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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2008
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    Michigan
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    840

    Default Spinoff of a spinoff - trainer not commited to rider?

    Decided to spinoff the spinoff.

    What about trainers who aren't committed to their students? Or trainers that are only committed to certain students?

    I had a trainer who seemed much more committed to certain students, usually the ones with the money to buy horses from her.

    Is this fair? What if you have a student with potential, but not the money to get on the trainers good side?

    I said goodbye, it wasn't the situation I wanted to be in. And now I'm having a hard time finding a trainer.
    To be loved by a horse, or by any animal, should fill us with awe-
    for we have not deserved it.
    Marion Garretty



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 3, 2009
    Location
    Out West
    Posts
    248

    Default

    I think you made the right decision. Keep looking for your trainer--I've found that those with the best people skills who aren't atrociously profit-oriented are the ones that don't advertise much. They don't have to--people come to them. While I understand a trainer wanting to make money and sell horses, sometimes they just need to wait. There are better options out there for you.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2008
    Location
    Michigan
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    840

    Default

    I've found a few I've been interested in training with, most are at least an hour away. I'm still trying to see if anyone has anything good to say about anyone locally.
    To be loved by a horse, or by any animal, should fill us with awe-
    for we have not deserved it.
    Marion Garretty



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 12, 2008
    Location
    These streets will make you feel brand new, big lights will inspire you, let's hear it for New York
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    514

    Default

    Yup. It happens often. In my case, if your mom goes out drinking with my trainer all of a sudden you can ride everything in the barn and are pretty much the sh*t. It's very frustrating. I really don't feel like my trainer cares about me at all. I stick around because she is a great trainer in the ring during lessons. It really frustrates me though =(
    "If we we couldn't laugh we'd all go insane, if we weren't all crazy we'd all go insane." ~Jimmy Buffet
    "Pursuing the life of my high-riding heroes I burned up my childhood days..."-Willie Nelson



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2009
    Location
    CA to Costa Rica to WI
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    1,865

    Default

    I think it depends on the severity of it. Everyone has individual personalities and some people get along better than others. It's also a business, and trainers need to think about that too. By paying attention to people with money, they're more likely to keep their business afloat. It sucks, but it's true.

    Were you riding the same amount as the other girls, just not getting the same attention? Or were you at the barn a couple days a week while the other people were there 6 or 7 days a week?

    Now that being said... I think you made the right choice to leave. Like the poster before me said, look around. A lot of great barns just don't care about advertising. Visit a couple feed or tack stores and ask them for recommendations. Do a search online and call everyone who comes up, not just those with websites. Worst case scenario they're not looking for students.

    Good luck and hang in there! Remember, you're paying to ride so you should be enjoying it.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2008
    Location
    Michigan
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    840

    Default

    We were riding the same amount of time per week, and I actually had past experience and she did not. Both rode same level, I was just kind of pushed out when it came down to it.

    Trainer just seemed to not have any interest when it came my time to ride, and it was really frustrating to pay for the lesson and not get taught.
    To be loved by a horse, or by any animal, should fill us with awe-
    for we have not deserved it.
    Marion Garretty



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2001
    Location
    Finally...back in civilization, more or less
    Posts
    12,395

    Default

    The trainer/student relationship is a business relationship at the core of things.
    A lot of people forget this - easy to do when at least 50% of the equation is treating the situation as a leisure time activity and there are lots of social aspects to the environment.

    Trainers are human. They will connect with some students/clients more than others. Let's face it; it's a lot easier and more fun to teach someone with a boatload of talent and the wallet to do something with it than it is to cope with the reality that most of the rest of us represent.

    Of course, that does not mean that everyone who pays for instruction should not get the pro's complete attention and best efforts during the time they pay for. If a customer doesn't feel that they are getting the appropriate value for $$ paid, it is time to either renovate the relationship... or find another situation.

    However, in fairness, I have seen a lot of riders whose expectations seem out of line with the reality of their own resources (not just $$$, but time, effort etc.) The parent of the once-a-week lessoner on the school horse who is upset that her kid doesn't get qualified for the finals show that the kids who own their own (made, fancy) animals get to go to. The rider who buys something totally unsuitable and expects the trainer to make it into a winner despite the fact that the rider can't/won't put the horse in a consistent training program. The one who doesn't want to pay for the pro rides or the special shoeing or the adequan/legend/hock injections that are needed... and is then upset that the horse doesn't succeed against horses that GET all the necessary maintenance.

