What if a trainer makes you uncomfortable?[rant] - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-26-2010, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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What if a trainer makes you uncomfortable?[rant]

Has anybody ever been intimidated by a trainer?
I mean, I really like my trainer and she's a nice lady, but sometimes our personalities just dont clash. It's even worse when there are no other people around. For instance, I'm the type of person who would rather work through things patiently with my horse before I punish them, like the time we were trying to trim my horse for show..it was my horses first show and she had never ever been trimmed before and she was abused so unless you moved slowly around her ears/muzzle she was a bit jumpy. She was in no way dangerous to anyone, but if you had something buzzing right behind your ear youd be nervous too. My trainer decided to try to twitch my mare who had a previous bad experience with a twitch. Of course the horse resisted and my trainer said she was being very dangerous and was going to hurt one of us. She wasnt even moving around, she was just lifting her nose in the air out of reach. So my trainer got a little upset and lunged my horse, which isnt bad at all, but she did it in a sort of harsh way. I didnt say anything becausse I'm generally a shy person, but I dont know. I'm just very intimidated by her. She trained most of my horses and is a very nice person, but I dont want to take lessons there anymore. My mom wont let me go anywhere else though, what should I do?
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post #2 of 10 Old 03-26-2010, 10:56 PM
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If your mom won't let you go anywhere else, I suppose you're stuck. Is she the only trainer at that barn? Could you maybe switch to someone else at the same place? The only thing I can tell you, is that you will encounter many many more people who's ideas you do not agree with as far as horse training goes. I'm with you. I see no reason to aggravate a horse who already isn't too keen about having her ears worked on. It makes no sense, but obviously she doesn't see it that way. Hopefully she doesn't make that horse permanently head shy.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #3 of 10 Old 03-26-2010, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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she is the only trainer there, but i talked to my mom about it and she talked to the trainer and all of her lesson slots are taken up for the year which means i get to go to a new barn with the trainer of my choice.
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post #4 of 10 Old 03-26-2010, 11:09 PM
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Yey! That's way better. Hope you find someone you gel with better.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #5 of 10 Old 03-26-2010, 11:51 PM
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I had an instructor once who yelled at us constantly and never used her student's names, only the names of the horses. She would yell things like "rip his face off!" when she wanted a student to slow a horse and was having trouble, also "whip him! Teach him who's boss!" also "kick him! kick his guts out! if you don't make him move I'm going to go over there and whip him for you!" When the horse wasn't moving fast enough.

Then there was the one who kicked me out of lessons for having my stirrups in the correct position she wanted me to put them on the balls of my feet, which is too far in (I ride with my stirrups in the "classical" position). When I started at that place I could ride any of the school horses easily, when I left, I could only ride the "beginner horses" I lost so much confidence there.
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post #6 of 10 Old 03-27-2010, 01:57 AM
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Our instructor is like that too. I love her to death but sometimes....Eh.

I can see why she would make your horse work like that, but I can also see seven other correction options. I suppose it just depends on your style of training.

Good luck finding a new trainer :)

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #7 of 10 Old 03-27-2010, 03:34 AM
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I'm glad that you get to find a new trainer. I had a trainer who happened to be the "big" trainer in the area, and everyone else I talked to recommended her, so I started taking lessons with her when. With my first horse, everything was fine, but when I got my TB mare, everything went downhill. I too am very shy/quiet, so I'm not inclined to "argue" with the trainer. She started pushing my horse a lot, and since she was too heavy to ride my mare, she couldn't quite understand some of my issues and frustrations, so she started making me do whatever worked with the other horses, most of which just made my horse worse. She also spent her lessons yelling, more to be heard than anything else, but yelling none the less. When I got my horse, she was a grand prix jumper, was VERY well behaved, and was a very happy horse. By the time I stopped taking lessons with the trainer, she was not happy jumping, was rushing all the fences, very nervous, would start shaking when I'd give her a bath the day before a show, head up in the air, hard to stop ect. When I would go to shows, and the trainer was there, my horse would freeze, get bug eyed, start shaking, and panicking if she heard the trainers voice. After 6 months of working by myself with her, she was almost back to her old self, but I had lost a lot of my confidence in her, and it showed when I would ride her. I would have loved to find another trainer, but at that point, it was up to me to pay for my own lessons, and I just didn't have the money.
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post #8 of 10 Old 03-27-2010, 10:32 AM
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Glad to hear you have some options out there for a more suitable trainer!

I periodically clinic with a big grand prix rider. She definitely knows her stuff, has an incredible eye, and very VERY good with horses. Buuuut she is a fireball and has been known to cuss people out in lessons and get very demanding. Which tends to make me a little anxious and sometimes a little flustered. HOWEVER, I have learned more, understood more, tried harder, worked harder, and ridden better in the few years I've cliniced with her then the ~20 years of lessons I've had before I met her. To me her stressful personality is 100% worth the incredible training she provides. (I have to remember it's not personal, and she is VERY patient with horses!) That is not the case with everyone. :) It's important to find the right trainer to fit your needs and your personality. Did you ever explain to your horse's history to your trainer and why you wanted to go slow?
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post #9 of 10 Old 03-27-2010, 10:34 AM
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I had an Olympic-caliber instructor tell me "you're too fat, your horse is too lazy, and you will never get anywhere in this sport".... We were doing dressage and needless to say I have never taken another dressage lesson with him again. However, he is an excellent Jumping instructor. So maybe you could just not work on some things with this trainer and just do things that make you comfortable so she won't yell at you?

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post #10 of 10 Old 03-27-2010, 12:54 PM
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I'm glad you're getting out of that situation. Good luck with the new trainer. :)

Just remember that your horse is exactly that - YOUR horse. Not your trainer's. Your trainer is there to give you guidance and usually won't steer you wrong, but always listen to your gut feeling. If something she says or does doesn't seem right to you, say so. You don't have to be rude or anything, just tell her you're really not comfortable with whatever she was suggesting. A good trainer will respect that. If not, it's time to find a new one.

I have all the respect in the world for my trainer and she's an excellent teacher, but we don't always agree on everything. There are very seldom occasions when I have to tell her that I would rather not do something the way she's telling me, and it's always based off of what I think is best for my horse. For instance, one time she gave me a bit and suggested that I try it on Vic, but I know my horse and I just had a feeling that it was a bad idea. I discreetly slipped the bit back into her tack box and that was the end of that.

"A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is ultimately to be at peace with himself.
What a man can be, he must be.
" Abraham Maslow, 1968

Last edited by Jessabel; 03-27-2010 at 01:02 PM.
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