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Can This Trainer Relationship Be Saved?

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  • #61
    I own a horse because I want to ride and enjoy it - not so that I can pay someone else to!

    To each their own, but that woudln't work for me, not for a moment.
    APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman

    Comment


    • #62
      I literally cried on my vet’s shoulder and she told me that she knew of only two trainers in my area that had the skill necessary to help my mare – one was located too far away and the other was trainer #2.
      Trainer #2 may be good but sounds arrogant and difficult to communicate with. Since this trainer is not letting you ride anyway there is not much advantage in having your horse closer so why not check out the other one.

      Comment


      • #63
        Originally posted by Basie View Post
        My horse isn't fancy and I have no ambitions to do upper level work
        This is your answer. No one would put that much training money into a horse that is not "fancy" or has ambitions to do upper level work. You have a horse you can ride now. Move to a more reasonable trainer and enjoy your horse. It's YOUR horse.

        Comment


        • #64
          Originally posted by Crockpot View Post
          Trainer #2 may be good but sounds arrogant and difficult to communicate with. Since this trainer is not letting you ride anyway there is not much advantage in having your horse closer so why not check out the other one.
          This.

          Really.

          If he's not going to communicate with you now, I have little confidence that he's going to suddenly start showing respect for the person paying the bills in two years (or whatever). It's one of the most painful parts of my story (to me) and because I take responsibility for my willingness to blindly trust, I try not to bring it up much.

          Think about what you're giving up if you move her to a safe boarding facility and the two of you noodle around and get to know each other. I had the same commitment to my horse that you express about your girl except mine was a very (very) nice mover and was supposed to be a good candidate for upper-level competition. I had promised her (and me) a forever home and with her physical issues I couldn't justify breeding her (despite wonderful bloodlines) or selling her ... and since she needed corrective shoeing for her joint issues retirement in pastures with a herd wasn't a realistic option, either.

          You may have to reconcile yourself to the fact that your horse will never be a competitive dressage horse ... and that won't be the worst fate she could suffer.

          I not only saved a lot of money in training and expensive board, but had the best EVER time of my life with my horse walking trails and exploring (which, due to her nature wasn't often really "relaxing"). I regret not being more compulsive about her care (I should have been counting poops and insisted on buckets of water instead of automatic waterers since they cleaners weren't as aware as they would have been at the training facility) but not about the time we had together.

          Sorry I can't make my advice short ... I hope you can find something useful in all the words.
          *=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=

          Comment


          • #65
            Originally posted by redhorse5 View Post
            This is your answer. No one would put that much training money into a horse that is not "fancy" or has no ambitions to do upper level work.
            I can't agree completely. I understand and I wouldn't put much money on a low level ordinary horse if my goal was just to have fun with.
            But the horse is difficult and needs 'special' training that the OP cannot provide herself. The horse being 'fancy' or 'being trained only for low level dressage' is irrelevant in this situation.

            Why is OP's horse is going so well now? Because it is in full training by a pro.
            What will happen if OP starts to ride him more? Or exclusively?

            You have a horse you can ride now. Move to a more reasonable trainer and enjoy your horse. It's YOUR horse.
            If OP had a horse she could ride now, she would be riding it.
            The mare has 4 pro rides per week and OP gets 1 lesson per week. That leaves 2 days were OP could get on her horse and have a quiet ride by herself.

            A not so fancy horse trained to do lower level stuff isn't that expensive.
            OP bought a fairly young horse to raise because she couldn't afford a well trained horse? I don't believe it. OP, you bought a fancy young mare with potential (as stated in your first post) and you've been overhorsed since the beginning.
            ~ 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

            Comment


            • #66
              Can I just ask the folks who are suggesting taking this mare out of training: how exactly do you think the mare will become a solid ammie ride? Do you have no thought at all to the well being of the horse and /or her future health and sanity?

              People seem to think that a horse inherently knows how to carry itself with a rider in a way that is not destructive to the horse and that feels good to the rider. Maybe some horses are born with this but most are not and they need 2 years of solid correct work to become not a dressage horse - but just a good saddle horse.

              read any ODG book and talk to any pro and they will tell you that 2 year is about the normal time frame to make a decent saddle horse that is safe and ridable .....

              i just honestly do not get folks telling this woman to pull her admittedly broken horse out of training and "just enjoying her" - how is she supposed to enjoy a horse that is not educated to go well under a rider ? this might work for a teenager but for those of us over 50 (cough cough) it really does matter!

              i am training my 4 yo and believe me - the difference between how he felt 6 months ago and how he feels now is huge - and i know that in 6 more months he will probably be closer to being a rock solid balanced horse that most could ride..... training takes time.

