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Horse World and Unprofessional Behavior

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  • Original Poster

    Funny thing, sometimes people just can't see the forest for all those darned trees getting in the way! I mean, seriously, I've seen people just not want to hear something negative about their trainer/coach. Not saying a person should gossip, but there are some major criminals (have even been convicted) that go on and find new victims. Just try to convince the upcoming victim that the person is a crook. Never gonna happen. They're just blind and are happy with being schmoozed by the trainer/coach.

    I shudder to think of how oily some of these characters are. Some people just have NO discernment.
    "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"


    • #42

      I have experienced the following:

      Trainers and farriers that were "no shows" to lessons or appointments. Happening multiple times w/the same person. You think they would learn their lesson!

      Constant tardiness. Trainers especially. I have waited 45 minutes for a lesson to start multiple times. Vets it seems to happen too. I had a vet tell me to meet her at 4:30pm and then she saw 8 horses before mine! I was there until 8pm that night.

      Not returning my phone calls. Happens with farriers a lot. New barn managers never seem to return my calls either.

      Moving to a barn and not having board paperwork to sign!

      I once moved to a barn and was promised a certain shed arrangement and ended up getting a plywood shack for months because the guy just wanted to get the $ in the door.

      Right now I am trying to move to a barn and the barn manager won't call me back. She originally told me I could move in March, then I called again and she said no. Then 30 days ago she said I could move April 10th. I am 8 days out and she hasn't confirmed that date.

      Another recent annoyance was my past trainer who went totally crazy on everyone- she would tell you you were fat or that you out right sucked. Every day she would make people cry.

      Right now I am trying to move my horse and I just can't get anyone to fully commit to taking him. It's to the point where I just want to go hide in a pasture somewhere!


      • #43
        Originally posted by shawneeAcres View Post
        You don't need 'training" to have good business practices.
        Things that one might consider common-sense (don't ask your direct-report on a date, especially if he/she is married? c'mon), are required topics of training mandated by the U.S. government for all contractors.

        The popularity of books geared to "how to manage your email," "how to succeed as a [insert office/corporate position]" indicates that a number of individuals recognize that they need help being effective.

        Plus, like many hobby/leisure activity businesses, it is full of people with shakey self-esteem (takes one to know one!) and boundary issues who operate from a position of how they wish the world was rather than how it really is.


        • #44
          If you want to see rude, condescending and unprofessional, check out the farriers throwing their heft around in the Horse Care forum.

          I don't know if they just use COTH to get out all the pent up frustration they deal with on a daily basis or what, but wow.
          Perfect example.
          The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
          Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
          The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY


          • #45
            Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
            If you want to see rude, condescending and unprofessional, check out the farriers throwing their heft around in the Horse Care forum.

            I don't know if they just use COTH to get out all the pent up frustration they deal with on a daily basis or what, but wow.
            Perfect example.
            Hah hah!! Yep those guys are a hoot. From a certain distance, anyway....

            Shoeing horses is serious hard work. I have found a certain 'type' of high energy/spazz personality shows up in the profession from time to time.

            I have also encountered plenty of folks (clients) in the industry who really LIKE to be entertained. They LIKE snarky jack a$$es. Farriers come barging into the barn and liven up the place, in a certain fashion, anyway.

            Fire, brimstone, smoke, attitude and gossip. This is certain personality type that has a solid niche in the industry. Now these folks sometimes wear out their welcome after so many years. But there are also the hard to service clients who wear out the grace of the kinder farrier souls. And then the jack a$$es are the one's with the strength to put up with the tougher customers.

            I can see how someone could be scared off/irritated/horrified by these high energy guys. But overall, they fit nicely into certain spots and they generally do very, very well on the $ end.
            "Friend" me !



