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J. Turner
Jul. 21, 2000, 07:22 PM
This post is honestly not meant with any bitterness, but as a comment on the status quo of business relations in the industry.

Note: This may be a generalization, but seems to be the rule, rather than the exception.

Why are barns/trainers so controlling over client's horses? Ultimately, the horse is the owner's responsibility. The horse is both the owner's financial investment and dependent. If the horse were to get hurt, sick, or die as a result of something that was against the owner's better judgement, then the horse's welfare is ultimately in her conscience and pocketbook. Yet trainers often seem to resent when owners "meddle" with their horses programs. Yes, trainers are supposed to be the professionals, but it's not as though there is a certification program (as in education, law, or medecine) stating this person is qualified. Trainers are human and can be simply wrong, or sometimes, unfortunately, don't have the horse's best interest in mind -- instead their own glory.

It seems difficult in most cases to sit down with a trainer and have a concerned, honest conversation regarding one's horse. Often a trainer becomes resentful -- "Well, if you don't like it, you can leave." Whatever happened to customer service? The owner is the client after all.

J. Turner
Jul. 21, 2000, 07:22 PM
This post is honestly not meant with any bitterness, but as a comment on the status quo of business relations in the industry.

Note: This may be a generalization, but seems to be the rule, rather than the exception.

Why are barns/trainers so controlling over client's horses? Ultimately, the horse is the owner's responsibility. The horse is both the owner's financial investment and dependent. If the horse were to get hurt, sick, or die as a result of something that was against the owner's better judgement, then the horse's welfare is ultimately in her conscience and pocketbook. Yet trainers often seem to resent when owners "meddle" with their horses programs. Yes, trainers are supposed to be the professionals, but it's not as though there is a certification program (as in education, law, or medecine) stating this person is qualified. Trainers are human and can be simply wrong, or sometimes, unfortunately, don't have the horse's best interest in mind -- instead their own glory.

It seems difficult in most cases to sit down with a trainer and have a concerned, honest conversation regarding one's horse. Often a trainer becomes resentful -- "Well, if you don't like it, you can leave." Whatever happened to customer service? The owner is the client after all.

poltroon
Jul. 21, 2000, 07:41 PM
Horse people in general seem to have a big problem remembering that they are being paid, or are paying, for a service.

(This is why anyone considering a career with horses should get a business degree, or spend some time working for a good entrepreneur, in addition to those hours as a working student!)

I think a lot of people who go into the horse business think it will work well for them because they don't like dealing with people. Surprise! In general there's a person attached to each horse.

hunterprincez
Jul. 21, 2000, 07:43 PM
I AGREE!!!!!! Unfortunately I have noticed that a common trait in many trainers is their habit of keeping you in the dark about a lot of things concerning your horse. I guess it's called job security. One trainer I knew told her customers that if they even thought of hauling their own horse to a show then they could just leave the barn right now. A family member of mine used to do the billing for a trainer and you would not believe some of the outrageous charges she put on their bills. Knowledge Is Power,and trainers know this. I am not saying all trainers are like this but unfortunately I have not come across any who are not. I think it is beneficial to the horse owner to learn everything they possibly can about their horse.

[This message has been edited by Sadie05 (edited 07-21-2000).]

wtywmn4
Jul. 21, 2000, 08:29 PM
It's a sad state of affairs, but it seems to be thru out the entire industry. You can not sit down and discuss what you want or are looking for with most of todays trainers. They take it as a personal attack. Most (as we have discussed in other threads) are control freaks. Don't take me wrong, there are some wonderful people who pride themselves on helping their customers. But the majority, don't want to discuss anything. My adage is "the buck stops here folks" thats my horse, and I am the one who's paying the bills. No talk, no money, thats as simple as it is. Thankfully, I have been lucky to find trainers who believe in a 50/50 relationship.

Kryswyn
Jul. 21, 2000, 09:49 PM
One of the first things I tell my beginner students, when they are faced with a difference of opinion w/ their mount (pony wants grass, kid wants forward motion) is, "You are NOT CHOPPED LIVER! You do NOT have DOORMAT written across your forehead"

It's what I think every time I hear (or read, in the case of this BB) "My trainer won't let me (wear taupe breeches, leave a mane natural, get a different color/type blanket)" Beyond teaching you how to ride, and assisting you in learning how to care for your horse, your trainer should NOT control your life! A GOOD trainer (IMNSHO) should teach a student to be independent, ultimately. It may be a goal several years away, but many goals are. A GOOD trainer sets up learning opportunities and lets the experience do the teaching. Even in the case of missmatching barn colors. If it is truly terrible, it won't be long before the student shops again. If they can live with it, so should everybody else.

SHF
Jul. 21, 2000, 10:02 PM
hey wtwymn4....that is my philosophy too! It's nice to have an opinion, but sometimes trainers need to be reminded who is paying who - not that they should be ignored, but I feel as though on some issues concerning my horse and myself, my opinion is worth every bit as much (if not more) than my trainer's.

NorthEast
Jul. 21, 2000, 10:08 PM
J. Turner, what a brilliant topic!!! It really is an issue of some crisis, because, I see the end results all over the place as I'm sure everyone here does. Clients, who buy horses they really shouldn't because they are forced into it by their trainer, who has ulterior motives. Riders, who cannot advance because their trainer has them in such a psychological state of dependence that they cannot do anything for themselves. Whole barns with cult like mass worship of one or two "favorites "who can do no wrong and whose accomplishments warrant the most merit. It really is an issue when trainers have too much control, but you know what the riders and owners need to take back that control as well. Yes, you are paying and investing both time and money for this trainer to become an integral part of your life, but do research learn different methods, go to clinics don't be so helpless that you cannot make your own decisions. Many times you see blatant mistakes in care or charges that are outrageous on peoples bills for services that either never happened or were done so poorly the charge should be discounted. However, if the riders don't care then as sad as it is, that is their problem. I feel badly for the one's who are starting to know better and improve "outside" of their trainer's realm, but are stuck by an overbearing tyrant! If your trainer doesn't help you become a good horseperson, whether you do your own work or have grooms they are really doing you a diservice. A good trainer is never afraid to admit a mistake nor are they afraid for you to disagree or question their methods in an educated manner. Both sides win when the relationship is one of a true teacher and student and the relationship is much stronger and the rewards far greater.

ccoronios
Jul. 21, 2000, 11:29 PM
Hear, hear, Northeast! If a trainer is unsettled by the fact that a customer (child or adult) reads books or talks with others and asks questions, it is usually a red flag! Truly knowledgeable trainers can have (and care to have) intelligent conversations with clients and can explain why their preferred method differs from the one in question - or who they feel theirs is correct in this situation, at this point in your riding career.... Many of the ones who fly off the handle know nothing but what they spout - and probably NOT the reason for that!

piaff2000
Jul. 21, 2000, 11:38 PM
GREAT TOPIC!! I have known some trainers to keep their "clients" so much in the dark to convince them a horse they are looking to buy doesnt need to be pre-veted and ABSOLUTELY know about really good reasons NOT to buy the horse i.e. fractured bones, navicular changes, etc. b/c the horse is high dolalr and they are planning a fat commission...and besides, that horse will go lame and then they will just have to buy another horse, right????

Smiles
Jul. 21, 2000, 11:42 PM
Gosh where have I heard this story before. Oh yah it sounds like alot of barns in my area. You have to admit though some of the problem is with the owner of the horse. They think the trainer is "GOD" and whatever they say goes. These god like trainers are concerned about there booket book, and if they can munipulate "Sp sorry" there customers to get the old mighty buck then why not.

woodbern
Jul. 21, 2000, 11:52 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>and if they can munipulate "Sp sorry" there customers to get the old mighty buck then why not.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Why not?

Ethics and decency, to name a few compelling reasons.......

elghund
Jul. 22, 2000, 06:57 AM
He who haveth the gold maketh the rules.

Last I knew, I was the one writing the check.

J. Turner
Jul. 22, 2000, 07:12 AM
Horse is leased to a client in an "A" show barn. Said horse loses 200 pounds and musculature due to diarhea for three weeks. Clearly a violation of proper care in the lease, the trainer will not allow the owner to bring his own vet in to the barn to check the horse. Sad, yet true.

Caruso
Jul. 22, 2000, 09:00 AM
JTurner - said owner should call the cops and the ASPCA. Unless there is a "no interference" or some cuch clause in the lease.

Pretty depressing for a Saturday AM as I am trying to decide whether or no to listen to my trainer and go to a horse show. (I think not - it is a lovely morning for a hack.)

pwynnnorman
Jul. 22, 2000, 09:29 AM
Now, now people. While this is indeed an intriguing subject, you also have to ask sometime during the discussion just exactly WHY so many people are WILLING to be doormats.

Bethe Mounce
Jul. 22, 2000, 10:52 AM
Perhaps some students/clients are willing to be doormats due to insecurity in their own riding abilities/limits/knowledge. If one isn't relatively experienced with horses, lack of knowledge can lead one down the wrong path.

LucianCephus
Jul. 22, 2000, 11:21 AM
P Wynn....

One reason for being a doormat in Massachusetts is pretty compelling: There are so few decent barns/trainers that the current availability for stalls in H/J training facilities is zero. If I had to move my two horses, I literally have no idea where I could go. The boys are currently stabled 45 miles from my home due to the lack of more local options. Fortunately, I love my barn, but I am not kidding regarding the availability of decent stabling and trainers (especially in combination!) Do I sometimes feel like I'm walking on eggs?? You betcha!

FlightCheck
Jul. 22, 2000, 11:42 AM
What a great topic! I'll add my 2cents as both a trainer, barn owner, AND student.

Trainer Control:
(1) It is my job as a trainer to prepare show students to be competent on their own, so they learn to: (yes, even the 6year olds learn!)wash, clip, braid, wrap, load, set up stalls, be ON time, etc...it's my job to make sure they can be independant - ESPECIALLY when they have their own horses!
2. If they do have their own horses, they may show whenever/wherever they please. HOWEVER, if they want ME to coach at a particular show, they WILL follow all my nit-picky show rules (correct dress, manners, etc.)...What they do when they show "alone" is their own business - when I am coaching, they represent ME and my farm!
3. I ENCOURAGE them to take clinics (we hold them here too), explore different ideas, to try what they read in the latest magazine. A horse is not a chemical equation - what works for horse A doesn't work for horse B!

BARN OWNER:
(1) While your horse is in my barn, I get to make the rules. That means ALL shots and worming up to date (for us that is 8 innoculations per year), regular visits by the farrier of your choice, etc...I do feed whatever the owners want, and we do 12hour turnout, etc...
(2) Haven't had this problem yet, but if I saw someone riding in what I considered an Unsafe/Abusive manner, yes, I would do something about it...other than that, I just look out every once in a while to make sure you are still in the saddle!
STUDENT:
I continue to take lessons and clinics from a variety of people.

I have an event trainer and a hunter trainer who each give me one lesson per week, and they know about each other and respect each other's "territory"...yes, in the beginning the hunter trainer wanted to be the ONE AND ONLY, but I was kind but firm about my position - this is MY horse and this is what I want to do! It has worked out well for all involved, and I am a better rider for having the 2 of them. And, if I'm getting ready for an event or hunter show, they talk together to help me meet my goals!

Ruby G. Weber
Jul. 22, 2000, 12:32 PM
From a stable owner and trainer...

Starting the first day a new client comes to us we discuss their goals and whether we think we can be helpful in achieving them. We are available to our clients (during business hours)for consultation as well as regular lessons.

We provide all of our clients with a price list and "rules of the barn". Those rules are simple ones to follow. They range from our request that all riders wear a helmet when mounted, our hours of business, our commission upon sale, purchase or lease of a horse, etc. You'd be surprised how many clients can't tell time!!

We provide our clients with a choice of vets, but prefer to work with one in particular.

We use only one blacksmith. If you as a client have an opinion against our blacksmith, be our guest to use your own, but be prepared to pay the consequences. Ours comes two days a month, the same two days every month, works well with our vet and is extremely reliable. Because of that schedule, our horses are shod regularly. If one throws a shoe off in between regular visits, our blacksmith will come within 24 hours. Will your "outside" blacksmith come regularly to shoe one horse? Most will have to fit one horse in when they have a free moment. And I might add, if they are any good at all, the blacksmith has very little free time.

We always try to match horses and riders.

When training, as soon as our riders learn to walk the course, or show their hunter, they learn the "steps" but also learn to "ride it off your eye".

The more advanced the student, the more latitude we encourage. I might add, we have clients who have had a relationship with us for ten years or more.

Generally, we encourage our clients to learn all the aspects of what they are trying to accomplish. We are excellent caretakers and want our clients to know how and what we do so they will have a better understanding of the cost.

We encourage our riders to watch other good professionals in the hopes they will learn by observation. (You'd be surprised how many choose to go back to the hotel right after their class instead of further their education.)

