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Does this happen often?

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  • Does this happen often?

    Is it normal or does it happen often where a trainer tells their client that they would refuse to work with them with a horse they are contemplating purchasing? This would be for a horse that has a lot of miles and a quiet, solid horse for what the clients is wanting the horse for (so not a dangerous horse or completely unfit for rider).

    I had my mare out on trial for what was supposed to be a week. Dropped her off on Sunday around noon and on Monday she had her vet exam and was ridden by this woman's trainer. The woman had previously been out to my barn to watch me ride and rode the horse herself. She was looking for something that would mainly be a pleasure horse - trail riding, play around with lower level dressage and maybe pop over a few small fences. These are all things my mare is completely suitable for and has been doing the past 5 years.

    Woman really loved the horse so I was extremely surprised to get an email from her yesterday evening saying that her trainer decided this mare would not be a good match for her. She is "too green" and did not feel right to the trainer. She was not traveling straight so there must be lameness in her rear end (even though she was cleared in vet check!). The woman said she was not going to ride her and wants to bring her back right away. I readily agreed as something seemed very not right.

    She brought her back tonight and was very upset about it. I said that I was surprised about it being decided that she wasn't going to work so fast and asked why her trainer said she was too green when she obviously rode my horse herself. The woman didn't really have any idea what trainer thought wasn't right, something about my mare not doing lateral movements how the trainer thought she should. I told her my mare has shown in training level dressage and does leg yielding but haven't done a ton of lateral work and what exactly was she asking for. She said there were more things but didn't know what. Then she stated that her trainer told her she would REFUSE to work with her and my horse if she got her. She really likes her trainer and said she didn't want to try to find a new one so even though she really liked her, she just went with what trainer said.

    I thought what an AWFUL trainer!! Seriously, this is not a very expensive horse and this woman is not even wanting to compete! Sweet, very well behaved horse and woman just wanting a companion, pleasure horse. I don't get it, my mare spends one day there - one ride and outright refusing to work with her? has anyone run across this?

  • #2
    Well, for starters, if the trainer isn't the one to find the horse he doesn't get any commission. Some trainers have real ego issues.

    Comment


    • #3
      well, that is exactly what my signature means. Don't sh** where you eat. That is exactly what the trainer is doing by treating a client like that. Even if the trainer was absolutely right and your horse is a three legged lame nag (which I am sure she isn't!) the trainer has the responsibility to step up and deliver the news to you the seller. Unless the trainer is a homed fried chicken sh**. And trainer is laying a big load right on faithful client's head who is the one footin' the bill. Tasty eats...

      Be glad the buyer didn't force the issue as the trainer probably would have not treated the horse well. If it sh**s like a duck...
      ...don't sh** where you eat...

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't think it's unreasonable for a trainer to say they will refuse to work with a client who buys a horse that is too green for them.

        Is your horse used to travelling? You don't mention that she has very many show miles -- maybe she is a different horse in a different environment; that's not uncommon.

        A horse can get used to a routine and it is not the same as being really trained. This purchaser may not be really equipped to deal with problems that come up because of this -- and so I don't think it's unreasonable for a trainer to say the horse is too green.
        Jigga:
        Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**

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        • #5
          Yup, many trainers degrade EVERY horse that they didn't find or won't get a commission on. Oh, the comments I've heard from friends who were horse hunting. Eventually it becomes so obvious. Are people really so dumb that they fall for this stuff? Guess so.
          "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin

          Comment


          • #6
            Trainers work for money, not a flaw just a fact. If she's willing to tell this lady she won't take money to work with this horse, you can bet it's because she's gambling on doubling her money by selling a horse with commission and then training said horse for more money. It's unfortunate, but it's the nature of the game.
            "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer
            http://dressagescriblog.wordpress.com/

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            • #7
              I have seen this happen as well where a trainer snubs a horse they didn't find themselves.

