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  1. #21
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    Jun. 8, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by S1969 View Post
    I agree with the other poster that said you need to clarify your role/responsibilities. What exactly do you get out of this arrangement? Are you paid? Free lessons/training? It sounds to me that the trainer just likes this other girl, and will give her rides. And if she doesn't have a formal arrangement where she needs to work certain hours in exchange, then it's just out of your hands....and probably will never change.

    If you are getting something in exchange for your work - I'd clarify it and make sure you are getting what you are supposed to be getting. If someone else has a better deal, it really doesn't change your arrangement. And that is something you will deal with at every single job for the rest of your life.
    I am not paid nor do I recieve training. In exchange for my work I am suppose to receive rides and a discount off my show bill.



  2. #22
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    Oct. 29, 2000
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    Sounds like there are 2 separate issues: The other girl getting credit for work you do and, 2. the trainer giving the other girl rides you thought were yours.

    I would keep the 2 issues separate, as others have suggested. If the OG is not a working student, then it sounds like she is not getting rides in exchange for work. Your trainer may be asking her to help out, but that is not part of her deal in exchange for rides. But, if she doesn't do what she is asked to do, do not do her work for her.

    As others have said: you cannot control other people, only yourself. At first you said that you were the better rider, but then you later added that she is petite and gets the ponies to ride. So she does have something you do not have -- and it is not necessarily being a better rider.

    I would also carefully look at the horses she gets and how she rides them. Sometimes a trainer prefers someone who just hacks a horse when it needs it, and is not always trying to train it. Be careful that you are not so busy trying to prove you skills that you are overdoing it.

    If your trainer asks you to hack a horse, she probably means exactly that -- W,T,C on light contact. Your job is to ride the horse the way the trainer wants it to be ridden and not to use it as an opportunity to polish your skills.

    Not saying you are doing that, just a caveat to make sure you are not doing it.
    "I used to have money, now I have horses."



  3. #23
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    Jul. 24, 2006
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    Seattle, WA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Helpus View Post
    I would also carefully look at the horses she gets and how she rides them. Sometimes a trainer prefers someone who just hacks a horse when it needs it, and is not always trying to train it. Be careful that you are not so busy trying to prove you skills that you are overdoing it.

    If your trainer asks you to hack a horse, she probably means exactly that -- W,T,C on light contact. Your job is to ride the horse the way the trainer wants it to be ridden and not to use it as an opportunity to polish your skills.
    I want to reiterate this point made by LordHelpus (as well as her entire post).

    I've had a lot of kids come through here to help me keep my horses fit over the years. I quickly sort out those who want to "train" my horses from those who have "zero impact rides" on my horses. I want my horses conditioned, NOT trained. It is amazing how hard it is to find someone who will simply hack a horse and not try to improve something (or everything!) during every ride. I've spent many "learning weekends" (for me ) fixing the things a kid has done that because they don't have an understanding of what I'm trying to accomplish with that particular horse, is completely against the overall goal for that horse.

    The point is that I rarely pick the "better" rider as my helper. The "better" rider (especially at younger ages) is much more likely to make mistakes or confuse a horse (my message vs. their message.....and as a quick note, MY way isn't always right either, but at least it's consistent).

    In regards to your situation, as LH mentions, it seems that the other rider has SOMETHING more to offer than you, be it better availability (because of her slacking off on other chores or otherwise), ability to ride the smaller ponies, ability to ride "impact-free," or some other factor. Or maybe your trainer is offering her more because she's essentially working for free. I have a kid who helps me out here who I'm always trying to do things for because she does so much work out of pure helpfulness.

    I do agree with the general theme of responses. If you talk to your trainer, stick to the variable YOU can control. I manage a team of people and I can't tell you how often I have to focus conversations around "What YOU (or WE) can control" versus outside factors. You can't control your trainer's actions or those of the other girl. You can control your own. It would be perfectly reasonable to sit down with your trainer and ask what you can do to get more rides. You could even say that you feel that horses you consider "your" ride are going to the other girl and ask what you can do to get back on those horses. Could be that the other girl is more available, could be that your trainer wants to help her out (which could be for a hundred different reaons from the obvious to circumstances in her life that you have no knowledge of), or it could just be that your trainer has gotten into a routine and isn't thinking much about it.

