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Daughter wants to change trainers

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    #21
    Originally posted by joharavhf View Post
    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 😩
    OP, the situation may be *exactly* as you describe it, but I think there is a lot of room here for an entirely different approach that has nothing to do with your daughter. If there is any room for recovery here, have a conversation with the trainer. If there isn't, then move on.

    The BFF, for example. You mention she's getting her first horse, and that that horse is getting a stall. Is she as experienced as your daughter? Riding wise, and horse care wise? Does it make sense that she should be under your trainer's roof to learn how to care for said horse, and perhaps for multiple training rides/lessons per week? Does she have a trailer, as you do? So if she's off-site, will she bring as much business to the trainer as she would if she were on site, or will BFF move in with a different trainer?

    I have a nickel that says this is a business decision, not a favouritism contest. In spite of your assessment of the trainer's wealth, she's still running a business. For the BDJ clinic, did the friend ride, or groom? Why was it the trainer's position to be able 'offer' a spot to her? If you guys do your own thing, why could your daughter not just have signed herself up? Unless you have voiced this to her, I bet the trainer has no idea your daughter feels this way at all. A conversation could be the cure for all that ails you here.
    The plural of anecdote is not data

    Comment


      #22
      One more thing I want to say about this, not for OP, but for any trainers reading. If you're teaching teens especially, they're incredibly sensitive to this kind of thing, and you can do significant unintended damage by creating this perception of unfairness without it seeming like a big deal to you.

      I have seen this multiple times, especially among teens that are shy and uncertain. They reach out of their comfort zone, the adult maybe accidentally doesn't support them or follow through, and it's very hard to get the teen to try again. I think it's one of the unrecognized but important benefit of some of the SafeSport training - the don't pull individual students aside for special, personal outside interactions. Not just to protect the favorite child from assault, but to protect the peers who weren't invited to go to the gym to cross train or invited to lunch, and felt left out and second class.

      We're an individual sport and we think about treating kids as individuals, especially because you rarely have a large cohort at the same age and riding level. But, it's really important if you're teaching kids to treat them as evenly and fairly and transparently as you can so that they all have equal opportunities with you and so that they know what their next steps are to meet their goals. And also: if you make commitments to your kids, make sure you keep them and follow through.
      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


        #23
        OP I do think you should have a conversation with the trainer and ask her directly why she declined to have you board with her after you expressed your desire to board with her when a stall became available.

        I would also ask her why she didnt tell your daughter about the clinic.

        You should not assume you know the answer. Or demand one. The trainer may choose not to tell you.
        if that's the case your daughter has to decide if she wants to continue working with the trainer.

        It may be that she may a good trainer but is clueless about interpersonal relationships and the best way to treat clients.

        It may be that she truly does not care if clients stay or not. She may be in a financial situation where she can choose to decline clients without having any financial repercussions.

        She may or may not be aware of the emotional impact on your daughter. She may not care.

        I do think it's a good time to have a talk with your daughter about the trainer/student relationship. It is great when you can have a collegial relationship, but one must never mistake that for friendship.

        I dont think the trainer is being intentionally spiteful.
        And it is her facility and you have to respect that.
        if she thinks you and your daughter arent serious enough or she doesn't think it's worth it to her to have you board there, then she should tell you that.




        I can see why your daughter feels hurt. She feels rejected and dismissed. This is a good opportunity to show her how not to internalize this and take it personally. But also accept that the trainer has her reasons and your daughter does not need to feel responsible.

        I dont think this trainer is the right fit for your daughter anyway. Teenage girls are very sensitive, even if they pretend not be , about getting approval and acceptance and inclusion from people they look up to.

        This trainer seems to be indifferent as to whether your daughter stays or goes.

        If the trainer is being all pathological and passive aggressive then I would find another trainer. Your daughter doesn't need that and deserves better.

        If it's simply a matter of the trainer being clueless you and your daughter can decide if she can work around that.

