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Debate: Should Trainers ride their students horses in shows?

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  • Debate: Should Trainers ride their students horses in shows?

    I frown on this for the most part. I believe it is a thin line that gets crossed all too often.

    Especially frown upon trainers that consistently claim that their students horses are wonderful just way too advanced for the student. Shouldn't that trainer spend less time riding the horse and more time teaching the capable student to ride and train said horse?

    (I am not talking about a 12 year old who's parents just bought them a grand prix horse. )



    Comments, opinions.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Ski'sthelimit View Post
    I frown on this for the most part. I believe it is a thin line that gets crossed all too often.

    Especially frown upon trainers that consistently claim that their students horses are wonderful just way too advanced for the student. Shouldn't that trainer spend less time riding the horse and more time teaching the capable student to ride and train said horse?

    (I am not talking about a 12 year old who's parents just bought them a grand prix horse. )



    Comments, opinions.
    What is the thin line being crossed?

    If I want a trainer to show my hors, I see no problem with it. My horse goes great for my trainer and pins well in the open divisions with her. Why is that an issue?
    Auventera Two:Some women would eat their own offspring if they had some dipping sauce.
    Serious Leigh: it sounds like her drama llama should be an old schoolmaster by now.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      if you want your trainer to ride your horse great! I dont see anything wrong with that. Where i find / see / hear of issues is students being held back while trainers are showing their horses in classes that the student could be showing and succeeding in. All in that same scenario trainer is telling student they are basically incapable of showing at that level.

      Do you not see this happen?

      Comment


      • #4
        Yes, I think students should learn to ride their own horses. Trainers are there to help, but the students should be in the show ring.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Ski'sthelimit View Post
          if you want your trainer to ride your horse great! I dont see anything wrong with that. Where i find / see / hear of issues is students being held back while trainers are showing their horses in classes that the student could be showing and succeeding in. All in that same scenario trainer is telling student they are basically incapable of showing at that level.

          Do you not see this happen?
          I agree, a trainer should encourge their students to show, not hold them back.
          Fortunately I have trainer who wants all her students showing their own horses.

          Comment


          • #6
            Doesn't bother me at all if a trainer shows a student's horse. It is pretty much the norm at shows around my area. Many times the student can not get to the show until later in the week and it is a good opportunity for the horse to get in the show arena and get comfortable at the show grounds before the student arrives. This is especially true for a green horse. Also, many students enjoy seeing their horse be successful in the open divisions with a trainer. A trainer giving a student's horse a good ride/experience over a course in a class just sets the student up to be more successful when they show their own horse on the weekend.

            Comment


            • #7
              If you are willing to pay for the trainer to ride it, go for it! I don't see a problem with it at all. I'm getting a different trainer to show my horse in the senior working hunter at the congress this year! It's a good way to help the horse, and it could help the rider too to see how the horse moves, jumps, etc.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Ski'sthelimit View Post
                if you want your trainer to ride your horse great! I dont see anything wrong with that. Where i find / see / hear of issues is students being held back while trainers are showing their horses in classes that the student could be showing and succeeding in. All in that same scenario trainer is telling student they are basically incapable of showing at that level.

                Do you not see this happen?
                Can't say that I have EVER seen that happen. At all.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I show most of my clients horses in the appropriate open divisions, and my clients then show them in their respective adult or childrens division.

                  When my clients are at a levell that thier nerves don't undermine the experience, then I will not longer show them.

                  I haven't seen an issue with trainers holding their clients back or forbidding their clients to show their own horses.

                  Many of my clinets are mounted on greener horses because that's what their budget allowed. Many of these horses had very limited show mileage. I teach my clients to ride and ride well, but I DO NOT expect a 14 year old, or a timid adult to prep their horse at it's third show.

                  I can tell you what I don't do. I don't lunge horses for an hour at 5am, I don't use dex or other substances, and I don't particpate in the maddening 7am open schooling disaster. I politely navigate my clients horse around the open division, show it the ropes and give it a positive correct ride, so it has the tools to help my student learn.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ski'sthelimit View Post
                    if you want your trainer to ride your horse great! I dont see anything wrong with that. Where i find / see / hear of issues is students being held back while trainers are showing their horses in classes that the student could be showing and succeeding in. All in that same scenario trainer is telling student they are basically incapable of showing at that level.