              OP - you have come this far - give your horse the time she needs now so that you can enjoy her for the rest of her life. see if you can up your rides per week - just remember that what she is learning will allow you to spend many many many enjoyable years on her back .....

              Comment


              • #67
                I don't have as much experience and training knowledge as most of the posters, but since you asked for opinions......

                I bought my colt as a 2 year old having never owned a greenie. He's 5 and a half now, almost 6. I'm an amateur and I work with a trainer once a week and ride alone 3 times a week if I'm lucky. We're still working on straight and rhythmic and probably will be for the rest of our lives....I would like to do an actual real show one day. I'm in my 40's. I see other horses my colt's age who are light years ahead in training and I twinge at our own slow progress...however - what's the hurry? He's my forever horse, and the one thing I've emphasized is that I don't want him pushed. He's relaxed and we've done ok at our schooling shows. We have one blue ribbon, anyway, so we're good.

                It sounds like you and the horse are basically frazzled and neither of you are having any fun. Have you been pushing for too much from both of you? I've read the suggestion of "noodling around" on some of the other responses, and I'm seriously all for that. Six month of hacking out may allow your mare to be finally able to just relax. After that re-evaluate, see where she is, think about your goals, maybe try a schooling show and see if it's going to work out. If you do want to keep her, you may end up starting again from scratch, and maybe so down time could help give you both a fresh start.

                And just a silly question since she had soreness - is her saddle correctly fitted?

                Comment


                • #68
                  I have to strongly agree with mbm and alibi. It is NOT easy, folks, to ride a young horse. And to ride a young horse that happens to be a warm blood? - Think of those athleticism and powers - they aren't for average amateurs to doodle around. Don't be fooled by those riders who look completely at ease riding a young horse - they are strong and balanced, and that is why they can handle it. I was once told by a trainer - who happened to be an ex-bronc rider - that it is like riding a Grand Prix! I can go at 45 minutes of solid strenuous dressage clinic without problem while thirty minutes of riding my youngster completely wipes me out. It is completely different from riding a solid saddle horse who does not yet know dressage, to riding a horse that has not learnt how to balance well under a rider. Two years of solid under saddle time before most decent amateur riders can feel comfortable is an accurate assessment.

                  OP, unless you have an exemplary seat and balance, and am educated about training young horses, please do not take on such task. You have spent way too much money to throw them all away at this point. If you are not willing to continue spending training money, please sell her to someone else and get yourself one you can enjoy now.

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    I think you should try to work something out with your trainer. Maybe you become more involved in the non arena aspects of the training-getting the horse to load, clip, tie, trail ride, etc. Maybe you take her out for a hack a few times per week where you can work on your position and she can have a break, and then you have your lesson, and then the trainer rides a couple times per week.

                    This horse is obviously sensitive and you have her in a program that works. Your trainer is obviously training for the benefit of the horse, which is exactly what you want in a trainer. That is not necessarily easy to come by. I strongly suggest doing an unmounted lesson, where you just sit down with your trainer and discuss your goals and a rider and your goals for your mare. Pay him as if it were a lesson, since he is taking his time and you are benefitting from his wisdom. But do it unmounted so that you aren't distracted while you are talking and you can both give the conversation your full attention. I think you should make every effort to preserve this relationship for the benefit of your horse. Going it alone may sound like a good idea when you feel like you aren't being heard, but in the best case scenario you and your horse will not progress and in the worst case things will devolve physically for the horse and/or you will get hurt or worse.

                    I think by sitting down with your trainer, you will both be able to hear the other's side. I suspect your trainer is reluctant to hand back control of the horse since she came to him in such a bad way and has made so much progress. That is a legitimate concern that I would share as well. But he needs to know that you would like to make progress as well and would like to learn how to ride her the way that he does to keep her sound in the long term.

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      This horse has already had 2 years of under saddle work. Her problem is she doesn't know how to relax. "Noodling" around is exactly what she needs.

