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Wrestling the sport back from the trainers.

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  • Wrestling the sport back from the trainers.

    I don't have much hope for this, but the threads about holding up the ring, pricing pony jumpers and the new association make me wonder if there's any way to put exhibitors into the driver's seat a bit more in this sport.

    It is a trainer-driven sport, and that's not necessarily the fault of trainers (but rather of "do-it-for-me" exhibitors, perhaps)...but there are some really frustrating and/or just plain BAD developments in the industry that exist only because trainers won't sign on or won't let go.

    Does anyone see any hope for any new governance structure to break up the trainers' stranglehold? Has anyone seen anything in the proposals' by-laws that might do this? And, perhaps more importantly, is the issue just a matter of "representation" on committees--or is it too systemic to be effected by that?

    Sportponies Unlimited
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  • Original Poster

    #2
    I don't have much hope for this, but the threads about holding up the ring, pricing pony jumpers and the new association make me wonder if there's any way to put exhibitors into the driver's seat a bit more in this sport.

    It is a trainer-driven sport, and that's not necessarily the fault of trainers (but rather of "do-it-for-me" exhibitors, perhaps)...but there are some really frustrating and/or just plain BAD developments in the industry that exist only because trainers won't sign on or won't let go.

    Does anyone see any hope for any new governance structure to break up the trainers' stranglehold? Has anyone seen anything in the proposals' by-laws that might do this? And, perhaps more importantly, is the issue just a matter of "representation" on committees--or is it too systemic to be effected by that?

    Sportponies Unlimited
    Specializing in fancy, athletic, 3/4-TB ponies.
    http://www.sportponiesunlimited.com
    http://www.sportponiesunlimited.com/...stallions.html
    Sportponies Unlimited
    Athletic Thoroughbred crosses for the highly motivated, smaller rider.

    Comment


    • #3
      huh?

      Are you saying that trainers=bad?

      I think you are oversimplifying a myriad of economic dynamics that drive the sport by labeling "trainers" as the ultimate bad influence...

      Only a balanced representation of all concerned will result in a balanced outcome--there are "bads" in all sectors; who do you think finances "bad" trainers, and why do you think others are so willing to give in to their demands?

      My point being that these situations do not develop just because "trainers are the bad guys." There are plenty of others to blame.

      The problem is that there are very few neutral parties in the sport, and those, defacto, are not influential.

      Maybe a better approach would be to focus on the positive factors that exist and devise a way to allow these to flourish, instead of focusing so much effort and attention on the negatives.

      MCL
      Inner Bay Equestrian
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      Comment


      • #4
        EDUCATION plain and simple. Owners need to educate themselves. Read, listen and learn. The more you know, the better you will be. (sorry for the cliche) Talk to your vets, talk to your blacksmiths, go to shows and just watch. You don't have to show to learn. Buy books that will educate you to equitation, hunters, veterinary medicine, course designing, shoeing etc. Instead of dumping everything on the trainer, take some responsibility. Am a firm believer in a hands on owner. This is your investment, both in the horse and in training. With better education prospective or current owners can ask questions that will lead to a more realistic partnership with their trainer. And please, don't tell me you don't have the time. You do, make the time. There's more to riding and ownership than walking into the ring.

        Comment


        • #5
          Yup, the more you know, the more you can informed decisions for yourself and your horse. Trainers are not necessaily "bad guys" but they will make decisions that work for them that, in the long run, may not be best for you. Having said that - I have seen many horse owners who I knew had doubts just keep blindly trusting their trainers because they didn't want to deal with a situation themselves.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you M.O'Connor! Any argument that places the majority of burdens and faults onto just one group is....well...stupid.

            Come on...lets try to be a part of the solution and help open lines of communication between all parties involved in our sport. Clients, riders, trainers, instructors, barn owners, horse owners, show management, vets, organization leaders, judges, stewards, junior riders, parents, breeders, recreational riders, local show and breed organizations, and so on....they ALL have their places within this sport and they all deserve respect! Instead of whining about who to blame why don't you sit down and figure out what each group has to offer before you post something so unconstructive.

            I think we all agree that horse sports have many issues to resolve and many factions to please...finger pointing is not going to get anyone anywhere.

            Sorry, not feeling very patient this morning!

            Comment


            • #7
              I was such a wimp years ago, whatever someone suggested I agreed to just to avoid even the slightest controversy.

              However, in my grumpy old age, I've realized that I don't have to do whatever a professional suggests, whether it be a horse trainer, a show manager, a people doctor, a salesperson, etc. I can go to another professional or just do nothing. It took me a really long time to learn how to say "no." Now I say it a lot.

              THE OWNERS ARE PAYING THE BILLS. What is a trainer without any clients? Vote with your pocketbook and your feet. Support those who run their businesses to your standards, whether it be a small local show or whatever.
              Man plans. God laughs.

              Comment


              • #8
                I absolutely disagree...

                This sport is in the hands of the owners now!!!

                Owners drive this sport..they want to win!!! It's truly that simple.

