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

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  • #61
    Shhhhhh - the trainer is probably reading this thread!!
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

    Comment


    • #62
      I'll tell you briefly my own story with incompatible trainers. Whatever the cause was, Fella was getting nuts with my dressage trainer (she's a real jedi when it comes to classical training, but it wasn't working with him). It got to the point that he was unsafe to lead (he'd bolt out of hand) and was bucking when she rode him. Took him to the new barn -she kicked us out but that's another story -waiting for the explosion I warned them about his behavior...and....nothing. In short order I got my horse back.

      Now this new trainer has a way about her. She rehabs horses for gentle giants draft rescue, she trains eventers, etc. and I think she's some kind of alpha. She has a way of getting things done without a whole lot of fuss with horses and riders. So the idea that training has to be combat is nonsense.

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

      Comment


      • #63
        Originally posted by Foxtrot's View Post
        Shhhhhh - the trainer is probably reading this thread!!
        Shhhh-the HORSE may be reading this thread and going

        I agree, Rodney Jenkins was a really smooth hand with a horse, although with a style of riding all his own.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #64
          I wanted to give you all a little update on my progress since I wrote this and once again thank everyone on this board who responded.

          I ultimately ended up terminating the relationship with the trainer, mostly based on my own gut feeling, but also because when I wrote it out, listed to what everyone said and shared the responses with my husband it was so clear that it was a horrid situation both for the horse and me.

          It was a little daunting with the whispers, gossip and other crapola that was flying around the barn after I did it. I have not started any conversations or been talking AT ALL at the barn, but finally the barn manager could not stand it & she asked what happened. I decided that the best course of action was to say that we were just two controlling women who would not come to consensus on a course of action... but really it all boiled down to the trainers inexperience, lack of professionalism and frankly inability to move me or the horse forward, but hey, I have to ride and be there, so why start more crap. I think the barn manager knows something more is up because she made some comments, but I did not bite.

          Then, I was lucky that Tracey Lert, a fairly well known dressage trainer in our area, happened to be doing a clinic at my barn yesterday. I finally experienced what a real lesson was like since I rode with my old eventing trainer 20 years ago. It was the most amazing experience for the horse and for me. Don't get me wrong it was not light & fluffy - she KICKED MY BUTT!!! Yet, she did it in the most professional, focused and supportive way which was exactly what I needed.

          In 45 minutes she was able to teach me how MY horse needed to be supported on a circle to come up on the bit and get her floaty and forward... for a few strides (it's a start)... but the feeling when she was moving and taking the bit and Tracey was saying "super" & "excellent" was phenomenal.

          I followed my gut and changed a few things I had always had issues with - namely the horse on a level 2/3 Myler kimberwick or a Waterford which was the old trainers suggestion. I put her in a comfort snaffle and all the head shaking, head popping and evading all but went away. There was no fuss or push back in the lesson. This was the original behavior that the trainer hit her for which started all the issues.

          The old trainer used to yell at me to take the reins in an iron grip and close my fingers. It never felt right or sensitive... maybe you need that for hunter/jumpers...? but in my dressage lesson yesterday I was complimented for my soft hands that stay put, that I had good form, but a couple tweaks to get me with the horse while posting vs. being a little behind. I know there is more to come... but it was a nice start.

          So for me, the decision is to move forward without a trainer riding my horse and to take the time to investigate and meet people that I click with better for my regular lessons and clinics. More dressage focus right now is going to be the best for the horse and I. As someone had pointed out above, yes, I absolutely am most comfortable being the one riding my own horse and unsupervised training rides are not for me. Luckily, I have other really good options I can use to get us where I want to go.

          For anyone reading this thread wondering if you are stuck with a trainer... you are not. There are a lot of people out there who are so insecure due to so many reasons that they like to intimidate and force to keep their clients. Sometimes it is so subtle that it takes a long time to realize what they are doing... luckily it was two months for my horse - she is smart and was on to the issues immediately and seven months overall for me - perhaps my horse is much, much smarter... LOL.

