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  1. #1
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    Default Horse World and Unprofessional Behavior

    Okay, so here's the question. Why does it seem that people who work full time in the world of horses are often some of the most unprofessional people I meet? True, there are some very professional people, but more often than not they just don't know how to get along and how to behave in a manner that is polite and not always self-serving.

    Hey, I get it, in the corporate world people are this way too, but most have that behavior trained out of them or beaten down and you don't have to see it on a day-to-day basis.

    Just seems a lot of professional horse people live in such insular little worlds, they just don't get it. Or maybe they tried and couldn't make it when they had to work with other people and learn to play nice.

    (Hey, I'm not saying all are like this. I know some very professional horse people who run a good business. It just seems that those are the minority, IMO.)

    Thinking of BOs, trainers, etc., here. Not picking on any one position in the world of horses.
    "Relinquish your whip!!"



  2. #2
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    Default

    Good question. I think it's because many of them are, as you said, in their own little insular worlds. Many of the ones I've met on the rare occasion that there are gatherings of such people around here have little in the way of a social life, answer to nobody, and really don't care about much outside of their own personal bubble of space. I've even encountered the occasional ones that hardly ever leave their own property at all for the most part unless required to do so for some serious reason.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!


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  3. #3
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    Yeah, Lex, they do seem to fit that profile. They do have contact with people, but it's always on their terms. Makes you wonder how they behave in a grocery store, or restaurant. Wonder if they enjoy spit on their food?

    Kind of odd. They never learn how to play nice with others. Or, as I said, maybe there in this because they never could and this is a way to avoid having to try? Hmm...
    "Relinquish your whip!!"



  4. #4
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    When so much passion is involved, I think emotions tend to fly high, leading to irrational decisions and behavior.

    Some people can balance passion and career and maintain a level of separation and levelheadedness. Others cannot, including myself!
    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO



  5. #5
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    Default

    While Lex makes a good point, an old (trainer) friend once told me:
    "You empower the trainer"

    i.e.:
    If clients didn't fall to the ground & worship at the feet of, those "pros" wouldn't/couldn't wield the power.

    I am still gobsmacked by the adult, working, decision-making riders who willingly leave all thinking to the BO, trainer, shoer, vet, etc.
    Geesh, people! Do you let the grocery clerk tell you what bread to buy?
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009
    Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009


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  6. #6
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    I think because there is no accreditation or training -- in other words, anyone can hang out a shingle as an instructor or trainer. Lacking pure equestrian skills, they use other methods to get ahead. Also because that behavior is rewarded. The sleazy trainer who steals clients, or drugs horses without the owners knowing etc often gets *more* clients this way.



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2DogsFarm View Post
    While Lex makes a good point, an old (trainer) friend once told me:
    "You empower the trainer"

    i.e.:
    If clients didn't fall to the ground & worship at the feet of, those "pros" wouldn't/couldn't wield the power.

    I am still gobsmacked by the adult, working, decision-making riders who willingly leave all thinking to the BO, trainer, shoer, vet, etc.
    Geesh, people! Do you let the grocery clerk tell you what bread to buy?
    There ya go.

    I think the short answer to the OPs question has 2.5 parts.

    1) Because horse trainers don't get MBAs first.
    2) Because more or their paying customers nowadays do work in the corporate world. In fact, more and more people have jobs. So we think every professional should be "professional" in the way we have been taught to be.
    2.5) The people doing the corporate "grin and bear it" aren't happy about that. So they are a tad jealous and/or are quick to anger when their own "underlings" aren't required to do the same as they are with their boss.

    But here's the thing. Look for quality beneath the veneer of "professionalism." Don't wig if your horse pro doesn't have a website or whatnot. That's not what's ultimately important in their line of work. Do vote with your feet and your wallet. Where you spend your time and money is all that really makes a difference in the end.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


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  8. #8
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    And many people get into the horse world due to a fantasy adoration of all things equine...

    They start the business with their hearts
    And run the business with their emotions

    Their heads don't always make any corporate appearances.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte


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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MistyBlue View Post
    And many people get into the horse world due to a fantasy adoration of all things equine...

    They start the business with their hearts
    And run the business with their emotions

    Their heads don't always make any corporate appearances.
    Oh my gosh, this is the most perfect, accurate statement I have seen in a long time.

    Thank you.
    www.Somermistfarm.com
    Hunter Ponies & Quality GSDs
    www.UnleashedK9.net



  10. #10
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    Default

    Actually, I think you would have a hard time working full time in any business, much less the horse business, without some modicum of professionalism. The people who are really, truly making it as a full time job that pays the mortgage, food, car payment, etc. are few and far between. The reason they are making it is due to professionalism.

    It takes effort to run your own business. It means you have to have many skills or the wherewithal to hire those skills when you don't have them.
    Where Norwegian Fjords Rule
    http://www.ironwood-farm.com


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  11. #11
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    How do you make a million in horses? Start with 2 million.

    Most horse "professionals" are terrible businessmen/women. It's not their interest and most barely got out of highschool...you don't need to be the sharpest knife in the drawer to ride well. They have a talent with horses and many don't widen their view of the world.

    Too many of their customers become children worshipping at their feet and somehow becoming incapable of saying, "Are you nuts?" when their "pro-horseman" makes an idiotic pronouncement. Farriers are notorious for not being professional...yet, their tardiness and lack of calling back is too often tolerated.
    "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"


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  12. #12
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    I put a lot of faith in one pro in the past. I had heard stories 'round the way that said pro was beginning to treat clients like dollar signs. I ignored it until I became the dollar sign.

    Said pro tried to sell me a horse with some issues, pretty damn obvious issues, told me the horse was X age (according to teeth, the pro was off by about 5 years-and I'm damn good at teeth). I was then given 2 prices for the horse, 1 to buy and take home, another to keep the beast in training.

