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Am I doing the right thing? *long*

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  • Am I doing the right thing? *long*

    Hi COTHers, it's me, Jessica (again). I hope you don't all hate me by now for the 5000 threads I have started, but I need some advice. Many of you have been suggesting (from the recent video I posted of myself riding) that I begin to take some extra lessons at a different stable that can help me refine my riding skills and become better. I am all for that and have already been researching like crazy. I am not going to leave my current barn, though. I still have quite a few horses (greenies) that I ride there and show a few also. This barn that I ride at now is very special to me. I have been there since the beginning of my riding life, and have grown a very close relationship with my trainer. She is a very big-hearted lady and loves to give to her kids. I have sort of become like the daughter she never had. I have spent almost every day out there for years and have become a literal family with everyone. I will never "leave", ya know?

    Eventually I plan to move away to work for a top barn, but I'm kind of nervous to break this news to my trainer. I think she knows that I have been thinking about it, and she really doesn't want me to. She wants me to grow, I think, but I sense that she has a problem with me visiting/taking lessons at other barns. One of the stables that I am looking at is one of the only hunter/jumper stables that is within a reasonable drive for me. I shadowed one of their trainers last summer and sort of liked the way they teach, and I think they can help me improve. My base, my home, will always be with my trainer, but this barn can be a nice place to go once a week for a lesson. I just don't want her to be upset with me.

    My question is, how do I stop from feeling like a traitor if I start visiting other stables? I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings! I will still continue to ride/train/show the greenies and whoever else I can at my barn for the next year or so until I graduate, but then I am really thinking about moving closer to a bigger barn where I can go to college and be a working student part time or something. Sorry for my monologue, but can anyone give me some advice on how to say goodbye and keep my relationships, while still branching out to other places? Also, is this a bad idea, to visit this other stable that is considered our competition?

    Thank you! -Jessica
    Last edited by Horserider15; Mar. 6, 2013, 07:44 AM.

  • #2
    you post count is not high enough to have started 500 threads....


    Well, there is that thing, at some point in time you have to leave home and experience the world.

    I have known a bunch of guys who's family owned the business, but they were send off some place else to learn the trade (my dad among many others) to see how things work in the rest of the world.

    So, for you to learn from this other trainer will be beneficial.
    Even if you learn what not to do, BTW.


    However, your trainer might get her feelings hurt.
    I have been told there are people in the industry who take these things very personal.
    That means, that even with the best intentions on your side, you might find yourself without your home base.

    however, you are planning to learn more, you have to see more barns, trainers, possibly disciplines.
    Be upfront with your trainer. No hinting around, etc, but straight talk. Don't assume you know what she is thinking.
    She might very well believe that you are going to jump ship for good....
    Originally posted by BigMama1
    Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
    GNU Terry Prachett

    Comment


    • #3
      Be upfront with your trainer. Let her know that while you are loyal to her and plan on staying with her, you want to branch out a bit and get some experience riding with other people, in order to improve your riding. I had a similar relationship with a trainer that I grew up with, and she encouraged me to take lessons with other people while I was riding with her. It was incredibly helpful and I am grateful that she pushed me to do so.

      If your trainer is mature and logical, she should understand your desires to expand your learning experiences and she should not feel threatened by your taking some lessons from others, as well as her. Not being upfront with her, however, might be making her uneasy about your motives and that might cause some tension. Be upfront and honest to avoid confusion and guessing games, on both sides of the relationship.

      As for leaving eventually, I'm sure this news won't come as a surprise to her. Nearly all ambitious young riders "leave the nest", so to speak, and go on to seek bigger and better things. This doesn't mean the end of your relationship with your trainer; it simply means you're ready to move on. If she is as invested in you as you say, she should be happy and excited for your future.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Y
        Originally posted by Alagirl View Post
        you post count is not high enough to have started 500 threads....


        Well, there is that thing, at some point in time you have to leave home and experience the world.

        I have known a bunch of guys who's family owned the business, but they were send off some place else to learn the trade (my dad among many others) to see how things work in the rest of the world.

        So, for you to learn from this other trainer will be beneficial.
        Even if you learn what not to do, BTW.


        However, your trainer might get her feelings hurt.
        I have been told there are people in the industry who take these things very personal.
        That means, that even with the best intentions on your side, you might find yourself without your home base.

        however, you are planning to learn more, you have to see more barns, trainers, possibly disciplines.
        Be upfront with your trainer. No hinting around, etc, but straight talk. Don't assume you know what she is thinking.
        She might very well believe that you are going to jump ship for good....
        Thanks, I just have to make sure that I tell her the truth, like you said.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Anybody else have any suggestions?