                Owners shop trainers until they find one that will make blue ribbons adorn their walls at all costs......and then they spend the money to get all that blue..

                And then the average WONDERFUL everyday rider trys to step to the ring and have a "sporting" chance at the ribbons....yeah right!!!

                Because there is so much of that, it has brought the dishonest, "bad", difficult trainers to the top who are really HAPPY HAPPY to take the money and put the blue ribbons there.

                It's the owner who MUST have that Zone award...who MUST be on the Horse if the Year charts...who MUST march up the aisle at the banquets...who must have a VERY quiet horse to ride for each lesson...who wants to walk in the ring and WIN WIN WIN but only ride once a week...AND SO ON.

                IMHO that is what brings out the bad here.....a WIN WIN WIN driven sport...at any cost.

                There are "scoundrals" in ALL industrys but with the priority on all these "year end points" it has all gone hay wire and is spinning out of control.

                We have all these banquets and awards presentations all over this country and it rewards only one thing...THE GUY WITH THE MONEY...and trainers have to keep up IF they want to keep those clients. EVEN DOWN TO THE LOCAL ASSOCIATIONS.

                The only way to march up that aisle and get the HUGE year end ribbons and award is with money..either the money to BUY the horse that will win every time..or the money to pound poor "Spot" into the ground every week to get enough points to beat the horse that wins every time and doesn't have to go as much.

                It takes us months and months and sometimes years to get the honest hunter to the ring...and then we have to show against the "helped" ones. We still win BUT it takes a special client to be patient enough to do it the right way and those clients are few and far between because of the $$$$$ time costs...its easier to get there faster with "help".

                And the clients want to march up that aisle!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                Thats all folks....PLEASE get together and change that!

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                Comment


                • #9
                  I have to agree with the fact that people want to win and are setting the prices for the horses. A horse is only worth as much as someone will write a check for. I can say my horse is worth 500,000 but if I couldn't sell him for that, he isn't really worth it.

                  If you want to do it yourself, you can. Nobody is stopping you. The only person giving power to trainers is the owners and riders who feel they cannot do anything without the trainer.

                  It is awful many trainers think they are gods and goddesses and hold the rings up at the shows, but that is more of show management's issue of getting on them to move along.

                  I guess I am trying to say that trainers only have as much power as you permit them to have. For me, they have none as I do everything myself and have gotten into fights with trainers at shows that start rearranging my jumps I am in the middle of schooling over. You yell at them enough, they'll back down.

                  "What are you liberals so afraid of?"--Anne Colter
                  http://community.webshots.com/user/mmreca

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    There is nothing worse than seeing grown women who cannot even buy their jeans without asking their trainer what kind to buy.

                    "Remember: You're A Customer In A Service Industry."
                    "Proud Member Of The I Love Dublin, Starman Babies,and SunnieFlax Cliques"


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                    Comment


                    • #11
                      noodle doodle said:
                      "If you want to do it yourself, you can. Nobody is stopping you. The only person giving power to trainers is the owners and riders who feel they cannot do anything without the trainer."

                      I agree with that statement 100%.
                      I've never had a trainer. Instead, I've used an instructor and met a coach at regional shows. I select and buy my horses myself with the advice of my instructor. No agents, deal direct with the owner.

                      Knobstetter said:
                      "We have all these banquets and awards presentations all over this country and it rewards only one thing...THE GUY WITH THE MONEY...and trainers have to keep up IF they want to keep those clients. EVEN DOWN TO THE LOCAL ASSOCIATIONS."

                      I disagree with this. Sure, at the National level you are probably right. At the zone level it's not true.

                      Most of the trainers I know are good horsemen. They are in a profession to make a living and need training fees and commissions to do so. Some people do need a trainer.

                      Point being, not everybody needs a trainer to be able to show but many trainers would like to convince us that we can't function without one.
                      Fan of Sea Accounts

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I disagree with this. Sure, at the National level you are probably right. At the zone level it's not true.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                        I disagree with that and agree with knobstetter.

                        Adult Pony Rider Clique
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                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Being a trainers daughter this topic offends me.

                          "You yell at them enough, they'll back down."

                          Wow what are we talking about here hired dogs?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            whalo, EVERYTHING offends you...

                            Devilpups
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                            • #15
                              If someone feels they need to wrestle the sport back from trainers it is their own fault. Horse owners need to educate themselves about what is going on with thier animals and not just sit back and expect someone else to take care of everything. You need to talk with your vet or blacksmith and your trainer if there is a problem so can be part of the decision of what path you want to take with your horse. The same goes with your horse showing goals. If you aren't going to communicate your goals with your trainer then it is no ones fault but your own.
                              I am not a trainer but I do have one. Just like any sport if you want to be competitive you need to have a coach. As in every sport there are good and bad instructors. You can only make the decision of what kind of trainer yours is if you are involved. If you want someone to do all the work for you then you can't complain about being dependent on them.
                              There are also many people out there who are competitive but are not big $$ people. They just know what it takes to get there because they have to be educated and do alot of the work themselves.
                              I do have a question tho....I am curious regarding the suspended trainers. Did the owners of the tested horses know they were not complying with USA rules or did they just let the trainers do what they want?

