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Questions about showing with my trainer - advice please

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  • #61
    Originally posted by Gnalli View Post
    I just have an issue with being told I can't go to a show.
    Then the trainer has a right to say they no longer want you as a client.
    Trainers with a program do not like their clients going out and giving their program a name (bad name) when they are not there. They also do not want to have to deal with a owner whose horse got ruined at a show and now does not understand why Dobbin is scared to jump.

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    • #62
      Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
      Then the trainer has a right to say they no longer want you as a client.
      Trainers with a program do not like their clients going out and giving their program a name (bad name) when they are not there. They also do not want to have to deal with a owner whose horse got ruined at a show and now does not understand why Dobbin is scared to jump.
      I agree that trainers can make their own rules. But there's a big difference between having a program where the expectation of showing WITH your trainer is up front and with a trainer who encourages a student to buy a trailer and then insists that she pay the barn rates to go with her. In my mind it would also be different if the trainer took the student aside and told her she wasn't ready to go on her own for some specific reasons. I used to ride with a dressage trainer who was brutal about having students follow her recommendations. She once pointed out a rider at a show and told me the woman insisted on competing a level for which she was not prepared. The trainer said she could go but she wasn't allowed to tell anyone who she trained with and the trainer would not coach her at the event.

      When I started eventing I always shipped with my trainer as I didn't own a trailer and frankly, I was so new at it that I really needed her help and support. If she wasn't going to an event, she would arrange for another barn to take my horse and talk to the trainer about coaching me there.

      Once I became more advanced and I bought my own trailer, I would meet my trainer there . . . or not.

      I do find it funny/strange that the eventing trainers seem much more relaxed about this.
      Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
      EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

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      • #63
        Oh, I agree, Bogie. I think what this trainer is doing is just weird. I was just explaining to the 'how dare a trainer require you only go to shows they are going to' crowd.

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        • #64
          Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
          Then the trainer has a right to say they no longer want you as a client.
          Trainers with a program do not like their clients going out and giving their program a name (bad name) when they are not there. They also do not want to have to deal with a owner whose horse got ruined at a show and now does not understand why Dobbin is scared to jump.
          Why assume that the show will be a debacle and that the barn will be disgraced? Why assume that the horse will be ruined for life by one experience jumping without the trainer watching? If the rider is capable she will be so without the trainer and if she's a mess, she'll be a mess with trainer watching. My last two show warmups took p;lace without my trainer and in the latter show my trainer was only ringside for one of my classes. We still came home with 2 tri-colors. I know how to warm up my horse and if I can't ride him around 8 fences without trainer viewing, I shouldn't be at a show. Oh, and I've been in H/J land all my life, I'm not an escaped eventer or anything!

          Earlier, I stepped in to defend trainers' rights to make a living but since this trainer knew full well (and even blessed) the purchase of a trainer by the OP, she has no right to squawk at the OP who now wants to use her own trailer
          to go to a show.

          ETA: Bogie, event trainers are more lax about their program. Maybe it's a different upbringing that gets them to eventing. Maybe it's because of the different disiplines involved, they are used to sharing clients. I do think if you ride with a trainer you should take their advice about what level you show at, unlike your dressage example. I don't get the impression that the OP is being refused because she wants to show at an inappropriate level.
          F O.B
          Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
          Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique

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          • #65
            Originally posted by Linny View Post
            Why assume that the show will be a debacle and that the barn will be disgraced? Why assume that the horse will be ruined for life by one experience jumping without the trainer watching? If the rider is capable she will be so without the trainer and if she's a mess, she'll be a mess with trainer watching.
            She didn't make an assumption, she just indicated it was a possibility...and it is. It might not be the a possibility for you, but it is for some people.