          If it does not feel right...if it gets your spidey sense tingling... Investigate!! Go see how other trainers work. Take other lessons. Go to a clinic. But know that no matter how uncomfortable it is to extricate yourself from a trainer situation, you owe it to yourself and your horse to be in the most supportive, humane and rational program that accomplishes your goals and moves you forward.

          Yesterdays lesson was so fun and so invigorating. I have homework. I have drawn out what she told me to work on so I can look at it and visualize. The horse is happy... I am happy. It was also so cool to have this women tell me that I bought a great horse and she is a beautiful mover. That she has an engine that is untapped and she thinks will really blossom.

          Change is good!!! Thank you again everyone for your perspective and helping me see what I already knew... but making it so obvious that there was no turning back.

          All the best to everyone and may you have great rides.

          Comment


          • #65
            Wonderful, wonderful.
            Thank you for the lesson you gave all of us, well done.

            Comment


            • #66
              Well done and good for you. You and your horse will benefit from this so much it's ridiculous!

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

              Comment


              • #67
                Go you! And give your horse a nice thank-you gift ;-)

                One note about taking the high road. Sometimes it works. Many times, however, it just leaves the field open for the other person to tell THEIR side of the story and have it become the "truth."

                This happened to me in a work situation where a friend (!) plagiarized (!!). Had to fire her/not pay her. And I was the bad guy.

                Comment


                • #68
                  Tracey Lert is the real deal. You did well!

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #69
                    @KayBee - yep, I thought about that. The thing is, she is just a youngster and on Saturday she no showed for a lesson with a very sweet 6 year old girl. The Dad was pissed. I figure that since she is young, unprofessional and is going to mess up all on her own - especially with the pressure of me terminating the relationship - she will just implode faster if she is stressed about what I might be saying and confused since I am not saying a word. She thrives on gossip and backstabbing.

                    Since it is not work, because believe me I have been where you are... I am taking the high road. The best revenge is going to be when the horse and I click and I work hard and show results vs. no movement and insecurity.

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Yup, the best revenge is living well. The trainer I abruptly parted ways with told me that Fella was dangerous, I'd sell him at auction, and he'd end up in a can of dog food. My friends thought I should just change his barn name to Alpo!

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

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Congratulations!

                        I have been so lucky to only work with amazing people, and have all of my trainer changes be ones which were needed solely due to experience level/expertise in new things I wanted to work on and never due to bad attitudes, unfair treatment of my horse, etc.

                        It takes strength to stand up for your horse, and I'm glad you listened! Also, congrats on following the dressage path - I have always wanted to ride dressage, and now that I am I love it more than anything else I have done with horses. Even if it is HARD!
                        Originally posted by Silverbridge
                        If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Tracy is a fabulous trainer. Good for you for listening to ylur horse and making tbe change.

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Originally posted by Sfbayequine View Post
                            The old trainer used to yell at me to take the reins in an iron grip and close my fingers. It never felt right or sensitive... maybe you need that for hunter/jumpers...?
                            All the best to everyone and may you have great rides.
                            Congratulations.

                            But the part about hunter/jumpers... um... no. Please don't let one bad experience with a H/J "trainer" taint you. Dressage can be equally rough in the wrong hands.

                            Good luck!
                            Come to the dark side, we have cookies

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Yay for happy conclusions! Congratulations!

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Originally posted by Sfbayequine View Post
                                @KayBee - yep, I thought about that. The thing is, she is just a youngster and on Saturday she no showed for a lesson with a very sweet 6 year old girl. The Dad was pissed. I figure that since she is young, unprofessional and is going to mess up all on her own - especially with the pressure of me terminating the relationship - she will just implode faster if she is stressed about what I might be saying and confused since I am not saying a word. She thrives on gossip and backstabbing.