    If you are open to suggestion and change you may end up having a very fruitful conversation. You, of course, have to decide whether your trainer is likely to have that type of a conversation with you. If not, then quit picking up the slack and focus only on the tasks assigned to you and perhaps talk to the trainer every time you think about doing something extra...especially if it was assigned to the other girl. "I noticed that the arena hasn't been raked today. Would you like for me to do it?" instead of just doing it, for example. No need to bring her name into it, the trainer obviously knows if she already asked the girl to do it or not.
    __________________________________
    Forever exiled in the NW.



  4. #24
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    Jun. 8, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Helpus View Post
    Sounds like there are 2 separate issues: The other girl getting credit for work you do and, 2. the trainer giving the other girl rides you thought were yours.

    I would keep the 2 issues separate, as others have suggested. If the OG is not a working student, then it sounds like she is not getting rides in exchange for work. Your trainer may be asking her to help out, but that is not part of her deal in exchange for rides. But, if she doesn't do what she is asked to do, do not do her work for her.

    As others have said: you cannot control other people, only yourself. At first you said that you were the better rider, but then you later added that she is petite and gets the ponies to ride. So she does have something you do not have -- and it is not necessarily being a better rider.

    I would also carefully look at the horses she gets and how she rides them. Sometimes a trainer prefers someone who just hacks a horse when it needs it, and is not always trying to train it. Be careful that you are not so busy trying to prove you skills that you are overdoing it.

    If your trainer asks you to hack a horse, she probably means exactly that -- W,T,C on light contact. Your job is to ride the horse the way the trainer wants it to be ridden and not to use it as an opportunity to polish your skills.

    Not saying you are doing that, just a caveat to make sure you are not doing it.
    Thanks I found this very helpful! Other girl is not titled as a working student but trainer has told her in the past that if she helps out she will let her ride. She suppose to do the things that I really don't have time to do because working more for the trainer than the whole barn, if that makes any sense.
    As far as the the pony thing, I also on a rare occasion ride the ponies I am under 5'4" and dont top 100 lbs. So capable of riding a pony.
    My trainer will usually tell me what to work on on different horses when I ride them. If she doesn't say anything before I get on than i will usually just hack and if I feel something totally messed up I will ask for her advice before going anywhere. I am pretty conservative with her and other client's horses.



  5. #25
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    Jan. 31, 2010
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    Alberta
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    Have you ever said anything when the other girl is given a horse that you had planned to ride?

    If I were in your shoes, that would bother me the most...but I also know that at your age, I would have just stewed about it, and not said anything at the time and gotten bitter about it.

    If you are there when the trainer assigns the horse to the other girl a simple "I had planned to ride him later; is there an other horse you would like me to ride instead?" will be helpful. It is very possible the trainer doesn't know you planned to ride the horse(s) later, or that she forgot who she told to ride the horse, so gives the horse to the first person she sees while thinking about it.

    You could also do something like make a list of what you plan to do the next day work and riding wise on a section of the trainers whiteboard (ask her first), then she knows who you planned to ride, and can add to the list or change something based on what the priorities are.



  6. #26
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    Dec. 19, 2009
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    Pennsylvania
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    Ask your trainer to list/divide the work responsibilities. For your trainer it's easier to just say what has to be done, but as long as it gets done your trainer is going to assume you split the work. CHT's whiteboard idea is perfect, but even a good old fashioned clipboard with pencil & paper will suffice.

    Then, DON'T DO HER WORK.

    You sound like a very dependable and responsible person, but don't let that mean you will end up doing everyone else's job. I see that happen even with adults in paying jobs. If the boss doesn't actually know who is doing the work, it's likely that the slacker is going to get raises and promotions right alongside you, or worse, instead of you.



