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Selfish, Stupid or Reasonable?

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  • #21
    Originally posted by kwpn_01 View Post
    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!
    If your trainer has a "full plate" just keeping the trained horses in shape and not getting paid maybe asking to start a youngster is not a viable program. Of course if all that other work is unpaid and you are offering to pay then they might be quite appreciative.

    The big "if" is how long will you be out of the picture? If your horse gets under saddle and ready for you to start schooling and conditioning in 60 days and you're still "locked out" then what happens?

    This is sort of a "roll of the dice" on your part.

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo

    Comment


    • #22
      Originally posted by Guilherme View Post

      If your trainer has a "full plate" just keeping the trained horses in shape and not getting paid maybe asking to start a youngster is not a viable program. Of course if all that other work is unpaid and you are offering to pay then they might be quite appreciative.

      The big "if" is how long will you be out of the picture? If your horse gets under saddle and ready for you to start schooling and conditioning in 60 days and you're still "locked out" then what happens?

      This is sort of a "roll of the dice" on your part.

      G.
      Then the horse can be turned out, now better trained.

      I bet horse will come back just fine, the more trained before turning out, the better.

      Comment


      • #23
        I’m in the exact same boat, except no one has sat on my coming 3yo. I was literally planning on doing it the week that the SHTF.

        My plan is to let her sit for another month and see where we’re at with the whole pandemic situation. I basically have a set amount of money that I can put toward training for the next 6 months. I’d rather be able to go to the barn and work with her myself, with pro rides once or twice a week. But may have to put the money toward a month or two of full training and then minimal pro rides after that.

        I understand your concern with asking your trainer to get on a baby when the whole world is worried about overwhelming the health care system. This is why I’m going to wait another month. If we’re still on lockdown I’ll discuss with trainer. I would be happy paying for groundwork until he’s comfortable getting on.

        Comment


        • #24
          It’s your trainer’s risk to take, however, if your mare is “sassy” enough that your trainer might reasonably expect to fall and/or get hurt, it would be best to wait because hospitals are overwhelmed enough with COVID cases and they really don’t need any avoidable injuries coming in.

          I understand you want your horse to get to work, but I’m the grand scheme of things, another month or two of hanging in a field won’t hurt her at all.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #25
            Originally posted by Chall View Post
            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.
            Yes, we have turnout fields. My mare is currently on indoor board because these horses get regular handling daily, and I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving her in the 24/7 turnout paddock (they are almost knee deep in mud in some areas). She's been on indoor board since she came to the facility in August, so she has gotten used to being regularly stalled. They go on turnout for ~10 hours per day so she still gets a decent amount of social activity.

            Timex, danceronice, these were my thoughts too. polkadotedpony I too think it's a little unnecessary. The horses get plenty of turnout, however, we don't own a walker or treadmill of any sorts. I think she's doing it in the hopes that we still have a show season and the ponies are still in shape!

            GoodTimes I think that's where I'm leaning towards too. Let her sit for the month of April, and then given we can't go back in May, start paying for training come then. I had the same idea, pro rides 1 - 2 times per week, and then schooling her myself the rest (including a lesson day). I was preparing for the larger board bills until this happened!

            Bluey, JustTheTicket, you're right in the sense that she will be find if sitting for another month (or two), but it is also for me as well. I love nothing more than riding in the warmer months, so I was personally really hoping to have a horse to ride when we get back into the swing of things (and come spring!).

            Thank you to everyone who has posted for the input!

            Comment


            • #26
              Originally posted by kwpn_01 View Post

              Yes, we have turnout fields. My mare is currently on indoor board because these horses get regular handling daily, and I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving her in the 24/7 turnout paddock (they are almost knee deep in mud in some areas). She's been on indoor board since she came to the facility in August, so she has gotten used to being regularly stalled. They go on turnout for ~10 hours per day so she still gets a decent amount of social activity.

              Timex, danceronice, these were my thoughts too. polkadotedpony I too think it's a little unnecessary. The horses get plenty of turnout, however, we don't own a walker or treadmill of any sorts. I think she's doing it in the hopes that we still have a show season and the ponies are still in shape!

              GoodTimes I think that's where I'm leaning towards too. Let her sit for the month of April, and then given we can't go back in May, start paying for training come then. I had the same idea, pro rides 1 - 2 times per week, and then schooling her myself the rest (including a lesson day). I was preparing for the larger board bills until this happened!