        But I would still look for another program where the trainer has both knowledge and integrity.

        Good luck.
        Certified Guacophobe

        Comment


          #24
          I’m a trainer.

          Why have you waited this long to have a direct, not- heated conversation with your trainer?

          You can frame it as goal-setting meeting.

          What are you teaching your daughter by allowing her to feel left out and sad without having a conversation with the trainer, who at least should be informed of what’s going on behind the scenes?

          She may be a crappy person, and not care.
          Or she may have been horrified, and somehow missed what your daughter was feeling.

          Either way, SPEAK UP! Get information. Show your daughter what grown ups do when they sense something isn’t adding up.

          Comment


            #25
            Sure, we can't fully know who is at fault. This is all our best guess. It's just not fair to blame the trainer for going with the "sure thing". Also, did you say you wanted to do clinics? was this a known thing? we expect people to read out minds.

            I have been the not-favorite and the favorite. I think it's clear why and when I am/was the favorite (or not). when I was the favorite I worked my ass off and developed a relationship with the trainer outside lessons, asked for their opinion, had a 3 and 6 month showing plan. My horse was ready and fit. Its not just about money, it's about the rapport and engagement.

            We all have had a variety of trainers and no one in the end really cares. It's your money and your time. Good luck!

            Comment


              #26
              Did I miss daughter's age?
              Mom, the trainer has for whatever reason made it clear, she does not want to board your daughter's horses.
              IMO, you ask why, or more on.

              Comment


                #27
                If trainer had offered stalls to your daughter, the BFF may have moved to a new trainer to buy and board a new horse. If trainer thinks she can keep your daughter as a trailer-in and entice BFF further into her program through a stall for a new horse, it makes sense from the trainer's perspective to offer the stall to BFF. Which doesn't mean you shouldn't move on to a new trainer, especially if you want to go somewhere that you can board on-site. But the trainer's motives may not have anything to do with your daughter or BFF as individuals.

                Comment


                  #28
                  Originally posted by Periwinkle View Post
                  But the trainer's motives may not have anything to do with your daughter or BFF as individuals.
                  So now I want to hear your excuse for why the trainer invited BFF but not daughter to the Buck Davidson clinic.

                  Comment


                    #29
                    Originally posted by Periwinkle View Post
                    If trainer had offered stalls to your daughter, the BFF may have moved to a new trainer to buy and board a new horse. If trainer thinks she can keep your daughter as a trailer-in and entice BFF further into her program through a stall for a new horse, it makes sense from the trainer's perspective to offer the stall to BFF. Which doesn't mean you shouldn't move on to a new trainer, especially if you want to go somewhere that you can board on-site. But the trainer's motives may not have anything to do with your daughter or BFF as individuals.
                    Bingo. And JER, that could have been as simple as the BFF being in the right place at the right time. Hell, they could have bought the new horse from Buck. It could be any number of reasons.

                    but OP also said that daughter feels left out of the scene in old trainers barn. To me, that is a bit more telling. Go try a new lesson. Get out to more clinics. Don’t burn the bridge with your old trainer but go and see what else is out there. You may find a better fit! I know that I’m VERY glad not to have a lot of YRs in my barn. Those barns with a ton of kids always seem to have way too much drama. Drama that I didn’t like as a teen and certainly don’t like now!
                    ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                    Comment


                      #30
                      Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                      And JER, that could have been as simple as the BFF being in the right place at the right time. Hell, they could have bought the new horse from Buck. It could be any number of reasons.
                      Except this is what OP said:

                      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.
                      So they ask a million times but they’re never in the right place at the right time?

                      At the very least, the trainer should have explained her decision to leapfrog the BFF over OP.

                      At the very least.

                      Comment


                        #31
                        were you on a wait list? was there a discussion of specifics? Since you have your own place maybe trainer doesn't think you "need it" as much,....?

