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My sensitive horse hates my trainer...Conclusion/Update #64 & THANKS to all!

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  • #41
    Who told you what happened? The trainer or someone else?

    Why did your horse have a problem on the lunge line? Do you let her piddle and fart around and did the trainer ask her to move forward and pay attention?

    I kind of hear you saying that when your horse doesnt' want to do something you avoid it then go back to it later. This more tells your horse that she can do what she wants when she feels like it and if you take the direct approach you will get a blow up because all of a sudden the horse has to do things on the rider's terms.

    Did your trainer hit her on the shoulder because she threw her head or because she was throwing her head and refusing to go forward?

    How do you know it was a tight rein? If the person that watched rides on the buckle and thinks if they take contact they hurt their horse then anything else would look cruel but might not actually be.

    Sometimes training rides can be ugly if the regular rider lets the horse get away with murder because it's "sensitive." Sometimes as horse owners we try to be friends with our horses instead of leaders and trainers often have to fix that.

    I'm not saying that's what happened, but I'm trying to come from another angle.
    http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

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    • #42
      It's always very hard to really assess a situation from a BB, not knowing the rider or trainer or anything, really. But the OP has reservations about the situation and another opinion would certainlty not hurt.

      I can't tell you how much I appreciate the person who helps me with my horse - we are just so in line with each other's opinions. It is a perfect match for my horse and me.
      Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #43
        Wow. I stepped away and came back to all of your posts. Thank you!!!

        First, the good news is that the trainer told me everything herself. The bad news was it was very boastful about how she showed "her".

        I appreciate the comments to the other side as in, am I letting her get away with things... I don't think so. The reason I say that is I am getting what I ask for. Great transitions, focused over poles, decent leg yields. When we have lessons, I do my best and when I practice later, I get as much as I remember. :-)

        I never ever ask for something and let her get away with not doing it. It's funny, my trainer tells me to work through and ignore the head shake, hold my hands steady and ride through. I do and it all works out. She tells me that if she starts acting bratty, take her down to what we know well, even if it is a walk halt or walk trot transition. So I do, she calms down and we stork right back into the request no problem. I swear I have never once thought, "oh gee, she's not listening... Lets try tomorrow." That does not fly because every time you walk away - they remember!!!

        I totally own my part in the lunging thing. I got lazy & she played too much. I lunged yesterday & today and she is still trying to pull crap, but I stop it immediately and she moves on, like oh damn the trainer got to you... Fine lets do this.

        Lastly, someone asked if she used her own equipment. Yes, but just her saddle. I did find out that after a month of hell in bit fitting, we finally found a great Myler bit that has been fantastic. For whatever reason, she just up and switched to a Waterford. I found it on her bridle when I got home. I talked to one of the Myler brothers about my horse and some early issues. What the guy prescribed worked swimmingly. I pushed to stay with the Myler as I liked the breaks & connection, the Waterford was her choice.

        I immediately put the Myler back on and in my two rides, no head shaking, no fussing and no issues.

        I'm pretty sure I have beat this to death and I know the answer. Answering back to someone else who posted, I am not dumping anyone without a conversation as I love her as my riding instructor. But I will not tolerate the hitting and frustration that exacerbates all of this....

        Someone told me today that all horses explode and all act badly. While I think that may be true, I'm getting sick of being surrounded by people who constantly expect it and create all this drama and seem to create the explosion subconsciously. If you keep looking for it, surely you will find it. Every time a horse acts out, then they are vindicated.

        Someone also told me today that I have this nice mare and if I don't turn her into a huge show horse and hunter it would be a waste. Last time I checked, this was still supposed to be fun and if I want to ride her on the trail and have her as a pleasure horse, ultimately that's my choice.

        Lets just say, it was not a fun night at the barn. Again, I so appreciate everyone's support from all sides. You gave me a ton to think about. I promise I am actually a person who really considers what my part in all this is... Like I own the lunging issue. Cheers!!!

        Comment


        • #44
          I allow young horses to have opinions. One has to be able to ride through these calmly and show them that when they co-operate things are much nicer. I don't know the kind of riding you do but for dressage riders how many times have we heard a European trainer say "doesn't matter, just keep riding"? Punishment under saddle will quickly sour a horse to ridden work.

          If a horse deliberately challengers the handler on the ground, of course that's different. Immediate correction is needed for safety's sake.

          Sounds like your trainer needs to expand her toolbox and not give into anger or frustration. If she can't I would also change trainers.

          Let me add that I don't agree with working a horse everyday as I believe you said in your OP. Everyone needs a day off. If you have to go to the barn take one day to hand graze or just hang out with your horse.

          As always. JMHO
          Groom to trainer: "Where's the glamour? You promised me glamour!"

