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Is this acceptable trainer behavior?

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  • #21
    I, too, live in the OP’s area and have never personally experienced what she has described. So there are suitable trainers out there. I have definitely heard about some shady stuff and was once pressured by a trainer about a purchase when I wasn’t even looking to buy and the trainer knew it. I said no, eventually emphatically. Ultimately I left that barn.
    The Evil Chem Prof

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    • #22
      OP: listen to what js posted.
      Short & sweet & hits the nail on the head.
      Print for reference if needed.

      Scribbler also makes a valid point.
      So many Fails & you don't think you are at least part of the problem?

      Why aren't you training with your friend?
      And why can't he/she point you to a suitable barn or trainer (if, for whatever reason, you won't fit their program)?
      *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


      • #23
        I wrote out a whole list of rhetorical questions for you, but really I think you should just take all of these experiences and write down exactly what you think you're looking for. Write it all down, in detail. Your (specific) goals. Your physical limitations and possible timeline for recovery. Your preferred teaching style. Your preferred type of barn/program, where and how often you'd like to show. Your budget for monthly expenses. Your (eventual) budget for horse shopping.

        Then you promise yourself that you're going to stick to it going forward, no matter what anyone else tries to convince you of. So the next time someone tries to double your stated budget, you *immediately* and politely shut them down and decline to discuss it further, much less agree to try the horse and then get into a dispute about cross country shipping costs. And if you continue to look around other trainers, don't be coy - tell them your budget. And don't waste time looking at barns/programs that don't easily fit your budget.

        As you continue to look for other barns/trainers, ask them if their program supports what you want/need. Again, don't be coy, and stay positive about what you're looking for. If you expect to have medical limitations for the next year, tell them up front, and adjust your goals accordingly.

        I agree that it would make sense not to buy anything until you ride with someone for a while (6-12 months?). Take yourself off of that hamster wheel, give yourself a chance to evaluate the trainer and the barn, and give them a chance to evaluate your skills and goals.

        Comment


        • #24
          The crop thing is absolutely a "hell, no!" situation to me, but the rest of the issues sound like they could have been resolved by doing your due diligence on some things, and simply standing up for yourself on the others. People in all fields will try to take advantage of you if you let them.

          If any of the barns were otherwise great and checked most of your boxes, then it seems like working to resolve the issue makes more sense than leaving (yet again). No place is perfect, and no trainer is perfect. Find the closest approximation for you knowing you can't have everything you want.
          "Dogs give and give and give. Cats are the gift that keeps on grifting." —Bradley Trevor Greive

          Comment


          • #25
            I dunno, perhaps changing disciplines to one of the many Western barns out there might be a thought. OP mentions needing to avoid things because she is nursing injuries...maybe waiting until fully healed or switching to a less punishing on the body activity would be a better choice. Western has plenty of challenge to do well...and it’s more affordable across the board. Not cheap , mind you, more affordable.

            Maybe trying to see things from the trainers point of view might help in finding the right place as well. Some of these incidents related are clearly wrong choices while others are in more of a grey area. For example, if the barn and their horses are out of your price range, it doesn’t mean they are snobs. It means you can’t afford the product they offer. It’s not personal. They go to Thermal, the AA circuit maybe go to Indoors. All their clients need horses on that level and to participate on that level. That’s their business model. Others serve a different segment of clients, find a barn that matches your current budget. Be honest about that with yourself as well as trainer.

            One other thought, were the lessons OP could not perform the exercises private lessons with just OP and the trainer or group lessons? It is challenging for any trainer to structure group lessons to suit where those riders and horses are capable of being successful, if one student openly refuses to try something, it can disrupt the class. Discussing ones physical limitations or need to protect still healing injuries should be an important part,of preparing fir a successful lesson. Trainers can work around limitations or disabilities if they know about them ahead of time.

            Trainer doesn’t know clients, especially newer ones, well enough to guess at possible limitations, either financial or physical unless very clearly communicated. Some of these examples don’t sound like there was any clear understanding on some of these limitations.

            There’s bad people out there training and communicating via text only with no context of age, budget, physical limitations and realistic goals makes communication and understanding difficult. That said, though, reading these examples has a hint of “woe is me” and the constant in all is OP. Don’t take it personally but sometimes a look in the mirror and some honest self evaluation of ones self can be very helpful. Sometimes such reflection can result in tweaking goals and being willing to change goals to better align with you really have available i in self and circumstances to determine realistic, attainable goals and make them work.

