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Questions about showing with my trainer - advice please

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  • Questions about showing with my trainer - advice please

    Hello, All,

    My first multi-day horse show that requires some travel is coming up in a couple of months, and I would like some advice.

    My trainer and I are travelling to the show together with my horse and one of her lesson horses. I just bought my own horse trailer and am capable of hauling both of our horses in comfort, but my trainer mentioned that she would like to take her rig. I've done the expense calculation and figure it is going to cost me somewhere in the range of 250 to 300 max to haul both horses. From past experience with transport to local horse shows, I expect she will charge me something like 600+. Now if we take my rig, I wouldn't charge her for her horse, but I really am not thrilled about paying so much extra when I can travel for less. What do you think?

    Second, one of the people at the barn has offered to groom for me in exchange for showing my horse in a couple of classes. I don't have an issue with it all, but I was wondering how much showing I can expect my horse to do in a day. Its going to be a five day show so I was thinking to restrict his showing to one division (4 or 5 classes) a day. Am I being conservative or is it it okay for the horse to do two divisions on one or two of the day? The divisions will be lower than 3 feet.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

  • #2
    Why don't you just take your own horse in your rig? I transport my own horse all the time by itself.
    Even one division a day is a lot. I only show one class a day with my big jumper, and only show generally 2 over fence classes a day when I was showing in the low divisions (3'3 and under). But my trainer always emphasized not overworking/showing our horses so they enjoyed showing as much as possible. In a 1-2 day show you could do a whole division a day, but not in a 5 day show. Most 5 day shows split up divisions into at least 2-3 days.

    Comment


    • #3
      For a 5 day show, I would pace myself a little. If he were, mine, I wouldn't let her show him the whole 5 days. Maybe the first two or three days and that would be it. But, then again, I have an older horse. Is it possible to let her hack your horse later in the show in the under saddle class?

      Just a thought

      Edited to add:I would haul my own horse if I were you AND I would expect some kind of credit from my trainer for the gas used to haul her horse there (if she rides with you). Kind of a bartering for services, if you will. But, it would be best to discuss that prior to the show.
      ALP
      "The Prince" aka Front Row
      Cavalier Manor

      Comment


      • #4
        If it's more cost effective for you to just haul your horse yourself, just do that. You have your own rig now, and you can take it at your discretion. She can haul on her own if she doesn't want a spot with you.

        I'm a bit confused. Typically divisions run over the course of a few days. Would he be showing an entire division in a day or one class per day? When my last horse was for sale, I showed in my Childrens Hunter division and my trainer showed in the Pre-Green Hunter. If your horse is in shape to do about two classes a day, and they're not big classes, you shouldn't have a problem. If you still think that might be too much, see if he'd be willing to just do a couple classes (maybe some special classes so they're still fun, challenging, and there's usually a small prize incentive even if it's not a whole division).

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by sammicat View Post
          Hello, All,

          My first multi-day horse show that requires some travel is coming up in a couple of months, and I would like some advice.

          My trainer and I are travelling to the show together with my horse and one of her lesson horses. I just bought my own horse trailer and am capable of hauling both of our horses in comfort, but my trainer mentioned that she would like to take her rig. I've done the expense calculation and figure it is going to cost me somewhere in the range of 250 to 300 max to haul both horses. From past experience with transport to local horse shows, I expect she will charge me something like 600+. Now if we take my rig, I wouldn't charge her for her horse, but I really am not thrilled about paying so much extra when I can travel for less. What do you think?

          Second, one of the people at the barn has offered to groom for me in exchange for showing my horse in a couple of classes. I don't have an issue with it all, but I was wondering how much showing I can expect my horse to do in a day. Its going to be a five day show so I was thinking to restrict his showing to one division (4 or 5 classes) a day. Am I being conservative or is it it okay for the horse to do two divisions on one or two of the day? The divisions will be lower than 3 feet.

          Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

          To me it sounds like there is a bit of a program misunderstanding, or a lack of explaining upfront on the trainers end. The obvious would be taking your own horse, or her taking hers. In all honesty she can either say no, you are not allowed to take your own horse, which then you either say ok I will not go. Or you can tell her that you would prefer to take your own horse because it will save you money. Your trainer won't kick you out or hold a grudge if you choose to do this. I can understand your trainer not wanting you to haul her personal horse, anyone would.

          The friend of yours who has offered to groom in exchange to show just sounds like a stupid idea to me, but that's just me. I had to sound like i'm slamming anyone here but it sounds like you are going to a local either non-rated or c/b-rated horse show, and perhaps training with this level of trainer as well, once again not trying to sound rude. Things I guess are done differently at those shows and programs. I know at a majority of the A shows here and even the local shows, the trainer typically has the upper-hand over things that her clients are doing when it comes to riding. A client doesn't tell her trainer "No, I will be doing the Jr. Hunters" when the trainer specifically told her she'd be doing the children's hunters. Insurance comes into play, control although irritating comes into play, and I would hope the wellbeing of the horse would come into play as well if your trainer doesn't think this rider/groom will do the horse any good. I thing its great that you're seeing advice from so many people, having many opinions will be great! If you still don't agree with the way your trainer does things you should consider finding a barn, facility, program or trainer who allows you to have more say in your training. Establishing this desire upfront and hearing his/her response is key.

