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When to say something...

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  • When to say something...

    Just looking for opinions.

    I have, over the years, had a few friends that were sloppy, cringe inducing riders.

    It isn't always their fault, in fact, a lot of times I think it's the trainer not being hard enough on them, as I see the same types of behaviors throughout barns - no release jumping, tipped forward, bouncing at the canter, etc.

    I feel badly, because I've battled through bad habits, and its made my riding so much easier and I've actually been able to progress much more quickly!

    I have one friend in particular right now who is spending a fortune on her horses, on lessons, etc. She loves her trainer, she's happy enough, but every week when her friends post videos from their weekend lessons - there's just never any improvement. The trainer is always in the background: "Good! Good!"

    I know in the past my friend was upset at her lack of progress. She actually changed trainers last year because she felt she was moving too slowly, among other things.

    At what point do you say something? Nothing mean spirited, but just - well, here is what i see and this is what may or may not help. I don't know her current trainer personally, and I've never coached her, but I have worked with her in business and she's the type that likes no bull and doesn't need coddling in that arena.

    Can you all give me examples of when you've either a) said something or b) said nothing, and let me know how it ended? I probably won't say anything, but its been on my mind long enough that I want to hear others experiences.
    Veni vidi vici. With a paint pony, nonetheless.

  • #2
    IMHO, regarding friends who I don't ''approve'm their riding technique/trainer/horse/etc : If they are having fun, it is their problem, I won't interfere and I'll be happy for them.

    If they ask my opinion, I will gave them.
    ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

    Originally posted by LauraKY
    I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
    HORSING mobile training app


    • #3
      If they want your opinion, they will ask for it. You're not their trainer (or *a trainer* at all, I get from the post?) So unless they ask you directly, keep out of it.
      Author Page
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      Steampunk Sweethearts


      • #4
        Never. As long as they are happy and not asking for advice, keep your nose out of it.


        • #5
          I'm with alibi on this. Unless it's a really good friend. If they show their frustration to you, then maybe ask a couple questions, such as... "How's it going with your new trainer? Do you feel she's helping you prgress more?"

          Some people really do just want to feel safe and have fun. Others need to progress to really enjoy it.
          Born under a rock and owned by beasts!


          • #6
            That would be a good way to lose a friend, Just let them enjoy themselves if they are happy!


            • Original Poster

              No, that's my question. I have kept my nose out of it. But when you're still doing cross rails with your hands in your crotch after three years and you lament to me because, while you enjoy the horses, you feel you should be doing more and you're frustrated being beaten by 6 year olds at events....

              My thought IS to keep it to myself as it isn't my place, but I'm looking for actual experiences either way.
              Veni vidi vici. With a paint pony, nonetheless.


              • #8
                I guess if someone was complaining to me, I would point blank ask if they'd like my advice or not.

                I wouldn't just criticize someone's trainer out of nowhere, but I'm the up front type. So if someone complains to me, I tend to ask "what do you intend to do about this problem?"
                Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
                you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.


                • #9
                  If they're coming to you frustrated, why not suggest they post some vids for crit on horsey sites, even here on COTH? Then you won't be the bad guy, and they'll get the necessary opinions from plenty of "eyes on the e-ground."
                  Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia


                  • #10
                    ask them if they want to go and ride in a clinic with you, you are going and would love to company of a familiar face

                    sometimes hearing something from a outside party is the easiest


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Coanteen View Post
                      If they're coming to you frustrated, why not suggest they post some vids for crit on horsey sites, even here on COTH? Then you won't be the bad guy, and they'll get the necessary opinions from plenty of "eyes on the e-ground."
                      I would not wish a round of COTHer criticism on my worst enemy.


                      • #12
                        If she is telling you she is not happy with her progress, suggest she try another trainer.
                        Is that what you want to tell her? Or were you thinking more specifics, like "get your hands out of your crotch?"?

                        If she is complaining, I would be all means try to make helpful & constructive suggestions, which in my mind would be the single piece of advice to get a new trainer.


                        • #13
                          I wouldn't say a thing unless directly asked. Sometimes you can sow dissent by your actions -if you're progressing and she is not she might ask you what you're doing differently. Then you can say something. The trick is to figure out whether she wants commiseration (aw, that sucks, sorry to hear that) or solution (here's what I think you should do). If you give solution when she wants commiseration she won't be happy.

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


                          • #14
                            Ask HER. Let her answer her own question-when she says she's frustrated, ask her what she thinks is the issue. Maybe she just needs to put words on it.

