not want to do every A show or doesn't want to upgrade to a higher quality (more expensive) horse, the trainer abandons them. At least that's what it seems like -- I've never been in said situation.

*EMMA*
emmaspace (http://emma12384.tripod.com)

AM
Jan. 27, 2003, 01:04 PM
How long has he had this business in Florida? I remember reading about a trainer in the New York/New Jersey area several years ago in PH. This gentleman was teaching in several different places and talked about giving his clients homework so they could continue to prosper when he wasn't there. I was thinking this person was Geoff Teal, so I was very surprised to read this article. I also found it odd that he had to have a private conversation with the vet and farrier first.

In the same issue, did you read about the woman who had developed a business approach to training. Other than getting an MBA and teaching (what, I don't know) in a college before continuing her riding career, the whole article was about who she trained with. I didn't see anything about her unique business methods. Did you?

Dusty
Jan. 27, 2003, 01:39 PM
Thanks for the offer Emma, but I need to stop by the tack store this week and I'll take a peek at it there!

*Ride and let ride...*

Flash44
Jan. 27, 2003, 01:51 PM
COMPROMISE

Before we go blaming adult amateurs for all the problems in the horse show world...

Most people don't have the luxury of choosing the best possible trainer for their situation. they are limited by:

MONEY
DISTANCE
TIME
FACILITIES
DISCIPLINE (ie hunters, dressage, etc)

Trying to find the "ideal" barn is hard! You make a list of priorities, and them trying to match them to a barn you can afford within a reasonable distance with a good trainer that competes in your discipline with the facilities you need is hard!

Most of the time you have to compromise. And some trainer personalities mesh better with certain client personalities. Some people are too busy to worry about every detail, or just don't have tons of knowledge, and would rather have the trainer manage the details. Some people pull a few testimonials off the internet and want the trainer to embark on a spiritual holistic journey of oneness with the horse complete with mystic healers and spirit talkers!

It's a little like dating - you have to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince. And you don't know what a barn or trainer is really like until you've spent a while with them. There is nothing wrong with leaving a trainer, it just means the situation was not right for the client.

Liverpool
Jan. 27, 2003, 02:04 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I think one of the issues I've noticed, (maybe ESPECIALLY with H/J riders, but with all riders too), is this treatment of trainers as Gods. Adult Amatures tend to be the worst. I can't tell you how many times I've seen competent, smart, educated people (including attorneys, doctors, PhDs, etc.) be reduced to sniviling wimps when they're around their trainers. They can't do ANYTHING without having their hands held, and they would never DREAM of confronting someone about how big a but they took on that new horse the client purchased. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think that most professionals who ride as adult amateurs regard their trainers as fellow PROFESSIONALS (ie, if they are a lawyer, they expect to be able to tell clients what approach to take on a case, and don't look to be second guessed about how to handle a jury or whatever) and therefore expect and depend upon their trainers to deliver the goods, so to speak.

I think that is why so many of them leave, too,when their expectations are not being met - without sitting down to have those big heart to heart talks that we keep hearing about.

Not to bash ANY professionals, but frankly... those conversations tend to wind up being justifications for why the program is the way it is, and why it isn't going to change. A/As learn that (we talk amongst ourselves, as you may have noticed!) and so we often figure it simply isn't worth the hassle.

This is what we do for fun, and if the training situation becomes just one more big hairy negotiation, it is not fun anymore.

Now, please don't misunderstand. Trainers often have very good reasons for not doing what their customers want them to do. However, it is also true that sometimes the clients DO wind up successfully doing whatever *it* is with someone else, and they often share that experience with others.

I think trainers would be very well served to sit down and discuss short and long term goals in advance with each client, particularly with adults, and maybe even go so far as to put a plan in writing. That way there are clear milestones to be measured, and there is less opportunity for either party to be dissatisfied or disgruntled.

I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their intellects. A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.
Oscar Wilde (1854–1900)

poltroon
Jan. 27, 2003, 03:18 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by rileyt:

Anyone who has taught for any length of time, I suspect will tell you... 90% of riding students who aren't getting what they want... just LEAVE (and then maybe bash the trainer). They rarely are forthright enough to say "Here's what I want, and here's why I'm not happy."

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

This is where I'd like to see the idea of a professional certification start - a set of courses/continuing education on business practices & communication. We can skip the part about whether you can ride or teach if the politics are just too ugly to get it done.

It is up to the trainer to start this communication. Honestly, I've found that trying to change a trainer to meet my needs better is about as successful as trying to do so with a mate. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/dead.gif They have to want to change, and most get too defensive when questioned by a student to do so. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

JRG
Jan. 27, 2003, 03:42 PM
The vet/farrier thing struck a cord with me, since I am my own farrier and can diagnose most lamenesses on my own, I would have a problem.

I feel it is important for owners to know what is going on with there animal. After all they are the ones who are paying for it.

RockinHorse
Jan. 27, 2003, 04:12 PM
I have a lot of respect for the fact that he is so up fron with his clients and that he admits that his program requires 100% control. Unfortunatly, that along with the requirement that he have a private meeting about the horse with his vet and farrier without the owner present would definatly be a deal breaker for me. I should be welcome at ANY and ALL professional consultations regarding my horse (especially since I am paying for it).I do not want to have to rely on someone else's interpretation of what was said.

When the vet comes out to see my horse I am happy to let the barn manager handle it so that I do not have to take time off from work, however, I know that I am always welcome to be there. If the vet were coming to do some sort of evaluation or if my horse had a problem that did not seem to be relatively minor, I would definatly be there.

~~ Does killing time hurt eternity?~~

JMAER
Jan. 27, 2003, 05:44 PM
I actually have no problem with him wanting to have 100% control over the horse. I will go into further detail later.

Gry2Yng
Jan. 27, 2003, 06:19 PM
Mostly just a lurker, but I had to make one comment. Many full-serive clients make vets and farriers CRAZY! JT may actually be trying to keep his most important professionals happy by keeping the clients away from them. As someone mentioned, some professionals treat their trainers as pro and know little about their horses or horse care. They may have just enough knowledge to be dangerous. Everyone on this board seems to be a bit more aware and involved, but that doesn't mean everyone is.

dogchushu
Jan. 27, 2003, 07:49 PM
Well, if his style isn't for you, isn't it much better to find that out up front?

I know there are many things I must have in a trainer, some I'd really like to have, some are just nice, and some I don't care for at all. As Flash said, finding the right one has been a matter of "this trainer meets all my 'must have' requirements, now, what am I willing to bend on?"

As a new horse owner, I really want my trainer there when the vet comes. Not so much for the farrier--since he's her husband, I figure they communicate fairly regularly! She doesn't require that you have her there for vet consultations, but she does require that you fill her in on what the vet tested, what he said, and what you're considering.

For boarders, she doesn't require "control" in and of itself. But she does require that every horse in her barn receive the kind of care she'd be proud to have her own horses receive. She believes the horses in her barn are a reflection of her business and her status as a professional. So they have to be kept happy and healthy.

*In Your Dreams*
Jan. 27, 2003, 07:52 PM
I Loff My Trainer. She is just the person I need at this time. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

It is only at the tree loaded with fruit that the people throw stones.
* French Proverb
http://www.geocities.com/eventingdreams/EventingDreams.html?1041827280020

AW
Jan. 27, 2003, 08:14 PM
Poltroon,

I'm truly not looking for a fight, but do you ask your phone company to change the way they connect your calls? The idea is to find a trainer that you like, who understands your goals and uses methods you believe in.

Is this the kind of communication you mean? (This is an amalgation of clients, but you'll get the picture): Trainer says "Sure, buy this nice 3 year old. No, don't pay me a commission, I didn't find him for you. Yes, bring him to my barn, and no, he doesn't have to be in training, because you ride well enough to do the work in lessons. But be aware that he's very immature both physically and mentally, and for the next 1 1/2 years he'll be doing flatwork and cavaletti. Here are the reasons why...... And he's a lovely horse and we all want him to last you forever and ever." Client says "Yes, we love you. Your horses are sound and happy, and we appreciate that you understand our budgetary restrictions" (client then leaves for 3 weeks in HI, but that's another story....). 3 months later, horse is walk/trot/cantering indoors and out, trailriding, lengthening & shortening, is straight and calm, and trotting tiny crossrails once in a while, but still gangly. Client says "We want to jump him now. He should be showing pre-green by now." Trainer says "Remember our conversation? About immaturity, going slow, etc.? About what it would do to his little brain to show in the pre-greens this year? And about what a nice horse he is and we want him to last? If you would like to follow that sort of a program with him, I'll be more than happy to find you a spot with someone else in town who won't break your bank and will at least take good care of him I am not willing to do that to a 3 year old, though." Client says "Oh yes, we forgot, it's just so exciting that he's going so well, we're sorry, you're absolutely right. We love you, thak you for looking out for our & his best interests." 1 week later client says "We took a second mortgage and we're moving to XXXXX's barn - they say he can be showing in the 3' by next month. He's leaving tomorrow. Oh - we can't pay the required 30 days' board - we don't have any money."

That communication and honesty thing works both ways, and I don't think most clients would be willing to pass a certification course.

Silk
Jan. 28, 2003, 05:49 AM
I am trying to understand the vet/farrier thing.....I was at a barn once when a boarder WAS SURE there was something wrong with her daughter's pony! She would HOUND the vet/farrier/barn manager, etc that SHE KNEW something was wrong. It was like hypochondia-land but transfered to the pony. Huge waste of time for everyone!!! If he has had this experience, then I see his point.

His methods must work, because his students win a lot.

Also, a good trainer-client relationship is similar to a good marriage. You love some things, hate some things, deal with most things and for the most part, are happy.

Jsalem
Jan. 28, 2003, 07:14 AM
I agree that the best policy is to be upfront and very clear with prospective clients about what your program is about, expectations, requirements and costs.

I always start the conversation with "tell me what you're looking for." And I listen! If you really pay attention, most prospective clients will let you know right off the bat if they will fit in your program. I don't try to sell them on my program by saying, yes, yes. I also ask "tell me what it is about your current barn/trainer that you're hoping to improve upon by moving." They don't have to give me names, just specifics. Again, if you really listen you will know if this client will be a fit for you.

In my program, I make it really clear that you are required to take 4 lessons per month (we'll ride the horse if you are unable to). I print out a six month horse show schedule- but my riders aren't required to show at a certain number.

Jsalem
Jan. 28, 2003, 07:22 AM
The trainer has every right to decide the specifics of their own program. Of course, you try to accomodate your customers so that they are happy- but not to the extent that you compromise who and what you are. Sometimes clients don't listen when you spell out your program and then complain about it!

I can't tell you how many times I've recommended other local trainers when I can tell from a conversation that this client won't be a fit for me. I would rather have an empty stall than a "problem child" client.

Flash44
Jan. 28, 2003, 07:29 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by vicki:

His methods must work, because his students win a lot.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

And the books at Enron looked great...for a while. I'm not comparing GT to Enron, but you can't base the effectiveness and INTEGRITY of a program on the results.

