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Trainers Should Be Careful of Their Behavior

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  • Trainers Should Be Careful of Their Behavior

    I attended a show this weekend and witnessed a situation that I have seen in varying degrees at many shows that I have attended over the years. This particular situation however was particularly disturbing and it really irked me.

    I was watching the older Amateur division and was standing near the in gate. A really fancy horse (with a pretty novice rider) started on course and throughout the entire thing, I listened to her trainers mumble "Oh, there she goes again" (Took her leg off and chipped) and ""Oh, my God" (When the horse broke for two steps.) At the end of her round, her trainers glared at her (did not clap) as she walked out of the ring with tears streaming down her face. It was very clear that she was very shaken up but that didn't stop the female trainer from jumping all over her.

    It is a good thing I am not shopping for a trainer because if I was these two wouldn't be on my list (and they are pretty BNT out here) I feel that it is so important for trainers to be supportive of their customers. Supportive doesn't mean they can't give constructive criticism but it doesn't give license to be cruel.

    People are watching and take note.

  • #2
    I hate that.
    Some people thrive under pressure, others dissolve.
    And the true professional knows which of their clients need which, and more importantly, when.
    *************************
    Go, Baby, Go......
    Aefvue Farms Footing Inspector

    Comment


    • #3
      That's terrible. Don't people like that realize that they are running a business and should always be putting their best foot forward? And as trainers they need to be able to give guidance on a client-to-client basis. What works for one person may not work for the next.
      Sounds like that rider really needed some encouragement, not the barrage of criticisms that she probably received.
      Beth
      Fenway Farm

      Comment


      • #4
        I've often wondered why people spend money to be treated this way. I know it's a choice, but I personally could never learn if I had someone over me treating me that way. Everyone is different though. IMO, constructive criticism goes much further than demeaning or condescending words or front staging your client, even when he/she is out of ear shot.

        Comment


        • #5
          I agree that there is no reason for trainers to be cruel, I would not spend my money on someone like that no matter how "big" the name. However, I also think an older adult (or any adult for that matter) should not leave the ring in tears either, grow up or don't show. I have no patience for such childish behavior. Save your tears for more serious problems than a bad ride; at that age they should be able to keep some perspective.

          Comment


          • #6
            Some trainers believe the "football mentality" will work with their students. Get mean, loud, and condescending, and they'll do better because you made them feel so bad about their performance I have always, always wondered why people pay for that!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by BAC View Post
              I agree that there is no reason for trainers to be cruel, I would not spend my money on someone like that no matter how "big" the name. However, I also think an older adult (or any adult for that matter) should not leave the ring in tears either, grow up or don't show. I have no patience for such childish behavior. Save your tears for more serious problems than a bad ride; at that age they should be able to keep some perspective.
              Much easier said than done for alot of us BAC.
              Some of us have waited until WELL into our Adult years to start this dream.....

              Would you say the same about a beginner child and her pony being disappointed in herself????
              *************************
              Go, Baby, Go......
              Aefvue Farms Footing Inspector

              Comment


              • #8
                Sadly, I sometimes think that my students prefer this method over my method. I do get frustrated, I do scream at them. I do yell "If you know you are doing it, why do you insist upon continuing?" I'll even go so far as to send them out of the ring or line-up for a minute so I don't tear them to shreds.

                Do I make them cry? Sometimes. But do I ride them so hard that when they are already visibly upset that I keep on? No. I tell them to let the bad round go, learn from it and move on.

                I personally love the abuse but mostly because I've been riding forever and I know what mistakes I make so I need someone to scream at me. I used to have a chain-smoking trainer make me work a 10 meter circle around her while she snapped a buggy whip ON me telling me how a monkey could ride my horse better. Did it push me? YOu bet.

                Does it work fore everyone? No way!

                But the visual of her smoking and lighting one cigarette off the butt of the last telling me how a monkey could ride my horse better and he'd never get his leads unless I lifted my shoulder stuck with me throw the years. And makes for a fun story.....

                Comment


                • #9
                  Actually, I think horse people in general need to practice better behavior. I don't think bad behavior is limited to trainers.

                  In my experience, horse people in general don't always practice the best behavior. Best industry that it could be equated to is Hollywood.

                  "If you have the time, spend it. If you have a hand, lend it. If you have the money, give it. If you have a heart, share it." by me

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Irish Ei's View Post
                    Would you say the same about a beginner child and her pony being disappointed in herself????
                    Yes I would. Even children should learn to show good sportsmanship despite their disappointment.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I am guessing those trainers think that saying stuff like that makes them appear more competent - by implying the student is just basically hopeless.