              Bluey, JustTheTicket, you're right in the sense that she will be find if sitting for another month (or two), but it is also for me as well. I love nothing more than riding in the warmer months, so I was personally really hoping to have a horse to ride when we get back into the swing of things (and come spring!).

              Thank you to everyone who has posted for the input!
              Also consider that, if where you are goes into a shut-down, you may not be able to go to the barn to work with her at all.

              May want to have a plan for that also, whatever fits the management of the barn.

              Comment


              • #27
                I get that you’re going to want to ride when it’s nice out, but I think in this case, yeah, you’re being selfish. Things are super weird right now (understatement), and I think you’re just going to have to accept that this year is basically a wash, and you won’t be able to ride as soon as you’d like to. If it were me, I’d just let the mare hang out for another month and then see where things are. I would hate for your trainer to get hurt starting her when the medical personnel can’t really handle it, too.

                Comment


                • #28
                  I've heard in some parts of the world (France?) they're actively discouraging people from riding horses (and I assume other higher risk actives) to try and free up medical resources.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    You won't know until you speak with her. It might be a burden to her, or a welcome source of income. Depends upon her situation.

                    As a slightly different option, I'll offer up what I'm doing. My young horse has some unsavory manners on the ground. I sent him to a natural horsemanship trainer. It's a great foundation, even if your horse doesn't have any bad habits yet!

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Is this the trainer you were planning to use in April? If so, sure go ahead and start now.
                      McDowell Racing Stables

                      Home Away From Home

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                        Is this the trainer you were planning to use in April? If so, sure go ahead and start now.
                        ^ this •
                        Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by kwpn_01 View Post

                          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.
                          I don't know what the issue is? Ask her and see what she says? I don't know why she would be riding clients horses and not being paid in the first place?? She might like a paying job and some income. Even just 2 days a week would do your youngster some good.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            I'm going to agree with RedHorses - either let her sit, or maybe ask your trainer to do some groundwork/lunging with her. A few points:

                            1. If you trainer did get hurt, not only can she not help your horse, she can't help any of the others she's currently exercising
                            2. I don't know if your trainer also provides care (feed/turnout/stalls/etc) but if so, that also means being hurt will cause issues there
                            3. We are in a state of emergency (I recall from another post that OP is Ontario, like me and a few others on this thread). Stables are only considered essential in terms of horse care, not riding. You likely got the emails from EC and OE with legal advice that all riding activities be shut down. EC's email also had a Code which explained the minimum basic care of equines, which included daily turnout OR exercise. I bring this up because IF something were to happen to your trainer and she was injured, I would wonder about insurance coverage, as she was performing a non-essential activity (your horse gets turned out, therefore does not require lunging/riding/other form of exercise).

                            I also see posts on FB from people still riding in Ontario - pros keeping their clients' horses worked, etc. I agree, it's tough to see and with the weather getting warmer and sunnier it sucks staying in and not being able to ride. My own horse was supposed to start under saddle rehab when this all went sideways...I got one 15-min walk in before. The barn I'm at is lunging boarders' horses on request - mine can't be lunged for rehab. So, he's going to sit and heal even more I guess Everyone is in the same boat. Show season is most likely done - maybe we'll be able to have a few near the end of the summer, maybe not.
                            I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #34
                              Momateur that sounds great for your youngster! I have also considered sending her to a natural horsemanship trainer, however, they are all out of bounds (outside city limits, 3 - 4 hours away) and with the uncertainty of the future, I'd hate for her to get locked down in another city!

                              Laurierace, Zu Zu, yes those are my thoughts, too! I'm going to wait to hear the news about the state of emergency (being re-evaluated tomorrow) and go from there. Given it is extended (which we are all assuming it will be), I'll put the bug in her ear. I think I'm leaning more towards letting her sit for April, and then come May, if boarders are still not permitted entry, to do some work with her.

                              candyappy it is a little bizarre she has been exercising horses for free and I don't understand the logic behind it, but whatever keeps the clients happy I suppose?

                              SolarFlare a little bit of both, is the plan! I agree with and have taken into account all of your points. It is risky, but also has benefits for both her, my horse and myself. I will put the bug in her ear to see what her opinion is on the matter.