We have spent 24/7 for the past 30 years at this. We have probably seen whatever it is at least once and quess what? When we have a free minute at the show, it's likely you'll find us watching.

So on the other side of the coin, we WILL listen to you the client, but if we think you are heading for disaster, we are going to tell you so and why. If you choose to go your own way anyway, we'll be there to pick up the pieces without an "I told you so".

Clients should try to remember one fact. We want you and your horse to be successful while you are affilliated with us. The better you do, the better we look. You are free advertisement. And clients are like horses, they don't last forever.

pwynnnorman
Jul. 22, 2000, 02:45 PM
That was very nicely done, Emmet. You said it all.

Palisades
Jul. 22, 2000, 09:39 PM
I am lucky enought to have found a great trainer who cares about both me and my horse...because my horse is a bit green, as am I, he makes most of the decisions about when/where/what we show (but never demands, only suggests). However, I know people at large "A" barns who are not so lucky. They must make an appointment to see their horse (which begs the question, "what are they doing with him the rest of the time?"). They are also not allowed to buy anything for their animal-not even a bottle of fly spray. The manager buys all this stuff in bulk and divides up the bill between the boarders. When new tack/equipment is needed, the trainer picks it out, the client pays. Why do these owners allow themselves to be treated like doormats? I haven't a clue, except that the trainer can "deliver" in the form of ribbons and points...personally, I would rather see my horse well cared for.

Sparky
Jul. 22, 2000, 10:07 PM
I think you have it all wrong when you accuse trainers of controlling owners and their horses. What the trainer is trying to "control" is his or her BUSINESS. Every time you go somewhere or do something with your horse, you are a representative of your trainer's barn--it's not too much too expect that a trainer who has spent much time and money to develop their business would ask or even insist that you do things in a way that will reflect positively on their teaching--whether it be the way you ride, or are turned out or how you behave--in other people's minds you will be associated with your barn, and the trainer has every right to insist on certain guidelines. If they are too much for you to deal with, there is probably a better fit somewhere else.

J. Turner
Jul. 22, 2000, 10:18 PM
Sparky -- I'm not talking about innocuous things like turnout, etc. I'm talking about trainers who tell you that you're not allowed to ride your horse -- that the pro must ride it. Can we say "billing"? I'm talking about putting the horse into a 3'6" class when the owner feels she or the horse is not ready. I'm talking about a horse not getting turned out when, in the owner's experience, the horse needs it for its sanity. I'm talking about medicating/drugging (performance enhancing) without the owner's approval and withholding some or all food to calm the horse for a not-so-strong child rider. And when the owner approaches the trainer, what happens? She or he gets offended the owner should meddle with the owner's horse's "program."

Sparky
Jul. 22, 2000, 11:47 PM
Wow J.T.In your initial post you said you were generalizing, but your last post is getting pretty darn specific. If these things are really happening, then you are in a nightmare situation, and like I said above, there is probably a better fit for you in some other trainer's program

MsHunter
Jul. 23, 2000, 05:52 AM
J Turner, I empathize with the situation you mentioned,but,it sounds like this was a result of a lease,not a trainer you chose,sothis may be a 2 fold subject, #1 being the lease/pro situation and how to best handle it,and 2ndly is the "controlling"
trainer situation. Everyone makes great points above, but, again, what stands out clearly in my mind is customers never "shopping" while in a current situation. In fact, I encourage my clients to watch other trainers, be familiar with other barns and their programs to make them either appreciate me and my operation more
or less and stay or move on. I keep my door open both ways. Anyone can leave,and anyone can come back. The line of communication is always open. Goals are addressed and readdressed according to changes in horse and rider performance and health and veterinary/blacksmith issues. What I see happen in NJ ALOT is people moving around based on othersword of mouth and no real investigation, and later unhappiness. Maybe we just dont hear about the successful moves enough. Also, you have 2 choices is how I seeit. The on the road AAbarns, and the barns like mine, C-AA ship in/ship out,with an occassional stay over like HITS Catskills or Culpepper. What amazes me most is the people who take a young horse in need of training to an on the road barn and then areannoyed by excessive fees,the horse supposedly being rushed,and pushed on too soon or left at home with an assistantand not getting the "paid for training". I dont'understand why a 3 yr old would be at
farm whos fees are over $1200/mth.

J. Turner
Jul. 23, 2000, 06:03 AM
This is honestly not a specific situation. I don't even have a horse now. This is just an accumulation of problems I've seen people have (including me) over the years.

LucianCephus
Jul. 23, 2000, 06:53 AM
I gotta agree with JT...the stories I could tell about so called A circuit trainers on both Coasts. Some of my favorites:
A 40+ year old attorney meekly returning paddock boots because the trainer hated Ariats;
The same woman being told the halter she had purchased also had to go back because it was double stitched as opposed to being triple stitched;
In California, being informed by a member of the staff that I could not turn out my horse without the trainer's permission;
In Massachusetts, being told by my trainer that he would determine who rode my horse at shows and decide what meds were appropriate, and that, furthermore, he did not want my input on either of the issues.

Yeah, I left the barns in question, but many others didn't. The problem is endemic, IMHO.

luckyduck
Jul. 23, 2000, 08:58 AM
Controling trainers...agents...barn owners...should I go on?

A very back stabbing "agent-trainer" once quoted to a my best friend, "This is a cut-throat business....so get used to it".....NOT SO and it doesn't HAVE to be that way.

A "client" recently purchased a horse from us.....a single mom who works like a dog to support her daughters efforts. The kid has so much un-tapped talent...that it gave me quivers watching her ride. Here's what is so sad....

The child...a 12 year old...had been riding at the same barn for three years. Lessons twice a week...and practice rides....camps...clinics ect...ect....Though loaded with EXTREM natural talent, this kid had no clue as to "how to ride"....she could hold the reins and steer....in a ring.....could jump fence to fence in a straight line...but broken lines were an untold story in her life....not to mention actually knowing how to ask for a proper canter lead, or keep the horse bent to the inside.....I could go on....

THREE YEARS OF LESSONS!!!!!!!

6 months ago or so...the mom talked with the trainer and told her they wanted to find a horse....so they waited....and waited...and kept getting one "dog" after another to try....of course all were either in this trainers barn...or friends of hers that had horses for sale.....now we have a very disapointed...talented 12 year old that desprately wants to move forward in the show world.....so...the 12 year old starts looking on the internet....thats how she found us.

They came and tried...they loved the horse...a week later the kid is at a horse show with HER own horse....having the time of her life.

I wish I could say it was THE PERFECT MATCH between horse and rider....the horse is a bit green....the rider has a lot to learn....but the Mom....who pays the bills....has made a choice to keep the horse with us....travel the hour and a half to come ride the horse and take lessons....all because we allowed her to make her own choice. All because we were honest with her about every detail.....and because when she saw our trainers kids that had been riding with him for three years that were the same age as her daughter...riding levels ahead....she wanted to know what the difference was....

There are many trainers, barn owners and agents that post on these boards that are not "cut-throat"....they are willing to help and give much needed information when asked. The world does not have to be "dog-eat-dog"....keep your eyes open...think about YOUR goals...think about YOUR horses goals...sometimes the "big-name" may not be for you....

ALWAYS remember...you are paying the bill....walk away if you have to....take a stand when you need to...but most important....always remain open and honest with the world around you....a path that has been laid clear going out...is always easiest to travel home on..... /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Black Market Radio
Jul. 23, 2000, 11:10 AM
This is EXACTLY what my friend was going through with that terrible barn, and in fact, had she not started working with our trainer, she would have sold the horse that the other trainer found for her. The horse was a spazzy psycho, and the other trainer had her jumping this mare, without proper guidance or flat work training! Her philosiphy of "well, you have been riding with me for two months, you can start jumping now" can and most certainly will cause a bad accident. I remember my friend kareening around the arena 90mph after every jump! And the trainer's OTHER philosiphy is "If they jump it enough, they'll get it!" Anyway, she had those outrageous charges on her bill since her and her husband are well off, and she didn't know any better, but suddenly, she realized her pocketbook was supporting a good part of that operation, and for nothing! She wasn't learning anything, and felt like she was paying out the nose for "supervised rides". The trainer will sit in her *gasp* golf cart outside the arena, talk to someone else through the entire lesson NOT EVEN LOOKING IN THE GENERAL DIRECTION THE GROUP OF STUDENTS and periodically yell things like "Thumbs on top of your hands" and "Heels down"... Friend starts riding with my trainer, who is her next door neighbor (we are all neighbors, the other barn is 3 doors down from her. I don't actually SLEEP out there, but I LIVE there LOL!) has really got her RIDING her horse, and magically, the horse has calmed down and actually turned out to be a great horse. My friend was so ready to sell her because she was an uncontrollable mess, and trainer #1 wasn't doing anything to work on that, or on her equitation anymore than "thumbs up heels down", and our trainer now got on the mare, and SHOWED her how to ride her, worked with her, got IN the arena and CONSTANTLY had things to say and taught her how to use her seat and leg, and she is learning to ride. I feel so greatful to have a trainer that does not take advantage of us! It's kinda funny though, last year the other place was buzzing with lesson kids and there were people there everyday, now, there is hardley anyone over there ever, and there are quite a few of us buzzing around the dressage and jumping rings, and we KNOW the trainer and her husband are at their boiling point about it! They even have the gall to spread rumors about us and to tell their boarders what horrible people my trainer and her husband are, how we have horrible footing in our rings and we don't feed our horses well and that the trainer is a second rate and terrible trainer! Excuse me? We DRAG our arenas, they once every few months move their jumps and have hard ground! We feed our horses plenty of hay, they all have skinny, horrible looking horses because they are tight with feed! And our trainer has taken lessons from someone who took lessons from an Olympic rider, and knows how to APPLY concepts and TEACH how to ride! And the other trainer hasn't been riding as long as I have and she's 10 years older than I am! (And she has trained with a trainer that looks like she's sittin' on the pot reading a paper when she rides, and looks the same way IF and WHEN she gets on a horse!) These people should be outlawed! It's sad to see that this is not an isolated case! We have so many great barns around this area think goodness!

cappy
Jul. 23, 2000, 10:09 PM
I am reading all these replys and i sense alot of hostility in all your stories. I would like to lend a little piece of advice. If you are not comfortable with the situation you are in, and do not like the treatment you get from your trainer, save yourself and your trainer alot of time and stress and please LEAVE! The beauty of the horse business is that it is made up of many people, some more colorfull then others. There are so many approaches that work for so many different people. You people need to do your homework and ask some serious questions BEFORE you get into a situation, because i guarantee you, your not going to change anybody. If you choose a situation that becomes a bad situation and you are unhappy, don't bitch, LEAVE! There is a wonderfull thing in our country called "freedom of choice". You would be amazed how easy and fun life can be if you find the right program. The big question is "Do you want it to be?"

Flash44
Jul. 23, 2000, 10:37 PM
Lots of good posts here! Hey Pwynn, I agree with your post! Where is Portia? Doesn't the law state that you are not responsible for expenses that are not agreed upon in advance? I get an itemized bill each month and have never had any surprises. Each person and horse is an individual, and things may change greatly year to year. The perfect barn for you in 1997 may not be so perfect in 2000. In hindsight, my horse got some very expensive mileage at rated shows when I should have done local shows for at least the first year I had him. But my trainer wanted be able to say, "Horse only does rated shows."

LucianCephus
Jul. 24, 2000, 06:53 AM
Cappy, Minnesota must be graced with more h/j trainers than Massachusetts! I'll say it again....in my area, there are very few decent trainers. If one is at all fussy about horse care and quality of instruction, the "freedom of choice" you tout is extremely restricted. This is quite the seller's market!

pwynnnorman
Jul. 24, 2000, 07:31 AM
In some parts of the country, that really is the bottom line, IMO: the seller's market. Because the sport is so expensive, if you want a certain level of quality and professionalism and sheer success (and I'm not talking about just showing, either--I also mean training, lessons, agenting, etc.), you pay for it in more ways than just the monetary.

Inverness
Jul. 24, 2000, 08:41 AM
I don't intend to be critical here, but at what point did these victimized students abdicate their own responsibilities to themselves and their horses?

I've only been riding a year but I feel it is incumbent upon me to do the preliminary research, learn everything I can about the business/industry, and make all of my decisions informed ones. I visited and talked to trainers and students at nine different facilities before I finally decided on the barn that I'm at. It is not the most convenient barn in terms of commuting distance, but it is the place I feel most comfortable.

I'm not suggesting by any means that unethical behavior by trainers is excusable - only that the student also has a responsibility to do some self-educating, to communicate her/his dissatisfaction, and to move on if the situation is not to her/his liking.

