The mature way is to talk to your trainer. Do no whine. Do not complain that it is not fair that she is given more rides than you. Focus on what you should be doing to be given more opportunities.
Word it in this way,
"So and So, may I talk to you for a minute?" Once given permission, proceed with the following: "I love working around horses and I appreciate you to give me the opportunity to work and ride here, and I work very hard not to disappoint you. However, I have noticed that I'm given less rides than the other girl. I need to know why. Is there something else I should improve upon so I might be given more opportunities?"
You may get answer that you need to improve your riding more; you may get answer that it is a simple oversight. On the other hand, if you are not given a fair answer, it's time to leave.
Stand up for yourself. Be strong and be courteous. Your desire to do the right thing and your work ethic will set you apart, believe me, in so many ways. This will also be an extremely valuable skill you will possess in your future career.
Originally Posted by Gloria
This great advice
I wouldn't mention the other girl at all. It would be almost impossible to do without sounding whiny. What would do is ask to speak with trainer to go over your goals for the year and during that conversation say something like:
"trainer, you know that I enjoy working here and developing my skills as an all around horse person, but I wanted you to know that I am still interested on riding as much as I can. I am grateful for all the opportunities you have given me. What can I do to increase my saddle time? If there's ever a time when there's a horse you need riding and something else around the farm that needs doing, I am willing to stay later than usual to finish both if that works wiithin your schedule. You know I take pride in my work and always want to do the best job possible bit I didn't want you to think that I was losing interest in the riding part because of my commitment to doing my work to high standards.
This lets her know you've noticed that your saddle time has decreased without necessarily forcing her into a possibly uncomfortable conversation as to why. She may not have noticed it happening or she may have been hoping you'd never say something. Try something like the above and see if things change. In the real world I'd suggest a more direct conversation but most barns are closer to middle school than professional environments so the really direct approach has a good chance of backfiring and you do have a lot to lose.
Good luck, sneaky credit stealers are never fun to deal with. Stop doing her work unless you can be certain the trainer knows you did it.
Originally Posted by NCRider
Don't mention the other girl --- stick to what you can do/change and be aware
There is too much unknown to conclude the barn is run like a high school girls club. We are talking about a 14 or 15 year old kid working off rides in a casual arrangement with no record keeping or tracking and another kid who does NOT work for rides but OP perceives is getting better rides.
I HATE these things. Without a specific agreement, expectations are rarely in line with the reality of getting rides on other peoples horses when there are more riders then horses available.
OP has NO idea what the arrangement is with OG and her parents...or client owners who may have sepecifically requested OG as a rider, as is their right.
It is up to the trainer to assign rides. Riders must accept any and all rides delegated and not worry about somebody getting a ride they perceive as "better". A ride is a ride when it's not your horse.
OP can go to trainer and try to formalize credit for work tracking towards rides and show fees. But that will not necessarily translate into "better" rides.
If she has told you there are a couple of horses you can ride whenever you want, and you're planning to ride them when you finish working, she probably doesn't realize that. So she knows they haven't been ridden, she wants them to get out, she sees the other girl sitting there doing nothing, voila, other girl is asked to ride.
A whiteboard would eliminate this. Every day write what tasks you plan to complete and what horses you plan to ride and check things off as you go. This would be an easy way for her too see that the horse is going to get ridden so she doesn't need to find someone to do it, AND a way for her to see how much work you're doing.
Most good barns have these things posted right in the aisle or tack room, each horse with the name of that days assigned rider. Only the trainer can fill it out and/or change any named rider. It goes a long way to avoid hurt feelings and duplicate rides when everybody can see who rides what.
Originally Posted by axl
That is another constructive suggestion OP can take to trainer when she goes to them with tracking her work towards rides more formally. Still may not get her the rides she wants but at least it would be organized.
So this other girl is not a working student so to speak? If that's the case, I don't really see a huge issue. At my old barn, there were working students who "worked their butt off" and got one free lesson a day everyday they worked after all their work was completed.
Originally Posted by EquitationRider
Then there was me. I had a great relationship with my trainer, and she felt I was a hard worker and a talented rider. I was at the barn 7 days a week at breakfast time, and one of the last ones to leave at night (I'm homeschooled). I was willing to help with whatever needed to be done, however I was rarely ever asked to do the same "muck work" that the working students did (dumping buckets, raking arenas, sweeping, hay or water, catching ponies, etc.).
My "job" at this barn was to work horses. I was able to work 4-8 horses a day everyday, get free lessons when I jumped them around, and I even got the opportunity to catch ride clients horses at shows.
To get to the point of my post: My trainer approached me one day and said she sensed some jealousy coming from the working students, and decided she wanted to define roles. We had a group meeting where she pointed out that the working students were given the opportunity to learn in a barn environment and earn riding lessons from it.. riding lessons that they could not otherwise afford. She then pointed out to them that my role had started out as more of an unpaid exercise rider, and that I had proved to be hard working, dedicated, and in my trainers opinion, talented. Therefore my role had evolved and I gained more opportunities. She then went on to explain that that's not to say that either of us worked harder than the other.. just that the WS's worked hard on the ground and around the barn to earn saddle time they couldn't otherwise afford, and that I worked hard in the saddle to better my riding and earn bigger opportunities.
Obviously that situation and yours aren't exactly the same, but it sounds to me like the two of you play different roles in your barn. If you choose to talk to your trainer about anything, I would ask her what YOUR role is (although if you have the title of a working student, you should pretty much already know).
My advice: Stop doing the other girls work for her so that your trainer knows what the other girl is or isn't doing, and then let things play out. Play whatever role your trainer wants you to play, keep to yourself, and remember that if it wasn't for your trainer, you wouldn't have saddle time at all. If your trainer chooses to give the other girl a different role, that is her opinion, and I'm sure she has her own reasons for doing so, which you need to respect.
Just keep up with your good work ethic, do what you're told (not what others are told), take what you're given, and don't burn any bridges. It will pay off. :)