Ok, warning right now, this is kind of a rant. Also, it will probably seem kinda jumbled, but that's how my day has gone today.
So, let's start with background information for those of you who might not know. I started riding for a local horse trainer about a year ago. I thought he was the coolest thing since sliced bread! I rode his two horses and sometimes some of his customer's horses. Besides riding I did all the barn chores and everything. Also, I sold his two horses for him (the only thing I have EVER gotten paid for!)
Honestly, back then I hardly knew anything about horse training, but I could still notice that his ways weren't the greatest (to say the least.) The first time I started noticing that he wasn't the greatest was when he attempted to teach his own horse not to pull back when tied. That consisted of looping a leadrope around it's neck, through the halter and tie it to a sturdy barn pole. Of course the horse pulled back, and the rope would tighten and choke the horse. He kept doing this and struggling and rearing up and everything the poor horse could. Then the horse fell! He was laying there with that noose around his neck, making him hang from it! It went about 2 inches into his neck and you could hear him wheezing! My trainer then began to whip him w/ the entire bridle and reins in an attempt to get him to get up. He kept hitting him as hard as he could for about a minute. After that there were even marks on him from where he was hit. My trainer then says "He's just pouting, let's let him pout!" Then he left him there for about another 5 minutes, and the poor thing is still struggling to breath, but can't get up because of the awkward position he's in. FINALLY, my trainer decides to unty the poor thing. The instant after he gets close to the rope, the horse leaps up in fear.....
Then there was the mule hoof viasco. He cross tied the mule in the alley, which is two fences about 4 feet apart. Then he tied a rope to the mule's hoof and looped it over the fence and pulled down as hard as he could. The poor mule had no idea what was going on and started freaking out! He reared up, jumped forward, got stuck in the fence, bent his leg the WRONG way, and everything else you can think of him doing in this struggle. When he was done the mule's hooves were red from the paint off of the fence. Then to work with his hooves he tied the leg to itself at the joint!
There are other, not so major things that bother me too about him. He is a cowboy kinda trainer that Forces the horse to do what he wants. To get lateral flexion he ties the horse's mouth to it's tail and watches them flip out. Sure they start flexing eventually, but they also learn how to lean on the bit. For vertical flexion he ties their reins behind the saddle, which teaches them to lean on the bit really fast. And his opinion of them learning vertical flexion is that they learn to do it because it hurts them less when they are on the vertical then when they aren't. So all he does to teach them to stay on the vertical is to make the reins REALLY short and hope they learn that it hurts less if they carry themselves right. If that fails, then they get a tie down and their head is tyed to their chest
Also, his main bit is the Argentine snaffle. The horse will be in this bit after about one week of training. He spends about 3 days in a halter and 4 in a ring snaffle. Also, there is never a moment that the colts don't have a running martingale on them.
Ok, now that I'm done with that part of the rant I can get on to the next part. As some of you know I'm working with my 4-H horse Duke. He belongs to someone else (who is NOT my trainer) but my trainer started him. At first I couldn't wait to move him over to the trainer's because there are WAY better facilities. Now I want to keep him out of there as long as I can. Why? Because my trainer told me that HE could ride Duke every day and THEN I could!
I'm sorry, but I've been riding Duke for awhile and I'm making tons of progress! I do not see why he thinks I can't handle this bombproof 12 y/o who I've already been riding for a long time! I've taught him new stuff and how to be light and I REALLY don't want the trainer screwing up my progress!
He uses different cues that will only confuse Duke, and he has no understanding of lightness. I'm doing just fine with Duke, so why does he have to ride him? It's not his horse, he's not getting paid to ride him, and I DON'T need help! The only thing he has involved with the horse now is that I MIGHT keep him there for the last bit before the show.
He wanted me to take Duke over there tommorow, but I told him Duke wasn't ready. I said that he just moved to this other barn, and I'm still wanting him to bond with me more before we change environments again and that I want him to come a little bit further and be in a better shape. Guess what? He snapped on me and said that, this place is perfect for all that and that if it wasn't he'd be out of business!
I swear he thinks I know absolutely NOTHING about horses except how to kick them to go and pull the reins to stop them. Am I stupid? Am I being selfish about Duke? Or am I just crazy?