              One memorable case was a client looking for a lower level dressage horse and she went with her trainer to look and he liked one that came on trial. Although the trial went well, trainer found out seller was not going to pay him a commission, so he told the client the horse was bad and sent it back. Well this client was quite well to do and this was the only horse she had tried that didn't scare her. She bought the horse, trainer refused to teach her on it, so she bought a beautiful 300 acre farm and got a new trainer and she still has this horse 10 yrs later(and her farm)!

              Also had my trainer buy a TB mare winning on circuit for a teen client, in fact undfeated in last 5 outs in baby greens(mare was 5 at the time) and starting to win in the lows, priced in mid 5 figs. Mare was doing well with new teen owner. My trainer went away for the summer, people moved to a new barn since they didn't want to be without a trainer all summer. New trainer refused to work with her because she was a TB regardless of the fact that she was always in the ribbons. Found a "WB" for teen (the kind of WB that has no paperwork to say if it even was a WB, not very pretty either) and said get rid of the trash meaning the TB. long story short, teen barely places on her new WB and the TB mare, well they GAVE her to me papers and all and she is living the good life as a broodmare here and will remain here for the rest of her life! Idiots!!!!
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              • #8
                Originally posted by saultgirl View Post
                A horse can get used to a routine and it is not the same as being really trained. This purchaser may not be really equipped to deal with problems that come up because of this -- and so I don't think it's unreasonable for a trainer to say the horse is too green.
                I dunno. When I was a teenager and my parents were looking at horses for me, one of the ones we looked at was pretty green. We took the head trainer at my stable to look at him, and all the trainer did was give us an estimate for how much training the horse would need before he'd be safe for me to ride - he didn't refuse to take the horse on at all. (I mean, financially, why would he? If he's training a green horse for me PLUS I'm taking lessons, he's getting more money from me than if I bought a more suitable horse and only took lessons on it.)

                As it happened, the horse in question had some conformation flaws that would have been a possible problem also, so in the end we didn't go for it. But the trainer didn't say no, he just said "it'll cost you."

                But this trainer wasn't in the habit of finding horses for people to buy, either - he'd happily go out and check out a prospect for you once you'd found it, and you'd pay for his time, but he didn't go horse-hunting on anyone's behalf. So he wasn't really going to lose out on a commission if I bought horse X instead of horse Y.

                (I guess maybe some trainers just don't like dealing with green horses, which is valid, but I'd prefer the trainer to explain all of that rather than just say "I won't work with you on this horse.")

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think that you were smart to take the horse back - I don't know, (or didn't see) the terms of your trial with her, but it sounds like the mare passed the PPE.

                  Not to throw a curve to this discussion, but is it possible that for some reason, the (ex)buyer got cold feet, maybe saw a behavior that she didn't feel comfortable with and used her trainer as the excuse to return your mare? If the horse was off, or traveled crooked, I would assume that the PPE would have picked that up. Did you think that the buyer was such a greenie when you saw her ride?

                  Good luck selling your horse. Selling horses is a $%#^$.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by shakeytails View Post
                    Well, for starters, if the trainer isn't the one to find the horse he doesn't get any commission. Some trainers have real ego issues.
                    Yup, I'll bet she has a somewhat suitable but double the price horse waiting in the wings she'll earn a commission on. Be interesting to check back in a month and find out.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      There are some trainers out there who might refuse because they think the horse is not in the best interest of the client. Even if it has nothing to do with a commission. It is easier to assume the trainer wants a commission I suppose. I seriously doubt any of my trainers would "actually" refuse to work with me if I bought a certain horse, but I know a few who would say that for dramatic emphasis to discourage an unsuitable purchase. Not knowing the trainer involved in the OP, its hard to say.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Been here before. My parents always said my first horse would be something young and green, nothing made and boy were they right. They bought me (without trainer consent ) a 3 year old OTTB mare! She was a beauty and I loved her.

                        Trainer comes to the barn for lessons I say, Look what I got!! Trainer totally ripped this horse apart and would not let me ride/show/train my new horse with her. I rode the made school horse in her lessons and found another trainer to train me and my new OTTB. I was young and very mad about this. But, I stood my ground and was not giving up my first horse for anyone!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I used to be at a barn where the owner/trainer was like that - if she didn't find the horse, there was something wrong with it.

