Originally Posted by LoveIsTheAnswer
I know. She is the cheapest out of everyone within three hours of us. She still charges quite alot.
Crap, I would ask around the local farms/cattle ranches if I could use their pastures in that case... Sometimes people with large private barns of their own want a manager/live-in help and let the person keep a horse on the property. I just saw an ad like that recently, someone out in a rural area needing a live-in helper and offering free board to the helper's horse if need be.
This is a bit of a vent but, on the topic of trainers....
Now, I've been running around like a decapitated chicken for a while on the boards in a rut about what to do with my horse because I wanted to do Novice Eventing and was clueless about how to do Dressage with her because my original trainer (now fairly far away) was Show Jumper and English Equitation only with the bits of Dressage needed to do either job. I knew when I bought my horse she wasn't top-level or anything, she's 12yo now and has a Quarter Horsey build--- she ain't no uphill diva or 4ft jumping power house, she demands to be ridden skillfully, unlike the more expensive horses I rode, she doesn't go smooth and pretty unless she is ridden that way. You get what you give.
Everybody would say, she's not active enough, she's not rounded, she's not collected--- hell, I just went and, after 3 years struggling by myself, was able to take a lesson with my good trainer, who's brought both her and me up from day 1, and knows us better than we do. Know what he said? First thing he asked was how I liked her. He didn't ask me what work we'd been doing, he didn't ask if I was competing--- no, I started mentioning that before he did, and when he was assessing us working at w/t/c to see how I could control her and how she went, he asked what we were up to at home, and I told him Eventing. He's surprised. Why? Further into my visit, I'm talking about my horse and my riding and I mention how I've been working on her topline and it just isn't coming up like I want it to. He stops me there and tells me not to be picky at all, that when they had tried Dressage on her when they first got her (she was his before she was mine), she would walk out the next day with a stiff, stiff back. She's just not built for what people would call true collection or true roundness. He was real pleased with how I'd gotten her so far, because by gum I did shovel a lot of work into her and went extremely, painstakingly slow with her because yes, I did have stiffness issues with her, I just decided to give her treatment and be very careful about how we rode. Actually, the way she's built, she gets sore whether or not I ride her with some collection. So she'll never be flexed and look like a Dressage horse. But, that doesn't mean she can't do it at all or can't look very good for being the way she is. I've been talking to a number of horse people, competitors, trainers nearby, and they haven't said anything like that.
A good trainer is one who isn't concerned about being top level or looking the best of the best... a good trainer wants a unified pair of horse and rider who can work together the best those two can. Not being THE best doesn't mean stop trying at all. The idea was always in my head, but I really needed it to be said out loud again. Phew... the horse training world can be vicious!
Bottom line, we're going to be the best WE can be, and competitions are merely the tests and gatherings along the way :) Huh... now I can see why this trainer doesn't compete himself anymore and doesn't care about the levels like other trainers do. Well. I feel cozy