          Comment


          • #45
            Good trainers know when to say "this horse and I are not going to work well together." You have to know when to back off. I have a few in trng that it is wise to never ever do battle with....compromise is always best. Good luck.
            Bethe Mounce
            Head Trainer, AmeriCan Romance Equestrian
            https://www.facebook.com/AmericanRomanceEquestrian
            Brentwood CA

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            • #46
              So while the trainer's response was innapropriate, it sounds like the mare's issue could be equipment related - different saddle and bit?
              certainly could be an issue with a sensitive mare.
              "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."

              Comment


              • #47
                I've had experience with trainers- decent enough on most horses- who just weren't a match for a particular horse. Nothing wrong with the horse or the rider, just not right for each other.

                A good trainer will come clean on that. A trainer I'd never do business again would be one who continues to take your money and succumb to an 'ego trip' against the horse as in 'I'll show you horse.' It does neither the horse nor the trainer any good. Nor, for that matter, the client, who is then left with a messed up horse.

                I will observe that if I request that a trainer use particular tack on a horse, and trainer up and changes bit (or sometimes properly fitting saddle for ill fitting saddle) without communicating with me, I'd go looking for another trainer. That's not a question of 'who knows best,' it's just good customer relations if you want long term or repeat customers.

                Comment


                • #48
                  Not to overly derail (as to the topic at hand, I don't have enough info to offer an opinion). But I have a question about the assertion that trainers should use an owner's saddle. I'm curious about that as I'm 6'0 tall, and normally ride in an 18-19 inch saddle with extra long or extra forward flaps depending on brand. I have several clients who are in the 5'0 to 5'3 range. I can't imagine trying to ride in their saddles?!?! Nor they in mine? I understand the importance of well fitting tack, but a custom saddle isn't always usable by the trainer? Do you still expect your trainer to use your saddle if you are significantly shorter or taller than they are?

                  Bridles , always. But saddles seems a bit more complex to me?
                  Phoenix Farm ~ Breeding-Training-Sales
                  Eventing, Dressage, Young Horses
                  www.phoenixsporthorses.com
                  Check out my new blog: http://califcountrymom.blogspot.com

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                  • #49
                    I have seen trainers like this work. Typically they have had a little success with a horse or two, so they hang out a shingle. They do well with one type of horse, ridden one way. They simply do not have enough tools to figure out the others. Every ride starts tense, come to a crescendo with a big blow-up, and ends when one or the other 'submits', or one or the other is hurt. Every ride goes the same way...

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      Originally posted by Carol O View Post
                      I have seen trainers like this work. Typically they have had a little success with a horse or two, so they hang out a shingle. They do well with one type of horse, ridden one way. They simply do not have enough tools to figure out the others. Every ride starts tense, come to a crescendo with a big blow-up, and ends when one or the other 'submits', or one or the other is hurt. Every ride goes the same way...
                      I agree. I've seen this type too, and would never let someone like this on my horse. I believe he would actually kill a trainer like this. Some horses just won't abide that kind of nonsense, and that's the kind of horse I respect and most want to own.

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        Originally posted by CFFarm View Post
                        I allow young horses to have opinions. One has to be able to ride through these calmly and show them that when they co-operate things are much nicer. I don't know the kind of riding you do but for dressage riders how many times have we heard a European trainer say "doesn't matter, just keep riding"? Punishment under saddle will quickly sour a horse to ridden work.

                        If a horse deliberately challengers the handler on the ground, of course that's different. Immediate correction is needed for safety's sake.

                        Sounds like your trainer needs to expand her toolbox and not give into anger or frustration. If she can't I would also change trainers.

                        Let me add that I don't agree with working a horse everyday as I believe you said in your OP. Everyone needs a day off. If you have to go to the barn take one day to hand graze or just hang out with your horse.

                        As always. JMHO
                        As an european trainer I can say that is because you would never have become a trainer there if you had any kind of temper and expressed it in your riding.
                        Someone would have read you the riot act and dismissed you from the program.

                        Not saying that someone already certified may not later become abusive.
                        Once on their own, who knows what may happen.
                        I have never seen anyone like that come thru our programs, they weeded those carefully, as they should.

                        I still can't believe someone training a horse, riding around, would "slap a horse on the shoulder because it shakes it's head."
                        That seems a very strange way to train?

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          Originally posted by PhoenixFarm View Post
                          But I have a question about the assertion that trainers should use an owner's saddle.
                          I would expect a trainer to use his/her own saddle- and to have maybe enough saddles to be able to pick one that fits the horse properly. I did insist on a trainer using my saddle once- when I had noted at the outset that the particular horse was very subtle about ill fitting saddles and the first sign would be he'd just refuse a fence. Some time later, when trainer was off competing w/other horses and I went to check on mine, he was so back sore that he dipped when using even a soft brush w/light pressure. So yeah, I said use my saddle, I know it fits the horse (and some other things as well...) and long story short, trainer finished what I had paid for and I haven't recommended trainer to anyone- though a very good hand with some horses.

