Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: British Columbia
I don't think there's anything wrong with a trainer suggesting new tack, you didn't have to buy it, but you chose to, and there was no money going into her pocket (or was there?) from you purchasing new tack, so I don't think there were an ulterior motives... I also don't think she was completely out of line smacking your horse, but because I don't know the EXACT situation (and you've gone back and forth on that detail a little bit) I'll leave it at that...
That said, I would be irritated if my coach dropped off the face of the earth, but would learn to get over it. Coaches are people too, and if you don't have a close, personal relationship with her (even if you do), you have no idea exactly what was going on in her life, if she was forced to move, had to do so quickly, if things weren't going well, etc.
All in all, it sounds like she helped you a lot with your horse, which is exactly what coaches are there to do and for that reason alone I would probably suck it up and go back to her. Yeah, it sucks that some 'bad feelings' were left over, but you might be able to get over it and create a good working relationship with her again, especially since you've had such rotten luck finding a coach that works well with you and your horse. I, personally, wouldn't hold a grudge.