                      Of course, they are wrong, as you observed.

                      When I see that kind of unprofessional behavior, I often think of an old friend of mine who showed a very fancy, but very difficult horse in the older adult amateurs. She rode with a local BNT at the time who was a real yeller.

                      Anyway, my friend had what was for this horse a pretty decent round - save for a late change. Trainer had muttered her way through the entire round but lost it after the mistake and was berating my friend for missing the change in a fairly loud tone before she had even finished her closing circle.

                      My friend didn't really change expression... but when she walked out of the ring, instead of stopping to review her round with the trainer, she just kept walking. Trainer is now almost screaming, "WHAT are you DOING? Get back HERE! Get back here RIGHT NOW!"

                      Friend just keeps walking, expressionless.

                      Trainer jumps in the golf cart, gravel flying... still yelling.

                      "YOU HAVE TO HACK, you (insert word akin to "moron")!"

                      My friend slowly pulls up, looks around, and said, very clearly...

                      "No. I don't."

                      Trainer - still redfaced from shouting - was speechless.

                      My friend walked back to the barn, packed up her stuff, loaded her (two) fancy horses into her (very fancy) trailer, and went home.

                      She was with a new - and much more professional - trainer at the next shows, and from then on. And she won. A lot.

                      It was a lesson to quite a few of us. I've never forgotten it.
                      **********
                      We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                      -PaulaEdwina

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Keeping perspective has nothing to do with how much you want it, or how long you dreamed about it. My last show - my very first over bigger-than-crossrails in my feeble adult career - was a complete disaster. My horse wasn't feeling it, she stopped dirty three times. I came off all three, once doing a charming flip over her head and landing on the jump, once slamming into the standard as I fell and knocking the fence over.

                        No tears. Get up, dust yourself off, and get on with it.

                        I'm not a fan of harsh trainers. I got my fill of that when I was studying voice. But I do keep in mind, every moment, that something could go poorly, or even catastrophically wrong. Every show you learn from is a good one, and if there comes a time when you're resting on your laurels and soaking up the ribbons, it's time to find something new. It's not my trainer's job to console me, only to point out how I can do better. I am fortunate to have a trainer who can do this without belittling me.

                        There's a certain amount of truth to the phrase "If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen." Doesn't excuse bad behavior from trainers, but one would hope that if a rider is going to compete, they have the constitution for it. It's not easy. It's not always fun, especially when you've got arena dirt in your pants and have just humiliated yourself in front of all assembled. But you deal with it, and at the end, you smile with no regrets. That's what it's all about.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          This is a sad situation. As a fellow amateur I fully understand that my body does not follow what my brain tells it to do...damn it....!!

                          When we only get a few hours to ride per week we just are weak and can't do what we used to. Thankfully trainers find us the saints of all saints to assist us. Most of the time it is the trainer that begs the amatuer to go show when we really would prefer lessons././I mean heck we already proved ourselves when we were kids. But trainers need to make all the money from the show...so we show...

                          Then trainer does nothing but complain because Amateurs make mistakes and trainers think they need to voice their discontent outloud to act as if others will blame their training for our lack of riding time.

                          So to all of you trainers...if we are not ready or capable of showing let us stay home or give us lessons in the ring when the classes are over......your only embarassing yourself with this juvenile behavior....heck we put enough pressure on ourselves.

                          We don't really pay you to clap for us or give us bogus insight....we pay you because your the security blanket that gives us the trust and belief we can actually jump the jumps....to us we are just happy not to fall off or do something really embarassing!

                          To that end, DON'T clap for us when we ride bad....that is an insult to the judge who knows we did not ride well but beating us up offers nothing to the equation....You also don't need to clap and embarass yourself to justify why we spent big bucks on a saint horse.......

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BAC View Post
                            I agree that there is no reason for trainers to be cruel, I would not spend my money on someone like that no matter how "big" the name. However, I also think an older adult (or any adult for that matter) should not leave the ring in tears either, grow up or don't show. I have no patience for such childish behavior. Save your tears for more serious problems than a bad ride; at that age they should be able to keep some perspective.
                            Excuse me (and all us older ammies out there) BAC for sometimes having some confidence issues and becoming emotional after a bad round or two or three or four! (and NO this was NOT me at the show)! Just because a person leaves the ring in tears does NOT mean that we cannot keeps things in perspective or that we don't realize that it's not the end of the world! Riding & showing is supposed to be fun (God knows we are not going to the Olympics ) but sometimes things don't go as planned and it's not the one or two bad rounds that make most of us emotional but maybe there was something MORE behing this woman's tears!