            • #46
              Yikes... reading all this makes me glad I live in a small town where everybody knows everybody and if I mentioned a name and asked someone's opinion of them, people would answer honestly

              The worse I had was a coach who would show up at the barn at the time our lesson was supposed to start, then fiddle with her horse and talk to everybody else before coming into the arena and she would spend her sweet time inbetween courses talking about this, that, and the other thing - and we always ended up finishing late. However some of the moms of the younger girls would adore her & bring her coffee before every lesson to try and get closer to her so their kids could ride better horses, sheesh.

              but it's relatively easy to get your instructor's licence however, compared to being a doctor per se. And being in a position where you can be self employed and you have to rely on self motivation means the business is a whole lot more personal and a whole lot of people's regular behaviour comes out instead of staying professional.

              however in the future, if I have to switch coaches/farriers/vets/etc I always ask a few close people who I trust if they've heard anything good/bad about said person. That's what helped me stay clear of a few shady coaches in the past


              • #47
                Please please use correct grammar and punctuation on everything, I WILL think you are not as smart as someone else if you do not.

                I grew up running a small business and so much if this is second nature and I think my parents every day for teaching me all sorts of life skills. That being said my vets and farriers have all been wonderful (thank goodness) and those whom I have had to fire it was done well and we separated peacefully.

                I'd also like to add I don't want your political and/or religious views... just your opinions on horses please!

                I did loose all professionalism, an attitude I like to regularly maintain, a while back when lashing out at a "business" on Facebook. It made me want to beat my head against a wall listening to these people... I never want to sound that stupid in either real life or the interweb. (and for the record I sounded stupid too please drop the flaming) However it was a very clear reminder to me that I never know who's watching and to always mind my P's and Q's
                Saddle Tree Acres


                • #48
                  I love my farrier. I love my vet.

                  They show up when they say they will, do a wonderful job and do not gossip. Well worth the money.

                  If it took anyone two weeks to call me back about anything, I would have already hired/done something else.

                  I had a trainer go off on my because after telling her for 6 months what kind of a new show horse I wanted, she insisted on continuing to show me only what she had in her barn for sale. The BO had a lovely horse in training that the trainer knew about, but she failed to mention it. BO and I went out to lunch one afternoon, mentioned her horse (at another pro barn) went to see, bought that afternoon.

                  I was "banished" from showing with "her group" and the teenagers (I'm an adult) refused to even speak to me any longer at the barn, though they'd all stayed in hotel rooms I'd paid for (didn't like to room w/trainer and her small children) and hitched free rides for their extra horse in my trailer.

                  I just laughed and went on with it. Apparently, I had threatened the kingdom and "Everyone will just think they can go buy their own horse without my imput". Which would have been ok, but I'd been buying my own horses since before said trainer was a gleam in her Daddy's eye and I was perfectly capable, since I was doing all my own riding. (sometimes you need someone to move the jumps around.) It was all fun, til it wasn't, then I found someone else and quickly.

                  If you allow yourself to be treated unprofessionally and rudely, you deserve what you get. Find a person/service that answers the phone and shows up when they say they will and does what they say they'll do or fire them! If you wouldn't date or be friends with that person, why in heaven's name would you pay them to treat you like crap? I have never understood that mentality and have never put up with it.

                  In my book, it ain't baseball, you don't get three strikes, and you damn well better have a good excuse for the first one.


                  • #49
                    Goes double for feed-men and hay-men, too. I was loyal to this one asshat for 25 years while he treated all his customers like dirt, his help worse, and screwed us on the prices of everything at every opportunity.

                    Finally, I switched to a bigger feed dealer with MUCH nicer people, who really aim to serve and please their big customers. Wish I had done it an awful lot sooner!

                    Vote with your FEET. And checkbook!


                    • #50
                      Originally posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
                      Goes double for feed-men and hay-men, too. I was loyal to this one asshat for 25 years while he treated all his customers like dirt, his help worse, and screwed us on the prices of everything at every opportunity.

                      Finally, I switched to a bigger feed dealer with MUCH nicer people, who really aim to serve and please their big customers. Wish I had done it an awful lot sooner!

                      Vote with your FEET. And checkbook!
                      This made me giggle a little and reminded me of my old feed dealer before I moved. One day my mom and I are on our way there to pick up the feed and she starts complaining about the guys the owner employes. How they're so slow and lazy and how that have bad attitudes, nearly rude sometimes and how it takes forever for her to get them to load the order for her.

