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When is it OK to question a trainer or Pro rider and how to go about it...Spin Off

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  • When is it OK to question a trainer or Pro rider and how to go about it...Spin Off

    Now that the wreckage from the trainwreck has been cleared, can we discuss this? I think it is a legit issue and see it come up on here often.

    IMO, there needs to be open communication between trainer/rider and client. Each side needs to take the time and effort to be sure they are both on the same page.

    If the horse is having issues (or just temporarily being a jerk), the trainer/rider needs to honestly advise the owner, share how they want to proceed and the owner needs to not take the fact there are issues personally.

    The rider/trainer should also not take it personally if the client wants to question a decision PRIVATELY in a civil (and brief) fashion.

    Just seems that even a few seconds of two way communication would avoid an awful lot of angst in the trainer/rider/client relationship. Might have helped in that other recent situation.

    In my own case, it has always been a big part of selecting a trainer. I trust them to manage and guide the horse's career and do as they see appropriate BUT I want to be in the loop, all they have to do is tell me what they want to do or are doing. I am signing the checks for all of it. And I almost never disagree with their decisions, I just want to know.

    I actually had one pretty good trainer I was considering tell me "I am the dicatator and you must never question my decisions for your horse or don't come here". I didn't.

    I used a few different Pro riders and they always came out of the schooling ring and either said "s/he feels good to go" or "s/he needs a reminder and I need to school it out in this class". I never said no. But had they not shared the plan and just gone in and added or maybe deliberately skipped the last line or jumped a 9th fence to get them to quit anticipating/corner cutting/rushing the last line? I would have been miffed...not because of the needed school. Because they did not think I needed to know or couldn't be bothered.

    I once had a Pro go off course in a Hunter class...I was not pleased but they came out and apologized profusely while praising the horse's effort before they screwed up. No harm, no foul. Just don't make a habit of it.

    IMO there is no Pro so big that they cannot take 30 seconds to speak with their owner before and after a round...and there is no reason for any owner to act like a bigger jerk then their horse.

    Care to share your opinions?
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

  • #2
    Originally posted by findeight View Post
    Just seems that even a few seconds of two way communication would avoid an awful lot of angst in the trainer/rider/client relationship.
    Agree completely. And now that I no longer ride, I'm finding it's REALLY difficult to find trainers who will communicate with me exactly what's going on with my horse. I don't mean I need a play-by-play of Precious Poopsie's every minute in the stall, but if I only ever get to see the horse work at the shows, and notice his performance is deteriorating, I am DAMN sure entitled to ask why and find out what the work regime has been!
    "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief

    Comment


    • #3
      I was glad to read this thread because it made me think of what I have been through over so many years of riding and the trainers I have ridden with.

      I look at it like a marriage. You date sometimes to find what works for you and your horses. The breakups should be done in a postive way. Often we out grow trainers or just don't see things the same way. Sometimes we stay longer than we should because of fear of hurting them. I have ridden with some wonderful people but the training was not improving my riding or my horses.

      I know it can be hard to find that fit due to location etc. but really worth it when you find someone you click with.

      I cannot really afford the trainers I like riding with so I have less riding time with them but at least it is quality time when I do get to ride with them.

      What I do like about them is they are professional, have a well run program, they care about their clients and horses. They have no problem talking with you about any questions you have....

      One time when one of the trainers was ridng one of my green horses my horses acted up the trainer did what he needed to do.. then he promptly came to me as I was sitting on the rail to talk to me about it... I thought that was so amazing.

      They want their clients to understand each horse is different and to help the rider understand what needs to be done and why.
      Live in the sunshine.
      Swim in the sea.
      Drink the wild air.

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      • #4
        I question my trainer all the time. Probably enough to be annoying, but I am a skeptic and I need to understand the reasoning behind what I'm doing, with my horses or otherwise. She understands that and we sometimes have debates if we don't agree.

        I hate the type of trainer where it is their way or the highway. I'm a big girl, I can participate in decisions that affect me!

        Comment


        • #5
          I think the trainer has a duty to explain to the paying client what is going on with the horse. If I am paying for a rated division I expect my pro to go in the ring and do the best they can with the horse they are sitting on. And if the trainer feels the horse needs further schooling (after the warmup jumps or after the warmup trip) I feel they should relay those thoughts and we can come to a group decision on where to go from there.

          To put it into another scenario, I would be ticked if my mechanic did something to my car without running it past me first and if they can't get my input because it is something urgent I expect them to fix it as best they can without breaking my bank and then discuss with me how we should proceed; "Hey Mrs.Doe I know we were doing a routine oil change but your car has a leak. I temporarily patched the hole but I believe you need a new part. Would you like me to order this part for you?"

