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Am I Crazy? Trainer Issues

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    Am I Crazy? Trainer Issues

    I'm new to posting here, so please forgive my newb status ahead of time.

    I'm having some issues with my trainer and I wanted to bounce them off this board to see if I'm understandably annoyed or if what she's doing is normal. I'm a re-rider that's been back at it for almost 2 years after almost two decades off. I had quite a bit of success as a junior, but admittedly needed several months back in the saddle before I even began to get my "sea legs" back. However, I feel like I'm in a really good place now with my riding and have had some wins and success in the show ring, but my trainer still treats me like I'm a clueless amateur and insists on always getting on my horse before me.

    When we go for schoolings she insists on riding him first, and when we show she requires that she ride him the first day or so before I'm allowed to do classes. I've even had the opportunity to do a few clinics, and she wouldn't let me ride in them; she insisted on riding instead. At first I was okay with this, because as a re-rider I thought maybe my rustiness warranted it. Now I'm competently cruising around 1.10 meter courses and am ready to move up, and I'm starting to get seriously annoyed.

    My horse is on the younger side (7), but he's far from green, is safe, and is not a complicated ride. I have vastly improved since I've been back in the saddle, and in many ways feel I'm better now than I was as a junior. When I ride and show him, we do very well together. I just don't get it.

    I have a few suspicions about this that I will throw out there, but I would really appreciate any additional thoughts. 1) I think she may be having financial problems and uses at least the extra schoolings and show days to get more money out of me. 2) My horse is admittedly very nice and does well and makes her look good.

    Am I right to be frustrated by this, or are there reasons I'm not thinking of why she could be doing this? I'm starting to just feel like a sucker that's being taken advantage of for $$ and my nice horse, but I don't want to leave her until I'm sure my feelings are valid. I don't know how to explain it, but I feel like she's trying to get me to foot the bill for the two of them to move up together and do big things, but I've never expressed a desire to support them as a team. I just want to enjoy my own horse and have fun. Anyway, I'm sure I'm leaving out lots of details, so I'll do my best to respond to any questions so this makes more sense. Okay, lay it on me!

    #2
    Thank you for all you've done to help Dobbin and I. We no longer require your services. Period

    Comment


      #3
      A big red flag for me when selecting trainers is when the trainer wants horses to ride and show for her/him self on the client's nickel.

      Yes, trainer rides are called for with a green horse that needs training rides, or for the type of client that needs/wants their horse always perfectly prepped for them. But when you have a made horse and don't need him to be perfect every day for you, the trainer needs to step away from the rides.

      I see to much of that "program" these days. The trainer only wants the rider to show up for lessons and shows, ride the prepped horse, and go away and let the trainer have "his/her" horse back.

      I see it in my law practice, I see it in the horse world. Professionals that find it far more convenient and lucrative to let their clients feel incompetent.

      Tell her Goodbye Felicia!

      ETA, most trainers want to get on your horse a day or two a week, but your trainer sounds over the line. Also, your schedule of 2 - 3 days a week is a little light if you want to be more "hands on" with your horse.
      Last edited by ToTheNines; Sep. 23, 2016, 12:51 PM.
      Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.

      Comment


        #4
        Its natural to "outgrow" trainers. Maybe your two-year mark was it?

        I wouldn't mind having trainer rides first day of shows (when horses tend to be rowdy) or on your "off" days. But if you're missing out on clinics because she is not "letting" you ride, than I would be pissed too!?!
        -Kendra
        *Every horse, at least once in their life, deserves to be loved by a little girl*

        Comment


          #5
          It's your horse, you should be able to ride it pretty much whenever you want. If you have a lesson with her, does she insist on getting on before you? This seems like a bit much for someone competently jumping around 1.10 and ready to move up.

          I agree that either you've outgrown her or she's trying to get more money out of you. (I think the clinic thing is maybe most damning...does she not want you to see what else is out there for fear you'd move?) All of the trainers I've had have been super encouraging of riding with other (well respected) people.

