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  1. #21
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    This is your horse. He is not a lesson horse and there is no reason for others to ride him if for no other reason than it obviously makes you uncomfortable. A lot of things can go wrong in a lesson. You should definitely look at this from the perspective of minimizing regret.



  2. #22
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    I would not allow my heart horse to be used for lessons. I'm not opposed to the lesson arrangement. My mare's only job at this point is lessons. However, she's older and is not, nor has she ever been, my primary mount. I have her because a friend loved her and he died. I wanted to ensure she has a good home going forward. She enjoys working and lesson kids don't really mess up her training. My heart horse? Nooooo. I don't mind the occasional pony ride type thing with him. Lessons are definitely a no go except for a select few friends who ride similarly and better than I do.



  3. #23
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    Jan. 30, 2009
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    There are two separate issues here, and they are very different. One issue is the suggestion by your trainer.

    Quote Originally Posted by sammicat View Post
    My trainer has encouraged me to let other people ride him, students that she has trained and that don't have horses of their own. She has even suggested those students show him in classes that either I'm not good enough to compete in or when I'm not available.
    Now, only you know how this was asked and how to interpret it. It could be totally in your benefit and your trainer could really think that either it would be good for your horse to go around more (even without you) or that someone other than a pro could help teach the horse something (quite common when you have, say, talented kids or adults that might do something -- not everything, but something -- better than you do).

    Or she's a horrible person who wants to use your new horse for her own benefit and doesn't care about anything but her bottom line and is doing this for no reason other than her own selfish intent.

    Or something in between.

    I find that things get lost in translation quite frequently on this board. I could see my trainer saying something like that in a totally reasonable way that would make me agree that it's a great idea. I could also see it said in a way that would make me distrust a trainer's intentions.

    So that is one issue. A completely separate issue is this:

    Quote Originally Posted by sammicat View Post
    I want my horse to be responsive to the way I ride. I want us to have a bond, as I like to believe that it's important for us to be a successful team. Plus, I don't want him to be a school/lesson horse that just does his job, regardless of the rider. Similarly, she encourages me to ride the lesson horses so I can get better. I don't have as big of an issue with that.

    Anyway, am I just being overly sensitive? Does there horse/rider combination really matter, within reason? Any input is greatly appreciated.
    And pardon me, but that is some black stallion nonsense right there. The one thing I want my horse to be -- above ALL else -- is a useful, usable, desirable animal who can do things with many people. I ABSOLUTELY want my horse to go around like a lesson horse and do her job regardless of the rider.

    There will (sometimes) be an extra element or spark there with the owner. Although sometimes you'll see people who want their horse to whinny for them and pine for them and be better for them than anyone else -- you'll see them looking at a horse and they'll come on this board and say "he's perfect all the time, he does whatever I ask, but he just doesn't seem to have any PERSONALITY."

    But even if your horse likes you the best, he should absolutely be expected to behave himself exactly the same no matter who climbs on. What happens if you break your leg? Or lose your job and have to sell him?

    I love it when other riders (qualified, experienced riders, of course) ride my horse. It teaches her to put up with all sots of little mistakes and makes her a better horse for me and my ammy self. There is NOTHING in this world that makes me prouder than when I watch someone ride my horse and see her being a good girl and taking care of them and performing well.

    So in conclusion, OP, only you can know what your trainer's intent really was with her suggestions. I would hope that if you trust her enough to train with her, you would trust her to have your best interest at heart. It is 100% your decision if you want to let anyone else ride your horse. And I would really recommend that you rethink your desire that your horse be responsive to the "way [you] ride." Unless you ride differently than everyone else in the world, I think your horse should be able to be ridden by anyone.

    This is only my opinion, of course. Feel free to discard it as you wish.


    8 members found this post helpful.

  4. #24
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    Nov. 7, 2006
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    I'm in two minds. I have 7 horses/ponies of my own, and my job is to make sure they are all solid citizens who will work well for other people. I need to know that if anything happens to me, that any of my ponies can get a great home with their own child.

