Ah, the discussion is complete. We now have the requisite rant by Sunridge about how evil people are if they don't luv their wittle pony in the same manner she does. Based on her posts over the years, I can't think of a saddlehorse trainer in their right mind who would possibly take her money. A few crazy ones or drug addicts maybe, but no sane ones.
Originally Posted by sunridge1
Reading "Trading Paper"
Although it's a novel, it's all about the Arab biz in the 80s. It's no great masterpiece but you'll get the general feel for the whole mess.
And I'm sure your googling will lead you to all sorts of real life examples of bad business dealings, broken promises, fake sales and other shennanigans. There were a lot of fun times - we met some other Arab owning folks that we are friends with to this day, but we were just the commoners. Lots more disasters among the big $$$ people.
ETA: a COTH archive item on the same thing:
Very interesting discussion. I am a do-it-myself kind of horse owner, however I see nothing wrong with the hands-off kind either. Whatever works, it is not up to me or anyone else to decide who "loves" their horse more. As a working student (nearly 20 years ago) I was at a very nice yard where the owners rode 1-2 times a week in lessons and that was it. All care of the horse was done by the horse's assigned groom (working student) and they were ridden daily by one of the senior staff. It worked very, very well. The horses were happy-- they had their groom who knew them inside and out and treated them as their own. The owners were happy-- they almost always had great rides because their horses were so well schooled. And, of course, us working students loved it-- we had "our" horses to pamper and love on while still learning and growing as riders. It seems like some posters are assuming that horses in restrictive programs are automatically miserable and that is just not the case at all. It was very interesting seeing a totally different way of doing things and I actually loved working there.
FWIW - I have two horses, about to have three. All three have different stipulations and different "rules".
My situation, in a nutshell, is that I've ridden H/J for over a decade and have made the switch to the all-around events at breed shows. I'm learning the new events, but it's definitely a new experience.
Horse A - I've had for ten years. She's a quirky, quirky little mare and tends to wig out under pressure. My trainer rarely rides her, instead - she coaches me as needed and I use the mare as my "practice horse" (ie - she's the one I go and trot around on for hours to work on MY legs or MY posture, etc). I can ride whenever and where ever I want.
Horse B - I've had since the summer - is a 5 y/o who hasn't been in a serious and demanding program since he was younger, so I only ride this horse in lessons. Trainer has been working with him to get him back up to speed. He does a lot of the events I've just started learning. Now, granted, I do take three lessons a week on him - so it's not like I don't get to ride. But aside from some showmanship practice, I am not allowed to ride him outside of lessons. Trainer doesn't want him or I to regress. I think it's very valid.
Horse C - *If* I buy this horse, it's a young futurity horse. Aside from my pre-purchase rides, I probably won't be riding the horse at all until it's been in training for several months. After that, I will be going to riding in lessons only.
I may be jaded because I do have a "backup" horse that I can ride whenever I want. She isn't nearly as fancy as my other two, but it satisfies my need to ride and I can keep my leg strong, etc.
My theory, though, is that I spend a lot of money and time on this hobby. Horse C is in the mid-five figures. I will be buying this horse to be competitive. I will be paying my trainer for her ability to get this horse to the top - something I cannot do on my own. If me staying off the horse makes my money go farther, then by all means -- WHY would I want to mess that up for 30-45 minutes of riding solo a couple of times per week?
I'm lucky in that my trainer is very accommodating and knows when I'm itching to ride and will usually get me on something. She also has me progressing at a strong pace, but the fact of the matter is that I am still an adult amateur and I will not be a pro-rider overnight. She has never flat out refused to let me ride, but she does let me know that she thinks it's a smarter idea to go with the plan we're on now.
If I ever had someone tell me that I could not ride my horse, there would be a problem. But the arrangement I have right now works very, very well for me. I am still out at the barn daily, and very hands on.
I agree totally. Simple.
