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Daughter wants to change trainers

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    Daughter wants to change trainers

    Hi all. My daughter and I are both riders, though she’s much better than I am. She has been working with a trainer for almost 4 years on and off. The inconsistency was due to lack of horse, or having a horse that was injured. So it wasn’t like she was riding with another trainer. We have always had to board our horse somewhere else, as the trainer did not have space in the barn For my daughters horse. Recently, there have been openings in the barn, but the trainer is choosing to allow other clients to bring horses in instead of us. My daughter’s best friend has been riding with the trainer for about a year now, because my daughter told her about the trainer. Well, now the bff is getting her first horse and is getting a stall in the barn, despite us asking a million times.

    My daughter’s feelings are really hurt about this favoritism. She works her ass off, is respectful, prompt and tidy for lessons. We recently bought a 2nd horse so now daughter could have two horses going with the trainer.

    I completely understand why my daughter feels like she’s not “wanted.” Heck, the trainer went to Buck Davidson clinic this weekend and invited the BFF and didn’t even mention it to my daughter. I’m sad for my daughter, but I’m older and could careless about these people in general. We have our two horses at home, we have a trailer, and we generally do our “own thing” anyways. (I have owned and competed horses for a LONG time.). I personally love that we pick our own event schedule, and have the flexibility in trainers even though we’ve been with this one for a while.

    Anyways, I know we have to move on, and I’ve already scheduled an introductory lesson with a different trainer next week...but I am super bummed. I don’t know whether I should try to talk to the trainer about why we are moving on, or just let the distance speak for itself. I know that whatever I say to her won’t change the fact that my daughter’s feelings are super hurt, and I don’t think anything the trainer could do would change that. Thoughts on the situation?

    Teenage girls are so hard 😩

    #2
    Unfortunately one of life's hard lessons. Time to move on.

    When you look back sometime down the road, you will both ask yourself why you didn't make the move sooner. BTDT, best thing that every happened.

    Onward and the best to you both.

    Comment


      #3
      If this has been going on for 4 years, there is nothing to talk about. It's all been said already.

      The title of the thread is 'Daughter wants to change trainers'. Sounds like the daughter has already moved on emotionally, and you are the one who is stuck.

      In your shoes I would have changed trainers 3 years ago. If you are being left out of clinics, etc., what is there to be sad about? Time to be really enjoying life in a better situation, elsewhere.

      And imo, it is especially important to listen to your daughter and make this change soonest. Time runs out for juniors and junior programs all too quickly. Let her enjoy as much time as possible in a much better situation, and not hang on in one that isn't respecting her, or you.

      Comment


        #4
        I think the example you set for your daughter is important. When you work with any kind of a professional that does not do a good job for you, the correct thing to do is to move on without delay to a better professional. There's no reason at all to feel badly about the situation. Personally, I would have no interest in working with a trainer that treated me like a second class citizen.

        Of course, as usual, be sure to check yourself a little bit. You make a comment in your post that you keep your horses at home and do your own thing and pick your own schedule. There's nothing wrong with that at all, except that I can completely understand why a trainer would offer a stall in their barn to someone else. Trainers are making a living (and not an easy one) off of their profession, just like everyone else. There is nothing wrong with them wanting students that are more willing to be "followers" with regard to training schedules and show schedules and that tend to pay for more services. Once that other client is in their barn, of course that person is going to get more of the trainer's attention. I'm saying this in a very sympathetic way as I am also a very experienced person who does her own thing. When I have had horses competing more seriously, I had to make trade offs to make it happen. In your daughter's case, changing your mindset a bit and letting go of some of your independence might be worthwhile for your daughter to get to experience a closer relationship with a barn community and feel like she is getting more attention from her trainer.

        Comment

          Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by BeeHoney View Post
          I think the example you set for your daughter is important. When you work with any kind of a professional that does not do a good job for you, the correct thing to do is to move on without delay to a better professional. There's no reason at all to feel badly about the situation. Personally, I would have no interest in working with a trainer that treated me like a second class citizen.

          Of course, as usual, be sure to check yourself a little bit. You make a comment in your post that you keep your horses at home and do your own thing and pick your own schedule. There's nothing wrong with that at all, except that I can completely understand why a trainer would offer a stall in their barn to someone else.
          I DEFINITELY agree with you, which was why we were trying to get in the barn with her so long! I’m perfectly fine giving up some independence😊. I have tried to get my daughter to ask to be more a part of the scene, but she feels awkward inviting herself along.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Fellbutbackup
            Any idea why the difference in treatment?
            It absolutely makes no difference. People can just be a-holes sometimes. I have dealt with the same issues as an adult. If you feel excluded or not welcome, it's in everyone's best interest to MOVE ON.


