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horse trainer rant

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1 horse trainer rant on Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:05 pm

uno

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SPent yesterday at the local riding club first Fun Day of the season.

There was a lady there who wandered around with her dog, watching everyone else ride. She has a horse. Has ridden for years. She has no trailer and we offered to bring her with us. She was very excited. But wait! Her trainer (please hear snotty sarcasm in my voice as I say that) told her that she is not ready.

Not ready for what?

This is a stinking FUN DAY this is not about your ego! This is about riding with little kids who bounce and flop and sometimes fall right off and the other riders smile and clap when they place first anyway, because this is about people feeling good and having FUN. This is about what's GOOD and KIND about horse people, NOT about what is competitive and cut throat. If killer competition is what you're after, if ribbons that actually MEAN something are part of what you need, then there are places designed for that...but not at a local riding club FUN DAY.

Many people bring horses that are young, stupid and in training, knowing full well they will not win a ribbon and that sometimes, they won't even get the horse to enter the arena! But the point is that this is a safe, laid back place to bring those kinds of horses, just for the experience for the horse! HOrsey Teen showed up on her off the track TB, and that poor guy figures that at any second a starting gate is going to clang shut on his butt and he's going to have to run like mad around a track. She had one goal for him yesterday, STAND STILL! Quit dancing, quit jigging, quit looking for what's coming up behind you and just stand still. It took several hours for him to dance himself into exhaustion and then...he stood still and got loved on.

But who on earth gives that much power to their trainer that they allow their trainer to make these sweeping decisions for them? Taking her horse to a Fun Day would have, in no way, caused any harm. The horse and rider both might have benefitted from a change of venue. Do you know how many stabled horses NEVER EVER get out of the arena? Do you know how many top level arena riders SUCK out on the trail and their poor horses are quivering wrecks because their owners have never taken then time to provide them with a well rounded life and experiences? DRIVES ME BATTY!

I figure when your trainer looks down her nose and says you should not go to a Fun Day because you and the horse are not 'ready', its' time to kick a trainer in the stretchy pants! The ONLY time I think a trainer should venture such an opinion is if they truly feel the horse is a DANGER to itself, the rider or other people, and with such horses, people aren't usually thinking about going to a Fun Day anyway.

Wow...when did trainers gain such cult-like status? I felt very bad for this woman who had so badly wanted to come and plotz around the ring with the other riders. There were very old riders, very new riders, very experienced horses and very green horses and it isn't about winning. It's about building community and keeping this club going. That anyone should have told her NOT to have fun is, in my mind, unforgiveable. And to TAKE that advice without telling your trainer that he/she has crossed that line, is the bigger tragedy.









2 Re: horse trainer rant on Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:18 pm

coopslave

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Many horse trainers are power hungry control freaks (note I said many, not all).

My husband and I find it very hard to find a trainer to work with. We do not have bottomless pockets of endless money. We do not like to be in someones back pocket and follow them around like they are a God.
We do like help when we need it, including a brutally honest opinion. We are happy to pay to be abused as long as it helps us get better. If we are treated right we are very loyal, just not in a beaten dog kind of way. Very Happy Most trainers don't want to touch us because of these things. I am not sure why, we are low maintenance, but a good source of a bit of income.

It is sad your friend didn't go to the FUN day. Cause that is what they are. Sounds like horsey teen had a great day and accomplished a great deal. I am actually glad to be out of the 'english' world. I grew up in it and I am happy to leave it behind. I still attend some things as a spectator as my sister still competes, but I don't think I could ever go back to that strange world. Laughing

3 Re: horse trainer rant on Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:23 pm

Schipperkesue

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Part of the reason I stopped riding was due to a snotty abusive instructor. She took all the fun out of it for me.

I am now surrounded with six horse paddocks and a hay field...all unused.

4 Re: horse trainer rant on Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:45 pm

Hillbilly

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I see this at our local club I volunteer at as well. I find it quite disturbing for both horse, and rider when I look at them, and know full well that they wouldn't cut it outside of the ring.

That said, our dear Ruby was nothing but a rodeo gal when we got her, and that's all she WANTED to do. On the trail was impossible. All she knew was run full tilt, looking for the nearest barrel, or chasing cows. There was just nothing else we could do with her.

To watch these people train their horses in the ring, and leave them out of riding outside it, due to an instructor's advice, does more harm then good in my opinion.

But who am I? Just a guy who rides his horse everywhere BUT in the ring. What do I know.