Originally Posted by cu.at.x
There are some pretty interesting opinions on this thread. I'm a SS Saddlebred owner. I tried the boarding close to home working the horse myself avenue and it did.not.work. for me. I have a job, home, husband (non-horsey but supportive), etc. The barn, although nice with excellent care, had no indoor or covered arena. Along with my limited time, weather became an issue and the horse was/is the type that sporatic work just won't get it. It took me year to admit that I just wasn't capable of devoting the time this horse needed and that the facility wasn't the right place (no others even remotely close) and that the horse was never going to make it to a show ring at the rate we were going. I wasn't doing her any favors and she was returning the favor.
Fast forward. Sent horse to the closest Saddlebred trainer which is 1 1/2 hours away. Within 30 - 45 days, new horse with a much improved attitude and my life is much easier too. I drove/drive the 3 hour round trip once a week to ride both my own as well as a school/practice horse. Made it to two shows at the end of this season and had a ball.
That horse has recently been sold and a new nicer upper scale one purchased and everybody is happy. Don't love the drive but look forward to my barn day every week and the challange of getting to know and love the new horse. Do I love my horse any less than the person that keeps thiers at home? Absolutely not. My horse is in very good hands and is receiving the daily care and training that I am just not capable of. If I could get there more often I would but the current situation works for me and DH is happy too. Win/Win.
While I can understand the "I don't have time, I do have the money" way of owning/training/showing horses (to each his own), it's just not for me and I would not/will not let a trainer dictate when or if I can ride my horse (AND I don't have the money! LOL!!). That being said, for ME, personally, if I won on a horse that was 90% ridden and trained by the trainer, I would feel I was just "stealing" rides and that the accomplishment was not mine, but the trainer's, and for me, that's no accomplishment at all.
While I am sure it's not the case for all people who do let the trainer be the principal rider of their horse, it puts me in mind of a quote from a book on horse training I once read, where the author described a gentleman who didn't have the nerve/skill to ride open jumpers, nor the patience to learn dressage, so he exhibited (owned) Saddlebreds, i.e, watched his trainer show them, "so that people will know I'm a horseman." Whatever. Sigh.
Originally Posted by Sandy M
I mean, to each his own, but you still have to be a good rider to go out there and win - especially at the big shows.
I'm one of those who has won on a horse that is "90% ridden and trained by the trainer". I also won a World Championship title this year on my mare that is hardly ever ridden by the trainer.
I'm in a unique situation, I admit. But the thing is -- how are you supposed to learn otherwise?
Maybe I'm jaded, but 9 times out of 10, the people I've seen who talk badly about people who ride with trainers could actually use a few lessons. I had one boarder friend a few years back who said she could "never" show the hunters because it's so subjective and they just never liked her horse. Cut forward to a week later when I saw her outside jumping around with her heels up, a running martingale attached like a standing, and yahooing around.
My show horses are ridden more than the trainer than by me at this point. She knows more than I do, and because I work full time, I progress slowly. It doesn't mean I'm not out there every single day. It doesn't mean I don't work my tail off to get better. So then, should I be judged and penalized when I do go out and work hard and win? That hardly seems fair, as I'm putting in just as much work and dedication and love as anyone else. I just am trying my hardest to do it the "right" way, as best I can, through use of a professional who can keep me safe and keep me improving.
That isn't exactly the same. I mean, we are talking about a 5 hour time commitment. And only one ride a week....
Originally Posted by GracesMom
(I am thinking that the lack of facilities hampered you more in the DYI route than anything else)
Well, speaking from a dressage standpoint, I had a friend who purchased a 3 year old. She felt she was too old to do colt-starting, but her trainer started the horse, and then they leap-frogged up the levels: She took lessons, then trainer showed it 1st level while she showed TL; trainer showed it 2nd level while owner showed 1st level, up through PSG. The horse's training was always a level above the rider's. Trainer rode horse a couple of days a week, not 90% of the time. So that's one way to do it without the "trainer riding 90% of the time."
