Horse doesn't like the trainer - what to do... :(

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Horse doesn't like the trainer - what to do... :(

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    09-28-2009, 08:28 AM
Horse doesn't like the trainer - what to do... :(

I know I'm somewhat bragging here, but... I'm really confused... I started taking lessons with the dressage trainer couple months back. I think she's knowledgeable (I tried several trainers before), and what she says and teaches make sense (although she's very loud lol!). My qh made pretty good progress so far.

Now the problem is my paint totally hates her. She won't let her to put saddle pad, she doesn't let her to bridle, when she tries to work on ground (like do some lateral or lower the head) she's VERY stubborn and refuses to do anything (while I can just give her a hint and she does it) and keeps ears pinned back all the time while the trainer is around her. The trainer said paint will have to like her, but it's not getting any better, but getting worse every time IMO. Now the trainer wants to put her in some groundwork program basically to work with her on lunging, lateral, and such. And I'm really afraid that it won't make any good for the horse, because she'll be pissed all the time. So... Should I still let it all go? Or should I decline the "groundwork" lessons and just ask to go with the mounted ones? And if so HOW to say it so the person won't go nuts (as I said she's a good trainer)?
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    09-28-2009, 08:41 AM
Just like people, horses have likes and dislikes. It's my feeling that if your horse is not getting along with your trainer (baring physical problems) then continuing may create habitual problems. Like a person who absolutely shuts down when asked to do something by a person they can't stand, horses do the same.

There are times when one training method works wonders for many many horses but simply does not work for another - and can actually cause the horse to digress. IMO, if your horse is that unhappy and uncomfortable, he is not learning anything and it's time to move her. It could also be that she is not suited for the discipline your want her to be and that is the problem, but in any case, if it were my horse, it would be time to pull the plug.
    09-28-2009, 08:41 AM
Green Broke
Try and determine why the horse doesn't like the trainer. You know how people "pat" horses necks with a loud slapping motion? All meant well and everything but all the horses I have ever had hated it. There was a woman at the paddocks where I was and she would always do it, and her horse was fine with it, and she was really nice and would say hi to my horse and give him one of those big slapping pats and my horse would always step away and glare.

I'm not saying that is it but often something little like that can change a horses view of a person. It could a "predatory" walk, or maybe if she yells, that could be it. Once you have found out what it is you can either a) try to avoid situations with that b) tell your trainer c) try and get your horse over it or d) continue along as normal.

From your post I get the feeling that you don't feel comfortable doing groundwork lessons. If that is your gut feel then don't do it. You can get many good dvds and books that help to teach you the basic groundwork instead.
    09-28-2009, 09:14 AM
Thanks, folks!

That's certainly not a physical problem. The trainer states it's because she makes us work, but it's a complete BS (excuse my french). I work them out without the trainer even harder some days (btw, I do the same she teaches me, so I don't think it's a discipline thing). My mom thinks MAY be it's the voice of the trainer as it's very loud and pretty "sharp" if you see what I mean (she doesn't pat her, BTW :) ). I certainly will keep this trainer for my qh, but may just think using another one for the paint. I was thinking about telling her something about "advancing my qh as she changed so much" and such...
    09-28-2009, 01:51 PM
Just like people learn to work with people they don't like your horse can learn to work with a trainer she doesn't like. I'm not real big on making a lot of concessions for the sake of my horses emotions. They can have whatever feelingsthey want as long as thier body does what I want. Horses don't have the capacity for really complex emotions so try not to make it too complicated.
    09-28-2009, 02:33 PM
Although I like Kevin's posts I disagree with this one. Last year I had a mare that a friend of mine wanted enough to offer me more then she was worth so I sold her to him. She was a great mare that did anything I asked of her and never gave me a lick of trouble.

She had a reputation as being somewhat of a bronc at times by her former owner who used to get thrown regularly during the 4 years he owned her; but she never showed that to me. When my friend saddled her up (using my saddle) she started bucking when he was simply leading her up to the pasture - bucking, not crow hopping. She was a handful for nearly a year and he had to watch her every moment. Since she was going to be a broodmare for the most part, that was OK with him. She eventually learned to accept him but never had the same spark of performance she had with me.

I believe that horses do have the capacity for emotions and that can translate to behavior. Most of the time they are pretty accepting but sometimes there is a real dislike. Can they be made to comply? Yes, but not with the same enthusiasm.
    09-28-2009, 02:55 PM
I agree with iride on that one. Yes, I can make her work (and that's what's happening now), however she is not trying to please like she generally does when we work together. And if it was so-so in the beginning it's getting worse with time up to the point I feel pretty uncomfortable riding her (as all she does is keeping her bad attention on that trainer only). I personally think it may worse to give a try to another trainer to see how she'll behave. I can always come back. :)
    09-28-2009, 03:41 PM
Folks keep horses for a lot of different reasons. It can be a very emotional thing for humans. The relationship between equine and human is a very sensitive issue.

From time to time I let someone else ride my horse in the arena. I know my horse inside out and I can sense instantly if she and the new rider are getting on or not getting on. If things are not going too well, then for some reason or another I bring the session to an end quickly. I have learned something about the new rider which only my horse could tell me. My horse has more sense(s) than me.

If your horse genuinely doesn't get on with the trainer, then why do you persist?

I've been watching this video of bareback riding with no reins and no bit - all the rider has for control is a handfull of mane. Now I do believe I can work out how it is done but I am pretty sure that if the rider is not completely at one with the horse, then that rider is going to hit the dust pretty quickly.

No, if it were me, I'd be thinking up of a nice polite way to say to the trainer: "sorry but my horse won't be having lessons any more - she's got a headache" - or something like that.

Barry G

PS Trust that judgement of yours about how your horse feels. If it is ever sick, you'll need that instinct.
    09-28-2009, 04:43 PM
Thanks, Barry!

BTW, your writing is great (as always)! :)
    09-28-2009, 10:05 PM
If your horse doesn't like her, then don't let her work with her. It's up to us to protect our horses from situations like this. It's our responsibility. I would never let anyone handle my horse that he didn't like.

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