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  1. #21
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    If her horses are posing a danger (aka kicking), you WILL have a liability issue on your hands sooner or later. Unfortunately, passive modeling behavior may not get through. You may have to start with a 2x4 lecture to get her attention and then offer to show her some techniques that work - letting her know that if the kicking and dangerous behavior doesn't stop, she will need to go.


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  2. #22
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    To be the honest, the only major shifts in training paradigms that did not occur from the individual's own experiences, decision or enlightenment have been the result of the barn owner or trainer saying "shape up or get out".


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  3. #23
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    Crockpot, it does not bug me that she does not train with me. She has been doing dressage longer than me, and I like having someone to bounce ideas off of, and who is also interested in getting coaches in to teach us. Plus, I like her. Otherwise I would ask her to leave and go down my waiting list to pick someone else. What bothers me is that her current horse is a danger in the ring, and is becoming dangerous to handle, and I am no longer strong enough to feel safe leading him very far...which may mean he doesn't get out to grass this summer. It is a nice enough horse, and it would be nice to see them work together rather than a battle.

    I have already banned her from riding during certain lessons to reduce the risk to my novice students.

    Saultgirl, this is horse number 4 that she has worked with. The first three belonged to someone else though. All developed resistance habits, but this is the first that I would consider a consistent danger to others in the ring.

    MagiceeTango; I don't do much training anymore as I no longer have full use of my nervous system, but in any event, she mostly rides in the early evenings when I am teaching or about to be. I have ridden with her a few times, but it really gets MY horse riled up to be around her training. (which I guess is good practice for warmup rings, but not my idea of a nice day in the saddle)


    CA ASB, yes, I think you are right in that I need to approach it that way. I have told her to shut it down a few times.
    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!



  4. #24
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    I honestly don't think you can change someone like this even if they ARE in your training program! I know of someone who fits your description exactly, and it comes from a sense of superiority and a "how dare the horse resist!" attitude. We often see the mantra repeated here that the horse gets 23 hours to itself, asking for 1 hour of good behavior isn't much. That's a great mantra for those of us who tend to be too wimpy with our horses and need to get tougher. However, there are those who believe the horse should understand that logic and therefore there is simply no reason not to behave for the ride and do as much as the horse is pushed to do, regardless. It sounds like the ride isn't just pushing horses, but also punishing them unfairly - they don't know their boundaries and expectations, aren't getting properly rewarded with release - and therefore they're reacting negatively. I just don't think there's much chance you can make the change in attitude.
    My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by katarine
    If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed



  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHT View Post
    Crockpot, it does not bug me that she does not train with me. She has been doing dressage longer than me, and I like having someone to bounce ideas off of, and who is also interested in getting coaches in to teach us. Plus, I like her. Otherwise I would ask her to leave and go down my waiting list to pick someone else. What bothers me is that her current horse is a danger in the ring, and is becoming dangerous to handle, and I am no longer strong enough to feel safe leading him very far...which may mean he doesn't get out to grass this summer. It is a nice enough horse, and it would be nice to see them work together rather than a battle.

    I have already banned her from riding during certain lessons to reduce the risk to my novice students.

    Saultgirl, this is horse number 4 that she has worked with. The first three belonged to someone else though. All developed resistance habits, but this is the first that I would consider a consistent danger to others in the ring.

    MagiceeTango; I don't do much training anymore as I no longer have full use of my nervous system, but in any event, she mostly rides in the early evenings when I am teaching or about to be. I have ridden with her a few times, but it really gets MY horse riled up to be around her training. (which I guess is good practice for warmup rings, but not my idea of a nice day in the saddle)


    CA ASB, yes, I think you are right in that I need to approach it that way. I have told her to shut it down a few times.
    I am sorry, but I think this situation is already over, you just haven't faced up to it yet.

    I don't care if she is a 'better' dressage rider than you. If she is such a risk that you have to ban her from the ring then she ain't a better rider at all. And quite frankly, what she sounds like is NOT a trainer at all. But someone who has ridden trained horses all their life, and really cannot condition a response in a horse.

    Or rather she can, she just can't figure out that the responses she is conditioning are the wrong ones. Which is a BIG problem.

    You cannot ride in the ring with her... your students cannot... her horse is even becoming bad on the ground.... Madame, all of the warning signs are there, but you are not yet up to facing them.

    Do not be fooled because she has had access to fancy trained horses. An FEI show record does NOT an FEI trainer make. (That's how the BNTs keep in business. Selling and constantly retraining horses for those with large wallets who really cannot ride...... )

    If you look at it from an outside perspective, it is seems that you have made far too many concessions for this person who is a danger to you, your students, etc. Time for her to go.