          Comment


          • #6
            sheesh, give it some time!

            let people wake up and get some coffee first!
            Originally posted by BigMama1
            Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
            GNU Terry Prachett

            Comment


            • #7
              Second the suggestion to be honest.

              I don't board anywhere, my horses are at home, but I work with one trainer on a semi-regular basis doing lessons...she comes to me for the lesson. Sometimes, she isn't available when I want a lesson, so I contact another trainer in the area where I trailer to her. I was up front with trainer #1 and said "I really like working with you, but you are a very busy person, so when I can't get a lesson with you, I try to get a lesson in with Trainer #2" Trainer #1 respects and agrees with teh teaching/trainign method of Trainer #2, so she completely agrees that I can't wait around for her to give me a lesson.

              Just be up front with the trainer/BO.
              "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

              Comment


              • #8
                If y'all have gone past a professional working relationship and she considers you like the daughter she never had then she is going to be hurt. She will probably perceive your decision to take lessons elsewhere as a personal betrayal or that you don't think she is good enough. It isn't healthy or right but she will probably experience this to at least a certain degree.

                Ultimately, if she values you as a person and sees you as "family" then things should be okay in the end regardless of where you lesson. If lesson or boarding elsewhere means that your relationship ends, then it should be clear that you were "family" while you were riding by her rules but that she isn't interested in continuing that relationship if you are not part of her system.

                Hopefully you will not have to choose but if it comes down to it would you rather stay at the barn to maintain that relationship or leave and grow as a rider?

                Comment


                • #9
                  OP, I think it all depends on how you phrase it. As GraceLikeRain said, if you're past a professional working relationship, it's a little bit tougher. I have very close relationships with 3 of the people I've trained with, but they've all supported my working with other trainers at times.

                  You need to make it clear why you want to go somewhere else - because you want to put more tools in your toolbox, so to speak. It's not anything against her, but you want some more saddle time and the opportunities to learn more and move up. You may find that not only does she support you, that she wants to come and watch! My main trainer usually comes to watch if I work with someone else, not to be intimidating or anything, but because she can see how I deal with different exercises and such. Hopefully your trainer will be the same way.

                  If it doesn't go well, you may have to decide what is more important to you; furthering your riding or keeping that relationship the way it is.

                  As an aside, I was another one who was skeptical about you when you first started posting (because we seem to get influxes of teenagers who want to be better), but the more you post, the more I like you. You're much more mature and realistic than a lot of the recent teen posts have been.

                  Good luck!
                  http://www.youtube.com/user/supershorty628
                  Proudly blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Is your trainer open to you going to clinics? Perhaps going to a clinic given by someone she admires would be a good way to open the door to new ideas. Perhaps she could audit so that she can support what you learn and apply it in your lessons. It may be a good first step to leaving the nest in a non-confrontational way.

                    There was a time when DD worked at a barn for a very nice trainer who focused mostly on lessons and local shows. Another trainer joined the barn who mostly trained her own horses, had a few clients, and traveled to the rated shows. The trainer DD worked for supported her in working with the new trainer when opportunities arose. The barn eventually was sold and the two trainers parted. The first trainer knew that DD wanted "a bigger pond" and encouraged her to move on. She still gets encouraging messages from this trainer from time to time.

                    It is important to be honest and open throughout the relationship - making it clear what your goals are and how you hope to accomplish them. That way, it will be evident when it is time to move on and your trainer can support that decision.

                    Best of luck!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You think your trainer knows that you are thinking about moving on. Have you actually talked to her about it?

                      "I need to advance, so I am going to ride at Competitor's barn" is going to be received very differently than "I want [X opportunities not available at this barn for whatever reason], so do you have any ideas/advice on how to get them?"

                      The second has her involved/invested in where you are going and it's less a betrayal and more something she is helping you to do.

                      Also, when you say competitor's barn, is it friendly competition and the trainers get on pretty well? Or is it the sort where they aren't just competing at shows, but also clients? Or is there bad blood between them? How she perceives the barn will affect how she perceives you leaving to go there, especially if she thinks there is a better option out there for you if you had just asked her for advice.

                      Or the short answer: Don't just be honest with her about what you want to do. Actually ask for her advice/help.

