Sorry, but a trainer who says "oops, got too busy to ride your horse today" and doesn't schedule a different time and still takes the check . . . we'll, they're taking your friend for a ride IMHO.
A few approaches:
the sit down and let's chat about goals approach. I would like horse to be doing xyz by Month/Date. What do we need to do to get there? Oh, BTW, you seem quite busy. Is there another way we can do this, like have a working student ride him once a week? (BTW, something else to discuss is whether or not the trainer is avoiding your horse because she doesn't like riding him or her skills are not up to par for what he needs or whatever.)
the less direct approach. Next time trainer says she didn't have time, pull out calendar and say, OK, no problem, when are you going to ride him them to make up that ride? Keep doing that and keeping track of those that are missed -- in a really nice, friendly way. At the end of the month, ask trainer -- by my calendar, we're behind xx rides. Do you want to make them up next month or do you want me to subtract them from the usual board. That will give her the message that you're watching . . .
[QUOTE=IronwoodFarm;5569767]What's the payment arrangement? When I take a horse in for training, the owner receives a log with the date of training, the trainer name and what was worked on. (I have several trainers working for me.) The owner is billed for the actual work done.
If an owner wants something that we don't do or wants more training time than we have available, I just say so. It beats having a disappointed owner.[/QUOTE]
Wish I had had this kind of set up before I spent thousands on sketchy training for a horse that ended up unusable....
I agree, HP. IronwoodFarm's training log approach is very cool. Very open, factual, businesslike. I wish more training barns operated in that manner.
These are all great suggestions. Thanks guys. I hope that she can pull things together and work out what's best for the horse while keeping her own sanity intact. She's going through a really rough time right now and I can't say it enough.....has too much on her plate already. She thought she was doing right by this horse - and I think all together she still is. Like I've said, the horse is well cared for and is getting some training. Would that all horses had such "problems", right?