                      If she were mine, I would move her to a barn that has a trainer who gives lessons. Take lessons on a schoolie and just trail ride the mare for 6 months or so then take lessons on her but continue to trail ride her to keep her relaxed.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Really pay your trainer an 'unmounted' lesson to have the privilege to talk with him/her ?
                        I should start charging my clients for unmounted lessons, I think I would triple my income at the end of the 1st month !!!!
                        When you put your horse in full training, isn't part of the deal that the trainer will communicate with you about your horse and give you some advice ?

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          I think I agree with Gloria and Beckzert. It sounds like your trainer needs an adjustment in his communication skills, but he may have valid reasons for thinking you're not ready to ride your horse.

                          Maybe I'm reading it incorrectly but it sounds like this horse has a history of sustaining injury from being worked incorrectly by less-than-ideal riders. So she may be a difficult ride even if she's very safe and willing. Maybe your trainer is concerned that being ridden too regularly by a non-excellent-pro could cause those sorts of injuries to reoccur. Tension doesn't always come from being pushed by demanding trainers -- it also can come from the horse being freaked out by slightly imperfect aids or subtle balance issues or a less-than-supremely-confident rider. I bought a young horse, and I am finding all sorts of flaws I didn't even know I had!! It's working by the grace of god and constant trainer supervision, but goodness gracious it's harder than I thought it would be both mentally and physically.

                          JMO.

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Originally posted by dacasodivine View Post
                            This horse has already had 2 years of under saddle work. Her problem is she doesn't know how to relax. "Noodling" around is exactly what she needs.
                            No. She did not have 2 years of productive saddle work because one year of which was bad and had to be fixed, which resulted in effectively less than one year of saddle work, and based on the description, I'm guessing 6~9 months of real productive saddle time. You do not want to doddle at this time. Do that with a mature horse, not a young one. By the way, relaxation in dressage term can not be achieved by just "doodling around". It requires active correct riding.

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Is it really that horrible for an owner to want to be able to enjoy her horse and to "just" trail ride? It doesn't sound like she's unsafe to ride, just not where the trainer would like her to be in dressage. The mare might not have the mentality to do dressage.

                              The OP has admitted the mare was started too early. The best thing she might do with her is let her be a horse for a while then put her back in training or take lessons on her with a good trainer.

                              Look at the post by someone on how it's done in Australia. It's routine for people, even people with limited riding experience, to bring along their own horses. It can be done. It may not get done as quickly as having the horse in full training, but this way the owner gets the pleasure of riding their own horse.

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Originally posted by Gloria View Post
                                Do that with a mature horse, not a young one. By the way, relaxation in dressage term can not be achieved by just "doodling around". It requires active correct riding.
                                Good point to clarify. My mare was 12 and rehabbing from stem cell therapy.

                                Our trainer strongly supported this move and did encourage it to help us "relax" with each other. I guess I was correct enough at the walk and trot in straight lines and large circles to be safe.

                                It's so difficult to fill in all the details since our experiences and expectations differ so greatly.

                                I would not have made this move without the support of my/my horse's trainer. Additionally, my perspective on the OP's trainer is informed by spending many years in training that did not increase my confidence, independence, or deepen my relationship with my own horse. I thought she was making progress. I didn't know better. And I have a lot of regret over that wasted time.
                                *=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=

                                Comment


                                • #76
                                  My horse isn't fancy and I have no ambitions to do upper level work -- I just want to become a better rider and horseperson and work with a trainer/mentor who is willing to talk to me and help me work towards those goals. My dilemma is that this trainer is good for my horse and I don't want to risk having her progress set back by moving to a less skilled trainer.

                                  Would be very grateful for any suggestions/ideas as to what I should do - Thanks!


                                  I haven't read all the posts/responses but after reading a few went back to your original post to re-read. First of all it isn't clear as to what your experience is with a young horse. Second if you respect the trainer's abilities and it seems as if you do, it sounds like this horse does not fit your goals as stated. Third it does sound like the trainer could use a course or two on improving communication skills and real customer service. I have to say after reading others' recommendations and despite reading your commitment to the horse, I keep coming back to the same conclusion. If you cannot find a better fit for you AND your horse, sell your horse to your trainer or through your trainer to someone who's goals line up with his program and buy something you can ride now and enjoy the way you want.