                      And be honest with the other barn, too, to make sure their trainer is not going to blow a gasket in six months when s/he finds out that you're still/also riding at your current barn.
                      Halt Near X | Horse Bloggers - Blog Directory

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ah, Jessica, welcome to the wonderful world of adulthood. Situations like this are part of being a horse professional so this is a pretty good way to start dealing with personalities...and egos. Your issue here is to dance the line between knowing what you have to do to reach your own goals in life while avoiding the " oh, we are not good enough for you anymore" reaction. And good luck with that. BTDT. Twice. One worked one did, one not so much but I HAD TO leave to reach my goals.

                        See if current trainer can teach you more about wrapping legs, applying poultices and charting temps which you will need in a serious barn while you try to figure out how to handle this.

                        2 COTH suggestions, use paragraphs every 4 or 5 sentences for easier reading off long posts. When you quote a post, don't pull the whole thing. Just the sentence you are responding to. Just put your courser down in the box and delete everything except that specific point. Real hard on a phone though.
                        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by GraceLikeRain View Post
                          If y'all have gone past a professional working relationship and she considers you like the daughter she never had then she is going to be hurt. She will probably perceive your decision to take lessons elsewhere as a personal betrayal or that you don't think she is good enough. It isn't healthy or right but she will probably experience this to at least a certain degree.

                          Ultimately, if she values you as a person and sees you as "family" then things should be okay in the end regardless of where you lesson. If lesson or boarding elsewhere means that your relationship ends, then it should be clear that you were "family" while you were riding by her rules but that she isn't interested in continuing that relationship if you are not part of her system.

                          Hopefully you will not have to choose but if it comes down to it would you rather stay at the barn to maintain that relationship or leave and grow as a rider?
                          Yes, you explained my situation perfectly. I know that she will be hurt, and this will be a hard transition, but I DO want to grow as a rider, and I really hope that she can understand that :/

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by Alagirl View Post
                            sheesh, give it some time!

                            let people wake up and get some coffee first!
                            Sorry! Lol I need you guys! Haha

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by supershorty628 View Post
                              OP, I think it all depends on how you phrase it. As GraceLikeRain said, if you're past a professional working relationship, it's a little bit tougher. I have very close relationships with 3 of the people I've trained with, but they've all supported my working with other trainers at times.

                              You need to make it clear why you want to go somewhere else - because you want to put more tools in your toolbox, so to speak. It's not anything against her, but you want some more saddle time and the opportunities to learn more and move up. You may find that not only does she support you, that she wants to come and watch! My main trainer usually comes to watch if I work with someone else, not to be intimidating or anything, but because she can see how I deal with different exercises and such. Hopefully your trainer will be the same way.

                              If it doesn't go well, you may have to decide what is more important to you; furthering your riding or keeping that relationship the way it is.

                              As an aside, I was another one who was skeptical about you when you first started posting (because we seem to get influxes of teenagers who want to be better), but the more you post, the more I like you. You're much more mature and realistic than a lot of the recent teen posts have been.

                              Good luck!
                              Thank you, supershorty I'm always afraid that I am bothering all of you and that you don't like me, lol, but I really do need you. I don't have anyone else (besides my mom and a few barn friends) to discuss this stuff with, so I am very grateful for you all! And thanks for the advice. When the time comes, this will be a tough one.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                It really depends on her personality. We would all hope that our trainers will know their limits and when we need to move up and on but most Do not realize this and take it personal.

                                I would have a heart to heart with her if your that close to her. Have a sit down and tell her your goals. Like, I want to develop and ride hopefully at the A circuit level and I would like to go take some lessons on a horse that can take me there. I still want to ride for you and be here to help of course because this is home and i love the greenies and would love to bring one up to that level. But i believe to do that i need to ride some at that level to have the feel for where I need to go with said horses.

                                Also you mentioned on the other thread you want to ge into eventing. There is nothing she can help you with there. Shes a hunter jumper barn which is very different than eventing. If you find an eventing barn it should be easier for her to understand. If you sit down and tell her that you still wanna work here and greenies etc but you really have a goal to event and you want to start lessoning at an event barn so you can learn dressage and cross country. Even say something like I'd love for you to still help me with stadium rounds. Etc.
                                Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  [QUOTE=findeight;6873090]Ah, Jessica, welcome to the wonderful world of adulthood. Situations like this are part of being a horse professional so this is a pretty good way to start dealing with personalities...and egos. Your issue here is to dance the line between knowing what you have to do to reach your own goals in life while avoiding the " oh, we are not good enough for you anymore" reaction. And good luck with that. BTDT. Twice. One worked one did, one not so much but I HAD TO leave to reach my goals =QUOTE]

                                  Ok, thanks for the tips. I guess this is just one of those tough decisions, but I already know that I do want to be better, and that means that I will have to move on. What would I do without the COTHers? Lol. And I'm glad to know that this is a normal thing.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by rabicon View Post
                                    It really depends on her personality. We would all hope that our trainers will know their limits and when we need to move up and on but most Do not realize this and take it personal.

