Discussing training expectations without ruining relationship with trainer?
Situation a friend (who is not a COTH-er, or much of a computer person at all) is in right now, and I really didn't know what to tell her. When I've been in a situation like this before, it was far worse, and thus far easier to make a decision.....which was to leave!
Hers is more complicated. She's got a nice enough horse who seems to like the work she's in, and seems to like the trainer she's with. The care is great - no concerns whatsoever there. That's where I'm stuck with advice. (In my previous crappy situations, one trainer was downright abusive and the next one was withholding meds. Not exactly grey areas!) So this horse is happy, bright and well cared for. My friend's problem is that she's fairly sure that the horse isn't getting worked as often as she's supposed to be getting worked, per the training agreement. She's told me that she's potentially missing 2 days per week that she's supposed to be in work and is not being worked.....so that instead of working 5-6 days per week, she is only working 3-4 days per week.
So the grey area is this - the care is excellent, the instruction is great, horsie is happy BUT perhaps not progressing and muscling as she could be. Horsie could easily (and IMO and in her opinion SHOULD be) working those other days. This is not a training decision being made by the trainer, either. The trainer just keeps getting "busy"...I don't really know all the details as this isn't my trainer or my horse. This is coming through my friend, and obviously she's concerned, so the "whys" of why this is going on I haven't pressed her for all the details of what the trainer is telling her. She's busy with family issues right now and had no qualms or concerns about the trainer before. Now, it seems, she's busier and she feels as though the trainer is taking advantage of her lessened focus on the horse's progress.
I don't know what to tell her. I've had my own bad experiences but they were black and white issues. I'm in good places now, one horse in one barn and two in another, where I know my horses are in good hands and have good training. Unfortunately she doesn't live near either of those facilities :(
So my question is this - does anyone have any suggestions about how to bring up her question about why her horse isn't getting worked as frequently as she should be/why her horse has been put on the back burner, when she's still paying full training? She can't figure out a way to ask this in a manner that won't damage what she feels has always been a good relationship up to this point. I'm at a loss to help her here. Any COTH advice would be appreciated.