          Comment


          • #6
            Annnnddd... this is why the world's oil resources are getting burned up at such a disgusting rate.

            Of course, you've opened up a whole can of worms by figuring out the economics here. She's charging you professional hauling rate, and of course, that's way over the cost. She's not going to pay you professional hauling rate ... you have to talk to her and figure out what your relationship is here, what is and is not part of the deal for coaching at shows. She has to make a living and if the hauling charge is all part of it, then you have a decision to make as to whether the whole package of charges continues to be worth it for you to show with this trainer.

            FWIW - as a comparison, having my horse hailed with my trainer, on a shared ride 10 hours to Maryland costs me $200 or less

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by KateWooten View Post
              Annnnddd... this is why the world's oil resources are getting burned up at such a disgusting rate.

              Of course, you've opened up a whole can of worms by figuring out the economics here. She's charging you professional hauling rate, and of course, that's way over the cost. She's not going to pay you professional hauling rate ... you have to talk to her and figure out what your relationship is here, what is and is not part of the deal for coaching at shows. She has to make a living and if the hauling charge is all part of it, then you have a decision to make as to whether the whole package of charges continues to be worth it for you to show with this trainer.

              FWIW - as a comparison, having my horse hailed with my trainer, on a shared ride 10 hours to Maryland costs me $200 or less
              Really? In the past, having my horse hauled with my trainer to a local show within 15 or so miles costs me around $70. That was one of my reasons for buying my own rig.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by strides View Post
                To me it sounds like there is a bit of a program misunderstanding, or a lack of explaining upfront on the trainers end. The obvious would be taking your own horse, or her taking hers. In all honesty she can either say no, you are not allowed to take your own horse, which then you either say ok I will not go. Or you can tell her that you would prefer to take your own horse because it will save you money. Your trainer won't kick you out or hold a grudge if you choose to do this. I can understand your trainer not wanting you to haul her personal horse, anyone would.

                The friend of yours who has offered to groom in exchange to show just sounds like a stupid idea to me, but that's just me. I had to sound like i'm slamming anyone here but it sounds like you are going to a local either non-rated or c/b-rated horse show, and perhaps training with this level of trainer as well, once again not trying to sound rude. Things I guess are done differently at those shows and programs. I know at a majority of the A shows here and even the local shows, the trainer typically has the upper-hand over things that her clients are doing when it comes to riding. A client doesn't tell her trainer "No, I will be doing the Jr. Hunters" when the trainer specifically told her she'd be doing the children's hunters. Insurance comes into play, control although irritating comes into play, and I would hope the wellbeing of the horse would come into play as well if your trainer doesn't think this rider/groom will do the horse any good. I thing its great that you're seeing advice from so many people, having many opinions will be great! If you still don't agree with the way your trainer does things you should consider finding a barn, facility, program or trainer who allows you to have more say in your training. Establishing this desire upfront and hearing his/her response is key.
                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.

                Comment


                • #9
                  4 classes should be 2 jumping and 2 flatting or I personally thinks it's far too much for a 5 day show.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ElisLove View Post
                    4 classes should be 2 jumping and 2 flatting or I personally thinks it's far too much for a 5 day show.
                    With local shows, or non-rated shows the amount of classes that she listed is quite typical. They don't do many things that are similar to A circuit shows other than keep a similar rulebook, identical drug and medication rules, and a few things here and there.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Typical or not, like I said, personally at a 5 day show I wouldn't show in more than 2 jumping classes a day (except maybe ONE day of the whole show I MIGHT do 3 if my horse feels fantastic and it's a special class on top of my division) but I can't remember a time off the top of my head I did 3 jump classes in one day at a 4-5 day show

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I misunderstood you, I thought you were staying 4 classes a day in general.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Wow, for a 5 day show, I think 4 O/F classes a day is a LOT! Let's say this is a Wednesday-Saturday deal. Ship in on Tuesday afternoon, get horses settled, do entries, set up, etc. Ok, that's fine. Wednesday do warm-ups. IME, and based on my horses, I usually flat for 30-45 minutes (light flatting, lots of walking) and jump *maybe* one full course and 3-5 singles. Thursday, if the horse is young or difficult, trainer may take it in 1-2 low hunter classes. And then I either show Friday/Saturday or Saturday/Sunday depending on whether I'm doing the A/Os or the A/As. So at most, my hunter or eq. horse will jump twice a day for 4 days out of a five-day show. When my jumper was still competing, he usually jumped even less than that as I didn't bother with warm-ups and my trainer didn't show him.