    Bottom line is, you (should) get what you pay for. No more, no less. I have a nice horse and I ride OK for an older adult ammy. I expect my trainer to be courteous and professional but not my BFF. We have a good, solid, friendly relationship BUT I understand that I do not represent the value to her that, say, someone with a string of GP horses might. I don't take offense at that; I am a business person myself and understand the relative value of customers. Everyone gets treated professionally, but some people represent more (business) value and they expect/receive more attention than those who don't send as much business or produce as much revenue.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 5, 2007
    Location
    Sweden
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    1,581

    Default

    I can't really relate.
    I have students I relate to more then others but in a lesson situation I live in the now and try to give everybody something.

    You say that your trainer just didn't seem interested. Did you take lessons with the other girl? Or privates? How was your trainer not interested? Chatting on the phone? Chatting with others? Or just giving her more instruction? not giving you much instruction at all just telling you to jump this and that? Are you riding your own horse or a schoolhorse?

    I have one student right now that could possibly feel like you do, as a matter of fact I worry about it sometimes and in light of this thread I might have a conversation with her about it!

    She doesn't have any money and she rides an older horse who does her job well at the level she's at. The girl rides very well but I can't challenge her much on the horse she rides and I find it limiting in a lesson situation. I often walk away from the lessons feeling more like I'm setting schooling jumps for the kid then actually teaching her a whole lot. We just can't push the horse too much. The kid had a terrible last year on her old horse so I'm guessing she's happy enough being able to do everything I ask of her but it leaves me a little flat. I'm happy that she got the ride on the older horse, she deserves it, but sometimes I almost wish she was on a grean bean instead so we could actually work on things. Lol!

    If you are better then the horse you are taking lessons on or are taking lessons with somebody that either needs more help then you or who is riding a younger greener horse it could very well be that you are not getting much play because you already aced it and there's nowhere else to go.

    You mentioned having moved on already but that you can't seem to find a good trainer in the area. Do you keep your horses at home (lucky you) or ride school horses? Maybe asking to ride a more difficult horse or volunteering to ride the neewbies at the barn would get you more play. You might not be able to do what you normally do in a lesson but you'd learn a whole lot.

    In any case, as somebody said, not everybody advertizes and there might be a smaller barn in your area that you would enjoy if you only knew it was there! Word of mouth is a great tool, ask here if you haven't already. So is asking your farrier or checking your local tack stores for more input.

    Good luck with your trainer search, there's somebody out there for you for sure!
    Timothy, stop lurking



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 12, 2004
    Location
    Boise, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    686

    Default

    I had one of those. Well, actually... it was more like trainer was not committed to my horse and myself as a team, at all, she thought he was a terrible fat ugly draft horse that couldn't jump to save his life. Horse, in my mind, was going to make a lovely amateur jumper for me, nothing for the big times, but something I would have a lot of fun with. Anyway, she treated us like just that, girl on fat ugly draft horse (I think she commonly referred to him as being similar to a beef cow), and so we were just that. We went to shows and did terribly, and she would just put us down all the time. We were showing in the 2' and 2'3 hunters, even though I had no desire to be a hunter at all. We were not allowed in the jumper ring AT ALL, until we mastered hunter-land. Which of course never happened. Horse was NOT a hunter at all and I was totally aware of that. The only time we actually did well was when we had a perfect round with all of our spots 100% and landed each lead off the jump. That happened once, and I'm sure the judge was disgusted that she had to place us 2nd over people with flaws. It was a real confidence kill for my riding in general to have to go into every class and wonder what the heck I was doing showing in it.

    Moved to a different city, switched trainers, trainer thought that my goals and aspirations for said horse were perfectly attainable, treated us as such, and he ended up making a very nice 3' jumper for me until we had to retire him for a stifle joint spur. The first show we attended with her about 2 months after starting lessons with her, we got reserve champion in our division and had multiple people commenting on what a nice, solid, honest horse he was, and how they wished they had something like that.

    So YES. Good that you moved. I think to really succeed, your trainer (pretty much also a mentor of sorts) needs to really believe in you.
    *Emilee



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec. 28, 2001
    Location
    over yonder
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    3,429

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DancingQueen View Post
    I can't really relate.
    I have students I relate to more then others but in a lesson situation I live in the now and try to give everybody something.

    You say that your trainer just didn't seem interested. Did you take lessons with the other girl? Or privates? How was your trainer not interested? Chatting on the phone? Chatting with others? Or just giving her more instruction? not giving you much instruction at all just telling you to jump this and that? Are you riding your own horse or a schoolhorse?

    I have one student right now that could possibly feel like you do, as a matter of fact I worry about it sometimes and in light of this thread I might have a conversation with her about it!

    She doesn't have any money and she rides an older horse who does her job well at the level she's at. The girl rides very well but I can't challenge her much on the horse she rides and I find it limiting in a lesson situation. I often walk away from the lessons feeling more like I'm setting schooling jumps for the kid then actually teaching her a whole lot. We just can't push the horse too much. The kid had a terrible last year on her old horse so I'm guessing she's happy enough being able to do everything I ask of her but it leaves me a little flat. I'm happy that she got the ride on the older horse, she deserves it, but sometimes I almost wish she was on a grean bean instead so we could actually work on things. Lol!