GotSpots
Jan. 28, 2003, 07:36 AM
If the requirement was set up to protect the farrier and vet, I have no problem if a coach or trainer wanted to be present at these appointments. However, I found the requirement that you, as the owner, cannot be present when the vet examines your horse to be obscene. I am an educated horse owner, I am knowledgeable about my horses and their abilities and limitations, and I am willing and interested in learning more about their strengths and weaknesses. I find it frustrating that I would have no access to a top trainer unless I agree to relinquish control completely, something which I'm not willing to do. I have a talented young horse who has all the heart in the world, a big step, and quite a bit of scope. I would love to have the assistance of a top-end person to help me develop him, but I'm not willing to have someone refuse to let me be a part of a veterinary decision because that's their "program" -- I want to know if something is going wrong with my horse that could be caused by the "program". This kind of secrecy and hide-the-ball from the owners smacks to me of a set-up which could easily engender anything from deception and misdirection to outright fraud. I'm not saying that Geoff Teall or his staff are in any way misbehaving, but the amount of secrecy makes me wonder if this type of program encourages improper actions.

Liverpool
Jan. 28, 2003, 08:08 AM
It would be interesting to hear GT explain WHY a new owner is not permitted to be present at the first meeting of the vet and farrier - sounds like this is something that many owners (myself included) would very strenuously object to.

Geoff is pretty well known for being businesslike and above board, as far as I know. I admit I am curious as to his reasoning on this issue.

I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their intellects. A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.
Oscar Wilde (1854–1900)

rileyt
Jan. 28, 2003, 08:15 AM
This is merely a guess... but it may be that GT doesn't want the owner there because he feels the vet/farrier will be more forthcoming with GT about the horse's condition if he doesn't have to worry about offending "Mommy"?

I still don't agree with it,... but it could be a perfectly well-intentioned rule. I have known (to my dismay) several vets who were really reluctant to give bad news, for fear the owner might just run off and get a "better" opinion because they were in denial.

Half of Riding is 30% mental ... no wonder there are so many bad riders http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Liverpool
Jan. 28, 2003, 08:43 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by rileyt:
This is merely a guess... but it may be that GT doesn't want the owner there because he feels the vet/farrier will be more forthcoming with GT about the horse's condition if he doesn't have to worry about offending "Mommy"?

I still don't agree with it,... but it could be a perfectly well-intentioned rule. I have known (to my dismay) several vets who were really reluctant to give bad news, for fear the owner might just run off and get a "better" opinion because they were in denial.

Half of Riding is 30% mental ... no wonder there are so many bad riders http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

RileyT, I suspect you are correct. However, as an owner, I would still object! Also, frankly I want to know what the ALL the options are -
not referring to GT specifically - but clearly it is POSSIBLE that the vet/farrier could say, "well, we could fix this by doing X, but it will mean the horse will be out of work for Y months. Or we could do A, which would allow the horse to be kept in training..."

There is a lot of motivation for a trainer to only present (or put a very positive spin on) the second scenario. That would worry me.

I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their intellects. A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.
Oscar Wilde (1854–1900)

Gucci Cowgirl
Jan. 28, 2003, 09:16 AM
My trainers (although they are dressage) are very open and frank (but not rude) about everything. The one who owns the barn where I stay and work is also very heavily involved in selling and buying horses for clients. She is the first person to say "no, you can't handle that horse, in time someone will get hurt" and look for a more suitable horse.

She will also say "that horse is not good enough for you. you need something that will take you places, and as nice as this horse is, he is not enough of a healthy challenge for you".

I loff them, theyre both awesome!

"Practice does not make perfect - perfect practice makes perfect" - Christilot Boylen(in a roundabout way http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif )
"I'll allow the baby-eating silliness, but y'all can't just ramble on about everything under the sun out here." - Erin

Court@HJ-OH
Jan. 28, 2003, 09:35 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by rileyt:
This is merely a guess... but it may be that GT doesn't want the owner there because he feels the vet/farrier will be more forthcoming with GT about the horse's condition if he doesn't have to worry about offending "Mommy"?

I still don't agree with it,... but it could be a perfectly well-intentioned rule. I have known (to my dismay) several vets who were really reluctant to give bad news, for fear the owner might just run off and get a "better" opinion because they were in denial.

Half of Riding is 30% mental ... no wonder there are so many bad riders http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

That is crazy if that is the reason. No professional should be afraid to do his job well. Doctors will not keep the fact that a child has cancer from its parents because it might upset the mother. I trust my vet, but if it is something serious, you had better believe I would get a second opinion in all cases. Better be safe then sorry.

I personally think all of it is too keep the rider/owner uneducated and marching in line~

**Courtney**

"I may not agree with what someone has to say, but I will die for their right to say it" every American

[This message was edited by Court@HJ-OH on Jan. 28, 2003 at 01:35 PM.]

Hopeful Hunter
Jan. 28, 2003, 09:42 AM
I also was glad to see this article, and troubled by it.

First, major credit to GT for being willing to TALK about the need for clear business-like communication. That is the biggest problem, in my book. And I credit him for being willing to spell out costs in writing and review them with clients, another step I wish were more common.

He is also entitled to do business the way he wants, as long as he spells that out clearly up front, which it seems he does. He has strong control issues, and his clients need to know and agree to that.

That said, who the *())) does he think he is to "not PERMIT" the owner to be present at the first vet visit?! HELLO? Is HE paying that bill or is the owner? If it's the owner, newsflash -- THEY are employing the vet, not him. It's one thing if an owner can't be there and asks the barn to handle it. It's also fine if he or a member of his staff is present for any visits. But to ban an owner from attending a medical review of their own animal? Not in my life.

I do understand the idea of protecting the vet and farrier from the over-bothersome client. But you know what? That is THEIR right as owners. If the person is truly too much of a pain, let the VET tell them they will be happy to work on their horse but can't do so if they continue to be present and disruptive -- medical personnel CAN "fire" a patient.

My trainer does NOT make any medical decisions -- I do, in consultation with my vet and trainer. Sadly that basic rule of what I consider responsible ownership would seem to bar me from ever working with some of the bigger trainers, even if I had the horse, money and talent to do so. And, it seems to me a sad thing that there is what appears to me a core lack of faith in the owner being able to be a full participant on the part of the trainer. Even one who's willing to be upfront isn't willing to acknowledge owners as partners in their horse's fate. And that's an attitude I find very disturbing.

Flash44
Jan. 28, 2003, 10:59 AM
Over-bothersome client? As long as the vet/farrier is being paid for his time, who cares what they talk about. The only way an owner is ever going to learn about horse management is if he or she is conscious of every aspect of the horse and how all the differnt aspects of horse management, such as feed, work, shoes, footing, weather, age, etc inter react and produce the animal that they are sitting on at the show.

And people wonder why clients are TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF, and refer to adult amateurs as the puppets of BNTs, when the owners that bother to read and research and ask the opinions of vets and blacksmits are referred to as BOTHERSOME CLIENTS. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

The day my vet/blacksmith/trainer does not politely listen to my questions and gives me a good answer is the last day he or she works for me.

Silk
Jan. 28, 2003, 11:22 AM
Actually, Flas, I do think you can base the effectiveness and INTEGRIty of a program on the results, especially in this business.

Knowledgable owners/riders are pretty quick to assess the effectiveness AND integrity of a trainer. And, correct me if I am wrong, but at that level, aren't RESULTS what the clients are looking for? Ahemm...lets look at Maggie Jayne leasing Grappa for umpteen million dollars when she already had an "acceptable" and "competent" eq horse right in her own barn!

If results (whether they be blue ribbons, or just getting around a 2'6" course comfortably) are not the goal, then what is?

TSWJB
Jan. 28, 2003, 11:22 AM
i agree with GotSpots! when i read the article i was thinking how sad that i would not be able to work with a top professional and keep control over my horse. i would not be comfortable with giving over complete control and i also would not be able to afford to pay someone to do everything necessary to get my horse into the ring. i am an intelligent person and i feel i can make some decisions for myself. partly to make this sport affordable i have to do things myself. i have no problems in following the trainers advice on how to train the horse and what i should change to make the horse go better. i also have no problem with paying the training fees associated with getting this advice. but if i am capable of preparing my horse for the ring and i am willing to do it in a fashion that is acceptable for the particular trainers program, then why can't i do it myself? this may be the only way i can afford to show at a top level. it really is sad if all the BNT adopt this kind of attitude. it makes the sport elitist. i remember Gary Zook wrote an article and he said he would help people who could not afford to board in his barn. he would give recommendations to the person for care at their own barn. he understood that some people could not afford all the fees associated with a top barn, but they should still have access to top quality training! i even think i remember the girl who won the medal trailered into his farm for lessons.
i am lucky that i have a trainer who keeps this sport affordable. she allows me to braid my horse myself, to trailer him to shows myself, to groom him myself, and to get him to the ring myself where she takes over and expects me to follow her advice. if my horse is not prepared to her standards, she lets me know that this is not acceptable and that i have to change it. i am so thankful to her for allowing this sport to remain somewhat affordable!
i really hope this industry is not moving towards at attitude that in order to get top quality instruction you have to relinquish all control and open up you check book really wide! we need to keep the sport affordable for the average person to compete properly if they are willing to do some of the work.

Liverpool
Jan. 28, 2003, 12:09 PM
I think there are many trainers, particularly at the top of the sport, who are so good at what they do that they can really pick and choose their clients, and can structure their businesses so that they can make the maximum amount of income from each client they accept. This approach allows them, among other things, to take on FEWER clients and so have more time to focus on really doing an immaculate job with each on of them in every detail.

As long as they are upfront about their program and the costs and expectations with potential clients, as it appears that GT is, then honestly I think that is their right.

Many trainers do not permit clients a DIY approach because their business model is such that they simply cannot survive on the income they make just from training fees. They need the "extra" $$$ that is generated from all those other services that have been mentioned.

Those trainers that DO allow an a la carte program are to be commended, I think - but to be brutally honest, at least SOME of them do so because they do not have a choice. For whatever reason, they do not command the prices or have the reputation or whatever to attract the clients who can and are willing to just pay the bills. (Not saying this is the case in every instance, or that there aren't some very talented trainers who do their best to make the sport affordable to their clients.)

I know that if I were a trainer, I would sure prefer to have fewer clients with more money vs many clients who had to really budget. However, I do agree that it is a shame that the reality of this means that except for the odd clinic or seminar, TOP training *is* basically out of reach for most of us.

On a personal note, long ago I had ONE session with Geoff Teall (while I was trying a horse he had for sale.) Despite the fact that it has been more than ten years ago since that took place, I can remember every detail of that ride - and he wasn't even really giving me a LESSON, just helping me as I tried the horse. It was fantastic.

I decided then and there that I wanted to ride with him someday, and confess that with the new horse I just bought, I did entertain thoughts of FINALLY maybe making that dream a reality... I am SO disappointed that after all this time, it appears unrealistic after all. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/cry.gif Boo hoo, Liverpool is really sad.