                          I also think that you need to haul your own horse. The poster that made the comment about gas consumption and claimed that they paid $200 to ship a horse 10 hours was likely not taking into account that $200 for a 10 hour (almost 600 mile trip) is literally unheard of and if you just put down that much money to buy your own trailer it is beyond ridiculous financially to shell out money to have your trainer haul just because she wants to make the cash. My parents bought a truck and trailer for my ponies when I was 7; they flat-out refused to pay the hauling fees; we were driving there anyways! I'm now in my late 20's and I can count on one hand the number of times my horses have shipped commercially. And this includes hauling back and forth to Florida and to finals and any other major show. The only show I won't ship to myself is Lake Placid because of that damned hill. It makes me too nervous!

                          If you're only going for 5 days, I'd say use the money you save by hauling your own horse and pay your friend to groom. The other thing that seems a bit fishy to me is that I'd imagine she's going to groom/do stalls/feed/unbraid/bathe/etc. for both you AND your trainer. If that's the case, your trainer is being pretty slimy between insisting she trailers and taking a groom that she gets to use at the expense of your horse. Yeah, that would NEVER fly in my book. If you're bringing a groom, you and your trainer should split the cost equally. In this situation, $100 a day plus housing (and if you're feeling really generous, meals) to be split between you and your trainer would be sufficient.

                          Sorry OP, but it sounds to me like you and your horse are being used by an unscrupulous trainer.
                          Nine out of ten times, you'll get it wrong...but it's that tenth time that you get it right that makes all the difference.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Yes - about the hauling rate. She's charging you a commercial hauling rate, not a 'share of the costs' rate. Yes, buying your own rig makes economic sense against that... with the downside that she's factored in 'hauling' as one of the professional services that she provides. So then it's up to her if she still wants to coach you at shows with the new economic balance !

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              LOL, of course the trainer wants you to haul with her. Then she gets money. Why on earth would you do so if you have your own trailer and can do so for cheaper???? Seems like a no brainer to me.....

                              As for your horse's workload, hopefully, you know your horse and his fitness level, as it's YOUR horse and that is your call.
                              Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                              Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                              We Are Flying Solo

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Update - Spoke with my trainer and am more confused than ever!!

                                Okay, so I spoke with my trainer today about the upcoming trip and here is the deal:
                                - As mentioned, she wants to do the shipping, her horse and mine. She will not go to the show if I ship because she doesn't make enough money on the per day training fees she will be charging me and needs to augment her earnings with the shipping. The funny thing is ... two people will be riding her horse, but, I'm certain one of the people will be paying nothing and the other person will be paying much less. She said this person can't really afford to pay much. Further, I have my doubts whether she will be charging these people the same training fees for the full trip.

                                I feel a little taken advantage of ... and my DH says "don't go!". Any thoughts ... I like my trainer, and really didn't think that she would do this.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Go without your trainer! She's telling you she's using you for money. I mean it's great that she was upfront about it, but no, you can get there on your own, and you aren't going to pay her fees, that's just stupid, it's why you bought a trailer.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    If you feel you can't go without a trainer, I'm going to side with your DH here and say don't go. It's not fair for her to put this sort of pressure on you and in my opinion, it's pretty immature. The "my way or the highway" approach is unfair not only to you, but the other riders who she'd be taking away from by not going.

                                    It sucks she's done this, because unless she has some sort of epiphany, she'll probably continue to do this any time the idea of you and her showing together is approached. Do you want to show? Is a lot of your riding geared towards the idea of showing? If it's feasible, I'd consider looking into switching trainers. It is absurd she is refusing to go unless you ship with her and leave your rig at home, and even more so since she is charging you a commercial rate.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Wow. She just about came right out and said, "I am milking you for money and if you are not going to shell out, I'm going to sit in the barn and sulk." And who says horse people are crazy, ROFL! Just go by yourself.
                                      Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                                      Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                                      We Are Flying Solo

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Don't let yourself get screwed.

                                        Also, don't stay quiet, and then work yourself up thinking you're getting screwed, but not knowing if you are or you aren't.

                                        Either way will breed resentment. Resentment will breed unhappiness. Unhappiness will transfer over to your riding.

                                        If it's a solid professional relationship, you'll work through any arguments this creates. If it's not, maybe it's time to move on to a more workable situation.

                                        If she knows you specifically bought your own rig to use but still insists on hauling you, I find that silly. The reason I find it silly is because you said she is already making compromises for other riders. I realize she can't make compromises for everyone, because she won't make any money. But she can't treat her clients differently for different reasons. That is unprofessional.

                                        You have to decide if it's work it to pay her the hauling fee and she has to decide if it's worth it to let you NOT pay the hauling fee. That's going to depend on your current relationship with her.

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