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Trainer wants me to return a lease horse, WWYD?

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    Trainer wants me to return a lease horse, WWYD?

    I'm in a bit of a conundrum and need some advice. Last spring I started care leasing a very nice TB gelding who is a ton of fun to ride, has had good basics installed, and all around good egg. As his fitness level has increased has become more forward but not so much that I can't handle him with tactful riding and a little time spent on the lunge beforehand.

    My trainer, however, wants me to return him and buy a total packer. A 20 year old that maybe has a couple of years left in him. I am an eventer and my plan was to bring Mr. lease horse up to training level, I have no dreams of going anything higher.

    I want to advance in my riding and don't feel with a 20 year old, dead quiet, beginner horse is going to get me there. I really like my trainer but feel I'm being pushed into doing something I don't want to do. And what if I do go that route, then sooner rather than later I'll have a horse that needs to be retired.

    Since I'm footing the bill, shouldn't my wishes prevail? I really like this horse and he and I work well together. WWYD if you were in my position? Thanks.

    #2
    trust your gut

    Comment


      #3
      Yes, it's your money and your decision. If it means you need to move to a different trainer, so be it. Still your decision.

      Now trainer may have a good REASON for his/her opinion-- but at the end of the day it's your call.
      ~Veronica
      "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
      http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

      Comment


        #4
        Keep the one you have. Trainer may have a reason, but if you are happy...that's what counts. You do this sport for fun... I assume, so have fun.

        I can't see the 20 year old is going to let you do what you want showing wise, esp eventing. Dressage yes...I could see that being doable.

        Comment


          #5
          Trainer's desire seems in conflict with your stated goals...the question is WHY. Does trainer think you're unsafe? Is trainer unaware of your goals? Does trainer feel like it's too much horse for THEM (vs you?) Is trainer just trying to find a place for this old campaigner in her barn, and thinks you're an easy target because you lease vs own?

          With what you've shared here, keeping the horse and ditching the trainer sounds reasonable That's probably rash, but a heart to heart with the trainer to suss out where this recommendation is coming from would be good!

          Comment


            #6
            Pending on my age and ideals, I would continue to lease and save money to buy a horse when I am ready.

            If this 20yr old is THE PERFECT horse with THE PERFECT price I would maybe buy him but then I would ask myself, "could I afford to retire him and ride another?"

            Does the trainer think less of your ability than you do? Seems so if she wants you to get a packer or she will make $$ off the sale
            Draumr Hesta Farm
            "Wenn Du denkst es geht nicht mehr, kommt von irgendwo ein kleines Licht daher"
            Member of the COTH Ignorant Disrepectful F-bombs!*- 2Dogs Farm

            Comment


              #7
              What is your trainer's reasoning? Have you asked? While it doesn't sound like the 20 yr old deadhead is necessarily the right choice, could your trainer have concerns about the lease horse that she hasn't communicated to you well enough?
              Different Times Equestrian Ventures at Hidden Spring Ranch
              www.DifferentTimesEquestrianVentures.com

              Comment


                #8
                Just Say No.

                You are a grown up in a business relationship with a horse trainer. She can propose that you buy a horse, but you are not obligated to do that.

                Or put the ball in her court: Lease the horse with a couple of years left in him and hand him back when he's done. (Some context: I'm riled up myself right now because I don't like the business acumen of a pro trying to sell me the wrong horse. Take what I'm saying with a grain of salt.)

                The context noted, you should be honest with yourself and figure out (or ask) if the pro wants you to ride the 20-year-old because she thinks the TB is going to hurt you or your riding. If that's true and you just don't see it, or don't want to then know that your pro is doing her job. It is her job to offer you her professional opinion about what you need to help you improve as a rider and stay safe doing it.
                The armchair saddler
                Politically Pro-Cat

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Timex View Post
                  What is your trainer's reasoning? Have you asked? While it doesn't sound like the 20 yr old deadhead is necessarily the right choice, could your trainer have concerns about the lease horse that she hasn't communicated to you well enough?
                  This was my first thought.
                  Have a real conversation with the trainer.