5 Re: horse trainer rant on Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:50 pm

Piet

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Exactly the biggest problem in this part of the country and something that really stands out compared to Europe. I am talking English riding, jumping and dressage. Here trainers "train" people on well schooled horses and if they are not well schooled horses they are too afraid to do the dirty work themselves, so they will send it to a cowboy or me.. They often don't even show any horses, but bring a dozen students and yell at them all day long and empty their pocket books. Where I am from, the trainers train horses and help other riders along with some pointers. Uno, you have witnessed a typical "trainer" and those "trainer" are usually people that have ridden long enough (but never achieved) that they believe they can teach all of the sudden. Many barns won't even take clients unless you buy a horse from them or with them (commission), go and find your own suitable horse and they get mad. The students become so afraid to make a wrong move, because they are being told far too much bullshit that makes it look like rocket science. Many "trainers" would make better lawyers, because it seems that they just like to hear themselves talk all the time. Where I come from, you take one or two hours lessen a week and just trailer in to the trainers barn and do a jumping lesson or flatwork. Then you go home and ride the other 5 days by yourself or with buddies and play around, try to jump over flat deck trailers, ditches, rock walls etc. Then you go to the show on the weekend and dad sets fences and your trainer is also present because he has 8 horses to ride at that show. He is busy, he won't tell you anything unless you really need the help. Overall it is all in making errors, getting back up and trying it again. This is how you learn how to ride. NOT by staying at home, because you might not be ready yet!! When I break in a young horse and after a week or so decide to take it outside, the farmer asks me if he should stop feeding the cows until I am finished riding(loud tractor) I tell him no, because the horse won't see it as a threat as long as I don't see it as one, see what I mean? The farmer looks at me funny and is surprised that I trot right by his loud tractor on this 3yr old.


Piet

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6 Re: horse trainer rant on Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:00 pm

Hillbilly

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Off topic here, but Piet, I couldn't agree with you more. So many times I've seen glaring looks, and heard comments about not making too loud of noises around someone's horse for fear of spooking it.
I am just the opposite, like yourself. I run my chainsaw in the field, I do laps around the horses with my quad. When I'm riding, I am making noises, and banging things until they are used to random loud noises. I expose them to as many loud things as I can. Although I don't ride in the ring, this is useful EVERYWHERE, an is one of the best things you can do for a horse.

7 Re: horse trainer rant on Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:07 pm

Susan


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Forgive me if I am off topic or whatever, but you have hit upon something I have been rolling around in my mind for the last year or so. First a little background. I started riding seriously at about 14. I always call it show jumpers because that is what people are
Ore familiar with. What I did was the Hunters. Judged on form not faults. You had to jump a course and make it look pretty. The right amount of strides between combinations. A horse with good form over the fence. The jumps were 't as high (open was up to 4'6") but it had to be done well. My trainer was definately a power hungry sort. He " owned" us and our horses. You didn't question him much but listened. I was at the barn over six hours a day (had two horses). In grade twelve, I only went to school for the morning as I had enough credits and good marks to ride all afternoon. We showed nationally and travelled in a semi with a trailer that had air ride for 12 horses. My horse was bred in Kentucky, used as a stud in Germany and owned by Spruce Meadows before I bought him as a 7 year old ( or should say my Mom did). My point is the show world is based on big money and hard work. Even if you are talented enough to ride the big horses ( talented horses) you need to find sponsorship to be able to afford those horses (I'm talking hundreds of thousands to millions). So do they. If guys have attitude? You bet. Not unlike many CEO's or top business men. They are the top of the field. Top trainers are surrounded by money. The clients that are attract them have a lot. It can go to their heads. But they also have a lot to offer. They are highly skilled at what they do and also know how to play the game. It was amazing to be part of that. It is fast paced, exciting and you grow up fast. I wouldn't have traded those years for anything. Having said that, my trainer called us princess's. Always made sure we unloaded our own tack boxes at shows. Made sure trail rides were part of the routine. We had to jump the fences to get back to the barn. And he was riding his top show horse while we did.
Having said that. I now have a daughter starting to ride. I have her in a local place that teaches western. I don't want her to follow my path. I want her to just enjoy life riding and nothing more. She brings home my ribbons from Grandma's and says she is going to do the same. I hope not. Even with all the showing and training, my favorite part was being in the background grooming or taking the horses out for a walk and some grass. I don't have the money nor the desire I did for her to be competive in the horse world. But can she manage and take of a horse? You bet. Why? Because I was fortunate enough to learn and learn well. Is that the only way? Absolutely not. Horsemanship can be learned by anyone willing and with a little good guidance. The horse world is a big place. It is an Olympic sport. There is room for everyone. Some with priorities different than others. I just hope everyone can find the place where they comfortable. I love the show ring but I also love the fact that anyone can hop on a horse and enjoy the day.

