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Feeling manipulated by trainer.

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  • #21
    Wow ... I'm confused. Admittedly my experience in the horse world has been limited to boarding barns, eventing trainers, dressage trainers, and dressage barns.

    "It's the breed show thing I'm opposed to, not necessarily their discipline specialty because they're an all around barn and that's why I chose them."

    How are they an all-around barn if there is no participation in dressage?

    How does this help you if you want to show dressage? (Leaving aside the discussion of the relevancy of "classical" dressage to "competitive" dressage ...)

    My guess is that you feel manipulated because you want full support. Sometimes it just doesn't work that way. But this is YOUR future and YOUR career. I devoted too many years and WAY too much money to someone whose focus was on her own best interest at the expense of mine (and my horse).

    You can choose to stay put and risk building a lot of resentment if things don't work out as she promises or risk flailing on your own until you find a good path. I would choose the 2nd.

    What does your husband say? He seems to be a partner in your venture, whichever way you go.

    And yes, I agree with everyone who says that it doesn't sound like you're getting a good value for your money. I thought working students were given housing, a small stipend, discount on boarding, and lessons ... I think you'd do better to work for free than the situation you have now where you essentially pay (a lot) to work.


    • #22
      Originally posted by PrimoAmor View Post
      You're working your butt off and paying outrageous amounts? That seems like an incredible deal for the trainer! No wonder she doesn't want you to leave.
      The OP has said she is working 18-20 hours a week (and OP are you counting the time you are spending on a horse either in a lesson or riding as work?). That is not really working your butt off, that is working a few hours to put a dent in your bill.

      Also to the OP one other thing you should know is that in the situation you are in right now, even just teaching just 1 lesson a week, you are not technically an amateur for showing purposes. You are one of those fence sitters that would be an amateur if you were a regular paying customer. So rather than whine that the amateur rules are not fair that should be a wake up call that it is poop or get off the pot time. Try the horse thing out full time and make it a career or stay and amateur and stay a customer.

      One other thing I would like to mention to the OP: barn owners/managers may be more likely to take you seriously if you apply for a job rather than go around looking to barter work for lessons. You said it took you over a year to find a barn that would let you barter work for lessons, and most barns hesitate at doing that because frankly it often results in having a starry eyed youngster under foot who really isn't getting much work done.


      • #23
        Originally posted by AllWeatherGal View Post
        I thought working students were given housing, a small stipend, discount on boarding, and lessons ...
        She is not a full time working student.


        • #24
          I do not feel you are being ripped off because they offered and you agreed to cost and value. If now you feel the cost is not worth the value then leave instead of bad mouthing their pricing structure.


          • #25
            You are paying for services and are unhappy with what you are receiving for that money. I am NOT saying it's not worth the values BUT I am saying 'you want a pionk dress and you're getting a red dress'.

            Find a horse that does at least 2nd level dressage. Then ask the barn where the horse curretnyl resides if they have a trainer OR if you can bring in a trainer to learn what you want to learn.

            Then give 30 days notice to old barn and new barn, and after 30 days make the switch. Make certain that when you provide you're written notice you detail "this is what I am paying for the final 30 days and what I expect to receive for that money. I am providing this in writing so that there is no mis-communication between us since I have enjoyed my learning experience at your barn, and may some day wish to come back to your barn. Thnak you again for such a positive experience:.

            You do not want to burn bridges, especially as it sounds like this trainer really knows what they are doing (and you may find that others in the area do not).

            Good luck.
            Now in Kentucky


            • #26
              Originally posted by Renae View Post
              She is not a full time working student.
              Right ... I was referencing the job she turned down for $600/month plus additional "benefits".


              • #27
                Wow! They have your number IMO. That is outrageous what you pay and work for what you get. That's just plain crazy. You can find a dressage barn and pay that on a lease with lessons a month and not have to work. IMO I'd head for the hills. Find a horse to lease in your sport of choice, which sounds like dressage, and go have fun. This sounds like they are taking advantage of you IMO.
                Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


                • #28
                  Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
                  I do not feel you are being ripped off because they offered and you agreed to cost and value. If now you feel the cost is not worth the value then leave instead of bad mouthing their pricing structure.
                  I wouldn't say the OP is being "ripped off" necessarily because, as tru said, the BO was up front and honest about the cost and services the OP would receive. In retrospect, it does not seem that the value the OP is receiving is a good value and I think it is safe to say that in a large majority of "horsey" areas in the country the OP could get a much, much better value for their work and money. I say this coming from a more costly, very horsey h/j/dressage area, too.

                  From what it sounds like OP, you may have to get creative to find the right experience for you. Your current location may have limited offerings as far as the right position for you. For you, location may be key while getting experience. Perhaps considering something slightly farther away with housing and you can go home on your time off? Either way, as an ammy who has been a working student for a few professionals, I worked an agreed-upon rate (anywhere from $8-12/hr depending on my position), had free riding time with the trainer while schooling clients' or the trainer's horses, and was responsible only for show fees outside of our agreement (I did not lease/board at the time). I had take home pay that I could use towards showing or as I saw fit. My point... I did not have to pay for riding time or the trainer's attention as it was my job!


                  • #29
                    You are paying a lot (and working a lot) for what you are getting and what you are getting isn't what you want.