Robbierox
Jul. 24, 2000, 09:09 AM
On the flip side of the coin I have to say that some owners do NOT want to be involved with the "mundane" things concerning their horses. Some of them come to our barn not even knowing what their horses get to eat! They never thought to ask. The barn people do that. When their horse gets sick we are often told, "you deal with it, I've got to take my child to gymnastics or school or to
his friend's house". I have heard "I don't have TIME to spend with a sick horse, and "I can't come and walk my sick horse, I'm busy!"Who is the one sitting up with the horse all night? The one there when they die? Who misses vacations, birthdays, Christmas Day, because the owner did something they were asked not to do (like ride Christmas Day? Who is the one who worries/looks after the horse when the Dressage Queen rides her horse into the ground and then it colics and dies?
I will admit that I have seen a lot of "trainer abuse" in this industry. People that are pushy, obnoxious and bully their clients. Very sad. No one should be treated with disrespect. We are providing a service after all and there are lots more places out there. A good reputation is built upon years of good service. A bad reputation spreads quickly by word of mouth. Not all of us are in this business to grab as much money as we can and "who cares". Some of us DO care. I do.

AHC
Jul. 24, 2000, 09:15 AM
Lots of interesting posts here. From what I have seen, the majority of trainers and barn managers do prefer the customers who let them make most of the decisions, even when those decisions aren't always in the best interest of the rider. This may be a control issue or a trying to make money issue. Or even a more prominent frame of mind in certain parts of the country where show barns and horse shows are more concentrated. Either way, it happens often! Part of the reason, I think, is that the riders don't always have knowledge or other sources of it to help them make educated decisions or even ask the right questions. I think that bulletin boards like this one can make a big difference in helping people to hear opinions about a variety of issues, find other written resources and unbiased professionals to consult with and therefore help out on this front.

Flash44
Jul. 24, 2000, 09:25 AM
Good point, AHC. It is impossible to know everything about horses, which is one reason you pay someone to board your horse - the barn management and owners should have a lot of experience. I personally like to know as much as possible about the care my horse is receiving and why things are being done, but that is not the case with everyone.

Also, trainers have to be part salesperson - convince you that you need more lessons, your horse needs training, showing will help you progress. Yes, your horse and you will make better progress with more lessons and training, but you have to decide how much time and money you want to put into it. If you are so busy that you cannot rush to the barn in case of emergency, you need to board your horse somewhere that has very experienced and knowledgable help, and be willing to pay for it.

jl
Jul. 24, 2000, 09:44 AM
I have recently moved my horses onto my own property and although I miss having a decent arena & easily available trainer, I don't miss stable life at all!I hated the gossip that goes on and the controlling attitude of barn owners. Too many of my friends that board have the trainer is God attitude. Yes, listen to your trainer BUT use yr commonsense. You should know yr horse better than anyone!

Black Market Radio
Jul. 24, 2000, 11:13 AM
cappy, we ARE out of that situation, and thank goodness I didn't buy the horse they were trying to rip me off with, I leasedhim for awhile to see how he was, sweet old thing, but his knees were gone and she wanted way too much for him. And my friend has always kept her horses at her own house and is within walking distance (2 doors down) from that place, and is right next door to where my horse is now and where we both take lessons. We like to refer to that valley as "Peyton Valley" at times because of the crap they try to stir up. Like one time, one of my trainer's boarders moved her two horses over there. My trainer didn't say anything. Well, after about 7 or 8 months, and the horses had NO shelter, were half starved and were out in the muck for the rainy season with again, no shelter, hay just got thrown on the ground in the mud, she decided to move the horses back to my trainer's place, where they have shelter, get fed plenty and no one gossips about you. Well, other trainer gets in a big fat huffy and tells everyone that my trainer stole her boarder! When the boarder was at my trainer's place long before they even lived there! I took two lessons from said trainer and decided that I could teach myself and progress rather than take lessons from her and digress, as she has no concept of seat and legs, and as I said above, gives "reminders". I wouldn't have a problem with them anymore except that they are trying to ruin the reputation of my trainer and barn, but it's ok, it's backfiring bigtime, because they are getting a rotten rep around here and they go through boarders and students faster than a groom goes through a bottle of Quicbraid at Indio! Although she has her two star students who think she is the goddess of the Hunter world, whom she sticks them on her rescue horses and they ride aroud for a couple months and then she sells them as "trained" and "used in lessons" nevermind that they took off running after jumps, dumped the rider a few times and bit and kicked everyone on the property! She will sell them as "gentle"! She is going to get someone killed with her un-ethical selling tactics, selling green pregnant LARGE ponies to non-horsey parents for a 5 year old, a 30+ year old SMALL pony with locking stifles to non horsey parents for a 7 year old for about $500 more than he's worth, and a "retired" police horse as a lesson horse and awesome jumper that kicked two of her students, took off around courses and the reason the police got rid of him was because he had an ill temperment and would have hurt people if used for police work! THAT is why I have a problem with them! They are going to kill or seriously injur someone with their behaviour!

diane
Jul. 24, 2000, 12:07 PM
While the client does own the horse they have chosed to place their horse in the care of the stable owner/trainer. If is the trainer/stable owner responsibility to ensure that the horse is cared for ie. housed well,fed well, good blacksmithing and regular vet care. We try to make our level of control over the horse compliment the level of knowledge of the owner. When we purchased our farm we inherited the existing clients as well as 10 of our own clients, we tried not to rock the boat at the beginning but we had had inexperienced owners who wanted to feed their horse only sweet feed, instisted that they must have 2 scoops twice a day, because that was what they heard 'somewhere' and then couldn't understand why the horse was too hot for them to ride safely. The previous owner had let everyone set their own feed regime, blacksmith schedule and vet schedule (for shots & worming).
After a month we decided we couldn't pussyfoot around anymore, if people didn't like it they could find somewhere else too board ..... we told everyone that we were setting the feed programme (we feed a pellet, sweet feed, beet pulp, brood mare, foal feed, althete, and numerous vit's and suppliments where needed) for what we thought there horse required, told them to give it 6 weeks and if they had a problem with it to come back to us then and we would discuss it with them and adjust if necessary. We arranged to have only our blacksmith come in (he comes in every tues. and is up within 24 hours if a shoe goes awol) together we set up a schedule for every horse - taking into consideration what they show (H or J) etc. and all are on a 5 to 7 week schedule depending on how fast they grow. We now tell everyone that the horses are being wormed on such and such a day and that they are getting these shots.
If someone wants there horse vacinated against something that we don't normally do, we discuss it with the vet, and if it could be useful they get it. No one in the barn gets ANY choice about the regular shots, if the vet says they need it .. they get them.

After about a month everyone started to realize that the horses were going better, getting/maintaining good weight and that it was much easier for them not to have to worry about feet and shots etc.

horsenut
Jul. 24, 2000, 05:18 PM
LucianCephus, you sound like you've been looking around for trainers in the same area I have! (I'm also from MA -- live in Groton.) There is a dearth of quality in this area, and many of the h/j stables that are around are no longer options because I know (and don't respect) the people running them.

I agree that people should be responsible for their horses' and their own welfare and if they're in a bad situation, they should get out. But I should point out that I was trapped in a bad training situation as a teenager and I did NOT get out until I was freed of it by college. I was young and taught to believe (by said trainer) that there were no other options. So for a kid who just loves horses and wants to be able to ride, there may not be an easy way out.

Flash44
Jul. 24, 2000, 05:23 PM
To keep your barn disease free and for worm control, all the horses should be treated as a group at the same time by the farm vet. However, I think an owner should be allowed to choose whatever vet or blacksmith that they want for shoeing and other problems. As long as the horse is getting the required vaccinations/worming and regular farrier care, treat as much as your heart desires.

I have usually gone with the barn blacksmith, but have been fortunate in that the barns in which I have boarded used blacksmiths that did a good job on my horse. Every barn that I have boarded at allowed your own vet and blacksmith; however, you had to make your appointment and hold your horse.

Your horse's diet should be discussed between you, the barn manager, your trainer and possibly your vet. If you are having a behavioral problem with your horse, ask your trainer if it may be feed related, and what you can do to fix it. if you have a skinny horse and are trying to put weight on it, you may just have to grin and bear it for a few months until you can switch to a lower octane diet. I've always found that if you approach the barn management with a friendly and respectful attitude, they are more than willing to share their knowledge and suggest solutions to your problems.

Nylar
Jul. 25, 2000, 10:39 AM
Reading all of these posts, I feel extremely lucky. I've ridden at 3 barns in my life, and even though we had personal problems at the last one, I've always had a fantastic trainer. She's teaching me how to finish my new horse up, and is just as enthusiastic about my goals as I am. I've been riding with her for years now, and even though I'm away at college most of the time, I still feel completely involved in what's going on at home. I know where all my money's going, and I know that my trainer is going to help me save as much as she possibly can (she even helps braid my horse the day of shows). Granted, she gets overenthusiastic about some of us doing things, but if we can't do it, she doesn't push.
The people that own the barn I'm at are the same way. They charge the board, and in my case, I help out a little to keep costs down, and that's it. Yes, they'll arrange for the vet or farrier if you need one, but they don't force you, and before they do anything, you get a phone call letting you know what's going on.
I know plenty of barns though where the trainer/manager is overbearing, and unfortunately I know barns where they're not in control enough. It's a sad day when a horse with arthritis and old injuries is jumping 3'3 fences simply because the trainer doesn't know enough to say no.

havaklu
Jul. 25, 2000, 11:18 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by LucianCephus:
I gotta agree with JT...the stories I could tell about so called A circuit trainers on both Coasts. Some of my favorites:
A 40+ year old attorney meekly returning paddock boots because the trainer hated Ariats;
The same woman being told the halter she had purchased also had to go back because it was double stitched as opposed to being triple stitched;
In California, being informed by a member of the staff that I could not turn out my horse without the trainer's permission;
In Massachusetts, being told by my trainer that he would determine who rode my horse at shows and decide what meds were appropriate, and that, furthermore, he did not want my input on either of the issues.

Yeah, I left the barns in question, but many others didn't. The problem is endemic, IMHO.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


LC -

The "problems" you list above are not a big deal - Emmet's post explained very well why many trainers have this attitude.

It is THEIR barn and you as a rider represent THEM at shows; therefore, the brand of your halter should be similar to all their other clients.

I personally hate Ariats because they are ugly and have never owned a pair.

As far as Meds - do you have your trainer's experience??? Are you at the farm every time the vet comes? I will bet that those folks who complained about trainers medicating without their knowlede wouldn't know the difference between Bute or Banamine.

BTW remember the trainer signs the entry form and it is THEIR name (along with yours) that will be printed in HORSE SHOW magazine if even a trace of the wrong substance is found by the AHSA.

Timex6979
Jul. 25, 2000, 11:47 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Emmet:
From a stable owner and trainer...
We provide our clients with a choice of vets, but prefer to work with one in particular.
We use only one blacksmith. If you as a client have an opinion against our blacksmith, be our guest to use your own, but be prepared to pay the consequences. Ours comes two days a month, the same two days every month, works well with our vet and is extremely reliable. Because of that schedule, our horses are shod regularly. If one throws a shoe off in between regular visits, our blacksmith will come within 24 hours. Will your "outside" blacksmith come regularly to shoe one horse? Most will have to fit one horse in when they have a free moment. And I might add, if they are any good at all, the blacksmith has very little free time. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

i was faced with the unwanted task of telling a friend why i did not want to stay at her new barn. after having used the same vet for 12 years, i was told that i would have to use HER vet. her reason was that they had a very good relationship and she trusted him. all fine and good. but what about the relationship i have with MY vet, and farrier too? if i am going to be there to deal with the vet and farrier myself, and i'm the one paying the bills, then why should it matter to her? and if my horse pulls a shoe and my farrier can't get out to see the horse, then i won't be riding for a while, now will i? the choice of vet and farrier are personal opinions and choices. to be told you have to use so-and-so, or else pay the consequences of NOT using out farrier or vet is rude. if the owner is willing to take the responsibilities of scheduling vet and farrier visits, and has the experience to make the decisions, then what business is it of anyone else's who that person uses?

[This message has been edited by Timex6979 (edited 07-25-2000).]

AHC
Jul. 25, 2000, 11:54 AM
Havaklu, I agree with you about representing barns and trainers/managers knowing more about horse care/meds than most owners and even about requesting (although I draw that line at insisting) that boarders who show use certain equipment, etc. I don't have a problem with those things at all.

I do have a problem if I ask questions because I want to learn and so that I am aware of what is going on with my horse and get attitude or non-answers. The trainer/manager/vet/farrier may know more than I do, but I pay the bills and because of that expect that if I want to be informed about any aspect of my horse's care, I should be treated with consideration and respect and have my questions answered with a smile. In return, I try to ask my questions at a convenient time, say please and thank you always, ask about whether certain things I want to do with my horse are okay before I do them, and respect the barn rules. So far this seems to work pretty well.

Also, I try to understand that sometimes these people, like all of us, may be stressed or in a bad mood about something else, and try not to take short answers personally when this is the case.

