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Why do trainers get so angry when someone leaves?

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  • Why do trainers get so angry when someone leaves?

    I don't understand why trainers get so angry when a boarder leaves -- particularly if the person leaves to ride in a different discipline. Is it their ego? The money? A friend of mine told his trainer he wanted to do jumpers, which the trainer won't do...so he thanked her but said he'd be moving to a new place where he can focus on jumpers, no hard feelings. She got mad and is badmouthing him...I told my previous trainer (who did eventing) that I wanted to do hunters, and she told me that "doing hunters will ruin any horse." What is with these crazy trainers, or is it just in my area??
  • Original Poster

    I don't understand why trainers get so angry when a boarder leaves -- particularly if the person leaves to ride in a different discipline. Is it their ego? The money? A friend of mine told his trainer he wanted to do jumpers, which the trainer won't do...so he thanked her but said he'd be moving to a new place where he can focus on jumpers, no hard feelings. She got mad and is badmouthing him...I told my previous trainer (who did eventing) that I wanted to do hunters, and she told me that "doing hunters will ruin any horse." What is with these crazy trainers, or is it just in my area??


    • #3
      It certainly isn't just your area! I believe most of the time its an ego thing...unless the trainer is really hurting for business, and then it might be a money issue as well.


      • #4
        Don't forget that sometimes the trainer has reason to be irritated - the person may have unpaid bills, have gone around bad-mouthing said trainer prior to leaving, have left in a rude/inconsiderate way, or been unappreciative of some assistance the trainer may have provided.

        Though I agree - I'm sure ego or hurt feelings plays a role many times.


        • #5
          i often wonder the same thing... and usually the attitude towards the student is not the students fault. yes, there may be the ocassional argument or bill unpaid, but for the most part (some) trainers do get mad at a move of any kind.

          can any trainers answer this for the rest of us??


          • #6
            I've had a trainer get mad at me because I was leaving to pursue a more 'show' barn with more suitable horses to ride. Of course I did not tell her this. I simply told her that I wanted to pursue other options. She took it VERY personal. I found out from a good lady (who I used to train with) that she threatened to slander me at the new barn and even more horrible things that I don't wish to share. And we were very good clients and she probably didn't want to lose us, I guess.

            Trainers should not take petty things like this so personal. Some just can't handle being 'rejected'.

            \"Luck is when preparation meets oportunity.\"


            • #7
              It's an ego thing. Like Val said, they don't like being "rejected."

              * Liz *
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              *~ Cat Burglar ~*



              • #8
                Honestly? It is all of those answers and none of them. Yes, you need the business, yes people leave owing $, yes people bad mouth you for no reason, and yes it hurts your ego. This is the way you make your living....all of the reasons some one leaves REALLY effect you. Even if you want them to leave, it still effects you. And imagine how it feels to be rejected in any form...then imagine it is about your business...I think many posts I read are really VERY tough on professionals...they are only people too...trying to support themselves the best way they know how...why should they be held to any different standard then anyone else??? Maybe there should be a post about how a customer would feel when asked to leave a barn?!?


                • #9
                  I just left a barn yesterday because of a control-freak barn manager. The trainer totally understood (he knows the barn mgr is hard to deal with) and honestly wished us nothing but the best and said we were welcome back anytime.

                  What a refreshing attitude on this trainers part Trainers like him are too few and far between.

                  *Ride and let ride...*
                  *Ride and let ride...*


                  • #10
                    Even if it does effect your ego as a trainer when a client leaves, you shouldn't show it or talk to other clients about it. I left a trainer about 9 months ago because I moved away (350 miles!) and she was so angry that she has never spoken to me since and neither have any of her remaining clients! I gave her 6 months notice, made sure all my bills were paid, etc, etc. Whatever, it just makes her look bad and un-professional.
                    "A good horse and a good rider are only so in mutual trust."