    I have a new pony in the barn sent to me two days ago for starting under saddle. We bonded instantly and we're in love. He's such a good boy. His owner doesn't mind that - she's the same as me, she can see that him having a good bond with his temp trainer in no way demeans his bond with her.

    OTOH, nobody rides Po but me. And that's more your situation. He's your one and only horse. When it's your one and only, it kind of feels like lending out your husband. Not really something I would do.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  5. #25
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    Nov. 28, 2012
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    On the face of it your trainer's suggestion doesn't sound so terrible, however the tone of your post makes it seem like she is pushing the idea and that would annoy me. I recall you posted before that this is a trainer who also doesn't seem to care about saddle fit, so with that in mind I question her thought process a little, but who really knows. Bottom line is that it's your horse and no matter how the rest of us or your trainer feels, if you don't want anyone riding your horse then that should be the end of the story.

    That being said, if you don't want people riding him because you don't want bad habits to develop, that is totally understandable. If I had a horse I would want to approve the riders that were on him and wouldn't want other riders teaching them bad habits. If you don't want anyone to ride him because of the "bond". . . I would not worry about it. Horses are like people, once they know us as riders we are individuals to them, not a generic mass that sits on their backs. I've watched the school horses I ride take advantage of other people, but not to me, and I've also had them take advantage of me and watched someone else do a great job. It's all about what I'm doing, not what the are doing. I will say, there was one horse I leased for awhile and loved dearly and to this day, I am one of only a handful of people that he will be affectionate with. I only ride him once in awhile now, but at the end of the rides he still goes in for the nose cuddles like old times. Dozens of people ride him more than me and he still has not forgotten me or our cuddle habit. So, horses have a long memory and do know their people. Your horse will not forget you or replace you.



  6. #26
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    Feb. 25, 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by KateWooten View Post
    He's your one and only horse. When it's your one and only, it kind of feels like lending out your husband. Not really something I would do.
    It's a HORSE. I'm sorry, but letting someone else sit on your horse, no matter how much you love/adore/bond with it is in no way analogous to lending out your husband.

    I'm solidly with AmmyByNature on this one. If you trust your trainer enough to ride in their program, trust them enough to make intelligent choices about who rides what.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  7. #27
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    I know, but when it's your one and only, it kind of feels that way. You have to empathise with the OP here - there's more to it than the simply practical. In simply practical terms, yes, she'd be better off having her horse ridden by the better riders. That would advance the horse's confidence and experience levels ... ut you have to take into account the OP's feelings .... if that would break or harm her special bond, if it induced feelings of jealousy and resentment ... then it's not worth it. In referring to the relationship as 'feels like' lending out a husband, I'm talking about the emotional reaction of the person. Not the horse.


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  8. #28
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    Dec. 13, 2001
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    I think that being the barn lesson horse that everyone rides is not generally good for a horse's responsiveness. They can get dull, confused or overworked too easily. It also makes it harder to know what is going on with the horse and I personally would not allow it.

    If the horse could benefit from some mileage with a more experienced rider, I suggest that you and the trainer pick ONE good and deserving junior. That way you could make a schedule together, develop a program and all of you could work towards the goal of having a nice horse for YOU. The horse won't be confused by two riders the way they could be with multiple. It could work nicely for everyone (you, junior, and horse) if it is an idea you like.

    If you decide to do it, make sure the financial arrangements are clear. Make sure who pays what so that you don't feel like you are getting taken advantage of.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream." --Vincent Van Gogh


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #29
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    Feb. 25, 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by KateWooten View Post
    In referring to the relationship as 'feels like' lending out a husband, I'm talking about the emotional reaction of the person. Not the horse.
    Well, I only have one horse. And he is the horse I waited my entire riding career to have. I am a mid-30's amateur who would do just about anything for him. I have also been married for 10 years. And the feeling I get when I have to travel for work and someone else hops on my horse to keep him going while I'm gone is in NO WAY the same as I would feel if someone hopped on my husband while I'm out of town.

