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The Do's and Don't of Trainers and Other Profressionals

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  • The Do's and Don't of Trainers and Other Profressionals

    After reading the many Do's and Don't's of Riders, what are the DO's and DONT's of trainers, barn owners and other professionals?

    What have professionals done that was unprofessional, unethical, unsafe, etc?

    My biggest peeve with many trainers I have been associated with is letting others ride the clients horses, without the knowledge and permission of the client. You would think this is a no-brainer, but it seems to happen a lot.

    Any other situations out there?
    Last edited by PonyPenny; Mar. 25, 2013, 03:44 PM.

  • #2
    Do NOT ace your clients horses before their lessons without their consent!!! (Yes, I saw a trainer do this multiple times....)
    Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
    White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

    Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

    Comment


    • #3
      DO - treat your clients horses like they are your own and you care about them very much. This to me has been a big deal. I am an ammy that loves her horses like children and knowing they are in the best place with amazing care makes me feel SOOO much better.

      When my horse recently got sick from vaccines they had cameras on him, had the vet send photos of him feeling better and kept me updated via phone, text messages and email. It was so reassuring.

      DON'T - treat your client like they are stupid and incapable of caring for their horses. (knew a trainer that kept all her clients bullied into thinking they were nothing without her).
      Live in the sunshine.
      Swim in the sea.
      Drink the wild air.

      Comment


      • #4
        Do not change my horse's type of feed or amount of feed or the time he is fed without notifying me. I would like to know what/when/how much he is eating. If you think he needs more/less food please discuss it with me first. My guy is a little chubby and as much as he tried to tell you he's starving he really is perfectly fine with almost no grain...he eats grass all day. He is also very food motivated and it helps me to know approximately when feeding time is (it moved by over 3 hours...I totally understand the time can vary by an hour or so) so I can avoid riding at that time. (I have had all 3 of these things happen in the last few months so I may be a little more annoyed with it then normal)

        Comment


        • #5
          I forgot to add please don't treat me like I am stupid because I am young. I grew up at a large show barn and have been exposed to a lot of different medical emergencies and problems. I have been caring for horses since I was 15, owned since 20. I hate when someone tells me that the only thing I should clean my horse's cut with is whatever product they like the best or if they won't explain something to me because they assume I don't have any experience with whatever cut/stone bruise/rain rot/whatever it is.... I have not had this problem at large barns but at a few small barns it was the owners way of the highway even if it really wasn't any of their business. I am completly open to suggestions as long as they are suggestions and I can still make my decision.

          Comment


          • #6
            Don't tell me he's getting extra hay if you're not giving it to him and I'm paying for it.

            Don't tell me Adequan is a useless herb when my vet of choice gives it. Then the following week tell me that all your jumpers get Adequan because it's so great. Yeah, don't forget your lies or I just may have to move my horse. Oh yeah, I did.

            The same idiot... Don't let your feeder tell me my horse won't get (your cheap) grain because it's raining.

            Don't tell me sheath cleaning needs to be done by the vet when your trainer will tell me next week how good my guy was when she cleaned him.

            Don't bill me for shoes every 6 weeks when the farrier hasn't come.

            Don't give me paperwork from the dentist showing X charge when my bill shows about double.

            Don't try to convince me not to get a PPE on a horse I'm buying from you. And don't try to convince me I can't get my own vet when yours hasn't given me test results for 3 weeks. Or when your vet lives 2 hours away on a good day.

            Oh wait, do. Because then I'll move. And did.
            Born under a rock and owned by beasts!

            Comment


            • #7
              It's funny - despite having pretty much all good things to say about every trainer in my past, it's easier to come up with don'ts! Because I've been so lucky and loved them, I'll try to come up with DOs.

              Do ask your students' goals and help them with those goals in mind
              Do help kindly temper your students' goals if they are unrealistic for whatever reason
              Do treat all your students with respect and focus on them during the time they pay for
              Do NOT pick favorites to the detriment of others (on the other hand, I think picking favorites without the detriment of others can be fine - help the student you think can make it to the top of whichever horse sport get there by keeping an eye out for opportunities, giving extra hard work to help get there, etc. - when I've had trainers do that for others it hasn't bothered me)
              Do return phone calls/text messages/emails - whatever your preferred method of communication
              Do remember this is a business for you and treat it as such
              Do communicate clearly if there is a problem you don't know how to fix, or if the situation is one in which you no longer want to play a role
              Do explain in as many ways as you can come up with if a student doesn't get something and is trying to do what you want
              Do encourage riding with others whose teaching can add to your program (to the point current trainer encouraged a friend to take fewer lessons with him to ride with a clinician he thought would help, despite the fact it meant less money for him)
              If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.
              -meupatdoes

              Comment


              • #8
                DO send me my monthly invoice in a timely fashion. I count on paying it with my bills, and getting it 2 weeks late makes things complicated for me.

                DO organize fun events like a "jumper day" in the middle of winter when everyone is getting bored in the indoor arena. People will happily pay for a fun barn-bonding kind of thing when it is well-organized and you have put some effort in.

                DO tell the owner if their horse is causing problems in the barn and/or for your staff. As one of those staff, we would love the owner to pass along tips & tricks if they have any that would help.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Do not use my fees/board/etc. to subsidize other riders, unless you are doing so out of your pocket.

                  Do not let other people ride my horse without my knowledge.

                  Do realize that people have jobs and commitments outside of the barn and may not be able to always accommodate your schedule.

                  Do not turn the barn into party central after hours (complete with alcohol, ATV, dirt bikes, etc.), terrorizing the horses - I had a trainer that did this.

                  Do not tell me you are schooling my horse and actually have someone else school him.