          I use the trainers I do because I trust them and they do a good job, and frankly they know more than I do. Just like my plumber, mechanic, and stock broker know more about their fields than I do. But at the end of the day I am paying them for a service and I do expect a little feedback.
          ....Of the younger variety

          Comment


          • #6
            Findeight I just wanted to say that I love this thread and your thoughtful post. The comments in the thread from earlier this week were ridiculous in my opinion, the attitude of "this is a famous rider so stfu" is insane. I think if you're going to blow a class in order to school an issue, it absolutely needs to be discussed with the owner in advance. This, IMO, is even MORE the case when you are catch riding and not on a horse in yor training program. If you don't like the horse then don't accept the ride next time. The owner should always have the right to say what they want. If the rider doesn't like it, they can pass on that horse.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Tex Mex View Post
              Findeight I just wanted to say that I love this thread and your thoughtful post. The comments in the thread from earlier this week were ridiculous in my opinion, the attitude of "this is a famous rider so stfu" is insane. I think if you're going to blow a class in order to school an issue, it absolutely needs to be discussed with the owner in advance. This, IMO, is even MORE the case when you are catch riding and not on a horse in yor training program. If you don't like the horse then don't accept the ride next time. The owner should always have the right to say what they want. If the rider doesn't like it, they can pass on that horse.
              You need to gain a clue. That last trainwreck's OP completely fabricated a story leaving out important details so that lots of internet strangers (you) would tell her how right she was and give her lots of hugs and support. OP's horse is a stopping pig and had already stopped TWICE in the show ring. Dirty. And plenty of people were there to see it and then hear the OP complain about the rider to several other professionals (who all think she's crazy, frankly). She was waaaaay lucky to have the rider she had who, frankly, did an incredible job with the horse that she was given that day. The one with the dirty stop, not that that information was given in the original post . Again, ask all the pros who were there watching. OP's younger horse has a lovely habit of rearing and spinning at the gate - can't wait to hear which rider's fault that is next time they need to get it going forward and she posts how some rider booted/smacked the horse to get it into the ring and it got really nervous and ran down the lines.

              I just want to hear who's telling people to blindly follow trainers and riders. Who ever would say that? I find it completely rude and thoughtless that the person who was complaining (and give up the bs of having it just be a question) completely didn't mention anything regarding how bad the horse was that day...it would almost be laughable if it wasn't so rude! That rider has done terrific things with that horse, it's not like they had no history. The great show record that the OP boasted over was created by this rider. And anybody who knows this rider knows that she is a terrific communicator.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Harold View Post
                You need to gain a clue. That last trainwreck's OP completely fabricated a story leaving out important details so that lots of internet strangers (you) would tell her how right she was and give her lots of hugs and support.
                Pulling out the big bag of popcorn!

                Professional hunter princess

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think a one-on-one with your trainer or the pro riding your horse at the show is always appropriate. I don't think anyone would say otherwise. I assume the pros are making the right decision (and I don't know any pro who would deliberately turn a class into a schooling session unless it was absolutely warranted). But of course I ask questions about how or why something is done. I don't expect a trainer to tell me everything before the class - how could they? The horse that walks into the ring is very often not the horse that was in the schooling ring.

                  But yes, afterward, (as in the case in the original thread), I would have asked trainer why they did the add. And it seemed like a reasonable explanation was given. If I didn't understand the explanation, the discussion would go on. And if I had questions about said explanation, I would probably ask my friends or other pros privately.

                  What I don't think is appropriate is an owner coming on here and badmouthing a rider or trainer without a full version of the story being told. And it REALLY wasn't hard to figure out who the OP in the thread was talking about since she had previously been raving about said rider & it takes all of 2 seconds to figure it out. And yeah - that's VERY uncool.

                  Have an issue with your trainer/rider? Deal with it privately like an adult. Airing dirty laundry on a forum, esp with it seems not *all* the facts were presented - that's childish and more importantly, bad business.
                  Visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ranchopampa or our website at www.ranchopampa.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Harold View Post
                    You need to gain a clue. That last trainwreck's OP completely fabricated a story leaving out important details so that lots of internet strangers (you) would tell her how right she was and give her lots of hugs and support. OP's horse is a stopping pig and had already stopped TWICE in the show ring. Dirty. And plenty of people were there to see it and then hear the OP complain about the rider to several other professionals (who all think she's crazy, frankly). She was waaaaay lucky to have the rider she had who, frankly, did an incredible job with the horse that she was given that day. The one with the dirty stop, not that that information was given in the original post . Again, ask all the pros who were there watching. OP's younger horse has a lovely habit of rearing and spinning at the gate - can't wait to hear which rider's fault that is next time they need to get it going forward and she posts how some rider booted/smacked the horse to get it into the ring and it got really nervous and ran down the lines.

                    I just want to hear who's telling people to blindly follow trainers and riders. Who ever would say that? I find it completely rude and thoughtless that the person who was complaining (and give up the bs of having it just be a question) completely didn't mention anything regarding how bad the horse was that day...it would almost be laughable if it wasn't so rude! That rider has done terrific things with that horse, it's not like they had no history. The great show record that the OP boasted over was created by this rider. And anybody who knows this rider knows that she is a terrific communicator.