    As a business woman, I was completely and entirely put off. There was much more to the story, and other situations, but said "no thanks" to the pro and started training with someone else. The way the situation was handled was disgusting.

    I'm pretty lienant with horse pros because something usually has to give-they may be GREAT with horses, but bad with clients. Its a very rare thing to find both.

    You gotta decide what you can live with and what you cannot.
    mykidshavefourlegs.blogspot.com



  13. #13
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    Default

    It all comes down to customer service! You can tell the "professionals" who have never worked in another service industry and those that have.

    Just because they can ride their way out of a paper bag/tack a shoe on properly/muck a stall/etc, does not make them a business professional!


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  14. #14
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SMF11 View Post
    I think because there is no accreditation or training -- in other words, anyone can hang out a shingle as an instructor or trainer. Lacking pure equestrian skills, they use other methods to get ahead. Also because that behavior is rewarded. The sleazy trainer who steals clients, or drugs horses without the owners knowing etc often gets *more* clients this way.
    But I'm also talking about BOs. Who would accredit a BO?

    And, if getting certified for trainers and instructors is based up on simply being politically savvy (which is the general rule when you have national federations doing the approvals--and which is why they are not being successful) what good does that really do for the industry?
    "Relinquish your whip!!"



  15. #15
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MistyBlue View Post
    And many people get into the horse world due to a fantasy adoration of all things equine...

    They start the business with their hearts
    And run the business with their emotions

    Their heads don't always make any corporate appearances.
    *ding* *ding* *ding* I think we have a winner!
    "Relinquish your whip!!"



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trakehner View Post
    Farriers are notorious for not being professional...yet, their tardiness and lack of calling back is too often tolerated.
    I'd forgotten them, when I started this thread. Seriously, I get that you sometimes run late. That's horses, but the not calling back? That drives me nuts all the time. Especially when it sometimes takes up to TWO weeks to call me back (one of the better farriers I know). I've tried not calling and following up so they don't feel harassed. I've tried calling every other day as a reminder. None of these approaches work. They just don't call back until they feel like it. You'd think they'd like to just get their schedule figured out at least a few days ahead of time.
    "Relinquish your whip!!"


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  17. #17
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    Actually, I think you would have a hard time working full time in any business, much less the horse business, without some modicum of professionalism. The people who are really, truly making it as a full time job that pays the mortgage, food, car payment, etc. are few and far between. The reason they are making it is due to professionalism.

    It takes effort to run your own business. It means you have to have many skills or the wherewithal to hire those skills when you don't have them
    Ironwood Farm is right. The poorly run farms/barns shoot themselves in the foot and have a lot of turnover.
    "The stumbler doesn’t build her life by being better than others, but by being better than she used to be."
    David Brooks



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velvet View Post
    Especially when it sometimes takes up to TWO weeks to call me back (one of the better farriers I know).
    2 WEEKS! Farriers qualify as the worst prima donna's...and probably the least educated of the horse fraternity (except for their shoeing facet of it).

    I've had em' not even show up when I've taken vacation leave to be there. Had one farrier when I boarded in Middleburg tack on two front shoes of different sizes ("I wuz out of two same sized shoes and I'd've had to gone home to get em'") The whole barn heard that "discussion". Farriers, are all too often, necessary evils of having a horse. Way too many mediocre farriers who can tack on a shoe but aren't at all professional in behaviour or education...guess it's why we put up with ones who are a bit closer than the norm.
    "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"



  19. #19
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    I agree with all that has been said, especially about the running of the business with emotion and how as clients are more in the professional area we look for more professional treatment.

    I used to be a "yes" client, one that believed every word the trainer/BM said but as I've grown up both personally and in the horse world I've had to vote with my feet more than once. Luckily I am at a barn now where the BM actually understands being professional AND treats clients with respect even though she does think she's always right.

    I think we all tend to let things slide because our horses are happy and we don't want to rock the boat. In this past year I've learned that rocking the boat is actually exactly what I needed to do. I've had vets/farriers/dentists apologize to me about missing appointments and my farrier got the point that if he didn't give me the appropriate advanced warning my mare would not be in and he would not have the opportunity to shoe her that day.

    I've really taken a hard yet soft line that I am the client and while I understand horses are horses, please just treat me with the same respect I give you.

    Unfortunately the lack of professionalism seems to run through all careers and businesses- we actually have a mandatory class to teach first year law students about being professional.
    Proud Member of the 'Irrelevent Posters Clique'
    The sun on your withers, the wind in your mane....


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  20. #20
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    I agree SO much with this statement! I am a horse professional, I like to have EVERYTHING handled professionally with contracts, things SPELLED OUT and planned well in advance. Hwoever, it astounds me at how unprofessional horse related services can be! I have need to have a LOT of horses shipped each year. It seems IMPOSSIBLE to find a truly PROFESSIONAL horse transporter. I have been dealing with one who shipped my last horse and is shipping one for me today. I REPEATEDLY tried to contact them yesterday with NO REPSONSE to see when they would pick said horse up as they ahd said it would be today. The person on the pickup end NEEDED to know if it was indeed going to be that day, and if so an approxiamte time. I realize that in shipping things can and do cause problems but COMMUNICATION is all I ask for. FINALLY got a reply this AM. There was no reason why they couldn't reply, the girl that handles this has a phone with email (as do I) and can easily say "I will get back to you or SOMETHING, but didn't. When people contact me I always contact them back asap. Just yesterday had someone call about a horse I had for sale. I called them within 10 minutes (was driving and couldn't answer the phone). They were amazed at how quickly I got back to them. You don't need 'training" to have good business practices.



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