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Does your trainer restrict or otherwise stipulate your ability to ride your horse?

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  • "Had no idea I'd be met with the horse trainer version of the soup nazi from Seinfeld...NO RIDING FOR YOU! "

    I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry


    • Original Poster

      Originally posted by ReSomething View Post
      Now that this thread has had a chance to cool a little, OP, I'd like to ask a few more question about the business model. Are you permitted to visit at any time and handle the horse, if for example you wanted to take Pooky out and groom him would that be permitted? Hand graze? Hang out in the stall?

      I was permitted to come and groom/graze if trainer/instructor or other staff was there. Hacking no. No riding at all outside the weekly lesson.

      For those of you who value full training in order that you can ride a tuned up, legged up horse without having to somehow carve hours out of your busy days, how much are you willing to give up in terms of interacting with your horse? Do you expect to be able to go down and perhaps go for a hack without getting permission, or do you give that up in exchange for horse shows? Do you prefer to show or hack and would that change if you had financial difficulties?
      Would it bother you to be told this horse is too much for you or is that one of the trainer's important jobs is to manage to convince a thoroughly overhorsed owner that there's no problem, we'll just put some more training rides on him?

      At the moment I'm wondering if there does exist a market for the tuned and legged up not-so-high-powered occasional show horse or if the DIY part of that model makes it unprofitable.
      If it makes any difference, i told the trainers i wanted an easy ride and that i was willing to give up competitiveness for simplicity. It wasnt what I'd call a cheap horse either, and it was selected for me by the trainers as a supposed perfect fit for my needs. In retrospect i should have paid more attention to the fact there were never any ammies riding their horses.

      Fwiw, i think a there is a huge population of working moms who ride who are willing to pay to have their horse in training and for help at shows. But i think like me they are not going to want to have their riding opportunities restricted. We have enough restrictions like daycare, job and other family comittments already.


      • Does my trainer specifically prohibit me from riding my horse? Well, no. BUT, I accept that the norm in this world is to ride my critter once a week, and possibly take a lesson on another. If I were to show up and expect to ride 3 or 4 days a week on my own horse, they'd probably have something to say about it- like NO! He doesn't get ridden that often, period. Neither did my little mare. Now, I'm perfectly capable of keeping the mare in show condition and being respectable at shows, but I don't have the time or ambition. Though when I first took the mare to my current trainer, I specifically asked if it would be OK for me to take her to shows they weren't attending on my own if I so desired. Fine with them. I'm pretty certain if I had a horse at home I was working, I could stable with them at shows and pay for groom services, and I'd probably get some rail coaching thrown in as well. Not all full service trainers are control freaks.

        If I was the one with the winning Powerball ticket, my first request would be for my trainer to find "us" a great 5-gaited horse. It would be nice if I could ride it, at least at home, but I wouldn't have a bit of a problem watching the trainer show it!


        • Originally posted by meaty ogre View Post
          . . .
          Fwiw, i think a there is a huge population of working moms who ride who are willing to pay to have their horse in training and for help at shows. But i think like me they are not going to want to have their riding opportunities restricted. We have enough restrictions like daycare, job and other family comittments already.
          Oh believe me, I am in your situation only I keep my horses at home. By the time I get off work and get everybody fed, well, there just aren't enough hours in the day. DD doesn't have the interest to leg them up, DH, even though he swore he'd work with the pony when we(he) bought it doesn't have the time or the inclination, and I am forever doing one step forward and two steps back since I don't want to make pony back sore and he's got to have that saddle up there to toughen up his girth and back. I can't in good conscience go trail riding for two hours once a month on him, it'd be the fat kid hiking in brand new shoes, cruel at best.

          I've read in the ASB publications that they are trying to broaden the breed appeal and market base by encouraging off brand uses of the horses, such as dressage, CDE, jumpers, and endurance but the association itself is lukewarm at best in promotion and the existing membership - trainers anyway - like their model, exclusivity works for them and they are comfortable in their disciplines.
          Mr LaCroix is likely repeating the thought that the Arab breed needs some promotion outside the safe confines of the existing models, and most trainers feel safest within those models.

          The model is they train to win, despite the ammy owner, they go to every available show, and charge for it, that's how they survive. Just my opinion.
          Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
          Incredible Invisible


          • There's some high-end hunter/jumper barns around here who put their show clients' horses in a training program. Owner is restricted to two jumping lessons a week, one hack (no jumping) and the pro rides it the other two days a week. Doesn't matter if the horse is a greenie or a pro, that's the plan for show circuit clients.

            At my old barn we were only allowed to jump in lessons but that was because the majority of the boarders were under 18.