  7. #27
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    Nov. 15, 1999
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    Middleburg VA and Southampton NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by EquitationRider View Post
    No girl doesn't work there. She lessons once a week. She used to voluntarily help out and in exchange ride some of the ponies (she's small). My trainer asked me to work for her 3 years ago after I had been a student there for 2. She has told me in the past things like "ride so and so whenever you'd like" or "so and so needs to get back and shape ride them whenever" but she never really lives up to that and gives the other girl "my" horses.

    And for everybody I know the who rides better question as came up, and I am sticking by my earlier statement that I am the stronger ride, but throwing riding abilities out the door, i need advice! Thanks!!
    Paying customers are a good thing, and it sounds like this other girl pays--this is likely why it's a very important priority to your trainer to keep her busy riding.

    Are you still a junior? How many years before you go to college? If you are going on the road and missing school in exchange for NO money, where are your parents in this picture? (This should NOT be OK with them). Show grooms make money (sometimes quite a bit of it) in exchange for their hard work, but it's not a job for a high school kid unless it's summer, on weekends, and over vacations.

    Your time might be better spend braiding, and charging for it. (The good braiders I know on the A circuit all own their own houses!)

    In any case, it is very likely you have remained in this situation because it's 'better than nothing.' But unless you want to stay in this rut, it's probably time to reassess, and change things up. If you have been at this for 5 years, maybe you've taken this situation as far as it can go.

    What are your goals? How is what you are presently doing helping you to reach them? Don't worry about the other kid; if your description of the situation is accurate, her place in the barn should be neither here nor there to you. Setting realistic goals for YOU, and making a concrete plan for YOU to reach them is what you should be talking to your trainer about.



  8. #28
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    Jun. 8, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by M. O'Connor View Post
    Paying customers are a good thing, and it sounds like this other girl pays--this is likely why it's a very important priority to your trainer to keep her busy riding.

    Are you still a junior? How many years before you go to college? If you are going on the road and missing school in exchange for NO money, where are your parents in this picture? (This should NOT be OK with them). Show grooms make money (sometimes quite a bit of it) in exchange for their hard work, but it's not a job for a high school kid unless it's summer, on weekends, and over vacations.

    Your time might be better spend braiding, and charging for it. (The good braiders I know on the A circuit all own their own houses!)

    In any case, it is very likely you have remained in this situation because it's 'better than nothing.' But unless you want to stay in this rut, it's probably time to reassess, and change things up. If you have been at this for 5 years, maybe you've taken this situation as far as it can go.

    What are your goals? How is what you are presently doing helping you to reach them? Don't worry about the other kid; if your description of the situation is accurate, her place in the barn should be neither here nor there to you. Setting realistic goals for YOU, and making a concrete plan for YOU to reach them is what you should be talking to your trainer about.
    Girl hardly pays more than me. Actually probably less because she doesn't show as much and when she does it is a lot of times paid for by trainer.
    Yes I am a sophomore in high school. My parents are pretty supportive in me working at the shows. Usually my trainer talks to them about it and my school is very generous on absences. I make straight As in all my classes, some are honors classes, so both my parent and the school are Noreen lenient on me missing a week here and there.
    I am in the process of teaching myself to braid, but I am not very handy with it. I can't even braid my own hair! I am very slow so I'm working on perfecting it. Right now I wouldn't feel comfortable charging people with my braiding job. Lol
    Te barns in my area charge way more than the one I'm at now does. Also most barns have a rule were you have to own your horse to jump over 2ft and have to go to x amount of A shows per year. I can't afford that. I love the horse I've been riding at my barn. None of the other barns have 3'6" school horses. I am extremely lucky to ride a horse I can be competitive on at the As in the jumper ring. So I guess I am doing this because it is the best I can do. Without the small discount I get on my bills I would never be able to show as much as I do.
    My goals? Well right now I am on the brink of moving up to the 3'6". I would really like to be in the child/adults by the end of the year. My trainer said that in order to move up I will have to show a little more.