            My trainer would let me show alone, no questions asked. She does have clients, however, that she recommends not showing alone...and if they insist, tries to give them guidelines before they go. They might have a horse that is too much for them or not a good match and has to be ridden in a way that is counter-intuitive to the person.. Without the trainer there to help them fight their natural instincts or not make bad choices, training could be set back substantially. (and then who gets blamed when horsie has gone backward at home? Such is the life of a trainer who lets their clients do whatever they want from showign alone to horse purchases, etc)

            I know how to warm up my horse and if I can't ride him around 8 fences without trainer viewing, I shouldn't be at a show. Oh, and I've been in H/J land all my life, I'm not an escaped eventer or anything!
            That's great for you, but it also shouldn't be a requirement that someone isn't ready to show until they can do so without a trainer watching. That's kind of ridiculous. Kids would never be showing. Plenty of people get really, really nervous at shows, even very experienced people and need the calming influence of their trainer to keep things from getting ugly. There are also people that can't tell what they are doing to screw up their courses and need someone to say "stop picking to nothing," etc.
            Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
            Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

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            • #66
              Thanks RugBug, that is what I meant. It was an example.

              Just because can do something does not mean everyone else should do it.
              We do not all have equal abilities.

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              • #67
                I would definitely haul my own horse whether this trainer was attending the show or not. How dare she use you to make up the shortfall she will experience hauling the other horse for two financially struggling students.

                I don't ask my trainer if I should attend a how, I tell him I'm going and I go. He has no say, I'm an adult and can make my own decisions. However, I do confer with him on the course at a particular event if I've never been there and take his advice, but ask if I have permission to go? Never.
                Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert

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                • #68
                  I just don't read this as a BBBNT acclaimed H/J trainer with a waiting list concerned about presenting only the best under my barns banner.
                  I read it as a second rate money grubber watching a client buy a trailer they had no intention of letting them use.

                  That is wrong in everything from Arabs to QHs and NOT practiced by actual top trainers in any discipline short of International levels.

                  sammicat is getting hosed by what she thinks is a "friend" with her best interests at heart. Trust me on this, been there/done that with no ribbons/great trips but a really big mostly undisclosed bill from a third rate trainer.

                  Don't go there like I did. Learn from me and others. Find another trainer who really does have your goals and best interests at heart. They ARE out there-even in H/J.
                  When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                  The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Linny View Post

                    ETA: Bogie, event trainers are more lax about their program. Maybe it's a different upbringing that gets them to eventing. Maybe it's because of the different disiplines involved, they are used to sharing clients. I do think if you ride with a trainer you should take their advice about what level you show at, unlike your dressage example. I don't get the impression that the OP is being refused because she wants to show at an inappropriate level.
                    You are right. In eventing land it's not unusual to have different trainers for xc, stadium and dressage. It sets up a different dynamic.

                    I also agree that if you trust a trainer you take their advice. You would never have caught me at a show competing in a class that dressage trainer didn't approve of -- she was very direct in her opinions but usually spot on.
                    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

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                    • #70
                      I'm not sure we have enough information to vilify the trainer here. I didn't see where our OP said anywhere that her trainer forbid her to trailer her own horse to the show, only that if she didn't use trailering services for this particular show the trainer wouldn't have enough business to make it worthwhile to go. That's not a big deal. I don't think the OP should feel pressured to pay some exorbitant trailering fee either--I wouldn't.

                      It isn't good business practice for a trainer to drive a trailer with one horse in it 300 miles for a five day show if only a couple of clients are going. I do think it came across poorly for the trainer to pressure the OP about the trailering issue--I think it would have been fine if the trainer had just said, "I'm sorry, I just don't have enough other horses and clients going for it to be worth my while to go."

                      I also think that it comes across poorly when some clients have special deals and don't pay their share of the expenses--especially in the scenario of traveling to a horse show where there is often an expectation that some expenses will be shared equally/fairly among clients.

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                      • #71
                        I don't read this as a could but shouldn't situation but as OP being blindsided by the previously undisclosed requirement she use trainers hauling service to make the minimum requirement to get the trainer to go to the show. I have never seen or heard of that one before, show charges for the minimum number of clients, sure. Not the hauling requirement. Especially after watching OP get all excited about her new trailer which strikes me as kind of mean.