            Give that some thought.
            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

            Comment


            • #26
              OP-ask your trainer friend for recommendations and I absolutely agree with the poster that said to stop joining a new barn and immediately buying a horse. I'm sure there is a good fit out there for you and would advise you to just keep plugging away. Maybe attend a few local shows as a spectator and observe the trainers in action, also walk by their set-ups to gauge the level of attentiveness and cleanliness. You are in an area that probably has a ton of options, so ask trusted friends. In all this time, you have surely made some barn friends that you could discuss these issues with? And for the record-I would be so PO'd if anyone hit me with a crop in any way other than jokingly.

              Comment


              • #27
                Lots of good advice given, especially the join a barn and buy bit. What is your budget? What are your goals? How accomplished a rider are you? Are you giving the trainer(s) a fair assessment of your abilities? If you are immediately wanting to buy either a world beater on a Budweiser budget or falsely inflating your ability, it makes it very hard for a trainer to get a good match. We riders must be honest with ourselves and to our instructors. Some of your claims are absolutely "walk aways" but a few claims seem to say you are part of the problem in some way.
                Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

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                • #28
                  I teach and train and my first piece of advice is stop trying to buy a horse. I also would have a "conversation" with you if you quit in the middle of a lesson, or you flat out said no to an exercise that I wanted you to do.

                  No shade here, but you sound like one of those riders that wants to be taught your way, and if you don't get it, you get dramatic. Like you have this whole program already thought up in your mind, and you lose your mind if your trainer strays from that. Those are the students that I kick from my program. I don't have time for drama, antics or hissy fits. You're not here for the butterflies, unicorns and rainbows. You're here to work hard and become a horseman/woman. You're here to sweat, you're here to learn, and you're here to become a better version of yourself. You just don't want to be pushed and you lash out, quite frankly, in a very odd way, to "get back" at the trainer that pushes you.

                  Next, instead of filling your head with the negative, the things you can't do, fill it with things you can do. Find a trainer that understands your physical limitations and work towards not being limited. I have a boarder who has had a spinal fusion, she is rocking Saddleseat with her TWH at a national level. I have a friend with prosthetics from the hip down, both legs. She rides English/Western and runs speed for her local high school equestrian team.My good friend has a form of cerebal palsy and has trained and shown with top QH trainers in the US... The difference between them and you is you say "I can't" they say "I can-just differently." Stop being negative, stop limiting YOURSELF. It's a hard pill to swallow but once it's down, you'll be much more healthy mentally.

                  I’d rather ride on a Mustang, than in one.

                  BaileyAnn Neal

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by js View Post
                    First, why didn't you keep the horse you bought and liked but the barn was using for too many lessons? Could you just have moved the horse to a new barn? Why sell when you have the right horse, just not the right barn?

                    Why don't you have your trainer friend work with you to find a horse that suits you, then move to a non-show barn where your trainer friend can give you some lesson's without the pressures of being in a show barn.
                    These were my questions. If the billing issues came up every month, I would have packed up by month two and taken the horse I liked elsewhere. Not wanting to keep your horse because the barn can't bill properly seems excessive.

                    *****
                    You will not rise to the occasion, you will default to your level of training.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by SillyHorse View Post
                      I'm amazed that anyone would think this is okay. My trainer would be arrested if she assaulted me like that. But I know she never would. She understands that I'm the client and if I'm uncomfortable with something or need to take a walk break, it's okay with her. I'm not going to the Olympics; I'm an AA who does this for my pleasure. My dime, my call
                      Ok come on obviously I don’t mean it’s ok for a trainer to literally physically beat someone with a crop. It’s kind of just a figure of speech. Pretty sure OP’s trainer was just messing around and being playful. If OP was seriously beat with a crop I’m sure she would’ve called the authorities. I’m also an adult ammy but just because it’s my dime doesn’t mean I get to do whatever I want in a lesson. I don’t just get to take walk breaks because I feel like it (believe me I could if I would). Yes it’s your money, but if you’re not going to stick to the trainer’s program then you’re just wasting everyone’s time. I mean if you hired a personal trainer and they told you to do 15 burpees and you were just like “nah” that personal trainer isn’t going to waste their time and their name on you if you won’t stick to the program.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by Equkelly View Post

                        Ok come on obviously I don’t mean it’s ok for a trainer to literally physically beat someone with a crop. It’s kind of just a figure of speech. Pretty sure OP’s trainer was just messing around and being playful. If OP was seriously beat with a crop I’m sure she would’ve called the authorities. I’m also an adult ammy but just because it’s my dime doesn’t mean I get to do whatever I want in a lesson. I don’t just get to take walk breaks because I feel like it (believe me I could if I would). Yes it’s your money, but if you’re not going to stick to the trainer’s program then you’re just wasting everyone’s time. I mean if you hired a personal trainer and they told you to do 15 burpees and you were just like “nah” that personal trainer isn’t going to waste their time and their name on you if you won’t stick to the program.
                        As someone who has hired a personal trainer - ummm yes, of course I'd take a break if I was too fatigued to maintain proper position for the exercise. Doing otherwise risks doing actual damage. My trainer isn't an idiot and supports sanity in training.

