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  1. #1

    Default Trainer issues?

    A little barn background. The barn I ride at is not large, in fact it's not even a "lesson" barn, the trainer takes in people as she has slots which is typically no more than 2 people at a time. She has a single horse which is boarded with her that is allowed to be used as a lesson horse, she owns none of her own. Daughter does ponies, she doesn't need horses.
    I was lessoning on a regular basis twice a week until I had to take a short hiatus. I started lessoning again recently(she had no one else in my slot still). I rode on a Wed and things went fine. The following Monday I tried to get in for a lesson, sorry he's not available. No biggie, I ask for next open day, come Wed after work. Get a text a 4:00 on Wed saying "I didn't know you were riding, I used Dobbins in lesson already"
    How did you not know I was riding? I scheduled the lesson with you. Then, on Wed I went out to the barn to talk to trainer and make sure we were on the same page for lessons, I was hoping to get myself prepped for showing this season. Schedule Monday/Wednesday lessons for the forseeable future. Find out last night that it looks like she has scheduled to trailer out to another facility today for lessons with someone else, leaving me high and dry. That's not even the best part though. Also find out, looks like it's going to rain today, so they've decided that Wednesday is the next possible day. So not only am I missing today but Wednesday too? Perhaps I'm being too sensitive here but I feel like I'm not a valued client at all. Largest problem is the horse industry isn't very large in my area, the nearest barns other than this place is 45+ minutes. I'm at a loss, do I divorce this trainer and just opt to wait until I can move? Or do I attempt again to communicate with this trainer? This situation isn't the first time, I feel like it won't be the last either.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 4, 2004
    Location
    North Bay CA
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    126

    Default

    It sounds like the trainer is either unable to manage her time well, or else does not consider you a priority. Either way, sounds like staying with her will be frustrating for you. I would move on.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005
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    Northeast
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    10,772

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    A trainer, who uses one boarders horse for lessons, and that is her only lesson horse. I assume her other students board there, or she goes to them and teaches.
    Or you were her only student, and now "Zowie" she has another, and this one has priority.

    How can that ready you for show season? What would you show?
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 20, 2009
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    Raeford, North Carolina
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    45 minutes is a reasonable drive for a good lesson barn.

    If having a reliable schedule of lessons is important to you then make the switch. The time you spend in the car will be less frustrating then the aggravation over your current situation.
    "Drawing on my fine command of the English language, I said nothing" - Robert Benchley
    Cotton would fight.
    http://buildingthegrove.blogspot.com/


    2 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 4, 2002
    Location
    Alpharetta, GA
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    2,325

    Default

    From your perspective, you're being organized and scheduling lessons that suit your convenience. You're planning ahead and you expect the trainer to do the same. Got it.

    From the trainer's perspective, (of course, we don't really know), she has to make arrangements to borrow someone else's horse for you to take a lesson on. Already, that makes you a lower priority client. A priority client pays for and maintains their own horse. The fact that you just took a "hiatus" because of personal circumstances also makes you a lower priority client. If she was counting on the income from your lessons, you just proved yourself to be unreliable in that regard. If she's dropping you in order to slot in a more valuable client, well, that's just business.

    Even if she did have a nice string of lesson horses, sometimes lessons have to be rescheduled if a horse is hurt. That's just horses.


    7 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep. 26, 2010
    Posts
    4,942

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    When you say that your trainer has 2 slots, is that for people who don't own horses? Or 2 spots total? How many horses are at this barn that your trainer works with?



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 8, 2013
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    166

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    I agree with the others...time to move on. 45 minutes really isn't bad. For most of the 11 years I have owned horses, I have driven at least that to get to the barn.

    The only other solution I see to this is talking to your trainer about whether she could commit to regular lesson times if you owned your own horse and boarded with her. You could also ask her if she knew of anyone who might be interested in half -leasing a horse you bought assuming it was a safe, sane mount.