                        Also the whole "friend" selected by trainer paying OP nothing for half use of the horse bugs me. No way her grooming skills help OP pay for anything including trainers transport charges.
                        Be different if it was OPs close friend and her idea instead of trainers way to get more coaching fees on OPs horse.

                        Most unusual in any of the AA level H/J barns I have been in and around so I do tend to blame the trainer for taking advantage of a naive owner with newish and still green horse and just purchased trailer.
                        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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                        • #72
                          Wow...I am shocked. Truly. I've been doing this a long time and this is the first time I've ever heard of a trainer actually copping to something like this. I'm trying to envision the convo you had w/your trainer about how she was planning to finance this show via you...

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                          • #73
                            I say that since you have your own trailer, go alone. At some point there will be a time you'll have to show without a trainer around, now is as good a time as any. I can't imagine a trainer telling me not to take MY trailer and MY horse and telling you what she did about the other clients. What's the point in a trailer if you are going to pay someone else to haul your horse. I can't wrap my mind around that...it is like paying for two trailers.

                            I never understood the having a trainer at the show thing. It is bonus if they can come but if not I would never let that stop me from showing. It is helpful to have them there to give you some guidance before your classes but if you can't do it without a trainer I say it is time to find someone who will have you more prepared. Don't get me wrong, I love when my trainer attends a show with me, but it is more for the "look, all our hard work has paid off" aspect rather than having them school me in warm up. If I can't get myself through a show alone, I shouldn't be showing. Just my take on it. I know everyone has different feelings on the subject.

                            I say take the person up on their offer to groom in exchange to ride in some classes. That gives you an extra set of hands. As long as your horse is fit and without medical issues there is no reason it should be too much. I think that it would be more beneficial to have that person there helping rather than the trainer. Someone to help you groom, check you over before going in the ring, grabbing a drink if you need it. (And you do the same for them.)

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                            • Original Poster

                              #74
                              Originally posted by Finzean View Post
                              Wow...I am shocked. Truly. I've been doing this a long time and this is the first time I've ever heard of a trainer actually copping to something like this. I'm trying to envision the convo you had w/your trainer about how she was planning to finance this show via you...
                              Yeah ... it was a bit of an odd conversation! It took me a bit to fully digest that it ACTUALLY happened - lol

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #75
                                Thank you (again) everyone for your advice. You have definitely given me alot of advice and things to think about. Knowing that I am not completely off track, I'm going to "put on my big girl pants" and be more assertive when it comes to showing. Hopefully, my trainer will respect this and work with me to help me do what I want to do.

                                I will definitely be hauling my own horse - and I'm not going to budge from this fact! My horse loves the new trailer - as do I - and I feel soooooo much more relaxed having everything I want in my dressing room and being able to get things ready according to my own routine. If this ends up being a deal-breaker than I guess it was not meant to be. I am not a 4' jumper; I want to do the 3' - 3'6" hunter ring by the end of the summer but if I end up not being able to reach that goal because of switching trainers, etc. then that's okay. It's not worth the stress of doing something I don't want to do ... not to mention the friction with DH as he watches me cave - lol

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                                • #76
                                  Who knows - you may end up finding a trainer/barn that can not only respect you and your pocketbook, but may actually be capable of getting you further than you thought you could by the end of summer.

                                  I have lived many places and worked with many trainers - I've experienced all levels of showing and all types of business tactics. Some of the most fair trainers I showed with happened to be the most expensive. But I knew everything I was billed for was worth what I was paying and some was either at or below cost.

