Hi, new here and need advice with horse and trainer
 
 

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Hi, new here and need advice with horse and trainer

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        12-17-2010, 02:14 PM
      #1
    Foal
    Hi, new here and need advice with horse and trainer

    Hello, this is my first thread on the forum. But, I've reading all your great advice, comments, support for the past few weeks. So, I'm going ask for some advice on my situation. Sorry if its long.

    A few months ago I decided it was time to get back into the saddle. Its been on my mind for a long time but with kids, work, etc, it never worked out. I'm not new to horses. My first horse was a green 2 year old Appaloosa when I was 11. I know my parents were crazy. But we were a team. I never got hurt, he never got hurt and we put in a lot of miles together. I also rode my moms horses. Until I got married and moved aways its been about 13 years since I rode.

    I went to a boarding farm in my area, and liked the facilities (indoor arena), great people, and they recommended a western horse trainer. I mainly trail ride. Anyway, I took a lesson the first day on the lesson horse. Was I in for a surprise. I have never ridden a "push button" horse before. Within 15 minutes of riding she asked me to transition into a trot. Then asked me to half-halt. I had never heard this term before. Okay I have a lot to learn. I felt the lesson went well. At the end of the lesson she told me she had a horse that she thought would suit me. (I mentioned we wanted to buy a horse soon) We went to look at him that day. When we got there she said that when she got home she received a call from her partner that he was being trailered out that night to a potential buyer. Okay, this may have been a lie or the truth but I felt confident that this woman was being truthful. She offered me to ride him and if I liked him I could buy him for the same offer the other girl did because she would prefer him stay close. He was a sweet boy. He's a 9 year old Appendix gelding. My whole family fell in love with him and with the assurance of working with this trainer I bought him, well actually my husband bought him for me., I was more hesitant because the classic rule is don't impulse buy.

    Okay to make the story short. He is now at the boarding farm where I ride him alone every other day and take a lesson once a week. I've had three lessons on him with this trainer.

    Here's where my issues are. When I bought him she changed his bit to a Tom Thumb, put on a running martingale, gadgets I don't like. I took the bit out and replaced with a O-ring snaffle and rode him with out the running martingale. He's tossing his head alot(he did this with tt but not as much). We've been doing okay but some days he won't stop at all. My last lesson with my trainer was odd as she mentioned he is not a serious horse and they couldn't find a place for him (they tried dressage, barrel racing) and thought he'd be best for trails. Which he has done. My trainer says comments like her other student gets the half halt, stuff like that and makes me feel like a idiot. She got really angry when I said I feel the tom thumb is cruel especially in a beginners hands, like mine. I feel she is impatient and sold a horse that is not for a beginner. Did I get played? This horse is a pure sweetheart to catch and will follow me like a puppy. Not a mean bone in him.

    I'm sorry this is so long but I have no one to discuss this with. My trainer acts like I should know all the pressure cues by know. Should I look for another trainer?It's a lot to take in and she's making me feel like a idiot. I'm in my 40's and my muscles aren't like they used to be. I need to feel my horses rhythm which I haven't yet.I'm starting to lose confidence in myself and second guessing buying this horse which I truly love already. I've been crying a lot because I wanted to get back into riding and horses because of the happiness it once brought me.
         
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        12-17-2010, 02:36 PM
      #2
    Started
    It sounds like she is a very interesting trainer. It sounds like someone else had already shown interest in the horse possibly even offering to buy him already, and then trainer swoops in and has you buy the horse out from underneath the other person. (May not be the case at all though as I only have the info you have told) That alone is a huge red flag for me. If the other party hadn't put an offer on him, than that's one thing, but it sounds like they did, and that's a very underhanded move on the trainers part just because the owner of horse would prefer the horse stay closer to them. Did you get a vet check on the horse? It sounds like a) he might need his teeth done b) he's been ridden in certain gear that the rider has relied on to solve some problems, instead of addressing the problem itself, and c) your trainer is very into quick fixes, riding push button horses so you don't have to actually really do much cause the horse does it for you so BOOM all of a sudden you know how to ride, and her job is done. But you are questioning things, you are being assertive, and looking out for yourself and your horse which I highly commend you for, and now she's getting annoyed that you aren't just blindly following her lead. I personally would find a different trainer, who suits you better. I know some trainers don't mind if you come watch them give a lesson or two, see how they teach ect., and see if you are interested, I'd go that route, I'd hate to see you lose heart because of a trainer. Best of luck to you. Hopefully others will have other ideas on here, and can break it down differently and see things I don't.
         