                        Comment


                          #32
                          I think one thing both the OP and the replies are not addressing is that this has been going on for 4 years. Four. Years.

                          I think there is a great deal more to this story. We have not heard what the trainer would say, or has said to this family in the past.

                          But I am also not sure if it matters. Four years is what matters. People do pretty much as they have always done. No matter what conversation is had now, no matter what is said or promised, I would expect that the trainer will continue to behave as the trainer has behaved for the last 4 years. And, the mom will continue to do whatever she has or has not been doing for the last 4 years (including failing to initiate and maintain a constructive communication with trainer). It makes no difference why, it is just what they do.

                          Only the child has a real chance to mature and change. And she should be enjoying a better situation somewhere else. Sounds like the daughter doesn't need the talk, she's ready to go. It's the mom who needs some encouragement to get moving in a new direstion, asap.

                          If I had to guess, the OP is a mom who is just venting, and perhaps seeking some support for the decision to leave. It's hard to make a change this significant and join a whole new group. But it's time to make that change - the sooner it is made, the sooner the new reality can start settling in. For both the daughter and the mom.

                          Comment


                            #33
                            Consider also joining Pony club, where your daughter should be taught by a variety of trainers. Many Pony clubbers don’t have the money for full time training, but manage to become good riders by taking advantage of every lesson they are offered.

                            Comment


                              #34
                              Originally posted by OverandOnward View Post
                              If I had to guess, the OP is a mom who is just venting...
                              This is so insulting and dismissive on so many levels.


                              (The OP explained the four years by qualifying that for some of the time, there’s been breaks for injuries or lack of horse. Surely, we all agree that’s a very real situation that happens with horses.)

                              Comment


                                #35
                                Regardless of the backstory, it's still hard to swap trainers - especially one you really wanted to work for you and your program, but didn't for whatever reason. There's a few clues in this thread that as an outsider, give me the impression the trainer is pursuing the client she thinks will give her more money, and is leaving OP and her daughter to the wayside. I feel for OP & OP's daughter; as a teen I found myself in a similar situation and my trainer prioritized her $$$$ clients and left me in the reeds more than once.

                                The roles were reversed; my mom was ready to move on, but I wasn't!

                                It's hard -- but when people show you who they are, believe them. I think you've given this trainer enough chances - best of luck with your new trainer.
                                AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

                                Comment


                                  #36
                                  Having had my horses at home my whole life I totally get it about the trainer not including your daughter because you don't board there. Even though I had a coach I rode with twice a week for YEARS, I was never invited to the shows or clinics, because to be blunt I wasn't a "money maker". I could trailer myself, and pay for own stabling etc. In barn boarders and students paid the crazy trailer fees, stable fees etc to my coach. I know it happens because I have been there, the best thing to do is find a coach who values your time, money and your daughters efforts.
                                  Boss Mare Eventing Blog

                                  Comment


                                    #37
                                    Originally posted by JER View Post

                                    Except this is what OP said:



                                    So they ask a million times but they’re never in the right place at the right time?

                                    At the very least, the trainer should have explained her decision to leapfrog the BFF over OP.

                                    At the very least.
                                    I was talking about the going to the clinic...not boarding. Boarding could be just like the post I quoted. It could be that the trainer only has room for one horse and the OP has multiple horses...and the trainer thinks she needs to make room for multiple horses. Who knows unless she talks to the trainer—that I agree if the OP cares, she can ask. But to me...there seems to be a communication issue in general and the daughter feels left out of the barn (which can be the case for any number of reasons). I personally would go try some other lessons regardless. I wouldn’t burn a bridge but she may find something that is a better fit while still not burning the bridge with the existing trainer.

                                    FWIW—I personally ride with a number of trainers. Some I’m with their program more than others. BUT I make the effort to communicate with my trainers. A good trainer student relationship does require good communication. And not all good trainers are the right fit for all students. To be included may require the daughter to make more of an effort on her part....separately from the OP. Its hard...it takes some confidence that many teens lack.....so they have to learn to fake confidence like most of us did!
                                    ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                                    Comment


                                      #38
                                      Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                                      To be included may require the daughter to make more of an effort on her part.
                                      This would be the daughter who invited her BFF into the program?

