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Controlling Coach...

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  • Controlling Coach...

    Hello Everyone

    I’m a long- time lurker but first time poster (as you can see!) and I’m hoping to get some opinions on my current situation.

    I’ve been out of the H/J scene for a while (family/ career) and got back in a year or so ago. I went with a coach that had been recommended by several people but I IMHO find them on the controlling side.

    I currently take several lessons a week (2- 3x) with them and they are very good at coaching; detailed ordinated, patient and kind to the horses BUT everything I do with my horse (that I own) must be pre-approved by them.

    I would never do anything to endanger myself or my horse and have owned/showed/cared for horses before I took a break from riding.

    Is this type of control common now? Or is it just my coach?

    Side note: I’m not at an “A” or BNT barn.

    Thanks

  • #2
    I would not ever sign up for coaching where I was told what I could do or not do with my horse and never have understood people who do so unless they are newbies and need the strict guidance. It feels to me that that type of 'coaching' is meant to foster long term (and expensive) dependence...

    Comment


    • #3
      Heh-heh; back when I was eventing I worked with a trainer who insisted that I not only shave the top of my horse's tail just like Bruce Davidson did it, but had to cut the pompon off my helmet cover. I just stared at her, rolled my eyes, and let her hear me say "Pffffffffttt!" as I turned toward the trailer.

      The issue was never raised again. . .

      If it's something legitimate, like feeding, wrapping, or tack adjustments, that's one thing. If it's just being a control FREAK like the example above, refuse to be that easily led. You ARE an adult, after all. Just tell them you're a paying client, not an indentured retainer!

      Comment


      • #4
        That depends on what "everything" you do mean and how experienced you are. Give us some examples?

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Thanks!
          I'm one of the few who does not follow blindly at this barn. If I have a question or want advice, I will ask but having my actions “pre-approved” seemed extreme.

          Comment


          • #6
            there are many trainers in my area that are like that...you can't ride,go to a show, a clinic, nothing without explicit instruction and approval from the trainer. I refuse to be in a barn like that- i find it too suffocating! It's my horse- I pay you for instruction- not to own me. But around here if you aren't in a barn like that, you aren't a serious rider.

            For extremely new, inexperience riders I understand the need to keep the human and the horse safe...but I think some coaches do it to control their clients and scare the oop: out of them so that they are too afraid to think for themselves and think they need their coach for everything and then they have a guaranteed payday indefinately
            "I'm holding out for the $100,000 Crossrail Classic in 2012." --mem
            "With all due respect.. may I suggest you take up Croquet?" --belambi
            Proud Member of the Opinionated Redhead Club!

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Sure, example 1- I pulled my horse’s mane without “asking”.
              2- I taught my horse how to load without ok-ing it first.
              3- I had the vet up to check an abscess without them there to “supervise”

              The coach is not the BO, they only coach clients at this barn. The BO is quite laid back.

              Also I have owned and been the primary care giver of my horse(s) up until 5-6 years ago when I moved off our farm. I’ve shown H/J in my teens and earlier 20s and worked at a few show barns as a groom. I know my riding still needs improving but I do have some horse sense!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by whiteponie View Post
                Sure, example 1- I pulled my horse’s mane without “asking”.
                2- I taught my horse how to load without ok-ing it first.
                3- I had the vet up to check an abscess without them there to “supervise”

                The coach is not the BO, they only coach clients at this barn. The BO is quite laid back.

                Also I have owned and been the primary care giver of my horse(s) up until 5-6 years ago when I moved off our farm. I’ve shown H/J in my teens and earlier 20s and worked at a few show barns as a groom. I know my riding still needs improving but I do have some horse sense!
                oh hell no! I couldn't board under those kinds of restrictions!
                "I'm holding out for the $100,000 Crossrail Classic in 2012." --mem
                "With all due respect.. may I suggest you take up Croquet?" --belambi
                Proud Member of the Opinionated Redhead Club!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Oh no that's ridiculous. If i want to pull my horses mane that my business, if I need a vet out then so be it I will have one out and i don't care what they have to say.

                  The only thing about loading is were you using your own trailer then they can suck wind IMO. If you used someone else's without permission I could sew the issue there.
                  Sounds a bit controlling to me
                  Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    BetterOffRed, you summed it up nicely "But around here if you aren't in a barn like that, you aren't a serious rider" and therein lies the problem!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by whiteponie View Post
                      Sure, example 1- I pulled my horse’s mane without “asking”.
                      2- I taught my horse how to load without ok-ing it first.
                      3- I had the vet up to check an abscess without them there to “supervise”

                      The coach is not the BO, they only coach clients at this barn. The BO is quite laid back.

