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A Barn Switch Conundrum *Decision Made Post 16*

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  • A Barn Switch Conundrum *Decision Made Post 16*

    At the end of last year, I had pretty much made the decision that I would change barns from where I am currently at to a different one. My main reasoning behind doing so was that the barn I am at now is very very quite and most days I ride I am riding completely by myself. For me, I really enjoy the barn being very social place. B/c I ride I generally don't have the time or energy to go out with friends during the week and I work at a job where it's only my mom, one other person and me so not very social, so I really like the barn to be part of my social life. Don't get me wrong, I don't go to the barn to hardly ride and just chat, I ride hard but during tacking up/untacking and cooling out it's great to have people to chat with, as well as being able to go to shows and have a great time hanging with people from the barn. I don't need to make any super close friends, though am totally cool if I do, just people I enjoying hanging with at the barn/shows.

    ANYWAYS, I was getting ready to take a trial lesson with the barn I wanted to go to (that has a waiting list to get into)when my horse got kicked in the field and hairline fractured his leg at the very beginning of January. So I told the trainer that we would have to put off our lesson till he was better.

    Last year my horse had come back from a different injury and he pretty much went crazy. We eventually got his flatwork pretty much normal but he was still generally insane when jumping. Landing and bucking, rearing, throwing himself around, tense (and yes we had a vet back out multiple times to ensure it wasn't pain, and had the saddle fitter out, and had chiro/massage work done). Finally I turned him out into the field and left him alone for a month, then left him out but brought him back to work and I finally had my old horse back. We had a few jump lessons that went great
    My horse is now getting back to work again slowly, and though I am very excited to be back riding and working towards show season I still sometimes dread the thought of getting to the deserted barn.

    However, I don't feel like my instructor had much of a chance to really show me what she could do for me and my horse due to how my horse behaved last year. She did help me fix an issue that my last trainer and dressage trainer could never fix and that's a huge deal. And we have had a few good jump lessons in between the craziness and at the end of last year when he seemed to finally find his brain again. And maybe she could really be the trainer that can get us as far as we can go.
    So I feel kinda bad for not giving her the chance, even though we have been there for a year now.


    Ok done rambling. Sorry for any spelling/grammatical errors.
    Last edited by The Alternate; Jan. 10, 2014, 08:20 PM.

  • #2
    You're trying to decide between an empty barn an hour away and a nicer, social barn for the same price 15 minutes away? Based on the beginning of your post is sounds like a no-brainer.

    I also think you need to focus more on yourself and not those around you. While you want a trainer who has a good track record in general, different things work for different people. Did you ever have the lesson with your possible new trainer? Sorry if you said and I just missed it. The girls riding the nice horses may have an arrangement with the trainer you don't know about. Does your current trainer know you want to ride other horses? To me it sounds like you are a boarder with your own horse and they are working students or your trainer is nice enough to give them saddle time. Talk to your trainer about what you want.

    Honestly it sounds like you will be happier at another barn as between the commute and the isolation you don't really seem to look forward to riding your horse as much as you could.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by The Alternate View Post
      I also have one last dilemma which is making me think about this change more. My trainer does not seem to be allowing me to ride any of her horses, which would be fine except for the fact that she seems to be allowing most anyone else to ride her horses, including 13-14 year olds riding her expensive imports. Even when I was without a riding horse due to my horse's injury I have never been allowed to ride her horses. This makes me think that she does not have a lot of faith in my riding abilities.
      Or maybe its the opposite and she is afraid that you will show her up if you ride her horses. Jealousy is a funny thing

      I agree that its a no brainer. The new place sounds like a good choice based on your post. Plus who can argue with having a barn 15 minutes away from your house!!

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by Rel6 View Post
        You're trying to decide between an empty barn an hour away and a nicer, social barn for the same price 15 minutes away? Based on the beginning of your post is sounds like a no-brainer.
        Just to clarify (since my post was ridiculously long I think some things got lost. My current barn is 30 mins away.

        I also think you need to focus more on yourself and not those around you. While you want a trainer who has a good track record in general, different things work for different people. Did you ever have the lesson with your possible new trainer? Sorry if you said and I just missed it.
        I haven't lessoned with her yet as just when I was going to my horse became injured. I plan to when he is back in full work.
        The girls riding the nice horses may have an arrangement with the trainer you don't know about. Does your current trainer know you want to ride other horses? To me it sounds like you are a boarder with your own horse and they are working students or your trainer is nice enough to give them saddle time. Talk to your trainer about what you want.


        Honestly it sounds like you will be happier at another barn as between the commute and the isolation you don't really seem to look forward to riding your horse as much as you could.
        It's true that I feel a lot less desire to go out to the barn when it's only me alone all the time. Yet I really want to go far in my riding. I would like to finish off this year in the 1.30m's and so I need the best trainer for that, my current trainer has helped my horse to overcome a pretty large issue in his canter work that my last trainer could not fix and some of her theories and thoughts seem to really fit in with what needs to be worked on with my horse. I don't want to throw away really good instruction for a more social barn but maybe that instruction won't work for me, and yet if I don't make it to the barn as often as I need to my horse won't be schooled or fit enough to do what I want anyways no matter how good the instruction. That's where I am kinda fighting myself with it.
        Last edited by The Alternate; Jan. 10, 2014, 08:21 PM.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by Janeway View Post
          Or maybe its the opposite and she is afraid that you will show her up if you ride her horses. Jealousy is a funny thing

          I agree that its a no brainer. The new place sounds like a good choice based on your post. Plus who can argue with having a barn 15 minutes away from your house!!
          Well, I don't think it's the first one haha, cause she tends to think a lot of herself, her riding, and her horses. Not really in an obnoxious way, more like a proud mother type way, haha.
          The commute would definitely be awesome and I think the enviroment/social aspect would also be awesome. My main concern is instruction and more so the possible lack of individual attention at the barn I am interested in. My horse, like I said, is a bit of an odd horse and I think consistent large group lessons might be like trying to pound a square peg in a round hole.