                                  If you constantly have a feeling of being taken advantage of, you will not be able to trust your trainer. In my opinion, this is quite dangerous, as this is the person you are trusting with your and your horse's safety and care. This cannot lead to anywhere positive.
                                  Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.
                                  W. C. Fields

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                                  • #77
                                    Eye in the Sky is right, you might find a trainer at the show that likes your riding and respects the fact that you are a self starter and can go on your own. Some trainers like those people! I'm with everyone else, take your self if you are comfortable! Like another poster I haven't had a trainer go with me to shows since I was about 13. That was about the last time I was at a barn where I was in consistent weekly lessons. I've only had sporadic lessons since then but have done very well on my own. I'm looking in to starting lessons with a trainer again when I have the extra money but I will go to shows on my own. One trainer I'm looking at does all the big shows I can't afford and doesn't really do the ones I will be doing so I don't really have to worry about that. The other trainer does do the same shows. But I wouldn't be part of their "program" in the sense that I will only be taking lessons, my horse won't be in training. So no one would essentially know except for them that I'm involved with their barn. Like I said I've functioned perfectly fine on my own so I don't feel that I personally need to have the trainer there coaching me. Now if we moved up to a higher level of show where I'm not familiar with having the different divisions and stuff then for sure they would be helping me! But local and/or low level stuff I can handle on my own. The only thing I require is my show mommy! (and yes, at 30 yrs old my show mommy is supposed be joining me next weekend at my pony's first show of the season!)

                                    So while you are at the show maybe scope out a plan B trainer. I feel like if I were using a lesson horse to show at a show I should still have to chip in for gas. But that is just me so who knows what your trainer has with the other people. I know that when I was looking at the potential trainer's fees it was a $75 loading fee plus 1.50 a mile for the first 150miles plus $75 for coaching. So if I were to go with them to a show 50 miles away (which is where most of the nicer shows are) it would cost me $225 to get there and back without even adding the coaching and show fee's! So yeah! It's worth taking yourself! $100 bucks or so for a tank of gas and off I go!

                                    Comment


                                    • #78
                                      If the OP is looking at moving up to 3'3 and/or 3'6 this year, I'm guessing that she's now doing 3' and looking to some bigger shows. if the trainer was only able to rustle up one (and a quasi second) to take to the show with a lesson horse, I get the impression that maybe the OP has outgrown the trainers level. (Trainer may be a great trainer/rider but their business doesn't appear laden with other riders also looking to do do 5 day shows.

                                      We often discuss how expensive showing is and lament that trainers can't find to ease costs. That said, for a trainer to come out and say that OP is directly subsidizing the others participants is quite brazen. Charging you double and the others nothing and telling you her plans is insane. She might as well ask you to purchase their lessons in advance! Now that you know her intent, I'd be sure to go back and look at any previous bills and billing issues you may have had with her.
                                      F O.B
                                      Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
                                      Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique

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                                      • #79
                                        Originally posted by sammicat View Post
                                        Thanks for your input, but I think you are assuming a greater degree of conflict than I intended. Her and I disagree on the transport, and I was wondering what the protocol is, but I don't think it's worth jumping barns for. Similarly, my trainer suggested the other person coming to groom for me in exchange for riding in classes, so again no issue. The question was about the amount of work my horse should be reasonably expected to do. After reading the other responses, I'm going to go with the idea that 2 to 4 classes a day really is the max.
                                        The protocol is you are making a trailer payment. Why in all hell would you pay someone else to haul your horse? To me that is a no brainer. Duh.
                                        My horse goes in my trailer and my trainer can get over it if she has a problem with it.

                                        Do you pay a mortgage? Do you also pay rent? No. Well ok then.

                                        ETA: I bet the "friend" who wants to groom your horse in exchange for showing (and I bet has not offered to split gas, stabling etc with you), will be paying the trainer day and schooling fees too. hmmm.
                                        "Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin

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                                        • #80
                                          Originally posted by sammicat View Post
                                          I will definitely be hauling my own horse - and I'm not going to budge from this fact! My horse loves the new trailer - as do I - and I feel soooooo much more relaxed having everything I want in my dressing room and being able to get things ready according to my own routine. If this ends up being a deal-breaker than I guess it was not meant to be.
                                          Good for you!
                                          COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                                          "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

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