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"Breaking Up" with a trainer

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    "Breaking Up" with a trainer

    It seems like it is worse to break up from trainer than a romantic relationship. I am faced with doing this really soon....My daughter has been with this trainer for three years, and we have decided to move on due to the following issues.

    *Trainer talks about clients behind their backs to other clients, extremely unprofessional, causing bad blood.
    *At shows, when I am paying for a warmup, trainer chooses to shoot the breeze with another trainer barely paying attention to my kid, or talk to other people who follow her like a pied piper.
    *At her barn, the footing in the jumping ring is rock hard, she says it's fine....I know better, it's not.
    *Lessons can be sporadic in their quality due to her distraction, she takes any opportunity to talk to other people during lessons, mostly about her horses.

    I want to be civil about how to tell her we are not going to be her clients any more. Fortunately we had moved out to a private barn in the spring, and was using her for ship out lessons. Can anyone give me advice? I hate doing this kind of thing. I know no matter what I say, I will be hated by all the other clients, since she will bad mouth me. It is what she does, it's awful.

    Trying to keep my chin up.

    #2
    Tell her you are leaving (make sure you give her the appropriate notice.) If she asks why, just tell her it's what you have to do. I was in a similar situation once and rather than get into specifics with old trainer, I told her it was time for me to go, and it was just something I had to do. A professional decision, not personal, and off you go.

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      #3
      I agree that 'breaking up' with trainers can definitely be tough. I'm sorry that you have had such a bad experience, but there are too many incredible trainers out there to let it keep going on. I would use your most comfortable form of communication to tell her, and maybe try to keep from burning any bridges if at all possible. Good luck, I hope it goes alright!
      Always pay equal, if not more, attention to your own self carriage, than that of your horse.

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        #4
        Gee that sounds so familiar...could be my trainer too
        Do you ship in for lessons? If so that will make your "break-up" all that much easier. Over the last couple of years my trainer has had some people who she just never heard from again... On the one hand you owe it yourself and trainer to explain why you no longer require her services.. i.e. you are no longer willing to pay her for her distractions.. if she badmouths you sobeit - you know you are in the right, she doesn't own you as a client, and what usually happens in these situations is that the client makes huge strides once they leave.

        Best of luck to you

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          #5
          I would provide her with the reasons why you are leaving her; she can do with them what she wants. I've had to "break-up" with a trainer mostly due to my horse's lameness (at the time) and she and her other clients turned a cold shoulder to me. Oh well... For me, I had to be the advocate for my horse. You have to be the advocate for your child and your wallet! In this economy, there are plenty of trainers who will provide you with good lessons and support your child through the shows. If you're not getting your $$ worth, look elsewhere.
          "The Horse: Friendship without envy, beauty without vanity, nobility without conceit, a willing partner, yet no slave."

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            #6
            Leaving is always difficult. There is no easy answer..... There is no obligation on your part to explain your decision.

            Perhaps the best approach is .... "I wanted to let you know that we have decided to make a change. We so much appreciate all that we have learned while we are here. Please know that we will always speak positively about you and our time here." - (And then keep that promise - you did choose to be there a one point in time, you did take away lessons that have made you better - remember those)

            If pressed, a simple "our circumstances have changed" should suffice as an explanation.

            Hope it goes better and easier than you anticipate

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              #7
              Originally posted by juststartingout View Post
              Perhaps the best approach is .... "I wanted to let you know that we have decided to make a change. We so much appreciate all that we have learned while we are here. Please know that we will always speak positively about you and our time here." - (And then keep that promise - you did choose to be there a one point in time, you did take away lessons that have made you better - remember those)
              That is such a nice way to put it, especially with the assurances about speaking positively.

              Comment


                #8
                Juststartingout is right on target. Also, because you may have reserved time on the trainer's schedule for weekly lessons, you should give her advance notice as to when the lessons will cease. If comfort dictates that you deliver the message and never grace her door again, I (and this is just me) would hand her a check for the lessons scheduled for the next two weeks and smilling sweetly tell her that you just KNOW that there must be others who would be happy to take that spot, but you didn't want to leave her in the lurch. It's one less thing she can complain about after you've left. I always take the high road because you never know whose hand you might need to pull you up out of the mud later in life.
                pace, path, balance, impulsion and ??

                Don't panic! Ralph Leroy Hill

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                  #9
                  just be respectful about your termination from her.... never burn the bridge because this trainer could turn out to be better than the next trainer you go to... quirks aside it sounds like you have been really happy over the 3 years... you would not have stayed that long if you werent.

                  good luck, never easy!