                            Though if she really said what you used as the example here my very first reply would be to try a different trainer, she practically said it herself.
                            “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by GoForAGallop View Post
                              I would not wish a round of COTHer criticism on my worst enemy.
                              This times a bazillion. Ya'll scare me to death

                              And, now I know that as horrible as my riding is, none of you will make a peep unless I ask you directly. As a giver of unsolicited advice, I am in awe of the self-control everyone apparently has.
                              Disclaimer: Just a beginner who knows nothing about nothing


                              • #16
                                I do not say anything unless someone asks my opinion. Exceptions- if I see abuse to horse or danger to life and limb- or, especially, if on a trail ride a clueless rider does something dangerous or I can see that his/her horse is about to kick mine, or someone else's.

                                But if a person is not a danger to self or others and is happily pouring money into a black hole, nope, not a word.

                                I watched someone at my barn- who has a decent horse and is a decent rider, though not as advanced as she thinks- being congratulated by a trainer for an absolutely positively god-awful all wrong shoulder in. I bit my tongue almost to the point of bleeding. Same rider was out longeing horse today with all sorts of contraptions that the horse doesn't need. Continuing to bite tongue.


                                • #17
                                  I'll bite!

                                  I've known some people similar to the situation the OP describes. They lament abour their lack of progress while simultaneously saying how much they like their instructor. In these cases, I've tactfully probed, framing questions like "Your leg looks great! You mentioned you wanted to get up to jumping X foot Y this year. Do you think you'll be doing that?" or "you said you might like to show this year. Do you have any concrete plans? WHat level are you thinking about?" In two cases I'm thinking of, the trainers specifically held students back because they could not advance them and could not admit it. They wanted dependent students.

                                  I've concluded the following: a) some people really like the personality of their "trainer", but the "trainer" is not good. They feel uncomfortable questioning or leaving the trainer because they see the trainer as a "friend". They outwardly appear happy, but they're not (hence the lamenting in private). Sometimes people are actually asking for outside input but don't feel comfortable directly asking, so they drop hints. b) some people know that they're not progressing, but they're afraid. They're afraid to jump anything other than a cross rail, or afraid to jump higher, or get their horse moving forward, etc. They complain in order to "save face" about the fact that they're not progressing but they're not yet ready to admit that they are afraid. c) some people believe the BS that the trainer tells them because they are "the trainer". I have actually seen a person go from jumping 2'6" verticals at schooling shows to jumping poles on the ground because the instructor had massive control issues and "beginnerized" all of her students. It took a good 6 months and advice from others for my friend to learn that she was being shut down to the level of the "instructor". She believed the instructor initially. She now proclaims that she "drank the Kool-aid" and is with another trainer. She also laments the money she paid and the time she wasted on bogus lessons.

                                  When people lament to me, I gently probe. I offer objective advice. That's my personality because I would hope someone would do the same for me if I was unhappy with my progress but couldn't see the forest for the trees. I have had friends butt in about what they considered to be bad advice from clinicians and I have always appreciated the point of view.

                                  My two cents.
                                  Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Arelle View Post
                                    No, that's my question. I have kept my nose out of it. But when you're still doing cross rails with your hands in your crotch after three years and you lament to me because, while you enjoy the horses, you feel you should be doing more and you're frustrated being beaten by 6 year olds at events....
                                    Curious - have you gone & watched any of her lessons - with past/current trainers?


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by alto View Post
                                      Curious - have you gone & watched any of her lessons - with past/current trainers?
                                      This and also; remember that your friend might just be not that talented despite all her efforts, as I'm pretty sure no trainer ever told her to put her hands to her crotch. Be patient and nice!
                                      ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                                      Originally posted by LauraKY
                                      I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
                                      HORSING mobile training app


                                      • #20
                                        One of my Fb friends posted loads of pics of cringe worthy riding and horsecare and eventually I had to figure a way to block her. Thank God Fb now allows you to remove comments because it really is about people enjoying their riding and horses. Not what I think is the right way for her to do it.

                                        I never had her kvetch at me about how she felt about her riding. She did mention in passing that she didn't ride often as she was afraid, she'd been tossed off when her A** neighbors came flying up to the fenceline and spooked her horse and I suggested lessons with my trainer, where my DD was riding.

                                        If that young lady were to honestly complain, well that's hard because as others have pointed out sometimes people want honesty and other times people want their hands held. I know it drives me batty to listen to someone bemoan a situation that they don't really seem to want to change - I have to change the subject fast or leave, I haven't got enough tongue left to keep biting it.
                                        OP, only you know your relationship with this friend and whether this friend is a hand holder or honestly fed up, you'll have to judge. I do know that this Fb friend has asked us for horsecare references before, and accepted unsolicited advice and used it - for an example turning a Kimblewicke back to right side up - it helped I had links to an image and gave her the name of the bit so she could check herself, but she hasn't ever sought my advice about a riding issue so it was best for me to stay out of her business, including not getting the dozens of her pics on my FB feed.
                                        Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
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