I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their intellects. A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.
Oscar Wilde (1854–1900)

poltroon
Jan. 28, 2003, 12:48 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by AW:
Poltroon,

I'm truly not looking for a fight, but do you ask your phone company to change the way they connect your calls? The idea is to find a trainer that you like, who understands your goals and uses methods you believe in.

Is this the kind of communication you mean? [...] Client says "Oh yes, we forgot, it's just so exciting that he's going so well, we're sorry, you're absolutely right. We love you, thak you for looking out for our & his best interests." 1 week later client says "We took a second mortgage and we're moving to XXXXX's barn - they say he can be showing in the 3' by next month. He's leaving tomorrow. Oh - we can't pay the required 30 days' board - we don't have any money."

That communication and honesty thing works both ways, and I don't think most clients would be willing to pass a certification course.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

No, AW (though actually reverse the roles and you'll be closer http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif ) the conversations I was thinking of were more along the lines of "How did my horse get these bloody spur marks on her sides when we agreed that she was not to be ridden in spurs." http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/dead.gif (My horse had an injury on her side that needed time to heal.)

In both cases, I would've wanted the trainer to have it out with me about why she wanted the spurs back rather than just do it behind my back and assume I won't notice.

faraway46
Jan. 28, 2003, 01:24 PM
I haven´t read the article but I'd think that maybe G.T.'s method is ok for the very novice, who needs much guidance in the beginning. But how do you ever learn if you always have your trainer breathing down your neck?
I train a few friends, not professionally in an economic sense, because I do it for free, but I dedicate time to educate them in every way, be it in the saddle or off of it.
I have a farm of my own and every time the vet comes to check on a particular horse, I encourage the owner to be there: it's all part of the learning experience (since just being a good rider doesn't make you a good horseman).
The top riders get together with their vets and talk to them about how they feel them, what they should do, etc. Why then not let a novice get a hang of what that is? My ambition is that one day my friends/students won't need me and be a complete horseman (or woman), knowing what's best for his four legged companion and being able to read his thoughts (that's true communication with your horse: being able to know what's wrong with him even if you're not in the saddle;knowing he does'nt feel well just by looking in his eyes).
Actually, I've sometimes heard trainers say that to them success is having many champion students in the ring. To me success as a trainer is to make that particular student the best he could be (make that an A-Circuit champ or just being able to post trot when someone has serious back problems, or just getting on a horse and overcome fear...). My best success moment in my life, up until now, is when a friend of mine brought his daughters to learn how to ride. One of them was born with very short arms. The day she jumped a full course at a gallop, I burst into tears, along with her. She was crying, not because she had acomplished that, but because she had won a class of 19 participants, including her sister, and finally felt she could do something not just like everybody else, but even better.

Flash44
Jan. 28, 2003, 02:05 PM
It's a horse, not a mutual fund!

J. Turner
Jan. 28, 2003, 02:16 PM
One of should write PH and ask GT to respond to that. Even if I had all the money in the world, I still want to be a horsewoman and would like to be there, if at all possible, for vet and farrier appointments. I agree that this philosophy seems out of joint with GT's usual pointedness towards horsemanship. I realize one enters his barn on his terms and accepts them or leaves, but would really like to know the philosophy behind this one. I cannot justify it in anyway in my mind.


"And Max said, 'NO!'"
-- Maurice Sendak

Anne
Jan. 28, 2003, 02:32 PM
"Many trainers do not permit clients a DIY approach because their business model is such that they simply cannot survive on the income they make just from training fees. They need the "extra" $$$ that is generated from all those other services that have been mentioned."

http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/sigh.gif Not to waver off the topic, but this is directly related to the tipping of grooms topic. I would be willing to wager that these trainers who insist on making money from more than just training fees are some of the same ones who don't "spread the wealth" along to the grooms who implement their magic "program".

*****************************
Custom Needlepoint Belts (http://www.freewebs.com/belts)

Flash44
Jan. 28, 2003, 02:53 PM
I imagine they could "survive" on what they make by just training, but maybe they won't have the standard of living they want. I call that greed.

rileyt
Jan. 28, 2003, 02:58 PM
wow. Flash that's pretty harsh. I think everyone is entitled to charge what the market will bear. Why should they have to just get by? Because they work with horses?

I could "survive" working at McDonalds ... I even like making hamburgers... but I don't. Am I greedy?

Half of Riding is 30% mental ... no wonder there are so many bad riders http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Flash44
Jan. 28, 2003, 03:00 PM
I've heard in both the racing and show world that the "best" kind of client is the one that pays for full training, on time, comes to the barn infrequently, and doesn't ask many questions.

This seems to happen in the corporate and political world as well. And then people are shocked when there are big surprises after questions are finally asked!

Maybe there needs to be more ACCOUNTABILITY on both sides of the equation.

rileyt
Jan. 28, 2003, 03:03 PM
I agree with you all that I would personally be uncomfortable turning that much control over to anyone... but I think there are several potential good honest reasons for it.

Perhaps, GT wants the ultimate say, because he finds that too many owners don't keep horses up to his standard of care? I'm sure we've all been at barns where there is one boarder, or one student whose poor horse gets ridden once a month, and has his feet in bad shape, etc. etc.... If YOU ran the barn, wouldn't you LIKE to be able to do something about it? Especially if that person was going out to shows, telling people they ride with you?

I'll leave aside the question of whether you feel you'd be ENTITLED to make those demands... but if its up front, and for the good of the horse... its not all bad. Let's not forget, just because GT may make the ultimate decision, it doesn't necessarily follow that his students aren't a) getting all the same information from the vet/farrier or b) not learning horsemanship in the process.

It's too invasive for me, but I suspect that GT has the best interests of the horses (and maybe his professional reputation) in mind. I don't see anything wrong with that.

Half of Riding is 30% mental ... no wonder there are so many bad riders http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

breezymeadow
Jan. 28, 2003, 03:12 PM
I'm sorry; I don't care how talented or businesslike, or upfront he is. That kind of "total control" sounds borderline psychotic. Even if I had the $$$ & the talent, wouldn't touch him with a 10' pole.

My body is a temple - unfortunately, it's a "fixer- upper".

Flash44
Jan. 28, 2003, 03:12 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by rileyt:
wow. Flash that's pretty harsh. I think everyone is entitled to charge what the market will bear. Why should they have to just get by? Because they work with horses?

I could "survive" working at McDonalds ... I even like making hamburgers... but I don't. Am I greedy?

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Choosing a profession based on expected salary does not signify greed. and I'm not saying trainers should not make good money.

But tacking on a "fee" to other services, such as daycare at a show, and not allowing the client the option of doing it another way does say something. Why does a trainer has to skim something off the top of every transaction that occurs in the barn? Because he or she can't make enough money just by training? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif Just raise the basic board or training fee, don't try to hide it inside other costs.

pinkhorse
Jan. 28, 2003, 03:14 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by -Emma-:
....It made me wonder -- how many of us out there actually have this ideal relationship with our trainers that we would feel comfortable bringing up issues such as commission ammounts, extra fees, and barn care? Likewise, would your trainer, as the article describes, admit that "'I bought you the wrong horse. We need to sell him, and you're going to lose money'"?
....<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm gonna pass on the conversation that's been going on about GT and answer the question above.

I would never be in a relationship with a trainer that I couldn't answer "absolutely yes". It is not even a question to me. It is a necessity.

Just one problem tho - it's the "'I bought you the wrong horse'" quote. If my trainer bought me the wrong horse then I'm not going to lose any money because clearly I didn't buy the horse. I have a really good relationship with my teachers but I can't quite imagine them buying me a horse.

Oh, you mean brokered the buying of the horse? If I was so stupid as to allow my trainer to talk me into buying the wrong horse then I deserve to lose money.

rileyt
Jan. 28, 2003, 03:19 PM
Sorry Flash... I misunderstood you. I agree that I don't like the nickel and dime operation where trainers get a cut of everything. You should get paid for your WORK. Charge whatever you want for it. But I agree, taking a cut everytime a groom bathes a horse (when you didn't lift a finger), reeks of greed.

Half of Riding is 30% mental ... no wonder there are so many bad riders http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

poltroon
Jan. 28, 2003, 03:43 PM
Yeah, but if you're paying the groom a salary, you ARE lifting a finger. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif Though I agree with the general sentiment of not hiding one's fees in other charges.

Liverpool
Jan. 28, 2003, 03:55 PM
I think these are separate issues. I think a trainer can charge whatever the market will bear, as was posted earlier. And good for them if they are talented enough to attract clients who will pay high fees.

As clients I think we can sometimes want the impossible - great service and facilities, at minimal costs "because we need it to be affordable!" Well, count me in that group, but I also realize what it costs to put together a top program, and I don't expect to get it at a bargain price.

However - let's say for argument's sake, that I COULD afford this type of program.

My biggest question is: WHY WOULD A TRAINER NOT PERMIT ME TO BE PRESENT WHEN THEIR FARRIER AND VET SEE *MY* HORSE?

I really cannot think of a SINGLE acceptable explanation.

If the issue is ensuring a standard of care - I can see a trainer wanting evaluations from vets and farriers he trusts. But how would having the owner present interfere with that?

I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their intellects. A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.
Oscar Wilde (1854–1900)

Court@HJ-OH
Jan. 28, 2003, 05:27 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pinkhorse:


Oh, you mean brokered the buying of the horse? If I was so stupid as to allow my trainer to talk me into buying the wrong horse then I deserve to lose money.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I will take issue with this. The commission itself is payment for their professional opinion and assistance in buying a horse. I consider myself to be a knowledgable horse person but I don't consider myself to know as much as my trainer. I paid him to use his more extensive knowledge to find me a horse that is right for me. Why else would anyone pay comission if we could do it all ourselves.

**Courtney**

"I may not agree with what someone has to say, but I will die for their right to say it" every American

fleur
Jan. 28, 2003, 05:50 PM
Another thing, pinkhorse--I think many trainers locate and introduce their clients to prospective new horses, and I'm sure they do their best to ensure that it is a good match (trial period, matches client's needs, etc.). But I think you also have to account for the ones that end up not working out. I would feel bad as a trainer if a horse/buyer match-up I had made ended up not working out, especially if the buyer decided to try and resell the horse, inevitably losing money in the process. I don't think it's necessarily an issue of the trainer leading the buyer to think the horse is right for them when it might not be and the trainer knows this, though I'm sure that situation does exist as well.

*EMMA*
emmaspace (http://emma12384.tripod.com)

dogchushu
Jan. 28, 2003, 06:16 PM
Court,

I don't think pinkhorse meant that the trainer had no say in the purchase of her horses. Just that she rather than the trainer purchased the horse.

When I bought my horse, I went through my trainer. No way was this novice barefoot pilgrim venturing into horse buying on her lonesome! I got tons and tons of (really valuable) advice and my trainer earned every penny of her commission (we looked at a lot of horses). But I bought the horse. The ultimate decision was mine.

Ture, I was a newbie. But I knew when I just didn't feel right on a particular horse. And I had done some research and reading beforehand. I wasn't going in totally blind taking whatever horse my trainer said was "suitable." When the horse I purchased was vetted, I was there. And I made sure to go over the vets findings. If I wasn't clear what she meant, I asked.

