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Stick with a program Kid! What would you do?

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  • #21
    It sounds to me like you need to make clear to this client that when she rides in your program, what you say is what goes. She needs to know that it is not ok for her to train with other people when their idea of training contradicts yours. I think a lot of people find themselves in this situation because riding is so different than other sports!

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    • #22
      Originally posted by xxreddxheaddxx View Post
      It sounds to me like you need to make clear to this client that when she rides in your program, what you say is what goes. She needs to know that it is not ok for her to train with other people when their idea of training contradicts yours. I think a lot of people find themselves in this situation because riding is so different than other sports!
      Um...not really. While neither my skating coaches nor my dance teachers could FORBID me from going to other instructors, they'd have hit the roof if I did it without their approval. Of course the issue wasn't wear and tear or not focusing on one discipline, it's that learning something wrong would take them a long time to fix.

      Setting aside whether the horse is so crippled it can't handle light work in multiple disciplines (in which case I'd question the horsemanship of intensive training in one, either), I don't see harm in dabbling if the rider is happy. Not everyone is trying to campaign a serious show career (and how come when someone complains about poor judging, going to shows without winning anything, etc. they're told "It's just a fifty-cent ribbon, kwitcher bitchin," but someome might be happy just going and entering lots of classes whether they win or not because they like doing lots of different things, it's a sign they're not serious and just wait, they'll get tired of losing all the time? I have no illusions Lucky and I will be speed champions but I want to go do it eventually just for fun. As I kid I *did* 'specialize' and I feel like I missed out on a lot of the fun showing multiple styles and events.)
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      • #23
        Originally posted by danceronice View Post
        Um...not really. While neither my skating coaches nor my dance teachers could FORBID me from going to other instructors, they'd have hit the roof if I did it without their approval. Of course the issue wasn't wear and tear or not focusing on one discipline, it's that learning something wrong would take them a long time to fix.
        In martial arts, it's similar - depending on your situation and instructor, it can be a GRAVE offense to attend a class or seminar with someone else, and is almost always such an offense if you do so without permission. Now, the only instructor I know who held students to that was a complete nutcase who invented his own horribly ineffective and ugly style, so his insistence was really protecting his students from seeing how bad they (and he) were, but still.

        In martial arts in particular, learning more than one style at a time is nasty, and can get you seriously injured as you retain habits from multiple styles and mix them badly. It takes a master of two separate styles to effectively combine them. Example: the korean style I'm learning right now does not like hip movement, but a previous style I've sort of learned is BASED ON hip movement. So I'm pretty hopeless at both of them because I'm being told to use my hips AND not use them at the same time. Both are effective styles, and both have their strengths, but focusing on the two together would just result in me sucking it up at both of them more than I already do. Thankfully, they both start in left guarding stance and left side moves first, or I'd just give up. I can barely remember which hand is which on good days. I can imagine various riding styles having similar issues - how much bend in the leg, how much you push heels down, etc., in English disciplines alone. Adding western to the mix . . . that could make a real muddle of her riding.

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        • #24
          You would hate me as a client OP I do whatever I want with my horse whether it is jumping/dressage/trails/swimming with him etc. I get the stick with a program to fine tune yourself instead of jumping all around in disciplines but maybe your client enjoys doing all random rides with her horse? Afterall, it is her horse

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          • #25
            Right, it is her horse, but what if the issue isn't that she wants to dabble but that she is not preparing her horse for these different things? This is what the OP is saying that I think is most important- that the welfare of the horse is being adversely affected.

            If I wanted to do a bunch of different things with my horses I would make sure that we were all fit to do them- which means riding 5-6 days a week and training them for whatever it is I expect them to be able to do. I wouldn't take either of my horses on an endurance ride right now because neither is fit to do it. To decide tomorrow that my fat four year old should be able to go on a 15 mile hike because I feel like doing that would be bad horsemanship.
            You can take a line and say it isn't straight- but that won't change its shape. Jets to Brazil

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            • #26
              I agree with previous posters that the dabbling itself may not be the issue, it's the lack of concern for the well-being of the horse. If she wants to do all of these different things with her horse, that's fine, but she seems like she needs a kick in the pants to make her realize that it's not only about what SHE wants to do, but what the HORSE is capable of handling.

              It drives me absolutely bonkers when people put in absolutely zero preparation work, jump in head first, and then complain that it didn't magically fall together, and they were beaten by people who have put in the time and effort to not only train for that discipline, but have a horse that is intended for that purpose.

              I'm sure if I *really* wanted to, I could teach my 17.1 warmblood how to be a reiner, or cutter or barrel race, but will he ever be good at it? Probably not! I see this all the time on our local circuit. Horses that are a "Jack of all trades, master of none" that come and play, which is fine if they are there to have fun, but then they complain that they didn't place in a hack class even though they had a great PERSONAL ride. They don't realize that while their horse may have been going great, FOR that horse, there were simply better moving horses in the class!

              As the horse in question is older, and breaking down, I would tell the client that if she wants to dabble in all of these random things, he NEEDS to be fit to be able to handle it at his age. Older horses just don't bounce back from a hard weekend of showing as young horses do, they NEED to maintain a baseline level of fitness to be able to stay sound and healthy.

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              • #27
                OP, it sounds like all the dabbling, which is fine in and of itself, is too much for her steed to do all at once. Perhaps you need to impose a barnwide rule on the number of classes anyone can show at any particular show, then she can pick and choose among them. That is what I would to to preserve the horse, not limit the variety of things she can try. That is also more fair across the board and will keep the horse from being overworked.

                As for not being particularly good at any particular class, that would not bother me if it doesn't bother her. It's not about the ribbons if she's having a good time and the horse is fine. If it bothers you perhaps you might steer her toward a more all-around type of barn. No one trainer is right for every personality of student.

                I did everything under the sun with my first pony, from barrel racing to 3'6 jumpers to English Pleasure to long trail rides to eventing to swimming bareback in the pond. He was never particularly good at any of them but he was still carrying kids around the short stirrup at age 30 so it must have not done him any harm.

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                • #28
                  If you don't care if you lose her as a client perhaps next time it comes up, ask her if she'd like to go train with Trainer X since she keeps seeking their advice despite Trainer X having never seen her ride or the horse.

                  Maybe she doesn't realize how it comes across if she's always telling you Trainer X said this & Trainer X said that. I know people who do ride with multiple trainers (I do), but everybody is aware of it & I never play the trainers against each other just to hear the opinion I want to hear. Maybe she doesn't want a trainer but rather somebody who just agrees with everything she wants to do even if it is overload?

                  But then be prepared for her to say ok & leave. Although perhaps she isn't worth having as a client if you are this frustrated.
                  "I'm not crazy...my mother had me tested"

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                  • #29
                    I don't read it's a dabbling in many activities problem as much as a horse breaking down issue. There are xrays showing problems and vet involved.

                    Focus on the horse's welfare with the client and decide if you want this type of issue in your program / professional affairs.

                    Encourage client to get a horse able to support her activities?

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