LucianCephus
Jul. 25, 2000, 11:58 AM
Havaklu, you're a trainer's dream. Frankly, I don't care HOW you feel about Ariats...my boots, my feet, my money. Triple stitched vs double stitched is a reflection on my barn??? And NO ONE decides to medicate my horse except a VET, certainly not some high school graduate with his own stash of needles. You may "havaklu," but you need to buy a vowel.

havaklu
Jul. 25, 2000, 12:05 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by AHC:
Havaklu, I agree with you about representing barns and trainers/managers knowing more about horse care/meds than most owners and even about requesting (although I draw that line at insisting) that boarders who show use certain equipment, etc. I don't have a problem with those things at all.

I do have a problem if I ask questions because I want to learn and so that I am aware of what is going on with my horse and get attitude or non-answers. The trainer/manager/vet/farrier may know more than I do, but I pay the bills and because of that expect that if I want to be informed about any aspect of my horse's care, I should be treated with consideration and respect and have my questions answered with a smile. In return, I try to ask my questions at a convenient time, say please and thank you always, ask about whether certain things I want to do with my horse are okay before I do them, and respect the barn rules. So far this seems to work pretty well.

Also, I try to understand that sometimes these people, like all of us, may be stressed or in a bad mood about something else, and try not to take short answers personally when this is the case.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I agree with you AHC - and I have not had problems with numerous "controlling" trainers when I ask my questions at the right time in a non accusatory manner.

The problems IMO often arise when the boarder/client/student hears about something being done/not done to their horse and approaches the barn owner/trainer/manager with their knickers in a twist...

Another cause of problems is when the boarder listens to hearsay from other boarders rather than requesting to talk with their trainer (at a time convinient to both) about an issue/concern.

A word of advice - be careful with your telephone messages. You would be surprised how "bad" your message can come accros when being listened to at 11PM by your exausted trainer. I've been in my trainer's office and heard more than a few of these...

havaklu
Jul. 25, 2000, 12:12 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by LucianCephus:
Havaklu, you're a trainer's dream. Frankly, I don't care HOW you feel about Ariats...my boots, my feet, my money. Triple stitched vs double stitched is a reflection on my barn??? And NO ONE decides to medicate my horse except a VET, certainly not some high school graduate with his own stash of needles. You may "havaklu," but you need to buy a vowel.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

My trainers would laugh at that - they call me PIA (Pain in the A$$) because I do pester them. But usuallly in the end it gets done their way.

Some clients don't want to know as long as it's taken care of properly.

As one of them told me before I moved in "This is a Democracy of ONE" At least they have always been honest...too honest in many cases.

I don't consider kids just outta HS to be professionals - we call them "grooms" my trainers have more years of experience between them than years I have drawn breath (that's A LOT!!!)

NorthEast
Jul. 25, 2000, 12:19 PM
I do not agree that just because you ride with a trainer and represent their barn you should nod your head and accept their "expertise". I'm sorry but more importantly they are representing your interests and need to do so properly. Obviously style is very important, but small differences in otherwise accepted and well know brands should not be an issue. After all Ariat boots for example are worn quite readily, not by everyone, but by many and should not be an issue of power. A trainer is there to teach you and make riding and showing a pleasure, no matter what your level or instensity of competition. Of course we want a trainer to push us and not be soft and meekly say ok, when we want to "give up." But that is a different issue. This thread is about the "wrong attitude." The one where your trainer acts insulted and defensive when you ask questions and want answers. You should have an open line of discussion with your vet and blacksmith if you so choose. It is true these horses belong to you, not your trainer and you pay the bills and are the one who ultimately has to deal with any problems or crisis that might arise. The answer that trainers know more and have more experience is not reasonable. The whole idea of a trainer is to be an overall good horseman, but a good trainer does not neccessarily mean a good manager or vet!! Like any good teacher or mentor a trainer needs to understand the needs of their clients to have answers and that they have an obligation to provide what they can and seek help in obtaining the answers they do not know. Clients are people, they can loose their temper or be irrational or unreasonable, but a good trainer can see past a "blow up" and come to terms that in normal people the outburst or anger is NOT personal and work through it. They have to be realistic in their dealings with people and have compassion and understanding. Most people on the circuit put up with a lot from their trainers and most trainers get away with a multitude of behaviors, subsequently they should treat their loyal customers with respect.

NinaL aka Chrissy
Jul. 25, 2000, 03:26 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by havaklu:

snip stuff about boots and halters

As far as Meds - do you have your trainer's experience??? Are you at the farm every time the vet comes? I will bet that those folks who complained about trainers medicating without their knowlede wouldn't know the difference between Bute or Banamine.

Very true about who is at the barn when the vet comes but I'll argue with you about the medications. I worked in the veterinary field for 10 years and know more than a little about how different drugs work and how they interact. I am continually amazed at some of the combinations given and the reasons for their administration put forth by professional trainers. I refuse to generalize here because I am sure there are more than a few professionals that consult with their vets. But I can't think of a vet that would suggest a packet of Azium a day at a show which is common practice these days. Can you say founder?

I was told by one trainer to give my horse a Bute in case he steps on a stone so he wouldn't feel the stone and limp. After I stopped laughing I asked him if he took an aspirin in the morning just in case he got a headache during the day.

I know of an instance before the days of the NSAID limits where the pro was giving a horse with a suspensory injury somewhere on the order of 40cc's of Bute plus 40cc's of Banamine daily to try to get the horse sound enough to get through Devon.

There were many VERY GOOD REASONS for the AHSA to adopt the present Drugs and Medications rule. There were combinations out there that no principled veterinarian would recommend. Blood levels indicated dosages much higher than therapeutic levels.

The fact of the matter is that you can get what you want without ever seeing a veterinarian. But that's a whole other topic.

BTW remember the trainer signs the entry form and it is THEIR name (along with yours) that will be printed in HORSE SHOW magazine if even a trace of the wrong substance is found by the AHSA.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Very true but I expect a trainer to discuss with me and my vet any medications or nutriceuticals given to my horse. I would certainly not want to receive a bill that includes charges for unauthorized medications. This actually happened to a friend of mine. The worst of it was that the trainer was unaware of the fact that he had also violated the new anti-stacking rules.

My relationship with my trainer was very open as far as medications were concerned. He respected my input and I did all my own medicating. In fact when introducing me he tended to include the statement "She knows all about drugs" which caused more than a few raised eyebrows /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif.

Nina

Flash44
Jul. 25, 2000, 03:58 PM
It's one thing for a trainer to want the horses turned out professionally at a show, but forcing someone to buy a particular brand of leather halter or not letting someone wear Ariats goes a little too far! The technology that goes into the sole of Ariat boots is more sophisitcated than that of Vogels, and they "save your back" a little bit if you have to walk around in them all day.

Sparky
Jul. 25, 2000, 05:26 PM
Timex, you answered your own question in your first sentence--you don't want to give up your 12 year relationship with your vet and farrier, your barn owner uses her own vet and farrier, so--YOU MOVE. I've said it before and I'll say it again: you have hopefully put a lot of research and thought into the barn and trainer you have chosen--you take their program or leave it, but it is not fair to them to pick and choose which parts of their care and management of your horse that you want to do. They are the ones who built the barn you like, who hired the trainer you want to work with, and who have the knowledge you are paying for. Do everyone a favor and find a more suitable situation.

Ruby G. Weber
Jul. 25, 2000, 06:58 PM
For those of you who may have misunderstood...we do not have an opinion as to who manufactured our clients paddock boots, tall riding boots, hard hat or breeches, etc. as long as they fit properly and they are properly attired when mounted. (We prefer boots and britches for lessons, but say nothing when students train in paddock boots and chaps or half chaps.) However, we request shirts be tucked in when mounted and riders refrain from wearing tank tops.

We do have opinions about bridles, boots and saddles but are perfectly willing to work with whatever the client already owns.

All we request from our clients is that they provide us with a safe halter for turn out, and a proper shipping halter, and sheets and blankets that fit.

If a client inquires about bridles, saddles, blankets, boots, etc. we will recommend several manufacturers or head them to the nearest tack shop and let them decide for themselves.

We don't think all these petty little things, (the correct paddock boots, triple stitched halters), have anything to do with the big picture.

What we are interested in is developing educated riders and educated horsepeople, who as an end result, are successful in competition.

J. Turner
Jul. 25, 2000, 07:39 PM
Again, I agree with the turnout and behavior at shows. I would not agree with having to buy a $600+ matching trunk. I do not agree with required full day care at a show if one has proven oneself capable of caring and turning out the horse properly.

As for medications, no trainer better medicate my horse without my permission. It is also the owner's name on the show form. My old trainer administered IM's like Bantamine only after being advised to do so by the vet. Plus, she'd call the client and ask permission to do so. "Your horse is acting colicky ... I've called the vet and he advised giving so-many cc's of Bantamine. Do I have permission to do so?" If the situation were serious and the vet told her to do it and he were on his way and she couldn't get a hold of you, she would. However, if you were a very unreachable type person, she'd get a prior waiver.

I think a client should always be able to bring her own medical/farrier professionals in. It is not the place of the trainer/barn owner to create a monopoly for her choice of vet.

Yes, you can move and should if the care doesn't match your standards, however, as LucianCephus has indicated, in some parts of the country, it is very hard to find a decent barn with an available stall and an indoor. Also, an owner who insists on a certain level of care and involvement can develop an undeserved bad reputation as a "difficult" client in this small horse world.

MsHunter
Jul. 25, 2000, 09:09 PM
I allow other veterinarians and blacksmiths into my barn if the client has a previous relationship with them, they are willing to have me as the trainer be part of the program,and they are willing to travel to mybarn and operate within mytime frames andwith my conditions (which are all straighforward). I do however require a consent form to be signed that my vet can come in an emergency if "your' vet is unavailable,as I do have a "farm vet" and it
is a large practice and they have 24hour service. The farrier issue scares me though.
Many just aren't good, and bad shoeing over the long haul leads to arthritis,lameness and sometimes poor movement etc. I give it a chance, I have no problem once again if it is a professional with a good reputation.
As far as type of paddock boots<G>! I let my clients know I prefer zip black Kroops,and they ALL go buy Cordovan lace up Ariats, go figure<G>! I think individualism with knowledge is fun thing,it is OK with me!
I also requiretriple stitched halters,please don't flame me now<G>!

Bopper
Jul. 25, 2000, 10:13 PM
I have my horse on partial board I do as much of the care for him as I can. I would feel uncomfortable in a situation where a trainer had too much control over my horse. I realize not everyone has enough experience to call the shots for their horse and they depend on their trainers for guidance but I have seen trainers take advantage of that. I also realize in some instances the owner is partially to blame. I have seen people who have said they just want to ride - they are not interested in the day to day aspects of their horse's care. I work weekends at the barn and have had new boarders arrive while I was there. When I asked them what kind of feed their horse was on and how much he ate they stared at me as if I was speaking a foreign language. I guess it just depends on the owner. I try to make it clear to my trainer that he needs to respect me and my decisions regarding my horse.

Kryswyn
Jul. 25, 2000, 11:06 PM
I'm mostly out of horses now and into raising Jack Russells. But when it comes to vets, I have three! that I rotate between. Why, because who knows who'll be available when one of the kids has a problem. I make sure I remain on good terms with all of them. When I had horses, our barn owner WAS our vet, and therefore, she'd alway's fit you in. BUT she would let other vets who'd been treating horses left from before she bought the barn come in. But w/ time as those people came to trust her, she began doing their work, too. To me it just makes sense to have more than 1 vet you can trust in case of emergencies when Vet A is unavailable.

Re Ariats, I only wish they'd make them to fit my FAT feet. I would LOVE to wear something that comfortable and kind to my body all day long. As for some people not like they way they look? If they are THAT close to my feet, they'd better be kissing them! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

havaklu
Jul. 26, 2000, 01:26 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Jane Ervin:
I let my clients know I prefer zip black Kroops,and they ALL go buy Cordovan lace up Ariats, go figure<G>! I think individualism with knowledge is fun thing,it is OK with me!
I also requiretriple stitched halters,please don't flame me now<G>!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Reserve a stall for me Jane -G- I'll just pack up my pony and my Kroops and head your way...

LucianCephus
Jul. 26, 2000, 07:51 AM
Jane, say it isn't so! Or at least tell me why in the world you care about double vs triple stitching on a halter...with my former trainer it was merely a matter of "aesthetics." And, havaklu, just to clear up a point from an earlier post, I didn't mean that said trainer was a RECENT high school graduate (he's in his late 30s), merely meant that he had a limited education.

Bethe Mounce
Jul. 26, 2000, 08:19 AM
I had no idea trainers/barns had such control over client owned horses. I am sure there are reputations to protect and images to uphold, but I am feeling so grateful I have my own barn, my own land etc...and anyone who works with me or my horses has no say so in how I take care of them, turnout, # of stitching on the halters (heck, my daily halters are nylon, show halters are leather) etc......