        12-17-2010, 02:39 PM
      #3
    Weanling
    It always amazes me how many trainers think they can place a person after one lesson on one lesson horse.

    I would sit down with your trainer and discuss how you feel that she is pushing you to fast. You just want to enjoy riding. Maybe remind her that its been 13 years since you were riding. I find a lot of riders that don't spend time out of the saddle can't comprehend how someone feels when you have been.
    Its why I had to find a new trainer. Mine just couldn't understand that I wanted to start from the basics to make sure my timing was perfect after a year off before I climbed on my green mare again.

    If you can't work something out that you're comfortable with with your current trainer, I'd say pack up you and your horse and move on and find someone who can be consistent with you two. The poor boy is probably confused as to what he is supposed to do; dressage to barrels, to different bits and gadgets all the time.
         
        12-17-2010, 02:53 PM
      #4
    Weanling
    Find a different trainer! The best trainers are supportive, but they don't coddle you. They certainly shouldn't undermine the confidence of a beginner or someone who is just starting to get back into riding and make them feel like an idiot.

    If you find a different trainer whose training methodology works better for you maybe in addition to having a lesson each week with them you could also get the trainer to put a training ride on your horse once a week too. With you learning under supervision on your horse and a trainer schooling your horse, I'm sure that your horse will come along nicely.
         
        12-17-2010, 02:57 PM
      #5
    Trained
    Since you realize you are new to horses and have a lot to learn why do you hire a trainer and then not follow her direction? I'm not saying that she is right but if you are going to pay her money then you should do what she suggests. If for some reason you can't bring yourself to do that or it's not working then find someone else. If you had hired me to teach you and I set the horse up the way I thought he needed to be and you came and changed that I would be very annoyed. Many beginning riders ride in some type of curb bit. There is nothing wrong with that. Your trainer is there to help you learn to handle yourself so that your not too "harsh" on your horses mouth. I'm glad that you are questioning the use of martingales and other things but they are not inherently bad for your horse. I think they should come with a sign that says "I don't know how to use my hands properly" but if that's true for you then they might be needed.
         
        12-17-2010, 02:58 PM
      #6
    mls
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cher40    
    I'm sorry this is so long but I have no one to discuss this with. My trainer acts like I should know all the pressure cues by know. Should I look for another trainer?It's a lot to take in and she's making me feel like a idiot. I'm in my 40's and my muscles aren't like they used to be. I need to feel my horses rhythm which I haven't yet.I'm starting to lose confidence in myself and second guessing buying this horse which I truly love already. I've been crying a lot because I wanted to get back into riding and horses because of the happiness it once brought me.
    Take a step back. Are you frustrated with her - or yourself?

    I have a few adult students. Some are re-riders and some new to horses. I tell them there is no set time frame to learn. Everyone learns at a different pace. There is also no shame in asking a question - or saying no when asked to try something new. A couple of my students think they should be further along than they are. I tell them to remember when they learned to drive, or ice skate or how to do math. Some things come easier and quicker, sometimes it's finding the right way to teach someone. Not everyone learns the same way - so they cannot be taught the same way.

    I would sit down with the instructor and explain your frustration. It's possible they cannot think back to basics and you do need a different instructor.

    Have to say I agree with getting rid of the TT bit!
         
        12-17-2010, 03:19 PM
      #7
    Foal
    Thanks for all the replies. Yes, I had him vet checked and his teeth are fine. I had him gauged so I could find the right saddle for him. I only had a loner from my trainer. Am I frustrated with myself or my trainer? I think both. I'm frustrated with myself that I believe I bought a horse that is probably not the best for me, at this moment. I pay my trainer for an hour to "get the spunk out" as she says. He tosses his head around with her too. My thoughts when she put all these "aids" on was this is not a very well trained horse and what the heck am I doing on it if he requires all this? Of course I respect a teacher to know more than I but with all my research on TT bits they are a harsh bit in experienced hands and yes I'm working on my "quiet hands". My horse used a hackamore. I'm learning very quickly that the business of horse selling and training is sometimes just that...a business! It was the way she responded to my questioning the tt that made me "red flag". It was in a tone of anger that I questioned her about something. Also, ranting about the internet and stuff like that. I will have a sit down with her and once again re-iterate the fact I want to go slowly. I have never said otherwise, so I'm not sure why she feels to push me. I have also asked her if its doing harm to ride him without her supervision and she said no, go ahead ride him. I think where I get frustrated with her is while I'm riding she'll say all these terms for me to do and I've never heard of them. I tell her that and she will explain but then 2 seconds later she'll say another thing and she won't have me practice one thing at a time. Does this make sense? Or, maybe its my older brain that is slower.
         