    If you are better then the horse you are taking lessons on or are taking lessons with somebody that either needs more help then you or who is riding a younger greener horse it could very well be that you are not getting much play because you already aced it and there's nowhere else to go.

    You mentioned having moved on already but that you can't seem to find a good trainer in the area. Do you keep your horses at home (lucky you) or ride school horses? Maybe asking to ride a more difficult horse or volunteering to ride the neewbies at the barn would get you more play. You might not be able to do what you normally do in a lesson but you'd learn a whole lot.

    In any case, as somebody said, not everybody advertizes and there might be a smaller barn in your area that you would enjoy if you only knew it was there! Word of mouth is a great tool, ask here if you haven't already. So is asking your farrier or checking your local tack stores for more input.

    Good luck with your trainer search, there's somebody out there for you for sure!
    Situations like this are where you really need to get creative. How is the horse she is riding limited? If it is jump height, can you do some low gymnastics without stirrups and/or reins? What about different excersises with poles that work on shortening/lenghtening? Learning to do a proprer turn on the haunches and turn on the forehand? It seems to me, even on a horse with limits there should be some learning opportunities unless the student is really advanced.
    Auventera Two:Some women would eat their own offspring if they had some dipping sauce.
    Serious Leigh: it sounds like her drama llama should be an old schoolmaster by now.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    May. 14, 2008
    Posts
    686

    Default

    FWIW, I would never let my kids enter jumpers unless they were pretty solid at hunters. People have a tendency to lose their mind (myself included) when they hit a show. So once they prove they can handle a show period, they can move up to jumpers is they so choose. However, snide comments about your horse are NEVER cool. Ever.

    I have some kids in my class that are more vocal than others or want to chat. I try to distance myself from them while coaching the others and I try to make sure that all of my girls feel part of the group. Some of my groups are a little "hodge podge" in age/maturity level but they all seem to get on.

    Personally, I would have a discussion with the trainer first. I encourage my riders to speak up. I can't help you if you don't tell me what's going on.

    but sadly yes, the people with money will be catered to just for the simple economics. Acceptable outside the ring, but not inside. Ability should be the great equalizer.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 28, 2001
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    over yonder
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    3,429

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DraftHorsePower View Post
    Moved to a different city, switched trainers, trainer thought that my goals and aspirations for said horse were perfectly attainable, treated us as such, and he ended up making a very nice 3' jumper for me until we had to retire him for a stifle joint spur. The first show we attended with her about 2 months after starting lessons with her, we got reserve champion in our division and had multiple people commenting on what a nice, solid, honest horse he was, and how they wished they had something like that.
    Sounds like the the first trainer must have helped you build a decent foundation.
    Auventera Two:Some women would eat their own offspring if they had some dipping sauce.
    Serious Leigh: it sounds like her drama llama should be an old schoolmaster by now.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2009
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    116

    Default

    This is a sore point for me right now. In my case, I think it's because I don't show, mainly for financial reasons but also because I don't feel comfortable as an older (over 60) rider competing with all the young kids at the low level I'm competent at. Also, I ride a small quarter horse with no special talents, and my trainer breeds American warmbloods (TB/Perch crosses) and makes no bones about my horse's lack of ability. I wish she would just LAY OFF sometimes about my horse's lack of athleticism compared to her own horses. I've asked her more than once if I really should be thinking about another horse, and she always says mine is perfect for me. Weird message there.

    I hate confrontations and this is a really good trainer and there aren't any others in my vicinity whom I could learn as much from. But I wish she would actually encourage me sometimes. She doesn't seem to have any long-term plan for us; it's all haphazard. I really feel like she's pigeonholed me as the scared old woman on the lazy little horse. I ride 4-5 days a week, and she has said that I'm one of her few students who actually do "homework" in between lessons, so she knows I'm committed. I just feel like she doesn't know or care what to do with me.

    I really don't believe she means to be b*tchy. She has much better people skills than a lot of horse people. And I don't need to be friends with her. And I do get her attention in lessons. It's just the encouragement and respect angle that's missing.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 16, 2009
    Location
    Northeastern PA
    Posts
    566

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AmandaandTuff View Post
    I said goodbye, it wasn't the situation I wanted to be in. And now I'm having a hard time finding a trainer.
    If you are not getting what you are looking for from lessons--for whatever reason--then it is time to move on. This can be done with good feelings all around, neutral feelings, relief on both sides, or lots of angst. :-) While trainer and student is a business relationship at core, most of us probably have evolved fairly complex relationships within this framework through the course of our riding time.