                  Have you expressed a desire to do better at shows? Have you expressed frustration with lease horse? Have you hit a road block that the trainer thinks might be dangerous?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I'm in a bit of a conundrum and need some advice. Last spring I started care leasing a very nice TB gelding who is a ton of fun to ride, has had good basics installed, and all around good egg. As his fitness level has increased has become more forward but not so much that I can't handle him with tactful riding and a little time spent on the lunge beforehand.

                    My trainer, however, wants me to return him and buy a total packer. A 20 year old that maybe has a couple of years left in him. I am an eventer and my plan was to bring Mr. lease horse up to training level, I have no dreams of going anything higher.

                    I want to advance in my riding and don't feel with a 20 year old, dead quiet, beginner horse is going to get me there. I really like my trainer but feel I'm being pushed into doing something I don't want to do. And what if I do go that route, then sooner rather than later I'll have a horse that needs to be retired.

                    Since I'm footing the bill, shouldn't my wishes prevail? I really like this horse and he and I work well together. WWYD if you were in my position? Thanks.

                    Time to have a sit down with the trainer.

                    It is very possible the answer is none of the above.

                    The trainer may legitimately concerned that the lease horse is not right for you. It is getting to be more forward as it gets fitter and you want to bring the horse up to training level from where? Could the trainer be concerned that if the horse keeps getting fitter it will be less of a match and too much for you to handle? You already have to lunge the horse, is that before every ride?

                    If you are not interested in a 20 year old horse that is fine and you should explain any limits you have on what you will consider. There are other nice horses out there. Maybe a younger more laid back horse would be a better fit. Keep in mind that the younger packer type horses do come with more of a price tag.

                    Bottom line, while you are the customer and it is your money, without seeing both horses and your riding I don't think anyone can attribute any meaning (nefarious or caring) to your trainers actions.
                    Auventera Two:Some women would eat their own offspring if they had some dipping sauce.
                    Serious Leigh: it sounds like her drama llama should be an old schoolmaster by now.

                    Comment

                      Original Poster

                      #11
                      This horse is not in her barn, but is one she heard about through a friend and is bargain basement priced. I think she doesn't think my ability is up to the ability of the horse; that he is too strong for me to handle. Granted, I'm no spring chicken but neither am I ancient (mid-50s) who in my younger years I did event to training level and brought along my own OTTB to do it on. I have never felt unsafe on Mr. Lease horse or that he ever actively tries to unload me. Sure, occasionally he does do some airs above ground but it's not mean spirited.

                      Comment

                        Original Poster

                        #12
                        And I have never come off of him either, plus he quits and goes to work just fine when he realizes his hijinks don't get him anywhere. He has never bucked or reared but just small crow hops mostly out of exuberance. I don't lunge before every ride just if he hasn't been out for a couple of days.

                        We are schooling toward bringing him out BN this year and, if all goes well, finish the year at novice. He hasn't had a lot of formal schooling but he is very trainable and enjoys having a job.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Based on all that you have written, keep the TB that you currently have, for the reasons you stated against getting the older one in your OP.
                          "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Trainer's desire seems in conflict with your stated goals...the question is WHY. Does trainer think you're unsafe? Is trainer unaware of your goals? Does trainer feel like it's too much horse for THEM (vs you?) Is trainer just trying to find a place for this old campaigner in her barn, and thinks you're an easy target because you lease vs own?

                            With what you've shared here, keeping the horse and ditching the trainer sounds reasonable That's probably rash, but a heart to heart with the trainer to suss out where this recommendation is coming from would be good!
                            I agree with the above 100%.

                            I would ask your trainer and yourself these questions. But I would also consider possibly moving on to a new trainer if you really want to stick with your lease and she starts to really push you towards buying this other horse. I agree with you that a 20 year old is not going to have a long career as an event horse, if he has any career at all. I have yet to meet a 20 year old that didn't have some kind of limits to what they could do, or didn't need maintenance to continue doing what they are currently doing.
                            RH Queen O Anywhere "Sydney"
                            2009 Sugarbush Draft mare
                            Western Dressage
                            Draft Mare blog

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Yup, have a talk with your trainer. Be prepared to hear some things you don't agree with, and stay professional.

