I have recently decided that I need to get back in the saddle. While I have two horses at home, I have no way to take them anywhere (no trailer), and I've got some confidence issues. So I decided to call some lesson barns and go that route. I have scheduled 3 lessons with a particular trainer (we'll call her trainer A), and she has cancelled two of those 3 lessons. While I have tried to give her the benefit of the doubt, I'm finding this less and less acceptable. Not to mention, the one lesson I did take, the half-hour lesson only lasted 15 minutes and I still was expected to pay full price.
I had called one other trainer (we'll call her trainer B) prior to starting with current trainer A. I was supposed to call and schedule a lesson with trainer B, but since I had decided to go with trainer A, I never called trainer B back. I am wondering how I can get out of trainer A and go with trainer B. I feel a little foolish because I dropped the ball with trainer B. Any suggestions? Is this really out of the realm of possibility?
It's been so long since I've been in this situation, and I know the horse world is itty bitty. I don't want to burn bridges or hurt any feelings. I just want to get what I pay for and I want to get it consistently.
Former Long Islander now in the middle of the Great Lakes
Your money, your time. It sounds like you gave trainer A a good tryout period, it didn't work , move on. Trianer B is not going to hold it against you , and if they're smart they will make your next 3 lessons with them, the best you ever had.
I agree with MIKES MCS. You are a paying customer and you have the right to switch. Unless you signed a contract and have some form of obligation, then you have to ride that out, otherwise go with your gut. To me, it doesn't sound like trainer A wants to train all that bad.
I wouldn't worry about burning bridges. You have technically only had one lesson with this person who doesn't seem too interested in keeping you as a lesson client. The only time I really felt obligated to the trainer, when I was a once a week lesson taker, was after I had been at the barn for a year. At that point the trainer had invested some time into me so when I was getting ready to leave, I just made sure to thank her.
OP, so you didn't call back Trainer B because you had chosen Trainer A and therefore didn't need trainer B anymore? Uh...huh.
I know some people consider that SOP now, but I think it's rude. If you don't have to worry about "burning a bridge," it's not because you didn't gratuitously strike matches.
Really, this is no big deal. Cancel your remaining lessons with Trainer A. Get as deeply/specifically into your reasons why as Trainer A wants, so long as you can do that without rancor. Call up Trainer B, apologize for dropping the ball before and ask if you can set up a few lessons.
If I was a trainer offering riding lessons, I would not be bothered by someone calling me to inquire about lessons and then not following up immediately. I would just assume they were shopping for the instructor who suited them best and the first call was primarily an information gathering conversation. This is something I would expect people to do. Until we have actually arranged a specific time and date to meet, it's just a phone call with no expectations attached.
I agree with NoSuchPerson. When I taught lessons, that is the way I ran my business. There were no commitments until we actually had a working relationship, and even then, if you felt you needed and/or wanted to go to a different trainer, I was not offended. Not everyone will be a match for you and I think most professionals understand that. Just call Trainer B and move forward. Thank Trainer A and move on. Trainer A was paid for her time. No harm, no foul.
Shadow Dancer 2/17/91-12/23/10 - My Horse, My Heart <3
I teach some lessons. People call and ask questions. Sometimes they follow up, sometimes they don't. I'd still be happy to hear back from them later and set up some lessons. And if they lessons didn't suit them and they move on, well that happens. These are riding lessons, not a lifetime commitment.
This is a service industry. Pay the money, get the service. Just be pleasant to everyone and it's all good
I don't think it should be an issue. However, might I suggest...going to watch a lesson with Trainer B first before you start diving into lessons again? Then you can get a feel of whether or not it is something you want to pursue, or...keep looking!