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trainer hires old friend-- don't want her to ride my horse? opinions please...

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  • trainer hires old friend-- don't want her to ride my horse? opinions please...

    I'm going to preface this with the fact I *know* I'm using an alter. I just want to stay as anonymous as possible on this situation.

    And I'm fully prepared to hear EVERYTHING, even telling me I'm perhaps jealous or overprotective. I can hear that. I'm posting this because I want to know if my reactions are way way way out of line because he's *my* horse and it's *my* money.

    I board at a very very fancy "A" barn and ride with a wonderful very well known trainer. I couldn't be happier with his training program or the facility that we're at.

    Through the wonders of facebook, I have found out that an old friend of mine who I used to event with back in the day is going to start riding for my trainer. I'm happy that she has this opportunity-- to ride the quality of horses we have and for the trainer that I have is an incredible gift. At first I didn't know who she was riding with, and then it came out it was my trainer.

    Now, she's a great person, very sweet, loves her horse, good rider. She doesn't train with my trainer as she still does eventing. Anyways. I'm probably a slightly better rider than she is, I have a lot of miles, lots of experience etc. We're young, in our 20's, so we're not god but both are quite good riders.

    So this is where you get to tell me I'm jealous and overprotective. I pay a LOT of money for the training I'm getting. I love my trainer and he does an incredible job with me and my horse. However, I really don't want someone riding him that's no better of a rider than I am. I would prefer it if my trainer was the one to do all the riding on him.

    My next dilemma is this-- I'm a full time college student with a tough major. It only leaves me about 2-3 days to go out and ride. My trainer rides him on T/TH while I ride him W/F/S.

    So, do I suck it up, push myself, and find a way to ride him more if I don't want her riding him? Or do I just trust my trainer? I mean, this girl is nice, but my horse is in the green stage and fairly difficult to ride properly. I just don't want to come out to the barn feeling like I have to fix something that was fine last week.

    End of rant. I just don't want anyone but me or my trainer on him. With the amount of money I pay, is it ok to ask that she doesn't ride him? Do I just try and go crazy to make it out there an extra day a week? Or do I push my ego aside and let her ride my horse?

    I have a feeling it's my ego. I *should* be happy for this girl, I know, I guess I'm a little overprotective of my ponay.

  • #2
    Tell your trainer you don't want her on your horse. It's your horse, you're the one footing the bill, and he is the trainer you are paying to ride- not some amateur. I had to do this with my last trainer- he was away at shows nearly every week, but would still charge us for full training and have a 17 year old run the horses around the bull pen and then get on and 'school' them. When I and another person in training found out what was happening we approached the trainer, and when it didn't stop we pulled the horses from full training. Just go and voice your concerns to him. We went from the liability standpoint- that our insurance would not cover anyone but the trainer, much less a minor.

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    • #3
      Two thoughts:

      First, you are entitled to tell your trainer that you don't want anyone other than him riding your horse.

      Second, watch your old friend ride. She might have gotten better. If you haven't seen her for awhile, you might be surprised.

      But I hear what you're saying. I don't let many people ride my horse either.

      Does your horse need to be ridden six days a week? Or is the five you've outlined sufficient.
      Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
      EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

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      • #4
        I would feel the same way you do. It doesnt really matter your reasons--its YOUR money and YOUR horse. You get to choose who rides him and who doesnt. Youre paying your trainer because hes a pro, and im guessing this girl isnt. If you express your concerns, your trainer should understand. (If it were me, I wouldnt feel the need to explain, I would just say to trainer, "I prefer you and I to be the only people riding pony.")
        Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
        White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

        Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

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        • #5
          Make sure that you and your trainer both understand clearly what service you are paying for. As long as you BOTH think that you are paying X amount per month for TRAINER to ride 2x/week, then you're fine. If you think you're paying for trainer to train and trainer thinks you are paying for "someone" to "exercise" your horse, then you have a problem.

          Spell it out. Failure to do so causes some really ridiculous problems in the horse world.