                    Do you not see this happen?
                    I have not heard of that happening either. First of all, a trainer riding a junior's horse cannot ride it in the junior divisions, and a trainer riding an ammy's horse cannot ride it in the amateur divisions. So your thinking only applies to open divisions (unless I'm missing something.) I really cannot think of a situation where this would happen. Could you give me an example?

                    The only place I could see this being applicable would be in a big money class...a hunter derby or a grand prix (for example) where the owner is capable of doing the class but the trainer is more likely to get prize money. In that case I'd say if the student is capable then they need the experience, otherwise they are never going to get to the point where they *could* be in the money.

                    Again, though I've never heard this happening. But then I also don't know anyone who competes exclusively in open divisions (unless they are pros of course) so in every case the owner and trainer would be both showing the horse (if the trainer shows at all.)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm in the middle about this topic. I think it's fine for trainers to ride their student's horse if the horse is green and the the trainer just shows him to get the horse around the course to see the jumps. However, I disagree with the situation when trainers ride their student's horse if they show the horse in a division that the student is capable of succeeding in with the horse. I would never judge a trainer or student because of the riding situation, just stating my opinion!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Of course they should if it's what works best for the horse and student.

                        I am a rider with over 40 years of riding experience and about the same number of years of show experience. And while I'm a capable rider, I work about 60 hours a week. On a good week, I get to ride 3 times. At shows, I may make it to the show late Friday afternoon, and show Sat and Sun. My trainer certainly shows the horse during the week. He tunes him and makes sure that he's familiar with the ring. That way, I can make the most of my limited time in the ring.

                        I would love to be someone that has the time and freedom to spend more time at the barn, riding, and at the show during the week. But that is not in the cards for me. It doesn't make me lazy, or a cheat. There is no line being crossed.

                        I want the horse to have the best experience possible. I want to have the best and safest experience possible. I'm fortunate to work with a professional who can help make that happen.

                        Perhaps you could clarify what line exactly you think is being crossed?

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          The line i see crossed is

                          Trainer: "no you are not ready for this class i will show horse. you stay in walk trot, 2', 3', 4' class. no moving up for you"

                          Student: "yes, whatever you say."

                          OR

                          Trainer: "you get too nervous, you will hold horse back in this class"

                          Student: " oh yes, im a horrible rider, thank goodness i have you"

                          OR

                          I could go on and on... All i am saying is i am seeing more and more students being held back and trainers have been lacking in the whole TRAINING part of their jobs.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            There's a plethora of reasons for a trainer to ride a student's horse. Almost none of them include the student's inability to ride or trainer's unwillingness to teach.

                            My horse did a pregreen and first year with my trainer because he was a 4 year old greenie when I got him in high school. While I might have been able to make him up relatively unscathed, he absolutely, 100% is a nicer horse today because of the confident, quiet, positive experiences in the show ring he got with my trainer. I showed him in the same height junior divisions while trainer showed him in the pro ring. It often turned out that those divisions ran in the same ring, so it gave me the added benefit of having seen him go around all the jumps early in the week. Anyone that's brought a green horse along knows how helpful it is to see the horse school under an educated rider.

                            Additionally, keeping a show horse fit for anything bigger than 3' is a serious job. One that, for whatever reason, not all ammys/juniors can commit to doing reliably year-round. Keeping my horse fit to do anything but the childrens/adults was a 6 day per week job that required a serious program. With high school and an after school job, I wasn't able to keep him fit the way he needed to be without the help of my trainer. As an adult, if I were still showing at that level, I would rely almost exclusively on my trainer to keep the horse worked during the week, as work and family commitments wouldn't permit me to do it on my own. In fact, knowing how well my junior horse turned out in the arrangement described above, I probably wouldn't do it any other way even if I HAD the time.

                            There are a ton of reasons to have your horse ridden/shown by the trainer. Nothing benefits a young, impressionable horse like a solid professional ride, and nothing tunes up a schoolmaster like a solid professional ride. Add that to the fact that it's just plain dangerous to show a horse that's not competition fit, and you've got a perfectly reasonable explanation for why a trainer earns their keep doing more than standing in the middle of the ring.
                            Here today, gone tomorrow...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Ski'sthelimit View Post
                              The line i see crossed is

                              Trainer: "no you are not ready for this class i will show horse. you stay in walk trot, 2', 3', 4' class. no moving up for you"

                              Student: "yes, whatever you say."