                                Since it is not work, because believe me I have been where you are... I am taking the high road. The best revenge is going to be when the horse and I click and I work hard and show results vs. no movement and insecurity.
                                That will be the best revenge. And if she's young... That's definitely on your side in the war of maintaining good impressions. ESPECIALLY if she's screwing up in other areas.

                                Granted, I have, now, managed to do myself damage by instead of smiling, nodding, and moving on, getting snippy instead. But, that was a unique situation, not to be believed. Still sometimes vents, or even tantrums, are So Freeing ;-)

                                But yeah, living well (riding well) in this case is definitely the best revenge.
                                Last edited by KayBee; Apr. 2, 2013, 01:45 PM. Reason: extraneous words

                                Comment


                                • #76
                                  I have been lurking over this thread...thinking the whole time about the training situation I just left, after 10 years, and how I wish I had left so much sooner.

                                  Some trainers are just so sneaky when it comes to their controlling methods. I was young and inexperienced in owning horses, and felt that my trainer was guiding me the right way, whereas now, I know that I should have followed my gut.

                                  I agree, thriving and not playing the gossip game will unnerve someone like that more than feeding into their drama. You are doing the right thing, by taking the high ground. She will do herself in, all on her own.

                                  The best part, is knowing that what you are doing for your mare is for her well-being. It is the best feeling in the world. I know that I'm discovering all sorts of things about my relationship with my mare, that I knew in the very back of my mind were true, but was led to believe that it was either the mare's fault or that I was a terrible rider. I'm discovering that I have a very scared, frightened horse that wants to give her all, and it's going to take time and care to get her past all the damage and to help her gain her confidence.
                                  Unashamed Member of the Dressage Arab Clique
                                  CRAYOLA POSSE= Thistle

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #77
                                    Originally posted by Blkarab View Post



                                    The best part, is knowing that what you are doing for your mare is for her well-being. It is the best feeling in the world. I know that I'm discovering all sorts of things about my relationship with my mare, that I knew in the very back of my mind were true, but was led to believe that it was either the mare's fault or that I was a terrible rider.
                                    ^^^^^ This...

                                    Blkarab - sorry you have to go through this too. Sounds like you are also on the right track. Best to you and your mare.

                                    Comment


                                    • #78
                                      Fantastic, and good luck to you. And fabulous that you lucked into a clinic with Tracey Lert right when you needed it.

                                      Better to work with a really outstanding teacher once a month or so than to work with the wrong one once or twice a week.
                                      If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

                                      Comment


                                      • #79
                                        Well done! Enjoy your nice horse!
                                        Phoenix Farm ~ Breeding-Training-Sales
                                        Eventing, Dressage, Young Horses
                                        www.phoenixsporthorses.com
                                        Check out my new blog: http://califcountrymom.blogspot.com

                                        Comment


                                        • #80
                                          I could have written this!

                                          Originally posted by Blkarab View Post
                                          I have been lurking over this thread...thinking the whole time about the training situation I just left, after 10 years, and how I wish I had left so much sooner.

                                          Some trainers are just so sneaky when it comes to their controlling methods. I was young and inexperienced in owning horses, and felt that my trainer was guiding me the right way, whereas now, I know that I should have followed my gut.

                                          I agree, thriving and not playing the gossip game will unnerve someone like that more than feeding into their drama. You are doing the right thing, by taking the high ground. She will do herself in, all on her own.

                                          The best part, is knowing that what you are doing for your mare is for her well-being. It is the best feeling in the world. I know that I'm discovering all sorts of things about my relationship with my mare, that I knew in the very back of my mind were true, but was led to believe that it was either the mare's fault or that I was a terrible rider. I'm discovering that I have a very scared, frightened horse that wants to give her all, and it's going to take time and care to get her past all the damage and to help her gain her confidence.
                                          I could have written this same exact post! Scary! Like you, it took me 10 years to get out of dodge, so to speak. Looking back I feel like such an @ss, but I'm also confident that my ex trainer will, "...do herself in, all on her own," so all I can do is move forward and be grateful I've escaped.

                                          Comment

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