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Trainer issues?

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  • #21
    I don't really care if someone is a horse trainer or a plumber, if you have scheduled X time slot for Client A, then don't reschedule that time slot for any reason unless it is an emergency.

    So if one of my clients schedules me for Monday evening, I don't schedule myself or the lesson horse for something else that day. This is why it is called "SCHEDULING."If something better comes along for Monday evening, oh well, suck it up, teach the lesson as scheduled, and if you need to make adjustments for next week then do that then. But stick to what you scheduled.

    Ditch her and go to someone reliable. Life is too short for this nonsense.
    The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
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    • #22
      Sounds like this place is just not meeting your needs on a lot of levels. I agree that its probably time to move on, and 45 minutes really isn't too bad of a drive if you're able to get regular lessons, a half lease, and a situation where you don't feel like you're constantly getting shafted.

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      • #23
        OP, I agree with Meup's post. I'm not sure why people think you are having a hissy fit. You are a paying client and expect to be able to take a lesson when they are scheduled. I can understand if a trainer has an emergency or the horse is sore, off, etc. but just deciding that they are going to take the horse off the property and cancel your lesson without advance notice is nonsense. All she has to do is communicate and say that the other student gets priority for x, y, z reasons. It doesn't matter if those reasons make sense to you or not, at least she communicated and you know what you are dealing with. I would move on, there is much too uncertainty with this situation.

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        • #24
          The hissy fit is because every time people do not trounce on the trainer the OP adds more reasons why we should tell her (OP) that she is being wronged and the trainer is evil.

          Do we know that this trainer has not set up a system that provides notification via FB? If her clients are all on FB maybe she has told them to look there for cancellations, etc.

          The thing the OP is missing in her tantrum is - so what. You are not going to make this trainer be what you want her to be right now so adding more details on why she sucks is not going to change the advice. Move to a different barn that can better accommodate your riding needs.

          When you find a new barn do not start out by telling them how evil your last instructor was. That never looks good.

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          • #25
            Originally posted by mvp View Post
            OP, 50% of your problem originates in the fact that it's going to rain today. Cut the trainer some slack.

            Also, with a business this small, it's hard to "make clients feel like a priority." There's just not the availability of the trainer and horses to accommodate everyone while it's growing. There's nothing wrong with you choosing to take a "hiatus"-- after all this is a hobby for you. But the trainer still needs to cover her nut, so it's reasonable that she could drum up new business in the meantime.

            Again, all this is harder to manage with a small business rather than a large one.
            This is fine but the OP has a scheduled lesson, in the book only to find out via FB that the trainer is taking the horse elsewhere for a lesson AND that the make up date is OP's other lesson day. I understand that the trainer may be juggling somewhat but does she not at least owe her client a call ahead asking to reschedule? Trainers want to be considered "professional" like doctors or accountants but I don't know any accountant who would just bump a client out of a scheduled appointment because they didn't do last year's taxes with them or becuase Mr. Gotrocks showed up and wanted that spot.

            As for the hiatus, sometimes it happens. We don't know why it happened (and it's not our business, or the trainers) but if the OP gave fair notice (I'm sorry, but my Mom is very ill, husband broke his leg, job is sending me to Guam, dog has entered re-hab...and I will not be taking lessons for 3 mos. I'd like to return to your barn as soon as this situation ends...) and the trainer agreed to it and was prepared to take OP back and scheduled her for lessons then she owes her the courtesy of honoring her commitment.

            I'm "on hiatus" right now as my job has cut me back drastically. I have a house and car and child and thus bills I must pay. I told my trainer (from whom I was part leasing) that I had to take a break. (The lease was month to month, so I didn't lave her hanging.) I still go to the barn to see friends and have been able to ride a bit thanks to their generosity, and I still get to see "my" lease horse. Once I get my work situation ironed out I hope to return to my previous status, but if I'm treated like a second class citizen because of my hiatus, I assure you I will look elsewhere.

            OP, it sounds like this may not be the best option for you. Not sure where you are but you might find something else with an inquiry here.
            F O.B
            Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
            Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique

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            • #26
              I agree what the client's taking a break is fine or no one else's business or doesn't need to be justified.

              But so what? The trainer still needs to make her living on that day from someone.
              The armchair saddler
              Politically Pro-Cat

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              • #27
                by the OP's own admission she isn't at a lesson barn so she can't expect it to operate like a lesson barn. sounds like a very informal place. and if the trainer isn't sticking to the schedule or doesn't want to half lease the lesson horse maybe she doesn't want the OP for a client. regardless, it's not working so move on. if there are proper lesson barns 45 minutes away, go there.

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                • #28
                  Regardless of whether it is a hissy or not...it's a complete waste of energy and OP cannot do a thing to change the way this trainer runs her tiny little business and/or manages her single lesson horse (that she does not even own).

