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Trainers what is your policy?

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  • Trainers what is your policy?

    I am curious to know what trainers' policies are regarding kids and their parents attending out of town shows. Do you require a parent to be on the premises with the child/junior at all times? Do you let kids/juniors stay in the hotel, rv, or trailer living quarters with you? Do you allow kids/juniors to stay together in a hotel room without an adult?

  • #2
    Are you talking about going with the trainer to out of town shows or going on their own?

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      With the trainer. I guess if they go on their own, then that becomes totally the parents responsibility. If with trainer, then trainer is responsible if kid's parent is not there.

      Comment


      • #4
        Even if the trainer was a Buddhist monk, it is highly inappropriate for a parent to allow, request, or otherwise condone a child staying with a trainer all weekend. It is also HIGHLY unsavory to leave even the most responsible group of children unsupervised in a hotel. If you need to dump your child on someone because you are too busy or otherwise incapable, consider hiring a nanny for the weekend to stay with them.

        If you are new to the sport, please educate yourself to SafeSport and it’s policies. In today’s day and age, trainers are not permitted to have underage students bunk with them. It it very much frowned upon, for good reason.

        I also find that asking your trainer to be 24/7 responsible for your child is a disregard of the trainer’s personal space and time. The time in which your child is not competing or under the direction of the trainer is most likely being used by the trainer to give direction to their other clients or, perhaps, to their own horses in training.

        I am a trainer and I am also a parent. I would never ask a coach or trainer to mind my child “after hours”, nor would I appreciate a parent trying to slip that extra responsibility in on me. Trainers are often the first ones at the show and the last to leave. We are scheduling Braiders, checking legs, sometimes doing all of the horse care, and making sure that every client is well prepared. We like to go back to our own hotel rooms at night and fall asleep watching tv in peace. Please do not rob us of this.



        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by mrs_beasley View Post
          Even if the trainer was a Buddhist monk, it is highly inappropriate for a parent to allow, request, or otherwise condone a child staying with a trainer all weekend. It is also HIGHLY unsavory to leave even the most responsible group of children unsupervised in a hotel. If you need to dump your child on someone because you are too busy or otherwise incapable, consider hiring a nanny for the weekend to stay with them.

          If you are new to the sport, please educate yourself to SafeSport and it’s policies. In today’s day and age, trainers are not permitted to have underage students bunk with them. It it very much frowned upon, for good reason.

          I also find that asking your trainer to be 24/7 responsible for your child is a disregard of the trainer’s personal space and time. The time in which your child is not competing or under the direction of the trainer is most likely being used by the trainer to give direction to their other clients or, perhaps, to their own horses in training.

          I am a trainer and I am also a parent. I would never ask a coach or trainer to mind my child “after hours”, nor would I appreciate a parent trying to slip that extra responsibility in on me. Trainers are often the first ones at the show and the last to leave. We are scheduling Braiders, checking legs, sometimes doing all of the horse care, and making sure that every client is well prepared. We like to go back to our own hotel rooms at night and fall asleep watching tv in peace. Please do not rob us of this.


          Preach.

          As a parent- no. My child would not be left to the responsibility of someone else. Trainers have a full time job at horse shows- training clients and managing the horses. It is not their responsibility to manage a client's child.

          As a parent- I have taken my daughter's friend with me. We know the family and have been good friend's for years. I still would not send my child with another family- that's just me.

          Trainers are not babysitters. It is highly unfair to expect them to do even more. And it is a risk.
          Come to the dark side, we have cookies

          Comment


          • #6
            I remember about twenty years ago being at an A show far from home and seeing a trainer who I also knew was far from home at a restaurant surrounded by about ten little girls trying to eat dinner. She was the only adult and I distinctly remember thinking: poor trainer! She must be exhausted and yet here she is basically baby sitting these kids after having dealt with them and their ponies and all her other clients during a long horse show day.

            All that to say, I am not a trainer and do not even play one on TV, but in no universe would I want to be responsible for someone else's kids at a horse show. Trainers have so very many other responsibilities (as mrs_beasley said), that I think asking them to also be responsible for watching out for a bunch of kids would be too much. Our barn has a 17 year old who shows with us and even at that age, one of her parents always comes to the shows.

            Comment


            • #7
              SafeSport has presumably changed what is allowed, but I am not clear on those details. (You should look into that, it might set your policy for you.) In the context of what a trainer might want to do - be aware that there are plenty of parents who would be thrilled to not have to go spend the weekend at a horse show, and who will think “well, if Trainer wants kid to go to the show, the only way it’s possible is if they watch the kid because I can’t make it, up to Trainer whether they want the business”. And if you do it once, be prepared for it to become an expectation of your clients.

