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Difficult Trainer - How to deal with?

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  • Difficult Trainer - How to deal with?

    I recently moved to a new area, and have a new trainer - A very well respected rider in the field. Problem is- this person is mean, accusatory, and slightly unstable. To give an example, my horse started acting up a little when we arrived at this new barn. She's a lovely mare, never acted like this, but something about this new place made her a little irritated/tense. New trainer accused me of having a 'problem horse' and not disclosing it! I swore up and down to the trainer this was new behavior (it was!) but this trainer would not believe me. The trainer continued to yell at me that I brought a 'problem horse' . I didn't , she never acted like this. The trainer has refused to believe me and yelled. I just let it go and let them think that, no matter how I said it, I couldn't change their mind! My sweet mare has settled down since, but this trainer still believes that she is/was a problem horse.
    Another example - the groom at the barn asked one evening if I wanted to start blanketing my horse as it's getting cooler. I replied it may be a good idea now, and will confirm with trainer. The trainer texted me the next day and asked if I wanted to start blanketing. So when I saw the trainer in person that day and said oh yes, the groom mentioned blanketing and wanted to know. The trainer BLEW UP , yelling at me for talking to the groom about blanketing! I said, "hold on, the groom brought up the subject with me and I simply replied that I was going to confirm with you, the trainer. there was no making plans without your knowing!" The trainer would not believe me and accused me of 'confusing things' . I just moved here. I feel like I made a big mistake and I don't know what to do! It was just a simple question by the groom to me about blanketing!
    There are more examples but I hope you all get the idea....
    Help!! Any Advice? I'm so depressed and sad, and I was so hopeful and excited when I came here.

  • #2
    I'm not sure if you have other options but I'd pack up and leave. My barn time is limited and treasured, I'd not be able to handle it being ruined by an egotistical ass.

    If you dont have other options I'd stand up for yourself. Push back like you did about the groom.


    • #3
      I would not care if there are no other training options, I would leave period. There is no excuse for you to pay anyone to b treated like this.


      • Original Poster

        Originally posted by Sadiegem View Post
        I'm not sure if you have other options but I'd pack up and leave. My barn time is limited and treasured, I'd not be able to handle it being ruined by an egotistical ass.

        If you dont have other options I'd stand up for yourself. Push back like you did about the groom.
        The toughest thing about it is that there aren't many options in the area to train with this level of trainer.. It's doing my head in - I am by all accounts a kind, easygoing, friendly, positive professional. I don't know what or when this person will be set off - it's so random. I don't want to be seen as hopping from trainer to trainer, I want to commit, learn and grow.. but geez. The behavior is unacceptable ! Have any of you dealt with this before? Is there a way around it to continue? :-(


        • #5
          This trainer's behavior is probably known by the other pros in the area so if you do leave, I don't think you will be viewed as hopping from trainer to trainer.
          I would be inclined to leave.


          • #6
            A) almost everyone has come up against crazy trainer at one time or another.

            b) there are always other options. I know several people, gp riders, whose most frequent personal training is done via skype. Try that.
            Let me apologize in advance.


            • #7
              Originally posted by WylieC View Post

              The toughest thing about it is that there aren't many options in the area to train with this level of trainer..
              There is no level that can justify her unprofessional behavior....crazy is as crazy does. Bolt!

              "The sea was angry that day, my friends - like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli"


              • #8
                "The best of any breed is the thoroughbred horse..." - GHM



                • #9
                  Originally posted by NJRider View Post

                  There is no level that can justify her unprofessional behavior....crazy is as crazy does. Bolt!
                  True this...
                  The situation sounds like ‘gaslighting’... the ‘pro’ is so fabulous that anything you do/don’t do/think/ think you didn’t think will be thrown back at you. I have seen riders and horses almost magically improve when they get away from this kind of ‘pro’. If the situation doesn’t fit, move on.


                  • #10
                    Dont know if you want to be specific about location, but perhaps if people reading this had some idea, we might be able to suggest other options...This sounds horrible...


                    • #11
                      This burns me. I am a firm believer that training has to be positive for rider, horse and trainer. If there is no 'click' it is not worth the money. Riding is your sport, passion and hobby - it should be fun, rewarding and with work you should be successful to the limits of you and your horse's ability. I've bought my kids up from the Pony Club ranks to the Olympics and the higher they got, the better the coaching, the more encouraging: the student has to be built in confidence and ability. Gone are the days of the military when the rider was put down and then rebuilt...

