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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2009
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    71

    Default Trainer Issues- Any Advice?

    So, this may be a really ignorant/naive post to make, and by no means do I want to stir up any trouble, but here goes:

    My trainer keeps bringing up hitting my horse in the leg over the fence with the top rail to make her jump better. I tell trainer no thanks, but trainer doesn't drop it. Says that everybody's doing it, thats how horses X, Y, & Z (who often beat me or are winning elsewhere) win. Again I say no thanks, trainer drops it, but has brought it up in the past 3 or so lessons. Trainer has even gone so far as to bring it up in public at a horse show where others were definitely in earshot.

    Maybe I've just been sheltered from such practices, but regardless of whether it's "ok" or not, I don't want any part of it.

    Ugh. I love my trainer to death, but not this.

    I've just been dismissing it every time, but trainer hasn't let it go.
    WWYD?



  2. #2
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    Oct. 12, 2005
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    Va
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    Default

    I'd get another trainer.



  3. #3

    Default

    It's called poling. Hard call but you have to make the decision as to what is right for you and your horse while weighing that you pay for your trainer's opinion. Might get a second opinion or discuss with your trainer other options for making one jump better (gymnastics, etc.).
    "are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn...I can yawn, because I ride better than you, Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn, you, not so much..." George Morris in Camden, SC



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 12, 2004
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    Default

    Heinous though it may be, "Poling" is a regularly used training technique to keep horses from getting "RUBS" in the show ring.
    I am fairly certain that it is strictly prohibited AT the horse shows, but just having the trainer standing near the fence after any regular poling at home can usually do the trick.
    I wouldn't continue to let your dislike at the thought of this practice go unspoken.
    Next time he brings it up, tell him you understand what he's saying, but ask if there isn't some other way you can get the same result. If he says "no", then tell him you'd just rather continue to place second to those others........
    There ARE other ways to get the same result.
    KD



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 19, 2002
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    FL transplant from IL
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    Default

    Tell trainer it's not something you want to do & what other suggestions do they have. If they won't drop the issue (insisting poling is the only solution) then perhaps you need to start shopping around for a trainer that has a wider knowledge of horse training.
    "I'm not crazy...my mother had me tested"



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 8, 2004
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    IN
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    Default

    Does the trainer want to pole your horse or for you to purposely get to a bad spot and get your horse to get a hard rub? It is difficult to tell from how you describe-- hit the top rail-- as poling you'd physically lift a "pole" to hit the horse.

    Ask the trainer to clarify. I suppose you might not be comfortable with either, but perhaps you'd be okay with a hard rub if that's really what the trainer is suggesting...



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 4, 2008
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    745

    Default

    I know that the practice is not uncommon, and it does get results. I do not use it. It also scares some horses, and can have dangerous results.

    I use gymnastics and cavaletti to teach them to be rounder. I have ridden with a couple different upper level trainers that have successful jumpers that also do not use the practice.

    I would firmly stick to your belief that this "method" is not for you. If you ask you will hear as many accident stories, and you do "it works" stories.

    If you have a good relationship with your trainer, they should respect your wishes. It is never appropriate to discuss sensitive matters in a public setting; trainer drama including.

    If your horse is consistently rubbing and having rails; it may a bit overfaced, this is something to decide with your trainer in a safe and cooperative manner.
    Last edited by mrsbradbury; Apr. 24, 2009 at 09:03 AM. Reason: ETA: The practice I am talking of is poling, not forcing a rub.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2001
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    down the road from bar.ka
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    Default

    It is customary to allow the horse to get a hard rub OCCAISIONALLY to sharpen them up. Usually accomplished by schooling a swedish oxer, something square or offsets, dropping them to let them figure it out on their own. Maybe the heavier jump poles alone (as opposed to light ones or PVC) Just something to get them thinking and a little more tidy with the feet.

    BUT BUT BUT that is NOT why these other horses are beating you. You do this stuff too much and you get them stopping.

    So, yeah, it is a training technique that is helpful when properly used and see nothing wrong with it-even set small, square oxers with the heavy poles or a swedish with my old Hunter so she reminds herself to pick the feet up.

    But your trainer is an absolute idiot to be blabbing in public and berating you for not caring for this. In the first place, it is best done at home or just one little rub right before going into the ring. In the second place, trainers who criticize clients in public (other then routine coaching) are unprofessional to say the least.

    If she vocally and publically advocates this as the only way to get you better and allow you to pin better, you either need another horse that can actually clear the jumps or a new trainer.

    I vote new trainer. Again, it's not getting the rub, I am OK with that. It's blaming not getting them on you getting beaten and harping on it publically. That's bullshit.

    I'm sorry, that just rankles me. Like fingernails on a blackboard.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 14, 2008
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    Default

    We've all heard our moms say this right? "If everyone else jumped off a bridge would you do it too?" Someone needs to say that to your trainer.