                                      The daughter acquires another horse to put in training with the trainer.
                                      The daughter brings an apparently very good client to the trainer.

                                      Please remind me why we’re questioning her commitment to the program.

                                      Comment


                                        #39
                                        Originally posted by JER View Post

                                        This would be the daughter who invited her BFF into the program?

                                        The daughter acquires another horse to put in training with the trainer.
                                        The daughter brings an apparently very good client to the trainer.

                                        Please remind me why we’re questioning her commitment to the program.
                                        I never questioned her commitment to the program. It was the comment that she felt left out....that usually has NOTHING to do with her commitment to any program but her own feelings. In MOST barns...if you are not physically boarding there...you can get that feeling of being left out unless it is one of those places where the trainer makes a big effort at inclusiveness....which in my experience is very uncommon. In any environment....work, school, sport ....we sometimes have to learn how to assert ourselves to get involved and feel included. If you are a bit of an introvert (like I actually am)....this takes effort on our part too. This is also a common issue for many many many teenage girls. We here in cyber space do NOT know exactly what is going on. I’m not going to crucify anyone. But all I do know is that the daughter feels hurt and left out...whether for reason or not....it really doesn’t matter. They are her feelings. My only point is that based on what the OP has posted, her daughter like many teens...doesn’t want to assert herself and now feels left out at this barn. IME, that doesn’t change. So look for a new farm BUT also recognize that it takes effort by both sides to feel included and a part of things....more when you are not boarding with a barn but also when you are there. Its a life skill....and useful in many situations. I played multiple team sports from the age of 7...and still had to learn it and work at it. Kids who ride...also have to learn the skill...and trainers and parents can help but if they do all the work...kids don’t learn the skill either. In the above...its as simple as saying hey coach, I heard so and so audited a Bucks clinic with you...please let me know if there are any other such other auditing opportunities. I’d love to go and learn. Or do the research on clinics and ask your couch if this such and such clinic would be worth you going to audit or even attend.
                                        ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                                        Comment


                                          #40
                                          Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post

                                          she felt left out....that usually has NOTHING to do with her commitment to any program but her own feelings. In MOST barns...if you are not physically boarding there...you can get that feeling of being left out unless it is one of those places where the trainer makes a big effort at inclusiveness....which in my experience is very uncommon. In any environment....work, school, sport ....we sometimes have to learn how to assert ourselves to get involved and feel included.... her daughter like many teens...doesn’t want to assert herself and now feels left out at this barn. IME, that doesn’t change. So look for a new farm BUT also recognize that it takes effort by both sides to feel included and a part of things....more when you are not boarding with a barn but also when you are there. Its a life skill....and useful in many situations. I played multiple team sports from the age of 7...and still had to learn it and work at it. Kids who ride...also have to learn the skill...and trainers and parents can help but if they do all the work...kids don’t learn the skill either. In the above...its as simple as saying hey coach, I heard so and so audited a Bucks clinic with you...please let me know if there are any other such other auditing opportunities. I’d love to go and learn. Or do the research on clinics and ask your couch if this such and such clinic would be worth you going to audit or even attend.
                                          I agree with BFE I had a case of the feeling of being left out - like when your horse dies and everyone says 'don't be a stranger.'

                                          The step up to the plate in life lesson here is for the teen. Important life lesson/skill is learning how to open doors for yourself. I spent a lot of time fostering this in my kids when they were young. I had to learn this on my own I grew up with NO parenting.
                                          Last edited by pony grandma; Jun. 15, 2020, 05:18 PM.
                                          The cue card kid just held up an empty cue card. For a minute there I thought I had lost my sense of humor. --- Red Skelton

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