Dealing with know-it-alls! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 03-19-2013, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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Dealing with know-it-alls!

I have two young geldings in training. My experience with horses goes back to my childhood (a LONG time ago!), and while I do not consider myself a trainer I am no greenhorn, either. I did take several years off while raising a child, and re-entered the horse world about 2 1/2 years ago. A good friend, who I used to ride with before I had my son, continued with horses throughout that time and now wants to "help" me with these ones. I recently took them for a month of training with a very well recognized professional trainer, and I went with them and participated daily in their training. My friend still continues to "correct" everything I do with them, in many cases contradictory to what the trainer taught. It irritates me, but I try to be patient as she is a very good friend and means well, and she HAS been very helpful and generous in many ways. I don't want to confuse the horses, as they have had a very good start with this trainer and I want to continue using her methods. How do I get my friend to lay off and let me train them my way (which is working very well, so far), wihout offending or hurting her feelings?
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post #2 of 11 Old 03-19-2013, 10:33 AM
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Its hard you really have a few options. wast the money you put into training and do what your friend says, do nothing just hear your friend out keep you mouth shut and ride the way your trainer has trained your horses. Or, if she is truly your friend and you value her and your friendship tell her the truth explane just what you told us is a loving and humble manner. You are taking a chance that you could lose your friend but she will know how you feel. The truth is always best. take her out for coffee someplace (you buy) and tell her how your are trying to train your horses by following your trainers methods its not that you don't think she is a good horse person you are paying this trainer and you want to give him/her all the help you can. If she is a "good horseman" she will understand.
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post #3 of 11 Old 03-19-2013, 10:36 AM
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If you feel that blunt honesty would offend her, then I'd just stick to saying that the trainer has given you a specific plan of training them and you don't want to confuse the horses with various other training methods at this stage of their training. If she continues to come with unwanted advice, be polite, yet firm and say something along the lines of "Thanks, but I've decided to follow such and such methods, however, if I ever need your assistance, I won't hesitate to ask" - and go back to what you were doing. Going into any discussions will only provoke her to come to you with more tips.

I have come a long way, to surrender my shadow to the shadow of my horse.
/James Wright/
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post #4 of 11 Old 03-19-2013, 10:42 AM
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Hmmm… good question. Maybe you could gently explain that while working with trainer “x” on these horses you came to really appreciate that training style and you really like how the horses are responding to it. Tell her that you believe that trying doing things contradictory to that training could confuse the horses or slow down their progress. But be sure to explain that you do indeed appreciate her and her work with horse, just that you want to continue method “y” from trainer “x”.
If she is a friend she should respect your thoughts and decisions about your horses.

Be sure to emphasize that it doesn’t mean you appreciate her help and want what is best for the horses, because she may feel jilted by the fact that you are seeking advise elsewhere.
I recently returned to horses after years away, but was very experienced back then before life took me in another direction. And I also had a friend who was similar, but she has far far less experience as well as she is not horse minded at all! And she was outright telling me what to do and “correcting me.”

It was touchy for a bit, and I had to be tactful, but we have been able to move forward probably due to the fact that we have other things in common.
Good luck.
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post #5 of 11 Old 03-19-2013, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all, my situation is very similar to what Lockwood described. My friend has befriended another trainer/coach in the years that I was absent, and I do not personally like that woman or her training methods. I also do not like the fact that she badmouths other trainers and coaches constantly, which is something that always bothers me in people. My friend hangs on her every word, and in many instances she says things which I can tell came straight from this woman's mouth! She also brings her over regularly to "show off" my horses to her, and that really bugs me because I feel she is a busybody and is just looking for things to criticize.
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post #6 of 11 Old 03-19-2013, 01:14 PM
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I think a lot of it is just that some people have a personality where they can't help putting their two cents in...usually it's not that big of a deal unless they get obnoxious. Then there are those very rare individuals, like me, that DO know it all, so you had better listen...
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post #7 of 11 Old 03-19-2013, 01:34 PM
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Me too. I AM that know it all, from time to time. But the difference is that I KNOW it's not the right thing to do and when I see how strained it makes our friendship, I am able to cap it. I value my friends much more than letting my ego out for a walk. She may have some growing up to do there, since she seems to not see how this is threatening your friendship. You should probably make it more cleat that you cannot enjoy her company and friendship if you feel that you are being judged all the time. a good friend will understand and apologize.
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post #8 of 11 Old 03-19-2013, 01:41 PM
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It's been my experience to never train/offer help unless asked and if I'm asked, approach the situation cautiously and sensitively as to not to insult anyone. Sounds like your friend has done none if this, or you did ask for her help and she isn't being sensitive about it.

If you guys are pretty good friends, you should be able to tell her to back off without her taking offense. I'd do it gracefully though and with tact. They are under a specific training program and although you appreciate her help, you'd like a little space OR tell her "this is how you handle Sugar" or "I handle Sweetpea like this". Teach her how to handle your horses. Don't let her tell how how to handle them.
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post #9 of 11 Old 03-19-2013, 01:58 PM
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Your "friend" butting in would be irritating enough but the fact that she has inserted her trainer into the mix is really over the top. That is rude. It's like now there are two of them to critique you and probably the trainer you like and are working with.
If (and I mean IF) she is a friend she should understand the fact that this is not appreciated or helpful. She needs to go take care of her own life. I would not consider her actions to be those os a true friend, but those of a petty know-it-all...same for her trainer to be involved in this. Talk about unprofessional.

If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
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post #10 of 11 Old 03-19-2013, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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You're right. She sort of sees herself as the "leader" of the local horse community, as there are some relative "newbies" around here and they look up to her and respect her. But as for her trainer, she just points out the faults in everyone and what they are doing. She has said nothing bad about me to my face, but I suspect she has a lot to say behind my back as that is the sort of person she is. The reason I chose the trainer I did is because she is very professional and does none of that bad-mouthing or judging. She just goes about her work quietly and calmly, with no arrogance or "showiness". She also explains what she is doing very clearly and concisely without making you feel or look like an idiot. I like that.
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