                        And in riding, I do take breaks when I need to. This usually occurs during rising trot without stirrups, because my legs haven't developed that strength enough to hold it as long as instructor wants me to. So I take a break when I have to, and then get on with it.

                        There's a difference between pushing the limits and pushing past the limits. An instructor doing the latter needs to be cropped about the head until they learn this.
                        Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Oops, missed an earlier post
                          ~Veronica
                          "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                          http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by Coanteen View Post

                            As someone who has hired a personal trainer - ummm yes, of course I'd take a break if I was too fatigued to maintain proper position for the exercise. Doing otherwise risks doing actual damage. My trainer isn't an idiot and supports sanity in training.

                            And in riding, I do take breaks when I need to. This usually occurs during rising trot without stirrups, because my legs haven't developed that strength enough to hold it as long as instructor wants me to. So I take a break when I have to, and then get on with it.

                            There's a difference between pushing the limits and pushing past the limits. An instructor doing the latter needs to be cropped about the head until they learn this.
                            There’s a difference between being pushed passed your limit and just being pushed. I get the vibe that OP just doesn’t like to be pushed at all because she’s the paying customer. I can do 15 laps of no stirrups but it would suck and I wouldn’t be happy about it in the moment, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to just not do if my trainer tells me to.

                            Honestly a good personal trainer or horse trainer should know your limits and you should be comfortable with that. If you’re at a point where either would tell you to do something and you really think you physically can’t, it’s already a bad fit.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              I would also note that OP has had a concussion in the recent past, and post concession syndrome is long lasting, real, insidious, and often impossible for the person affected to recognize. OP, you might want to look up post concussion problems and see if you recognize any of the symptoms.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by Equkelly View Post

                                There’s a difference between being pushed passed your limit and just being pushed. I get the vibe that OP just doesn’t like to be pushed at all because she’s the paying customer. I can do 15 laps of no stirrups but it would suck and I wouldn’t be happy about it in the moment, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to just not do if my trainer tells me to.

                                Honestly a good personal trainer or horse trainer should know your limits and you should be comfortable with that. If you’re at a point where either would tell you to do something and you really think you physically can’t, it’s already a bad fit.
                                A bad fit, or a bad trainer.

                                My personal trainer can usually see my form degrading before I'm really aware of it, and will stop me, because they're a good professional.

                                OP did do the exercise she didn't want to do, and ended up getting injured. Was it because she went into it with a poor attitude, or too tense because she was afraid, or was it because she really wasn't ready and the instructor was too narrow-minded to acknowledge that? I know that if I was asked to jump without stirrups right now, I would refuse outright - I *know* my leg isn't there. If it was by a new trainer, I would also assume that they're incompetent, because it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see my leg and form without stirrups is nowhere near ready. It'd be dangerous.

                                But that wouldn't be a "bad fit". It would be a case of stupid/incompetent trainer. OP didn't give details on her situation so we don't know.
                                Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Some of what you’ve posted, OP, is downright shady. Others i think have a more “time and place”. I suspect there might be a few things going on. Please correct me if I’m wrong!!

                                  1. Communication. Talking to trainers ahead of time and keeping a dialogue with them about your limits and reservations is key. Some clients will try to cop out of putting the miles in because effort is harrrd. Other times we riders have legitimate limitations. However, without a good relationship with our trainers (and it sounds like you haven’t been in one place long enough to develop this) they have to guess between the two. Instead of expecting them to lay the foundation for this, be proactive! Take it upon yourself to communicate honestly, open, and often. Don’t just do it in the moment when things get hard. Unpack after a lesson - X exercise was really pushing my limits can we adapt it in the future until I am doing better? Etc.

                                  2. EXPECTATIONS. what you actually want (out of lessons, a barn, a trainer, what type of horse you want to buy/what you want to be able to do with said horse) need to be laid out. Figure them out for yourself if you haven’t yet already. And then be prepared to communicate these things to your professionals.