                    You should express such "personal" statements as you have above in a PM. Because of your posts, regardless if I agree with you or not; caused the last thread to be closed by the moderator!
                    Live in the sunshine.
                    Swim in the sea.
                    Drink the wild air.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      One last thought - I would also say that there is questioning your trainer in the case of wanting to learn and having those discussions at the appropriate time and questioning your trainer with the implication that he or she didn't do things the right way. And if it's the latter, and if it happens regularly, you (generic you) should either take over the ride yourself if you know so much or find another trainer where that doesn't happen.

                      Because there is nothing more annoying than a client that second guesses his or her trainer every minute. Clients pay pros for a reason - we (clients) need to take a step back and let them do their job.
                      Visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ranchopampa or our website at www.ranchopampa.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I swear the mod said we could discuss it elsewhere after that thread was locked...

                        Look, I really couldn't care less about the OP but it I found it so disrespectful to come on here and lie about the situation, it bugged me. We are lucky that some top riders are willing to meet people at shows and ride for them without requiring them to be in their programs - so lets reward them by backhandandly bashing them on the interwebs when our horses don't do well at one horseshow. I think the topic is a fine one to discuss but TexMex brought up the last thread and it's just so unfair to the rider. Anyway, I've said my piece and what I know about the situation. Just felt bad for the rider.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by nycjumper View Post
                          I think a one-on-one with your trainer or the pro riding your horse at the show is always appropriate. I don't think anyone would say otherwise.
                          ^

                          I know trainers you not dare question.... their way or the highway...
                          Live in the sunshine.
                          Swim in the sea.
                          Drink the wild air.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I agree with you. As an owner I like to be involved with my horse, especially since I do a lot of the riding on him. My trainers are excellent with keeping me in the loop after the pro rides for me and tells me what they worked on, etc. Aslo, I completely trust my trainer's decisions and plans for my horse and I. Now I'm not saying that there isn't a place for trainers who don't share the info... many clients today just want to ride and don't really care about all the details, as long as the horse is there and ready to be ridden or shown for them they are fine, and I think "no questions asked" trainers are perfect for that.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My trainer whom I've been riding with for just over a year is wonderful about discussing the horses. If I want him to show one of my homebred's I will lesson on that horse, then take it to the show for a ticketed schooling with my trainer and then he will decide at that point if he wants to show it or not. This is my first time doing this with another pro as I usually do it myself. However, since I am not as good of a rider as my trainer I feel he will do a much better job at an A show and these horses are for sale.
                              As a trainer myself, I do consult with my clients regularly since most are out of state. I let them know how training is going, how each show was, what needs to be worked on, what issues, etc. I will discuss when I think a vet should be consulted, chiropractor, etc. I do that with the show horses as well as the race horses. I like for the client to be included as much as they want to be since they are paying the bills.
                              www.hilltopfarmva.com

                              Facebook: Hilltop Farm VA

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                              • #16
                                As harold said, it's not easy to find a good pro to do catch rides on a horse from people that do their own training. Maybe the first step is the owner/trainer knows what they are and are not capable of doing at home. Sounds simple, but some people have delusions of grandeur and some people may not be all that and a bag of chips, but they know something and they know when they are in over their head and get help. And then some people read the web.

                                knowing your limits is a big part of that formula. Being upfront with the rider about where the horse is. But both of these require real, hands on experience. Depth of experience. Web readers need not apply. If the results make you go to the web for an answer, there's your sign. As for the pro, I bet reading half the story on the web in attempt to get attention is also a sign.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  So where can I find this trainwreck? Sounds very interesting.
                                  "And my good dreams? They all come with a velvet muzzle and four legs. All my good dreams are about horses."--In Colt Blood

                                  COTH Barn Rats Clique!

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                                  • #18
                                    Wow, there is a lot in this thread. I was going to speak to a situation I saw a few years back.

                                    A trainer that I know well, had a great round with a horse however, she ended up schooling the horse-forcing the horse to add a stride when he became agitated and wanted to jump fast and flat. I thought that was the right thing to do -as a trainer-but she could have won the class had she let him go fast, and flat.

                                    Just a thought.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Y'all, THIS thread is a spinoff MINUS all the drama and personal stuff... let's not dredge it over here?!

                                      To answer the question, I think there needs to be a general mutual understanding about how the trainer is to handle unexpected show ring situations. I, for one, would rather get the schooling DONE and fix the problem-- even if it means flushing away the show fees. I can completely understand if someone else feels differently and would rather scratch and fix things at home. But what's important is that the trainer/client are generally on the same page.

                                      In terms of whether the trainer should have to run the plan by the client pre-round, I don't know how realistic that is. But the trainer should be able to somewhat contemporaneously explain the thought process post-show. If the trainer goofs, truly goofs, she should own up to it. No one's perfect and I think a client who expects perfection is a bit unrealistic. But repeated errors or a real difference of opinion as to how to handle things, I can understand parting ways over that.
                                      ~Veronica
                                      "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
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                                      • #20
                                        Ok, woa a little defensive. I don't know the last poster or rider or horse. I'm just saying (in respomse to THIS thread) that yea, a trainer and owner should discuss these things in advance and agree to the decision. And if the trainer/rider doesn't like it they should not accept the ride. I would expect that a catch rider, no matter how famous, would discuss these decisions with me if I were the owner.

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