                      You have to be keen to get to the barn, you have to be keen to work between lessons and keen to go back for more...
                      I hope we hear you have found a suitable trainer. How bloody dare she yell just because you discussed blanketing with a groom - YOUR horse, and you pay the bills.

                      I never can understand it when trainers put themselves in such a superior position to students when student is capable and intelligent and able to partner with their team.

                      I could go on - but think I've blown my top for now. Good luck!
                      Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by WylieC View Post

                        The toughest thing about it is that there aren't many options in the area to train with this level of trainer.. It's doing my head in - I am by all accounts a kind, easygoing, friendly, positive professional. I don't know what or when this person will be set off - it's so random. I don't want to be seen as hopping from trainer to trainer, I want to commit, learn and grow.. but geez. The behavior is unacceptable ! Have any of you dealt with this before? Is there a way around it to continue? :-(
                        With this level of craziness, there should be other options.

                        I could get the « problem horse » trainer’s point of view (without the yelling) as there are a lot of riders who are oblivious of their horse’s chronic behavioral problems.

                        But the blanketing thing... That would make me think twice about staying there. Unfair to you, unfair to the groom.

                        Is this truly a good trainer?
                        ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                        Originally posted by LauraKY
                        I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
                        HORSING mobile training app


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by WylieC View Post
                          The behavior is unacceptable !
                          You own words OP. I don't think it is on you to change her behavior (or change your own to appease her).

                          Can you find another trainer, perhaps not at this level but who is maybe working up the levels, continuing their education? Or maybe one who brings in a bigger named clinician every month or so and can help you bridge the gap from clinic to clinic? Who do the upper-level event riders go to for their dressage education? Maybe they have a spot?


                          • #14
                            If this was a boyfriend it would be an abusive relationship. Leave.
                            For you AND your sweet horse's sake. You don't someone with that temper near a completely dependant animal that can't talk.

                            There's a reason she got the heebie jeebies when she arrived.
                            The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                            Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                            The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY


                            • #15
                              Leave. There is zero question about it in my mind. I don't care if this is the only trainer in 300 miles who has a gold medal or ridden a grand prix test or produced a PSG competitor or whatever. I would rather take a small barn three string po-dunk professional who treats me graciously and professionally, and actually assesses a horse impartially, than deal with the theatrical bullsh*t that you're describing.

                              No degree of alleged competency as a trainer is worth dealing with that sort of attitude. If you're unhappy, and the trainer doesn't believe you about your horse (and won't actually take the time to change her perceptions of the horse) how do you think that's going to influence her ability to train you effectively? Hint: A lot. In a negative way.

                              Life is too short, your happiness is worth too much, and no horse should be written off like that. I prefer my equine professionals to actually rationally assess the horses I bring them to work.


                              • #16
                                Life is too short for that sort of crazy.
                                We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


                                • #17
                                  I wouldn't want someone that insensitive to be working with my horse. I wonder how many horses don't survive her program with body and mind undamaged
                                  "The mighty oak is a nut who stood its ground"

                                  "...you'll never win Olympic gold by shaking a carrot stick at a warmblood..." see u at x


                                  • #18
                                    It doesn't matter what kind of track record someone has. If they are hostile and unpredictable to you then you won't get good results.

                                    Unfortunately there are lots of instances of good pros getting wierd and cranky as they age. Maybe they had one too many head injuries or one recently. Maybe they have chronic pain from old injuries. Maybe they are getting a pain killer dependency.

                                    You don't need to sleuth out the why. Just recognize that this is erratic behavior in what should be the honeymoon period and plan accordingly.


                                    • #19
                                      Leave. Even if you have to trailer out to another trainer for lessons - or even THIS trainer, one hour at a time, if he is "all that".... I would not leave my horse in an atmosphere such as you describe. THey pick up on the vibes - and if it's doing your head in, think what is happening to that sensitive gal!


                                      • #20
                                        There is something wrong if this trainer is complaining about a conversation with the groom , like what us going on in their program where they actually have time to worry about that level of stuff?