Ariats are great in my opinion, their paddock boots are what I ride in (and walk in) and use Dehners to show in.

luckyduck
Jul. 26, 2000, 08:20 AM
I think everyone is missing an important thing here......a respect issue vs. a control issue. We have all chosen our trainers because of certain reasons....some of us because we are highly competitive and needed a trainer who could get us there...others chose theirs because they wanted to be a good "back yard rider" and so on and so on.....

In any situation....the one signing the check is the one who made the choice....so...if you are having "issues" with YOUR trainer...maybe YOU need to look into other avenues.

The trainer at our farm....is also the co-owner as well as my boyfriend...you could say I am partial....but I first met him four years ago or so...and decided to train with him because of his "ethics"....and his love of this sport....not to mention he would lay his life down to protect these animals and always do what is best for them...not a "pushy" owner wanting results ASAP!!!!!!!

He has gone AGAIST the grain on many occassions to protect a young horse against an owner who wanted a quick buck and was willing to sacrifce the babies soundness for a ribbon....

He would rather loose the money then hurt the baby....

He also limits his clients because he feels he cannot give them 100% of his attention if he doesn't even know their name.....He taught at a huge riding school for 15 years.....250 students a week at times during the summer....

He won't tell you what color jacket to buy...or what kind of boots....but your A## better be on that horse with 100% of your heart and soul....

Please remember folks that everyones trainer is not going to be YOUR favorite. And every trainer does not deserve to wear the title of "Trainer" either.....it is up to YOU...the individule (sp?) to make that choice...and not to condem others for the choices they make....

Having a trainer is a complete trust issue......you have to believe in that person AND their descions.....you have to believe that they are the best...and give them 100% of your support.....that doesn't mean you can't politely question their judgment at times...or even just outright ask a question.....just rememeber...the whole process started because YOU HIRED THEM!!!!!!!!!

baymare
Jul. 26, 2000, 08:57 AM
I can't believe the first vacation I've taken in x years coincided with the introduction of this vital topic. Ramifications of the "pushy trainer" syndrome affect the entire industry, in what I believe is a largely negative way. Those of you who are blessed with good, responsible trainers who truly love horses and believe in actually TEACHING you something, stay where you are and count your blessings.
I think there is a conflict in the horse business between "teachers" and "trainers". A "teacher" seeks to work toward the students ultimate education, the end result of which is independence. The "trainer" is trying to make a living in a tremendously competitive and status-conscious industry, and counts on the dependence of his paying customers to maintain him. "Teaching" is in many respects at odds with "Training." I know I am deep into semantics here, but I have lost a lot of sleep over the years on this issue, and ultimately decided not to pursue what was a reasonably up-and-going business as a trainer
because of it. Love of horses, belief in the principles of horsemanship, and a desire to impart knowledge are ultimately in conflict with being a "trainer" in the hunter/jumper industry as it exists today.

Flash44
Jul. 26, 2000, 10:13 AM
Mothers-in-law are MUCH scarier than trainers, so when my M-I-L sends me a leather halter, my horse wears it, no matter what the stitching!

Black Market Radio
Jul. 26, 2000, 11:29 AM
I am sorry, but when it comes to meds, my VET will discuss with ME what my horse needs and why, unless I can't be there and my trainer, whom I trust, is there. Any trainer telling me that s/he decides how to med my horse better have a veterinary degree and have done well in school and have had viable proof that they know what they are doing. And to have a trainer tell you WHO will ride YOUR horse in a show? EXCUSE ME??? I care about the trainer's rep as much as anyone, but it is MY horse, I want to show MY horse. I am not paying out the nose to be told that I can't ride MY horse in the show! If I am not ready to show, I expect the trainer to tell my I am not, and if I am, I expect my trainer to advise me as to the proper level that I should show. NO ONE will ride my horse without MY permission. Yes, the person DOES own the barn, BUT, it is MY horse MY money, and I expect things a certain way. I am willing to be leniant on certain things, but not when it comes to the quality of care given my expensive investment. I have had the same vet and farrier for years, and intend to keep them. Any place tells me different, I am gone. I trust MY farrier, as I know his credentials and he knows my horse and has her going very well. My vet, I have known her for many years and trust her as well. I agree that at larger barns, all horses should be wormed/shots at the same time by one vet, but for everyday things, I want my own vet. And at small private barns, as long as the horses are getting done, who cares? I expect that the trainer be able to tell me what is going on with my horse, and yes, I would be quite irate if I found out something was going on with my horse that was not told to me. Again, it IS my horse, and MY money. I did not buy this horse for my trainer to do whatever s/he wants with it, I bought the horse for ME. MY horse. Why can't people understand that? If I am doing something wrong, the trainer can TEACH me how to do it right. I would rather learn to do it than to just have it done for me. That is what I am paying them for to LEARN how to take care of my horse, not to have it done for me. I wouldn't learn that way! Yes, some people can be a PITA, but it's probably because they want to know about what is going on, and quite often with patience, if you sit down and answer their questions, or set a time for them to ask you, they will be pleased. Why? Because just like the rest of us, THEY WANT TO LEARN. Sorry this is so long, but I can't believe some of the replies that have been stated here! I mean, "no, you can't have that brand of stuff because I don't like it..." That is rediculous. I agree with above poster who said it is rediculous to expect people tp spend outrageous amounts of money on trivial little stupid things. If the trainer insists that everything in the barn better match or your out, that is totally rediculous and I wouldn't want to be around such a snob anyway. Don't get me wrong, I agree that people should have safe equipment, however, I feel it is my money, and I will buy what I can afford. I personally ride in Courbette saddles, it's what I like, if my trainer told me to sell my saddle and buy a (fill in expensive name brand here) because SHE likes them and HATES Courbettes, then I would tell her to lay off the crack pipe. There is reasonable then there is petty. I HATE petty.

MsHunter
Jul. 26, 2000, 11:32 AM
OK, all joking aside for one moment. I don't have arguments, or control issues with my clients, so you have to take into account my approach to things first. The triple stitched halter is for horseshowing, shipping. The reason I ASK (read ask) my clients to buy one, is it is heavier duty, wider than double stitched, and should last an ETERNITY and does not cost much more than the narrower double stitched ones. I however will not mandate this, but do mandate it be leather so the horse doens't die when the nylon does not break. In fact, it is listed in my insurance policy that I do not have ANYTHING NYLON in my barn. I have CHEAP leather halters for turnout, and rope leadshanks. Paddock boots? I simply do not have the time on my hands to discuss things like that. Everyone asks me or the other clients for opinions on what to purchase. There is no one saddle type in my barn, we go and try all models we like and see what fits rider and horse. WE have Butet, Pessoa, Prix de nations, Bevals World Cup, all different ones for all different people! I dont' know, there is alot of discussion in my barn before and after lessons, and at horse shows. I think when people feel comfortable with the discussion they are less afraid to open up a new one the next time. I do have control of my farm, but, my clients come first, and they know it, they get all the attention they need and deserve, and I think that since their horses are PAMPERED they are always happy. The horses needs ALWAYS come first at my farm and my clients seem to really appreciate it. I am just not sure why there is no room for discussion, and open dialogue about important issues at other facilities?

Finzean
Jul. 26, 2000, 11:34 AM
Flash44-
I affectionately call mine my "montser-in-law" but never in certain company!! She's scary enough without having that added to her arsenal! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Ghazzu
Jul. 26, 2000, 11:39 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by havaklu:

LC -

It is THEIR barn and you as a rider represent THEM at shows; therefore, the brand of your halter should be similar to all their other clients.

I personally hate Ariats because they are ugly and have never owned a pair.

As far as Meds - do you have your trainer's experience??? Are you at the farm every time the vet comes? I will bet that those folks who complained about trainers medicating without their knowlede wouldn't know the difference between Bute or Banamine.

BTW remember the trainer signs the entry form and it is THEIR name (along with yours) that will be printed in HORSE SHOW magazine if even a trace of the wrong substance is found by the AHSA.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


I can certainly understand a trainer's wanting a leather halter vs. nylon, or, if nylon, a color which is compatible, but as for triple vs. double stitching, sorry--that's a bit overbearing.

As for Ariats--you hate them? Fine. Don't wear them. Trainer hates them? Fine. Trainer doesn't have to wear them either. But dictating that a horse owner cannot is utterly ridiculous.

Medicating a horse without the owner's knowledge--right out. Whether the owner is conversant with the finer points of veterinary pharmacology or not, it is still their horse, and they ought to be informed.
Unless the trainer has it in writing that meds may be administered without owner's being notified (with an exception in the case of an emergency, and then I'd want a DVM involved), they shouldn't be giving them. In fact, administration of drugs by the barn staff may invalidate an insurance policy in some circumstances.
I've met more than a few trainers who are awfully liberal with the use of drugs which they don't fully understand to feel comfortable with letting the average trainer have a free hand in medicating someone else's horse.

Black Market Radio
Jul. 26, 2000, 12:04 PM
Jane, your barn sounds like the type of barn I would want to board at! I understand the leather halter points, but as you said, cheap ones for turnout etc.. But to espect someone to drop $100 for a CERTAIN halter is petty! And I am glad to know I am not the only one who would raise an eyebrow over a trainer medicating my horse without my knowledge. Emergencies, such as giving banamine when a horse is colicky and the vet recommended it is fine, bute if my horse looks sore, but, I WANT TO KNOW THAT IT HAPPENED!!! Is there anything wrong with that? And I would be willing to try a different brand of saddle if my saddle didn't fit my horse right. I prefer Courbettes because I like the way they look and are comfortable to me, and to my budget right now, but someday I WILL own a Passier! BTW, I totally agree with the person who said it's my butt in the saddle and my feet in the boots, and also my money! I understand trainers giving suggestions as to which brands they like for whatever reason, but everyone is different! I have had experiences where my trainer's saddle was totally uncomfortable to me, but she LOVED it, and my saddle killed her back, yet it fits me like a glove! So if she told me to go out and buy the type of saddle she had, just because SHE liked it, I would tell her no, that I will choose what saddle I will ride in as long as it fits my horse and me, that's all that matters!

havaklu
Jul. 26, 2000, 12:34 PM
I think some of you are missing my points...

Just because I said I understand why their are trainers who PREFER certain brands doesn't mean I board at one...

This isna't a thread about Ariats...

If the OWNER (e.g. MY horse, MY money, etc) wants total say-so about EVERYTHING the OWNER should buy land and build their own barn (MY STABLES). Then you can make all the rules. You also will have all the responsibility for cleaning the stalls, feeding, etc...

Why can't anyone seem to grasp the concept that all "controlling" trainers are not evil??? Some of them are controlling due to insecurity (I can tell the difference can you???) but many of them simply have years of experience and a highly tuned system that WORKS for the horses under their care.

Does anyone (other than Emmet and Jane who run barns) get it?????? Do you realizxe that some of the most respected trainers out their are more than just a little picky about how thing are done????

Black Market Radio
Jul. 26, 2000, 01:04 PM
havaklu, there is PICKY then there is PETTY. Picky is fine with me, I am picky too. Like I said, I can deal with some things, but telling me who can and can't ride my horse is plain dumb! I wouldn't mind boarding at a place like Jane's, not at all, because she seems to be the type who cares and would do things the way I would have them done. But to tell me that THIS is what you will do and THIS is who will ride your horse is retarded! And to make someone return a brand of boots that the trainer doesn't like is stupid! I want to know what is going on with my horse, and I want to know that there is no secrative things going on behind my back. If I heard rumors from other barn people, I would most certainly approach the trainer about it. Not in a threatening manner, but just "I heard blah blah blah, is it true?" The place I board at now, I clean my own stall and de pretty much everything but feeding for my horse. I am very close to my trainer, and I help out around the barn all the time. My boyfriend and I do a lot of work around there, so I kinda know what it is like to have my own barn. I do not mind cleaning my own stall, in fact, I kinda like it, it's relaxing and I spend time with my horse. I understand having things done certain ways at a barn, but like I said above, picky is one thing, petty is another.

havaklu
Jul. 26, 2000, 01:16 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by devildog20:
havaklu, there is PICKY then there is PETTY.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes but who defines the difference? One man's petty is anothers picky.