                                  3. (Realistic!!!) expectations. What horse you want to buy and what you want to do with said horse vs, say, your budget, May not be a realistic fit. Likewise, what you want out of a program may not be what the program offers. You need to be realistic about the fit of all of these things. Some trainers want an A show string of riders who pay the pro for training rides braiding grooming show prep etc. I will never work well with those trainers - I want more independence than that. So based off your expectations, take the time to make sure they are realistic (goals, pricing, timelines) and then also make sure that your team reflects those values. There are a lot of different “styles” out there. We need to figure out what style is the fit we are looking for.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    I think some trainers should take into consideration your own limits. If I was you I’d look for another barn that has good reviews. If you want to stick with Hunter Jumper then stick with Hunter Jumper. Though if you want more laxness perhaps go to a western Stable if you can that focuses more on trail riding if possible, or western pleasure. Western tends to be less stressful though trainers will still find a need to shove their ideals on top others. I really think you should have kept the horse you bought personally and just got them out of there because the horse was obviously well trained. You also should have told them no you didn’t want them to use your horse which they couldn’t in fact it was would have been like someone using your car without permission. (In a legal situation.)

                                    I worked for a trainer that was kinda stressful to work with because she made me do more then i could handle with riding. Though she only was trying to push me to do better and I at least had not fallen off. She knew what she was doing though and when I broke down crying after she scared me to death by slapping the butt of her lesson horse and spooking him into trotting quickly well I had no stirrups on and wasn’t really prepared for that and I nearly fell off. If I would have I probably wouldn’t have went back. Simply because that was too much for me to handle mentally. I’m not scared of falling off but I’d rather it be because no one not even the horse is responsible for it.

                                    I will probably work with her again this summer and hopefully with my own horse this time around. However if she ever even slapped my own horse she wouldn’t be seeing me again. Not like I wouldn’t mind helping out if she needed it but I’m not going to work with someone that tries to mess with my horse. A light slap is okay but if I was on my horse and she full on slapped her and caused me to come off than I really wouldn’t work with her. Simply because that is not okay behavior and I would never slap someone’s horse even if they weren’t doing your lesson correctly. I suggest to do things yourself and take control of the situation.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      As an adult amateur, I do feel like you ALWAYS have the right to say NO if you feel uncomfortable about something.

                                      At the end of the day, it isn't the trainer that has to continue working, take care of a family, or keep your 'non-horse' life together. Injuries REALLY put a hindrance on that, especially if you do not have a huge support system around you.

                                      OP don't give up on horses yet! You have had some awful situations, but there is the right situation out there for you!!

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by Coanteen View Post

                                        A bad fit, or a bad trainer.

                                        My personal trainer can usually see my form degrading before I'm really aware of it, and will stop me, because they're a good professional.

                                        OP did do the exercise she didn't want to do, and ended up getting injured. Was it because she went into it with a poor attitude, or too tense because she was afraid, or was it because she really wasn't ready and the instructor was too narrow-minded to acknowledge that? I know that if I was asked to jump without stirrups right now, I would refuse outright - I *know* my leg isn't there. If it was by a new trainer, I would also assume that they're incompetent, because it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see my leg and form without stirrups is nowhere near ready. It'd be dangerous.

                                        But that wouldn't be a "bad fit". It would be a case of stupid/incompetent trainer. OP didn't give details on her situation so we don't know.
                                        A bad fit. I said bad fit and not bad trainer for a reason.

                                        Yes, if a trainer is pushing you far beyond your physical limitations then that’s just a crappy trainer. If I had to guess, I don’t think that’s actually what’s going on. Maybe if OP had one bad experiences but EIGHT? I’m inclined to think it’s something about OP’s attitude that is the problem here.

                                        If your trainer asks you do to something and you don’t trust their judgment, that’s a bad fit. It could be on the trainer but it could also be on OP. You have to be able to trust that they’re actually looking out for you and trying to make you a better rider and that they know when you can do something even if you don’t. If none of that us there, the battle is already lost. If OP really thinks their trainer isn’t able to accurately judge assess her physical limits to the point where she needs to just create her own.... that’s already a poor trainer/ client relationship.

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by ladybugsbw View Post
                                          As an adult amateur, I do feel like you ALWAYS have the right to say NO if you feel uncomfortable about something.

                                          At the end of the day, it isn't the trainer that has to continue working, take care of a family, or keep your 'non-horse' life together. Injuries REALLY put a hindrance on that, especially if you do not have a huge support system around you.
                                          Several years ago I purchased a new horse with a trainer who was new to me. Trainer insisted that I continue doing an exercise which involved jumping outside of the arena and cantering back into the arena, with a horse turned out in a pasture adjacent to the area outside the arena running. I could feel my horse becoming more agitated and anxious each time we did the exercise, and I asked my trainer if I could opt out of the outside of the arena part of the course. She said no, the horse bucked me off (hindquarters over my head kind of buck), and I was injured fairly seriously. Since the horse was new to me, it took me a long time to learn to trust him again. Lesson learned, if trainer doesn't respect my limits, trainer isn't the right trainer for me.

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