Originally Posted by Arelle
FWIW, and I claim no great expertise, my last horse was ridden exclusively by me, I took weekly lessons, and we won or placed at his level (s) every year he was shown. My present horse - and a much more difficult horse to ride/train - was champion for his breed/level in 2011, and the only person who's ridden him other than me (taking lessons, etc.) was the cowgirl who started him as a 3 year old.
Originally Posted by Sandy M
So, the trainer rode the horse to get it through the experience before the owner ever got on?
The trainer taught the horse the more advanced skills while the rider was still perfecting the old skills at a slightly lower level?
That is the essence of this post! 90% is not necessarily literal, it means that someone is there helping every step of the way, riding the horse through the difficult parts, etc.
Edited to add: Your friend is doing, in my eyes, a very wise and smart thing. I completely agree with the approach she's taking! But, my original point that you quoted was meant to imply that no one goes at this alone. EVERYONE has been helped at some point, we were not born knowing this. And to reinvent the wheel for the sake of pride - when you have options to learn first, then apply - is just asinine IMO.
No, actually, my friend had schooled and/or ridden through PSG on several horses, but they had been well-started (maybe 1st level) before she rode them. This was the way she handled the training of her first totally green horse.
Also, I thought the main thrust of the OP was questioning trainers restricting riders and telling them when/where they could ride their own horses. Of course, there is a middle ground for all of this. Having help "every step of the way," is not the trainer riding the horse almost all the time, which seems to be the modus operandi of trainers who are so controlling that riders can't ride their own horses without permission. Obviously, you (generic) can go through a range from trainer riding 0% of the time (like me), or trainer ridding 95% of the time (owner only permitted to ride in lessons) or trainer riding 100% of the time - owner becomes a spectator/bill payer. There's a whole range, and I'm just saying I do not care for, and would not myself permit, the "trainer rides 60% or more of the time" scenario. That doesn't mean I condemn it for those who are more comfortable with that arrangement - I just don't like it for ME.
Originally Posted by Sandy M
But it seems that the OP is having a hard time finding the middle ground.
Which I find...well...sad.
This has been an interesting thread...I posted earlier--I have one in the full-training-type model under discussion and one that I take 100% responsiblity for with coaching from the trainer.
But the part that really confuses me is this idea that the trainer gives "permission" as if he is the decision-maker. I pay the bills--I call the shots.
Now, I am paying him for his expertise and advice--therefore I get out of the way and let him do the job that I'm paying him to do. We decide, together, what is best/how often I ride, if there are particular things that need to be addressed. It's a discussion, not an order-taking situation.
It's like in my professional life. I'm a consultant. I am paid to bring my knowlege and expertise to a business situation in order to reach the best possible outcome. Sometimes I deal with clients that don't want to listen to the advice they are paying me to give them... in that case, they are just throwing their money and my time away. It baffles me.
No judgement that one training situation is better than the other, but I do recognize them for what they are. I appreciate the merits and rewards of both types of situations--so that's why I have one horse in each.
Yes, me too. :(
I could go with a h/j trainer who uses the model I'm used to (welcome to ride as much as I can) but then they don't go to the arab breed shows, so I'd be back to doing the hauling/grooming/etc solo.
Or, I suck it up and go with one of the barns that are very close to my home and go to the shows I want to attend, put the horse in training but accept that means that I will ride only when the trainer tells me I can, once a week.
I'm still working on the solution. I'm feeling out another trainer ( :lol: that sounds dirty!), but also thinking of floating the idea of putting my horse in training intermittently. Like maybe a month here and there through the show season. I don't know if they'll go for that, but the fact that the market stinks and the barns aren't full is going to work in my favor. I understand that they want to be sure that the horse is tuned up and ready to go if their barn name is any way associated with the horse. But this is a teenaged campaigner who knows his job. A person with cash or check in hand does certainly have some negotiating leverage. I hope.