    So basically, it's the age old trade off of time or money. Either buy your own horse to get more saddle time (and possibly more consistent lessons) or make the longer drive to the other lesson barns.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 2013
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    6

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    Said lesson horse has absentee owners. He is only a lesson horse at the moment and is pretty much at disposal of trainer. Owners don't pay board since she gets to use him at her leisure. Even if I had my own horse I still would have gotten the short end of the stick since she scheduled something at a totally different barn. My trainer is taking her daughter and 2 other lesson students(one pony lesson girl and the other is the one that lessons on the same horse I do) to another facility for lessons. I pay for my lessons in full, the other person works off partial lessons, so if this were a business decision, I would hope that the client paying full price would get preference. However it seems that's not the case. In fact, she's not getting paid for these lessons at all since another trainer is giving them.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 2013
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    6

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    She has 2 people slots for people that are horse sized. I can't fit on any of her ponies and neither can the young girl that's currently lessoning on opposite days of me. She keeps this horses work load managed since that's her only lesson horse. She's primarily a pony barn.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2005
    Location
    Upstate NY
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    12,751

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    I am not sure why a trainer has to be painted as bad to move on to a new trainer.
    Clearly you and this trainer are not seeing eye to eye right now. To her it is more important for her willing clients to lesson with this outside instructor (which to me is a great sign in a trainer), so what if she is not getting paid.

    I would guess if asked this trainer would say that she is doing the best she can to accommodate the lesson student who came back after leaving.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2001
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    down the road from bar.ka
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    IMO, if you do not have and cannot get a horse of your own, either lease or purchase, a trainer with only a single lesson horse that is shared by all her clients-and that she does not own and the owners can pull the plug on???

    That does not sound like a good arrangement at all. If you are dependent on using other peoples horses? Pick a barn that has more then one so they can stick to a lesson schedual.

    And...you know...since this horse is not yours and there is an arrangement between trainer and the owners? Maybe you do not have all the details and, really, trainer might think another student is more deserving or will spend more money with her or owners are giving input as to who rides. They don't really have to share that with you since it's not your horse.

    There is usually more going on with situations like this then is shared with others, especially with no contract or agreement in place.

    OP needs to move to a barn with more lesson horses or get her own horse to avoid more situations like this. It's also wise to always remember if it is not your horse? It can be assigned to another student, leased or sold at any time so long term plans with any specific horse have to be very flexible. Some barns to have part leases that allow students to keep the same lesson horse and if that is important, OP needs to look for one of those.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 2013
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    6

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    I've expressed my interest in half leasing, that's not possible apparently. I would be much happier in a half lease situation. There is a single "other" client in my situation, we essentialy share the horse and said person lessons the same amount as I do and pays half the price since they work off the rest.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 17, 2001
    Location
    California
    Posts
    317

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    Time to move. For whatever reason, it looks to me like the trainer appears to have already, and is trying to give you the message in a subtle way, so as not to hurt your feelings. Either she's trying to take her business in another direction, she makes more money from other clients, or scheduling with you isn't working out for her for some other reason. Thank her for her time and be friendly when you leave.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2001
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    down the road from bar.ka
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    The horses owners may not want to enter into a half lease...and trainer does not have to share that with you. She can't sign a lease contract with you because it is not her horse-even if she did, owners can change it any time because it is their horse and they did not sign the contract.

    Go someplace with more then one horse that will half lease and has the right to enter into a lease with you. 45 min is not that great a drive if you are just doing a 3 day a week half lease.

    This place is not going to change and this trainer either cannot or will not work with you. That does not automatically make her "bad", she just can't give you what you want. Bad fit. Move.

    Take a deep breath here and realize it is not your horse. They have the right to just say "No" with no further explanation and you have no standing to argue. Find a barn that you can enter into a more defined situation with-with a half lease contract.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2005
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    Upstate NY
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NotherAlter View Post
    There is a single "other" client in my situation, we essentialy share the horse and said person lessons the same amount as I do and pays half the price since they work off the rest.
    Clearly, stomping your feet and having a hissy fit that it is not fair is not working so move on.
    Or, sit down with trainer and explain that you really want to ride 2x per week and you realize that Suzie is riding Dobbin too so would it work better if you moved to different days?