BTW I am fully capable of stall cleaning and feeding, etc... It just doesn't seem to pay as well as my day job and my pony needs her fancy blankies, halter, etc... wink, wink

Black Market Radio
Jul. 26, 2000, 01:18 PM
And one more thing, a controlling, athoritative attitude does not make for a fun, pleasent environment. You can have a well-run, barn with fair and reasonable rules without a dictatorship. It can and is done. The trainer should not be the know-all and end-all in everything that goes on. Like Jane said, clients and horses come first. I think that a barn owner should be at least a little flexable when it comes to some things. Like at this barn I used to board at, the tiny indoor, (consiquently, the only ring they have) that is about the size of a dressage court was crammed to the sides and all over the diaganals and EVERYWHERE with about 15 jumps, to the point where my 18h horse had to suck it up in spots and I had to lift my leg up to clear some obsticles just to go around on the track! They would NOT move the jumps, would NOT take any out, and it made it very difficult to get anything done except to jump a course! ALL the boarders signed a petition asking the owner to remove a majority of the jumps and only leave a few in the arena so that some actual WORK could be accomplished in the ring, and that we would help them build a course for those once every week or every other week lessons when they USED the course. We did this in a very non-threatening and nice manner, and the response was "I did not spend X amount of money on this barn to do what my boarders want. I want a course because I don't want the hassle of building and tearing it down all the time. There was ONE student of hers, who was not even a boarder, that wanted the course to stay up. And this was ONE of TWO students she had that WERE jumping full courses. So she kept the arena crammed with jumps for her two students to jump once a week or so. She lost a lot of boarders over that. I could see if she had another ring to work in, but she didn't and it was absolutly impossible to get anything done in that arena! To me, that was incredibly petty!

luckyduck
Jul. 26, 2000, 01:48 PM
I must really be out in left field....since when do trainers....who are focused on the horse....training it and coaching the owner to handle the horse.....responsible or have any say so in clothing....I can see suggesting something...to make a "pretty" picutre at a show....but outright saying this or nothing???????

I think my money would be better off being spent WITH a trainer that is concerened over the TRAINING and not a fashion show.

FURTHER......PLEASE LISTEN......

Those who sign the checks are holding the ULTIMATE choice here!!!!!!!!!!! If you chose a fashion consultant....then I guess you better take stock in Gucci!

DMK
Jul. 26, 2000, 02:04 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Jane Ervin:
As far as type of paddock boots<G>! I let my clients know I prefer zip black Kroops,and they ALL go buy Cordovan lace up Ariats, go figure<G><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Jane, I knew I liked you - long live zipped, black (punch toe) Kroops!

MsHunter
Jul. 26, 2000, 02:19 PM
Uh-hmm DMK, may I add punched SCALLOPPED toe brass zip Kroops? <G>!

Anne
Jul. 26, 2000, 02:25 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by luckyduck (snipped):


I think my money would be better off being spent WITH a trainer that is concerened over the TRAINING and not a fashion show.

FURTHER......PLEASE LISTEN......

Those who sign the checks are holding the ULTIMATE choice here!!!!!!!!!!!!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Exactly. If you don't want to comply with your trainer's input on your purchases, then choose a trainer who doesn't care what you have.

"Fashion show" aren't the words I'd use. In my experience the trainers who care the most about the training also give a good deal of attention to turnout. Turnout equals respect, for one's self, the judge, the horse, *and* the trainer the horse represents. If, in your trainer's opinion, certain items are necessary to present "the picture", then you either comply or move.

Snowbird
Jul. 26, 2000, 02:36 PM
I don't think that some of you are dealing with the reality of running a large barn. Shots for example should be given to all the horses at the same time in order that the barn manager can have a point in time when they are all accounted for. Example: Infectious anemia, a horse con contract this any time any where from flies. At least once a year every horse needs to be tested the same day to make sure the barn is totally free of any carriers. Worming and lots of other procedures should be done similtaneously in order that the wormed horses don't pick up worms from those not yet wormed.

We do insist on our veterinarian, which is a group so someone is always available for any emergency at any time. At 2 AM, I don't want to deal with some vet I don't know, who may be mad at me because he doesn't have the account to treat a horse that needs immediate attention.

From a barn management point of view, no nylon halters. If asked I would recommend and we have our own tack shop if supplies are needed. But, if someone chooses the disposable cheap halters and wants to buy one every week, that's their choice. I don't think we are the masters just the advisors, and yes we are there to service the needs of the horses not to control the owners.

If someone chooses to have a different method of caring for their horse than that which we have found succesful for 30 years then they have the option not to be a member of our family. They don't have the option to tell us how to run our barn or our business regardless of how much they are willing to spend monthly. Their option is not to board here at all.

We must be doing something right because it seems that after a short time all our clients feel they have learned enough from our answers to their questions that they can become professionals. The rest have been here since they were 7 or 8 years old and are anxious not to leave.

LucianCephus
Jul. 26, 2000, 02:40 PM
Jane, thought you'd be interested in knowing that it is against the law in Massachusetts (at least for commercial barns) to turn horses out in nylon halters, for exactly the reason you cited.

pwynnnorman
Jul. 26, 2000, 02:42 PM
Not only can I understand what you are saying, Anne, but I can appreciate it, too--and I think we all do, in a way. Don't you like to walk around the stabling areas and peek into the big barns? Such impressive set ups and all.

So, if you are into that, you accept what goes along with it: no control. I don't like it when its a half-arsed kind of thing. She wants this and this, but she does DO this or this (or she does it shoddily).

The one time I hitched up with a trainer and her barn, I was VERY disappointed. She remains one of the best riders I've used, but what a horrible manager! Indeed, she has a huge reputation for being an airhead (but she's also a nice person, too). Part of her problem was that she wasn't at the level where she could afford a barn manager, but she desparately needed one.

Still, I wasn't thrilled to have to buy the Baker blanket (I didn't--I bought a Banner immitation), the fancy halter and shipping fuzzies, and I absolutely dug my feet in over the tack trunk.

OK, so there's all those demands so that the barn can impress others, obviously and ideally, to attract more clients. But meanwhile, the entries weren't sent in on time, she was late to ride, her kids were always in the way, the stalls were paid for late so had fines attached, etc., etc., etc.

I think the more demanding a trainer is, the more in control they want to be, the BETTER they damn well better be at EVERYTHING. If they expect a lot from owners, then owners MUST be able to expect a WHOLE LOT from them!!!

Bopper
Jul. 26, 2000, 03:12 PM
We as owners need to set and stick to the standards we will accept from our trainers. I appreciate and respect my trainer in as far as lesson are concerned but, I would not necessarily put my horse in full training with th trainer because of a trust issue. I respect my trainer but, he has made it clear on a few occasions he does not respect me. Somewhere out there is the perfect trainer but until I find that person I will deal with my situation the best I can.

AdultHunterRider
Jul. 26, 2000, 03:33 PM
Bopper - I don't think there is a "perfect" trainer out there. You have to decide what you can live with and what you cannot. The trainer I'm with now is great with the horses and lessons but sometimes lacks "people" skills. There have been times when I've thought of leaving but the question is where do you go? As someone else said, it is a "sellers" market.

I do use a different vet than the barn help for all but shots. This is not a problem and several people do this.

luckyduck
Jul. 26, 2000, 05:25 PM
As far as the vet issue.....we do ask to have everyone use the same vet....for routine things...such as shots and worming....we offer a chiro....as well as several other specialists that we have worked with over the years....but by no means would we ever stop a boarder or client from bringing a specialist to look at a "problem" on a horse.

What I ment by a "fashion show" was more like....the complant of ariat vs vogal for example..... I personally would rather buy ariat...if I knew the money I was saving would go for something my horse may need...like a Chiro workup...or injections...ect...ect....

A COMPLETE trainer IS concerned over "turnout" of the horse and rider....but not going to make you return a pair of ariats because they prefer vogal.....

We did have a client a few months ago that bought their daugter a pair of semi customs made by a shoe man...rather then company like vogal and the trainer pitched a HISSY FIT!!!!!!! Needless to say...the father decided that that was the VERY last straw and his daughter is now riding with another trainer that though concerned over PROPER TURNOUT of the horse and rider....never noticed the brand of boot she was wearing but sure took notice to the athlete she was sitting on!

Having 40 horses on our property means that we have to stay on top of shots, worming and the routine everyday care of these animals...and if one of our owners is not willing to "go along" with our HEALTH requirements...then by all means....don't let the door hit you on the way out.

To comment on trainer and the drug issue....this goes back to trust again....I personally don't believe in "DRUGGING" animals with ACE, Rompun and the like...but use MANY herbal remmidies on my own personal horses....our trainer would never dare medicate an animal without proir permission from the owner....


TRUST....communication...and agreement...go a very long way /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

havaklu
Jul. 27, 2000, 11:29 AM
movin' this up in case everyone hasn't had a chance to comment

Jul. 27, 2000, 12:05 PM
I believe that equipment & clothing should be well fitting & safe- no name brands necessary. All of my students ride in different saddles- each chosen for the rider & horse. Most have different bridles. As far as tall boots, what fits the best in a stock boot if they are not custom & yes, I do have the Ariat champions, simply because they fit & I can get them on over my ankle that still has 2 screws in it from an unfortunate walkway accident... My kids bought me a Serengheti pad for my birthday, so I do use that- even at shows- for schooling of course. When they go to shows, my only MANDATORY dress code is that they NOT wear tank tops- since one is rather well endowed, and some others are - well- not waif like.
The same vet does everybody's shots & we use others for special cases concerning soundness or emergency care that our vet school can provide-bone scans, surgery,etc. I LOVE my farrier, so we will all use him- as long as he does not fire US! He works very closely with all of the vets that we use.

elghund
Jul. 27, 2000, 12:15 PM
One thing I haven't seen in this thread is differentiating strengths of trainers. The trainer I most recently worked with was great with working with me. He really helped my riding. However, I would never a leave a horse with him. Its not that he would mistreat the horse but from my view he is a people trainer not a horse trainer.

Conversely, we did send my horse to NY a couple of years ago. The trainer there did a wonderful job training him. I used to go up every three weeks to ride but it was more to stay in tune than learn anything. That trainer is a superb horse trainer.

My experience with these and other trainers is that they tend to be either strong people trainers or strong horse trainers. I have yet to meet one that is both. When evaluating a trainer, keep in mind what needs to worked on more, you or your horse. I am not picking on trainers, you can find this kind of imbalance in almost every profession. The key to success is putting people into situations where they can succeed. In my view that is a key owner responsibility.

Snowbird
Jul. 27, 2000, 12:32 PM
Teaching is an art not a science. Just as you can't measure the exact amount of leg or the necessary hand that communicates with the horse, you can not measure the trainers.

I don't think you could evaluate their successes or failures. Every horse starts differently, with a different gene pool, and so does every rider. Raising horses is just like raising children, every Mom is sure she has the right formula because her children are all perfect.

This is not a business in the pure sense. This is an art and a love and a life style we who spend our life in it would do it no matter what, and we hope we can earn room and board for our risk, and our eight days of work.

It's been very interesting, I've been close to someone from this sport who is getting a divorce. The questions and evaluations are amazing. For example: you get up at 4 AM to load up a van and go to a horse show. You might not get back to you own bed until after midnight. That is a 21 hour day. If you take your gross income for the day divide by the hours are you making more than $5.00 an hour. If so you're successful. The point is the real world doesn't not understand the logic of the risk and the labor intensive activity for a minimal amount of income.

Therefore, find a trainer who can communicate with you, so you can learn how to communicate with your horse.

Timex6979
Jul. 27, 2000, 12:38 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Sparky:
Timex, you answered your own question in your first sentence--you don't want to give up your 12 year relationship with your vet and farrier, your barn owner uses her own vet and farrier, so--YOU MOVE. I've said it before and I'll say it again: you have hopefully put a lot of research and thought into the barn and trainer you have chosen--you take their program or leave it, but it is not fair to them to pick and choose which parts of their care and management of your horse that you want to do. They are the ones who built the barn you like, who hired the trainer you want to work with, and who have the knowledge you are paying for. Do everyone a favor and find a more suitable situation.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

sparky, i did move. (this happened last year) i found a realy nice, small dressage barn that will let me use whoever i please as far as trainers, vet's, farriers, chiro, acupuncture, massage, you name it. all they do is take care of my horse. they make sure she eats, goes out, comes in, and isn't hurt. if something happens woth her, they call me. as far as they are concerned, it's my money, and my horse. i have the knowledge to make the decisions regarding my horse. however, there are other boarders there who have no clue (and some just don't care), and for those people, the owners/managers of the facility make the decisions. if the owners want to learn, they are more than willing to teach them.

Black Market Radio
Jul. 27, 2000, 12:42 PM
Timex, EXACTLY.

Timex6979
Jul. 27, 2000, 12:59 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Snowbird:
I don't think that some of you are dealing with the reality of running a large barn. Shots for example should be given to all the horses at the same time in order that the barn manager can have a point in time when they are all accounted for. Example: Infectious anemia, a horse con contract this any time any where from flies. At least once a year every horse needs to be tested the same day to make sure the barn is totally free of any carriers. Worming and lots of other procedures should be done similtaneously in order that the wormed horses don't pick up worms from those not yet wormed.