              Comment


              • #8
                Safe Sport has changed many things that used to be considered routine, so has the revelation of past actions between adult trainers and minors. As a new Pro, you need to take that SS online course to protect yourself and your business.
                When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  I have taken and passed the course and am not a new Pro. Just wanting to get feedback from you guys as to protocol. Good comments from all of you, as I expected. Thanks!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well what is your current policy? I would suggest writing it all out in an email to the Safe Sport coordinator for the USEF to get it inline with their standards.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      So, what is the answer to kid wants to horse show, needs to get out of school, parents need to work and can't come. According to Safe Sport, and appropriateness in the minds of many, trainer shouldn't spend the night in hotel with kid(s).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Classic View Post
                        So, what is the answer to kid wants to horse show, needs to get out of school, parents need to work and can't come. According to Safe Sport, and appropriateness in the minds of many, trainer shouldn't spend the night in hotel with kid(s).
                        The parents should figure out alternative guardian arrangements, just like for any other activity their kid might want to do. Maybe another family member, family friend, staying with another barn kid and that kid’s guardian, paid caregiver, etc.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Back when dinosaurs trod the Earth, and I showed Hunters, there were adult (female) riders who looked after the Juniors.
                          I am talking about late 80s to mid-90s.

                          Sometimes that meant sharing a room - usually 2 or 3 adults, 1 or 2 Jr's per room.
                          Few parents took time off work aside from dropping kids at the barn morning of the day we shipped out.
                          The good kids helped pack, wrap horses & the not-so-good stayed out of the way.
                          Some parents never even came to the weekend shows an hour+ from home.
                          One particular family left not only the 10yo who showed, but added her non-riding 8yo sister for us to shepherd.
                          I will admit that felt a bit nervy to me.

                          We grown riders did our best to look after the kids & somehow it never seemed a burden - just part of showing with Juniors.
                          FWIW: our trainer was a Mom, her kid was too young to ride & stayed home with Dad. He'd bring him on the weekend
                          There were male trainers present, I don't recall how they managed the Juniors, but imagine it was similar method.

                          Have times really changed that much?
                          *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                          Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                          Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                          Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The best system I was a part of was parents (most of whom rode) taking turns being responsible for the kids. I am not sure if safesport allows for this as I no longer teach kids and haven't paid attention

                            I hated when 18 year old me was left responsible for 15-17 year olds who wanted to stay out socializing. I was also the one to morning and night feed, and it was impossible to keep track of the juniors who didn't want to be kept track of.
                            Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Not specifically horse show related, but more than a decade ago when both my kids were in 4-H one thing the leader did was take the club on at least one or two major overnight/multi-night trips each year. All were horse themed, educational, and fun trips for the kids (and those of us adults who did pitch in).

                              I always volunteered to chaperone and drive, as drivers were especially needed. I felt it was part of my job as a parent to be involved and help with these activities. These trips were always planned far in advance. Any parent who was inclined had plenty of advance notice to arrange for time off or take a few vacation days.

                              The leader was already giving so generously of her time and energy, in no way would I have ever expected her to be the person solely responsible for my children as well. It always bothered me how many of the parents were so quick to look at the leader as a free baby sitter and never once volunteer to help. I think both the kids and the parents missed some really great bonding experiences and memories when the parents were not involved.

                              All the adults that did attend were totally upstanding individuals (small town here, everybody knows everybody; like it or not). I would have trusted my kids with any or all of the adults that went on these trips, but it is not their job to mind my kids unless we had explicitly, mutually agreed on that. My kids, my responsibility, convenient or not. (Although I have never considered them inconvenient. Heathens and frustrating at times, oh yes, but I made the choice to become a parent and that comes with a commitment to the kids.) The trips typically involved overnight hotels. The leader/adults shared an adults only room (or more depending on situation). The kids, 4 to a room, were on either sides of the adults. The kids were all wonderful and we never had problems. The leader's expectations were fair and clear on what behavior was or wasn't tolerated.

                              Have you had to deal with having both boys and girls in your show group? Think about how you would deal with that. I have no idea if SafeSport speaks to that. In my mind it has the potential to be "interesting" and challenging, especially during the teen years.

                              The 4-H club was primarily girls, but at one point there were as many as 4 boys, my son being one of them. If enough boys were on a trip, it was easy. They had the "boys" room. If not, often the boys were in a mixed boy and girl room as long as all parents and kids were OK with the mix. Since the boys were all siblings of a girl in the club, this never caused an issue. Frequently the boy-girl sibs shared a room with another sib pair. Occasionally a dad came along and then he shared the room with his own son. All the club members were such good friends they may as well all have been siblings. (Many are still in touch today, even though they are in their late 20s, early 30s.)