                              Member/Founder of the "Well Endowed Craniums Clique"
                              Member/Founder of the \"Well Endowed Craniums Clique\"

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I really don't think the "holding up the ring" issue can be laid completely at teh feet of teh trainiers.

                                Every timne this isue comes up, an number of riders make the (legitimate) point that "I am paying to have my trainer's expert advice before going into the ring, and expert critique afterwards. Therefore _I_ don't want to go into the ring if my trainer isn't there."

                                Yes, some of the trainers "encourage dependance", and some of these issues are not as prevalent in other disciplines.

                                But I don't think it is fair to "blame the trainers".

                                Janet
                                chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain
                                Janet

                                chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I think trainers should have a license to train from the local associate level to AA rated shows. They will get licensed at the level they are capable of passing. They would have to take an instructor's test, and a stable test. Just like the race horse trainers.

                                  I think that would be a better step than more policing trainers at shows and fining them.

                                  If riders and owners complain about the trainer then his license gets taken away. Bad trainers would be weeded out. Good trainers would stay. Young up and coming trainers that are studious would be awarded a license.

                                  A rider could then train with a trainer at their level and move up and on. Or start with the best if they can afford the best.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by sillyponies:
                                    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I disagree with this. Sure, at the National level you are probably right. At the zone level it's not true.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                                    I disagree with that and agree with knobstetter.

                                    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                                    Add me to that list. Especially after watching someone come to our local association shows who rides on the "A" circuit and then use her nice eq horse to win the medal final and tack shop gift certificate. I remember watching her rounds and thinking, 'Wow, what an awesome rider,' and now all I think is 'how sad she had to ride in that class just to win.' I suppose she could've been using the smaller circuit to tune the horse up, but it smacked of loading the deck in her favor. Bring your green horses to the local shows, but don't compete in something where you will simply blow away the competition just because you can.

                                    I also agree with the majority of khobstetter's post. Trainers have to fight to keep clients these days. It surprises me how often people change barns and trainers. I've only ridden with two trainers my entire life. (I understand changing for certain reasons...unsafe facilities, drugging, padding bills, etc...but seems the slightest offense is enough to make people move). Each trainer has had their strengths and weaknesses, but I recognize them and don't expect them to be perfect.

                                    The responsibility for our sport belongs with everyone involved (owners, riders, grooms, show management, associations, judges, etc.) not just trainers.

                                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                    "I didn't jump. I took a tiny step and there conclusions were."
                                    Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                                    Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Yes, when trainers come and steal my jumps that I am in the middle of clearly schooling over, i.e. the time I was yelling I was coming over the oxer when some trainer was adjusting it for her student, you need to tell them that what they are doing is wrong. I have been yelled at many a time by a trainer out in the schooling ring, asking me where my trainer was because I shouldn't be schooling without them there. If you yell right back at them, they back down and leave you alone. If you cower in fear, they think they are the ones in charge. Well, they are not. I am, as is everyone else who has said the one who writes the check.

                                      I didn't say your daughter needed this, nor did I mention all trainers need it. Some have a huge attitude and need it broken down by the small guy. If I am the one to do it, so be it.

                                      "What are you liberals so afraid of?"--Anne Colter
                                      http://community.webshots.com/user/mmreca

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Trainers are professionals who depend on the income they derive from horses to feed themselves and their families...that is how they live.

                                        Waiting at a ring because of stupid decisions on schedualing from show management really isn't the point here...it's a perception that pros are somehow "controlling" the sport and we ammies have to get it back.
                                        Pony jumpers likewise are no fault of the pros
                                        Just that the division languishes due to lack of interest and/or lack of kids small enough.seems when those 8 year olds finally grow and get strong, they are to darn tall
                                        Parents don't want to buy Pony Jumpers for the kiddies and that's not the trainers fault either
                                        Whole idea of having to "wrest control" from the pros is BOGUS..and that's just MHO.

                                        But I have been a very hands on owner for 37 years now...and didn't always have a trainer, in fact used to break colts and rehab spoiled ones since I had no money. Been in most of the breeds and disciplines too.

                                        We have nothing to fear from trainers...and that idea of licensing them? Has some merit but who in hades is going to set up a nationwide, multidiscipline regulatory agency? And who the Hell is going to pay for it?

                                        I'm not. Why? Because some of the worst overall "horseman" I've ever seen had a certificate from some agency or other...or a degree that said they knew what they were doing when they didn't know where the used food came out.

                                        I know you don't want to hear it but I depend on my trainer..and I know enough to challenge her, or leave if I deem it necessary.

                                        No. Good trainers have very little to do with what is wrong in the sport. Have to say that more people then ever are able to participate in this sport and there is more right them wrong.

                                        The Horse World. 2 people, 3 opinions. That's the way it is.
                                        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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