  9. #29
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    Feb. 5, 2007
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    Huntington Beach, CA
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    You should definitely be paid for grooming at the show. The trainer is charging the clients, so there is no reason you should not be paid. I was a working student when I was a junior. My payment was not being charged for lessons. At shows I was treated like any other groom and paid a standard wage, plus tips. I would come home from a week long show with close to a $1,000 in my pocket.

    You need to have a talk with your trainer, but only make it about you. Ask her to give you an evaluation of your work performance and your riding skills. Ask her if there are areas where you can improve and what her expectations are of you. Talk to her about compensation at the shows. Understand that you may not get the feedback you want and you may have to make a decision if the current working arrangement is right for you. Once you can legally drive, you may have other options for a working student opportunity elsewhere. Just remember not to burn your bridges. The horse world is small.



  10. #30
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    Jan. 18, 2002
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    canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by PonyPenny View Post
    You should definitely be paid for grooming at the show. The trainer is charging the clients, so there is no reason you should not be paid. I was a working student when I was a junior. My payment was not being charged for lessons. At shows I was treated like any other groom and paid a standard wage, plus tips. I would come home from a week long show with close to a $1,000 in my pocket.

    You need to have a talk with your trainer, but only make it about you. Ask her to give you an evaluation of your work performance and your riding skills. Ask her if there are areas where you can improve and what her expectations are of you. Talk to her about compensation at the shows. Understand that you may not get the feedback you want and you may have to make a decision if the current working arrangement is right for you. Once you can legally drive, you may have other options for a working student opportunity elsewhere. Just remember not to burn your bridges. The horse world is small.
    I dont agree with this at all. The girl basically gets to ride a horse that can do 3.6'', plus go to A shows. How many people here have paid to lease a horse.... whats the going rate? I bet this is a value of at least 2500.00 . Now lets talk about going to A shows. Coaching fees, stall fees, show fees.. how much of a discount does she get.
    Lets face it those fees could be at least 2000.00 per show. What about accomodation at those shows, is that free. See the problem is working students, never see the value of what they are getting, because usually they are young and have never had to pay these types of fees. Its very easy to get into the poor me thinking. I see it happen a lot.
    This girl seems like a good hard worker, and i think is deserving of what she gets, but she needs to just do what her trainer asks her to do and never mind what everyone else is doing. Stop doing the other persons job, just do her own and let things play out.
    www.tayvalleyfarm.com
    My other home.



  11. #31
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    Jun. 30, 2009
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    The trainer has never once given away your ride/horse - the trainer has given away a ride on her horse.

    Accept that & move on.

    Do your work, then ride.

    From your description, it sounds as if you'd rather work than ride ... blankets can get sorted another day, gum can be tidied another day - the horses needs should be met first & the rest later ... even the banked sand, don't ride the edges ...

    You've got your vent out here, now let it go.
    Don't talk to your trainer in any words about the other girl - if you want to talk about your issues/goals, then go ahead.
    (there is no way for you to mention the other rider without criticising your trainer in the same breath, so why would you even consider it )



  12. #32
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    Oct. 26, 2005
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    Sounds like you need to make concrete plans to ride horses when they are assigned. If Trainer says "Rake the ring, and then ride Dobbin whenever", respond with "I will rake the ring and then hop on Dobbin at 3pm today- what kind of ride do you want me to give him?".

    Then, later, if Trainer tells The Other Girl to ride Dobbin, you can simply say "I was going to ride him at 3 today. Would you like me to switch to a different horse?"

    If the trainer can't come up with a different horse for you to ride at a concrete time (and not just, "Oh, ride Snowflake when ever"), you have to re-assess with them what you are getting for working.

    There is a lovely benefit to catching whatever perks come your way as a working student, and nickel and dime-ing can really put a hamper on those spontaneous benefits, but at the same time if you are getting a variety of unspecific payments it is hard to keep any track of whether you are each getting your fair share of the bargain. If your work is paid out to you with reduced show fees, free lessons, free hacks... it can be hard to keep track of if you've been "paid" or not. Your trainer may have been planning to "pay" you for X task with a free lesson later in the week, but you didn't know that and thought your hack was the payment.

