Alright, so excuse this for being so long but I just really need thoughts and opinions on my situation. Bear with me :)
So, I have been with my trainer for 10+ years. He (and his wife, well she used to be involved. I'll get into that later) used to really help me and get involved with my riding and my own personal goals. When I first started really getting into the hunters (about 4-5 years ago) there was an older group of girls who he (and his wife) trained that were referred to as the "big girls". They jumped the higher fences, went to the world show and the congress, and were seasoned show girls with seasoned show horses. Me, alone with the 5 "younger girls" worked our way up from jumping the little 2 foot fences on lesson horses, to going to the horse shows with the "big girls" and being able to compete with them at the bigger shows on horses of our own. Well, the "big girls" all went off to college, sold their horses, and all of my trainers attention and focus was on us... Or so we thought. Ever since the "big girls" stopped riding and showing, the trainer's wife completely lost interest in our riding and stopped giving us lessons (may I add, she practically created my equitation and got me started into the hunters). I would BEG her to give me a lesson every now and again, and she would completely ignore my phone calls and e-mails. Anyway, my current trainer really doesn't pay attention to me. In our lessons (may I add that he has 7 youth kids including myself in a lesson, and that he hauls to all the shows), we would go one at a time. He would talk other girls through their course (sometimes) and give them feedback. I would go, and there would be silence from him and he would have absolutely nothing to say to me. This has been happening for some time now. I just figured that I was "perfect" and did not need any feedback.
Well, I would go to horse shows, think I would have good goes, and not get anything. This would happen for a few shows and it got to the point where I had no idea what was going on and was really down on myself and had no confidence. I got help from another trainer at one of the bigger shows, and just one 30 minute lesson from her helped me more than one year of lessons with my trainer. So, months go on and my horse and I start to consistently do well at the shows. This summer, we traveled out west and showed there until the world show. He gave me little feedback the whole time.
The world show comes along, and I make the finals in the equitation over fences and the jumping. When I was schooling for the finals the night before (I was the only one out of his kids to make it back, so I was the only one who he had to pay attention to) he had very little to say to me, and was just watching, and told me I looked nice at the end. Showing day comes along, and I go into the arena and lay out a PERFECT course, getting me a reserve world champion in the equitation over fences.
Anyway, let me get to my dilemma. I know I need to switch trainers. I HAVE to. The problem is, the closest trainer is about 2 hours away, and I'm used to a 5 minute drive down the road. Also, my trainers have some of the cheaper rates in my state, and money is super tight for us at the moment. I have a trainer in mind, who is highly respected in AQHA and has helped me a few times before, but she lives about 2 1/2 hours away and is probably expensive.
What are your thoughts? I'm desperate for anything.