            “My horses are my friends, not my slaves” — Reiner Klimke

            Comment


              #7
              First of all, yes, I would move on. Riding is supposed to be fun and this does not sound like a fun situation.

              But a couple of things don't make sense to me with this post. You have your own place and "do your own thing" so do you really want to board at her farm when you can keep your horses at home?

              Your trainer is probably on a tight budget if she has a smaller barn. Maybe she thinks you have the option of moving horses back to your home when they get hurt or aren't in training and that would be money out of her pocket. She may need to keep the clients as boarders that she can count on to be there 12 months a year whether they are being ridden or not. And I don't know if she offers things like trailering to shows, but if you have your own trailer and don't use her services for things that other clients might use them for (clipping,etc.) well that is more money out of her pocket. She may not know how to approach this subject with you without sounding petty or greedy. These kinds of subjects can be hard for some people. There has to be a reason behind her behavior; it does not make sense to deny good long term clients the opportunity to board with her.

              Comment


                #8
                You can do your own thing, but that is usually not someone who wants to be in a "program". you sort of have to pick one at some point so trainers know what to expect.

                Sometimes we have to own our possible role in creating "favoritism". You explained that you have not been consistently riding and had your horse somewhere else, not anyone's fault, but I totally get why the BFF was given the stall and clinic rides. The trainer is just doing what most trainers do. You might be reading into this too much, it's not about favorites on a emotional level but likely due to who can fill the spots consistently. I have been on both sides of this scenario with various horses, so I can see how it totally sucks.

                I think people get very emotionally invested in programs, when for trainers they are more about the money and the NEED to go with the "sure thing".

                Comment

                  Original Poster

                  #9
                  I should clarify a bit. We don’t really have a facility at home. We have paddocks and run ins with miles of excellent trails. My daughter and I can do our conditioning rides and a hacking day here at home but otherwise we have to truck out. We have a couple places we go to for flat and jump rides. I would much prefer to board the horses. It just doesnt make sense to
                  spend what we were spending for board and not have a great facility!

                  i should also note that trainer does NOT need the money. Her husband is extremely wealthy. That wealth extends to her from the new horses, new rig, and new winter property in Ocala.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I can’t understand the attempts to make excuses for the trainer and place blame on the OP.

                    In this situation, the trainer is the professional. The trainer has not been open or honest with OP about the boarding situation. If the trainer - for any reason - doesn’t want the OP’s horses in the barn, the trainer should be clear and up front about that. So far, she hasn’t been.

                    IMO, that’s unprofessional and in no way the fault of OP or her daughter.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Until recently, I have always hauled out to my trainers, either because I had my own farm or was boarding somewhere without a resident trainer. I do think you become an afterthought, even if it is not intentional.

                      What I did was to map out everywhere I wanted to school and compete and bring this up to the trainer weekly. I find texting better than phone calls because they are easier to double check for the trainer. This helps keep you in their mind even if you aren't at their stable.

                      This may not be the case at all, but does this trainer have a certain type of student that they seem to cater to? I've seen some trainers who really specialize in bringing young horses with riders up through the levels-ones who really seem to love the training aspect of horses as well as competition. I think this type of trainer is great for the more independent client.

                      I've also seen trainers that seem to only teach riders on horses that are pretty much schoolmasters and these riders move up the levels rapidly. The emphasis seems more on competition than training the horse.

                      One method is not any better-it just seems a different trainer may be a better fit depending on the type of student.


                      http://thepitchforkchronicles.com

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I’d probably try to talk quietly w said trainer about what is going on before making decisions-might be a complete misunderstanding all the way around. Or, it might not be...but then you’d know.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          In a work situation, such as an office, the person who works full time will almost always get the promotion, however competent the part-time person is, because the part-timer is "out of sight, out of mind" for colleagues and managers for much of the working week.

                          So your daughter is working with this trainer on and off, intermittantly, versus another child who is reliably there, 100% of the time and....

                          Time to find a different trainer and explain to your daughter that adult life isn't fair.
                          "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Certainly it is time to move on. Since you have the ability to trailer in for lessons, and if there are several trainers in your area. Go for it.

                            However in defense of the trainer. Trainers are seldom rich. They depend on regular lessons on a weekly basis.