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                    #10
                    Take the high road;

                    give notice, be paid up, don't complain about the 101 reasons "why" or they will surely be defensive , talk about you, or even attack back!

                    maybe even a little going away gift, Coffee/lunch card? then you don't leave with a dark cloud over your head!

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                      #11
                      We just had to do this and it didn't turn out well. We didn't have anything against the trainer's abilities, in fact she was very, very good. What we struggled with (and I have a young teenager) is that this trainer was FOREVER putting other trainers down...as in every single time we were with her...and, quite frankly, that she didn't have a horse(s) that my daughter could jump and show, which is what she wants to do (her horse can't take her any further in the jumpers show ring). What my daughter learned from this woman is priceless and she (daughter) will be able to use this knowledge on her horse but she wants to get back into showing hunter/jumper and this trainer wasn't able to take her there. No big deal. But....the trainer handled the "parting" very poorly which kind of surprised us but proved to us even more that she wasn't the right one for our needs.

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                        #12
                        Frankly my focus would be where we were going and not the past trainer who's actions made her the "ex-trainer".

                        Having said that I would make sure I was comfortable of where we were going, IE have lessons with new possible trainers before I gave notice.

                        Or if you are definitely going don't worry about that just give notice and start looking with no guarantee to new possible trainers that you will be training with them until you've had sufficient time to decide.

                        And by giving notice, it would be just that, thanks but we have decided to move on to another trainer. period.

                        I would give no reason, because she'll rip it apart no matter what you say. But if you are forced I say something like, we're taking a break right now, or you know the line, "it's not you its me". Good luck no fun.
                        FWIW. I left a BNT earlier this year and the line I gave everyone who asked was that his schedule and mine were incompatible. Because others ask, so you'll have to have something to say to those people too.
                        http://community.webshots.com/user/summitspringsfarm

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Summit Springs Farm's point about focusing on where you are going and not the past is the right approach, it isn't like a romantic relationship where you may need closure on certain things, and even then if you are out the door does it matter?, but in a case like this just say it is time to move on and then do so.

                          a lot of clients get intimidated by leaving, they feel the pressures of suddenly being sperated from friends, and something familar at shows, but honestly while that is all fine and dandy isn't the main reason you show...to show? If you worry about other people and clients then you are making a choice that really is not in your best interest and has nothing to do with your horses care or your riding career.

                          Any good trainer, with business sense doesn't act childish and inmature...you never know how things work out and clients come and go and come back again...riders get better opportunites, lifestyles change, lives change, there are multitudes of reasons people go elsewhere...

                          If a trainer feels the need to spread gossip and say things about you...that is their problem....it is nothing new in the horse world and give people credit for being able to sort things out for themselves, lets be honest there are many sides to each story and horse people know that...and most times people can spot the venom and lie as opposed to gossip or talking about people that is more on line of normal gossip at shows...
                          "All life is precious"
                          Sophie Scholl

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I'm in an intersting situation right now - trainer lacks 'professionalism' & has terrible 'bed-side manner' but is a good trainer. Disorganization & lack of communication led to an altercation that makes me hesistent to continue any relationship, but not sure what to do at this point...there isn't a lack of good trainers in the area, but lack of training only leads to cutting-of-my nose syndrome (green horse that needs program). So, I figure her skills are of use to me until I find the correct new situation. What stinks is that I moved from a situation that I never would have left if it wasn't for moving to a different state.

                            Stuff happens, I'd just say thank you & move on. Sending a thank-you not a week later is always nice. Bad_mouthing seems par for the course with many 'pros', if they don't hide it from you then they probably have earned the title of a gossip from their peers & I wouldn't stress. And if their clients really don't think they are excluded from that, eventually they will learn

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Thank you for all the good advice! I am fortunate enough that we moved our mare out of trainer's barn in April. We are now at a friend's private barn which is great. We have only seen the trainer a few times since, I shipped the mare over for a lesson once, but really do not want to subject my big 17.1 hand mare to jumping on rock hard footing. You can hear the landing from far away, it's that hard. Trainer does not have money to fix the footing.

                              She has done a few offsite schoolings etc. but not much else. I think we are separation from her, it could make it easier. She has been really rude to my daughter at times during lessons, talking about her to other clients while she is riding. I am really tired of the unprofessionalism!