    OP, obviously this is your decision, and no one should make you feel pressured. But more show miles and more riders (with your trainer's approval) isn't such a bad thing, in my opinion.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #30
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    Sep. 2, 2005
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    I totally agree with ammybynature on this one.



  11. #31
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    Jan. 30, 2009
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    I don'r know where people are getting the impression that the OP's trainer has asked that she allow her horse to be used as a lesson horse. It was the first conclusion that the first person to respond, lcw579, jumped to, but that doesn't seem to be what the OP was told.

    My trainer has encouraged me to let other people ride him, students that she has trained and that don't have horses of their own. She has even suggested those students show him in classes that either I'm not good enough to compete in or when I'm not available.
    Doesn't sound like the trainer wants to make the OP's horse into some old shoe that everyone gets to wear...

    How the trainer phrased it sounds quite different from "lesson horse" to me.


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  12. #32
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    Sep. 2, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmmyByNature View Post
    How the trainer phrased it sounds quite different from "lesson horse" to me.
    To me it sounds like a combination of two things.
    The first being that the OP does not have the ability (riding) or time (or maybe it is finances) to do everything the horse can do so allowing these other people to ride the OP's horse the horse will get miles that the OP can not give it.
    The other thing is, the OP was riding horses that were not hers before she got hers. Thankfully the owners of those horses did not feel like the OP feels or the OP would not have had these extra rides. Why not pay it forward a little and let these more advanced riders enjoy some ride time on your clearly wonderful horse?



  13. #33
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    Jul. 19, 2007
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    I'm with AmmybyNature, the whole "special bond" thing is something made up by Walter Farley & Co. that creates unreal expectations. Maybe I'm too used to OTTBs, who come from a background where they MUST be flexible about who handles them but the #1 job of a decent horse is to be able to be a good equine citizen and that means working for whoever asks. Not saying the OP should let the trainer use the horse like a punch press, but if she has an advanced student who can do more with the horse than the OP, that can only be good for the horse. I would just make it clear IN WRITING that the OP gets compensated for use of her horse and that this is not carte blanche to let anyone the trainer wants ride the horse whenever.

    Besides, how many times do we talk about how a horse has to be a good equine citizen because, no matter how much it may be your 'heart horse', better manners and flexibility makes it easier to rehome if necessary, and it can ALWAYS be necessary? If the trainer wants a more advanced person to ride and show the horse, that can only be good for its value.


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  14. #34
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    Jan. 3, 2013
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    I don't think it will affect your bond but you are justified to be hesitant. If you feel your horse needs some training or you can't ride often enough it could be a good opportunity. I rode a number of people's horses in lessons or at shows to give them experience and some training. However if anyone with bad habits or issues rides him you could end up having to untrain something. I have a friend who is an intermediate rider that I let ride my horse supervised only. She has ridden him for probably 6 months and nothing has happened. Her ride is not quite as formal as a lesson but I coach her through everything. Well she hadn't trotted in a few weeks b/c my horse had some time off. We were in an outdoor ring which he likes better than the indoor but she didn't tell me she was really nervous in the outdoor ring. So I had her trot at the end that he liked better (further from the barn) and he looked at something, she freaked out, he freaked out. he took a few bunched trot steps like he might buck and then was fine. I had her trot a little bit on the straightaway so she could end on that and then I immediately got on and rode his spunk out. Well now everytime I ride him in that ring he is really spooky at that end the ENTIRE time I ride no matter how relaxed I am and how many times I ride him by that end. It's very frustrating to now have to work through that issue esp since that's the jumping ring and I don't want him looking around while I'm jumping. She will prob have to ride in just the indoor for awhile until I'll let her back in the outdoor. So maybe just supervise anyone who is going to ride your horse the first few times to make sure they are advanced enough and will only teach him good habits. I do think you should be compensated for him being ridden though even at shows. You should be paid for the use of him or get reduced lessons or something.



