Had to fire my trainer today
So, I had to fire the trainer I hired to start my 3 year old mustang mare. I suppose this is mostly a vent.
Pixel had already been gentled and sat on before coming out to Hawaii, so starting her should have been relatively easy. Having heard horror stories here on COTH I tried to vet the guy ahead of time. He has been starting horses for 20 years. He came highly recommended from multiple sources and I took the time to watch him work other horses before hiring him. He seemed to have the right balance of firm but fair that I was looking for.
The first week I watched him work her it seemed to be going well. Second week I didn't get to see him work her, but I did get out after she had been worked only to find her sitting in her paddock soaked in sweat. She's only been partially clipped, and it is 75-80ish degrees here, but the mare had sweat running down her legs, it was just excessive. It was obvious no attempt had been made to even rinse her off. I spoke with him later and he explained that she had gotten stubborn and he hadn't wanted to end the ride on a bad note. This was a huge red flag for me but I didn't want to jump the gun.
Week three was the breaking point. I again came to the ranch to again find the horse soaked in sweat. This time there were raw wounds on the corners of her mouth. I spoke with some of the other folks at the barn and got the story that he'd ridden her for 2 1/2 hours that day and fought with her the entire time. I couldn't get a hold of him so I went back the next day and waited for him to show up to ride. I listened to his side of the story, that my mare is spoiled and stubborn and she needed to be pushed through her refusal to go forward, and the raw marks were made by a nathe mullen mouth. How harsh do your hands have to be to leave marks with a nathe?
I told him I didn't think she was a good fit for his program and I wouldn't need his services anymore. In hindsight I should have ended it when I found my mare soaked in sweat. I've already got another person lined up, a young woman I have worked with extensively in the past few years. She didn't want to do the initial starting because she didn't think she would have enough time to work with my mare and starting isn't her focus, but she agreed to work with me after this dismal event.
The guy was upset when I told him it wouldn't work, and I do feel bad, as he turned down other jobs to take mine. I also feel bad that I let my horse down by pairing her with a trainer that was all wrong for her. I'm stressed that this might leave mental scars that will stick around and sour my sweet mare to the whole riding thing.
I would have fired him too!
I have to agree with the OP. Sweaty, OK! But, no excuse not to hose a horse down before turning out in a paddock.
Riding "training" for two and a half hours? Unacceptable. Their brains leave after 20 min of training.
Raw bloody lip corners? Unacceptable!!