8 Horse trainer rant on Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:11 pm

lady leghorn


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Piet..... I so agree with you. You hit the nail on the head!!! These trainers are power and money hungry, they don't care about you or your horse. Very sad.

One of the worst things I think I ever came across was at a Fair on Vancouver Island years ago, when my husband and I convened the Miniature Horse section. I wasn't busy for a short time, and went outside to look at some of the big horses. There was a woman there trying desperately to bathe her horse, all by herself.
I went up to her and asked if she would like me to hold him for her ( washing a horse at a show, with one hand is NOT easy) She said she couldn't believe that I would OFFER to HELP her!!!! (Another English rider) I felt so bad for her, with the minis, everybody helped everybody, when ever somebody needed it, they usually didn't have to ask either. She said in Vancouver ( where she was from) NO one would EVER have offered to hold her horse, like I did. I really was blown away. That is the height of snobbery as far as I am concerned.
WAS she enjoying herself??? I doubt it! I thought it was just common curtisy to help her, apparently others didn't think that way. If that is supposed to be fun, then the snobs can keep it!!! I enjoy NICE people.

9 Re: horse trainer rant on Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:27 pm

Susan


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Piet said it much better than my long ramblings could. No matter the rider, no matter the horse, get out there and ride.



Last edited by Susan on Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:28 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Spelling)

10 Re: horse trainer rant on Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:31 pm

Susan


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But one more thing. English riding isn't all about snobbery. It is an awesome discipline.

11 Re: horse trainer rant on Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:51 pm

Piet

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Susan wrote:But one more thing. English riding isn't all about snobbery. It is an awesome discipline.

It's a fantastic sport, yes! I find that the snobbery and dumb peddling happens mostly in the lower or beginners end of it. The riding schools that mostly teach people how to post a trot, but cannot really help someone to get the horse to canter better under himself to do a proper flying change. King of the Hill type stuff, that is annoying.
Susan, you have also tasted the sport for real and you know it is a real skilled and tough sport, a lifestyle full of extreme highs, but also it's lows and can even be emotional at times.

Piet

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12 Re: horse trainer rant on Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:56 pm

Susan


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Emotional at all times!! Would't have traded it for the world despite the hard lessons! Though I recognize not everyone can "taste it" I would hope all kind find the point where they can just enjoy and learn from their horses Smile

13 Re: horse trainer rant on Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:58 pm

uno

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At recent fun day I was a little surprised to see so many youngsters there on new horses. When I asked Horsey Teen she said these kids did not own these horses, but they belonged to a stable owner/ coach/trainer and she wnated her students to ride her horses in the Fun Day so they would 'do better'.

You know...it made me sad, and a little angry.

If you've got some bug eyed, knock kneed, buck toothed mule who couldn't find his left lead in a cardboard box, who the heck cares? If you love him and he trots you around the ring...bring him, ride him and show him off like you are proud! All of a sudden the horses at home aren't good enough anymore and the trainer needs her stable on force at the show. Then stands in the seating yelling instructions to her students, making kissing and clucking sounds too! Where is my slingshot when I need it? Oops, did that hit you in the eye, how unfortunate! It was only a horse turd, I'm sure your vision will be restored in a week or so, quit your whining.

There is a place for competition, but it is not here at the local fun level!

ps trainer being annoying at horse show was different than trainer who said not to go to Fun Day. Two trainers, two pains in the backside. Coincidence? I think not!

14 Re: horse trainer rant on Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:50 am

Mel


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Sometimes you just have to find the right 'trainer' situation - I maintain control over my horses at all times and have found a fantastic dressage coach and a great jumper/eventer coach and they both know about each other and are willing to go along with my cross-training and my decisions regarding my horses. Maybe the horses don't progress as quickly but everyone including the horses are happy.

15 Re: horse trainer rant on Sun May 27, 2012 11:35 pm

franci1silkie


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Made in Canada coach here.So sad to hear all the negative stuff.10 of my students just came back from a show where they did the best that they could to show horses that they did not own.These earnest students presented horses well,were kind and polite to all people at the show(including parents).One girl rode while her grandfather,dying of cancer watched her ride a pony that was given to me because it was a dangerous bolter.Alishia did a graet job,nobody could have guessed that 3 months ago this pony was a hazard.
We do not just make ribbon winners.My job as a coach is to grow children into young competant women who are not afraid to lose or be different if it helps their horse learn to be safe for other people to handle and ride.

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