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Selfish, Stupid or Reasonable?

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  • Selfish, Stupid or Reasonable?

    Hi all, I've been following a lot of the rants/banter and threads regarding COVID-19 and its effect on the equestrian community and I just wanted to know if there was anyone in similar shoes.

    As we all know, many equestrian facilities, including the one where I keep my own young horse, have been closed to the public and will remain closed for the unforeseeable future (hopefully soon, but who knows). This has left me in a bit of a dispute and I'm unsure of what my path forward should be.

    My horse is coming 3 in April, and prior to this disaster, we were planning on re-starting her under saddle (previous broke in mid-October). With the current regulations and recommendations set out, it doesn't seem likely that we will be back at the barn by beginning of next month. That being said, my youngster will not be getting started. This would be okay, temporarily. I suppose I'm wanting to prepare for the worst case scenario in which we won't be back until May, or later.

    Would it be so selfish of me to ask my trainer (who keep in mind, is busy exercising other clients horses for them for free as they cannot be there) to resume her training? I would be offering pay as she is young and very green. My other concern was because she is young, green and often "sassy", would this be a stupid/selfish idea as my trainer would then be risking her own physical health?

    I noticed on a few other threads that some owners were speaking about putting their youngsters in training at this time and I just wanted some extra input if this is a good idea, selfish, or plain stupid (as to risk my trainers health). Another thought I had would just to be do some ground work/lunging with her, although this too can be dangerous. I have not yet asked for my trainer's input on this matter, as I'm a little worried about backlash.

    I really don't want my young horse to sit much longer than planned but I also don't want to put anyone at risk of injury for my own selfish reasons. Advice is appreciated, thank you!

  • #2
    Not sure what your trainer's background is but if they work with youngsters, I would most certainly ask if they can work with yours until things get back in gear. I would imagine they would appreciate the income at this time.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by kwpn_01 View Post

      Would it be so selfish of me to ask my trainer (who keep in mind, is busy exercising other clients horses for them for free as they cannot be there) to resume her training? I would be offering pay as she is young and very green. My other concern was because she is young, green and often "sassy", would this be a stupid/selfish idea as my trainer would then be risking her own physical health?
      Your trainer is both an adult and a professional so as long as it is framed as a question not a demand, she has the ability to make an informed decision.

      A coming three year old certainly will not be hurt by having a few extra months off as she is still younger than most horses being started. A good compromise could be discussing partial training with long lining so she is getting some structured work without the weight and risk of a rider.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by kwpn_01 View Post
        My horse is coming 3 in April, and prior to this disaster, we were planning on re-starting her under saddle (previous broke in mid-October).
        IMO since your horse is young and has already had 5 months since backing, I can't imagine another month or two of no work will do her any harm. She's young, let her hang out and let your trainer focus on others who need the work more. Hopefully these few months will be just a blip in your horse's long and successful riding career!
        Building and Managing the Small Horse Farm: http://thesmallhorsefarm.blogspot.com

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        • #5
          you should pay for any services rendered. how would you like if your employer wanted you to work but was not intending to pay you? Answer is pretty clear now, right?

          If your personal income is tight, throw horse in a field, a youngster would perhaps appreciate time to be a horse for a month or two.

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by mika0116 View Post
            you should pay for any services rendered. how would you like if your employer wanted you to work but was not intending to pay you? Answer is pretty clear now, right?

            If your personal income is tight, throw horse in a field, a youngster would perhaps appreciate time to be a horse for a month or two.
            There must be some sort of misunderstanding, as of course I'd pay for any services rendered. Point being, she is currently schooling others' horses for free due to the closure of the stable and hence I wouldn't expect the same treatment as my horse requires a little bit more thought process and awareness to work with.

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            • #7
              I think it depends a bit on where you live, but I think you might as well just ask for her thoughts on it. Everyone and every situation is different.

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              • #8
                I'm not sure what's selfish here. Offer the trainer the regular rate of pay and if trainer wants to take on the job they will. This will really help the trainer who has lost clients under lockdown. If trainer doesn't want to they will turn you down.

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                • #9
                  Oh yes, got you. I would err on paying standard rate. I always pay for any service. If my trainer or groom untacks my horse if I am running late to work. I throw them 20 bucks. If your trainer feels like the service provided is worth more than standard, I am sure they will inform you.

                  You could also throw in a roll of TP and maybe some Clorox wipes to sweeten the deal

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                  • #10
                    There is nothing untoward about employing a trainer to break a horse. If you are offering to pay the trainer to be a trainer, I'd expect your horse to take priority over the unpaid rides. That's not unreasonable; it's how life usually works.