We do insist on our veterinarian, which is a group so someone is always available for any emergency at any time. At 2 AM, I don't want to deal with some vet I don't know, who may be mad at me because he doesn't have the account to treat a horse that needs immediate attention.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

snowbird, i understand your point completely. my horses have always been done the same week as all the other horses (owners tell me in advance when the vet will be out, which i would expect even if i did use the same vet) I worm myself, keeping my horses on the schedule they have been on (the other horses are done 3 weeks later than mine) in the case of an emergency,they can go right on and call whatever vet they want to. (i actually use 2 vet practises, one for more everyday stuff, another for legs, esp. my older mare) i make sure that both groups have all the records on both m,y girls, to make sure there is no misunderstanding or confusion. this is the way i do things. i have the knowledge to take care of my horses, and those of my students. the only reason i don't have a barn of my own is that i'm still a fulltime college student, which sort of limits my teaching time. ;P i can, and have run a large lesson and boarding barn, and am currently the assistant manager of a successful show stable. (guess who does the gruntwork? LOL) i am more than capable of making the decisions about the care of my horses, and am mature enough and competant enough to work with the owners of the facility where i board. i'll compromise about some things, but who cares for my horse isn't one of them.

Palisades
Jul. 27, 2000, 01:10 PM
I have been lucky enough to find a trainer that I do consider to be *almost* perfect.

My coach is good with both people and horses. He is always willing to get on and school a horse who is being too much for his rider, but he gets a lot more satisfaction from seeing the rider do it herself. He doesn't have the greatest organizational skills (it took him 3 months to learn my name, but he knew my horse after 2 days!) but, as someone said, no one's perfect.

He and his wife (our barn manager) are always willing to give advice regarding equipment, apparel, etc. but have no demands other than it must fit, be suitable for the job (no spiked nosebands here!), and be in good repair. If you are inexperienced, they are more than willing to take you shopping and help you pick stuff out, but if you purchase a hideous pair of neon polos (as my friend did), they grin and bear it.

They make most of the decisions on feed and medication for my horse, but only because I am not experienced enough to do so myself. They ALWAYS check with my first (ie. "your horse rolled down a hill in the paddock and is a bit sore, I think it would be a good idea to put him on bute for a day or two"). There is a barn vet and farrier, but everyone is welcome to use whoever they wish. "Herd Health" (vaccinations, etc.) is scheduled regularly, and if you want someone else to do your horse, that's fine, but it must be on the same schedule.

When it comes to turnout at shows...you are told what is required by the show, and what is "proper" turnout. Even if you had a hideous jacket, etc. I doubt they would say anything...but because we all look up to and respect my coach so much, we all make sure we represent him as he deserves at shows.

The only time my coach steps in is when a client mistreats his or her horse. Even then, he never loses his temper but simply tells them that _________ (whatever they were doing-harsh tack, beating horse, etc.) is not acceptable.

Finally, my coach is a great role model for all of us kids, as a person as well as a rider. He has always taught us that winning isn't important, but doing your best is what counts, and that treating your horse right should be the most important thing. He has also taught us sportsmanship-to be a humble winner, gracious loser, and to always be fair and honest. Even though some people have said some pretty nasty things to him over the years, he has never defended himself in front of us, he just tells them "I'm sorry you see it that way" and walks away...but as soon as he is gone, you better believe that everyone in our barn will be standing up for him!

Sorry that this is so long, but after hearing some of you say that you could never really trust a trainer with your horse, etc. I thought it was important to show you that not all of them are bad, and that the "ideal" trainer does exist. I'm so grateful I found him!

Zaboobafoo
Jul. 27, 2000, 02:48 PM
Ever since I left my first trainer when I was 11, me and my mom basically did things on our own...we had our trainer come to our farm once a week for lessons and doing our own thing(within her training program of course) the rest of the time. But because of this, I became very independent, and so my trainer pretty much allows me to make the decisions in my horses work program, meds, shows, who rides him and when, etc etc. But not everyone at our barn is so lucky...now granted, some need the guidence. But those who don't either get frustrated or do their own thing and get sh*t talked about them.

However, for all my freedom with my horse, my trainer tries to tell me who to be friends with, how to live my life, and other things which really are none of her business. That is what drives me crazy! I do nothing which effects her status as a professional or disrepects her, but still she feels the need to tell me what I should or shouldn't be doing. Give people a little control and they try to run your life!!!!

JAGold
Jul. 27, 2000, 03:05 PM
I, too, have been lucky to work with some all-around wonderful trainers. The person I ride with now certainly falls into that catagory. As everyone has ideas about what goes into a great trainer, I won't get into specifics...sufice to say that she works with a group of us who are full-time college students and serious competitors, and manages to make sure that we learn and have fun not only at the barn and at shows, but also at school. It's a great arrangement and relationship for all concerned. --Jess

AHC
Jul. 27, 2000, 04:05 PM
Elgund, I think you brought up a good point about each trainer having their strengths regarding both their people skills and their horse skills. It's tough to find one person who has it all. We're lucky at my barn to have two people with very different strengths.

The head trainer at my barn is truly gifted with horses. He's one of the softest, most effective riders I've ever watched. His teaching style focuses on the horse, and he's a man of few words. He likes things done his way without all that much questioning, and doesn't like to spend hours talking with his customers about horse care, training, equipment, etc.

He is fortunate to have a #2 trainer who is also an excellent rider, but is able to focus more on the people part of the teaching equation. She's great at explaining what went wrong in a situation and what to change to achieve the desired result. She's also happy to talk to all of us about horse care, training methods, equipment, show plans, etc.

J. Turner
Jul. 27, 2000, 05:13 PM
I've heard Michael Matz is one of those who is a gifted horse teacher (read:rider), but not so much a gifted human teacher. We all have our strengths, however, being a people person should be one of them if you are the main person in your business.

poltroon
Jul. 27, 2000, 07:20 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Why can't anyone seem to grasp the concept that all "controlling" trainers are not evil??? Some of them are controlling due to insecurity (I can tell the difference can you???)
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Sadly, my experience is that trainers who are insecure about themselves or their abilities are just one small step away from the Dark Side, where they end up abusing people and/or horses. I've seen this happen to very talented, skilled people as well as untalented.

As a result of this, one of my (newer) questions for a trainer is what they do to keep learning - Clinics? Assorted reading? Trusted mentor? etc. People who are willing to keep growing with new ideas don't usually succumb to the whole control-freak thing, because by definition they are always open to newer/better ways.

I have no problem with a barn manager being picky about horse care/health/safety issues -- heck, that's what I pay 'em for -- but I expect them to be rational, and I expect that if/when there are reasons to do something differently, they'll listen. (No "All horses must use a gel pad" if the saddle fitter, chiropractor, vet, owner all agree that the particular horse is better off without it.) And, if as owner, I need something unusual that is more work, I am quite willing to pay for the extra service/time/effort.

BarbarosaXp
Jul. 27, 2000, 07:28 PM
A lot of trainers has reason to be insecure. If you dont know what your doing you tend to be insecure and i think a lot of trainers really dont know nowhere near as much as they pretend to. The ones who do arent afraid to give their pupils freedom to look into other ways of doig things. I think thats a sure sign when a trainer gets upset if their pupil questiosn or asks someone else or even just goes to a clinic.

Finzean
Jul. 27, 2000, 07:51 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BarbarosaXp:
A lot of trainers has reason to be insecure. If you dont know what your doing you tend to be insecure and i think a lot of trainers really dont know nowhere near as much as they pretend to. The ones who do arent afraid to give their pupils freedom to look into other ways of doig things. I think thats a sure sign when a trainer gets upset if their pupil questiosn or asks someone else or even just goes to a clinic.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The one H/J "trainer" in our town, and you've just described him to a 'T'! He doesn't force the issue of appropriate tack/clothes because he is a slob and doesn't own any but one of the kids that USED to ride with him asked to attend a clinic with a very reputable trainer who was visiting the area on his way to FLA. and this guy spent 30 mins. explaining to all his students why they didn't need to take lessons from anyone but him and that doing so would ruin their riding. Cluck, cluck, cluck... a little scared someone might actually learn something?!

DMK
Jul. 27, 2000, 09:42 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Jane Ervin:
Uh-hmm DMK, may I add punched SCALLOPPED toe brass zip Kroops? <G>!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You mean there was a scallop option?!?!! And I just replaced my last pair?!?!?! You see, this is what happens when you live in a place that doesn't sell them, Hadfields was out of my size, and I was DESPERATE (had to hunt down their number through information and order direct)... And now, since the darn things will last 4-5 years, I can only dream...

Duffy
Jul. 27, 2000, 09:52 PM
My Kroops didn't even last a year!! I have the address to send them back, but I haven't yet and this was several years ago. . .I've heard it'll cost at least $60-80 to repair the things. Although, I have to admit, ya'll are making me remember how comfy they were. . . Maybe it's time to ship them back!!

DMK
Jul. 28, 2000, 09:32 PM
Well, Duffy... we heard what you were doing in those Kroops...

MsHunter
Jul. 28, 2000, 10:23 PM
i was thinking the same thing DMK!<G>!
You can't get them wet silly!

Duffy
Jul. 28, 2000, 11:50 PM
Ok -- That was NOT me swimming in that plastic kiddie pool at Upperville! /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

MsHunter
Jul. 29, 2000, 10:33 AM
Actually Duffy, I thought you were swimming during schooling in the liverpool with your fancy Kroops!

Flash44
Jul. 30, 2000, 08:10 PM
You all are raving about Kroops? How can it be that I actually own something that is "in?" I must go find another brand...If my Kroops ever fall apart (I'm doing my best to abuse them).

pwynnnorman
Jul. 30, 2000, 08:56 PM
OK, folks, I wanna know just how far out I am in this crowd...

Is there anyone else here who wishes they had a translator for this stuff: "punched SCALLOPPED toe brass zip Kroops"?

WHAT?!!

[Maybe I should read through some of those fashion threads? Would that do for "what they do to keep learning - Clinics? Assorted reading?", Poltroon?]

SoEasy
Jul. 30, 2000, 09:34 PM
Hey Pwynn!
Guess what I found?! http://www.kroopboots.com/
Never heard of these boots before, but they look cool ......

April

MsHunter
Jul. 30, 2000, 09:39 PM
Hey Thanks SoEasy!!!!WOW!!!I can buy them online now! FANTASTIC!!! Geez,look at what all this joking around did? You found my boots where I dont have to get in my car and drive forever!

MsHunter
Jul. 30, 2000, 09:42 PM
Hmm, they picture my brass zips without the punched scallop toe /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

pwynnnorman
Jul. 30, 2000, 09:46 PM
OK, to continue my professional development, I went to Krrops, er, Kroops, and checked them out.

#1 -- I still don't understand what scalloping is.

#2 -- How come they have those bright red patches on the front face of the heel? Do they all have that? You don't show in them, do you?

#3 -- The jodphurs look OK, but what's so special about them?

#4 -- And sorry, Jane, but it doesn't look like they are set up for you to order them online.

MsHunter
Jul. 30, 2000, 10:00 PM
you have to click on the other icon to seetheblack paddock boots with the zips.
the zipper is brass,they lastlonger, and look nicer. the scallop is like a M with curves? and a punched toe is the same you see on a field boot used in the hunter/eq ring. double stitched line across the ball of the foot with circles punched?. It actually reinforces that part of the boot that wears when you ride. the punched part is just to make it look nicer. and I wear them to a show when I coach or school with chaps and at home,but no not to show in.They
absolutely are worth the money they last way longerthan any other brand, and they are classy as heck, and feel very good on the feet which is important to me when I am on my feet 16 hours a day!

DMK
Jul. 30, 2000, 10:07 PM
Flash - you have something that is so "in" it isn't even fully "in" yet /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif Hang on to them for a few more yars, and the rest of the hunter world will follow...

Best as I can tell, only people who worked on the track, are devotees of Hadfields, or lived near the shop in MD actually know about them.

Word of warning for all those about to order - she pretty much makes them as they are ordered, so the wait can be sort of like when you order custom riding boots (unless you get lucky and they have your size in stock).

Jane - even if you can't order them online, you can call them up and they will ship to you...

[This message has been edited by DMK (edited 07-30-2000).]

J. Turner
Jul. 30, 2000, 10:29 PM
Scalloped punched toe = wing tips ... or spectator pumps if you're dating yourself! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Flash44
Jul. 31, 2000, 08:56 AM
Guess I better break out the boot polish since I've only cleaned and polished these things about 3 times since I got them. They are in great shape.

I am fortunate enough to live near the shop, and was able to go in and try on a few pairs and look at all the options. You can get two toned boots if you are into high fashion - I've seen a few pairs and they are sharp.

Flash44
Aug. 1, 2000, 09:59 AM
Lo and behold - I went into my office yesterday and one of the new employees is the niece of the woman who is presently running Kroops! They are so busy they have nothing in stock and each pair of boots is made to order. BTW, someone wanted two toned boots using hot pink leather, and they have to buy colors in bulk, so you may be able to get a deal should you go for the Pink Lady look...;o)

DMK
Aug. 1, 2000, 10:52 AM
Flash - there really are only 12 people in the world - talk about small world stories!

It is a DARN shame I just ordered my boots... To think I could have had scalloped, punch toed, brass-zippered, HOT PINK boots (I would go for the whole package, not just hot pink). I don't know how I will live with the disappointment...

