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Leaving A Trainer After A Very Long Time...How Does One Go About It?

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  • Leaving A Trainer After A Very Long Time...How Does One Go About It?

    The title basically says it all. I have been un-happy at my current barn for a very long time. I have maybe gotten 5 lessons since June and jumped my horse no more than 2'6 since then (he is a 3'6 hunter who has done the higher level jumpers in the past and is in his prime at 13 years old) despite helping the trainer at horse shows and doing other things, the trainer refuses to raise the fences. I am completely capable of jumping larger fences and so is the horse, trainer is just lazy and unprofessional. Never once have I felt it was appreciated or gotten a thank you, so I wouldn't expect to maybe get a lesson in exchange for anything that I have done over the years. I have been at the barn for over 8 years which is making it extremely hard to leave even though I am so unhappy. I have been riding twice a week with another trainer on their horses for about two months now and have been having a lot of fun. When i get to my barn i feel resentment and often leave in tears due to being completely ignored when I attempt to join a lesson which isn't often. I only sign up for lessons on Saturdays. I have two wonderful trainers lined up who I trust my animals with completely. A few recent issues with the current trainer have sent me over the edge, none of which I really want to disclose as it will reveal my identity and I'd like to stay as anonymous as possible.

    How does somebody go about leaving a barn where you know as soon as you give the 30 days care for the horses will cease to exist? As soon as you leave (even though you have been a great client for over 8 years) you will be horribly talked and gossiped about for years to come (I've witnessed it and it really bothers me). I'm having a really hard time with this and would like some advice. I'm sick of going to the barn and dreading anytime I have to see anybody there . I miss when I could go to the barn and not have to BEG for a lesson and to jump something as little as a cross rail (we are only allowed to jump with a trainer) often being ignored to the point where I will leave the ring and the trainer will not even notice, even if there is only one other person in the ring!! I have three horses in this person's care and leaving will cut out a large part of their income each month.

    Anyways, I'd really like some advice. I know I need to sit down and have a long talk with the trainer, but I have twice since June and nothing has helped or changed. If anything it has gotten worse. They just don't give a sh*t.

  • #2
    Decision is made ... Action is needed

    Talking to her at this point is unlikely to make a difference. Save some money (or if you already have it, just realize you're going to spend it). Make arrangements with the new barn for your horses to arrive immediately. Go to the old barn and give your notice, and move your horses that day. The amount of money you spend in the "overlap month" will be the best money spent for your state of mind.

    Recognize that I am stating you will continue to pay the old trainer during the notice time period even when your horses are not there.

    Actually, to be honest I would talk to her and let her know you're leaving and I would actually attempt to negotiate a lesser payment while my horses aren't there, but realizing going in that might not work.

    Good luck with your new barn and enjoy your horses and riding again!


    • #3
      And hold your head high, becsuse you did nothing wrong! Who cares if people talk about you? They are probably just jealous because they can't muster the effort to get out from under her controlling thumb.
      Life is way to short for this kind of trash. Once you get away from there, you are going to be mad at yourself that you did not leave earlier


      • #4
        OMG...I know a trainer in this area that is the EXACT same way and I feel for you (in fact, I'm wondering if it IS the same trainer; I can't imagine that there are too many of them out there like that). "Horribly talked and gossiped about" is an understatement in this one's case. "Unprofessional" pretty much sums it up.

        I second the idea of making moving arrangements before you give your notice, then plan to move your horses the day you give notice. BUT, plan to fulfill your boarding contract by paying through the 30 days that you won't be there. It's a bit of a hit on the wallet but, if you're worried about the care your horses would receive otherwise, it should be well worth it.

        Best of luck to you and your ponies...and keep us posted.
        Whoever said money can't buy happiness never owned a horse.


        • #5
          If you can afford it, pay your 30 days notice, and get out as soon after as possible. I don't know if paying board at two places for the first month is feasable. But if you are worried about the care your horse will recieve after that notice is given, that is what I would do.

          Horse people sure know drama and gossip, that seems to come with the territory unfortunetly.


          • #6
            Oh you poor kid! IF you can afford it, pay your thirty day notice and leave immediately. The 30 days is not about you being there, but rather about the empty stall the trainer has to fill. If you give your notice and pay your board you can go any time.

            As a trainer/BO I have had people pay their 30 days load up and leave. It hurts whenever a client leaves. However I can honestly say if you dread going out, they dread seeing you. Everyone has their reasons.

            So that is what I would do - pay up and leave that day.
            "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"


            • #7
              I agree with everyone else, get out. I know that a part of you still feels like you "owe" the trainer something and care about him/her. Otherwise, your feelings wouldn't be so raw.

              I think you have to be an advocate for you and your horses at this point, put your worries about the trainer's feelings aside. Give the notice and move the same day. If you can't afford to do that yet, save money (as mentioned before) until you can.

              Good luck with your horse. You should be feeling excitement!!!
              Just because I talk slow doesn't mean that I actually AM slow.


              • #8
                Once your into the new barn and taking lessons on your own horses you'll ask yourself why you hadn't done this a long time ago. Change is good
                "Looked bigger when I couldn't see him."~ Jayne Cobb


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Conflicted View Post

                  Anyways, I'd really like some advice. I know I need to sit down and have a long talk with the trainer, but I have twice since June and nothing has helped or changed. If anything it has gotten worse. They just don't give a sh*t.
                  You should leave. And when trainer asks why, you need to say only this: "I've talked to you about this twice since June, and nothing has helped or changed. If anything, it's gotten worse. I don't think you care. This is a business decision. I'm taking my money and my horses to someone who has more respect for me as a customer."