                  There are actually 2 sides to each story PLUS the truth which sits in the middle. A whole lot of missing information here from OP, lots of assumptions. We know squat about the trainers side or the relationship between trainer and that other student. Maybe it's fair, maybe it's not fair-we don't know. Maybe trainer is a ding bat...but it's her business to conduct as she chooses.

                  It really sounds like this trainer does not want OPs business anymore and is shutting her out. Also sounds really, really limited in horse show options so not really worth the angst or trying to force a change when trainer has no interest in changing anything.

                  OP can do much better elsewhere and count on whatever trainer she works with to be more professional and run an actual lesson program with lesson horses.
                  When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                  The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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                  • #29
                    Whatever the reason, clearly this trainer isn't working out well for the OP. In her position, I would go to another barn (even farther away) or buy a horse.

                    If I sign up for a lesson, I feel I have committed to that. Barring an emergency or weather issue, I do expect the same from my trainer. Changing irregularly is fine, but it wouldn't work for me as a habit.

                    I'm sympathetic to the OP's situation because I did once have a trainer give me the runaround, committing to a lesson and then acting as if it never happened. Two weeks in a row. But this woman was known for being manipulative, and very much an unusual case as far as trainers go.

                    In all likelihood, the trainer just can't juggle the OP with her other commitments and a single horse.
                    Born under a rock and owned by beasts!

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by NotherAlter View Post
                      The issue isn't the scheduling with other riders, that's the whole thing I don't understand. It really has nothing to do with the horse either. Owners don't even know who's riding the horse. The owners don't care what's going on at the present moment. Trainer had me in the books and then scheduled something else without even notifying me, I had to see it on Facebook. I haven't stomped my feet or thrown a hissy fit, I'm just not seeing why she would do this. A person running a business on such a tiny client base just up and dumps a client?
                      All I have to say is: If you're stomping your feet & having a hissy fit, some of these folks must live in Stepford.

                      C
                      www.ayliprod.com
                      Equine Photography in the Northeast

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                      • #31
                        To the OP:

                        I think you will be better off at a barn that has a wide variety of lesson horses, or at least a handful to choose from. There is too much left to chance when you only have access to a single horse who has to be used by other people. What happens if the trainer has to schedule make-ups for you and the other person? What if the horse gets sick or is otherwise out of commission? Then what? The only reason to stay in such a program, with its limitations, is if you are getting something special out of it that the other places don't offer. That could mean a fantastic coach, an amazing lesson horse, minimal commute, etc.

                        It could be that the trainer has a lot going on and can't keep track of it. Or, she could be giving the other person priority for some other reason which may or may not have anything to do with you.

                        It sounds like you have already made up your mind and are looking for verification. I would recommend that you talk with the trainer to let her know that you would like to be in a comitted lesson program with lessons on day X and Y. Ask her if that would work for her. If she says no, you have your answer. If she says yes, then ask her how the two of you can resolve issues like what came up previously where your lesson was cancelled and given to someone else. Give her a chance to "make it right" and see what she does. If she values you, she'll do something positive to make up for it. If she's really not that keen on having you as a client, it will be obvious from her answer. Or you might want to consider saying, "hey what happened with our lessons the other week? I thoguht we were going to have lessons on such a day?..." then see what she does.

                        In the meantime, start checking out alternatives.


                        A 45 minute drive to the barn is not that bad if you are only doing it 2x/week.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by mvp View Post
                          I agree what the client's taking a break is fine or no one else's business or doesn't need to be justified.

                          But so what? The trainer still needs to make her living on that day from someone.
                          Which is absolutely fine.

                          But don't schedule the first client, and then, when another client wants a lesson on Dobbin that day or you want to go to a lesson, cancel what you already scheduled. If you don't want the first client on your book for Monday, because you would rather teach somebody else or take a lesson yourself, then don't schedule her for Monday.

                          Once she IS scheduled for Monday, don't subsequently schedule other crap over her time slot.

                          What is hard about this?
                          The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                          Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                          Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                          The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by mvp View Post
                            OP, 50% of your problem originates in the fact that it's going to rain today. Cut the trainer some slack.

                            Also, with a business this small, it's hard to "make clients feel like a priority." There's just not the availability of the trainer and horses to accommodate everyone while it's growing. There's nothing wrong with you choosing to take a "hiatus"-- after all this is a hobby for you. But the trainer still needs to cover her nut, so it's reasonable that she could drum up new business in the meantime.

                            Again, all this is harder to manage with a small business rather than a large one.

                            No matter what size of barn there will always be some that take priority.

                            I would talk to the trainer in a very professional matter, letting her know your goals and if it will work out for her time wise. But it sounds to me that she has other ideas of what she wants to do with her business and if I were you just hearing what you wrote, I would drive the 45 minuets to find a place that can accommodation what you are looking for.

                            I drive 1 hr and 1/2 to ride with the trainer I like. It happens and is worth it.
                            Live in the sunshine.
                            Swim in the sea.
                            Drink the wild air.