                              Does everyone think that our horse shows (in Ontario) will be non-existent this summer? What's everyone's opinions on that? I'm trying to stay optimistic since in our zone, the first show isn't until the end of May, but do you guys think that one (if ANY) will happen?

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Maybe June would be a better place to start thinking about showing, Or save your money for training and skip worrying about shows. Horse is started, not needing total restart when things do resume. Overwhelming opinion is we tend to push them for too much too early when not necessary. You got time. Leave her and save that money towards really getting a good training foundation on her.
                                When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by kwpn_01 View Post
                                  [USER="248641"]

                                  Does everyone think that our horse shows (in Ontario) will be non-existent this summer? What's everyone's opinions on that? I'm trying to stay optimistic since in our zone, the first show isn't until the end of May, but do you guys think that one (if ANY) will happen?
                                  I just read an article yesterday that estimates Hamilton's cases are expected to peak in approximately mid-May. That of course just means the maximum number - there will still be ongoing cases after, but in diminishing numbers of daily add-ons. Then, those cases need to recover (looks like weeks from what I've seen), then I would imagine it's those 14 days past the first day of no new cases? And if any new cases pop up, the 14 days resets.

                                  I'd say we'll be lucky if we get any shows in before August, especially if nobody can go to the barn and ride their horses. Let's say isolation protocols are lifted sometime in July - I'd say the majority of Ontario riders haven't been riding, and many of those haven't had their horses in work with trainers. So are unfit horses who've had months off expected to get back into showing in a month? I'm actually interested to see how many horses get injured due to their owners/riders trying to push them too fast after this is over.

                                  I'm also interested to see what the demand will be for showing. I don't show the A circuit (and not hunters anymore either) so I don't know, but would the show just go on? What if the Royal is cancelled (the horse show part)? If the Royal is still to take place, what will the qualifying process be if there are hardly any shows available before the end of the season?

                                  I run a schooling dressage series. We're thinking about maybe adding a show or two to the end (Sept, Oct) IF it's safe to do so, but unsure what demand will be like. Maybe people will be excited to get back out, and maybe schooling shows will be popular options if the rated shows/champs aren't happening.
                                  I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    The AQHA has announced that they will waiver the qualifying requirements for their end of year shows, awards and titles.

                                    I expect one reason, not many shows will happen this year and few people will be ready to show then, if by then horse shows are back on at all.

                                    Seems that at least this year counting on showing of any kind is not going to be realistic.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      I would not be counting on any shows happening this season in Ontario at all.
                                      No matter where you go, there you are

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Equine Canada released a statement tonight that no sanctioned shows until at least June 1. So for most Trillium zones that eliminates the first one or two shows. Our barn hosts two shows later in the summer, I’m hoping they still happen.
                                        I’m not sure how OHJA and RAWF plan to handle this. I would think they would need at least 5-10 qualifying shows. And it just wouldn’t be possible to run the Royal Horse Show without qualifiers.

                                        We’re hoping to qualify our 3yo for the Cup classes. The first qualifier is in September.
                                        I asked my trainer today to do some groundwork with her for the month of April. We’ll reevaluate in a month.

                                        Comment

                                        • Original Poster

                                          #40
                                          Originally posted by findeight View Post
                                          Maybe June would be a better place to start thinking about showing, Or save your money for training and skip worrying about shows. Horse is started, not needing total restart when things do resume. Overwhelming opinion is we tend to push them for too much too early when not necessary. You got time. Leave her and save that money towards really getting a good training foundation on her.
                                          I am only concerned about showing solely for myself, I was planning on showing another barn mate's horse for the summer to stay in it. Otherwise, the plan for my youngster was to bring her to one or two shows in July/August for exposure if she was ready.

                                          SolarFlare I actually read an article last night too that they will be likely extending the state of emergency for an additional two weeks in Ontario, so another two weeks without the barn for sure. SolarFlare I agree, the show season is looking pretty grim.

                                          GoodTimes I did see that, which actually eliminates our one home show. I think our trainer is over the moon, being the first show of the season really stressed her out, but it would have been a cheap way to introduce my baby to the show scene. I was also considering to attempt qualifying for the cup classes, but we'll see what this year brings! I'm not sticking to any sort of plan anymore.

                                          I'm going to let my youngster sit for (the first two weeks of) April and see where this brings us. This entire thing is so unpredictable, I almost want to say this year is an entire wash.

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