                                  The other option and that is if you feel that it is within your skill set is to take your horse out of training and just go ride. You don't need a dressage guru to build your horses strength and get her healthy. Conditioning horses can be done on the trail, in the field, in the water and simply putting on miles going forward. I personally think with the limited information provided that getting out of the dressage court for a year and hacking doing hill work and interval training could do wonders- of course keeping in mind to build her up gradually. If you can't do that there may be someone else (look to combined training/eventing people) who can.

                                  I have rehabbed a few horses like this and they've come back to dressage training with a solid mind, stronger body and no need for all the injections, massage therapy, chiropractic work, etc; but, that is because they were allowed to heal and then build into the work at a proper rate.

                                  Life is too short to be wishing and wanting and paying for something your not getting. It sounds like as far as training the horse this is a good fit but your goals, again as stated, are not being met and does not sound like they will be any time soon.

                                  I'd be getting off that train at the next stop.
                                  Ranch of Last Resort

                                  Comment


                                  • #77
                                    Life is too short to be wishing and wanting and paying for something your not getting. It sounds like as far as training the horse this is a good fit but your goals, again as stated, are not being met and does not sound like they will be any time soon.

                                    I'd be getting off that train at the next stop.
                                    yes, especially as 50+ rider. How many yrs does one pay for training with someone who will not talk with you "off the clock" and does not want to let you ride your horse?

                                    What is the goal afterall? Life is indeed sadly too short. It must be enjoyed now

                                    Comment


                                    • #78
                                      Op, you need to assess what you want.

                                      Do you want to pay $$$$$ and sit on the sidelines watching someone else ride your horse?

                                      Or do you want to ride?

                                      This just seems like a no brainer to me. I see lots of older ladies at my barn who own fancy warmbloods and pay all the expenses so their trainer can ride them and show them on the weekends. These ladies dont ride. Now, maybe they dont want to ride and are perfectly happy just being the owner. Maybe.

                                      Then there are the older ladies at my barn who actually RIDE. They have decent horses (not fancy but SAFE) and they "noodle" around on, hacking out, taking lessons from a great trainer, showing schooling shows. They seem the happiest. Thats going to be me, i know it already.

                                      So what if your mare never gets to be fancy or whatever. HAVE FUN with HER or sell her and get something you can have fun with or I bet you will never get back in the saddle.

                                      Comment


                                      • #79
                                        Originally posted by Crockpot View Post
                                        yes, especially as 50+ rider. How many yrs does one pay for training with someone who will not talk with you "off the clock"
                                        Just remember that we only have one side of the story.
                                        OP's been with this trainer for over 6 months. You really think she never got the chance of talking with the trainer about the situation?
                                        Maybe the trainer has a big schedule and doesn't want to be bothered at night with endless discussions about OP's dreams. Maybe the trainer said :"you follow my training schedule or you don't, your choice."

                                        The trainer said (as per OP) : "ideally". It opens the door for discussion. And shows that the OP spoke with the trainer about the situation. It just doesn't seem enough to calm OP's insecurity.

                                        Again, BTDT, I had a client wanting a detailled report about her Darling Horsie everyday. Not just the I did w/t/c was good bla bla bla. She wanted the whole 'how was her horsie feeling today? How much grass he got to eat? Was his ears flopping while cantering? How was he in his stall? Is he eating right.....And she would call and call and call. Well, I had to put a stop to it and told her I wouldn't provide such information, she was welcome to come enjoy her horse at the barn and see for herself. Yeah, she told me my client skills weren't that great. Told her I was paid to ride the horse 1hr per day, not write a novel about it every darn night.


                                        and does not want to let you ride your horse?
                                        Not true.
                                        OP is riding her horse 1 a week in lesson. She wants to ride more, in lessons.

                                        What is the goal afterall? Life is indeed sadly too short. It must be enjoyed now
                                        That is true.
                                        ~ 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

                                        Comment


                                        • #80
                                          OP's been with this trainer for over 6 months. You really think she never got the chance of talking with the trainer about the situation?
                                          Maybe the trainer has a big schedule and doesn't want to be bothered at night with endless discussions about OP's dreams. Maybe the trainer said :"you follow my training schedule or you don't, your choice."
                                          Well yes, of course she might have been lying or exaggerating when she said this (below) in first post. We can't ever really know what is actually the truth when we read posts on here. Anything is possible:




                                          However, he's not interested in talking to me "off the clock", really isn't interested in my goals as the owner/rider and won't offer any updates on my horse's progress (unless asked) other than to say that she needs to get stronger

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