                                    I would have a heart to heart with her if your that close to her. Have a sit down and tell her your goals. Like, I want to develop and ride hopefully at the A circuit level and I would like to go take some lessons on a horse that can take me there. I still want to ride for you and be here to help of course because this is home and i love the greenies and would love to bring one up to that level. But i believe to do that i need to ride some at that level to have the feel for where I need to go with said horses.
                                    These are good suggestions, thanks Jessica. I can't help but feel like a bad person, but I want to experience as much as I can and not be confined to one place.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Be upfront with her. Don't make it about her shortcomings or limitations; instead, focus on your personal growth. And for the love of Pete, tell her EXACTLY which trainer you want to start riding with. And why.

                                      It gets trickier, as others have said, when there is a personal relationship involved as well as a professional one. You might think she knows you're thinking about this, but my guess is that she doesn't -- or if she does, she's turning a willfully blind eye to the possibility. She has the best of everything right now, if I'm reading your posts correctly: a great working student who is also like her daughter. BTDT. Currently dealing with the repercussions. Haven't ridden in two years because of it.

                                      Hopefully, your situation has a much more positive outcome. Be prepared for her to throw a hissy fit, though. Remain calm and professional during the conversation. Reassure her that you don't plan to leave her barn, that you will continue to work with the horses there, but it's time for you to experience other ways of teaching and get more experience in the field you want to go into.

                                      And (from personal experience), be prepared for that relationship to end if she doesn't take it well. Good luck!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Hint: 90% of the time when people show up here on COTH to ask for advice about how to handle something with Professional Horseperson X, what they really need to do is take that well-crafted first post that they placed on COTH and communicate exactly the same thought in almost exactly those same words to Professional Horseperson X. In other words, recycle your admirable effort in trying to explain this situation to complete strangers by using it to thoughtfully explain the situation to Professional Horseperson X.

                                        What causes resentment, tension, and suspicion in most horsey relationships is a lack of open communication. If you haven't explicitly laid out EVERYTHING in your first post in very clear terms, as tactfully and cheerfully as possible, then your trainer will understandably be left with questions and potential resentment. For all she knows, you could be planning to completely cut ties with her when you find another barn. Or, conversely, she may have quiet concerns about the methods used at the other barns you're exploring--but unless and until you ask her opinion about those other barns, it's not her business and she is unlikely to openly share her thoughts. Or your trainer may know that she has a less-than-flawless reputation with other local professionals, and she is worried that as soon as you fly the coop, you will find out and think less of her. Or your trainer may actually know of better opportunities for you than the ones you're pursuing, and her feelings are hurt that you haven't bothered to ask for her help in moving upward and onward. In your trainer's generation--and arguably, still in today's generation--most of the best horsey opportunities come from your former trainer hooking you up with someone higher up the training food chain. So if you haven't specifically approached your trainer for help, she may feel a little slighted.

                                        But all of this is conjecture until you actually talk to her. Until then, it's just assumptions and potential hurt feelings on each sides. So request a sit-down meeting with your BO and get all this out in the open*ASAP. This sort of tension will only fester and grow over time. Break the spell, not only for your own comfort, but because it will make your BO respect you more as a young emerging horse professional.

                                        Is this easy? No. Is it easier than living with unspoken tensions and assumptions? Heck yes. It's possible that she will react negatively or freak out, but that is her problem, not yours. You will have done your part to keep this civil, open, and "adult" and it's her choice whether she reacts to this in an equally civil, open, and adult fashion. If she's as wonderful as you say she is, she will probably react very positively.

                                        PS, I do practice what I preach. I'm tight with my current BO and we actually *enjoy* such sit-down chats. Here's a sample script: "Hey BO, I was thinking about [fill in hair brained scheme here.] I really respect your opinion and I know this has potential to affect your barn dynamics, so could we cruise over to the tack room lounge and have a 5-minute coffee meeting about this?" <--See, not as hard as you thought.
                                        Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

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