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HUGE Dilema - Your Advice/Opinions?

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  • HUGE Dilema - Your Advice/Opinions?

    I want to board one of my OTTB's for about 1-2 months, mainly for the facility use and for the training (lessons) to further me along. I'm hoping to show him in the late summer/fall. I have a huge, emotional dilema and I need your advice.

    My trainer that I have used for years is absolutely the best in alot of people's eyes. This person can make a champion out of you and your horse....absolutely fantastic - and I have learned so very very very much from this person over our 19 years (almost) friendship. We did have a falling where I did not use this person for about 10 years (didn't ride that much, for about five years didn't have any horses - and when I got my 3 OTTB's took them down to this trainer for less than 2 months).

    But this trainer has had alot of comings and goings and the reasons are:

    1. Lousy feed
    2. Using your horse behind your back
    3. Charging you for things you did not ask for or want at all

    The facility is beautiful, but the feed that is used is, for lack of a better term, NOT horse feed but cattle feed. They will NOT switch (cost effective they say). If you use your own feed, there is no price reduction and they will probably use it on THEIR horses and not yours.

    Okay okay, I know what you guys are thinking....but remember, I absolutely love this trainer, have been personal friends for years, I attribute all my championships and knowledge to this trainer....I have done so well. There have been many of us that have used this trainer/BO, left for the same reasons, didn't do as well on our own or under someone else, and came back. Most of us, however, only leave our horses there for a few months and then bring them back home. Just enough time to get some more training in.

    So, what would YOU do if you were in this situation. Please tell me. Thanks.

    post edit: After reading back over my original post, I can see why everyone had such harsh opinions. The above is true....it's hard, however, to put everything down in a post, and there is so so much more to this post than above - thus making the decision so difficult for me and why alot of you said what you said. What shows above is simply black and white - but in this case, it was not at all just black and white. And I want to make it perfectly clear that this dilema I am in has to do with what I thought was a friendship, a true friendship, and nothing romantically involved at all. Nothing like that at all!

    But, all in all, it comes down to the facts, no matter what else there may be to this situation. And again, my many thanks for pointing these facts out. Yes, I was clouded by alot of emotion, and righly so, if you the members knew the whole situation and what other boarder's that have been at this barn, also feel as I do myself. Sometimes a situation is not, to alot of people, so cut and dried, there is alot of gray matter....but it all comes down to one thing, what is right for your horse and right for you. I have come to the decision and realization that this trainer/BO is not the right thing for me anymore, no matter what my feelings may be.
    Last edited by gooselover; Apr. 14, 2009, 02:33 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by gooselover View Post
    1. Lousy feed
    2. Using your horse behind your back
    3. Charging you for things you did not ask for or want at all

    ....but remember, I absolutely love this trainer, have been personal friends for years, I attribute all my championships and knowledge to this trainer....I have done so well.

    Ummmmmm...and this is your friend because....?????

    All I can say is I must have different expectations from friendship and a different definition of a good trainer and person to entrust my horse to.

    Maybe...how much better would you have done with a real trainer who properly managed your horse and a friend who looked out for your best interests then this person?

    Like I said, I think I have a different definition of "trainer" and "horse care professional" I trust, and pay, to look out for my best interests.

    Not in the best mood and maybe negative but...don't you expect more from your "friends" then this?
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

    Comment


    • #3
      Why would you want to board there?? I don't care how great the trainer is, it sounds like a bad situation.

      Comment


      • #4
        Doesn't sound like a big dilemma at all to me, because there's no way in hell my horse would be going there.
        Originally posted by barka.lounger
        u get big old crop and bust that nags ass the next time it even slow down.

        we see u in gp ring in no time.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Oh gosh, of course I would expect more, however this is a very complicated situation.

          While these things go on behind your back, this trainer would be the first to help you out with extras also with no charge. it's just a very very difficult situation. This trainer would also be the first, if someone was down and out, to help someone out with the past due board....so you can see that there are alot of pro's and con's.....alot!

          I think the thing that bothers me the most is the fact that they can and have used your horse behind your back for other things. As an example, years and years ago, I put my horse in training with this person for trailering issues. My boarder friends come to me and said, here is what is going on with your horse - one of the trainers/BO own kids had been wanting to do jumpers, there was no horse in the barn that would jump like mine, so the trainer uses my horse to teach her teenager! I was FURIOUS to say the least!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Queen Latisha View Post
            Why would you want to board there?? I don't care how great the trainer is, it sounds like a bad situation.
            Agreed. Boarding there would be out of the question, and friendship would be highly questionable seeing as how this person doesn't seem like much of a horsemen at all. Producing show ring results is certainly on my list of qualities to look for in a trainer, but without a happy horse in a good solid maintenance program, and a level of reliable care that keeps the owners sane, the show ring success is short lived and not worth it. Find a new trainer.

            ETA: She is only 'helping' people out to pacify them and try to keep business. If she actually cared she wouldn't do it in the first place.