                              We are quite possibly going back to her former trainer who treats my daughter extremely well, and is very professional. We had to leave the barn as it was very far from our house, and we could no longer board there because of the distance. So with now having the option of shipping over there once a week, it makes good sense. There is also another top professional my daughter is considering who has helped her with some YR programs. It will be for the best no doubt, and I feel better knowing I won't be involved with someone who chooses to gossip in a very nasty way about us and her other clients.... Onward and Upward!

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Originally posted by boogierhythm View Post
                                It seems like it is worse to break up from trainer than a romantic relationship. I am faced with doing this really soon....My daughter has been with this trainer for three years, and we have decided to move on due to the following issues.

                                *Trainer talks about clients behind their backs to other clients, extremely unprofessional, causing bad blood.
                                *At shows, when I am paying for a warmup, trainer chooses to shoot the breeze with another trainer barely paying attention to my kid, or talk to other people who follow her like a pied piper.
                                *At her barn, the footing in the jumping ring is rock hard, she says it's fine....I know better, it's not.
                                *Lessons can be sporadic in their quality due to her distraction, she takes any opportunity to talk to other people during lessons, mostly about her horses.

                                I want to be civil about how to tell her we are not going to be her clients any more. Fortunately we had moved out to a private barn in the spring, and was using her for ship out lessons. Can anyone give me advice? I hate doing this kind of thing. I know no matter what I say, I will be hated by all the other clients, since she will bad mouth me. It is what she does, it's awful.

                                Trying to keep my chin up.

                                be polite judging by what your saying you have learnt a lot
                                as in what not to have in the future from a trainer

                                so bear that in mind - as all your comments are warranted ok
                                so you dont want that in the future
                                and your daughter and you have outgrown her

                                your now in a position of forwards

                                so you have a few choices here if we want to use someone else we just do it no hard feelings done

                                if you feel compelled then give her a small token gift and tell her you appreciate what shes done for you and your daughter but that you also know that that your daughter has outgrown her services and your now ready to move on and compete on your own

                                then that way it doesnt matter if you have a trianer or not your out there doing your own thing
                                sounds like as you have moved you have come to realise there more fun to be outside a perticular barn and not stuffed via rules of one set trianer

                                if you dont want her then dont ring her and dont chase her sounds like she chasing you for lesson so she probably isnt as good as she says, and perhaps when bad mouthing people with other trrianers it could be she arse licking
                                always two sides you know thing is if she was that good you would be further afield than you are

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  If you're the sane party then your reputation will prevail!

                                  I left a dysfunctional (and 20+ year) relationship with a barn and shorly after heard all sorts of things from people who were still associated with the barn (the "pied pipees," if you will). Words like "the antichrist" and "we will do whatever it takes to destroy her" ("her" being me) were being thrown around to anyone who would listen. They reported me for allegedly being a trainer at several shows, which was absurd since I....well....wasn't! Sure helped me develop a better relationship with the stewards, though (who also saw through the crazy).

                                  The worst part is that it was so pointless and based on absolutely nothing other than the fact that I left the barn (and I left because I bought my own farm, not because I felt the training was lacking). I grew up there, I thought of the people as family, I still have nothing but the greatest of respect for the [no-longer-main] main trainer (who wasn't part of the "crazy-talk"). But boy, the rest of it was just chaotic for a while!

                                  Several of those people have come up to me over the ensuing years to apologize for their part in it. Most of it came from one person (much like in your scenario--she was the one who was like the pied piper). Fortunately it never affected my reputation on the circuit since it was clear exactly how crazy the people were who were saying stuff, and I had a lot of good and strong relationships throughout the area. But boy did it hurt my feelings and leave me reeling for a while.

                                  My favorite part of it, though, was when the "Pied Piper" went up to all of my competitors at one horseshow after I won a big jumper class and tried to whisper conspiratorally that "if they were tired of losing to me they should help her get rid of me for good." REALLY? Who talks like that??? She was referring to reporting me to the stewards, by the way. But my competitors were also my friends and were all offended by the implication that the couldn't beat me (and boy, they certainly could!). They also thought it was pure craziness and headed straight to me to tell me what was being said.

                                  I never felt so alone, but so totally supported by this huge group of people at one time! Which, coincidentally, is a big part of why I'm so sad to be moving away from the show circuit I've grown up on!

                                  Oh, and my whole point about this, before I got to rambling on, is that you will be so glad to be away from the drama once you make the break. I do think it exists to some degree or another within any group of people, but if your trainer is on the extreme side it's SUCH a relief to work with "less crazy" people after you make the break
                                  __________________________________
                                  Flying F Sport Horses
                                  Horses in the NW

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