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Not trusting of other professionals in other regions?

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  • Not trusting of other professionals in other regions?

    Hey everyone,

    Is it just me, or do you all also have a hard time trusting other equine professionals in new areas? I'm from the Boston area, but have been (and will continue to be) in southern Indiana for a few years. I've finally become serious about getting a new horse, but I'm having a really hard time finding trainers and vets out here that I like and trust.

    I've asked for recommendations of trainers on the board here before, but the ones people have raved about I've been less than impressed. I'm just not necessarily sure what to do because I really miss riding and having my own horse, I just don't feel 100% comfortable with these environments. Am I being too much of a perfectionist or should I hold off on getting a horse until I'm back in Boston?

  • #2
    Only you can answer that question. As for not being able to like and trust the equine professionals there... is it a lack of knowledge, or is it just a different culture?
    Blog chronicling our new eventing adventures: Riding With Scissors


    • #3
      It takes a little more scouting to find a pro you're comfortable with in an area you're unfamiliar with -- Take your time --
      "I never mind if an adult uses safety stirrups." GM


      • #4
        The standards CAN be different in different geographic areas. Some of what I saw in Salt Lake City that was totally commonplace would get the SPCA called on you in PA/NJ. Standards about what's appropriate turnout are going to be vastly different in land-scarce parts of CA than in New England. It does take some getting accustomed to the standards of where you are and it IS a culture shock. You have to make a clear decision about what you need and what you want and then go looking for that without the bounds of what's available.
        "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


        • #5
          Well this is the second time I've posted this link today, to the USHJA directory of Certified Trainers:


          Not that this is an instant solution to your problem, but it's a very good start. Who did you ride with in the Boston area? Were you happy with that situation? If so, whomever you rode with there likely has a contact, who has a contact. That's surely better leaving your fate in the hands of strangers on a BB, even if some of us do know which end is up.

          When you have no clue about an area, that's usually a pretty good way to go about things. I recently networked in this way and came up with a recommendation in St. Augustine FL (where I know no one) for a student of mine that has worked out beautifully.
          Inner Bay Equestrian


          • #6
            According to the majority of people, they might find it amazing that you trust other professionals in any region.

            Written with tongue in cheek - just a little joke. Please do not come after me.


            • #7
              I agree 100% that standards vary widely by area. However, you might be being a little perfectionistic, too. Life is short, you might as well ride and enjoy yourself and improve your skills even if it isn't at a "perfect" barn with a "perfect" trainer. Even a not-so-perfect trainer might have some things to teach you. Also, I think when you move to a new area it can take a lot of time to connect with the horse professionals who mesh with you. I live in an area that has a lot of excellent horse professionals, but I have gone through a lot of trial and error to put together the team of people I use.


              • #8
                I always say trust your gut. If you feel like something is off, it probably is. Going through an interesting situation too myself and I have decided to trust my gut. It hasn't lied to me yet!


                • Original Poster

                  I figured I was just being overly picky, but I'm glad to hear others have gone through the culture shock of different regions as well.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by anmoro View Post
                    I always say trust your gut. If you feel like something is off, it probably is. Going through an interesting situation too myself and I have decided to trust my gut. It hasn't lied to me yet!
                    I haven't dealt with moving and finding a totally new set of horse professionals (though I might have to next year). But I've switched vets and coaches a few times and really my gut has been my best indicator.
                    I would say find something that is satisfactory if not perfect, make it work, and constantly keep your eyes open. I've had vets and coach who were okay, but I didn't connect with, as well as vets and coaches who I just loved.

                    But really, as anmoro says the most important thing is to trust your gut.


                    • #11
                      I agree that moving to a new area is definitely a challenge when it comes to finding barns/trainers/vets/farriers and so forth. My usual approach to the start of that sort of search is to go to the local tack stores and ask the people there for some guidance. Usually those folks know the good, bad & ugly and are happy to share enough info to at least get you started.

                      I would imagine you have already asked your Boston area professional for recommendations, but Indiana is obviously pretty far away so that might be a long shot. Maybe see if you can find some shows or clinics where you can go as a spectator and see a bunch of trainers and students in one place? That is usually my second approach to a new area; you can get a great sense of a program from watching them at a show and seeing how the horses go, how they handle things back at the barn, in the schooling area, etc.
                      We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


                      • #12
                        I wouldn't say that you're being too much a perfectionist but that you know what you're looking for. Everyone has different needs and expectations of a trainer. There are quite a few trainers I've only taken one lesson from and come to realize they aren't what I need and others who I wish I could clone and continue working with and knew other clients who walked away from them displeased!

                        Keep looking. One thing I do know is that you'll often find the right people in the last place you'd think to look.

                        Heck, one state I moved I went through 5 different boarding situations in one year! I'm seriously not that picky. I just like my horses to be 1. fed, 2. turned out and 3. not constantly injured by poor management practices.
                        Doubled Expectations (Roxy, 2001 APHA)
                        Al Amir (Al, 2005 OTTB)
                        Ten Purposes (Rosie, 2009 OTTB)


                        • #13
                          I do not purport to know this person well, but I know her a little bit in passing and think she is probably more likely than the average person in your area to have access to nice horses:


                          I guess I'm not sure if your feeling is that people are being dishonest with you, that they have poor skills when it comes to riding or finding horses...or...something else. But, in general, I don't trust most h/j horse trainers, regardless of region!


                          • #14
                            OP, I know the feeling, I just moved to your (our?) area of Southern Indiana. I know I was spoiled with my situation back east, but I'm not looking for that here. I sent you a PM.

                            I'm more along the lines of gypsymare:
                            I just like my horses to be 1. fed, 2. turned out and 3. not constantly injured by poor management practices.
                            This exactly. Plus, I'd like a place with a trainer I don't think is nuts, or at least knows my discipline. I've run into several barns I absoutely love, but they're all western, and the trainer is not open to having an outside instructor come in if I want a dressage lesson, or to work on jumping.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by FineAlready View Post
                              I do not purport to know this person well, but I know her a little bit in passing and think she is probably more likely than the average person in your area to have access to nice horses:


                              I guess I'm not sure if your feeling is that people are being dishonest with you, that they have poor skills when it comes to riding or finding horses...or...something else. But, in general, I don't trust most h/j horse trainers, regardless of region!
                              I have heard absolutely wonderful things about this trainer and have a close friend that has done business with her. I wouldn't hesitate to ride with her or send my horse there
                              Friend of bar.ka