  15. #35
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    Feb. 1, 2001
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    I think some of our opinions are colored by the OP's other posts about this trainer. But the bolded words below are what really triggered the alarm bell for me:

    My trainer has encouraged me to let other people ride him, students that she has trained and that don't have horses of their own. She has even suggested those students show him in classes that either I'm not good enough to compete in or when I'm not available.
    Personally, as an amateur who has one horse at a time (not counting my semi retired older guy)... I am not in the business of underwriting other people's riding careers. Selfish? Maybe so. But it is a fact that horses only have so many jumps in them, and it is also a fact that they can be injured or have their training set back any time someone sits on their backs - and that risk is higher with an amateur - so if I want some training done on my horse, I have a pro do it.

    It may just be the way the OP worded things, but I don't get the sense that the trainer is offering the OP any compensation or protection under this arrangement. She is just being asked to let other students, who haven't invested in horses of their own, use hers instead.

    Now, plenty of people do that in exchange for a discount on board, credits toward lessons or whatever, and that's obviously fine if they feel they are getting a reasonable deal. Other people allow a really good riding junior or ammy to ride their horse in order to school and improve it in exchange for the saddle time - which is also supposed to be an exchange of value.

    The biggest obvious risk in either of these scenarios is that the horse gets injured ... in which case, the OP is stuck with the vet bills/lame horse that she now must continue to pay board on.

    It is also very possible that the horse will develop bad habits or just become more difficult for the OP to ride due to these other riders sitting on the horse. People can scoff, but frankly it's not that unusual for a "better" rider to tune on a horse to the extent that the horse becomes a lot more reactive and a lot more difficult for a more novice rider. Not much advantage to the OP in that program either.

    I am old and cynical, I guess, but I have had too many bad experiences lending my nice horse out to ever be willing to do so again. The last time I allowed my then-trainer's working student to hack my horse when I went out of town ("she would really like the extra saddle time, and it would be good for him to have some exercise while you are away," said the trainer. "I will be right there to supervise.") The girl put such bad spur rubs on the horse that they were still bloody when I got home a week later. And this was in a well regarded BNT program... not some podunk backyard place.

    My attitude now is ... if you want to ride a nice horse, please feel free to buy your own.
    **********
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    -PaulaEdwina


    7 members found this post helpful.

  16. #36
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    The suggestion that others ride the horse, combined with the suggestion that you take more lessons on horses other than your horse, indicates to me that your trainer is trying to preserve your relationship with your horse. Sometimes the owner being the sole rider leads to a deterioration in the horse and the way it goes for them. Some horses tolerate a good deal of rider practice, some don't.


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  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by lcw579 View Post
    Sounds to me like your trainer needs a lesson horse for more advanced students and she's hoping to make use of yours. He's your horse so you get to have the final say. I would say no. Set a goal for the pair of you and focus you energy on that.
    Absolutely agree with this. HOWEVER - I agree with your trainer that you should ride as many horses as possible.
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  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucassb View Post

    Personally, as an amateur who has one horse at a time (not counting my semi retired older guy)... I am not in the business of underwriting other people's riding careers. Selfish? Maybe so. But it is a fact that horses only have so many jumps in them, and it is also a fact that they can be injured or have their training set back any time someone sits on their backs - and that risk is higher with an amateur - so if I want some training done on my horse, I have a pro do it.

    It may just be the way the OP worded things, but I don't get the sense that the trainer is offering the OP any compensation or protection under this arrangement. She is just being asked to let other students, who haven't invested in horses of their own, use hers instead.

    Now, plenty of people do that in exchange for a discount on board, credits toward lessons or whatever, and that's obviously fine if they feel they are getting a reasonable deal. Other people allow a really good riding junior or ammy to ride their horse in order to school and improve it in exchange for the saddle time - which is also supposed to be an exchange of value.

    The biggest obvious risk in either of these scenarios is that the horse gets injured ... in which case, the OP is stuck with the vet bills/lame horse that she now must continue to pay board on.

    It is also very possible that the horse will develop bad habits or just become more difficult for the OP to ride due to these other riders sitting on the horse. People can scoff, but frankly it's not that unusual for a "better" rider to tune on a horse to the extent that the horse becomes a lot more reactive and a lot more difficult for a more novice rider. Not much advantage to the OP in that program either.