        12-17-2010, 03:44 PM
      #8
    Weanling
    Not every trainer works for every person or every horse. I wouldn't ride a show barn with an extremely pushy or hands-off trainer, but because that doesn't mesh with my goals as a rider and my goals for my horse. If you want to go slowly, go slowly. Learning isn't a race. If I questioned a trainer about something and they got mad at me or were evasive about answering it, that would raise a red flag in my mind too. I think your plan to sit down with her and reiterate what your goals are is great, but I wouldn't be surprised if you end up searching for a better match.
         
        12-18-2010, 10:57 PM
      #9
    Green Broke
    It's sounds like you are into horses because you want to enjoy them. Not compete or push yourself into a new discipline or anything like that. I think having a horse because you love horses is the BEST reason to own a horse. I think you have your priorities straight.

    About the trainer, I don't know. It sounds like she is more geared towards teaching riding as a discipline and is not as geared towards pleasure riders. I have ridden for 16 years and have never learned about 1/2 halts and all that. Not that it isn't good information, but that is not what you want to focus on at the moment. I think you are more at the level of just wanting to ride safely and in control and enjoy the horse. So what if you never want to make it to the show ring?

    Besides tossing his head, does your horse do anything wrong? I think head tossing is a sign either a) the horse wants to go faster than you are allowing him to or b) his bit is too strong or uncomfortable for him.

    But it really isn't uncommon or a fatal flaw. It's something I'm sure you guys can work out as you learn what works for him.

    I guess I am wondering why you are doubting he is the right horse for you? He might not be, but I don't think I really understand what his issues are from your post.

    Maybe this isn't the recommended way to go about things, but I would make sure you have the right horse that you have confidence and trust in and get rid of the trainer. I have been trail riding (mostly by myself) for 16 years and have never had a trainer. You would probably be just as well served if you had one or two friends you could ride with who would be happy to talk to you and help you learn as you ride. I have learned a lot just by riding, getting to know my horse, and talking to more experienced friends.
         
        12-18-2010, 11:33 PM
      #10
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cher40    
    Thanks for all the replies. Yes, I had him vet checked and his teeth are fine. I had him gauged so I could find the right saddle for him. I only had a loner from my trainer. Am I frustrated with myself or my trainer? I think both. I'm frustrated with myself that I believe I bought a horse that is probably not the best for me, at this moment. I pay my trainer for an hour to "get the spunk out" as she says. He tosses his head around with her too. My thoughts when she put all these "aids" on was this is not a very well trained horse and what the heck am I doing on it if he requires all this? Of course I respect a teacher to know more than I but with all my research on TT bits they are a harsh bit in experienced hands and yes I'm working on my "quiet hands". My horse used a hackamore. I'm learning very quickly that the business of horse selling and training is sometimes just that...a business! It was the way she responded to my questioning the tt that made me "red flag". It was in a tone of anger that I questioned her about something. Also, ranting about the internet and stuff like that. I will have a sit down with her and once again re-iterate the fact I want to go slowly. I have never said otherwise, so I'm not sure why she feels to push me. I have also asked her if its doing harm to ride him without her supervision and she said no, go ahead ride him. I think where I get frustrated with her is while I'm riding she'll say all these terms for me to do and I've never heard of them. I tell her that and she will explain but then 2 seconds later she'll say another thing and she won't have me practice one thing at a time. Does this make sense? Or, maybe its my older brain that is slower.

    Definitely a different trainer.

    It seems that this horse is not dangerous and if I were you, seek out a decent dressage trainer and have them evaluate you and the horse.

    Doesn't matter that you are doing western as most dressage trainers can tell you if you should progress with this horse or not.
         

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