                    • #11
                      I agree w/you HM, but there are immature people in every aspect of life these days....that doesn't mean other people don't have the "right" to be upset.


                      • #12
                        I think it is partly the "public" aspect to such a change that makes the ditched pro feel so upset.

                        I mean, if I choose a new hairstylist... *they* know I thought someone else could do a better job for me - but the rest of their clientele hasn't a clue.

                        When a rider chooses a new barn, so many other people end up "knowing" about the move... other clients at the old AND the new barn, the folks at the local tack shop... people you see at the next horseshow. The implication - fair or not - is that the former trainer wasn't getting the job done, and the new one is considered more capable.

                        (Obviously people leave for a whole variety of reasons, some of them not even remotely connected to the trainer's competence...but I do think this is a big part of the sensitivity.)

                        It is a shame that more trainers cannot act with greater professionalism in these circumstances.

                        Of course the same could be said of many clients. Too many of us just cannot say, "oh, it was just one of those things," rather than laundering all of our complaints to all and sundry when we make a decision to move.

                        "It's a funny thing about life: If you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it." ---W. Somerset Maugham
                        \"It\'s a funny thing about life: If you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.\" ---W. Somerset Maugham


                        • #13
                          1 word - substance abuse


                          • #14

                            I was trying to be serious....


                            • #15
                              I've had everything from the terrible "if you even think about leaving I will hurt your horse (I snuck out and was banned from the property. big loss)" to a wonderful wonderful very professional barn owner and trainer, who I would still ride with if I had the money, who told me I was welcome back any time, and that it had been a pleasure to have me there. I must say... will I ever go back to the first trainer? No. Will I go back to the second, oh yeah. And I'll recomend them to any one that asks.


                              • #16
                                Beezer claps for Liverpool! That was very well said.

                                I'd add one other thing: I think it often involves the level of professionalism in a barn. In other words, the more the trainer treats it as a business and not as a personality contest, and goes into it accepting that she or he cannot be all things to all people -- and keeps the lines of communication open -- I think feelings are less likely to be hurt. (As an aside, do trainers really think that making threats or pitching a fit is going to compel a client to stay?)

                                But a trainer who gets upset because the client moves 350 miles away? Honey, unless you've bought a jet to fly me back and forth to your barn to ride, you really don't have any sane, logical reason to get your knickers in a knot.

                                (Edited to fix an italics "issue" ... I am so anal that way! )

                                ***Dear Sam: All I really want for my birthday is FLYING LEAD CHANGES!!***

                                [This message was edited by Beezer on Jul. 02, 2003 at 02:16 AM.]

                                [This message was edited by Beezer on Jul. 02, 2003 at 02:20 AM.]
                                Congratulate me! My CANTER cutie is an honor student at Goofball University!


                                • #17
                                  You guys don't seem to give ANY credibility to the fact that every good trainer puts their heart and soul into their clients...

                                  This industry IS NOT an 8 to 5...it's and entire lifestyle that goes home with us 24/7, keeps us up at night worrying about YOU and YOUR horse, stressing about how to make YOU a winner, fretting about the fact you can only spend $$ but you have a $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ mentality and expectation, compromising in your favor on your bills or your services per dollar, making arrangements for YOU to show and sooooooooo on to ad nauseaum...

                                  We are not trainers for the money, we are trainers cause we love this sport, we committ to our clients, we drive to make you and your horse better, we dream of you winning "in the big ring" (different for each of you...)

                                  We take you and your horse and your learning and your sucesses and your failures extremely personally ........ YOU become the extension of who we are as professionals..

                                  It's NOT the fact you leave us...it's the fact that MOST of you want "everyone to be friends and friendly at the next shows.."

                                  BUT the problem is that MOST - - - I am sure NOT YOU !!!!! bad mouth us all over town..usually in a nasty little trite way such as...." Pro X was really good to us BUT we needed to move on...they didn't know what to teach us next, they couldn't help anymore, my child out grew them, my daughter can jump bigger but THEY wouldn't let her, she yelled at my poor little Sarah, etc etc"

                                  And they - - -I'm sure not YOU.. need to justify their move AT OUR EXPENSE...!!!