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  6. #26
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    Nov. 8, 2001
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    It might be time for your barn to become a training barn, where each boarder there has to take x number of lessons per month. This is what my sister had to do when faced with a few like you've got and the whole barn culture has improved dramatically.


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  7. #27
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    Oct. 16, 2008
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    How much are you being paid to "instruct" her; or, even more importantly, is she interested in unsolicited instructions? Leave her be.



  8. #28
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    Jan. 29, 2003
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    Hmm...easy to say MYOB but much harder when you see a nice horse being ruined right in front of your nose.

    Been in your shoes CHT; there is nothing you can do. IME, these types of people usually have issues beyond simple poor training technique. I wonder if other sports have participants that start one week and suddenly believe they understand the whole scope of the sport by the next? Horses seem to attract these kinds of people & no amount of good advice is going to change them unfortunately.

    I get that you like her so it will probably just get to the point where the bad riding/handling will just make you so crazy that you will have to ask her to leave. Like I said, I have been there and I wish that I had asked the person to leave earlier instead of letting it drive me nuts.
    \"Don\'t go throwing effort after foolishness\" >>>Spur, Man From Snowy River



  9. #29
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    Also wanted to add; this whole issue is another reason I do not enjoy judging at the lower levels. I don't feel it is my place as the judge to say anything to the riders (unless asked) but when I see a kid coming in on a totally unfit mount with improper (not incorrect, just obviously wrong) tack I just cringe and rant to myself about the idiocy of some "trainers".
    \"Don\'t go throwing effort after foolishness\" >>>Spur, Man From Snowy River



  10. #30
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    Dec. 21, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHT View Post


    She isn't abusive, but pushes her horses hard and her idea of praise is just to say "good" and to try again (vs giving the horse a short break or moving on to something easier/fun).

    This has resulted in her horses ALL developing the habit of kicking out at her leg, rearing (small rears), some mild bolting, and general nervousness when ridden. her current horse is younger, and this training style is making him dangerous for me to lead out as well. (over reacts when he spooks, like he is afraid I will get after him for looking at something). Kicking out at her leg is also getting dangerous to others.


    When my students have ridden these same horses they find them to be very dead to the aids, but otherwise pleasant, and definately safe.
    Why don't you ask her if she is happy about the way her horse(s) are going? Why don't you talk about what you are observing when she is riding ( rearing, kicking etc) and ask her if this is what she is trying to accomplish? If you have a good relationship with her then talk to her about the way her horse is behaving and that you are no longer able to lead him safely to pasture and that because of his kicking it is unsafe for him to be ridden in the company of others. Somewhere in her brain she knows all of this, but she may need a wake up call, so to speak.

    If you could offer to video her so she can see what her horse looks like when she rides him it would be something she couldn't ignore.

    If her horses are so unsafe why are your students riding them??



  11. #31
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    First of all I am sick and tired of people being "afraid of conflict" in this culture. Nobody has the conversational skill anymore to flesh out differing points of view, accept and respond to challenges to ones own views (and hey, sometimes people point out LEGITIMATE holes in our arguments or thinking, no?), or to mutually explore both sides of an issue.
    Of course people are afraid though because if you so much as ask, "But have you considered...?" the other side FLIPS OUT since any perceived slight to their intenet zingerdom is perceived as a personal insult.

    Anyway, end tangent. OP, please man up enough to get past the "fear of conflict" and demonstrate good, mature conversational skill yourself. Be older than 6, conversationally. "But but" nothing. You can't control if the other side is, but you CAN control if YOU are.



    If you would like to resolve this without ever having to be conversationally older than 6, you will have to wait for a time when the other party:
    1.) sees you riding
    2.) desires to achieve your same results and
    3.) asks you how you did that and/or asks you to ride their horse for them.


    If the above three stars do not align you are back to mustering the cajones to be conversationally older than 6.


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  12. #32
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    Jan. 30, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by candyappy View Post
    If her horses are so unsafe why are your students riding them??
    The horse's aren't inherently unsafe to ride. ... they are unsafe to ride in the same ring as though Her former three had a novice rider owner (who did lesson with me), and you could see an absolute change in the horse with a more passive ride. With a different rider (one who offers breaks/release) they are pleasant albeit dull to aids. i wouldn't trust the current horse out on a trail ride with anyone else, but in the arena her horse(s) don't behave in the same manner...but then they aren't being asked to perform at the same level either.

    camstock, any new boarders do have to be in lessons with me, but this person came in previous to that rule.

    i am thinking of bringing it up as something she will need to fix otherwise she will be kicked out of warmup rings and riding while i teach. I may have the opportunity to casually help her with the horse as she seems to be interested in learning horse soccer along with my students. Also found a good article on giving the horse time to "soak" that may help her understand why the horses act the way they do.

