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Why Do Trainers Ride Your Horses?

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  • #21
    My trainer rides my horse (once in a while) because (a) I'm an amateur, and eventually he gets tired of my mistakes, (b) I'm older, and some things need to be worked through be someone with a younger body, and (c) sometimes we get into a bad place that I can't work our way out of (right now it's sucking back in corners).

    That said, I'm never quite sure how to feel when my trainer has the same problems with a horse that I do - do I feel vindicated that there's a real issue there, or bummed that there's no easy answer?


    • #22
      My trainer rides my horse because 1) I'm eight months pregnant, 2) we travel often so I'm not around quite often to ride and 3) when I am home to ride I can fit in one or two lessons a week, max.

      I've never been against a trainer riding an ammy's horse and likewise I've never ridden with a trainer who expected me to do all the riding/tuning up. It's really in my horse's best interest if she's ridden by my trainer because it keeps her in a much more consistent program than I would be able to do alone.


      • #23
        From a trainer's perspective:

        I have clients whose horses I never sit on, either because it is the owner's preference, or because I feel that the owner is equipped to solve the problems that arise themselves under my guidance on the ground.

        As others have mentioned, many working adults as well as busy kids don't have time to ride every day, and there are plenty of horses that perform much better when they stick to a regular schedule. Maintaining fitness is a related issue.

        However, there are other situations where I get on to "fix" something during a lesson. When a rider makes the same mistake over and over again and the horse is getting unraveled. When the horse is stopping at a jump repeatedly and the owner begins riding poorly because of fear. Basically, I ask if the owner minds if I get on during a lesson when I feel there is a problem the owner is not capable of solving and the situation has become unfair to the horse. For those you who say they'd never let anyone else train their horse, what are your thoughts on this?

        I will also add, at times I have asked a fellow pro to get on one of my horses (or one of my client's horses) to help work through an issue I'm having trouble with. There are certain things I do really well and others that I recognize aren't my strengths. A lot of pros do this...I sometimes wonder why there are so many ammys who are totally closed-minded about training this way.
        Please don't sabotash my conchess.


        • #24
          my boy was in training board b/c hes an OTTB and is big, heavy, strong, and very fast. I have a timid streak and that brought it out hard core. My trainer is able to get on him, balance & soften him up and convey a message I cant while spazing out. Kudos to those who can do every last thing themselves. I am not one of them.
          "to each his own..."


          • #25
            If I happened to marry well and have thousands of dollars to spend on my riding every month, you better believe my trainer would be riding my horse at least twice a week.

            Think about it, if you buy a nice car, you spend money on its upkeep and tuning. If you buy a nice horse, you want to do the same. I don't have the time or fitness level (esp if I was married or had kids) to keep a horse in show shape.

            Besides, I want a horse that has the experience and knowledge to save my butt, for safety's sake if I'm spending mega $$. I've taken one too many headers off a green bean and now I'm convinced that my dream horse is going to be schooled within an inch of its life!


            • #26
              My horse is in full training for lots of reasons.
              1. I learned to ride as an adult, and I don't even begin to have the expertise to train a horse from scratch.
              2. With a trainer riding every week, I can get a lot closer to seeing my horse's full potential than even if I were quite a bit more competent rider. He probably has the ability and scope to do 4'6", but I may never get there. At least I have had the pleasure of seeing my trainer ride him at 4', and maybe we'll move him up if I get better, who knows.
              3. A "good" week means I rode 3 times. A banner week means I rode 4 times. I simply don't have enough time to ride him all week, which is what he really needs.
              4. Without a trainer, I wouldn't even own this horse. I bought him as a wild-child 9 year old with very few "miles" who had apparently learned that if you dump your rider you get out of work. He dumped me enough as it was, so that if the trainer hadn't made significant progress, we would have been betting that I would end up in the hospital before his sorry a$$ got sold.
              5. With my trainer working out the worst of his kinks, it allows me the luxury to improve my own riding faster than if I had to constantly worry about him. (And I need lots of work, as I'm sure my trainer would agree!)
              6. Horses are so expensive to own, it seems that if you can afford it, a full-time training program will allow both you and your horse to improve faster, which can be really fun. (The affording it part is the hard part...)

              I could probably keep on, but I hope the OP can understand where an ammie rider like me is coming from. I don't even see myself having a choice of not having a trainer ride. Maybe with another horse, but not this horse. Or maybe this horse in another couple of years, but not now.


