This is my first ever post to a forum, so please forgive me if I break any rules. And I hope this is an appropriate question and will not cause offense:
Does anyone know of an online Trainer Support Group? Where trainers can get moral support and advice? The hardest part of my job is I spend my days teaching people on horses that are in distress (physical and emotional) from riding and handling mistakes. These are unintentional mistakes from owners who love them, but it's emotionally exhausting to "put these horses back together" week after week. And a few become "broken" and can't be put back together because the owners don't listen until too late. I've been a trainer for about 10 years (mostly dressage, some eventing), and I must admit my moral is low -- these owners love their horses, but they are unintentionally hurting them, and it's becoming an exhausting way to make a living. How do trainers cope year after year without losing their sense of humor?
I don't know of a trainer support group, although I would join one if I did. But imagine how it would be for these horses if you weren't advocating for them! I know it seems futile sometimes, but you are making a difference. Burnout happens with any job, but don't give up. Dwell on the positive changes you are making. And take a vacation now and then, even if you can't afford one.
It is a hard truth what you are seeing. I hope the horses and you get vacations to restore and rebuild.
Not every rider/horse can progress despite considerable effort. Perhaps a more suitable match then needs to be made to make the job enjoyable/bearable for both.
Perhaps you can tune the horses more towards the rider's needs. A highly trained/finely horse will suffer at the uneducated, undersensitive hands/seat of a novice, but a tolerant, less finely tuned horse may be much less offended by same mistakes.
Unfortunately, in the learning process mistakes are made. MANY.
If it is too many to put up with for you or the horse ...
Horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.
Try to concentrate on the small positives. If you are going to stay in teaching and unless you use your own school horses and sometimes even then, you are going to see this a lot. Horses are one of the most forgiving of animals. Try to remember that any good you can do will always out weight the problems the horses would have without you.
"I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted". - Anonymous
Thanks to all who responded....I think I will schedule a few days vacation (the horses do already get vacations...)....it helps to know that what I'm feeling is normal and there are other trainers out there doing their best to help horse and rider, but suffering for it.
I have just started up an online rider support group (www.sporthorseriders.com) and I was considering starting one for trainers, to be moderated/coached by a fellow trainer. Right now the participants are ammies, but the platform could easily be adapted to work with professionals. If there is sufficient interest I will set it up!