                      Meanwhile I'm driving and I'm like WHAT?! no way these are the nicest guys! They're always friendly and my stuff's loaded before I even check out half the time. So she's essentially like you've got to be kidding, I don't believe that. We get there, I back in, all the guys are basically there we small talk for a minute I tell them what I'm getting and they're all smiles and "we're on it ma'm" super nice and efficient. My mother was like WTF?! I NEVER get that kind of service!! Apparently service is determined by age, and ability to back into small spaces. (I laughed all the way home but she was still sulking... I guess I'll be sulking in 30 years too)
                      Saddle Tree Acres


                      • #51
                        Originally posted by Snap View Post
                        We actually have a mandatory class to teach first year law students about being professional.
                        A few years ago, I got Red Cross (re-)certification as a lifeguard - just because. I was, uh, interested to see that the Red Cross had felt the need to add an initial chapter on important life-saving techniques such as...

                        Showing up for work on time!
                        Not talking on your cell phone on duty!
                        Not using inappropriate language, especially around young children!

                        I had my original decades-old lifesaving course book -- no, they didn't feel the need to "educate" us on this back when I was 15. I guess it was just assumed.

                        But as for horse professionals, there are many factors at play:
                        • It's often a "sellers" market. The number of people able to provide what you want is more scarce. So, sometimes, you take what you can get.
                        • Lack of education. Customers don't know enough to recognize that what they're getting is subpar, or worse
                        • For the vast majority of customers, it's a leisure activity - we WANT to like/have a friendly relationship with our trainer, our farrier, etc. It's not the same relationship we necessarily want/expect with other professionals in our lives (doctors, veterinarians, etc)
                        • Most horse professionals are self-employed. In the fitness field (personal training, for example, where "liking" your professional is probably at a higher premium) many people work via a gym or physical therapy practice. IOW, they have a boss they must satisfy, in addition to satisfying the customer. (Also re: point 1, there are a lot more physical trainers to choose from and re: point 2, there's a lot more available literature -- and the general population is somewhat more educated about -- what is "good" and "bad" in fitness training. So it's more of a buyer's market situation.)
                        • Horses are not terribly portable. It's a hassle to make a switch/find a place to switch to. So, another barrier to making changes that benefits the not-necessarily-professional professional
                        • As others mentioned, many horse professionals "learn by doing" rather than getting a formal education
                        • There's a lot of bad information out there, and without formalized instruction, it can be difficult to sort the bad from the good. (Even WITH formalized instruction, bad information can persist. It can happen in the medical profession, for example when doctors fail to keep up with current literature. I know of 2 cases, personally, where that occurred. Fortunately not to me personally.)
                        • Emotion. Mistyblue has summed up much of what can go wrong...


                        • #52
                          The simple answer: because people allow them to be unprofessional.

                          Many people in the horse community are willing to look past eccentric or unprofessional behavior if they think the trainer can offer them something they can't get anywhere else or for a price they can afford. I don't think this perception is accurate most of the time but most of the people who allow this behavior are inexperienced. Though I'm sure there are places where they only have a few options, none of which are good. Then you're stuck choosing the lesser of two evils or not doing it at all.

                          You normally have to burn someone pretty good before they drop you when they feel like you're their only option for a given service.

                          This all goes for many other situations as well. Look at how crazy you have to be as an actor or singer before people won't put up with you anymore. You've got to be Lindsey Lohan level crazy before you get black listed from an industry.

                          I also think that since most horse professionals work for themselves or for a very small business. When someone expresses unhappiness or disagrees with you, it's very easy to take it as a personal attack. If I tell a restaurant manager that I received poor service, they're not going to take that as a personal attack. But if I told a farrier that I decided to start using someone else....

                          I have met lots of crazy people in the corporate world that get away with unprofessional behavior because they are so in demand and independently wealthy that they could get fired tomorrow, go on a month long vacation (which would never happen as most of them are workaholics) and start an even better job when they come back. All were in upper management.

                          If you're rich and/or talented, you can get away with being a little crazy. Many people will think it's worthwhile to put up with crazy if they can get access to your money or your skills.