                          It was really sad because there were lower level riders who were ready to get their own horse, had a decent budget, but the trainer wouldn't get off her keester to help them. If something came up for sale in the barn then suddenly it was "perfect" for them.

                          One rider actually had the nerve to go out on her own, tried horses, looked at videos, and eventually vetted and bought a very suitable 10 yr old WB geld with a show record at the level she was riding.
                          Trainer insisted on HER commission before the horse could come onto the property.
                          Made me sick - had her hand out and didn't do a thing for it.
                          You're entitled to your own opinion, not your own facts!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I agree with SkipChange.....sure are a lot of people just assuming that the trainer is a lying drama queen who is all about the money. And saultgirl brought up a very valid point. "Experience doing something" and "training" are two very different things. Could be that the trainer was looking for a schoolmaster-type horse for one of the disciplines in particular (jumping, dressage, or trail riding) and the horse wasn't terribly strong in that particular area. And I will admit that I would expect a horse who'd been ridden for the last 5 years in [even low level] dressage to at least have the basics of lateral work down.
                            __________________________________
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by PNWjumper View Post
                              sure are a lot of people just assuming that the trainer is a lying drama queen who is all about the money.
                              Maybe b/c pretty much EVERY competitive show rider, irrespective of discipline, has had or will have this happen to 'em at one time or another? I've certainly had trainers TRY, but nowadays I'm too old, ornery & smart: I buy the horse first and find a trainer later.
                              "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief

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                              • #16
                                Yup, going through exactly this today.
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                                • #17
                                  Sadly yes, it happens a lot - but I sure don't agree with it. Now, I have had clients who have gone and looked at horses who were VERY inappropriate for them, but I just told them why I thought the horse wasn't right for them, and while I wouldn't personally pick out said horse, I would still be happy to work with them.

                                  Unfortunately in those situations, I have usually been right, but in the end it is the client's decision - NOT mine. ALL I do is tell them realistic goals they can have with the horse, and together we try and figure out a course of training to help them achieve their goals - with whatever horse they choose to buy. I have never, nor would I ever pressured anyone to buy - or not buy - a horse.

                                  But this is also the reason why I won't go to A shows. For me, it's all about the love of riding - not about money, or chasing points, or trying to get high paying clients.
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                                  • #18
                                    My trainer absolutely despises on of her student's horses but still continues to work with her. A few years ago one of my barn friends, also a student of my trainer, went out and bought a horse for $35K without my trainer along to help and the horse turned out to be a mean nutcase(horse was drugged when my friend tried her and sellers refused to take the horse back). She was mad at my friend for buying the psycho horse but didn't kick her out of her training program. I guess I could see where some other trainer would refuse to work with someone but I'm glad my trainer sticks with her students.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Oh - you know, that reminds me, there WAS one time where I refused to work with a client's horse. The family knew pretty much nada about horses, but the girl started taking leson from me, and was really sweet. The Mom really wanted to buy a horse, so I encouraged her to lease one first, and then I would help her find something totally kid safe. Mom instead went out - with out me - and bought a crazy TWH. I rode it one time, and I swear the boarders - who were all watching in horror - were all about to have heart attacks. The mare never stood still, never walked, heck, she never really went slower then some crazed rack/canter thing. I called the seller who proceeded to "cuss me out" (not a cool thing to do in the south) and tell me how the horse was FINE if ridden in a wire curb bit.

                                      I called the Mom and said the mare needed to go on the next trailer. I can deal with a LOT, but this mare would have killed this kid. So, in THAT case, I was quite happy to refuse to teach lessons with that combo.
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                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Thanks everyone for your responses. My mare is a 9 year old Arabian mare. This trainer is a hunter/jumper trainer which could be an issue right there (generalizing here). She is priced at mid 4 figure dollar and was advertised as a "5" on the scale of 1 -10 for "hotness". Now I love my Arab but know that they are not for everyone. I tried to tell her everything I could possibly think of as being a negative because I am trying to find the best fit. Potential buyer has 2 Arabian mares that are now retired.