                          Comment


                          • #53
                            Originally posted by Sfbayequine View Post

                            Someone told me today that all horses explode and all act badly.
                            Nothing could be further from the truth. Whoever said this to you has a fundamental misunderstanding of horses, in particular young horses. In the proper training and development of young horses explosions and bad behavior should be pretty rare. High quality horse training should appear for the most part very calm, workmanlike, and perhaps even boring to an outsider. Personally I would not work with anyone that had the above philosophy.

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              I think you should take it as truth for that trainer; that somehow s/he gets all client horses so nuts that they all explode and act badly.

                              LOL! It would be like me as teacher concluding that since the whole class failed it is likely because they're stupid

                              Paula
                              He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                OP, until you said you were doing hunters I was sure you were w my first dressage trainer. And I was going to yell "run!"

                                If you're like me you know in your heart what's wrong between your horse and your trainer. Here's what finally got me moving: You are the only person responsible for the well-being of your horse.

                                As a side note, a Waterford can be a pretty severe bit, especially if the rider gets 'handsy' w it.

                                Good luck.

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  Training and riding in general should look like dancing with a partner, smooth and easy, the rider leading, the horse understanding and compliant.

                                  That, like with dancing, is not always perfect, but the good ones make it look so easy and smooth.

                                  You need to find a trainer that makes riding your horse be smooth, not like they are fighting all along and/or the fight escalates.

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    "It is a fineline when you ask and pick a fight, and when you give in and offer them trust" PW
                                    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      Originally posted by Bethe Mounce View Post
                                      Good trainers know when to say "this horse and I are not going to work well together."
                                      Years ago, Rodney Jenkins did an evening lecture/demo at Jericho Stables on LI. Topic was schooling the jumper (or something like that). After the talk, he demoed with a young greenie, then an older A/O jumper who did quite well with his owner, who was not present. RJ rode for a few minutes, tried a few things. commenting that the horse went differently from his. Few more minutes, few different things (literally, perhaps 10 min total), then he rode up and said, "I understand that this horse does well with his owner. He does not respond to aids I usually use, and he doesn't go the way I normally ask my horses to go. He's willing, he's trying to understand what I want. I could spend some more time and accomplish what I wanted to show you, but that would not be fair to his owner, because she's not here to listen and understand what I'm doing - and I won't be here tomorrow to explain it to her. So I'm going to get off, and pat this pony for being such a good sport." [this is, after 40 years, NOT a direct quote, but the gist of it]
                                      Rodney ROCKS!!!! And this confidence in self is something that all the wannabes and all the egocentric 'trainers' will NEVER achieve.
                                      www.ayliprod.com
                                      Equine Photography in the Northeast

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                                      • #59
                                        Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                                        I still can't believe someone training a horse, riding around, would "slap a horse on the shoulder because it shakes it's head."
                                        That seems a very strange way to train?
                                        Yeah, you would think so, wouldn't you? My friend had a "trainer" ride her pissy mare, and when she did her usual evasion of twisting her head up and to the side and jigging around like a llama, he smacked the mare in the head with a crop! Friend is wise and caring, so that mare never went back to that guy. As someone upthread said, she is a horse with a "finely tuned sense of justice" - that was not the way to get her to cooperate.

                                        I find it really strange, however, that the trainer's advice to the OP when she is riding is to remain calm and steady and ignore the head tossing. This is good and reasonable. Then the trainer rides and slaps the mare around? Do as she says and not as she does????

                                        Comment

                                        • Original Poster

                                          #60
                                          Sunsets -- I could not agree with you more!! My husband and I have been talking about that for the last few days as he has been reading through all the posts you phenomenal people have left. (thank you, thank you, thank you again)

                                          I have not shared any of the fun barn drama over this. I think we all know that in some barns riding and horse ownership is a group sport, but... every time I have ridden since I posted this, the trainer magically shows up on the rail with the barn manager like a couple of magpies on a fence.. I feel like I am in some strange equitation class all by my self. All transitions have been great. No head tossing, because of course she is back in her bit that she likes. The only thing I have had an issue with are circles to the left at the canter because my right leg is not strong (2 back surgeries) and I have problems holding her steady with that thigh/leg. That is just something that is always going to be an issue because of me.

                                          Other than that, we have had good rides. She is still being just a hair bratty on the lunge, but I pretty much have her back to where she was when I left.

                                          I am looking at another barn this week and am soliciting some other advice on working with a trainer in the future... so, I just so appreciate the advice and insight on all this.

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