In the end, I bought the horse. She had my trainer's blessing. But I bought her.

Now, if it turned out that the horse was unsuitable, it would have been that I'd bought the wrong horse on the advice of my trainer. That's a bit different from saying the trainer bought me the wrong horse.


Then again, I was there at the vetting... asking possibly "bothersome" questions the whole time!

cgn38
Jan. 28, 2003, 06:20 PM
Originally posted by dogchushu
"since he's her husband, I figure they communicate fairly regularly"

Just wondering what planet you're from...


Ha!Ha! Just kidding, I couldn't resist.

Dancetil3
Jan. 28, 2003, 06:40 PM
The day someone has total control over my horse (health-wise/training-wise, etc.) other than me is the day that person is paying my horse's TOTAL BILLS. Any trainer/client relationship should be a give-and-take of ideas, not a dictatorship.

AW
Jan. 28, 2003, 08:08 PM
Then, poltroon, you had a bad trainer. She not only did something you thought you agreed she wouldn't do, she thought you were stupid! My clients know every speck of tack that touches their horse if I ride it. And if we've agreed that I will use their horse to teach lessons, they get a call every time the horse is used - beforehand. I don't want anyone in the dark if someone's horse trips with someone else's kid aboard.

I think part of the communication gap is that all of you assume that all clients are like you - honest, caring, reliable, communicative. Lots of them aren't. There are clients with Munchausen's (sp) - kind of a projected hypochondria - I've had 2 of them. And there are those who miss the fact, after 20 years in various pretty good boarding barns, that you have to clean the horse's sheath. Those kind are out there telling people that they're in your barn, too. While I don't have any problem with an owner being present - it is their horse - for some I make sure I'm present too. I don't require total control, but if you're doing something stupid to your horse in my barn, be it veterinary or training, I will stop you. And if you don't want to stop, then you won't be in my barn anymore.

That said, I still can't figure out G.T.'s "no owners present" rule.

SBT
Jan. 28, 2003, 08:31 PM
This seems like an age-old conflict...trainers' rights vs. clients' rights, barn management vs. boarders...

And I think no matter how you slice it, people on both sides of the relationship are going to abuse it. Sometimes it's hard to tell who's right: the horse owner who shows up at 6 a.m. to see her horse, or the barn owner who made the rule that the barn doesn't open until 8? Is a horse to be considered property that the owner can access 24/7? Or is a boarding facility to be considered property that can be closed/opened whenever the owner wants?

Some owners want to be involved with every aspect of their horse's care. When I was a horse owner, *I* made ALL the decisions regarding the vet, farrier, training program, etc. And I was only 16 at the beginning! But I took the time to properly educate myself, and did my best to act out of consideration for others. Still, I got into more than one head-butting match with what I thought was overbearing barn management. In one case, they wouldn't let me add shavings to my horse's stall...shavings that *I* went out and purchased myself, not the barn's shavings...on the theory that I would make the stall "too hard to clean." http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif In another case, it was leaving a stall guard up all night behind a closed door, versus taking it down. Barn manager said up; I said down; one day I showed up to find the stall guard missing, and I was ceremoniously thrown out of that barn. (There were other things I questioned; this was just the "final straw," I suppose).

Now, I don't think I ever deserved some of the treatment I received as a paying, low-maintenance boarder. I don't think ANYONE on this planet ever thinks they're being unreasonable when it comes to the care of their horses, no matter how trivial the matter. I've seen owners blow up over supplements, cuts received during turn out, even someone else using "their" set of crossties. I've seen barn owners/trainers blow up over barn hours, walking horses on the grass, feeding an extra flake of hay, blanketing, etc. Because there is no standard in this business, EVERYONE thinks they're right.

So some trainers/barn managers turn into control freaks to try and stop the "problem clients" before they come up the driveway. Some have an "open-door" policy, then remorselessly alienate/boot out the clients they decide they don't like. And some just let everyone stay and do whatever they want, and keep themselves out of the situation entirely.

Personally, I think both sides have rights. But I think no matter what, the legal owner of the horse has the final say, regardless of how educated/intelligent they are. That said, a barn manager/trainer should be able to expect that legally-binding contracts signed by the owner will be adhered to, and has a right to turn down/dismiss clients who refuse to do so.

I think it all comes down to what's reasonable, AND I think that service providers (trainers/barn managers/etc.) should really work on a case-by-case basis with their clients instead of forcing everyone into a specific set of guidelines. If an owner stopping by at 6 a.m. isn't hurting anything, why not let her? And if other horse owners want to know why SHE'S allowed in at 6, can't the barn manager simply say, "She and I have a personal agreement. I am equally willing to work with you if you have any special needs." Or if someone is allowed to handle all their own vet/farrier appointments while someone else must stay on the barn schedule, shouldn't it suffice to say, "That person has more experience than you do. Eventually, you'll be able to handle it on your own, too. For now, we think this is best."

IMHO, the relationship is all about being reasonable and working together to create an arrangement that leaves everyone happy. As soon as one party tries to exert complete control and authority over the other, conflicts are bound to occur.

~Sara
*Charter member of the GM Fan Club*
*Member of the Dirt Divers 78th Airborne Unit, ATH Squadron*

Hopeful Hunter
Jan. 28, 2003, 09:32 PM
Flash -- fwiw, I agree with you that the idea of an owner being bothersome by asking questions or being present at a vet/farrier visit is absurd. I know that I have become somewhat knowledgeable ONLY through being around -- not just for my horse's vet visits, but for others, too, and watching, listening and asking questions when it wasn't an intrusion. BUT...I have a vet who clearly ENJOYS having clients who do research and are knowledgeable, and farriers who don't just shoe, but explain the reasons behind why they shoe and will point out differences in feet, etc.

Plus, there is that pesky bill-paying issue, and if it's my money, I'm the one who gets the report. Period.

That said...I actually CAN think of a couple of situations where working with a knowledgeable representative, like GT, in lieu of the owner could be more productive -- one cynical, one more realistic.

The cynical one should be obvious -- the trainer doesn't want to have any tentative issues/concerns aired about any horse he/she might try to sell later on, ESPECIALLY if it's something related to lameness or illness. And one way to prevent that talk from starting is to never permit anyone outside of yourself to be present when the vet starts a diagnostic investigation - the time when ideas of "it could be" float. After all, it could lower the price by $10k if a rumor about heel pain got out...

The realistic one is that SOME owners shut down when faced with potentially serious issues with their horse, and don't hear all of what's said. Instead, they just focus on one thing, and they might not agree to do additional tests or look at other issues since they've focused in -- without all the information yet available. That's rare, but I have seen situations - actually, I've been party to them - where the vet might want to just discuss and bounce ideas around with a neutral person or one who can be or at least act objective, and not all owners can. In that case being able to freely discuss potentials, and discard many, may not be possible with the actual owner.

HOWEVER -- I still dont' think that should be dictated by ANY trainer. Unless they pick up the bill, THEY are not the vet/farrier's actual client. And until they are, they have no right to bar an owner from any proceeding.

Plus, there is another issue. How can an owner BECOME a more reasoned, knowledgeable horseperson without a chance to see and learn and ask questions? Or is that kind of education not a goal at the BNT barns?

I think I will write to PH and ask for an explaination.

Hopeful Hunter
Jan. 28, 2003, 09:56 PM
Well, I guess it's a good think neither I, my horse nor my pocketbook will ever be "good" enough for a BNT because I don't know that any would take me after this! I've just sent the letter below to the editors at PH -- wonder if they'll print it?
*********

First, kudos to Geoff Teall for writing about the critical need for more trainers - especially the big names - to be up front with clients about issues such as costs, expectations and so on. The horse world, especially the show hunters, is in dire need of clearer, more open communication and his column points out some fine ideas that can benefit trainers and clients alike.

However, I do have to question him very seriously on one issue. Mr. Teall makes his desire for total control of a horse's conditioning, management and training clear, and that is his right in his barn. However, I take exception to the idea that he wants to have all initial conversations with the vet and farrier WITHOUT the owner present. Why? Unless Mr. Teall is paying that initial bill, the owner is the actual client, and as such is the person to whom any reports should go. I can certainly understand wanting to be present at those visits, but banning an owner? To an outsider, that isn't "total control," that's hiding something.

I don't want to discuss alternatives to a vet or farrier's recommendations with my trainer; I want to discuss them with the vet or farrier in person! Unless my trainer IS a vet or farrier, he or she cannot know all the ramifications of every treatment. And owners cannot every hope to become knowledgeable horsepeople without the benefit of interactions that allow them to ask questions, probe and learn.

Perhaps Mr. Teall has some reasoning behind this dictate, but if so, I'd like to ask him to share it with your readers. Because I can assure you that many of us are left asking "I wonder what that's hiding" rather than saying "oh, good, I don't need to worry about those pesky vet visits." In the end, it's the owner's horse, and the owner's money that are involved. And that gives the owner the right to get clear, direct answers at any time from ALL of the horse's caregiving team in my book, including vets and farriers.

Court@HJ-OH
Jan. 28, 2003, 11:33 PM
Hopeful Hunter,

I loved it. I hope they print it and can't wait for a response.

**Courtney**

"I may not agree with what someone has to say, but I will die for their right to say it" every American

Dancetil3
Jan. 29, 2003, 05:21 AM
But if rumored "heel pain" "gets out" and lowers the price $10,000...who cares? Anyone paying that much money, in their right mind, would have the horse vetted, rumors or no rumors...and vetted by a vet other than the seller's. Then the truth would be known. So I don't agree with using that scenario as a reason to justify just the trainer being there during exams. That's like sending someone to the store with your credit card and letting them buy/spend whatever they want for you without consulting you.

Flash44
Jan. 29, 2003, 08:20 AM
I guess it all depends on what you want from the trainer. You can go into the barn and say, "Get me to indoors," or "I want the Zone championship." Some trainers will say, OK, this is what it will cost you. I'll take care of everything. Some people are fine with that. Personally, I don't have the "end result" view because I would like to keep on going, and maybe do a little bigger and better as time goes on. Any ribbons or awards that come my way during the process are greatly appreciated, but some of my best memories and best times have nothing to do with ribbons or awards.

elizabeth
Jan. 29, 2003, 08:30 AM
Yeah, I'd like to see how well it goes over with my clients (I am a lawyer) when I impose on them all sorts of restrictions on the sort of information which BENEFITS them that I will share with them. There is a critical portion to the client-professional relationship of which I take particular note: To wit, the fact that one person is a CLIENT (e.g. is PAYING).

To that end, I LOVE the fact that my current trainer is really good-natured about letting me share with her my ideas about what I want to work on on any given day. (Like, sometimes I really only want to do flat work. So she'll adjust what she had planned for our lesson. I *LOVE* that. And she is skilled enough to be that flexible.)

