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Being lied to by a 'trainer' about rides...

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  • #21
    Originally posted by ladyj79 View Post
    No, it definitely happens with equal regularity in top barns. Being sheisty knows no bounds.
    with ladyj79 on this; been in puh-lenty of top barns, seen just about every single professional I know do this. or, they say they rode it, but they make their head working-student exercise the horse. i don't know which is worse: paying for professional training rides and the horse not getting ridden, or paying for professional training rides and having a non-pro ride the horse.

    either way, it's a total breach in your confidence - something you will not get back. when someone shows you who they are, you better believe them - otherwise, if you(g) stick around with someone who has taken advantage of your good nature, you will start to wonder what other practices they have employed to pull the wool over your eyes as well.

    in my experience, that type of doubt is not worth it to stick out.

    in your case, i would be finding someone else to board/ride/train with, and in the future if you need the horse ridden, find a good quiet young rider to do it -- in my experience they never shirk the opportunity for a ride.
    AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

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    • #22
      Been there, experienced this. It cost me thousands... lesson learned.

      In all fairness, I sent my horse to a trainer I was relaxed and friendly with, and did not follow through when I saw red flags early on. I hate being confrontational. I also didn’t set CRYSTAL CLEAR expectations of what I thought a “training ride” entailed. So, my horses were round penned as a “training ride.” Frequently ridden by an assistant... who was actually a great rider and probably better with them than the pro. And, my not yet 4 yr old Warmblood was used for a few lessons with a junior - NOT COOL. I had given permission for some of the GOOD riders at the barn to hop on my other horse - an older teenage mare, but I hadn’t realized that this would also be counted as a billable “training ride” by the sheisty pro, and teenagers would be put on BOTH my horses for lessons. ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS.

      There was a detailed contract up front, but these things are completely unenforceable. Once they have your money, your only recourse is to leave. And like an idiot, I was paying for monthly “training packages” up front. My advice... be direct with the person, say you want to review details as to what all paid rides are SUPPOSED to entail, be clear that IF a training ride was skipped, you expect to be credited one for free, and would like to schedule to come watch that ride. If they give you any pushback, terminate the relationship.

      One major thing to look at when having a horse in a program with a pro doing training rides, is how many OTHER horses are with that pro. How many of their own horses is the pro riding? Is there adequate staff at the barn for basic barn chores... or is the pro juggling that too? Are there lots of students at the barn on school horses... and is the pro juggling their lessons too? Seriously... how much time is in the day, and does this person truly have the time to do your horse too?

      I still have a young horse in training, with a very well known pro. But this person has a top notch working student program, two assistants, plus another pro who works on a lot of dressage with young horses, tons of barn help, etc. I’ve been informed when an assistant rides my horse (which is most of the time), vs one of the two top pros and get detailed billing every month, and charges a lower rate when the assistant rides. They never ask me to pay up front - only after services are rendered. At one point, when there was a gap in terms of assistant trainers there, one of the working students rode my horse for a few months. She was a GREAT upper level rider, and it was discussed with me in advance, and I was fine with it. Anyway... that’s how a professional barn goes about this stuff. Just my experience.

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      • #23
        Originally posted by Gainer View Post
        There is a "trainer" around here who, when her clients are away on vacation, etc. that, instead of "training" the horses as agreed, she uses them as lesson horses for the duration (and I'm not talking upper level students who know how to ride).

        I find it tends to happen more in the smaller "backyard" training outfits than the serious trainers that do a lot of showing at the upper levels.
        I've seen this before, too. I hate that.
        “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
        ¯ Oscar Wilde

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        • #24
          Along with Gainer, Beowolf, VHM, and LadyJ I've had the not so wonderful experience of paying for a training ride which in all reality consisted of a lesson kid riding my horse. Oh HECK no. This happened very recently, actually, and I have spent the past two months trying to figure out why my horse is suddenly going crazy and showing erratic (and brand new) behaviors. Come to find out this is "typical" of this trainer as are the ensuing issues. Moved horse ASAP and am trainer less again (as I have been most of my riding career).

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          • #25
            Once had a trainer, who I was paying to ride my 3 yr old gelding, get off the horse when he started acting up and then had me get on him. When he continued to act up, the trainer insisted it was because of me. When I asked her if she could get back on and show me how to do it right (like I was paying her to do....) she flatly refused and said I was being ridiculous.

            Mind you this wasn't some older lady afraid of getting bucked off, this trainer was young and not famous by any means, just a local trainer. Once my horse started to scare her, she decided to turn what was supposed to be a training ride (that I had already paid for!) into an impromptu riding lesson where she transferred her own frustration at herself on to me.

            Some trainers are just gems, eh?

            For that reason, I sometimes wonder if some trainers just skimp and lie on riding some horses because they get scared of riding the young/green/naughty horses -- the ones that need the most help, naturally. But god forbid any trainer ever admit a horse is too much for them.