          Jennifer
          Third Charm Event Team

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          • #6
            I agree with the others so far. I wouldn't focus on the other rider, just tell your trainer that you want the two of you to be the only ones to ride your horse, unless you specifically give an exception. Are you ok with this other person longeing, tacking up, and otherwise handling your horse, just not riding?
            Stay me with coffee, comfort me with chocolate, for I am sick of love.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by AliCat518 View Post
              I would feel the same way you do. It doesnt really matter your reasons--its YOUR money and YOUR horse. You get to choose who rides him and who doesnt. Youre paying your trainer because hes a pro, and im guessing this girl isnt. If you express your concerns, your trainer should understand. (If it were me, I wouldnt feel the need to explain, I would just say to trainer, "I prefer you and I to be the only people riding pony.")
              Agree! You are paying for training with this trainer.
              www.Somermistfarm.com
              Quality Hunter Ponies

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              • #8
                Can you approach your trainer about who will be riding your horse & say you prefer he continues the same program as it's working for you.

                I don't think how you feel is out of line or crazy. You choose to train with this trainer & have them ride your horse. I pay my trainer to ride my horse otherwise I would ride him. I would not be happy if somebody else was doing the riding that is on the same level as me or lower yet I am still paying top dollar for it. My $$$ means my input in how it's spent.
                "I'm not crazy...my mother had me tested"

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                • #9
                  Yep - you're paying for the trainer, not this new girl. My clients understand that the full training ride price means I'm the one in the saddle. There is a separate exercise ride fee if you simply want the horses hacked because you can't make it out, and those rides are sometimes passed on to a very capable junior in my program. Owner's have the option of specifying whether that rider is ok or if it needs to be me every time. So far nobody has had a problem with my judgement and believe it is beneficial for said junior to work with the horse too. I wouldn't mind at all if they did though.

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                  • #10
                    thank you all for your replies

                    horse is ridden only 5X a week. he's in a pretty strenuous program during those days so two days off for him seems fair. Trainer always rides him Tuesday because he's had the previous two days off and needs a pro ride. I'll be the first to admit that's the best thing for him. Not that I can't handle him on Tuesdays he just does better with a pro reminder

                    The groom usually does the tacking up for Trainer, but I totally trust her with that task. She's a good horsewoman, no doubt, loves her own horse like crazy, and feel she would be completely capable of grooming him. Lunging is ok I guess as long as it's a free lunge. He's pretty picky about the Pessoa system and tends to react pretty strongly to it (like, if it's not done properly he feels like crap the next day. On his forhand etc.) However, I've never seen her do this so she may be capable of it, I'd have to watch tbh. My major concern is the rides.

                    My trainer is completely approachable and would understand, he's been a huge part of my support system and life this past year, we have a good honest business relationship. There's no doubt that he would take this fine, I guess I just wanted to know if I was being unreasonable before I approached him.

                    And I will certainly watch her ride. It has been a while, though I see her photos a lot on facebook etc. it is true that I haven't personally seen her ride for a while.

                    thanks for all the feedback!

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                    • #11
                      If the friend does a good job, and rides under the trainer, it is a great opportunity for the horse to get more mileage under a different person as well. Look at it from all points of view. Imho it is nice if the horse can get ridden daily/hacked out if you want it advanced easily. Go for it.
                      I.D.E.A. yoda

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CuriousAlter90 View Post


                        My trainer is completely approachable and would understand, he's been a huge part of my support system and life this past year, we have a good honest business relationship.

                        Kudo's to you for recognizing this is a "good, honest business relationship" and not thinking "my trainer is my friend, how could he do this to me!".


                        You sound like level-headed young person. Trust your gut and have an open conversation with the trainer about what you want and what you think you are paying for.

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                        • #13
                          I say watch her ride one horse after she arrives, then make your decision. You do have every right to ask that only you and trainer ride your horse.

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                          • #14
                            HMMMM.