                              If you set the standard of expected behavior and responsibility for everybody - kids, parents, adult clients (ya on rare occasion they are the PITAs) - at the start of your season and hold to it, "child care" should not fall to you and age appropriate arrangements can and should be made by the parents and kids. Everyone needs to respect that a trainer needs their own down time too. Personally, I think a parent should be in attendance at a horse show in case of an injury, but I also think that teens can be trusted to be away from a parent for a day or more if they have shown enough maturity to behave well.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Starting around 16, I would leave for horse shows on Mondays and my mom would meet me on Fridays and stay the weekend. Depending on the situation, I’d either share a room with a friend in the same situation or at times I’d share with my female trainer or our pro rider. We were all good kids; no drugs, no alcohol, no partying. Just horse show, dinner, home. I started hauling my own horses right away, so I’d always have my own vehicle there and except for the occasions where we shared a room, I was entirely responsible for myself. I loved the independence and responsibility.

                                Perhaps it was a bit different for me because I went away to boarding school at 13 and was very much used to taking charge of my own life. I understand that with SafeSport, the rules are much different today and that’s a very good thing, but I was extraordinarily lucky to have such a positive experience while growing up.

                                I did have one trainer as an adult who used working students instead of professional grooms. These girls were anywhere from 13-17 and they would all stay with her at shows and she would take full responsibility for them. These were wonderful kids and they all had an excellent relationship with her. Again, this is no longer legal and I fully understand why, but it was commonplace 15-20+ years ago.
                                Nine out of ten times, you'll get it wrong...but it's that tenth time that you get it right that makes all the difference.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Good conversation. I think the new Safe Sport policy will put a dent in show participation/income across the country if most trainers comply.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I don't think it's inappropriate for minors to travel with an adult trainer to shows without a parent, given the right circumstances. (But I am also not a USEF member so I have no idea what SafeSport says about this.) There are plenty of other activities such as Scouts or 4-H or church groups where kids go on overnight trips with adult leaders who aren't their parents. But most of these groups now have their own sets of rules for travel regarding who can sleep/stay in the same hotel room/tent/lodging, and I think that's what OP is getting at. Some common rules are kids don't share a bed unless they are siblings, kids don't share a bed with an adult unless it's their parent, there must be at least two unrelated adults present if sleeping in the same room with kids other than their own, and rooms are separate by gender unless all part of the same family. Obviously this can create a more complicated situation - for example, if everyone is unrelated you may need a lot more hotel rooms so everyone can have their own bed. It can also be hard to find rooms with enough beds to meet the requirements. If you have 2 kids and 2 adults, all the same gender and all unrelated, and the kids aren't old enough to trust in a room alone, then under these rules you would need a room with 4 beds. Maybe possible with 2 beds, a sofa bed, and a rollaway cot but not all hotels offer this.
                                    Flickr

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Classic View Post
                                      So, what is the answer to kid wants to horse show, needs to get out of school, parents need to work and can't come. According to Safe Sport, and appropriateness in the minds of many, trainer shouldn't spend the night in hotel with kid(s).
                                      That’s not entirely accurate. The parent can sign a release stating that their child is allowed to stay with the trainer over night at a show. I cannot think of an occasion that I spent a night in a hotel with another adult that wasn’t my Mom. If my Mom wasn’t there I always shared a room with a friend. Adults were in a different room. This went for horse shows as well as school trips.

                                      You really do need to ask these questions to Teresa Roper.

                                      No one can really tell you much without knowing what your policy is at the moment.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I've ridden in several barns with gaggles of juniors whose parents are unable, for whatever reason, to attend the travel shows. Usually they can get there on the weekends, but due to work and other family commitments, it can be really difficult for the parents to get there during the week. Anyway, in all three barns that I have been in, the trainers have not only offered but honestly been very insistent upon, those juniors traveling with and staying with them so they can attend the shows. I think the trainers think that by offering this option, it allows the kids to attend the shows when they otherwise might not be able to and that increases the trainer's revenue stream. I will say, most of the parents were ok with that arrangement, having the kid travel and live with the trainer at the away shows until they themselves could get there. There have been the odd family who hasn't been comfortable with that and in those circumstances, they will usually ask another barn kid parent to take their kid (if one is available) or an adult ammie. I myself have chaperoned/hosted a few of the parentless juniors at shows for those kids who didn't want to stay with the trainer. Bunking with the trainer is very common, maybe with SafeSport it will become less so, but it's going to be a SLOW change.

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