            My trainer once restricted my riding my horse...but my horse was green, I was a novice, and my parents decided to put my horse into a training program with said trainer. I had one to two lessons a week, one hack, and then trainer rode him twice a week. She asked me - very nicely - if I could not ride him between her rides...so I didn't. That was only for about 6 months, then his training rides dropped down to once a week. The only other time she restricted my riding was in the spring. She left a message on the board saying "Do not ride ---- outside." Apparently she rode him outside for the first time and he turned into a bucking bronco.

            So, yes - I've had trainers restrict my riding on my horse, but only for short time periods and with valid reasons. In my case it was more of a green horse-green rider thing.


            • I grew up in eventing and am back in eventing but a few years ago I did a hiatus at an Arabian saddle seat barn. Myself and another lady were the "general" trainers. We rode the non-arabians, the dressage horses, the problem horses, the pleasure horses of the 9-5 busy owners. Those owners could come and ride whenever they wanted. The farm had access to trails and beautiful fields and boarders were encouraged to enjoy them.

              The farm also had a head trainer who only rode the arabians and half-arabians that were actively showing in the "main ring" classes. The horses in training with her lived under a different set of rules. She rode them. Their owners rode them under her supervision. Those horses did not go on trails. Their tails were kept in socks and they spent a lot of time under a huge wardrobe of slinky/sheet/blanket combinations. They wore funny shoes put on by a specialist farrier. Those horses purpose was to go round and round in a ring in front of judges.

              It wasn't my cup of tea but who am I to judge? Some owners got burned out and left the show program. They could switch over to dressage or do schooling shows, not show at all, but they were not going to do any saddle seat (or hunter under saddle) type classes, under our farms name, unless they were in and adhering to our farm's "show training" rules.

              Some owners also saw the show horses and decided it was something they'd like to do and if they had a horse that was capable, it entered the show training program, or they bought a show horse. The show horses were expected to always be a professional, top class representation of the show training program. When we took those clients to shows, there was no self care. The horses were groomed by us, to our standard. The head trainer warmed the horses up for the clients, the clients were schooled by the head trainer. They won a lot, and they enjoyed it, or they left the program for something less intense.

              I don't understand parelli people who spend hours leading their horse around instead of riding, but if it makes them happy, who am I to judge? I don't understand the hunter rider I met my freshman year of college who was showing over 3'6 but had never ridden outside of a ring, but she was also very happy with her version of riding. My driving buddy doesn't understand why I'd want to sit on top of a horse when it's so much more comfortable in a buggy. I scratch my head over the lady down the road from me who breeds for the buckskin color classes and prizes stripes on a leg over the actual leg conformation.... but to each their own.

              People will enjoy their horses in their own way, and if your goal is to win saddleseat classes as an amateur owner or a junior, your best bet is probably to do it under the strict eyes of a trainer. On the other hand, if your goals are to gallop through a field and jump logs on a trail ride, you're probably not riding in a cutback saddle and a double bridle.
              The rebel in the grey shirt


              • Originally posted by Guin View Post
                I don't think anyone's saying it's unethical. But to me, and others here, it is just flat-out STRANGE. I do not understand why someone would own a riding horse and be told that she can't ride it. A racehorse syndicate, yes, but a riding horse?
                Go look again, the ethics were questioned (post 41).

                It might be strange to you, but it's not that bizarre. There is a difference between owning a riding/pleasure horse and a show horse. I've had both. Several others who have posted on here have both in one shape or form. I bought my last mare as a show horse. I had no intention of riding aimlessly anywhere on Poopsie. Poopsie's sole purpose was to be a show horse, much like a Keeneland yearling is bought to race. Depending on how talent and potential evolved, my initial plan was not necessarily that I would be the one showing the horse. If things worked out that the horse and trainer would make a winning pair, I don't have a problem supporting that.

                IME, none of my trainers have had a problem with me grooming or cooling out my horses, or feeding their apple addiction. I generally don't tack up a horse in training. Training tack is used on multiple horses in the barn, and frequently adjusted. I'm not around enough to be familiar with all the ideosyncrasies of it (old trainer - almost nothing is used "out of the box" - there are all sorts of modifications). Theoretically, I could do it; if asked, I will; however, I prefer not to. I've already seen someone dumped because duties were swapped a horse was tacked up not quite as expected.

                I equate it to sailing boats as a kid. We knew how we wanted the running rigging set, guests (even experienced sailors) not necessarily so. It's pretty close from boat to boat, but non uniform. While we did get ourselves into trouble on occaison, if guests were there, my sister & I prefered to run the rigging ourselves then to find the oops in the middle of the lake because Uncle Al ran a line through the wrong pully or fairlead.
                Visit my Spoonflower shop