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                            • #34
                              Originally posted by NotherAlter View Post
                              There is a single "other" client in my situation, we essentialy share the horse and said person lessons the same amount as I do and pays half the price since they work off the rest.
                              I'm being a bit nit-picky here, but the other person does not pay half the price. She just pays her full price differently than you do.

                              Originally posted by findeight View Post
                              IMO, if you do not have and cannot get a horse of your own, either lease or purchase,
                              This.

                              Originally posted by Jsalem View Post
                              From your perspective, you're being organized and scheduling lessons that suit your convenience. You're planning ahead and you expect the trainer to do the same. Got it.

                              From the trainer's perspective, (of course, we don't really know), she has to make arrangements to borrow someone else's horse for you to take a lesson on. Already, that makes you a lower priority client. A priority client pays for and maintains their own horse. The fact that you just took a "hiatus" because of personal circumstances also makes you a lower priority client. If she was counting on the income from your lessons, you just proved yourself to be unreliable in that regard. If she's dropping you in order to slot in a more valuable client, well, that's just business.
                              I think this needs repeating.

                              OP: you clearly think you are being treated less than. That's a possibility. However, there are also a lot of other possibilities (trainer forgot about previous plans when she scheduled with you, other client who has not taken a "hiatus" is trying to get ready for a show, etc). If you want to stay with this trainer, talk to her about the situation...or pony up and buy your own horse or find a your own horse to full lease. If you are feeling like 2nd fiddle, move on. It's really pretty simple.

                              While I tend to agree with Meup, that if you schedule, you keep that schedule...I'm not ready to make a judgement against the trainer when there is so little information other than that coming from someone who want to rally the troops for their side of the story. I will never get to hear the trainer's side...so I'm reserving judgement on her business model and her communication /scheduling skills.
                              Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                              Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

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                              • #35
                                OP, if this were me I would assume trainer is saying that, for whatever reason, she's just not that into you. Don't keep going back for more punishment -- find someone else.

                                It's totally bizarre to overschedule your lesson. Even more so not to notify you. If trainer had any interest in keeping you as a student this would not have happened.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  I find this "problem" (and some of the advice given here) fascinating!

                                  In what other profession would this be acceptable behavior toward a client?
                                  None... not one!

                                  It's possible that either times have changed or I was lucky to take lessons from people who had maturity, consideration and business sense. Granted, I was taught by mature adults, not young ones.

                                  What I really don't understand is why anyone with such poor communication skills would be considered a professional. If this trainer does not want the OP as a client than she should deal with it like a big girl and tell her so (with kindness).

                                  Since when has ignoring people become an acceptable method of "telling" them anything?

                                  Amazing what people do where the "horse business" is concerned, that they wouldn't consider in any other aspect of life's business..

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by skydy View Post
                                    In what other profession would this be acceptable behavior toward a client?
                                    None... not one!
                                    There are plenty of other businesses where this type of thing happens. Is it acceptable behaviour? Well, that depends on the circumstances...from BOTH sides.
                                    Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                                    Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

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                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by RugBug View Post
                                      There are plenty of other businesses where this type of thing happens. Is it acceptable behaviour? Well, that depends on the circumstances...from BOTH sides.
                                      It's just not acceptable. Period. (Lack of communication).

                                      It's business, not high school.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        I am in a show barn so lesson people who are not boarders are few and far between, with the exception of child beginners who use ponies. My horse is laid up temporarily, so I am not showing. I am therefore a low priority and would not dream of expecting to have a horse to ride. The juniors and pros at the barn ride all the "extra" horses and the barn gets paid for it. There are some very wealthy boarders and they come first. I love the trainer but don't expect her to bother with me while my horse is laid up. We are best friends, but it's just the way things are. Money talks, period. Can't blame her. She is spread thin enough as it is and she's one of the best. She will be there when I need her. Do I like being "second string"? Of course not. I just Deal. Trainers are everywhere, but this one wins.

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
                                          Would you feel better if the trainer came right out and said that they do not feel the need to schedule around you since you vanished for some time and they feel their clients who have not vanished are more of a priority?
                                          Well, it would show the trainer wasn't just lazy/careless/dumb about scheduling, or trying to dump a client in a notably passive-aggressive manner.

                                          The OP is not wrong to feel slighted. The trainer's either a flake, or is not mature enough to inform a client that they don't think it's working and think it would be best if they end their business relationship. It's not THAT difficult to do. I'm also not seeing where the OP said she "vanished". She said "hiatus", which implies to me she told the trainer she would be gone and intended coming back. Does that make her a lower priority? Sure it can, but that is expressed by coming out and saying so when they come back, not by scheduling lessons and canceling at short notice and trying to annoy a client into quitting.

                                          It amazes me the amount of bratty behavior people on here are told to accept because it's coming from a riding instructor. I deal in sports just as expensive, have been on the money side, and even when the client IS an annoying jerk and you want them gone, you are straight up about it--here's your money back, your contract cancelled, thank you for your business, good luck in your future endeavors. No one has to teach anyone they don't want to, it sounds like this trainer doesn't want this client, so say so like an adult and everyone can move on.
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