                  Do not use my tack and equipment for lessons because your tack is lost, dirty, or missing.

                  Do not lend out my tack to your friends.

                  DO NOT LIE TO ME when I ask you a question.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    - Don't charge me for a stall then leave my horse out 24/7 to save bedding and stall cleaning time.
                    - Don't charge me for training, and put a student on my horse to hack it for you.
                    - Don't criticize the equipment I've chosen for my horse that is good quality, in good repair, and well fitted, because it's not "in vogue."
                    - Just bill me. Don't make me tell you to leave my horse in, etc if the farrier is coming-- just put her on the schedule and let me get on with my day. I'm good for it.

                    I hate places that won't leave the horse in unless you've left a check, but then don't tell you when the guy is coming. I'm not going to leave a paper link to my checking account just lying around indefinitely.

                    See these all the time. Drives me nuts.
                    Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
                    you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by soloudinhere View Post
                      - Don't charge me for a stall then leave my horse out 24/7 to save bedding and stall cleaning time.
                      - Don't charge me for training, and put a student on my horse to hack it for you.
                      - Don't criticize the equipment I've chosen for my horse that is good quality, in good repair, and well fitted, because it's not "in vogue."
                      - Just bill me. Don't make me tell you to leave my horse in, etc if the farrier is coming-- just put her on the schedule and let me get on with my day. I'm good for it.

                      I hate places that won't leave the horse in unless you've left a check, but then don't tell you when the guy is coming. I'm not going to leave a paper link to my checking account just lying around indefinitely.

                      See these all the time. Drives me nuts.
                      Even better, ask that you leave cash around for the farrier. If the cash goes missing, whose problem is it?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Do not lie, cheat, or steal.

                        So simple.
                        "Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?" Sun Tzu, The Art of War
                        Rainy
                        Stash

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Be professional in all interactions. Be diplomatic. Be honest. Be positive. Communicate well. Respect your clients AND their horses. Respond promptly to phone/text/emails. Don't cheat or use shortcuts. Don't steal and/or borrow without asking. Treat your clients like the paying customers they are. Appreciate that most of your clients have exhausting, full-time jobs that allow them pay for this $$$$ hobby.

                          Pretty much.
                          Originally posted by rustbreeches
                          [George Morris] doesn't always drink beer, but when he does, he prefers Dos Equis

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            (some of mine are repeats)

                            DO NOT tell me my saddle/tack is crap. I just went through that with a tack store, I went in to try some saddles, they asked me what I had, I said an older Schleese (C/C) that didn't fit the new horse. And I got treated to a chorus of hmmmmms and haaaaas and a nice little lecture about why 'we' don't buy Schleeses. I happen to own a 16yo JES in fantastic condition that I loved, just didn't fit the current horse. Then he tried to sell me an overpriced Crosby without a trial. Um, no.

                            DO encourage me. Push me. Teach me. I used to have a trainer who literally had zero positive reinforcement. The horse I rode then was one of hers, a very tricky TB. If we'd finish a course, and rode it toally awesome except for one corner that lead to a rail down, she would fixate on the rail and not tell me about the rest of the course. In the end I just left because instead of teaching and critiquing, I just felt critised and scrutinized. Much happier now.

                            DON'T lie to me. I call your BS out, honey.

                            DON'T let lesson students, etc ride my horse unless I say so. I don't want to come home from a vacation to see photos on Facebook of my horse at a show with one of your students.

                            DON'T tell me that I need a new horse. Horse > trainer.

                            DO properly care for my horse

                            DO stick to the contract

                            DO use my blankets correctly. I don't invest so much money into them, so that he can go out in a light fleece cooler

                            DON'T use/lend my tack! I don't want Suzy Q to come tell me about how she's buying a CWD/Antares/Delgrange/whatever after trying mine, thanks to our trainer!

                            DON'T change my horses feed without consulting me. Just don't.

                            DO have your clients/stable hands/grooms if you're lucky clean up their horse's poop in the aisle!

                            DO respect me, my horse, and my tack, and I'll respect you, your barn, and your teaching.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              DON'T talk poorly about a client to other clients. They will hear about what you've said. I've been in a situation like this and it was miserable...

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by stargzng386 View Post
                                Do not change my horse's type of feed or amount of feed or the time he is fed without notifying me. I would like to know what/when/how much he is eating. If you think he needs more/less food please discuss it with me first. My guy is a little chubby and as much as he tried to tell you he's starving he really is perfectly fine with almost no grain...he eats grass all day. He is also very food motivated and it helps me to know approximately when feeding time is (it moved by over 3 hours...I totally understand the time can vary by an hour or so) so I can avoid riding at that time. (I have had all 3 of these things happen in the last few months so I may be a little more annoyed with it then normal)
                                Yea this one really pisses me off. I had a trainer feed up my horse at a horse show with a type of feed that makes her really up. Really pissed me off because the trainer knew I didnt want her fed this food. Of all the times in the world I don't want anyone messing with my horses at a horse show.
                                You don't scare me. I ride a MARE!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Annnnddd...

                                  Don't try to convince me to get rid of my horse just so I can buy one from you! They're not actually disposable, y'know!!
                                  Born under a rock and owned by beasts!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Do not fish in other people's ponds.....
                                    "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
                                    carolprudm

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      1. Be professional in all situations.
                                      2. Be honest
                                      3. Treat your CUSTOMERS as customers.
                                      4. Do what you say your going to do.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        If something happens that is less than positive with my horse, please don't text me. Please pick up the phone and talk me through it. So many things can be made so much smaller over the phone or waiting (if you can) to talk in person.

                                        Comment

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