                            I, for one, don't like it when my trainer coddles me. BUT, lately I've been having some serious self-confidence issues (which is highly unlike me) and yes, this last week I too left the ring in tears after being eliminated yet again! Only, luckily, I have a very understanding trainer who took me aside & put it all into perspective for me and we were able to work it all out! Yet not once did she tell me that at my age I should be able to keep it perspective & suck it up! She also, did not belittle me like that poor woman's trainer appeared to.

                            Dealing with us older ammies is a lot different from dealing with some of the more super serious riders that maybe YOU are used to dealing with. For US, it's a pastime....a hobby.....and yet we STILL like to be competitive and have FUN. Everyone can have a good cry now & then and there's nothing wrong with it! ok....rant over!
                            Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Like someone else said, you've got to treat each client differently. What works for one, won't work for another.

                              If a trainer was saying those things in an effort to absolve themselves of responsibility for a bad ride, that's poor form. IMO, good naturedly joking that a client always makes the same errors is one thing, trying to make yourself look better by placing blame is another.

                              Originally posted by Irish Ei's View Post
                              Would you say the same about a beginner child and her pony being disappointed in herself????
                              Hopefully a beginner child is LEARNING about sportmanship and how to behave in public. An adult should already know.

                              It's like the teen I recently saw at a show. Blamed her pony for HER mistakes...and did so loudly, from the ring, with a red face and huffing and puffing away. It was obnoxious and uncalled for and someone should've put that behaviour to a stop A LONG time before then. If I was that parent, the child would've been off the pony until she learned to handle disappointment without falling apart.
                              Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                              Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by RugBug View Post
                                It's like the teen I recently saw at a show. Blamed her pony for HER mistakes...and did so loudly, from the ring, with a red face and huffing and puffing away. It was obnoxious and uncalled for and someone should've put that behaviour to a stop A LONG time before then. If I was that parent, the child would've been off the pony until she learned to handle disappointment without falling apart.

                                I had this issue recently with both of my teen riders. I was FURIOUS. I pulled them out of the ring and threatened that if they EVER spoke about their mount again like that lessons were over. Forever. And to STOP blaming their horses for their bad riding.

                                that's just unbelievable. They only perform as well as we ride them! It's a partnership!

                                Thankfully they both went home, looked at their photos and watched their videos and came back to say they knew what THEY did wrong, not what their poor horse that had to hack them around did wrong!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  That's awful, Bearhunter.

                                  Funny, I had a similar thing happen to me just yesterday, but it was just a practice session at the barn. In front of everybody.

                                  Luckily, I made it home before the tears started.

                                  This morning I was on the phone making a few calls, timidly shopping for a new trainer. As an novice adult, I don't need smoke blown up my behind, but I certainly don't need someone to belittle me or...poop on my dreams

                                  Some trainers seem to think that they makes themselves look better by trying to try disassociate themselves with imperfection. I'm more impressed with the ones who encourage their riders and urge them to improve and be their personal best. It's supposed to be FUN
                                  --o0o--

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Ha! I wear shades for a reason! Because I sometimes choke up and have to fight back tears when I screw up badly. It has nothing to do with the horse, or the show....it happens in lessons too. It has everything to do with frustration with self.

                                    Of course, I sometimes get all choked up from kind words as well, so perhaps I'm just letting my inner, cry-baby out later in life.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Rude behavior is not acceptable. I will say this though: When you stand at the end gate, it's pretty natural to commentate, "OH, Sally!" or "Thank you horse" or a big "UUGGG!" But by the time the student rides back to the gate, you've formulated a professional response to the round. "Now, I liked how you did ____, but you dropped your body (with an unspoken AGAIN) at the 3rd jump...." I guess my point is, maybe standing at the end gate near the trainers is not the place to be if you want the censored version!
                                      http://patchworkfarmga.com

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I've been known to make a face or shrug my shoulders after a particlarly craptastic round, but after watching 'The Judge's Eye' video where a girl makes a similar face the the judge says she has a temper and let it reflect poorly on the rider, I'm sure to keep a neutral face until I'm out of the ring.

                                        I've also been known to want to cry when having to face yet another round when I'm not clicking with my horse (who can sometimes scare me), but I suck it up and get back into the ring.

                                        I have cried at home when I came to the realization that my horse, whom I love dearly, and I just aren't a good partnership.

                                        There's a place for emotion...it's not in the ring.
                                        Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                                        Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

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