                    Move on.
                    2016 RRP Makeover Competitor www.EnviousBid.com


                    • #30
                      I still can't figure out why you went there to begin with. This barn has an established program and you knew when you signed up that is not what you really wanted to do. Now you're upset that They are upset because you've told them you don't want to play in their sandbox?

                      Just leave, but keep in mind that you've essentially wasted a good bit of their time (even though they've been paid) developing you as a rider. Training barns are what they are. Just because you don't fit their mold, doesn't mean that they have to bend over backward to accomodate you.

                      I could take my saddleseat self over to Joe Fargis. I'm sure I'd learn a lot from him and some things would help my horse. But I wouldn't expect him to alter his show schedule or training program to accomodate my gaited horse.
                      Visit my Spoonflower shop


                      • #31
                        When I first got into horses, I didn't know what the hell I wanted to do; I just wanted to be around horses, period! I ended up apprenticing under a lady who bred and raised Arabians. She gave me some of the best advice that I still abide by to this day, and share whenever I can: "I want you to work for me and learn the way I do things. Then when you're ready to move on, work for someone else and learn their way. And so on and so forth, until you form your own opinion on what you want to do and how you want to it."

                        I did move on to other breeds and disciplines, and still try to soak up as much knowledge from any horse person I can. Do what makes you happy.


                        • #32
                          I, too, agree that you're being taken advantage of.
                          Here's how I would find out IF this barn and trainer really wants me around:
                          Suggest to the trainer I plan to enter an all-breed dressage show on the horse that I am leasing, since after all, that's what I'm really interested in, and the breed is already being trained classically. If the trainer is vaguely supportive, great, I'll stay. It may become a new money-making venture for the trainer. If the suggestion goes over like a lead balloon, or if the s#*^ hits the fan, then that's my answer and I'd be finding a new barn, poste-haste, regardless of how much $$ I'd given them to work my @$$ off.
                          PS: I WAS a working student, many years ago, and it was the best experience of my life. However, I got free board for myself and my horse, at least 2 lessons (often 3-4) 5 days per week, a small weekly stipend that went towards entry fees for the competitions in the discipline of my choice, plus trailering to the competitions until I had enough experience to do the trailering myself. I had it good!


                          • #33
                            You joined the show team and paid for it. I would think by your joining the show team that the trainer or BM thought that you were now interested - otherwise why on earth would you have joined? Chances are slim to none you will get your money back. You haven't said what this breed is or what discipline you enjoy except I think it's dressage. My advice would be to continue at that barn until your show team year is up - you never know as it might be fun for you and will experience comaraderie w/ the other riders on the team. At the end of the show team year, find another barn where you think it might be a better fit for you. This is one of the issues that can come up with breed and discipline specific barns - you're lucky they are working with you.


                            • #34
                              An often forgotten part of learning to be a horse trainer/coach is learning to be a business person/making sure you make money. If this program can teach you how they built their program to be the success it now is, you can use that knowledge and carry it over to other disciplines.

                              There is value to being part of a successful team, even if you go on to focus on other things.
                              Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


                              • #35
                                I'm curious, OP. Did you have any horse experience before working at this barn? If so, what kind and how much?


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by CHT View Post
                                  An often forgotten part of learning to be a horse trainer/coach is learning to be a business person/making sure you make money. If this program can teach you how they built their program to be the success it now is, you can use that knowledge and carry it over to other disciplines.

                                  There is value to being part of a successful team, even if you go on to focus on other things.
                                  This is great advice for young professionals in ANY career.


                                  • #37
                                    $1400 is outrageous. You are being played for a sucker. You'd do better working at McDonald's and actually getting paid for what you're doing. I agree, the trainer has herself a sweet deal, working you to the bone AND squeezing $1400 a month out of you!

                                    At my barn, which is a pretty high-end, Northeastern one, $1400 would pay full board and 2 lessons per week for a month. You don't even have your own horse and you're paying that much?
                                    I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry


                                    • #38
                                      I have to disagree that you are being taken advantage of. You knew the costs up front. You agreed to the program. They have invested time in you. For $1400 a month you are getting FULL use of a horse while paying for part lease. Including lessons and extra ride time. And since it is a part lease you are my guess not paying vet, farrier, insurance, etc. So you didnt have to buy the horse. You get extra ride time on top of all that.


                                      • #39
                                        Originally Posted by trubandloki

                                        I do not feel you are being ripped off because they offered and you agreed to cost and value. If now you feel the cost is not worth the value then leave instead of bad mouthing their pricing structure.
                                        I don't think you are ripped off either. Sounds like they are training horsemen and with good knowledge you can move along (in the future) to any discipline that you want. You KNEW what kind of business they did when you started there, so why whine now? Put you notice in and go find a place that does what you want to learn, which is what you should have done in the first place. Let this nice program have space to get a person who is more driven to be in the business than you are.
                                        "The Desire to Win is worthless without the Desire to Prepare"

                                        It's a "KILT". If I wore something underneath, it would be a "SKIRT".


                                        • #40
                                          Although I agree that the $1400 is likely able to be better spent if this is not the discipline the OP is interested, you are missing the information that the barn provides the "team" members with a horse that is able to take them to the biggest show for their breed, and they have a good reputation for coming home with Championships at this show. How many barns keep a pool of "World" quality show horses for their students? That has to have some value.
                                          Freeing worms from cans everywhere!