            Comment


            • #7
              Personally, this friend doesn't sound like too stellar of a person, and worse yet, a horse trainer. IMO, excellent management is a large part of being an excellent trainer. But it sounds like you really like riding under this person, but just don't want your horse there. Not going to pass judgement on you with that - you seem to be aware of the problems, but want to work with him/her anyway. Sounds like the "best case scenario" would be to ship in. That way you could get the training that you think is wonderful, but keep the care of your horse under your own control if he's at home. If that were not a possibility, I would look elsewhere.

              Comment


              • #8
                Well, I think people like to throw around the words trainer and instructor fairly loosely.
                To me, a trainer is someone with an above average knowledge of horses and their care, and how to "teach" them. An instructor is someone who has the knowledge to teach humans.
                Apparently the OP's friend has the riding knowlege to be a decent instructor but is a lousy trainer.
                And I don't care if the friend were George Morris, no way in hell would my horse being staying at a place with substandard care and a BO I couldn't trust. Wow.
                "Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin

                Comment


                • #9
                  I wouldn't, but it's your horse....

                  Well, since people keep coming back to this trainer, she/he is never going to change. If winning is more important to you than what your horse is eating for a few months, how your horse is being used when you're not there, and the trainer charging you extra, then go ahead and put your horse there for a few months. It probably won't kill your horse and you'll get what you want , right (to win)?

                  In my area, there are enough barns with enough fantastic trainers for you to find one who'll help you to excel but who doesn't come with the negatives you've mentioned, but again, that's just here. I guess we're lucky.

                  Just to play devil's advocate, if this trainer is really that wonderful, why do you mind if she puts someone else on your horse? If you trust her that much, why don't you trust her judgement with who else she puts up? If she already charges you for stuff you don't want, why mind if she's "partial-free-leasing" your horse to another rider? And, if she's the first one to help out someone who's behind on their board, it's probably because she can afford to because she's feeding cattle feed and charging the other boarders enough to subsidize the boarder who can't pay (though in general, I'm all for pitching in alittle to help someone out if they get alittle behind).

                  This trainer sounds way too complicated and the potential for drama is way too high for me. But again, it's your horse. If winning is your goal and this trainer is the only way to win, then I guess you stay with this trainer. But, sure would be nice to find another way to be a winner (just my opinion).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I confess it is hard to believe the training is that good with someone who behave so poorly, but you didn't ask for opinions on that score.

                    So -

                    In this situation, at most I would ship in for lessons/training (and ship right back out again) or do "weekend clinics" where I might stay overnight but would bring (and feed) my own grain, etc. I might also ask for the show schedule and try to meet up with the trainer on the road, so I'd have the handy excuse of not leaving my horse in their care, while still taking advantage of the training and/or lessons.

                    Under no circs would I leave my horse in the care of someone who had behaved as described. Personally I don't think I could even ride with a "pro" who used my horse behind my back... but everyone makes their own decisions about such things.

                    If you want the training but are uncomfortable with the care, you either buy the training without the board, or find a different pro to ride with.

                    Good luck.
                    **********
                    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                    -PaulaEdwina

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by gooselover View Post
                      Oh gosh, of course I would expect more, however this is a very complicated situation.

                      While these things go on behind your back, this trainer would be the first to help you out with extras also with no charge. it's just a very very difficult situation. This trainer would also be the first, if someone was down and out, to help someone out with the past due board....so you can see that there are alot of pro's and con's.....alot!

                      I think the thing that bothers me the most is the fact that they can and have used your horse behind your back for other things. As an example, years and years ago, I put my horse in training with this person for trailering issues. My boarder friends come to me and said, here is what is going on with your horse - one of the trainers/BO own kids had been wanting to do jumpers, there was no horse in the barn that would jump like mine, so the trainer uses my horse to teach her teenager! I was FURIOUS to say the least!
                      Kindness in one aspect does not make up for the lack thereof in another. Simply because trainer would be the first to help in situation "x" DOES NOT make up for the other deliberate wrong-doings (feed & use issues you mentioned). Maybe not to the same extreme, but your reasoning here sounds to me like the alcoholic husband who beats his wife when in a drunken stupor nearly every night, but the wife claims that when he's not drunk he's really wonderful and he always makes it up to her.

                      Knowing that you have had a problem that made you FURIOUS in the past, and you sound like this $^&* is still going on in one way or another, I would definitely stear clear. If you do go back, and something happens that you don't like, than you have no one to blame but yourself. There is a phrase that goes something like: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        quote=gooselover;4020259]Oh gosh, of course I would expect more, however this is a very complicated situation.

                        While these things go on behind your back, this trainer would be the first to help you out with extras also with no charge. it's just a very very difficult situation. This trainer would also be the first, if someone was down and out, to help someone out with the past due board....so you can see that there are alot of pro's and con's.....alot!

