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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec. 28, 2012
    Posts
    634

    Default Relationship with Trainer

    Hello,

    I would like to find out about the relationships people have with their trainers. Is your trainer just your trainer or do you look to him/her as a morale booster, friend, etc.? I ask because we spend so much time riding, training, showing with these people, not to mention trusting the care of our horses to them, that it's easy for them to become more.

    Any thoughts ...
    ~ In the chaos of the showing, remember riding should be fun for all, including our 4-legged kids.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 1, 2008
    Location
    at work and the barn...middle of nowhere PA
    Posts
    247

    Default

    My trainer is absolutely my mentor, I secretly refer to her as "my Dumbledore" (in this scenario, I am clearly Harry Potter), I don't usually make myself out to be a book character, but when I read the books, the parallels struck me. We don't alway agree on things (although most often we do), but we get along extremely well and I know that there is so much that she has to teach me, it will never be enough. I think of her often when I am making decisions, both horsey and non, and I am certain this will be something I will do for the rest of my life.


    PS, from reading this title, I thought you might have been referring to romantic relationships, lol.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 21, 2012
    Posts
    20

    Default

    I love riding so much but I hated my trainer more. I quit showing and left the barn (and all my friends) as a result. I never thought someone could ruin riding for me but it happened!

    I've since rolled solo with lessons from other trainers occasionally that made me wonder why I put up with her for so long!

    No dumbledore and Harry potter here! Lol


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 1, 2007
    Posts
    594

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GrantanaKC View Post
    My trainer is absolutely my mentor, I secretly refer to her as "my Dumbledore" (in this scenario, I am clearly Harry Potter), I don't usually make myself out to be a book character, but when I read the books, the parallels struck me. We don't alway agree on things (although most often we do), but we get along extremely well and I know that there is so much that she has to teach me, it will never be enough. I think of her often when I am making decisions, both horsey and non, and I am certain this will be something I will do for the rest of my life.


    PS, from reading this title, I thought you might have been referring to romantic relationships, lol.
    You can have a relationship with your trainer, go to dinner, do fun things together, but remember something very important....

    At the end of the day, your still a client and they are still your trainer. Always, always.... keep it that way.


    10 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 11, 2005
    Posts
    350

    Default

    My trainer is also a close friend, and I've been riding with her since I was 14 or 15. She means the world to me! In fact, she is even going to be in my wedding this summer. Wouldn't change a thing!
    Friend of bar.ka



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 5, 2012
    Posts
    667

    Default

    I see my trainer as an authority figure, but that's mostly due to our age difference. But she's not so much older than me that she's an intimidating authority figure. I can communicate with her easily and I think it'd be nice to see her as a friend at some point (I haven't been with her very long). I do listen to her though, and I do what she tells me unless I have some serious objection to it--which I haven't so far. This applies to the assistant trainer and the barn manager too. It definitely helps that they're all easy going and don't treat me like a little kid. What I love about the people that run the barn is that they let me have so much input with the way things are done with my horse (and I definitely have a lot of guidance too). Everything from feeding to my riding lessons--i feel like my input is really considered and has an effect despite the fact that I'm only a teenager. It makes me feel lucky that the (limited) horse knowledge I have isn't ignored just because of my age. I can tell I'm going to learn a lot; not just about riding, but horse care and horsemanship too.
    So yep, I'd say I have a pretty good relationship with my trainer (even though it hasn't been long).
    If i smell like peppermint, I gave my horse treats.
    If I smell like shampoo, I gave my horse a bath.
    If I smell like manure, I tripped.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep. 21, 2009
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    232

    Default

    I always get along with my trainers, and having moved around for my job, kept them as friends after relocating. I do sometimes find it funny - I definitely view my trainers with respect. Not fear, just that I still kind of "look up" to them. But when you think about a lot of the clients - many of us that can afford this sport probably have a certain level of authority or accomplishment in our professional lives. I just think it's neat many of us abandon that "authority" to gain knowledge from our trainers. And even weirder now that I'm older than some of them!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 15, 2010
    Location
    recent transplant to the Peper
    Posts
    558

    Default

    the trainer that I grew up riding with was like my mother. In fact, when I went to college I got her a "Mount Holyoke Mom" t shirt. She taught me from the time I was six until she got too sick to teach when I was 20. I can still hear her teaching me from beyond. The trainer I worked with after her, became a HUGE mentor (Mark Leone) and I got even more respect for him as a horseman after watching how he treats and cares for the animals with him.

    As for my relationship with my current trainer...well...lets just say it's complicated. He's my boyfriend, but also a mentor and someone I look up to. I watch him ride and can only dream of having the versatility and compassion he has while in the saddle. Whether it be a racehorse or teaching a horse to jump, it is the same steady, reassuring and gentle ride. It doesn't hurt that he's someone I come home too and can watch the horse channels with or FEI TV as well as very attractive



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 7, 2010
    Posts
    47

    Default

    I married my trainer and lived happily ever after... And he's still my trainer.


    6 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 18, 2007
    Location
    Western Maryland
    Posts
    280

    Default

    I, too, married my trainer--6 months ago . We're both young and met through horses, so it was natural! Perks are free board for life and no coaching fees !
    Lesmiz_07


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2007
    Location
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Posts
    1,272

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FAW View Post
    You can have a relationship with your trainer, go to dinner, do fun things together, but remember something very important....