                    The only thing stupid or unreasonable in the original post is the trainer riding boarders' horses without expecting to be paid. If the trainer is good with not being paid, whatever...
                    Visit my Spoonflower shop

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                    • #11
                      A good colt starting trainer is invaluable.
                      That good early start in professional hands is worth pursuing.
                      If your trainer can do it, why not?

                      For an experienced professional, the risk of riding a green horse is minimal, especially one already started and worked with.
                      Not like she is a bronc that needs extra care and risk to train.

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                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by red mares View Post
                        There is nothing untoward about employing a trainer to break a horse. If you are offering to pay the trainer to be a trainer, I'd expect your horse to take priority over the unpaid rides. That's not unreasonable; it's how life usually works.

                        The only thing stupid or unreasonable in the original post is the trainer riding boarders' horses without expecting to be paid. If the trainer is good with not being paid, whatever...
                        I would hope she would take priority over the unpaid rides, too. I guess she took the free rides upon herself since we aren't allowed on the property and many boarders' jobs have been affected by the closures, economy, etc. I am lucky enough to be in a position that my employment has been maintained throughout this and paying a little extra for training (especially since there's no shows ) shouldn't be an issue and I'm grateful for that.

                        I suppose it wouldn't hurt to run it by her, and worst case if they don't have the means to do it, an extra few months off wouldn't be the end of the world for her!

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                        • #13
                          If it were my horse, I'd just put off her training for another month or two, or however long it takes.

                          However, I don't think it would hurt to ask the trainer what she wants to do. Make it clear you're okay with it if she does not want to take on your horse. She might appreciate the opportunity to get some extra income, or she might not want to take the risk, or put any more demands on her time.

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                          • #14
                            I wouldn't stress about getting started right now - I get what you're staying, you don't want to risk the safety of your trainer, god forbid she gets lawn darted by a 3 yo and needs to go to the hospital. Maybe leave it up to the trainer, who knows, maybe she'd want to do ground work for a bit to make sure she's working with a good citizen, then make the call whether to back her or wait.

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                            • #15
                              I'm getting the impression that you are concerned about a) your trainer potentially getting hurt which would b) possibly affect the horses' care and c) increase the burden on an already stressed medical system.

                              I have started a few young horses and I agree that waiting another month or three is unlikely to cause any problem. I also would personally prefer to go back to work at a time when I could expect to get into a routine/program for several months prior to another extended break.

                              I also think that ground work -. long lining, in hand "hacks", poles, longeing basics - 2-3 times a week would be a great base to getting into a work routine prior to resuming mounted work. As long as new things keep getting introduced.


                              ​​​​​​I think it's important to talk to your trainer about your concerns and see what she is comfortable offering. She will likely be happy to have the extra income, but that might also mean she will say yes even if she's not entirely comfortable with the risk.

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                              • #16
                                My question: do they have turnout fields? I wouldn’t bother is turnout could support all day to. I’m going to guess they don’t.

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                                • #17
                                  i don't see what is selfish about having the conversation with your trainer. i had to close my barn, but had a couple of owners ask that their horses stay in a program, even if they cant be here. and had the check in hand when they asked. it was a logical, reasonable request, and i had zero problem saying yes. i bet your trainer will have no issue in doing *something* with your youngster.
                                  Different Times Equestrian Ventures at Hidden Spring Ranch
                                  www.DifferentTimesEquestrianVentures.com

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
                                    I'm not sure what's selfish here. Offer the trainer the regular rate of pay and if trainer wants to take on the job they will. This will really help the trainer who has lost clients under lockdown. If trainer doesn't want to they will turn you down.
                                    That's my thought. If the trainer's losing income from lessons, and she's comfortable with training rides, and you'd like your horse started again, and you're offering to pay, it sounds like a win-win all round to me. It's not selfish to offer someone paying work!
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                                    • #19
                                      As everyone else stated I also think sitting around longer would do not harm, but if you feel inclined to have her in training your trainer can decide what she's comfortable with and may appreciate the income.

                                      I do think it's nuts that your trainer is riding all those horses for free. Is there no turnout? I'd say if people are worried about their horse losing condition they should pay for the rides. If there's no turnout or walker than I guess it's more of a welfare issue and she feels guilty?

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        You might really be helping the trainer if you add to her income. If you're concerned (and I understand that you might be) about the possibility of her injuring herself while training for you, you could stipulate that you'd like at least half (or whatever) of the sessions to focus on ground-work and lunging, which are probably lower-risk. Then compensate her at the same rate as you would for training under saddle.

                                        Then you might also commit to taking some lessons with the trainer yourself once that becomes possible again. Knowing that she has a future income stream might allay at least some of her economic anxiety.
                                        "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky

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