            If you can confirm that your trainer lied to you, I would certainly start looking for a different trainer. If you have otherwise liked how she works with your horse, however, and want to keep her, just make it clear you will only pay for training rides that you are present for in the future.

            Good luck!

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            • #26
              Chiming in to reiterate that this is definitely common. The last person I worked for did this for months, even after firing someone because they were doing the same thing. That's actually part of why I left - couldn't continue to be with someone who clearly had no problem with stealing from their clients... Sometimes their egos are big enough that they ride half the times they're being paid for, but because they're clearly such gifted riders, the horses are still getting the same amount of training and the owners are still getting their money's worth The amount of mental gymnastics can be astounding.

              The big thing here is: was it just a one-time thing, or is this a habit? A one-time thing might be something you can discuss and work around, but there will probably always be something shaky there, with the worry that it will continue to happen.

              Personally, I would either start looking for a new trainer, or schedule times for you to watch every single training session, with stand-ins for when you can't be there.

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              • #27
                Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
                Many young women come out of adolescence having learned to "white lie" to escape family pressure and this habit is reinforced by schools requiring excuses for late papers and the demands of unpleasant minimum wage service jobs. And then they enter the horse world, which is full of bluff and BS and fake it till you make it and taking on more clients than you can handle to make a bare living.
                This is really sad on so many levels.

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                • #28
                  Why don't you just ask the trainer about it? Maybe the horse was feeling off or wonky. Was the horse worked before or after the "tattle-tale" was at the barn? Have you had this problem before? Maybe the rider was feeling under the weather and just couldnt face getting in the saddle and was going to make up the ride.

                  Not everything has to be a crooked rip-off.

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                  • #29
                    Agree with earlier posters that you want to be 100% certain the ride didn't happen before you take any action.

                    Once the facts are established, you have a couple of options. A) you can approach trainer and let her know you caught her in a lie and ask her how she would like to resolve the situation, or B) you can pull the plug and walk away.

                    If I liked the trainer, I'd probably explore option A). But I would have an eagle eye on her going forward. Unfortunately, if people are willing to take shortcuts and lie about rides, one has to wonder what other shortcuts and lies are involved. Drugging comes to mind.

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by Palm Beach View Post

                      Seeing as it's a holiday weekend, maybe OP was with friends/family and did not have time to bury her nose in the puter. Or maybe OP has a job and had to work yesterday, and maybe has kids as well and had to get them ready for school today. I don't know that I would immediately jump to the conclusion that she could not be "bothered" to check back.
                      OK fair enough. Though most people these days live with their smart phone/tablet etc. So it takes little to no time and or effort check. I only use my desk top to comment here, FB etc. I only use my smartphone/ipad when I travel.

                      So, now it has been 4 days and the OP has not checked back let alone commented and or said "Thanks" to all the people who took the time to reply. I can't speak for others I reply, post things by and large as a courtesy. Pass on what I have learned over the years from those that were kind enough to take the time. For which I will always be thankful and I always let them know I was.

                      My point is. If you start a post asking questions, asking for information asking people to take the the time to reply. You should take the time to check back and respond to questions asked and or say Thank You. It's called common courtesy. Something that doesn't seem to be so common anymore.

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                      • #31
                        Originally posted by gumtree View Post

                        OK fair enough. Though most people these days live with their smart phone/tablet etc. So it takes little to no time and or effort check. I only use my desk top to comment here, FB etc. I only use my smartphone/ipad when I travel.

                        So, now it has been 4 days and the OP has not checked back let alone commented and or said "Thanks" to all the people who took the time to reply. I can't speak for others I reply, post things by and large as a courtesy. Pass on what I have learned over the years from those that were kind enough to take the time. For which I will always be thankful and I always let them know I was.

                        My point is. If you start a post asking questions, asking for information asking people to take the the time to reply. You should take the time to check back and respond to questions asked and or say Thank You. It's called common courtesy. Something that doesn't seem to be so common anymore.
                        You're right, after 4 days she officially can't be "bothered."
                        "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."

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                        • #32
                          This behavior, as others have said, is very common in the horse world unfortunately.

                          As an owner, I would rather hear that the trainer doesn't have time to ride than to be lied to about it. If I discover one lie, the natural reaction will be to wonder what else I'm being lied to about.

                          Life happens so if the trainer can't do a ride, what I would appreciate as an owner is to be presented with options so I can decide what would work for me and my horse. That could be anything from having the assistant or WS ride the horse, do a longe session, or have a makeup within X number of days. How hard is that?

                          I think that people start telling small white lies in the beginning because they are new in the industry, afraid of losing business, etc. Then those white lies turn into more serious lies or cheating/fraud when it becomes a habit. This is a slippery slope.

                          The same can be said for "training rides" that are actually lessons. I know a lot of trainers who use sales horses in lessons. That's fine if it's their sales horse, or if it's an owner who agrees to that for a reduced training price. Otherwise it's "double dipping".