    The advice here is sound. Good for you for just saying "no" to the poling if you feel your horse doesn't need it. There are other ways, the gymnastic was a good idea.

    If you are trying to sharpen up the front end you can always put a V of poles on the jump and make it as wide or as narrow as you want and it will make them snap their knees more. I've done this with some of our horses without snappy knees but I'm the trainer. I would NEVER ask my kids to do it.

    And it helps with run-outs. I have used it with a horse who pulls out. But its been very wide. something like standard / \ with a jump pole in the middle.

    Not sure I vote for another trainer if you like this one but I encourage anyone who rides with me who is serious to seek out another trainer in addition to my instruction.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2008
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    New Jersey
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    Default

    Works wonders on my horse. I would be one to vouch that its why my horse goes clean in the bigger classes. Go to a show without a rub-we usually will have a rail, Go to a show WITH a rub and we'll go clean every time. If done correctly and appropriately then it works.

    Also keep in mind that people know who your trainer is.



  11. #11
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    Dec. 25, 2005
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    Cazenovia, NY
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    Default

    Sounds like your trainer thinks your horse is lazy and wants a quick and easy answer. While poling certainly does work for the most part, and if done properly is not cruel or inhumane, etc. (if hitting a rail was either of the aforementioned the whole sport would be condemned). However as mentioned it is a sketchy practice, and in my opinion is just dishonest. I do not like lying or tricking a horse, and nothing is trickier than a rail that can jump!

    There are lots of ways, better ways to get a "lazy" horse to use themselves better. As mentioned schooling different types of fences, heavy rails, etc., but really there are plenty of gymnastics that can help a horse become of the mindset that I need to try harder. By default I like to allow the horse comes to this conclusion without intervention as it tends to stick.

    A simple, simple gymnastic, without employing fence types that the horse is unlikely to see in any competition is a ground pole a stride out and an oxer. Trot in and jump it, period. Keep raising and spreading the oxer as you progress. This is a technique as old as the hills and never fails to work on horses that want to be a little lazy. This also is a technique that can be used as a refresher at home or at the show, and there is nothing illegal or tricky about it. The horse simply gets in the mindset that I have to try because I do not know where the heck that rail is going to be from one fence to the next.

    I would not hold it against the trainer because as I stated poling is common as dirt and many of the horses you admire perform as well as they do with the help of some poling. However if you are uncomfortable express to your trainer that you want your horse to perform better too, but do not want to pole them, and challenge them to come up with a better method.

    If they are worth their salt they will probably dig down and come up with some schooling techniques that you are comfortable with.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    May. 3, 2006
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    Default

    Go find a decent trainer.

    Poling is indeed something that is pretty much disgusting.

    It's just a method of forcing a horse to jump by smacking his legs.

    Some folks carry it to the extreme and use such as smacking the horse with a stick just above the coronet band as it jumps or putting tacks into its boots.

    WRONG WRONG WRONG.

    And a great way to get yourself banned from competition if you're caught doing it.

    Just as that low life McLaine Ward with the scum bag father who killed horses for insurance money: like father, like son!



  13. #13
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    Jan. 27, 2008
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas_1 View Post
    Go find a decent trainer.

    Poling is indeed something that is pretty much disgusting.

    It's just a method of forcing a horse to jump by smacking his legs.

    Some folks carry it to the extreme and use such as smacking the horse with a stick just above the coronet band as it jumps or putting tacks into its boots.

    WRONG WRONG WRONG.

    And a great way to get yourself banned from competition if you're caught doing it.

    Just as that low life McLaine Ward with the scum bag father who killed horses for insurance money: like father, like son!
    UMMMM WOW????
    I really have no words for the hate and anger that was put into that post. There have been countless legendary horsemen that have used poling appropriately to improve a horses performance without having it be cruel or scaring the horse. It only received a bad reputation because trainers that were incompetent used the method dangerously and inappropriately.

    Also, if you're going to harp on one of the world's greatest equestrians, at least spell his name correctly! Its Mclain not Mclaine. And he's done a tremendous job of rising up beyond his father's bad reputation and becoming one of the most successful equestrians of our time!

    I would say more but then I wouldnt be able to stop.



  14. #14
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    Apr. 5, 2007
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    Tampa FL
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas_1 View Post
    Just as that low life McLaine Ward with the scum bag father who killed horses for insurance money: like father, like son!
    there were 36 people involved, McLain was not one of them.

    Wanna talk about that? Go pay a visit to Tommy Burns, or should I say Tim Ray, down in Florida.

    Barney Ward has paid his time in jail and McLain is one of the best, most respected top riders... the association "like father, like son", is just a stupid saying which doesn't make any sense.