DMK
Aug. 1, 2000, 10:52 AM
Flash - there really are only 12 people in the world - talk about small world stories!

It is a DARN shame I just ordered my boots... To think I could have had scalloped, punch toed, brass-zippered, HOT PINK boots (I would go for the whole package, not just two toned). I don't know how I will live with the disappointment...

hifi
Nov. 25, 2001, 11:47 AM
What I can't understand is this. I am a very capable horseman who is knowledgable in most aspects of horse care. I have a different vet and farrier than my trainer. She tries to ridicule my farrier and suggest I use hers or another guy I don't even know. It turns out, that over the years, my trainer has been though 3 farriers, due to bad shoe jobs, andI am gleefully still happy with mine. Same with the vet. I have mine and she can have hers. I don't know what the power trip is. Maybe it is the fact that I have a brain?????

If you can't beat 'em, try harder. And God Bless America my home sweet home!

Pocket Pony
Nov. 25, 2001, 12:45 PM
Hmmm, where do I start? Maybe I even posted on this topic earlier, but I just read the first page and flipped to the last to see what the recent discussion was about.

As many of you know, I left my controlling trainer in July. As soon as you joined the barn, you had to buy a tack trunk (which she would buy from the people who left - god forbid there be a trunk out there with her barn name on it in another facility! - so there were always extras to be bought), two sheets (monogrammed, of course, as all the blankets had to be), a winter blanket, a wool cooler, a scrim, and a baker blanket. You had to have an Edgewood or Jimmy's bridle, and if you didn't she'd bug you about it until she wore you down and you bought one. She preferred all her students to have Hermes saddles - never considered that saddle fit could actually affect the way a horse goes - although I was allowed to keep the semi-custom one I got. Bridles had to be hung-up "just so", and you'd get a lesson if you did it wrong. We weren't allowed at the barn on Monday. We weren't allowed to turn our horses out on our own. Grooming and tacking up by owners was discouraged. We weren't allowed to ride on Sundays.

Like another poster wrote, she had her own farrier and vet and chiro that we HAD to use - no other options were allowed. Dentist? She didn't really believe in it - just thought the vet could do a quick float job and everything would be fine.

She'd spend our money and we'd get the bill for it. Horse need a new bit? Just charge it to the tack store account. Put your horse on a new supplement? You'd get it on your bill without even knowing what was going on. Once she had the vet out for my horse and the vet gave him a steroid shot....all without asking me! Another time, the vet put him on a supplement (that could only be bought through the vet, of course) and a couple months later she decided that Mickey didn't need to be on it anymore. I had just bought a new jar of it, though, to the tune of $82...she decided that another horse in the barn needed that supplement, too, so she gave my full jar to that client. I called her on it and said that she's welcome to buy the jar off of me for $82, but I wasn't just going to give it to her. She said nevermind then because she didn't want to deal with a complicated billing issue....(I just think she didn't want to go to her favorite, cash-cow client and suggest she pay me money for her horse's supplement).

I could go on more and more, but I think I've painted a clear enough picture.

I am now with a trainer who is totally non-controlling, and lets me run my horse's life the way I want. I design his feeding program, I work on his conditioning program, I decide when (and if) he gets clipped, I decide what vet, farrier, etc to use. It is a fabulous set up and I can't believe that I allowed myself and my horse to be controlled for so long. We're both much happier now!

"Oh Mickey you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind, hey Mickey! Hey Mickey!"

LaurieB
Nov. 25, 2001, 02:42 PM
splendid, how long were you with that trainer? /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

A situation like that would drive me nuts.

Pocket Pony
Nov. 25, 2001, 05:12 PM
I should give her some credit. She really helped me get over a lot of fears I had and gain a certain amount of confidence.

Now that I'm with a new trainer, though, I'm gaining even more confidence because I'm learning to trust my instincts, not only do what control-freak woman tells me to do!

"Oh Mickey you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind, hey Mickey! Hey Mickey!"

hifi
Nov. 25, 2001, 07:57 PM
Just curious, no names, but where in California do you live?

If you can't beat 'em, try harder. And God Bless America my home sweet home!

AAJumper
Nov. 26, 2001, 11:00 AM
Wow, Splendid, that is pretty controlling!!! I don't think I could deal with that at all, let alone deal for a year and a half! I've heard of barns doing exactly what you described, though...ordering this and that for the clients (super expensive stuff) and then billing the client. In fact, I am almost certain someone told me that the trainers had the clients credit card #'s on file, so that they could just charge the items directly to the client! /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

ProzacPuppy
Nov. 26, 2001, 11:24 AM
I got here late but it actually made me feel better to read everyone's posts about the controlling trainers. We were (briefly) in such a situation. What made me most furious was that my horse had injured a suspensory prior to moving there and the trainer was aware that the horse was supposed to be on stall rest for a few months. We had moved there to lease one of his horses while ours mended. But then I get to the barn and find him trying to force my angry equine over fences. When I told him to get off he said that the horse didn't look lame and he wanted to see how he jumped. Excuse me?!! Disagreeing with ultrasounds and vets? This is also the trainer who told me "I can have anyone ride your horse anytime I want, I can take it to any shows I want without your permission. He is in my training program now." At which point I told him I didn't want him or anyone else to ride my horse without my approval. (He also would not let my horse be turned out in the "good' paddocks in front of the barn because he wasn't a big, bay WB. True story- he told me small greys ruined the "whole look", as did the pony that was also relegated to the back of the barn.) We left shortly after that- but he had the nerve to bitch at my husband that I was too controlling.

Another teenager actually flew with her parents all the way to California for Indio only to be told that she wasn't good enough to ride her own horse and that the trainer would do it.

The problem which others have pointed out is that the upper echelon show barns are not plentiful and very few have available space. I was on one barn's waiting list for almost a year. When I first bought the horse I knew nothing about how to care for a horse and I let the trainer make all the decisions (I bought a heavy weight Rambo blanket and I live in a semi-tropical climate. Why? She said I had to). But over the years I've learned alot about horse care and horse health (I make no claims to knowledge of training and basically I let the trainer have free rein as long as it doesn't endanger rider or horse.)

It's nice to know I'm not the only one who has had "awful trainer experiences".

hifi
Nov. 26, 2001, 11:51 AM
WOW am I lucky. My complaints are chump change compared to this. How could that be?

If you can't beat 'em, try harder. And God Bless America my home sweet home!

Wonder Why
Nov. 26, 2001, 01:08 PM
Nothing like having our own place!!! I waited for years, still don't have a ring (I have to walk 3/4 mile to use my friend's) but I love it. My trainer is great, actually I use two (one H/J and one Dress.). Neither is petty, and both know I work with someone else. I meet my H/J trainer at shows, she has all levels of riders and treats everyone with respect. How did I get so lucky?!

Each situation is different, shop around a lot. Sometimes a small place with access to a good trainer is your best bet. I have to trailer 1 1/2 hr. for a lesson. It is worth it for the quality of instruction. There are several barns in my area, many I wouldn't even consider boarding at due to all the above mentioned cr#p. I am a teacher (public school) and my goal for all my students is for them to be independent thinkers and more capable of doing things for themselves when they have moved on. I would hope that is what the "trainers" would have as goals for their clients. They would make a living as they would have a reputation for being effective!!!

I do miss the amenities and the companionship of the bigger stable, not the gossip.
Still, I wouldn't trade my position for all the indoors in the world.

Pocket Pony
Nov. 26, 2001, 01:21 PM
Northern - let's say between Carmel and Sacramento...

Wonder Why - you brought up an interesting point about not missing the gossip. Controlling trainer-woman didn't want her clients to be friends with certain people because she considered them to be gossips. She went so far as to ban certain people from the property. Alas, what she doesn't realize is that she is just as bad (if not worse because she claims to be so high-and-mighty) as everyone else!

"Oh Mickey you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind, hey Mickey! Hey Mickey!"

jumpinghfarm
Nov. 26, 2001, 01:31 PM
I read most of these posts and i have to say that I never realized what some clients go through. I run a very small private training facility but I have never dictated what my clients wear or use on their horses. I make suggestions in the best interest of the horse and rider but it is up to the client to make the fianal decision. I have always preached (soapbox speach) Learn your horse!! don't depend on someone else it could mean the difference between life and death. I have a few clients that boarded at a facility that I leased and we had problems with the owner and safety issues. I found these few clients a small barn with all the amenities they needed and now they run their own little 4 person co-op... It is great to see them able to care for their own horses /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif . Don't get me wrong I am still the first person they call with a question but they know if I can't be reached then... if in doubt call the vet. They are some of my best clients!!!!

For those of you with a trainer weigh your options. I tell people up front what to expect from me. I shoot straight from the hip. I could care less what color pants you ride in or what color your saddle is as long as it fits and is not dangerous then more power to you /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif I may never be the trainer that outside people say "WOW look at that everyone matches" or "Look at her new expensive rig" But I will also never be bashed here for Controlling my clients every move with their own mounts /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Enjoy your horses find a trainer that is willing to work for you not against you.

off my soapbox now..... /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

BLBGP
Nov. 26, 2001, 01:44 PM
Splendid - Well, I grew up in Monterey, lived in San Francisco for many years and now live in Tahoe, so I guess I fit your Northern California description. I won't ask who you rode with (although I am intrigued /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif ) but just wondering wher eyou ride now if you don't mind sharing?

I've been lucky with the non-controlling trainers, too. I did have a screamer for a long time, but that's another story. The barn that my horse is at now is great! Tons of great people, beautiful facility, and a trainer who is incredibly demanding, but good and fair. And best of all, the horses are treated very, very well. It's a fancy show barn, but they didn't care at all that I had an old trunk and didn't want to buy one that matched theirs. They just tuck it in the back at shows, doesn't bother me! /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

sugarbr
Nov. 27, 2001, 07:14 AM
I thank God everyday for my first trainer (she was also my daughter's first trainer.) She not only taught people to ride but she taught them to be all around horsemen/women. I can braid, clip, dr, haul, feed etc I know a quality horse when i see one. Can tell if someone knows their business and I sure as heck know when I'm being BSed. I made sure my daughter knew these things too. She has done a bit of everything eventing, pony club, dressage...hacked racehorses and polo ponies...did some clinics..I do value the advice of a good trainer that knows their stuff and is confident in herself and her abilities. We recently left a trainer that would rather tell you the wrong thing (if my kid had suggested something that had merit) and agrue the point strongly than admit a student actually knew something about horses. She'd also make fun of us doing everything like it was beneath us as her customers to do such chores. This woman was very limited in her abilities so she had to keep her people depended on her. For us it was a nightmare but being new to the area i wanted to watch the other trainers before we moved. I just want to say Thankyou ruth where ever you are..the horse world needs more like you!

Bumpkin
Mar. 22, 2003, 07:42 AM
I am flabbergasted at how much people let trainers run their lives.
I listen to my trainers, and I think I am a good client, but I do think that any final decisions are mine.

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

rottenrobbie
Mar. 22, 2003, 06:38 PM
AH FREEDOM.........FINALLY! Been through my share of unqualified control freaks! Finally working with an European trainer...who helps instill confidence by saying you need to "just jump around at home over 4'3" and make your own decisions (he knows my horse is safe and reliable). Also allows us to go shows on our own!
In Europe riders are much more self trained, here the trainers "want you to BE INSECURE feeling you need them every moment"...$$$$$ is the brainwash motivation behind it!
Things have greatly improved from a self esteem standpoint, after all when you go into the ring it's really up to you and your horse, trainer can only do so much!
Last trainer told a client (AO Jumper) she shouldn't buy jumps for home because she shouldn't jump with out him. The guy was such a control freak one client that had departed had to put a restraining order on him as he had threatened her to move out of his town "OR ELSE" and even tried to run her off the road....needless to say the trainer's wife got smart and moved him out of the state as he was headed for jail time...watch out Bend Oregon Equestrians!
Really the right trainer can make all the difference a controlling one can really mess with you but more importantly hold you back from progressing. Take control, it's your horse and your happiness!

Bumpkin
Mar. 22, 2003, 07:15 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
Last trainer told a client (AO Jumper) she shouldn't buy jumps for home because she shouldn't jump with out him. The guy was such a control freak one client that had departed had to put a restraining order on him as he had threatened her to move out of his town "OR ELSE" and even tried to run her off the road....needless to say the trainer's wife got smart and moved him out of the state as he was headed for jail time...watch out Bend Oregon Equestrians!
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Oh RR you are making me very, very curious!!! hehe

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

Coreene
Mar. 22, 2003, 08:34 PM
This thread is almost two years old! I looked at it and it sounded familiar, but no wonder, because it is an old thread.

Erin
Mar. 23, 2003, 09:19 AM
Rottenrobbie, please don't turn this into a discussion of individual trainers. Issues, not individuals.

As this thread IS two years old, I'm going to go ahead and close it. Those wishing to discuss this topic again should start a new thread.