Pocket Pony
Jan. 29, 2003, 12:06 PM
Hopeful Hunter, I like your letter! I was also thinking of writing a letter, but you said it so well that I'll just let you speak for me, too! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

"Both rider and horse must enjoy the work. This is the essence of success" - Reiner Klimke

Hopeful Hunter
Jan. 29, 2003, 12:59 PM
I say go ahead and write, too -- if they get a lot of letters, they may "have" to respond with an answer!

fleur
Jan. 29, 2003, 02:03 PM
Your letter is great, Hopeful Hunter! I hope they don't edit it too much (it's a tad long) but I bet they will publish it! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif I will be keeping my eyes open for it.

*EMMA*
emmaspace (http://emma12384.tripod.com)

Bumpkin
Jan. 30, 2003, 07:41 AM
Very good Hopeful Hunter, not only are you a wonderful Aromatherapist, you are also a lovely letter writer http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

"Proud Member Of The I Loff Starman Babies, Sunnieflax and Horse Boxes Cliques" Bora Da

pinkhorse
Jan. 31, 2003, 08:35 AM
I'll stick with my original statement. I may have been harsh in saying something about being "talked into" (tho I think that does happen).

The commision I pay to my teacher to help me find a horse is just that (or, my board if I'm paying for the kind of full service that's being discussed re GT) - I'm paying for their knowledge, connections, etc. I am NOT paying for a guarantee. It is still MY decision to write the 2 checks (and yes, I wrote 2 when I bought my horse) - one to the seller and one to my teacher. I am responsible.

Yes, if it turned out not to be a good match my teacher would feel bad. (I know that, we've talked about it whenever she's involved in helping out a sale or sells one of her home breds.) But, as we all know - it's buyer beware. In this situation then one needs to ask a few questions - was it an honest mistake? Does my teacher not really have a good enough understanding of my abilities or desires? Do I just not trust this persons opinions? Is there something underhanded going on? And the buyer then takes these things into account when making the next purchase.

Same thing with this trainer not allowing owners to converse with the other professionals that the owner is paying for services. Well, I suppose if I trusted GT completely.... Personally, I just can't imagine it and I wouldn't feel like I was getting my money's worth from either my trainer or from my vet/farrier, etc. (Would you send your child to the pediatrician with his nursery school teacher and not, at least, have a telephone conversation with the doc? Except maybe in an emergency...)

GCTEALL
Feb. 1, 2003, 05:53 PM
Just to help clear up a point under discussion from my PH article. What I intended to say and was obviously not clear enough, was that when I need to talk to either the vet or the farrier, I insist on talking to either of them alone first, and then if the client chooses, certainly with them there, or if they wish, they can speak to the vet or farrier themselves. The reason for this is that I want to have a clear and uninhibited conversation with the other professional so we can come to our own conclusions more comfortably. From there if the owner has more insight we are happy to include them in our conversation, and if they make sense happily change our conclusions. I just feel that this is an important starting off point. I certainly am not trying to hide anything from anyone. I also feel that it is important to keep the number of conversations that these guys have to have down to a minimum. This is done out of respect for them, and I feel is appreciated. Hope this makes sense.

J. Turner
Feb. 1, 2003, 06:15 PM
Thank you for coming here and acknowledging our concerns, Mr. Teall. I'm sure many here appreciate your willingness to communicate with the public in an open forum.

I have had respect for your training and philosophies for years. I will never, ever be able to afford to ride with you since I'm just a school teacher and my husband is a chef (not all of them are as well paid as Emeril!), but after years of having to learn horsemanship on my own and make decisions for my horse, I don't know that I could relinquish complete control. I love being part of that process. I love to hear all the technical aspects from the vet. I'm not knocking your program -- just what I'm used to and enjoy, I don't think I could give up. Although there are times I would definitely appreciate my horse being on full care -- the busy mother, teacher, and wife that I am!


"And Max said, 'NO!'"
-- Maurice Sendak

Silly Mommy
Feb. 1, 2003, 06:32 PM
I was getting annoyed while reading this thread. Not because of what GT supposedly said, but because of people being sooooo ready to jump on him for something that could have been a misprint, misquote, or just a mistake not caught when proofreading.

My statement was going to be that I guess he's changed drastically since he moved south - something in the water http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif, because I'd never known this type of control to come from him, and I've known GT for a very long time. (edited to say that the above statement was made with my usual sarcasm and that jumping to conclusions about the printed word always gets people into trouble.)

Welcome Geoff and thanks for the explanation, stick around a bit.

Proud member of the Sunnieflax Clique, IDAC Clique http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
"Poster formerly known as SQW"

[This message was edited by Silly Mommy on Feb. 01, 2003 at 10:10 PM.]

[This message was edited by Silly Mommy on Feb. 01, 2003 at 10:10 PM.]

GCTEALL
Feb. 1, 2003, 07:04 PM
J. Turner. My mother lives on Jeckyll Island. I guess the lack of horses is why I like it there myself!

Court@HJ-OH
Feb. 1, 2003, 08:17 PM
Geoff please please stick around. Its not fair the eventing board has Denny Emerson http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif...we H/Js need a big time trainer around for their opinion and perspective. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif .

Thanks for the explaination. Everyone might not agree on everything, but we all do wish more trainers were as up front and honest as you.

**Courtney**

"I may not agree with what someone has to say, but I will die for their right to say it" every American

Hopeful Hunter
Feb. 1, 2003, 08:31 PM
Mr. Teall -- First, THANK YOU so very much for joining and for helping to address the concerns your PH column raised. Once again, you've demonstrated a level of concern and professionalism I deeply respect, and which certainly makes clear why so many others do, too.

As an adult with little talent, with an OTTB with a lot more talent but still just an OTTB, and not nearly enough time or money, I could not envision being in a postion to enjoy training with you -- although I bet I would appreciate your instruction and certainly benefit from it! However, I would still have some issues personally with the level of control you prefer - which, I say again, is your right in your barn. But I admit to envying those who can work with you and benefit from your experience.

I've read your response, and I still am not sure that I understand fully your reasoning. Here's what puzzles me:

You say: "when I need to talk to either the vet or the farrier, I insist on talking to either of them alone first, and then if the client chooses, certainly with them there, or if they wish, they can speak to the vet or farrier themselves."

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by this. I'm reading it to say that you DO insist on a private conversation/exam with only you and the vet/farrier at first. After that exam, you are then perfectly fine with the client attending or speaking to the vet/farrier directly. Correct?

OK...but that STILL eliminates the OWNER from the first meeting. And that, to me and I think to many of us reading, is a major issue of concern.

You then explain: "The reason for this is that I want to have a clear and uninhibited conversation with the other professional so we can come to our own conclusions more comfortably. From there if the owner has more insight we are happy to include them in our conversation, and if they make sense happily change our conclusions."

Is there a reason you CAN'T have a "clear and unihibited conversation" with the owner present? It IS the owner's horse, after all. I know MY vet and farrier can. In fact, I have personally sometimes suggested things more dire than they did -- things they thought about and agreed we should check for. And with one horse, something (ringbone) that sadly turned out to be a correct diagnoses.

I'm not sure why having the owner present would make anyone - vet or trainer - at all UNcomfortable or less willing to speak freely and to explore possibilities. Can you clarify? And as to changing your conclusions if the owner makes sense -- I'm not sure what you mean by that. Do you mean you disregard the owner and his/her wishes regarding treatment otherwise (which from the rest of what I've read from you doesn't seem correct)?

As an owner, the bottom line responsibility for my horse rests with ME, not with a trainer, no matter how good or qualified that trainer is. I feel that if anyone deserves a frank and open conversation about my horse, I do. Do you not feel that the owners should get the full benefit of examining what is going on with their horses? Or do you think they can't "handle" it or can't understand? And if so, shouldn't they try to learn?

Some of this may just be that as someone without a huge amount of money I don't have the luxury of being ignorant, nor of "disposing" of my horse without a whole lot of thought and concern. I recognize that things may work differently when large dollar values are involved, but even so, I can't imagine that the owner is not welcome to participate in the process of discovering what is wrong with their animal.

Another thing that confuses me is when you say: "I also feel that it is important to keep the number of conversations that these guys have to have down to a minimum. This is done out of respect for them, and I feel is appreciated."

Wouldn't INCLUDING the owners in the initial visit be MORE effective at doing this? If the owner can be present during the exploratory/diagnostic/evaluative phase, he or she can ask questions at the time, not later in a second visit or phone consult. It seems to me that THIS method -- allowing the owner to ask questions up front -- would eliminate later confusion and additional explanations.

I really am not trying to be difficult, and it may just be that you have a way of working with clients that is not something I could ever be comfortable with. Whatever the case, I truly do appreciate your response, and thank you for being a TRUE professional. -- Gina Kazimir

J. Turner
Feb. 1, 2003, 08:39 PM
Mr. Teall, I may have to beg on my hands and knees for a lesson next time you come to visit your mother ... after all my barn is only 5 minutes from the truck stop at the exit!!! Perhaps I could bribe you with dinner at my husband's restaurant at the Lodge on St. Simons? Pecan-crusted lamb anyone?

I guess you noticed the location comment -- it is a pretty sad state of affairs here. I do self care because there isn't a single h/j (or other) full care barn that's worthy. Rose Harley is here, but she works for private clients. That's about it.


"And Max said, 'NO!'"
-- Maurice Sendak

SaddleFitterVA
Feb. 1, 2003, 10:50 PM
Once upon a time I would have been apalled at the mere idea that I would give up control of my horse(s) to a trainer.

Well, now that I've done self-care for 10+ years, and have been in and out of a few BNT barns (for lessons and as a professional saddle fitter only, never boarding), I must say, the BNTs care, staff, degree of thoroughness, and level of care are all superior to what my horses receive.

I don't know that I'll ever have the money to go the BNT route, the way that Geoff Teall does his barn (but that would be a luxury that I think I'd enjoy for a couple of years), but if I ever do have the funds, I can see finding a trainer who I trust with my horse and actually enjoy delegating and trusting the person to whom I delegated the task.

I only just read this article tonight, after reading through this thread, but truly would not have a huge problem with not being around for the vet. Egads....what a luxury, stay at work and get a nice report. Now, I must admit, if I was getting tons of vet bills with a lot of extreme drug use my tune would change, but overall, as long as we entered into the agreement with eyes open (as the article is proposing) I'd be ok with it.

Also, the fact is that if I can't afford the vet bills, perhaps I'm trying to play the show game at a too expensive level. Kinda like the person who buys a Mercedes and realizes he can't afford the insurance or maintenance.

My horses are happy and healthy and have top notch farrier care. We don't see the vet often, but I won't claim top notch vet care, but I also don't have a training schedule that stresses them too much....and due to that lack of training schedule I have no illusions about showing, clinics, or overall fitness level.

If I were a trainer, I think I'd like to run my barn the way the successful (yes, I mean financially successful) BNTs do it.

Someday, I still have fantasies about being some BNTs working student....I'll be the oldest working student out there by the time I can afford that http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif .

Mel

Madeline
Feb. 2, 2003, 05:47 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by GCTEALL:
Just to help clear up a point under discussion from my PH article. What I intended to say and was obviously not clear enough, was that when I need to talk to either the vet or the farrier, I insist on talking to either of them alone first, and then if the client chooses, certainly with them there, or if they wish, they can speak to the vet or farrier themselves.