                            Well another thought is - my experience is that at most Top A farms - the head trainer does not ride all the green horses all the time. Usually he or she is far too busy. And is at shows a lot - a lot of the assistant trainers do some or most of the riding too. So if you have had this trainer on your horse every time so far, you ARE very fortuneate. Now, you might approach this a little open minded wiht the trainer. Maybe he has gotten super busy or is planning to be gone a bit and NEEDS this rider to help him ride all the horses.

                            You are not in full training I suspect - usually 4-5 times a week riding for fulltime training. PT training is 2-3x. SOUNDS like you are paying the trainer to ride the horse 2x a week. If you are paying the trainer for HIM to ride the horse that is something else. I fyou are paying for training - like you are IN a program, then you usually have to buy into the trainer's program. BUT you should be able 100% to share your concerns too.

                            So I would be open to letting someone he feels is right to ride your horse. But I agree with the others that you might have a sit down with the trainer and talk about goal setting and what your wants are and he share what he thinks the program needs to be. You should share with the trainer that you know this person and think she is not a god enough rider for her to warrant PAYING for her to ride him. Like if this girl is going to ride him, you might rather ride him. BUT he MIGHT say that the girl with ride him and HE will be on the ground. Some trainers get a lot accomplished being on the ground and having an assistant on the horse.

                            I think you should have a sit down with the trainer so you can find out what his plans are with this rider - she might not be on his mind TO ride your horse at all and all this worry is for nothing.

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                            • #15
                              thank you all again.

                              I pay for full training. I get lessons 3X a week, he rides horse 2X per week. And thats a rough schedule. For instance, I have finals next week so I took this week off and next week off so I can study so he's riding him for two weeks. If I can ride more, I do. If I can only get out there 1X a week, that's what happens. My horse is probably costing me close to 2K a month (including board but not showing), so it's a lot of money to fork over.

                              It is a good point that I am paying for full training thus paying for his training package.

                              I will talk to my trainer soon, I may be able to escape my studies and hop over to the barn to smooch my horsey and give him some orange crunchies anyways.

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by ideayoda View Post
                                If the friend does a good job, and rides under the trainer, it is a great opportunity for the horse to get more mileage under a different person as well. Look at it from all points of view. Imho it is nice if the horse can get ridden daily/hacked out if you want it advanced easily. Go for it.
                                You've gotten some great advice, and I agree with the others who have said that you sound level-headed and don't come across like a psycho, over-protective owner.

                                But, I do think ideayoda raises a good point: if this rider is just as capable as you, it could be beneficial to have her on the horse. I realize it's not the "pro ride" you're asking for, but assuming that she's just hacking the horse, she's not going to cause damage.

                                Having said that, it is your horse and you do ultimately have the right to dictate who can and cannot ride him - but hopefully you trust your trainer enough to believe that he wouldn't hire someone incapable of riding to his standards.

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                                • #17
                                  You're paying for the trainer to ride your horse, not the assistant.
                                  Be honest and tell trainer, he is the only one to ride your horse.

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Gideon View Post
                                    You're paying for the trainer to ride your horse, not the assistant.
                                    Be honest and tell trainer, he is the only one to ride your horse.
                                    agreed
                                    (|--Sarah--|)

                                    Blitz <3 & Leap of Faith <3

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                                    • #19
                                      Hmmm. I'm going to take a different view here.

                                      Sometimes the trainer doesn't need to be the one riding the horse.

                                      You've admitted that you can't make it to the barn for a couple of weeks. So what would be the problem with having the assistant ride on your days? Especially if the horse is being ridden under the supervision of the trainer (which I think is a fully reasonable expectation).

                                      If people think that the trainer, and only the trainer, is riding their horse 5x a week, in a busy A barn, they're kidding themselves.
                                      "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."

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                                      • #20
                                        your the paying customer hes the service provider- your paying him to work for you
                                        so tell him- under no circumstances do you want anyone else riding your horse
                                        - period end off- and dont pussy foot around with him
                                        say it as you mean it - authority - as no doubt if your a student you i think might be younger than the trianer - but your paying for that service so speak clear and pricise let him know you mean business

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