                                        I don't think it's unreasonable for a trainer to say they will refuse to work with a client who buys a horse that is too green for them.

                                        Is your horse used to travelling? You don't mention that she has very many show miles -- maybe she is a different horse in a different environment; that's not uncommon.

                                        A horse can get used to a routine and it is not the same as being really trained. This purchaser may not be really equipped to deal with problems that come up because of this -- and so I don't think it's unreasonable for a trainer to say the horse is too green.
                                        while I haven't done a lot of showing, I have been to ~3 local shows or dressage schooling shows per year at least in the past 3 years. I've also taken her all over the place to go trail riding. Due to my living circumstances changing a lot, she has also been to 7 different boarding facilities in 5 years (poor girl!) and has adapted great.

                                        I think that you were smart to take the horse back - I don't know, (or didn't see) the terms of your trial with her, but it sounds like the mare passed the PPE.

                                        Not to throw a curve to this discussion, but is it possible that for some reason, the (ex)buyer got cold feet, maybe saw a behavior that she didn't feel comfortable with and used her trainer as the excuse to return your mare? If the horse was off, or traveled crooked, I would assume that the PPE would have picked that up. Did you think that the buyer was such a greenie when you saw her ride?
                                        I should have elaborated on the prepurchase exam which was done in the morning, before the trainer rode. My mare was off on the sand in the indoor on her front right after flexing. When the same was done on concrete, she was perfectly fine. The vet couldn't find any sign of anything wrong with tendons, etc. She also took quite a few x-rays and pastern was completely clean according to her vet. The vet suggested riding my horse every day for a week (to this woman) and then she was going to come back and redo the flex test. I was not concerned with this at all and she didn't seem to be either but that definitely could have played into it. She told me that if it was minor or something that she could get 5-6 years riding out of her then she would buy her but if it would be an issue from the start then no. I will ask my vet about it next time he is out. Just never had any reason to suspect anything wrong and especially since the x-rays were clean, I don't know what exactly to think since the sand would seem to indicate soft tissue. Would you mention this to another potential buyer? I'm thinking I will.

                                        As far as travelling crooked - going to the right down rail, she tends to travel with her haunches in a little and requires some correcting every little while. This was something that I made sure to point out when the woman came to see her/ride. She didn't mention this as a reason however this could have been something the trainer didn't like. Well, even I don't like it.

                                        But again, this is a low/mid 4 figure dollar horse for a buyer that wanted to do mostly pleasure riding on trails and dabble in some dressage but not any showing. I could see someone using the trainer excuse if they got cold feet but this woman was almost in tears when she returned my mare.

                                        I agree with SkipChange.....sure are a lot of people just assuming that the trainer is a lying drama queen who is all about the money. And saultgirl brought up a very valid point. "Experience doing something" and "training" are two very different things. Could be that the trainer was looking for a schoolmaster-type horse for one of the disciplines in particular (jumping, dressage, or trail riding) and the horse wasn't terribly strong in that particular area. And I will admit that I would expect a horse who'd been ridden for the last 5 years in [even low level] dressage to at least have the basics of lateral work down.
                                        It is possible the trainer was looking for a schoolmaster. Horse is definitely not a schoolmaster but I still maintain she is well trained. Everyone has their own definition of "trained" though and I need to keep that in mind. "Basics" can also be thrown in that category.

                                        I am not claiming that all trainers are in it for the commission or are overly selfish by an means. I was just surprised that a trainer would refuse to work with I consider not a perfect mare but very sweet and willing. As I haven't sold a horse before, I am learning a lot along the way. I thought that giving the person and their trainer videos, watching me ride and riding themselves and me pointing out everything I possibly could would not leave any question whether horse is too "green". But I obviously have a lot to learn!

                                        In the future I know for sure I will insist that if a trainer is going to be making the decision, they have to come ride before she goes out on trial. Any other suggestions?

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