That makes more sense. If you're talking to them alone, you're paying for that vet or farrier visit, right?

madeline

madeline

RockinHorse
Feb. 2, 2003, 06:35 AM
Thank you GCTEALL

While I am not personally comfortable with not being welcome at vet or farrier examinations, I have tremendous respect for your desire to be up front about how you operate, not just with your clients but in a national magazine as well! As you can tell, your article has prompted some great conversations. I hope that you contribute more articles to magazines in the future

~~ Does killing time hurt eternity?~~

Ladybug Hill
Feb. 2, 2003, 07:07 AM
I have really enjoyed the article and this thread. I took exception to the no owner rule during the farrier/vet initial visit as well. I spend most of my time educating horse owners/riders (mostly unpaid). I think education is #1. I have always done all my own care and training. When I watch so many riders in the show ring, I wonder how many of those riders are just that--RIDERS only. To me the point of "doing" horses, is the whole picture--understanding all the care and hours that go into making a show horse. So many winning riders out there have no idea how to care for a horse--they are not horsemen/women. I think there is something truly wrong with that.

With all that said, I think it is obvious my problem with an owner being eliminated from the initial visit. In JCTeall's defense, think of the worst boarders from the barns you own or at which you board. Think of the ones that won't listen to any advice. I am sure that you all have come into contact with boarders that just don't learn or listen. Even some good boarders just aren't able to look at their own horse with open and objective eyes. I think having those boarders there at the initial visit could make it difficult for the vet or farrier to talk openly about the horse to the trainer. It is very difficult to tell this type of owner that their horse isn't perfect. However, I still think education is #1. If an owner can't learn to "hear" good advice from trained professionals, then perhaps they should not be part of the program.

I will ALWAYS attend ALL visits of my vet or farrier. It is my right!

Chris

Ladybug Hill--Hunters and Ponies
Specializing in Palomino TBs

ladybughillfarm.vaix.net (http://ladybughilfarm.vaix.net)

Silver Bells
Feb. 2, 2003, 07:42 AM
Geoff Teal's article was very informative, as he has always impressed me as being a stand-up individual. As long as a trainer is completely up front, things have to be good. However it all sounds good in theory, but reality is sometimes a different story.
I have ridden, trained, and done business with many professionals over the years. It is very hard for me to turn over control 100%. I guess I am just "gun shy"! I usually start out very trusting, then when given a reason, I become suspicious and turn into a "control freak".
Unfortunately, as I have mentioned in the past, an industry such as this demands some sort of regulation. We as consumers should demand integrity, professionalism, accountability, and general satisfaction!

elizabeth
Feb. 2, 2003, 08:05 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by GCTEALL:
I also feel that it is important to keep the number of conversations that these guys have to have down to a minimum. This is done out of respect for them, and I feel is appreciated. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I would be amazed if a really GOOD, thoughtful vet, farrier, chiropractor, or surgeon would sanction your practice of running interferance in the interest of time conservation. While there might well be some legitimate reasons to engage in the practices you suggest, saving the vet's time does not strike me as one.

Vets are professionals (in the true sense of the word) - they know that sometimes clients have questions and concerns that are either repetitive or. . . foolish. Such is the price a professional pays for having clients. (I say this as a lawyer, who has been asked my share of repetitive and foolish questions.)

Moreover, I am surprised that your clients quietly accept such. While I understand that, as a fabulous horseman, you are in a position to set whatever policies you want and let your clients take it or leave it, I am very surprised that that particularly pejorative policy does not reduce your client base significantly, notwithstanding your expertise and reputation. More simply put, if I am at the barn, and the vet is discussing my horse with the trainer, and the trainer is trying to exclude me from the initial conversation, I would take umbrage to a significant degree.

DMK
Feb. 2, 2003, 08:58 AM
First, I would say that anyone who has an upfront policy, clearly explained to a prospective client shouldn't be considered to be "hiding something". Whether that policy works for you is an entirely differnt issue, but I think it's unfair to presuppose that it is being done to hide something from the client.

But I can say that the person who is responsible for the feeding, grooming, care, riding and overall management of the horse is far more likely to have a greater knowledge of the entire picture when it comes time to talk to a farrier or vet about a change in the program or addressing a potential problem (assuming that person is a competent, experienced individual). That conversation is going to be a LOT more productive than the conversation involving the person who sits on the horse 3-4 times a week.

Additionally, having been responsible for the medical care of other people's horses, I will not tolerate hearing instructions second hand when it comes to more critical or serious conditions. If I am the one administering medication, evaluating the condition and generally responsible for the care of the animal in these instances, I MUST hear it directly from the vet. If the owner wants to hear it from me, or hear it again from the vet, I think they need to do what makes them comfortable, but it isn't in the best interest of the animal to take instructions second hand and not be able to ask questions if you are taking care of the animal.

That being said, I do think if an owner wants to be present for the conversation, as long as they let the free exchange of ideas happen between the two individuals most responsible for the care and treatment, AND they understand that given the full care/training nature of the situation, they are probably the least knowledgeable person at the table, their presence shouldn't be discouraged. Certainly if it is their interest to learn more about their horse's care, I wouldn't want to discourage that, even if it did cause some inconvenience to me as the caregiver.

I did read the article and think that it was a refreshing change to approach it in such a sensible business-like manner. And given that I have always taken care of my horses myself, and hooked up with a trainer at the show, I was perfectly content knowing that more than likely, Montoga and I would probably not be a good match. And that does not reflect poorly on either me or Montoga, just an understanding that we both have different goals, both equally geared to the wellbeing of the horses under our care.

"The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them." Albert Einstein

Duffy
Feb. 2, 2003, 08:59 AM
My trainers would LOVE to be at every vet/farrier consultation. But, with their training/showing schedule it is not possible. I can't see how it's possible for GT either? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

That said, I call my trainers after any vetting issues and give them an update. If THEY have any further questions, I will either pass that message on to the vet, or they call the vet directly.

There are times when I cannot be at the barn for vet calls. Thank goodness we have a barn manager who is more than happy to assist, if my trainers are unable to be present. In those cases, my vet either contacts me DURING the exam, (if possible), or shortly thereafter to discuss his findings, etc.

I totally trust my vet AND my trainers. But, that doesn't mean I wish either of them to take total control of my horses. I'm sure there are some clients who don't mind passing that control over. I'm sure there are trainers who prefer that control (obviously). I'm also sure that trainers would prefer to have more or less control, depending on the specific client/situation. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

GT seems to be totally above board and is obviously successful and well-respected. It wouldn't be for lack of trust that I wouldn't pursue his given situation. For me, I love being as involved as I can be. However, even if I trusted GT or whoever BNT, to not be allowed to be at initial consultations would NOT be acceptable to me.

"I can justify anything!"

Flash44
Feb. 2, 2003, 09:29 AM
I'm still on the fence about this. The vast majority of my knowledge came from being on the ground, and the best equine experience I had was when working for Bill Boniface. At his training center, you mucked, fed, groomed and galloped your 4 horses. Then you took them to the races to see how all that work and effort translated into performance. Bill and his son Kevin are extremely generous with sharing their knowledge and theories, and many of their ex employees went on to top level positions as assistants in bigger barns or as professional jockeys, or have been able to successfully start their own horse business. Their generosity in helping individuals with a good work ethic to get a leg up in the business is a huge contribution to the horse world.

I came out of their barn and was able to get work galloping for bigger name trainers, who sadly enough had more of a "just get on the horse" attitude. Maybe it was better money and easier work, but it was absolutely unfulfilling.

DMK
Feb. 2, 2003, 09:38 AM
But Flash - your knowledge base is considerably greater than the average person on full board. This comes from time at the track and a willingness to learn more. Not everyone has had access to that sort of background, nor does everyone want such a background.

Just because it isn't right for people like you and I doesn't make it entirely wrong. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

"The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them." Albert Einstein

LaurieB
Feb. 2, 2003, 10:55 AM
Whether you agree with what Geoff has to say or not, I think he should be applauded for stepping up to the plate and tackling topics in print other trainers of his calibre wouldn't dream of touching. The article he did about six months ago in PH on how judges judge was another prime example of this. One way or another, he always makes for interesting and informative reading. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Hopeful Hunter
Feb. 2, 2003, 11:11 AM
One thing to keep in mind, I believe, is precisely WHAT is causing the ruckus for me, and maybe others.

The issue for me is not the idea of an owner not being present at a vet visit BY CHOICE. Especially for someone on full training board, their lives may indeed be too busy, or they may live too far, to be there for everything. That's probably WHY the horse is on full care, and the OPTION of having someone to handle things is likely part of their consideration in selecting a barn.

Nor is it the idea of the trainer/manager/groom/primary caregiver of the horse being present at the vet vist -- Frankly whomever is primarily in contact with the animal day to day, or has the responsibility for running the barn, has imo a real "right" to be part of any situation involving treatments or necessary medical care, and probably has the most valuable observations to contribute. Nor is it even the idea that in some or even many full-care situations, the owner doesn't know the individual quirks of the horse as well as the caregivers.

No, the PROBLEM is the idea of the owner NOT BEING PERMITTED TO BE PRESENT! That is where I'm just dumbfounded. This isn't about an owner choosing to have someone handle a situation, it's about an owner being barred from one. It's the idea that the person who literally decide life or death is not even "allowed" to be there when the vet visits initially that blows my mind.

Now, it's true the owner may be beligerent, or just a blooming idiot. But you know what? With the costs involved with the high-level horses at BNT barns, you may get that and you need to be prepared to deal with it. It's part of your "cost" of doing business, imo (and I run a small PR firm, so I have to do "client babysitting" ALL the time...). And I suspect it's built into the fees that are charged by the barn and the vet -- I know I certainly build in a PITA factor for my own clients.

Having an owner present may indeed mean that there is some silly, boring or even irrelevent questions asked. That doesn't mean the vet and trainer can't have ANOTHER conversation about the situation...but it also doesn't meant that the owner should be prohibited from any aspect of their animal's medical care.

That's the issue for me, and it would be a deal-breaker from the start even if I had the luxury of taking advantage of the very high standards of care at Mr. Teall's barn.

Silly Mommy
Feb. 2, 2003, 02:41 PM
Ummm, I think I have a different interpretation:

"when I need to talk to either the vet or the farrier, I insist on talking to either of them alone first, and then if the client chooses, certainly with them there, or if they wish, they can speak to the vet or farrier themselves. "

Nothing was stated that the owner was not allowed to be present while the vet/farrier is working (this may or may not be so), however I interpret it as when the initial brainstorming is done, the primary caregiver(GT) wants a one on one with the vet/farrier (pro to pro), and then welcomes any input by the owner after a preliminary conclusion is reached.

"From there if the owner has more insight we are happy to include them in our conversation, and if they make sense happily change our conclusions. I just feel that this is an important starting off point. "

Proud member of the Sunnieflax Clique, IDAC Clique http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
"Poster formerly known as SQW"

Louise
Feb. 2, 2003, 03:51 PM
At first, I had the same reaction that almost everyone else has had on this thread, I was absolutely convinced that I could not relinquish control 100% to my trainer. But, the more I started thinking about it, the more I realized that, if I was at a level where I could expect to have a trainer on the level of Geoff Teale, I might not object at all.