              • #27
                When I had my horses, I've always done the schooling myself. If a show goes well I want it to be because of my work and my riding. I want my horse to have the bond with me, not me just as a passenger reaping someone else's hard work.

                Having said that, when I have a lesson I am happy for my instructor to hop on, for a couple of reasons - either to demonstrate how something should be done to help me learn, or, if I'm struggling to get something or if something is going wrong, to take the horse through it a few times for its confidence to make it easier for me when I get back on. I don't see the point in them just riding it better than I can if its not going to improve my riding on the horse though.


                • #28
                  Many owners have to work demanding full time , 65 hour a week careers to afford it all - hence, little to no riding time during the week. If I bought a green horse it would definitely need at least two trainer rides during the week, if only because I can make it to the barn sporadically during the work week.

                  Plus, I would imagine that, if your trainer figures the horse out from her own rides, that can only benefit you in your lessons with the trainer as she will be able to explain things better and work on addressing the green horse issues together.
                  Love my "Slow-T T B"
                  2010 OTTB, Dixie Union x Dash for Money


                  • #29
                    I make it a point to buy horses that don't need the pro-ride, who's worst is something I can handle, as well as horses that are still mentally 'there' even after a week of turn-out.

                    I've had pros hop on a few times, but the was due to being on vacation and more of a "If you've got time, get him out for a hack or a trail ride or to be a lesson-couch, otherwise he's fine in turn-out for the week" sort of thing. I've also had clinicians hop on because they needed to demonstrate something to the group and my horse "looked like a lot of fun" (best compliment ever).


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by The Big Bay Mare View Post
                      I don't think that's what the OP is referring to.. I think she's talking more about the people that just throw money to ride their horse during the week, train the horse, get them ready for a show.. and then the owner plops on and reaps all the glory and benefits. THAT'S the kind of thing I can't stand.

                      I don't really get why this bothers people. It's kind of like when people get pissy about people having grooms. Just because someone can afford a nice horse and a good trainer, but doesn't have the time to ride all week long, possibly due to work obligations which pay for said nice horse and good trainer, they shouldn't be allowed to participate because they might win? That's ridiculous. This kind of attitude always sounds like jealousy to me.

                      And as for the OPs question: some people love to ride a nicely tuned horse and really are not amused by having to fix behavioral problems. Some people really have no desire to see themselves as "trainers" and would much rather pay a pro to keep their horses tuned up. For example: my greenie is freakin' fabulous - basically was born with an autopilot already installed. My trainer rarely rides him because he rarely ever needs it. However, when we were installing lead changes, I handed him over to the trainer. It is not that I am not capable of doing it myself, just that I would prefer not to. The way I see it, that's why I pay my trainer and does not fall under my job description as resident amateur. Not to mention, I would not have had the job finished nearly as quickly as my pro.
                      "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
                      -George Morris


                      • #31
                        Plain and simple...
                        Some people don't have the experience with greenies and don't ever wanna make it an experience but they have a nice green horse and want to ride it/show eventually.
                        Sometimes it doesn't even have to do with the question of ability, some people just don't have the patience to deal with all the stupid things a young horse can get into.
                        So...why not give it to a pro or trainer who HAS the experience and patience to make the horse rideable for you?
                        There are people out there who have mainly sat on broke horses and don't wanna risk themselves on green horses and that is what trainers are perfectly good for.
                        You wanna break and train and put the miles on your horse, good for you! That will give you a really good experience and maybe YOU can become a trainer at some point and make good money doing something that you love doing.


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by kitsunegari View Post
                          I've been reading alot on here about people paying trainers to ride their horses. Why?

                          I bought a completely unbroke, hot, too athletic for it's own good 3 year old in January which I intend to put every mile on myself. I wouldn't get the same satisfaction going in the show ring and doing well if someone else put the miles on.

                          If I'm going to pay 1/100th of a million for a creature I'm going to be the one riding it. Even if I had all the money in the world I wouldn't pay someone to ride my horses.

                          Can't wait to hear peoples thoughts, and reasonings?

                          Because I want the best for my horse, and sometimes, that just ain't me!


                          • #33
                            I had wondered the same thing. I have been reading where people have monthly packages that include board, lessons and TRAINER RIDES on your horse.