          Comment


          • #6
            I had to make the decision to leave my old barn when I was always the only one out riding, or even on the property. Of course there were other factors that contributed to the move, but having the social aspect at the barn is really a great thing.

            I would speak with the new trainer about your concerns with their program and your horse. Be very frank about it, tell her that you don't think your horse would fit in with a group lesson program. It would be better to tell her that now, then move in and realize a few weeks or months later that things really aren't working out and you need to move yet again.
            www.diaryofahunterprincess.wordpress.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Barn with more clients

              We moved from a barn where my daughter was riding by herself most afternoons to a barn where there are a lot of people.

              Hands down we love the barn with more people.

              It is a give and take. We rarely get private lessons and at shows, we might wait ringside for a trainer but those little inconveniences do not outweigh the fun atmosphere of being in a big barn with lots of kids and adults showing and sharing their passions.

              It isn't safe to ride alone. Yes, you may have the easiest horse in the barn but I've seen crazy things happen and people and horses getting hurt on freak things.

              Secondly you want the social part of it. This sport is too expensive and time consuming for you not to be getting out of it what you want. Go where you enjoy it and want to be. You should be dreading leaving, not coming to the barn.

              It was the best move we did. I think you know where you want to be, the move is hard and probably won't be a smooth one. We tried to leave on good terms but it wasn't possible on the trainers end. That seems to be the way it is but you need to be good to yourself and your horse.

              Comment


              • #8
                I think you have plenty of reasons to switch facilities however...

                As an adult I don't expect to have someone else let me ride their horses, for free. Even if they let others, doesn't matter to me. Then again, my time is at a premium so I really need to focus on my own mare. I think it's not something to get worked up over, or feel you're entitled to do at any barn in the future. Just me.

                Comment


                • #9
                  If you leave your current barn in a tactful manner, giving notice, etc (you can use the shorter commute as the reason) and for some reason do not like the new barn, you could return. Never pays to burn bridges.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If you are serious about improving/moving up levels etc, I find it is usually best to choose a trainer who has clients riding at the level you want to ride at in the next couple of years.

                    Not just the height of fences but also do their horses go they way you want yours to and do they ride in a way you want to emulate? Are there any horses at the barn that are similar to yours that seem to be making steady progress? Any riders at a similar point in their riding lives as you are who are progressing and having fun?

                    No ones perfect of course but if the trainer does not have a track record of producing the type riders and horses that are at least at the next step that you want to take why would you think they'd be able to get you there?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Move because it is the right decision for you and your horse. The trainer may have reasons you can't ride her import, who cares? If it isn't working, leave, but at your new barn- try not to be too concerned about what everyone else is doing and focus on you.
                      Come to the dark side, we have cookies

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Thanks guys.
                        I definitely don't plan to burn any bridges. Like I said. I don't have anything against her and she has made improvements that others could not. I have already talked to her of this at the end of last year when I had already thought of moving.
                        I think partly thinking of moving is hard for me because I have only been here a year and was with my last trainer for 10 years (and left on good terms, he said he'd let to of a student to accommodate me back even and said if I ever needed help at shows he'd be more than happy to)
                        Sorry for the short response and if I missed any questions, I am on my phone.
                        Last edited by The Alternate; Jan. 10, 2014, 08:22 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Can you just take some lessons at the prospective barn on horses other than your own? that should clarify your concerns about the instruction.
                          If all goes well, then speak with your work about changing your schedule (doesn't sound as if 1-2 days a week would be an issue), once that is sorted, speak to the trainer about weekday morning lessons

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            It may be possible to take a lesson or 2 on other horses (though most likely lower level school horses) however I really need to know if she can work with my weirdo horse. He's a bit unorthodox and I need someone who can help me with him.
                            I own my business so I can set the rules haha. It would actually benefit my business to be open later some days, I just hate to work and later than I have to, but maybe it wouldn't actually be so bad as long as it wasn't a friday!
                            A friend of mine (who's at a different barn that the barn I am interested in, but her trainer is away) is having a lesson with the instructor I am interested in tomorrow so if I can get away from work earlier enough I am gonna try to get over there and watch it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Move

                              1. you want a social barn and that is what makes you happy. Don't deny yourself happiness.
                              2. Her other students horses all stop? Leave, leave now. She does not understand the mechanics of a horse when and how it jumps.
                              It really is that simple....
                              Last edited by ComingAttraction; Mar. 6, 2013, 09:02 AM. Reason: typo

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Thanks guys.


                                I went and watched the trainer I am interested in teach a friend of mine and someone else from that barn. I quite enjoyed watching her teach. I asked her about doing an early private lesson a week and she said she could, and it wouldn't change the pricing. Turnout is ample, around 7-8 hours a day, and my dog is allowed (which originally I didn't think he would be), which is nice cause he comes to work with me and having to drive him home before going to the barn everyday would be annoying.
                                So I made my decision and asked her to put me on the wait list. She thinks she should have opening becoming available this Spring! I think this is the right decision for me. THanks everyone for allowing me to ramble and giving me things to think about.
                                Last edited by The Alternate; Jan. 10, 2014, 08:23 PM.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Congratulations on making the decision! It sounds like it will be great for you. Let us know how it goes once you're in and settled.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Thanks. I am really hoping to be able to move at the start of May, which will be perfect timing for my horse being back close to full work after his injury. I will let you know how it goes. I am nervous (as I was with my last trainer for so long and this one for such a short period in time and only did one show with her), but excited too.

                                    Comment

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