Teale is open and aboveboard on all that he does, and he certainly hasn't kept anything secret. It sounds to me like he wants "thinking" clients, who have specific goals and objectives and trust him as the individual who is best prepared to help them reach them. The openness that Teale espouses, would tend to lead to trust, trust that would let the client understand that Teale and his staff do know their horse better on a day to day basis, and would be better prepared to discuss problems with the vet or farrier.

I don't know if I could deal with it, but in my case, I'm the one who has cleaned my horses stalls, mixed their meds, groomed them, treated their boo boo's, pulled "vet tech" duty during week long colic episodes and I do know them really well, better than my trainer, for sure. I expect the people on the level of a Teale student don't do those things.

If the relationship works for Teale's students, more power to them all. I can certainly think of trainer/client relationships that have a lot more problems than that.

Humph, as if I will ever have the opportunity to train with Teale anyways.

I'll just be happy to be the proud owner of an old Polish Warmblood who was trained by Mr. Teale, back in the days when he was still hanging around the Western NY area. An old Polish Warmblood, by the way, who still remembered his early dressage training, at least 15 years later, after a career as first a jumper, then a hunter. And who had my trainer thrilled at his "correctness".

Oh yeh, if I were ever in a position to go with a BNT, I would take a good, hard look at Mr. Teale.

---------------------------
This too, shall pass.

GCTEALL
Feb. 2, 2003, 04:48 PM
I'm going to try this from another angle. My starting off point, and main concern when working with a vet or a farrier is the welfare of the horse. I personally find it much easier for myself to speak to the vet or the farrier on a one to one basis. This is two professionals speaking about something they have a great deal of knowledge about with each other. It has been my experience over the last ten thousand years of doing this that we (the vet and or the farrier) can work through the problem at hand more efficiently and more thoroughly using this method. More people at this point I find clumsy and less effective. Once I have had the initial conversation with the vet or farrier, and I feel we have a good understanding of what the problem is and what we feel will be a good solution, then I am more than happy to include anyone in the conversation, plan, and decision. Or if they (the owner) would like to have their own private conversation with the vet or farrier I am totally fine with that. I also understand that the decision is ultimately up to the owner of the horse. I would like to think that they would rely on my judgement in their decision. If an owner does not think along the same lines as I do, then at that point I will probably suggest that they look for someone that they are more comfortable with. I can not stress enough that I am not trying to hide anything from anyone, nor am I trying to make decisions for anyone. I am only saying that this is the system that works the best for me in my business. I am up front about it, and if it is uncomfortable for someone to live with then I am probably not a good choice for them as a trainer. I think that this was really the point of the article. The only other thing that I would like to say is that in the process of working with the vet and the farrier I am constantly communicating what our thought processes are to the owner if they are of interest. Therefore the opportunity for someone to learn are always there if they would like to take advantage of them. I hope this clears up some of the confusio. Remember, I am only telling people what works for me, and why.
As far as commissions go-I charge 15% because I think I am good at matching horse and rider. If I feel I make a mistake, own up to it, and come up with some sort of solution I would certainly not expect or accept another comission. I would not however return the original comission unless there were very unusual circumstances. Can't wait to see where this goes!

DMK
Feb. 2, 2003, 05:33 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by GCTEALL:
Remember, I am only telling people what works for me, and why.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

And obviously what works for your clients (given that I never saw a sorry looking nag step out of your tent at WEF). Don't worry too much about it - I think that very crucial point is lost on a lot of people, and they try to say what works for them. Which is nice, but hardly relevent to the basic premise of the article which I took to be communicating expectations and standards up front, and to continue that practice throughout the relationship.

"The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them." Albert Einstein

MHM
Feb. 2, 2003, 05:40 PM
And welcome to the BB!

Now can you go over to the thread on Numerical Scoring and tell everybody what's what?

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

RockinHorse
Feb. 2, 2003, 06:26 PM
Originally posted by GCTEALL:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> As far as commissions go-I charge 15% because I think I am good at matching horse and rider. If I feel I make a mistake, own up to it, and come up with some sort of solution I would certainly not expect or accept another comission. I would not however return the original comission unless there were very unusual circumstances. Can't wait to see where this goes!
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think 15% is a reasonable commission to pay for a professional's time, knowledge and expertise. The commission is not a guarantee that things will work out and mistakes do happen. I think that the return of the commission paid is an unreasonable expectation.

Fortunately, I have never had this happen to me but if it did, I would be extremely pleased if the trainer was upfront and willing to speak up about thinking the match was a mistake and was willing to try to work out a solution. I would not expect to get my commission back.

~~ Does killing time hurt eternity?~~

fleur
Feb. 2, 2003, 07:37 PM
Geoff-
As the initiator of this thread, I was sort of hoping that it might prompt you to join the BB and respond! That always seems to happen whenever a professional becomes the topic of a big thread. Welcome, and thank you for your input!

*EMMA*
emmaspace (http://emma12384.tripod.com)

Ladybug Hill
Feb. 2, 2003, 10:12 PM
WELCOME! WELCOME! WELCOME!

It is so nice to see a professional just be a real person. After reading this last reply, GCTeall, I really feel much better about your position. I still would beg you to let me attend the meeting if I promised to keep my mouth completely (and taped) shut!

Thanks for joining us!

Chris

Ladybug Hill--Hunters and Ponies
Specializing in Palomino TBs

ladybughillfarm.vaix.net (http://ladybughilfarm.vaix.net)

spryngtree
Feb. 3, 2003, 12:41 AM
GCTEALL wrote:
"I'm going to try this from another angle. My starting off point, and main concern when working with a vet or a farrier is the welfare of the horse. I personally find it much easier for myself to speak to the vet or the farrier on a one to one basis. This is two professionals speaking about something they have a great deal of knowledge about with each other. It has been my experience over the last ten thousand years of doing this that we (the vet and or the farrier) can work through the problem at hand more efficiently and more thoroughly using this method."


What I am hearing after thinking about this,is that you are likening your conversation with the vet to that of a doctor getting a consult. In many cases, a doctor will seek the help of another specialist and will have that conversation without the patient being present. However, I'm sure you know that this is not done without letting the patient know that it will be done, and getting the patient's permission to do so. I assume you do get the owner's permission to call in the vet. Unfortunately though, this practice has been called into question in hospitals and by some doctors (and I would guess by the occasional malpractice court) as it does sometimes result in a patient not being given all of the possible pertinent information by which to make decisions. Were I ill and in the hospital, I might prefer that my doctor make consultations without my presence, trusting him to make at least some preliminary judgements about what is in my best interest. It is after all easier for the doctor's to talk without having to translate all that MD mumbo jumbo into actual english.

However, if I were to have a child in my care, I would be much more likely to want to be present at all consults. Because while I can delegate my authority for myself, I am not clear that it is acceptable for me to delegate my authority for another being that I have in my care. I guess in the end, whether clients feel comfortable about allowing you to do the initial consult without their presence would depend on how comfortable they felt about delegating that authority and how responsible they felt about the animal in their care. Personally, as long as the final decision rested with me, I would not feel comfortable, no matter how much I trusted the doctor, in not being present to at least hear the consult. (otoh I do actually understand mumbo jumbo pretty well) Similarly,I could not place my trust in a trainer that would not allow me to be present if I thought it was necessary. Of course I'm not too likely to ever have to make this choice. It does sound to me though that rather than wanting "thinking" riders, Mr Teall does prefer that he be given a certain amount of control over the horse in question and would rather his riders relinquish most of their authority to him. I don't see any real problem with that, as long as he is up front with his clients. However, it is not really a practice I would like to see spread in the horse world. While I am not suggesting that Mr. Teall abuses his authority at all, I do think that there are certainly ways this practice could be badly abused.

I am curious if GCTEALL is still reading this..Have you had owners who questioned this practice? What were their reasons? Did you reach a reasonable solution without losing them as clients? Or did you ask them to move their horses elsewhere? I would like to think that if someone owned a horse that they trained with you and otherwise were reasonable people who trusted your judgement that you would be able to compromise with them on any one particular issue that made them uncomfortable.

BTW, just to add...whatever my opinion of your barn practices I think it is absolutely great and worthy of respect that you are willing to step forward in a public forumn and try to explain them.

JRG
Feb. 3, 2003, 05:29 AM
Back from Skiing in VT., and wow look what happened.

Now after all these people have wade in, I have another angle to look at.

With all this type of "only the trainer" attitude whether it is wanted or not, doesn't it now give us a generation of "animal challanged" people.

This is what I mean. We have grown this generation of people that can't tell if there horse needs shoes, or needs to have his feed adjusted, needs anything. How can we possibly get back to people knowing about there animals instead of this "my trainer" attitude, and how
can we question these people on there knowledge when Top Trainers are letting it happen.

Quite honestly lots of trainers and coaches ponder about the way the horse world is today, I don't know why they don't see that they have made it this way and have only themselves to blame.

Flash44
Feb. 3, 2003, 06:38 AM
I dunno, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Does more knowledge make a person more dangerous or less dangerous?

Also, watching a good vet work is like watching the creation of a masterpiece.

GCTEALL
Feb. 3, 2003, 07:05 AM
Once more. This is only a starting off point for me. It is something that makes me more comfortable. I get a better result from doing things this way. It makes me more comfortable, and therefore I think allows me to make better conclusions. That is all. If I were to have a client that was made very uncomfortable with this way of handling things we would certainly have a conversation about it and arrive at a reasonable solution if possible. I would love to have as much conversation about any problem, and answer as many questions as necessary about any problem as was necessary. So would my professionals. I love when people want to learn about horse care, and think it is more than necessary. This is not really a control issue,but it is a way that I can get the space I need( I am a little strange) to process information. No more, no less. Thanks for all the interest. I might tackle the number system of judging next. I do have some opinions on that.

Wicky
Feb. 3, 2003, 07:27 AM
Well, this is all very interesting&gt; I think that Geoff's approach is very efficient - for him. I'd worry about liability, though. If Geoff is acting as the intermediary between the farrier or vet and the owner, and does not convey the information in a way that the owner understands (even if at the time everyone thinks that all is understood), then the owner may later claim that he/she was mislead. In this scenario, no one has intended to hide anything, but the end result could be conflict between trainer, owner and vet, as well as a poor decision for the horse.

Well, I guess I won't be one of Feoff's clients! As a medical professional, in a case where a decision is important, I want to see the exam and hear with my own ears, and ask my own questions. Indeed, I have from time to time come up with something that my vet didn't know and that was beneficial to my horse.

Geoff, if you need a little space to process information - this is something that, as a major league introvert, I can understand. Some people process information by talking it out, out loud. Some, like me, perfer to keep it inside until it can be clearly articulated. However, I have not had the luxury of being able to impose my patterns on others. If you can, you will be creating a client base of a certain type of person, of personality type (in addition to wealth). Lucky you! It just doesn't work for most of us - we have to make the adjustments, rather than having our clients/patients/employees/students... do it as a requirement for interacting with us.

libgrrl
Feb. 3, 2003, 08:05 AM
Geoff,

I appreciate your candor -- your explanation does help clear things up. Thanks!