    Meupatdoes, I am ok with conflict IF I have a clear outcome/solution and feel empowered to achieve that outcome such as wanting someone out of my barn, but I suck at conflict if I want someone else to change themselves...(so the change is more out of my control)...maybe because for the most part i know it is futile.
    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!



  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHT View Post
    Meupatdoes, I am ok with conflict IF I have a clear outcome/solution and feel empowered to achieve that outcome such as wanting someone out of my barn, but I suck at conflict if I want someone else to change themselves...(so the change is more out of my control)...maybe because for the most part i know it is futile.


    This is the same all-or-nothing that makes most conflict a Zero Sum game in this culture. If you have resolved to completely kick her out, then you're fine. That's not a conversation, that's an ultimatum. In your mind she has lost and you have won before you even bring it up: you present her with your decision and she deals with it either by agreeing to your terms or leaving. Her participation in constructing the outcome is 0%, yours is 100%. Of course you are comfortable with this! You get to pick everything.

    Having a mature back and forth and being ready to explore the strengths and weaknesses in each others (including your own) point of view and arriving at a solution that may not be 100% what you envisioned: not so comfortable.

    Which way do you think is more likely to change her behavior in the long run, though?



  14. #34
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    May. 9, 2007
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    I think its very difficult if they aren't actually taking lessons from you. You would think she would get a clue since you have banned her from certain situations.
    Sometimes people just have their own 'epiphany'. I can recall teaching a group of women who had previously been coached by an extremely abusive trainer...they just didn't know there was another way. When I asked the question 'why would you do that to a horse you supposedly love?", one woman basically broke down into tears...she had just suddenly realized she was abusing the poor horse.
    So, I suppose leading by example,or posing the question like I did...'Why?'...I think people have to come to grips with abusive handling in their own time (doesn't help you much, I know)



  15. #35
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    Sep. 26, 2008
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    you tell her that she must get lessons from someone that has a training standard that meets your approval or must leave, her horse is clearly getting dangerous to others both undersaddle and on the ground



  16. #36
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    Jul. 2, 2003
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    Since you say that you and she discuss dressage you could bring up a conversation about the "release" being the moment in which horses get the chance to respond to the aid and the moment that they actually learn. It has been discussed in plenty of books and articles. If you can find it Give Your Horse A Chance – by Lt. Col A. L. d’Endrödy discusses the importance of the relaxing, or giving phase of any aid and also the importance of taking breaks to reward the horse.



  17. #37
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    I would go about this one of two ways: make friends and kind of gently lead them to a new way of thinking or let them see me doing whatever they're trying to achieve with more consistency and better results and hope they ask for advice.



  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by DancingArabian View Post
    I would go about this one of two ways: make friends and kind of gently lead them to a new way of thinking or let them see me doing whatever they're trying to achieve with more consistency and better results and hope they ask for advice.
    Some people, that just doesn't work with them, a good example Parelli and followers.
    No matter how much has been, over the years, pointed out to them that some of what they do is really not very good, that there are better ways and why and how to go there, several decades down the road now, they are still happily bopping and clunking away.

    Some times, you really can't teach an old dog new tricks.
    Some people you can't reach, it is better to just distance yourself from them.



  19. #39
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    I am sure there are lots of people with teaching methods that many laugh at that ask themselves the very same question. They think their techniques are the best and do not get why others simply do not see it and latch on to it.




    Quote Originally Posted by CHT View Post
    Her former three had a novice rider owner (who did lesson with me), and you could see an absolute change in the horse with a more passive ride.
    Am I reading this wrong? You had/allowed her do training on some of your other boarder's horses?
    You missed your opportunity to disagree with her training when you allowed that and her techniques to continue.

    Like confrontation or not your only option is to be honest and up front. Being her friend that seems like the best approach anyway. Simply tell her that you see Dobbin is getting more and more miserable and you see that she is not providing him with any positive reinforcement while she is training and you really think that is part of the issue.



  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crockpot View Post

    You can't change her thinking unless she wants to change.
    This. You can either wait it out (sometimes people do finally wake up but you must be patient) or you can get firm about what you are willing to watch/tolerate at your facility. Some people never wake up and nothing you say/do will make any difference at all...bottom line, if they aren't already seeking something new/different, then no matter what you do/say, it probably isn't going to be well-received.
    JB-Infinity Farm
    www.infinitehorses.com



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