                  • #10
                    I was in the same spot you are not so long ago. Well the trainer wasnt as bad but..

                    I asked someone for a barn reference and told them why. They told me great words: "You need to take care of yourself and your horses. To heck with everyoe else. Dont worry about what others say." So if you are comfortable going to ur new barn and feel like ur horses will be ok there, as they say, forward into the breach!

                    GOod luck. And we hope in 4-5 months to get a report!
                    “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker


                    • #11
                      Whatever you do, don't burn your bridges. The world is a small place, you want to keep all your options open, so be professional, treat your trainer like you would want to be treated, pay all your bills, on time, and fulfill your legal contract obligations. Then move on.


                      • #12
                        It's a business relationship, nothing more. You're the customer, and you're dissatisfied. So give your notice, calmly and professionally, and go. If you can afford to pay both places for a month, go early. If you can't, suck it up - you'll survive, and so will your horses.

                        You can't influence what others do; you can and should control how you behave in the situation. As others have said, once you're moved, you'll be mad that you didn't do it sooner.



                        • #13
                          It's a business relationship, and you just have to be as professional as you can be even if the trainer is not.

                          I agree with the previous poster who suggested that if you can, you should pay the month's board and then move to the barn as soon as possible. The double board for one month is a small price to pay (if you can afford it) for not having to deal with this treatment.

                          Good luck.
                          "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky


                          • #14
                            If you can take the hit, sacrifice the board $, give notice and leave immediately.

                            I was once in a similar position. I gave notice the night before I was to leave and my horse was dead the next morning.

                            There are enough sickies out there on a control patrol that you need to go as far as necessary to protect your horses.
                            Form follows function, or does function follow form?




                            • #15
                              There really is no conflict here at all. Trainer is unprofessional and unhelpful. Trainer is not thought of as a friend. At all. Am sure trainer does not consider OP as a friend either if OP is in tears when at the barn. Trainer has demonstrated unprofessional behavior towards clients and horses when 30 day notice is given in the past.

                              I see no conflict. Move immediately and pay the last 30 days after horse is gone. Have new trainer go and pick up the horse.

                              I'd plan this for the last day of this month. Pay the Feb board on Jan 31st, include written notice of leaving and move the horse same day. Saturday BTW. I know it costs but the care does tend to slip and person feel unwanted at the less professional barns after they know you are leaving.

                              I really would not say much of anything or give any reason, trainer has to know you are getting squat out of this arrangement.

                              One word of warning...be careful selecting new trainer. Many promise the moon-regular jumping 3'6", work off lessons, extras to ride. When you sign the contract and move in, these things can vanish. Look for good horse care, nice facilities and nice, happy people with a supportive trainer first. Promises second.
                              When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                              The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                              • #16
                                Oh my gosh, leaving trainers, especially for the first time or one you've been with for a long period of time is really difficult. But honestly to repeat what everyone has been saying, you will be a lot happier elsewhere. Once you've gotten to this point, the only thing to do is leave and move on. Anything else will just be a temporary fix and you'll find yourself in the same situation again.

                                Definately give your 30 days, and if things are not good be prepared to move asap. You never know, the owner may work out a deal with you but I would be prepared not to expect it.

                                Good luck!


                                • #17
                                  I am sorry you are faced with this situation. Be polite, pay your bills, give up the board for the 30 days, leave today!!! In the long run, you will be so happy you did. You can't control what other people say only your own actions. The cream always rises to the top!!!You have a lot to give to a barn wouldn't it be nice if the barn had a lot to give to you??

                                  Then when you see them at shows smile knowing you left them in your dust. Good luck!!!


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by boosma47 View Post
                                    If you can take the hit, sacrifice the board $, give notice and leave immediately.

                                    I was once in a similar position. I gave notice the night before I was to leave and my horse was dead the next morning.

                                    There are enough sickies out there on a control patrol that you need to go as far as necessary to protect your horses.

                                    Not trying to high jack the OP thread, but what happened to your horse?


                                    • #19
                                      I second what everyone else says about moving your horses the day you give notice, and just pay for 30 days of an empty stall, if you can afford it.

                                      I would try to be nice and polite about leaving, even if it is more than the trainer deserves. Don't get into the whys or the accusations. When you give your notice, I would just shake your trainer's hand, look her in the eye, and thank her as sincerely as you can for everything she has done for you. If she asks why or starts to get pissy, just simply tell her that you are ready for a change.

                                      Maybe you won't get talked about as much as you fear. If you do get talked about, it will still be worth it.
                                      "I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream." --Vincent Van Gogh


                                      • #20
                                        Anyways, I'd really like some advice. I know I need to sit down and have a long talk with the trainer, but I have twice since June and nothing has helped or changed. If anything it has gotten worse. They just don't give a sh*t.
                                        Then they should not care when you leave. I'd say (on January 31st):

                                        "Thanks for your help through the years. I have made the decision to move on to a new farm on February 1st. I have a check for February board that should satisfy the 30 day notice required per our contract."

                                        Oh, and if 30 Day notice is not required by your contract, I'd just leave on the 31st and say "bye" on your way out. If she gets mad, just say you mentioned it last time you sat down with her.....