                        I think the thing that bothers me the most is the fact that they can and have used your horse behind your back for other things. As an example, years and years ago, I put my horse in training with this person for trailering issues. My boarder friends come to me and said, here is what is going on with your horse - one of the trainers/BO own kids had been wanting to do jumpers, there was no horse in the barn that would jump like mine, so the trainer uses my horse to teach her teenager! I was FURIOUS to say the least!
                        [/quote]


                        Hey, the lousy feed, using the horse behind your back and charging you for things you did not need, want or authorize would be deal breakers that would send me out the gate before I ever needed to find out she was nice when you got behind.

                        My dear, it's only a complicated situation because you tolerate it. The situation between you and your horse care/training Pro is supposed to be a hobby, and oasis to sooth you and a place where life is simple and most things pretty black and white. Not a train wreck like this.

                        You are better then this and deseve better then to let this person take advantage of you because you tolerate it in the name of friendship or the fear you cannot do any better.

                        Bullshit. Get out of there.
                        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by gooselover View Post

                          I think the thing that bothers me the most is the fact that they can and have used your horse behind your back for other things. As an example, years and years ago, I put my horse in training with this person for trailering issues. My boarder friends come to me and said, here is what is going on with your horse - one of the trainers/BO own kids had been wanting to do jumpers, there was no horse in the barn that would jump like mine, so the trainer uses my horse to teach her teenager! I was FURIOUS to say the least!
                          Yet you still want to board with this person??
                          This story is starting to sound trollish.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Queen Latisha View Post
                            Yet you still want to board with this person??
                            This story is starting to sound trollish.
                            Don't think so. Poster is newish but has made sense in most posts...and no mention of draw reins, drugs or PV.
                            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              I assure you, I am not trolling. This is a real situation.

                              This person can and has trained horses extremely well....this person has also trained the rider and the forte' is putting them together for a winning team.

                              This person, away from the barn, has also been a personal friend of mine for years (except for the time we were "estranged").

                              Maybe my problem is that since moving to this state, I have never trained with anyone else and yet did so well under this person.

                              I do understand what everyone is saying, and I knew I would get slammed for being stupid because this whole thing sounds to be easy - just don't go to this barn! But it is much more complicated as stated.

                              I think my decision is to haul in to this trainer, not leave my horse there. I was only going to board for 1-2 months probably just to use the facility....

                              and maybe I could just try someone else.

                              I'm sorry for sounding so stupid, but this is very serious and real for me and a very emotional decision. I know it is very hard to understand and what I was searching for is IF anybody has been in this situation.

                              Also, this trainer was asked to be on the US Olympic Team years ago....he/she turned them down due to personal reasons not related to horses. Maybe now, you can understand how fantastic this person is with horse and rider.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                How often do you go to the barn? Will you be there every night? Can you express very directly to this person that they are not to use your horse without your permission?

                                Say you are going to be out at the barn 5 night a week. In that case just buy your own feed, pre bag it, and feed it yourself. Leave two bags for the nights you're not out there, and only one bag at a time, left the night before your off night.

                                Pop in at random times to do "check ups" and make sure she's not riding your horse.

                                If she's your FRIEND as you say she is, she will respect your wishes and not use your horse.

                                Doesn't sound like much of a friend to me if she's so willing to screw over someone who so obviously likes and trusts her. (Yet doesn't really trust her, yes?)

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by gooselover View Post
                                  Also, this trainer was asked to be on the US Olympic Team years ago....he/she turned them down due to personal reasons not related to horses. Maybe now, you can understand how fantastic this person is with horse and rider.
                                  I understand this person told you they were selected to be on the Olympic Team. I have heard the same from others and research did not support anything other then long listed or invited to compete in slection trials. Did this person actually turn down a firm invitation by the selection committee and do they have the International experience that leads you to believe they were invited to compete in a specific Olympic Games??? For the USA??

                                  And, don't kid yourself, we have had some actual Olympians who are bona fide jerks and some that have financed themselves as individuals or gone to a second flag when their own country of citizenship turned them down. That really means just about nothing.

                                  Certainly not anything to base this loyalty on.

                                  And, no, we do not think you are stupid. At all. Merely insecure and not confident in our own ability to do better then this.

                                  Try elsewhere, they'd love to have you.
                                  When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                  The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by gooselover View Post
                                    I

                                    1. Lousy feed
                                    2. Using your horse behind your back
                                    3. Charging you for things you did not ask for or want at all

                                    If you use your own feed, there is no price reduction and they will probably use it on THEIR horses and not yours.

                                    .
                                    this is no friend. a friend would not break your trust time and time again! they obviously know their feed is not good if they would use it on their own horses when you are buying if for your horse! that is sooo despicable! i would never do that to a friend.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I guess I'm not seeing the issue...I would NEVER put my horse in a situation like this. My horse is a better "friend" than this trainer.
                                      Can you stress-fracture your brain?

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        There is no way in hell my horse would live there. I agree with others that this is a no brainer, I guess there is more to it that we don't understand?

                                        Comment

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