HelenD
Feb. 3, 2003, 09:33 AM
To preface: I've not ever, nor am I likely to ever have the resources or human and/or horse talent to be in the position to go to a BNT, much less someone like Mr. Teall. I do take care of my own horses and those of other people. (But I am living for the day when I only have to take care of mine – 2003 will be a very good year for me). Also, my thoughts on this don’t necessarily apply to all BNTs – one should not trust a BNT blindly, just because he is a BNT. BUT…

This one KNOWS what he’s doing. He’s not Joe Smoe off the street who doesn’t have a clue – this man knows his job - let him do it. He’s not someone out to cheat you - he doesn’t have to – he’s Geoff Teall for cricket’s sake. (And I’m certainly NOT saying all BNT’s are at his level) Jez, to have someone of his caliber be able to meet with the farrier and vet and decide with a knowledge level I’ll never hope to attain, how to make my horse the best he can be physically – to ask the questions I didn’t even know needed to be asked, etc and then he turns around and explains it to me, on a individual level – Yes PLEASE. (Maybe I will play the lottery this week).

I just don’t have a huge problem with this. His clients are paying him to make their horses and themselves the best they can be. He obviously sees that veternary and farrier care and planning are a HUGE part of this. (Yay for him!) He wants to have a high level conversation about this with other professionals, come to a decision about what needs to be done, and then present it to you, the owner, his client, the one he’s being paid by to make sure your horse gets the best care available. Heck, what could be more professional then that?

Before a horse comes into his barn, he has initial veterinary and farrier consultation, professional to professional, discussion. I would guess they assess the current condition and make a plan to get the horse to its best physical condition. In this way, I imagine he can have a private discussion of the horse’s current condition without Joe Client misunderstanding some comment and spreading a complete untruth all over the horse world. Heck, if I were a BNT with places like the COTH BBS to haunt any off handed remark that gets completely misunderstood and turned around, I’d probably want to have a few professional private conversations myself.

For example, a horse comes in with bad farrier work from another BNT’s barn. I’m SURE a Mr. Teall and his farrier want to discuss a plan to address the situation and to decide what needs to be done, but without Joe Client there to mis hear then spread something he thinks he heard said to slam another farrier or trainer. Oh, knowing the things that float around just this BBS not to mention at actual shows, I can TOTALLY see why someone who wants to remain professional and stay out of all that would want to operate like that.

As I understand Mr. Teall’s policy, nothing is done to the horse without the owner’s approval or knowledge; it’s just the INITIAL discussion that occurs without the owner. Kinda like your doctor and a specialist brought in…they talk, come up with a plan, then present it to you. You don’t, unless you are a collegue, get in on the all the very technical information they discuss. Sure, it’s part of the information they give back to you, but they have a level of education, of knowledge that allows them to discuss things without having to explain the minutest of details on things that are beside the point, but of may become of interest to the patient because they’ve never heard of that particular test/reading on ER (or other tv show). That type stuff is a waste of time.

What’s the expression, don’t tell an egg sucker how to suck egg?

Sure, you need to know what’s going on with your horse, you have a right to know, and I as understand it, he’s not shutting you out of that process, he’s doing his job by assisting you and your horse and being your advocate. And you are paying (very well, I assume) him to do so.

Now, could the owner/trainer at the big (and very winning) barn my horse will soon get to share fence lines with get to do the same? Not as long as I’m still breathing. But, someone of the caliber of Mr. Teall? Someone proven, in my mind (and were I in the position) thru personal observation, to know what in the heck he’s doing far above and beyond anything I can even conceive? Sure. But I’d still listen and watch and research every little thing. There’s being a responsible owner and then there’s getting in the way of someone doing the job you are PAYING him to do.

Helen

(S)He doth nothing but talk of his horses.
~William Shakespeare

Flash44
Feb. 3, 2003, 10:27 AM
Many points conceded to Mr. T!

However, I've had my horse, who has feet issues, for 8 years. I know his hocks and front feet xrayed clean in September. I can provide feedback as to what's been tried and what seems to keep him comfortable. When a vet or farrier is looking at a 13 year old horse, there is a lot of history that can be useful to them.

barnbabe718
Feb. 3, 2003, 11:18 AM
I just have to say that I LOVE my trainer. She is wonderful in *almost* every way. I feel that I can easily and clearly communicate my opinions and desires to her and that she will give serious consideration to what is best for me. She speaks to the vet and farrier for me, largely because I can't be there because of school. However, I have the vet and farrier's phone numbers saved in my cell phone; and I don't hesitate to call them if I have a question. Furthermore, my trainer encourages this.

However, other people at my barn are "scared" of her; and they ask me to tell her things for them. I think that a lot of the reason why people don't communicate with their trainers is that they're afraid of what the person will think. But I think that the key to a healthy relationship is such communication, even if it might occasionally lead to hurt feelings. "Honesty is the best policy."

I must admit that I'm guilty of the occasional trainer bashing though. Of course, when you're spending this much time with someone, little things start to bother you. I do my "bashing" to people that aren't involved with the barn though, and it's really just to vent. Once I'm done getting out my feelings, I then calmly and rationally explain my thoughts to my trainer; and we always resolve the problem. She's the best!!! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

poltroon
Feb. 3, 2003, 01:56 PM
Perceptions are everything.

We probably all have, or know of, a story where the barn manager/trainer was an unreasonable control freak. Where a manager was reprimanded for moving a potted plant without permission. Where owners were prevented from adding their own shavings to stalls. Where all the horses had to wear the exact same brand of saddle. Where all the horses had to use the same awful farrier.

On the other hand, we all have, or know of, the crazy horse lady: the one who insisted that her horses be washed head to toe every day regardless of the weather. The one who expected a blanket change for every 10F weather variation. The one who wanted 3 grain feedings a day and hardly any hay. The one who insists her horses have a special (awful) farrier.

We each react to any given policy based on whether we've had more experiences with the first or the second. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Bumpkin
Feb. 4, 2003, 10:31 AM
Very good points Helen and Poltroon.
This is a great thread.
Thank you Mr Teall for posting, and we hope you post more on other threads.

"Proud Member Of The I Loff Starman Babies, Sunnieflax and Horse Boxes Cliques" Bora Da

adhunter
Feb. 4, 2003, 12:04 PM
I have read many of the articles written by Geoff Teall in recent years and I have always found them well written and very direct.

I've been fortunate enough to have dinner with him on several occasions and I can only say this.....this guy gives back to the industry every working day. He is known on circut for helping out fellow professionals get a "leg up" in the business. He is visionary in his thought about so many aspects of the business (horse care, judging, etc). His participation in the AHJF (as a co-founder) is a testament to his commitment to the sport.

Do I think he's God....no....but he's the real thing!

I may not be able to "afford" to fit into his program, but I can certainly watch, listen and learn.

JRG
Feb. 4, 2003, 03:14 PM
Without a doubt he is knowledgable, and I am even going to go away from Geoff specifically because he was nice enough to shed some light when this thread was more general then just him.

I too would love to have more knowledgeable people at my disposal, that way some of the knowledge I have learned over the years may not have been so painful. Years of blood, sweat and tears to coin a phrase, was a moto.

I have never had the chance to board at a full service barn and the more I learn about them the more I realise I wouldn't fit in anyway. I don't like the idea of relinquishing control over my horse. Everyday I ride I go over my horse with a fine tooth comb. I know every ounce from head to tail and can tell when something isn't quite right. That being said, not everyone wants to be that way, that is just me.

So here is a question, Why is it that well known trainers instruction tends to be so expensive?,

Beezer
Feb. 4, 2003, 11:27 PM
First, welcome, welcome. Wonderful to have you here.

I can understand many of your points; I might not agree with them (and I do applaud you for being upfront with your clients on this and other issues), but then, I've been caring for my own horses and dealing with my vet and farrier for so long we are fixtures in each other's lives. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Which is why this part of one of your posts really stood out at me:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by GCTEALL:
The only other thing that I would like to say is that in the process of working with the vet and the farrier I am constantly communicating what our thought processes are to the owner if they are of interest.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I know that I shouldn't foist my beliefs and sensibilities off on someone else. But that comment just made me sad: "to the owner if they are of interest." I can't imagine a circumstance under which my horse's welfare was NOT of interest to me. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

** Dear Cupid: All I really want for Valentine's Day is flying LEAD CHANGES!! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_mad.gif **

MsHunter
Feb. 5, 2003, 05:42 AM
http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
Beezer, I don't think that what he said meant that customers aren't interested in as much as that they trust their trainer/vet/farrier team to do "right" by their horse.

An example in my barn is having customers from out of state keeping young prospects with us to get a start in life. Some have their own busy farms and issues at home, others are clear cross the country. They trust me and employed me to make decisions for them and then update them all at once each month on progress and any concerns with their horses.

I think that it would make them feel pressured and uncomfortable if I called them each time I changed their feed, program, shoeing/trimming etc.

My policy is they can call anytime to ask questions and to let them know in advance what is going on.

Many times, an owner has requested to speak with the vet or farrier when something out of the ordinary was being scheduled, non routine.
It has always worked well for us.

Just another opinion.

Owner/Trainer of Plumsted Equestrian Center Inc,NJ

GCTEALL
Feb. 5, 2003, 04:37 PM
Thank you MsHunter-perhaps you would like to write my next article!

MsHunter
Feb. 5, 2003, 04:49 PM
http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_redface.gif
Thank You GCTEALL and No Thank You!

I love your articles and they are very helpful for me to tack up on the BB in the barn for the customers who come daily http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif! Makes a professionals life easier LOL

Keep up the good work, and ya, I'd love to see you tackle the judging issue next http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif!

Owner/Trainer of Plumsted Equestrian Center Inc,NJ

Hexel
Feb. 5, 2003, 09:46 PM
I provide all the care for my 11 horses,from mucking to getting them to the shows braided.
Taking the stallion for collections ,to sitting foal watch.

I hope to someday in my older age. Have one fine horse ,in a barn with a great trustworthy BNT. A person I trust will provide care equal to or greater then I've provided them. Not that I do not enjoy all I do now. But it might be nice to have that luxury.
I think some of it is about trust and with this comes the ability to relinquish some of the control.

Also there have been times in the past and I'm sure in the future.When I thought I knew ,when someone else really knew better.

Now if puzzle pieces do not fit I will look at things more closely.

Policy of Truth
Feb. 7, 2003, 09:15 AM
"I personally find it much easier for myself to speak to the vet or the farrier on a one to one basis"

Mr. Teall, I was wondering if you feel this way because you have had negative experiences with horse-owners/buyers not being accepting of the vet and your opinions on a prospective horse?

I ask because I have been taught to research a vet and a trainer and then trust that person on their assesment of my horse...whether I liked the results or not. Would you absolutely forbid a prospective buyer to be present IF they agreed to listen and not become a hindrance?

[This message was edited by pacificsolo on Feb. 07, 2003 at 11:27 AM.]