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                          • Original Poster

                            #33

                            To those of you who said I can't be bothered, I do apologize. I have been following, just don't always check in to COTH everyday. It has been a busy week, getting kids back to school and working. Thank you for all the replies. It is appreciated.
                            I haven't had a chance to talk to the person yet, When I returned from out of town, I found out they had left their job (was a co-worker at a barn), and haven't seen them since, and have not been contacted. Maybe some other issues have come up for them. I will have to wait and see.
                            My horses are at home, so that isn't an issue.
                            The reason I am quite sure the ride(s) did not occur, is that my tack was completely untouched. I have some very specific things (such as a broken flash attachment) and everything down to the fly bonnet on the hook untop of the bridle was exactly as I had left it. I am just disappointed in this person.
                            Not a 'trainer' per say, but an up and coming young rider who was doing an excellent job riding my horse.

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                            • #34
                              Fwiw when I travel places to ride I bring my own tack, as did my partner, because I know and trust my own tack, and am particular about bits and such when schooling young or unknown horses, so that definitely isn't a reliable gauge for all riders.
                              Let me apologize in advance.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #35
                                My tack is something discussed, including bits, we have been trying different ones for different effect. My tack has always been used on this horse, so I am quite sure I am correct. But as I said, they were no longer working at the barn, so maybe something came up, they were too upset to ride, and just not thinking straight when texted me they had ridden. I didn't find out until this week when I returned to work. I am hoping they will get in touch, so we can straighten this out.

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                                • #36
                                  Given the info that the rider comes to your personal barn and uses your tack, etc., a talk to her might be easier.

                                  "When did you last ride Fluffy? I see that it looks like you didn't use my tack, so I just want to check and see what happened. Was there a problem with the tack or did you not get the chance to ride?"

                                  You could do this via email.

                                  Personally I always think you should be upfront with people about what you know, and give them the chance to explain. If she lies to you ("Oh I just put the tack back exactly the way I found it...Fluffy was stellar!") then you can say that you're going to go in a different direction (as in: far, far away from her) and terminate the relationship.

                                  If she instead owns up and says that, "oh yeah, I meant to ride Fluffy on Tuesday, and then it didn't happen because...." then you'll have to decide whether you cut her a break and watch her like a hawk going forward or not.

                                  I do think it's worthwhile letting people know that they've been caught in a lie.
                                  "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky

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                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by Seagram View Post
                                    My tack is something discussed, including bits, we have been trying different ones for different effect. My tack has always been used on this horse, so I am quite sure I am correct. But as I said, they were no longer working at the barn, so maybe something came up, they were too upset to ride, and just not thinking straight when texted me they had ridden. I didn't find out until this week when I returned to work. I am hoping they will get in touch, so we can straighten this out.
                                    You can always off handedly ask, "Now the bit on my bridle is a baucher which is something that we haven't had a lot of work in. How did you feel he went in that bit?" would be a dead give away your horse wasn't ridden if the trainer replys as if they had used it on your horse and it obviously hadn't been touched.
                                    "Punch him in the wiener. Then leave." AffirmedHope

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                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by Seagram View Post
                                      To those of you who said I can't be bothered, I do apologize. I have been following, just don't always check in to COTH everyday. It has been a busy week, getting kids back to school and working. Thank you for all the replies. It is appreciated.
                                      I haven't had a chance to talk to the person yet, When I returned from out of town, I found out they had left their job (was a co-worker at a barn), and haven't seen them since, and have not been contacted. Maybe some other issues have come up for them. I will have to wait and see.
                                      My horses are at home, so that isn't an issue.
                                      The reason I am quite sure the ride(s) did not occur, is that my tack was completely untouched. I have some very specific things (such as a broken flash attachment) and everything down to the fly bonnet on the hook untop of the bridle was exactly as I had left it. I am just disappointed in this person.
                                      Not a 'trainer' per say, but an up and coming young rider who was doing an excellent job riding my horse.
                                      Then have an adult conversation with him/her. Ask what happened. Encourage the rider to level with you. If he/she does not, apologetically fire him/her. You will be doing that young, talented pro a favor if you make it clear that this is a business and they lost the ride for the stupid reason; you were happy with the riding and it's too bad that such talent gets eclipsed by the problem of dishonesty and ripping off a client. Heck, you'd be doing the whole industry a favor if this lesson "stuck" with the young pro and he/she continued on knowing the value of being honest with clients.
                                      The armchair saddler
                                      Politically Pro-Cat

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        This isn't uncommon. I once watched a trainer pocket $800 for a month's training of a boarder's horse. They never touched the horse. Not once.

                                        OTOH, I've seen trainers work horses religiously.

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Darn. I was hoping the thread bump included an update from the original poster.

                                          Seagram any updates?

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