  15. #15
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    May. 14, 2008
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    Default

    You know, I have Frank Chapot's book and he talks about "safe" poling. Poling is as old as the hills. While you should not be doing it at a competition, I've heard many show jumping riders talk about jumping their horse in warm-up because they knew they were needing to "take a rail" and making them jump in warm up until they did so they had a clean round in competition.

    Wow, yeah. When did this become bash McLain?



  16. #16
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    Dec. 13, 2001
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    Default

    Poling is a pretty common technique. Although neither my trainers or myself have ever used it, I think it can be ok when done properly (which it very often isn't). However, the problem here is that your trainer is not respecting you. Poling is controversial, and you have a right to say no, and she absolutely needs to LISTEN to you.

    If I were you, I would call her up and find a time to sit her down before your next lesson, when she is not busy with other things, and there are no other distractions. You need to tell her very clearly that you KNOW a lot of trainers use this technique, but you are NOT comfortable with it, do NOT want it used on your horse under any circumstances, and that you do not want it brought up to you ever again, or you will be looking for a trainer who does understand. If she can't coach you without bringing up poling ten times a lesson, she isn't the trainer for you.

    Does this trainer school your horse while you are away? If so, I would also stress that nobody is to pole your horse ever, including while you are away. She sounds like the kind of trainer who might do something like this behind your back.

    You need to get tough about this.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream." --Vincent Van Gogh



  17. #17
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    May. 3, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by MILOUTE55 View Post
    and McLain is one of the best, most respected top riders... the association "like father, like son", is just a stupid saying which doesn't make any sense.
    Yeh right!

    So tell me then when his father Barney pleaded guilty and went to prison for being involved with killing horses for insurance money he was just having a laugh?

    Presumably the reason why he didn't go to Hong Kong to watch his son was that he just didn't want to be there? All that bleating about just wanting to see his boy was baloney! Nothing to do with the lifetime ban he's got for attending ANY event?!

    And when McLain was banned for putting plastic tacks in his horses boots to make them jump better it was just a silly mistake!? He didn't really intend to cause them pain! I bet the federation were just picking on the poor lad!

    Respected ! Phooey!!!

    McLain/Mclaine. Still a low life cheat with a poor upbringing no matter how you spell it!



  18. #18
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    Jan. 19, 2005
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    Default

    since the OP said "hitting the top rail".....her trainer is NOT NOT NOT suggesting poling. Poling is is done with a wrapped bamboo or other flexible pole....not the rail on the fence...and isn't allowed at the show.

    Getting a rub either in front or behind in the warm up before going into a class is VERY normal and not cruel. It is just a WAKE up to the horse. Now crashing a fence or really aggressively doing it....that is a different story. But jumping a jump and giving your horse an opportunity to be a little sloppy in the warm and remind them that you are not perfect and darn it, they need to help out too and hitting the poles is not something they want to do......is perfectly normal and not bad training. Not all horses need this...the super careful ones really don't...but most of your average horses don't care too much if they hit a rail or they need a reminder that they don't like it before the big class. If they don't nick the fence in the warm up...well then they are jumping very well and you don't need to keep asking. But giving them the opportunity to rub isn't a big deal....and I have more than once stopped my warm up with a rub (whether I was trying or not) before going into the ring.


    A lot of a horses will get a little blasie about the jumps....and sometimes need to sharpen up. At home, you can do it by setting bounces, or more difficult combinations, or scary filler....but at a show in limited warm up...you don't always have that option.

    I think that the OP...and lots on this board and making a mountain out of this for no reason.
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **



  19. #19
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    Mar. 8, 2009
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    Default

    Thank you for the (relevant) responses. My trainer definitely suggested poling, even bringing up the use of bamboo. This is FAR from suggesting that I get a rub before going into the ring.
    The horse jumps fine and comfortably, if anything is underfaced, and this is not a training method that would suit her, even if performed "correctly".

    It's gotten a bit off track, so no further responses are necessary.
    Thanks again

    -Eq



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Equitate. View Post
    Thank you for the (relevant) responses. My trainer definitely suggested poling, even bringing up the use of bamboo. This is FAR from suggesting that I get a rub before going into the ring.
    The horse jumps fine and comfortably, if anything is underfaced, and this is not a training method that would suit her, even if performed "correctly".

    It's gotten a bit off track, so no further responses are necessary.
    Thanks again

    -Eq

    If they have suggested Poling and you don't want to do it and don't think it would suit your horse...then just tell them no each time and explain WHY you think it will not work for your particular horse. It might lead to a learning experience for both you and your trainer. I would also suggest another training technique that would be better for your horse if you know of any to address the issue your trainer may be seeing. Jumping through some bounces or good gymnastics would be what comes to mind to me right away.
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **



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