                            It is quite possible that the trainer was instrumental in the acquisition of BFF's horse, she would have a vested interest in the success of the pair. Boarding horses is a hopeful break even activity, but regular lesson student is gravy, particularly if the horse has prior experience.
                            Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                            Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I would at least approach the current trainer, and discuss it in a professional manner. I have had clients that did not or were not, able to spend the money to clinic. You may not be getting invites if finances have held you back. Unfortunately clients that are able to spend more money, usually do get catered to.

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Honestly, it sounds like you and your daughter are pretty independent of the trainer. You pick your own show schedule, pick when you lesson, keep your horse at home. To your trainer, that may mean your not 100% in their program, so they might not let you know everything the trainer is doing ( clinics, shows, etc).

                                which would be different for a rider who boards at her barn, is 100% in the trainers program, goes to the same shows, lessons multiple times weekly, doesn’t work with other trainers ( unless clinics)... this could be why the your daughters friend was invited and you/ your daughter was not.

                                growing up, my mom and I had our own farm, trailer in for lessons and did our own thing somewhat too. But one thing our trainer did do, was put a notice board in the borders tack room/ office/ or lounge with a sign up for any upcoming clinics, shows, xc schooling’s etc. and if you were interested in doing stuff, it was your responsibility to check the notice board and sign up. I mention this, as it maybe something your current trainer can start doing so it notifies everyone of stuff coming up and no one is left out.

                                have you had a discussion with the trainer about your daughters goals, training schedule, etc? If you sat down with said trainer and had an honest discussion that your daughter is not only interested in boarding at her barn but also being 100% committed to her program, I think this will go a long way. It is hard for a trainer, especially one that may be busy whether teaching or competing to give as much of their time/ commitment to students that are not as committee to her: their program. That’s not anything new. A student in the trainers program is going to bring in more money, more commitment than a student who comes occasionally for lessons, may or may not attend the same competitions as trainer and does their own thing.

                                i wouldn’t necessarily poo poo on the trainer automatically.

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by joharavhf View Post

                                  I DEFINITELY agree with you, which was why we were trying to get in the barn with her so long! I’m perfectly fine giving up some independence😊. I have tried to get my daughter to ask to be more a part of the scene, but she feels awkward inviting herself along.
                                  Your daughter may need a little push to say something like, that looked like/ sounds like fun, I’d love to do “x” with y’all next time. Let me know if something like that comes along.

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Do people here read for comprehension anymore?

                                    The OP said that she and daughter wanted to board with trainer for a while but trainer’s barn in always full so they’ve had to board elsewhere. And also - this is a big one - that they’ve bought a second horse to keep in training with trainer.

                                    Somehow, that’s getting interpreted as ‘oh, you do your own thing and aren’t really committed to trainer and only train with trainer off and on...’.

                                    The trainer is playing favorites and - at the very minimum - doesn’t have the professionalism or the balls to be honest with OP about the boarding situation.

                                    And - as someone mentioned - this isn’t a lesson in how life in ‘unfair’. This is about a professional who’s lacking in professionalism. That’s why you leave a situation like this. It’s not passive. It’s active. You’ve voting with your feet. OP should discuss with daughter about how this person lacks professionalism and how you should be clear and direct in business relationships. If there’s a lesson here, that’s it.

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      At this time, moving on to a new trainer is what is right.

                                      I do think, in terms of lessons learned, it might be helpful to think about if a conversation could have or should have happened earlier to make it clear that you really wanted to be able to move in to the trainer's barn. I also think that it's important to communicate goals to the trainer with regularity, especially with a junior, where their needs can change quickly. People want teens to advocate for themselves but not all teens are really able to do this, especially not with someone who is important to them.

                                      A lot of people who become professional trainers aren't great with people or fair business practices and don't notice their own blind spots. Things like making sure you post and announce clinics or shows, instead of assuming who would be interested in going. Things like offering services to a new client and totally overlooking the longtime, loyal, patient client. This probably won't be the last time you encounter that, so you can consider whether in the future it will work better to communicate and possible help develop that trainer better, or if you need to leave sooner.

                                      I hope the new trainer works out great for you and your daughter.
                                      If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        It's also true that trainers, like many other people, can inherently want to chase the shiny new thing. They will put emotional effort into winning and pleasing new clients who seem promising, and take for granted long standing clients, especially when they feel they have a pretty good estimate of what the older clients can do and will spend.

                                        Thus when you do switch trainers be aware of theure of the honeymoon period.

                                        Comment

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