Otherwise I'll be moving my horse to my winter boarding facility and doing it myself. Fortunately I have had good instruction and am fully capable, and I do have a couple of trainers who will come and give me lessons so I won't get off track, but time is my biggest enemy. I could also pay those traveling trainers to come and put a ride in once in awhile to help me on those weeks when crap happens and I don't make it to the barn, but again one of the biggest things for me is that when show season rolls around, I would really like to be able to go to the shows with the barn, where they haul my horse, muck the stalls, feed, etc. so I don't have to do everything else myself. Going to the show solo means I have to take at least a day off work, haul up (load/unload everything solo) and if my daughter tags along, I have to keep an eye on her while I get myself and my horse ready. I have done it, and I can do it, but if you've ever tried, you know how frustrating it is to find yourself in a situation where you don't even have a minute to use the bathroom because in order to do that you either have to find someone to hold your tacked-up horse for you ringside, or take him back to the barn and tie him in the stall, all the while dragging your kid with you! It's insane! And forget about trying to enter the ring without slobber on your show coat and dirt on your breeches, and dusty boots. Not exactly the end of the world, but just way harder than it needs to be.
Incidentally, when I first started showing, I knew less than a fraction of what I know now, and did it all myself. I had the trainer telling me what to do and when, but it was my feet in the irons, my fingers on the braids, my calluses on the pitchfork and wheelbarrow handles. Now I actually sort of know how to ride and I have enough money to pay someone to do the stuff I don't want to/don't have time to, but I can't . Oh, the irony. :lol:
And I totally agree with PNWJumper, it's loney doing it yourself. I think the main reason I go to shows is to socialize. I just find it fun. Unless I'm doing it solo. :)
meaty ogre, could you board at one of the breed barns without using their trainer and arrange to show with them? Even if you're using a different trainer, you can still develop friendships with the other clients in the barn.
Not only is it badly written and switches randomly from third person to second person to first person, but it looks as if no one bothered to proof it. Managed to finish it, but decline to buy any of the author's further efforts. I think it must have been a vanity publication! LOL
Originally Posted by oldernewbie
In a word, no. The breed barn options I have both operate the same way:
Originally Posted by MyssMyst
You send your horse for training, which includes one lesson a week. You ride your horse during that weekly lesson. If you want to ride more, you purchase an additional lesson package (possibly on your horse, but most likely on a lesson horse). You go along to shows with them and pay the appropriate fees.
I would love to just show with them. I'm willing to pay full training and all the fees that go along with it. I just also want to be able to ride my horse outside that one lesson per week. If the arena is busy with other lessons/training, that's OK, I'll ride outside somewhere. If he's already been worked, I won't ride his legs off...just a hack around the property or something light. But that is not permitted.
Oh, and working with an outside/different trainer is unheard of. They feel that their clients are a direct reflection on them and their training abilities, so they insist on full control.
I think one of the barns does have "board" on their price list, but truthfully "board" is not actually available short of keeping a mare there to foal out. All horses there are in training as spelled out above. Talk about culture shock for me!
Now that this thread has had a chance to cool a little, OP, I'd like to ask a few more question about the business model. Are you permitted to visit at any time and handle the horse, if for example you wanted to take Pooky out and groom him would that be permitted? Hand graze? Hang out in the stall?
For those of you who value full training in order that you can ride a tuned up, legged up horse without having to somehow carve hours out of your busy days, how much are you willing to give up in terms of interacting with your horse? Do you expect to be able to go down and perhaps go for a hack without getting permission, or do you give that up in exchange for horse shows? Do you prefer to show or hack and would that change if you had financial difficulties?
Would it bother you to be told this horse is too much for you or is that one of the trainer's important jobs is to manage to convince a thoroughly overhorsed owner that there's no problem, we'll just put some more training rides on him?
At the moment I'm wondering if there does exist a market for the tuned and legged up not-so-high-powered occasional show horse or if the DIY part of that model makes it unprofitable.
I don't think anyone's saying it's unethical. But to me, and others here, it is just flat-out STRANGE. I do not understand why someone would own a riding horse and be told that she can't ride it. A racehorse syndicate, yes, but a riding horse?
Originally Posted by red mares