                                  Trust me you guys...you don't want us to NOT get our feeling hurt, you don't want us to just not care when you leave, you don't want us to say OH WELL, you don't want us not to care...

                                  If that is what you want I feel sorry for you... ...you will end up with non committed, non driven, non successful, non productive, non feeling, non caring trainers..

                                  I don't think that is good for anyone...!!!!!



                                  • #18
                                    Actually, I think the reason that many trainer-leaving experiences are so bad is because most of those moves are CAUSED by bad/petty/controlling trainers. There are many good, professional trainers out there who would not badmouth clients, but, because of things like that, they don't lose clients. The ones who are possessive of thier clients lose clients because they are like that.

                                    Messy trainer-client breakups are between good client/bad trainer, good trainer/bad client, or bad client/bad trainer combinations. Which means that 2/3 trainer-client break ups result in badmouthing.

                                    And yes, I have personal experience on this one. I hope that I wasn't a bad client, but I definitly had the bad trainer, the messy break up, and the badmouthing that continues to this day ("she never helped out", "she was never there", "she made her friends do her work", etc.).
                                    \"If I go crazy then will you still call me SUPERPONY!\"


                                    • #19
                                      I agree with caryledee. it seems to be a ego/pride thing.
                                      Who wants to admit they could be the reason a customer went to another barn?

                                      could it also be slightly embarrasing when the person who left you does extremely well with another trainer, when they did not do as well while training with the old trainer?

                                      I know the last trainer I trained with, took it VERY personally when clients left. no matter the reason.
                                      in fact, one of the reasons I left that barn because I was tired of hearing the negative comments about people

                                      If you start getting nervous about getting hurt you will be....If you are worrying about the danger it's time to give up.
                                      ~Jason Weaver
                                      If you start getting nervous about getting hurt you will be....If you are worrying about the danger it\'s time to give up.
                                      ~Jason Weaver


                                      • #20
                                        Not trying to flame trainers or single anyone out. But if if students become an "extension of who we are as professionals" and it comes time to leave- do you think it is easy to make the decision to leave in the first place?
                                        Trainers should really take lessons from teachers. Because that is what trainers really are- they are teachers. And yet a 2nd grade teacher knows how to let a whole classroom of 20 to 30 or so students move on every year.

                                        They have realized that they have taught them all that they could and let them move on to a higher learning. It's nothing personal, it's simply doing what's best for the student. AND how many people actually kept in contact with their old teachers from grade school for a while after they moved on to the next grade huh? I bet a lot of you did. So why should it be so hard to stay friendly with an X-barn if you left for what you think was for the right reason at the next show? Whatever happened to good sportsmanship?

                                        The one thing I cannot stand the most is bad professionalism. You have to realize that this is your JOB- you chose it and it's for life. You chose to be a professional so act like one and stop being immature. Flaming your students in public for getting something wrong or not having all your hair tucked or anything else along those lines- is NOT grounds for you to turn into the student's parent and repremand them for it. What some have to grasp is that these are just kids- if under 18, you're considered a kid- and they WILL make mistakes. It is human nature afterall.

                                        That said, I realize that trainers are human too and they are prone to make mistakes. But it all boils down to that they are all adults and they should know better. Even if their student is over 18. And if there is a bad seed, take the person aside and tell them your opinion. There is ABSOLUTELY no room for public embarassment or un-professionalism when you claim to be a professional.

                                        Just speaking from an ongoing personal experience.

                                        dOñt hÃ¥Tê më bEcãuÅ¡e ¡m bʪut¡ful hÄtË më ߀çaù§è Â¥oü® mÃn â€*HÏñkÅ* i Ã¥m
                                        Juss mah-be, tha-yah ain\'t beh nothin like a southern lahday