                              OR

                              Trainer: "you get too nervous, you will hold horse back in this class"

                              Student: " oh yes, im a horrible rider, thank goodness i have you"

                              OR

                              I could go on and on... All i am saying is i am seeing more and more students being held back and trainers have been lacking in the whole TRAINING part of their jobs.
                              Interesting. I find way more trainers holding students back due to the trainer's lack of skill, knowledge, and awareness of their own limitations. I also find more nosy people caring too much about what other people do with their own horses and their own money. I hit the jackpot once and had the pleasure of dealing with someone who is both of the above. She had the audacity to ask me why my trainer was showing my green horse in its first EVER recognized show. She literally asked me why I couldn't ride my own horse, and I nearly in her face. Not only was I more then capable of riding my own horse, what I choose to do with my horse and my money is none of her or anyone else's business.

                              Oh, next show, I believe I beat said trainer (who was ironically riding a client's horse) on that same horse she thought I couldn't ride.

                              Most of the time, people simply don't have the whole story. Bottom line, there are lots of crappy trainers out there for many reasons. And there are lots of excellent trainer's who show students' horses for a variety of reasons others may not be privy to. There are plenty of people who enjoy watching their trainer ride for whatever reason. It's really no one else's business but the owner's...


                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Ski'sthelimit View Post
                                The line i see crossed is

                                Trainer: "no you are not ready for this class i will show horse. you stay in walk trot, 2', 3', 4' class. no moving up for you"

                                Student: "yes, whatever you say."

                                OR

                                Trainer: "you get too nervous, you will hold horse back in this class"

                                Student: " oh yes, im a horrible rider, thank goodness i have you"

                                OR

                                I could go on and on... All i am saying is i am seeing more and more students being held back and trainers have been lacking in the whole TRAINING part of their jobs.
                                At rated shows or the local level? I don't know of any trainers that do this. I'm sure they exist, but I would think they are the exeption.. not the rule
                                Certified Spiritual Medium/ Animal Communicator
                                www.heatherevebristol.com
                                www.meliorastables.net

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Your scenario 1:

                                  I see no issue with a trainer showing a horse in a more advanced class with the owner showing smaller classes. I've done that -- it can be extremely beneficial. When I'm ready to move up, the horse is already experienced at the higher level. It can instill confidence in both the horse and rider.

                                  Do you really know that the trainer is preventing a rider that is capable of moving up? Or is he doing as I suggested above and working on the horse and rider simultaneously.

                                  Your scenario 2:

                                  That's not a situation that's healthy, obviously. But having been around this business for 40+ years, my experience is that is fairly unusual situation. It's a nasty co-dependent relationship that both parties get emotional satisfaction out of it. And this isn't the only sport where this happens.

                                  In general, I've rarely seen trainers holding riders back on purpose. If and when it happens, I would argue that responsibility for the problem is jointly held between trainer and student......being a student is an active role. In the end, if you aren't improving, it's your responsibility to analyze the situation, and make changes you need in your training/program to get the best result.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Meliora View Post
                                    I don't know of any trainers that do this. I'm sure they exist, but I would think they are the exeption.. not the rule
                                    Agreed. This has not been my experience either. Most trainers I have had the pleasure of dealing with really want their students to ultmately be able to ride and show their own horses. Now, what it takes to get a pair to that level may vary, depending on the horse's temperment, experience, etc., and the rider's skill level, nerves level, etc.


                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by mrsbradbury View Post
                                      I can tell you what I don't do. I don't lunge horses for an hour at 5am, I don't use dex or other substances, and I don't particpate in the maddening 7am open schooling disaster. I politely navigate my clients horse around the open division, show it the ropes and give it a positive correct ride, so it has the tools to help my student learn.
                                      This is my trainer's philosophy as well, and I very much appreciate it.
                                      Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion.... ~ Emerson

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Nice post mrsbradbury. There's definitely a place for a pro to help their students by occasionally taking a horse in the show ring for them. A pro that does so in the manner the OP describes doesn't sound like a very good pro.

                                        Comment

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