    See how it can get confusing?

    I would see if you can narrow down the work/pay relationship. It worked well for me growing up as a barn rat that my first bill I worked off was the cost of lessons. If I worked beyond that cost (and I usually did, as I was there 6-7 days a week), it was then applied to my board. If I worked beyond that, like the times during breaks when I did my work and covered the people out on vacation, money above and beyond board was applied to training/trailering fees for shows. If there were no shows happening within the next month, the balance carried over to the following month's bills (as I was unlikely to be working triply hard for more than a week or two at a time).



  13. #33
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    May. 26, 2009
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    Chicagoland Area
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    Girl...i have been there done that . Kept my mouth shut for years, and what ended up happening was maybe easily preventable. If i would have had a discussion with my trainer before i just got so sick of everything and left and no longer have any relationship with that women.i was older then most of the many "working students" that she had therefore i could drive the trailer and watch the little kids at shows. I was used and abused while another girl that did less work and would randomly disappeared for weeks got way better treatment than me. Better riding was not the issue she was a great rider but as a junior i was very successful winning multiple equitation classics and state medal finals. I would usually have to pay my show fees n then i had no trainer fees because i worked my butt off. Which was very helpful but said other girl paid nothing and once randomly got a new pair of sergio tall boots from this trainer. It was a joke... The horse shows that i did less attend got so stressful because i stayed up all night getting stuff set up and the whole day getting everyone else's horses cleaned and prepped and when it came time for me to show in my one division i was so rushed and stressed it was awful. Sounds like a lot of these people have never been in the situation and its hard to go everyday work your butt off and see other people just going along for the ride.

    Pm me i have a lot of advice
    hang in there
    Weekends are for horse shows
    and Fridays are for lessons



  14. #34
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    Mar. 1, 2007
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    Great advice here ---

    Agree - STOP doing the other girl's work - and keep a record of what work you do EVERYDAY --- IME you will never get credit for doing another persons work and ultimately you will end up expected to do it because you always have ---

    Make sure that you understand the agreement with your trainer. Being a working student is difficult. THere are trainers who are quite clear on the work you are expected to do and on what you get in exchange for that work. These situations tend to work out well. Then, there are the more common situations where things are less than clear --- work for me and I'll get you some rides.... IME this always dissolves into one party or another feeling taken advantage of (sometimes the trainer and sometimes the working student).

    It is absolutely your trainer's right to give rides to whoever she/he wants. It is absolutely your right not to work for what you consider to be a less than fair exchange.

    It will take some time for your trainer to realize that things are not being done - and (you may want to leave your trainer notes at the end of the day or week listing the assignments you had and when they were accomplished) foryou to get credit for your work ethic.

    It may be that you still do not get the rides you want - the trainer may prefer the ther rider for whatever reasons - but if you are not getting what you feel is a fair exchange then address THAT issue NOT the other girl...

    Again as others have said control and address what you can --- leave the other stuff behind -- and sometimes the exchange will not meet your needs and sometimes you will need to move on or accept less or renegotiate

    Life is not fair - but you do have the right to renegotiate the agreement, change trainers, or walk away if the fairness level becomes unacceptable to you. It doesn't mean that you will like any of the choices that you have, but you do need to choose and then live happily with that choice --- or change again



  15. #35
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    Aug. 15, 2008
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    OP, I just wanted to mention that you sound like a really hard worker, not only at the barn but at school and just in general. You would be great to have around the barn. Your trainer sure is lucky.

    It's also been nice to read a thread by a teenager that is well written and easy to read.

    You are a smart cookie. I can tell.
    "Aye God, Woodrow..."



  16. #36
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    May. 26, 2009
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    I totally disagree with you running the risk of sounding whiney. Are people just supposed to ignore unfair situations because they will sound whiney? Ignoring the situation is just gonna make it worse especially if the trainer doesn't realize what is actually going on. Being taken advantage of is not something anyone should just ignore.
    Weekends are for horse shows
    and Fridays are for lessons



  17. #37
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    Apr. 1, 2006
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    This is why working students can end up feeling used and abused....there's oftentimes no structure to the program.