                              Do you have any trusted friends who ride who can objectively critique your partnership with these two horses?

                              If not perhaps take a clinic with an outside trainer to get another valuable opinion.

                              OP, ask your self.... are you the type of person who sets realistic goals or do you bite off more than you can chew on a regular basis?

                              Are you at a place in your life when you can be dedicated to bringing this horse along? Or will you soon be having a life change? Graduating, getting married, starting a family, moving for work?

                              Perhaps your trainer has enough life experience to see a little further down the road than you do at this juncture.

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Dissenting, depending on the 20 year old. Other than to say he's a packer, you don't say what he does. I'm biased: my 2 years at prelim on a 20-21 year old were priceless. I bought him at 19. They set me up for bringing my next horse from the track to training level packer (we'd have moved up to P if he'd stayed sound). Packer may be a once in a lifetime horse. Yeah, you may only have him to compete for a couple of years, but ask me about the one I retired at 8. Worth exploring the reasons the trainer thinks you should think about him.

                                Comment

                                  Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  csaper58, to answer your last question, no, generally I tend to under-estimate myself.

                                  I haven't even seen the older horse yet so have no way of knowing what kind of partnership we'd have.

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Just adding the thought that as the current TB moves up the levels, he very well may become even more forward. You sound like you have the experience and confidence you need right now, but will that hold up if he becomes more horse to handle as the jumps get higher? That may be what your trainer is concerned about.

                                    Your trainer may also be thinking of the possible timelines. Depending on lease horse's brain and how well you do building his confidence over fences, BN to N to T over the course of 2-3 years may be very doable. But if something scares him, you may find yourself stepping back to build confidence and then going very slow moving up again. The older packer may be something the trainer KNOWS can get you to Training (barring any physical complications). Even though you have had the experience of going Training in your past on a horse you made yourself, it may not be as straightforward to get back to that level as it was to get there when you were in your "bouncy" years.

                                    Ultimately it is your decision, your money, etc. I second the advice to have a good, honest conversation with the trainer - possibly outside of a lesson - maybe go for a coffee or a beer? If you otherwise respect your trainer and he or she is generally pretty good at assessing and matching riders and horses, be very sure you aren't refusing to see something in yourself or the current horse that the trainer sees but may be unable to express.

                                    Comment

                                      Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      All very valid points and I am seriously considering them. I will go look at older guy at some point. He's quite a distance away so would be a full day's foray and logistics are somewhat challenging.

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by 16 Hands View Post
                                        This horse is not in her barn, but is one she heard about through a friend and is bargain basement priced. I think she doesn't think my ability is up to the ability of the horse; that he is too strong for me to handle. Granted, I'm no spring chicken but neither am I ancient (mid-50s) who in my younger years I did event to training level and brought along my own OTTB to do it on. I have never felt unsafe on Mr. Lease horse or that he ever actively tries to unload me. Sure, occasionally he does do some airs above ground but it's not mean spirited.
                                        Talk to the trainer. Don't guess what her feelings are, ask. Don't get angry if you don't like the response. Don't blithely disregard her opinion. It is certainly your money and you get to spend it as you want. Still, you hired her for her expertise; at least consider what you've paid for.

                                        If at the end of the day you decide to not take her suggestion then you get to assume whatever consequences might flow from that decision. For better or for ill. Maybe nothing will happen, maybe something.

                                        From personal experience I've learned that the ground is just as hard when you hit it, be it from a "mean spirited" horse or just an exuberant one.

                                        Before you make a final call, let the trainer video you on the horse and watch it with her. Then you will see what she sees. Sometimes what you see does depend on where you sit.

                                        Good luck in whatever decision you make.

                                        G.
                                        Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo

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