          Comment


            #6
            Meh, if you're feeling it then it's probably true. Ultimately, as the fences go up there's no reason for the excess wear & tear.

            Comment


              #7
              Have you ever said, "I don't think I need you to school Dobbin today"?

              Just checking to make sure communication is happening

              If communication is happening and you're tired of her insisting she get on your horse, I'd ditch her. Her not letting you ride in clinics is over the line in my feeling, she should encourage you to advance your knowledge.

              Comment


                #8
                If I comment on this, can I have your word, under penalty of pain or death, that you WILL come back and update us with what happens once you confront trainer/cut ties?

                I'm not going to let myself be let down AGAIN.....
                Talking to some people is like folding a fitted sheet.

                Comment

                  Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by Dutchmare433 View Post
                  It's your horse, you should be able to ride it pretty much whenever you want. If you have a lesson with her, does she insist on getting on before you? This seems like a bit much for someone competently jumping around 1.10 and ready to move up.

                  I agree that either you've outgrown her or she's trying to get more money out of you. (I think the clinic thing is maybe most damning...does she not want you to see what else is out there for fear you'd move?) All of the trainers I've had have been super encouraging of riding with other (well respected) people.
                  I've had her get on in a lesson if we were trying to work through something and weren't getting it right away. It only happened a few times, but always in front of others and it was always embarrassing.

                  You make a good point about the clinics. Part of me thinks it's because she's afraid I'll move, and part of me thinks it's because she wants me to pay for her to show off in front of bigger name trainers.

                  Comment

                    Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Obiwan View Post
                    Have you ever said, "I don't think I need you to school Dobbin today"?

                    Just checking to make sure communication is happening

                    If communication is happening and you're tired of her insisting she get on your horse, I'd ditch her. Her not letting you ride in clinics is over the line in my feeling, she should encourage you to advance your knowledge.
                    I'm totally changing his name to Dobbin now. Yes, I have communicated my feelings before, but admittedly not as much as I should be. I'm usually very upfront with people, but for some reason I've let this eat away at me more than I should.

                    Comment

                      Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by AffirmedHope View Post
                      If I comment on this, can I have your word, under penalty of pain or death, that you WILL come back and update us with what happens once you confront trainer/cut ties?

                      I'm not going to let myself be let down AGAIN.....
                      Ha! Yes, I'll update the board. Let's hear your thoughts!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        You need to make your wishes known:

                        "No need to get on Blaze first today - I want to see how we do without the tuneup. Thanks."

                        "I'll do him in the warmups, thanks - I want to get myself in the groove before the real classes."

                        "Blaze and I are going to the clinic this weekend - will you be there?"

                        Yes, I think your trainer is taking some advantage of you. No one should be telling you that you _can't_ ride your own horse.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          A "money grubbing control freak"???? I'd be gone!! You are apparently not the "lead line" candidate she is treating you like!! Hope your "next" instructor is more educational!!
                          www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
                          Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I did not realize that she was having you to pay for her to ride in clinics. Screw her. It's a huge pet peeve of mine when trainers make their clients pay their clinic fee because they said so. If she wanted to ride your horse with someone she has the ability to say "Hey, I'm wondering if you wouldn't mind if I rode Dobbin with This Cool Trainer Guy, I think he's an awesome horse". Not ok for her to have you fund her own lessons.

                            I vote you find someone who's not a poop-head.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              This definitely has a few different potential Scenarios, but I don't really think any are ideal. My thoughts:

                              1) she has built up your confidence on a horse that is slightly too much for you, that she loves, and rather then disclose this she is trying to hide it by always giving you a tuned horse to keep your confidence up and cash flowing.

                              2) she is trying to convince that you need her bc you have out grown her, and she wants to keep control, thinking that will keep you as a client bc you will think you NEED her and can't ride your horse without her

                              3) she loves your horse, might be the nicest horse she has had or currently has, and is using your funds to promote herself under the guise that she is bringing you along together. This could have varying levels of intention behind it.