                      Also I have owned and been the primary care giver of my horse(s) up until 5-6 years ago when I moved off our farm. I’ve shown H/J in my teens and earlier 20s and worked at a few show barns as a groom. I know my riding still needs improving but I do have some horse sense!
                      Hell, if my coach wants to dictate any of these, I will give him/her the bird.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        yes it was my trailer!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Also, whether I'm a "serious" rider or not is left for myself and people I admire to determine. Anybody else I will tell them that they are grossly flattering themselves to tell me one way or the other, combined with a loud snort.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            seems like it is/was a reoccurring topic in H/J.
                            Coach insisting on horses being clipped, what color cooler to buy, manes being pulled, etc. which always amazes me a little (no, actually a lot).

                            I guess I am in 'the Bird' faction. If I have to buy horse wear, it will be in my color, the mane will be done when I say so.
                            My horse, my truck, my business.

                            I think I'd give them a blank stare....or laugh outright....

                            But I also understand that that could give me a not so blank stare in return, together with a finger pointing at the exit.....

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Unfortunately, what you are experiencing is pretty common in a lot of h/j barns. That's why I'm in an eventing barn now!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I can understand some show barns wanting to present a uniform look, hence the color of the coolers to be used, pulled or long mane, the blankets, the bandage, and so on and so forth. It does presents a top notched look when all horses are glossy and fit and fancy wearing coordinated colors. But what OP list has nothing to do with any of these reasons; all it says is the coach who is a control freak, and not in a good way either.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  This is pretty common for H/J coaches. In my experience, you stay with a coach as long as the benefits outweight the annoyances. I want to know before I join a barn what the expectations are. I don't sign on if I don't agree with the details.

                                  As far as involvement on things that weren't discussed up front, that's a judgment call for me. If they just whine about how you should ask first, and it never goes further...eh. As long as I am happy with the rest of the arrangement, they can whine away. If it turns into regular arguments, and "my money, my horse, my choice" doesn't shut them up, that's usually where I head out looking.

                                  I do understand that H/J coaches want to be represented a certain way. When a coach isn't willing to have me represent their program unless I obey every single rule they impose, that's fine. I'll represent someone else's program instead. "Thank you for the contribution you've made to our development to this point, we're going to shift gears for a little while in another program." For me, when a coach suddenly decides that I am no longer "allowed" to attend shows or clinics without them...that's a deal-breaker. I'm an adult. If I want to attend something, I'll do it. I'm happy to enter as an independent.
                                  Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I think maybe it is best to find out why your coach wanted to be consulted with prior to the instances you mentioned above. The mane pulling instance I'm not sure about but maybe with the trailer loading she has had students in the past inadvertently cause their horses to become poor loaders. Also, I can see why she would want to potentially be there if your horse was having a lameness issue. I know if possible my trainer would want to be there just so they don't have to hear the information third hand. If you like the coaching talk about the controlling issues.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Gloria View Post
                                      I can understand some show barns wanting to present a uniform look, hence the color of the coolers to be used, pulled or long mane, the blankets, the bandage, and so on and so forth. It does presents a top notched look when all horses are glossy and fit and fancy wearing coordinated colors. But what OP list has nothing to do with any of these reasons; all it says is the coach who is a control freak, and not in a good way either.
                                      Well, a bad pull job an butcher a mane pretty quickly, ruining that uniform appearance.

                                      And a poor training session can end with a horse who is a worse loader, not a better one.

                                      So depending on the skill level of the person involved, it can make sense for a trainer to want to supervise even these activities, until they are sure the student is capable.

                                      But unless they are determined to have a barn full of dependent monkeys and/or are planning to nickle/dime everyone with mane pulling fees, etc, once the student shows they are capable, that should be that.

                                      If OP wants to stay at this barn, they should sit down and talk to the trainer and find out if there is some middle ground here. Maybe there is just a misunderstanding of skills/capabilities/desire to be involved and maybe it can be sorted out.

                                      Or maybe the coach is the type who wouldn't let George Morris himself take action without permission, and then god help the OP. She should go find a barn better suited for her needs and (at most) trailer in for lessons -- or find another coach as well.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by jjgg24 View Post
                                        I think maybe it is best to find out why your coach wanted to be consulted with prior to the instances you mentioned above. The mane pulling instance I'm not sure about but maybe with the trailer loading she has had students in the past inadvertently cause their horses to become poor loaders. Also, I can see why she would want to potentially be there if your horse was having a lameness issue. I know if possible my trainer would want to be there just so they don't have to hear the information third hand. If you like the coaching talk about the controlling issues.
                                        I agree to a point. I have no problem having open communication with my coach and letting them know what my plans are but having to ask permission... Maybe having had my own place has made me more “independent” then the other clients?!

                                        And thanks for the different points of view!
                                        Last edited by whiteponie; May. 21, 2013, 03:45 PM. Reason: add more stuff!

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