Interestingly, MY trainer didn't make it to my lesson today! But, her older teen daughter (whom I know fairly well) came and found me promptly at 5:30 & explained that her mother had gotten tied up with her grandfather (my trainer cares for her elderly father as well a doing about 3,000 other things daily (as, it seems lately, we all do!)....
The daughter said her mom (my trainer) had been out with grandpa & didn't have my number to reschedule. They both felt really bad, though I was more concerned about Holly's father (daughter's grandpa) as she just lost her mother and the last thing they need is for dad/grandpa to pass away this soon as well!!
Anyhow, daughter said, "Please just go ahead and ride Victory, you know where all of her tack is, and just take her into the upper round pen and practice your work from last week...IF YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE, that is!"
Well as much as I love my lessons with Holly, this unfortunate situation with her father (he's just fine now, BTW) :0) turned out so great for me! I got to ride, alone, and see how well I was able to do all of that which I've been working on for the past 9 lessons...we had a GREAT RIDE (still ecstatic!) & Holly got back just as I was putting Victory up and cleaning up the tack...she felt HORRIBLE that she couldn't reach me, (but got to me via her daughter so all was well in my book) & she refused to charge me even for what she calls "free riding" ... When students ride her horses for what would be a lesson only she isn't there, she calls it a "lesson-free ride"& will charge 1/2 the lesson fee.
She kept telling me that it was on her, and she was just happy I got to ride, etc...I never would have EXPECTED NOT TO PAY, regardless of the circumstances, as I CHOSE to stay and ride and didn't leave (would be different if it was my horse and she didn't show for a lesson, and in your case, OP, if the horse is yours, I would have probably just considered it time with my horse and rescheduled the lesson, though as I type this, am guessing you were riding a lesson/trainer-owned horse, same as me?
Anyway, lots of ways to handle unfortunate situations which arise. If possible, quickly, assertively and without rudeness/manipulation are the best ways possible...at least for me.
Am happy to read things were rescheduled for you, & hopefully overall relations with your trainer, if at times somewhat challenging, can improve. Otherwise, I agree with the others. Move on. There are SO MANY really good people out there and they happen to be horse trainers/riding instructors. I am far to sensitive and deal with far too much crap in my career and my non-horse part of my life than to be able or willing to work with a trainer who isn't a generally upstanding, kind, honest, and "human" individual! Especially when paying for services, one should never make oneself the underdog. Just my dollar fifty (far too long a post to say my two cents! Ha!!)
Best to you! B2H :0)
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