                              4) you are totally unrealistic about your riding skills, and she has given you a false sense of competency and is now afraid to tell you to take a step back (prob not the case if your doing well at shows in the 1.10)

                              The clinic thing is really the red flag for me too! I absolutely think it's acceptable for trainers to get on horses the first day or two of a show, and some trainers do require this of their clients, but this should be communicated ahead of time. It sounds like you are always a bit surprised at how much she needs to get on your horse and that is definitely an issue. Time for a serious talk with trainer, being kind but direct, tell her your concerns and then if you still
                              Do not feel good about what's going on, it's time to trainer search!
                              Always be yourself. Unless you can be a unicorn. Then ALWAYS be a unicorn.

                              Comment


                                #16
                                5) she's holding you back so she can use your horse to make her look good and she gets to rack up the billing at the same time.

                                I sure hope that you have other choices where you are located. You need someone who respects you.

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  IMO MtnDrmz and babecakes have pretty much covered the bases.

                                  I think she's either coveting your horse and wanting to enjoy him herself, or else #4).

                                  I think I'd probably take a lesson on him with another trainer to get another opinion of my riding to ensure it's not #4). Or I'd ride him myself in clinics and get feedback from the clinician.
                                  Rack on!

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    You need a new trainer.

                                    It's your ride, your horse, your life. You have abundant riding experience, you are 'expert' compared with most of the people sitting on horses in this country, and you don't need this trainer/money-sinkhole living this part of your life for you.

                                    If you are capable of loading your horse in a trailer and driving away to a new, more confidence-inspiring trainer who encourages independence and horsemanship, you most definitely do not need your present trainer.

                                    It is easy to make this mistake in choice of trainer when you are getting back into riding after so long away. You no longer know the names and reputations (indeed, you may not even be in the same part of the country where you rode growing up). But once you get it all back, it's time to make the move to what is good for your own journey.

                                    Your riding experience is not about your trainer. It isn't even about your horse. Your riding experience is about YOU. Do whatever you need to do to enjoy and grow!

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by HayHay View Post
                                      ... but I don't want to leave her until I'm sure my feelings are valid. ...
                                      Your feelings are valid.

                                      Your trainer wants to make your world of horses all about HER. But in fact she has little to do with what you want in your own riding experience.

                                      There are plenty of horse professionals who can do a better job for you - and make it all about YOU. That's the trainer you are looking for.

                                      Your inner instinct is right on. Go forth and ride happy!

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        I really think you should start off giving her the benefit of the doubt. It's very easy to think of all the evil agendas other people might have when we feel stuck or unappreciated. In reality, she's probably doing what she thinks is best - she might happen to be having some fun at it, but if you've been with her for 2 years, you'd know by now if she was the conniving type.

                                        Here's what I think is probably going on: Horsey is a little fresh off the property, like most are. Rather than let his extra energy combine with your show nerves (as a general population, us riders have show nerves, so even if you're in the small minority that doesn't, she will assume you do) and give you both some new things to be afraid of, she'll just ride the edge off and put you on to have a great experience. Gives you a good day, gives the horse a happy memory, and might hang some ribbons on the wall. That's really what a trainer is there to help you accomplish.

                                        Clinics are a chance to get Horsey some more miles, a good school, and an extra opinion on how he's coming along. If this is a horse without a lot of experience above your current level, she's likely trying to keep him one step ahead of you so that you aren't cruising around new heights for the first time together.

                                        I think you should really just ask. "Hey, I'm interested in riding Horsey in the next clinic. What do you think we need to do to get ready for that?" or "I'm interested in doing Horsey's schooling in the morning at shows. Can I try it on Sunday of the next show? If not, what do I/we need to work on to get there?" It's worth hearing her out, and if you don't like what you get in response, you can still leave.
                                        If the pony spits venom in your face or produces a loud roar, it is probably not a pony. Find another. -The Oatmeal

                                        Comment

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