                            I can certainly see having your horse trained by a pro or even having bugs worked out when you first buy a horse, etc. But to have a trainer ride your horse on a normal weekly basis...I don't understand. Working through your issues together only makes the bond between you and your horse greater. Not to mention, what are you gonna do if your horse does something stupid at a show that you have no experience in dealing with...have your trainer compete for you too?

                            I do think it's good that a coach can understand your horse enough to coach you properly should your horse act up since all horses are different (so maybe your coach hopping on ever so often on their "own" accord) but I would never buy a package of "trainer rides" on any of my horses unless they are in total training (without me riding it). If I absolutely can't ride my horse without a trainer working with it regularly (on a weekly or monthly basis indefinitely), I probably need to find me a better suited horse for my level of riding.


                            • #34
                              It's kind of like having the parents do the homework for the kids. The kid ends up with a good grade (which is oh so important!!!) but who's effort was it? As a working parent, I totally commiserate with those who have time mangement issues. And as long as the competitors are following the rules, I have no bones to pick. But seriously, how do you learn to handle a sticky situation if you pay someone to make sure you rarely have any? Riding is the only sport where you can not show up at practice time, and still be able to compete at a fairly high level because you are paying someone else to practice for you.
                              Man plans. God laughs.


                              • #35
                                Why does my trainer ride my horse?

                                * I love to get to watch him go some times
                                * I want him to be tolerent of being ridden by more than one person
                                * I want him to be the best that he can be
                                * I can't always get out to ride and I would prefer some of those occassions that he get a training ride instead of a hack
                                * There are things my trainer does better than I do

                                I am capable of bringing a horse up from greenie to made, however, I always find I get a better end result if I have training rides put on the horse throughout the process. While I am a good rider, I am not perfect.
                                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.


                                • #36
                                  Because trainers (most of the time) have more experience or talent than I do. I can muddle through something and get there eventually, but if a good trainer can accomplish the same thing in a short amount of time, why not?

                                  Horses get confused and frustrated too- I think some folks who insist on doing it all themselves might not have the talent, and they end up creating as many problems as they fix.

                                  I love the sense of pride I got from starting my own horse and doing all of the work. He's had only one pro ride in his life (from a dressager) and it was short. It's a great feeling to ride him and think "I did that!" but at the same time, I'm not perfect. I may screw something up. Sometimes it's nicer to the horse and more fair to them to put up a better rider or trainer. With my guy, the jumping issue was one of concern. He needs confidence, and I'm not the most confident rider over fences- I have some bad habits. Those habits were not helping him at all. Having a professional who is really good at that particular thing jump him a few times could make life a LOT better for the both of us

                                  There are lots of trainers in the world who aren't all that, but if having a trainer ride every so often makes my horse's experience better, why not? Especially if they can get my horse to the next level, where I might have stayed on a plateau for a while.
                                  "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

                                  My CANTER blog.


                                  • #37
                                    My horse has had essentially 2 riders- the person I bought him from and me. I like it when someone with more experience than I have gets on him. First, I get to see how he moves from the ground which is a treat. Second, I like when the person gets a better performance out of him than I do and can give me some tips to improve. Third- I admit he is spoiled by me and knows instantly that it is "not mom" in the saddle. He does test a new rider. If the person has experience, he will quickly get over that attitude and that is something I want to re-inforce- that a "not mom" rider needs to be obeyed also. I do not have a trainer, but if I could afford to, I would.


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by caffeinated View Post

                                      Horses get confused and frustrated too- I think some folks who insist on doing it all themselves might not have the talent, and they end up creating as many problems as they fix.

                                      Thats why if your horse has an issue, you work under a professional coach who can help you fix it....and you are doing it yourself so you can handle that situation should it come up again at a show.

                                      I do see what everyone is saying and I would love to just have a trainer fix my horses' bugs for me but fixing them myself under the supervision of my coach has taught me how to really handle my horse and has created the bond I need to confidently compete on him in jumpers. Who just wants to be along for the ride?


                                      • #39
                                        I do my best to get out to the barn 3 or 4 times a week. It benefits my horse to have an extra hack or two. I just can't make the 110 mile round trip more often, and the trainer does a fabulous job, so its a win win for all of us.


                                        • #40
                                          My trainer rides my horse once in a while. In order for her to coach me better sometimes it's easier for her and me for her to hop on and have a school. Because of this we had a major breakthough this winter. What she couldn't see on the ground she could definitely feel in the tack and we started schooling accordingly. My current trainer is the first one I've had that can actually get on and ride in my 25 years of riding and I find it's such a useful tool.