    My working student program is very clear and organized and it's STILL difficult to keep things on track. We have an hourly rate that we "pay" the working students in lessons. So the lesson cost (or hack cost, etc.) / hourly wage = hours they must work for that lesson (or hack, etc.)

    They have to write down their hours for each shift and also write down what they're receiving in return to keep everything straight.

    OP, I would try to get something set from your trainer - so many hours of work = so many rides, lessons, etc. Otherwise, you're bound to feel like you're not getting what you deserve. When you're doing the work,

    As to the other person, STOP doing her work! Your trainer isn't psychic; if she tells the other girl to do something and it gets done, how is she to know it's you doing it?

    If you've got an agreement on what exactly you're working for, and you stop doing the other girl's work, you've done all you can do for the situation. The rest of it, you can't control, I'm afraid. You sound like a very hard worker and responsible. That's a lot in this business!!
    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. (Aristotle)



  18. #38
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    Jun. 17, 2001
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    down the road from bar.ka
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    On a constructive note...

    My trainer has always made anybody working off lessons or show fees keep a written time card kept on a sheet of paper on the clipboard in the office. Time in, time out for lunch, time back in, time out for the day. It's on the honor system. Credit is 10 per hour. Totals are applied to the charge for lessons and school horse.

    Trainer also has an official working student but they are always over 18 and there 5-6 days a week 8-10 hours a day on a seperate agreement, more like an apprentice then working off lessons.

    You got nuthin here. No defined expectation, no specific credit applied.

    I would talk to the trainer about getting specific credit towards fees and how to track your work towards that.

    I would not mention the other girl to trainer because you really don't have any idea what the trainer has privately told her, or her parents, and there may well be things not shared with you involved. And you have said the OG does not WORK there? It is the trainers horse or a client who pay her to manage it and her call who rides what as she sees fit. Questioning trainers choice of rider on that might not get the result you desire and backfire.

    So, get a system to track your work towards rides and fees and stick to getting that in place when you talk to trainer. DO NOT CLEAN UP after that other girl when she is specifically asked to do something. The "Oh I thought OG did that already. I'll get right on it" is an excellent way to deal with the situation.

    You know, I HATE alot of these so called WS arrangements because of something like this. No agreement, no tracking, no consistency and hurt feelings along the way.

    JMO but I would guess trainer thinks OGs parents may be on track to buy a horse for her and it's marketing-that IS how trainer earns her living and part of the business. being nice is just that, nice. Doesn't pay any bills for trainer and doesn't earn any ride time in return for OPs time. Both sides need to be more professional.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  19. #39
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    Jun. 13, 2000
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slewdledo View Post
    Being someone's doormat, hoping that doing so will make them love you, is not an appropriate way to react.
    LOVE THIS!
    also i would not do her part of the work. if you are both to clean out the trailer then you do your half. if you both need to rake the ring, you do your half only. do not rat on the girl. throwing someone under the bus is just not cool.
    but let the trainer start asking why half the ring was raked, and half the trailer was unloaded.
    i agree, that the other rider is probably better than you and that is why she is getting rides. you cannot tell the trainer how to allocate the horses.
    keep your chin up and if you feel this is not enjoyable anymore then i guess you will have to quit. if you still enjoy it, then stop fretting about the other girl!



  20. #40
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    Jun. 13, 2000
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foundgreenergrass View Post
    Sounds like a lot of these people have never been in the situation and its hard to go everyday work your butt off and see other people just going along for the ride.
    yes it is hard! but unless you have something better, you are cutting your nose off to spite your face. if it is really awful, then the only choice you have is to quit.
    many people work in corporate jobs and watch this happen every day. the unfair promotion that the incompetent worker but great butt kisser gets. the only thing you can do is find another job, and that may not be possible in a bad economy. so you just have to change your attitude to survive and not drive yourself crazy.
    this may be a good lesson for OP to learn in preparation for entering the corporate world.



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