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 2013
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    6

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    The issue isn't the scheduling with other riders, that's the whole thing I don't understand. It really has nothing to do with the horse either. Owners don't even know who's riding the horse. The owners don't care what's going on at the present moment. Trainer had me in the books and then scheduled something else without even notifying me, I had to see it on Facebook. I haven't stomped my feet or thrown a hissy fit, I'm just not seeing why she would do this. A person running a business on such a tiny client base just up and dumps a client?



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2005
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    Upstate NY
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    You are having a hissy fit here.

    Who knows why the trainer is doing this. Why does it matter so much. You are not happy so move on to another trainer.

    Would you feel better if the trainer came right out and said that they do not feel the need to schedule around you since you vanished for some time and they feel their clients who have not vanished are more of a priority?



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2001
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    Finally...back in civilization, more or less
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    11,510

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    Quote Originally Posted by NotherAlter View Post
    The issue isn't the scheduling with other riders, that's the whole thing I don't understand. It really has nothing to do with the horse either. Owners don't even know who's riding the horse. The owners don't care what's going on at the present moment. Trainer had me in the books and then scheduled something else without even notifying me, I had to see it on Facebook. I haven't stomped my feet or thrown a hissy fit, I'm just not seeing why she would do this. A person running a business on such a tiny client base just up and dumps a client?
    I think there must be more to this situation than you are aware of - and I think this might be one of those deals where you never find out exactly what that is.

    Perhaps the trainer took offense at your "hiatus," for some reason. Or they think that you might take another one without warning, so to speak, and prefer someone who they think will be more reliable. Or they NEED the work that is being done by the other rider more than they need the cash you provide, and thus, it's simply that they want to accommodate that person so they can keep their help. You'd think that if that were the case, the trainer would just be upfront and say so, but for whatever reason, horse professionals often have very limited people skills, unfortunately. This kind of passive aggressive behavior is sadly not uncommon.

    In any case, I agree with the others who've said it's time to move on and find a different barn.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    15,446

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    OP, 50% of your problem originates in the fact that it's going to rain today. Cut the trainer some slack.

    Also, with a business this small, it's hard to "make clients feel like a priority." There's just not the availability of the trainer and horses to accommodate everyone while it's growing. There's nothing wrong with you choosing to take a "hiatus"-- after all this is a hobby for you. But the trainer still needs to cover her nut, so it's reasonable that she could drum up new business in the meantime.

    Again, all this is harder to manage with a small business rather than a large one.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr. 20, 2009
    Location
    Raeford, North Carolina
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    Quote Originally Posted by NotherAlter View Post
    The issue isn't the scheduling with other riders, that's the whole thing I don't understand. It really has nothing to do with the horse either. Owners don't even know who's riding the horse. The owners don't care what's going on at the present moment. Trainer had me in the books and then scheduled something else without even notifying me, I had to see it on Facebook. I haven't stomped my feet or thrown a hissy fit, I'm just not seeing why she would do this. A person running a business on such a tiny client base just up and dumps a client?
    Sorry, I tend to agree with trubandloki on this one. You are having a teeny hissy fit. It's okay, we all have them from time to time, but what started out as :

    I was hoping to get myself prepped for showing this season. Schedule Monday/Wednesday lessons for the forseeable future
    Is now turning into this:

    Owners don't even know who's riding the horse. The owners don't care what's going on at the present moment. Trainer had me in the books and then scheduled something else without even notifying me, I had to see it on Facebook
    Stuff happens and I'm sure there are 2 sides to this story as well. But if you really just want to ride in a committed lesson program then switch to the barn that is set up for it. Take your lessons, enjoy the learning, and stay out of anything that isn't any of YBW (your bee's wax)

    Not trying to be harsh, but I've been around the block enough to know that when it starts to sound like a snowball rolling down hill, it's best to find another hill.

    Good luck to you.
    "Drawing on my fine command of the English language, I said nothing" - Robert Benchley
    Cotton would fight.
    http://buildingthegrove.blogspot.com/



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