    I am old and cynical, I guess, but I have had too many bad experiences lending my nice horse out to ever be willing to do so again. The last time I allowed my then-trainer's working student to hack my horse when I went out of town ("she would really like the extra saddle time, and it would be good for him to have some exercise while you are away," said the trainer. "I will be right there to supervise.") The girl put such bad spur rubs on the horse that they were still bloody when I got home a week later. And this was in a well regarded BNT program... not some podunk backyard place.

    My attitude now is ... if you want to ride a nice horse, please feel free to buy your own.
    I totally agree with this.

    I do think it sounds like this trainer is just looking for a nicer horse to use for lessons. It might be beneficial to the OP and her horse, or it might not be. Having a lot of different people sitting on/dealing with a horse isn't always a good idea.

    Now, on the other hand, I also don't think it is good to have a horse that is a "one rider" kind of horse. My horse is a little bit that way, but I do try to make an effort to avoid it. He gets ridden by me, pros, and I have a few trusted friends who can also ride him. But I think it is important that *I* be the one to make the decisions about what he does, who rides, him, etc. I would never just leave those decisions up to someone else. And the ONLY people who can jump him are me and whatever pro I have riding him.


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  19. #39
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    Oct. 7, 2010
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    The notion of “pay it forward” guilting owners into letting others ride the horse someone pays their hard-earned money to purchase, train and care for irritates me a bit. I say this as a person who was and is very fortunate to ride other people’s horses throughout the course of my life, mostly for those who for some reason or another are unable or unwilling to ride.

    The key here is that the horses I have ridden were for people who were unable (i.e. illness, travel, skill, too many horses, etc.) or unwilling (i.e. scared, lost interest, not enough time, etc.) to ride. So long as I am willing and able to ride my horse, I do not have to let anyone ride my horse, even if someone can ride it better than me. It has nothing do with any bond I may or may not have with my horse. It has nothing to do with the fact that I am selfish, hypocritical or think I am the only qualified person to ride my horse. It has everything to do with the fact that I want to ride and I can.

    All that being said, I believe it is my responsibility as the horse owner to create a horse that can be ridden and handled by anyone with a modicum of skill. While there may be a special bond between horse and rider, I think it is a bit over-rated or over-used (and I have a horse that does whinny to me on occasion and seems more happy to see me than the kind people who feed him ).

    Yes, there are training bumps along the way from which a horse and rider team can grow and learn from if they stick with it, but there are times when those bumps are best handled when the horse and/or rider seek help from those more experienced so they don’t become frustrated with each other, potentially ruining the “bond.” That is when the owner needs to put their pride in the back seat and determine logically and rationally whether the trainer’s proposal is right for the owner and the horse.

    I have done this myself. In my case, I needed the help of the pro. Sometimes, there are amateurs who have the time and skill to help you. It is typically a bonus, because it is a benefit to both the owner and the amateur. I have seen this work very well; however, most of the amateurs have been those with a lot of skill/experience, have or had their own horses, and/or have demonstrated that they respect other people's horses and property.

    As presented by the OP, the trainer’s proposal can both sound fair and it can sound like the trainer is proposing to take advantage of the OP. I think this thread has provided a fair amount of pros and cons for the OP to consider so she can discuss the situation with the trainer in a more educated manner.



  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowanne View Post
    ... For me it's the journey he and I have together, even though he was 13 when I got him, it's still about working together. Plus I'm selfish Get your own awesome pony!
    I'm glad someone else has that opinion .. I want to be giving, but there is a part of me thinks that I paid for him. I pay for his upkeep, training, shoes, insurance, supplements, equipment, etc. If you want to show and ride, that's great, but I'm not sure why it should be on my dime (less entry fees, of course). We have a fairly affluent lady at the barn who is a semi-professional as far as skill level goes, but her husband does not want her to spend the "family" money on her hobby, so she rides other people's horses. She is one of the people that my trainer wants me to let ride my horse on a regular basis.
    ~ In the chaos of the showing, remember riding should be fun for all, including our 4-legged kids.



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