    Personally, once you get past dead beginner, I think it is always hard to find the right trainer/student fit. I'm not a hunter/jumper, but when I look for a coach I need someone who has similar philosophies about how to bring along a young horse, working with mares (dyed in the wool mare person here), what are reasonable goals, and we have to work out well in terms of teaching and learning styles. I feel very lucky to have found the coach I have now, and I live in terror of her retirement. :-) I haul about an hour to my lessons, and the next nearest person I might work with at some point is even further than that.

    And finding my dressage coach (don't have one now, but did for a while) was even harder. How many dressage coaches are actually really sharp with TB mares?

    Anyway, I feel your pain, think you did what was best for you if you felt you were not learning, and wish you luck in finding a coach who does work for you.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb. 2, 2007
    Location
    Finland and NJ
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    2,262

    Default

    Happens all the time. Shame, but I see it as a business thing. I think you made the right decision to switch trainers. There are great trainers out there who actually are the opposite and pay attention to the kids that have talent, instead of those that have Mommy and Daddy buying or leasing them their ponies/horses. Those trainers are the hard to come by, but they teach you loads.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2008
    Location
    Michigan
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    840

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    I have my own horse at home, but I rode her lesson horses and her green horses. She had at least 50 horses to use as lesson horses, from beginner packer to advanced riders only. We did a semi private lesson, so just the two of us. Both were riding intermediate horses.

    I'm going to go watch some lessons and spend some time talking with a trainer about a half hour away. I'll haul in for lessons, probably only once a month. If my job picks up (grooming/mucking stalls/riding horses) then I'll be able to do training board that includes lessons and training rides on my horse. I just need to see if this trainer is going to be able to listen to me when I say I need to slow down.
    To be loved by a horse, or by any animal, should fill us with awe-
    for we have not deserved it.
    Marion Garretty



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan. 12, 2004
    Location
    Boise, Idaho, USA
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    686

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RockinHorse View Post
    Sounds like the the first trainer must have helped you build a decent foundation.

    Oh yes, I'm not saying that she wasn't a competent trainer skill wise.... quite the opposite actually, she was quite knowledgeable, and that's why I stayed there instead of somewhere else. She just didn't care to give us the confidence to put it all together and excel. The other girls, totally different story. It's only been since I left her that I've been able to place well in EQ classes. However, while I was with her, I couldn't even place in mediocre company. lol

    The horse and I did have several other trainers before then also (lot's of location changes around that time in my life), but he was a green bean and we didn't show. I think we were with that trainer for approximately a year and a few months.
    *Emilee



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan. 12, 2004
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    Boise, Idaho, USA
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    686

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    Quote Originally Posted by zahena View Post
    FWIW, I would never let my kids enter jumpers unless they were pretty solid at hunters. People have a tendency to lose their mind (myself included) when they hit a show. So once they prove they can handle a show period, they can move up to jumpers is they so choose. However, snide comments about your horse are NEVER cool. Ever.
    I DO see what she had been trying to do there and I actually strongly agree with the hunter before jumper thing, to a point. There is a point where some horses just are not going to go around like a hunter, ever, and should be able to be moved into the jumpers.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRa27OnSIxA

    That is a video of the horse in question in some hunter rounds while we were with said trainer. He doesn't jump like a hunter, or go around like one, that was about as huntery as we could get. lol. To me that was pretty darn decent and I should have been allowed to do the jumpers.

    (please for the love of god don't slam me about my non-helmet jump schooling in the very last part. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. I know. I cringe when I see it too, believe me. lol. I wear my helmet 100% of the time now. That was during a trainerless part of my life and someone should have smacked me in the face with a shovel!)
    *Emilee



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan. 28, 2003
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    The birthplace of Jesse James
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    8,969

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    Quote Originally Posted by IsolaBella09 View Post
    Happens all the time. Shame, but I see it as a business thing. I think you made the right decision to switch trainers. There are great trainers out there who actually are the opposite and pay attention to the kids that have talent, instead of those that have Mommy and Daddy buying or leasing them their ponies/horses. Those trainers are the hard to come by, but they teach you loads.
    They are hard to come by because unless they are independantly wealthy, they will go out if business if they only reward talent and not $$
    "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
    carolprudm



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul. 16, 2009
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    Northeastern PA
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    566

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    Quote Originally Posted by mroades View Post
    They are hard to come by because unless they are independantly wealthy, they will go out if business if they only reward talent and not $$
    Some trainers actually give good attention and commitment to all their students, whether the students compete and own the big dollar horses or not. My coach has always given the same attention to detail and positive teaching to my 50something novice SO as she does to the kids with the high level aspirations who pay her to go coach at events.

    Folks like that are like good old school horses, worth their weight in gold. :-)



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