    At the end of the day, your still a client and they are still your trainer. Always, always.... keep it that way.
    I agree with this. Many times people have posted here on COTH about how hard it is to tell their trainer they're leaving or how they are unhappy with the services, etc., because their trainer is their friend and they don't want to damage the relationship. As soon as money changes hands, it is a trainer client relationship, not a friend relationship. You can be friendly, but always remember you are the client.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 1, 2008
    Location
    at work and the barn...middle of nowhere PA
    Posts
    247

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PonyPenny View Post
    I agree with this. Many times people have posted here on COTH about how hard it is to tell their trainer they're leaving or how they are unhappy with the services, etc., because their trainer is their friend and they don't want to damage the relationship. As soon as money changes hands, it is a trainer client relationship, not a friend relationship. You can be friendly, but always remember you are the client.
    I totally get what you are saying, I didn't mean for it to sound like we were best buds, we have a clear teacher/client relationship. She's much more like a mother figure to me (my mother jokes that sometimes she feels a bit competitive w my trainer, lol), and we have a lot of respect for each other. I have left her, for years in fact, when other life factors had me far away. But I always came back when I could and now I have the opportunity to move back and I'm jumping on it bc I've realized JUST how hard it is to find a situation where you have excellent instruction, excellent care, people (trainer as well as other riders) who I enjoy being around, and an instructor whose words mean more to me than just how they help me ride better. Does that make more sense?



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    972

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    My childhood trainer became a family friend. I used to babysit her two boys, and my Mom and I lived with her for a short time in the midst of my parents divorce.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    May. 2, 2011
    Posts
    296

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FAW View Post
    You can have a relationship with your trainer, go to dinner, do fun things together, but remember something very important....

    At the end of the day, your still a client and they are still your trainer. Always, always.... keep it that way.
    Yes. My trainer is very professional in that she is helpful/kind/a friend when it comes to horses, but she rarely attends 'extra curricular' activities with anyone, wanting to keep a distance when it comes to personal lives.

    She's almost solely had adult clients, but a friend and I who were riding with her (both college girls at the time) bumped into her at a restaurant/deli one evening after a show and had a 3-hour dinner- and LOVED it! She was trying to rationalize to herself that it was in fact our parents who were her 'clients', which allowed her to let loose a little.

    I've also been in a trainer-client relationship that was the COMPLETE opposite, and while it was great at first, things can get messy REALLY fast. I much prefer my new arrangement



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 22, 2012
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    828

    Default

    I consider my trainer a close friend. Although she is not so much in a trainer role anymore, I've ridden with her for years and a good friendship blossomed. She is still my mentor, but we learn from each other.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov. 28, 2012
    Posts
    165

    Default

    My relationship with my trainer is all business. She is pleasant and professional, but I don't feel any sense of obligation to her and I don't think she feels any to me, either, aside from teaching me to be a good rider. I've ridden with people I was more friendly with and I do miss the camaraderie sometimes, but I'm learning new things which is important to me, and I also don't have to worry about any guilt or hurt feelings if I move on one day.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb. 19, 2009
    Posts
    4,994

    Default

    My trainer is also a good friend. I think what helps is I have a good sense of knowing when it's business and when we can be friends. I try to never cross the line when it comes to her business I.e. I pay on time, don't expect any perks/favors, and expect to be treated like a client when I'm in her place of business. I'm respectful during lessons and always listen.

    That being said, my trainer is very friendly and open and thus has formed a lot of relationships with other clients. For some it works, for others it really doesn't because they tend to take advantage and my trainer is afraid to say anything because she doesn't want to ruin either relationship.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan. 6, 2013
    Posts
    163

    Default

    My trainer is also my mentor, but also a friend. But then again, everyone out at our barn are friends with each other. It's just a pretty friendly atmosphere overall.
    "One reason why horses are happy is because they are not trying to impress other horses."
    "Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear, or a fool from any direction"



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2001
    Location
    Finally...back in civilization, more or less
    Posts
    11,539

    Default

    Generally, I try to keep business relationships friendly but on a professional level. Given the amount of money that is involved, adding a personal/emotional element to the mix can be problematic (look at all the threads people post here about "how do I tell my trainer I am unhappy...")

    In one case, I made an exception and consider that trainer to be a very close friend. I did end up leaving her program which was a very difficult decision, but fortunately although she was very hurt, we have remained friends.

    I am very friendly with my current trainer, who I've known for years, but she is a consummate professional and we both keep what I think are very comfortable and appropriate boundaries. Our barn is a friendly, social place so there are get-togethers from time to time - to celebrate a show season, go to dinner after a clinic and that sort of thing. More of a "team" thing, really.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep. 19, 2002
    Location
    recent FL transplant from IL
    Posts
    7,174

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FAW View Post
    You can have a relationship with your trainer, go to dinner, do fun things together, but remember something very important....

    At the end of the day, your still a client and they are still your trainer. Always, always.... keep it that way.
    Agreed. I think people forget cause it's their hobby/fun time that for the trainer this is their business & how they make their living.
    "I'm not crazy...my mother had me tested"



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