Can This Trainer Relationship Be Saved?
I have a young horse that was started incorrectly and developed numerous physical problems. Went to another trainer for 6 months and the horse didn't improve. Went to a third trainer who lunged the horse 4x per week for 2 months, then worked up to 4 sessions under saddle per week. After 6 months with this trainer, I had to tell him that I wanted to start riding my horse again. For the past 2 months he's permitted me to ride her once per week under his supervision.
I'd like to increase the frequency of my rides as my horse now understands how to work over her back correctly and is doing much better physically. However, the trainer has told me that ideally, he would like to work with her exclusively for another 2-3 years before I start riding her more. He tells me this is not because my riding is that bad, but because it would be better for her to be that much more advanced so she and I aren't trying to learn together. Call me crazy, but I really didn't buy a horse not to ride it (especially for 2-3 yrs!). Also, the training expenses would prohibit me from taking lessons on or leasing another horse in the interim to work on my riding.
There is no disputing that this trainer knows what he is doing and that my horse is doing very well with him. However, he's not interested in talking to me "off the clock", really isn't interested in my goals as the owner/rider and won't offer any updates on my horse's progress (unless asked) other than to say that she needs to get stronger.
My horse isn't fancy and I have no ambitions to do upper level work -- I just want to become a better rider and horseperson and work with a trainer/mentor who is willing to talk to me and help me work towards those goals. My dilemma is that this trainer is good for my horse and I don't want to risk having her progress set back by moving to a less skilled trainer.
Would be very grateful for any suggestions/ideas as to what I should do - Thanks!