Horse "Trainers"

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Horse "Trainers"

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    01-24-2007, 06:32 AM
Horse "Trainers"

Hey guys,

As many of you know, I had just moved to South Carolina not that long ago, and I had been looking for work as a Riding Instructor/Horse Trainer. Well, I have finally had quite a few clientèle contact me, and I was so jazzed! The first place I went to visit was a lady who needed someone to teach her 4 year old and 8 year old how to ride. When I went to her place, I saw she had a ton of horses and nice big fields. Then, I got to meet the "Trainers" she hired to train her two year olds.

I was absolutely sickened.

--- The first "Trainer" was a barrel racer. She owned two 30 year old horses and a miniature stallion. When they arrived initially on my client's property, they were nothing but bones and fur. My client said she thought that the horses were just old and having trouble maintaining weight.. but when she saw the pony, she had doubts that that's what was going on. After a month in her care, the horses had gained so much weight they were unrecognizable. You can't even tell that they were ever skinny. Anyways. When I talked with this "Trainer" She was bragging about how many bones she has broke, and broke repeatedly after making the same mistakes. Odd, I thought.. why would she brag that she continues to break bones frequently.. from riding her 30 year old horses (shouldn't 30 year old horses that have been owned for 15 years by a TRAINER be.. well... trained?). Then, the final straw with this girl... She was letting in my Client's horses and chasing them all with a bag on a stick. She said she couldn't catch them and that they were all feral. Well, since I was new to this barn, I believed it. Then, when I went out to visit and give the first lesson, I watched my Client's 8 year old child leading the horses to their stalls. My client then told me that this "Trainer" can't catch or control any of her horses in the field.

The horse she is supposed to be training is two, and has yet to be handled even after she was assigned the horse a year ago. Apparently it is "Too Feral" for her to train. Too Feral? You mean a fun challenge right? Well, apparently not. All she does is tell my client that the horse is insane because of its breeding and can't be broke to ride. Yeah. I.E. "I only trained one horse once, and it never gave me any problems, but I'm scared of this one D:!"

--- Next trainer. This time, a guy. Well, to set this up.. let me start from the very beginning. When talking with my client after giving her children their lessons, I see a truck pull up about 10 feet from the round pen, where a little bay colt (1 1/2 year old) is eating quietly. He steps out of his truck with a lunge whip in his hands, opens up the gate to the round pen, and as soon as his first foot crosses the threshold he cracks the whip and sends the horse flying. There was no "Hello" no "Alright buddy, we are going to start working" the horse went from eating, to an instant unrelenting 8 minute gallop without changing sides. Then, the guy drops the whip and yells at the horse to "come here, come here horse, come here" and when the horse sheepishly approaches, he grabs him by the halter and waves his hands in his face, smacks his nose and his eyes. My client told me this is how he "desensitizes" his horses (it looked to me like he was SENSITIZING them). After about 3 minutes of this, the horse's head is sky high and suddenly the "Trainer" picks up the whip again and starts cracking it like crazy. While the horse is running, he leaves the round pen and is done with it.

Then, this guy walks over to me and my client, and just sort of hangs out. I was telling my client how fun my gelding (Skippy!) was, and how he was a real show-boater and power house, and when I would cross the arena at a diagonal on windy days I would watch that neck go up, widen, body tense, and BOOM he would explode into a gallop. I said "Yeah, since I knew he was going to stop at the other side of the arena, and usually I was the only one riding, I just let him do it. He wasn't trying to buck me, he was just full of energy and I should have gotten it out of him before I rode" and the guy looked at me and said "You know, if you pull one rein..." and I cut him off by saying "I'd get crushed, because stopping a nearly 2,000 pound huge clumsy gelding during a break-neck gallop by using one rein would cause him to flip over and possibly roll over me like a person getting thrown by a motorcycle. Pulling one rein works at the trot or canter, but its suicide at the gallop." (Ooooh... OWNED). As I continued to talk with my client, his little "remarks" stopped. I think he knew he could bulls**t me. So he went off to grab one of my client's horses that he should be training.

So, he grabs this 2 year old PMU mare that has very seldom been handled. She drags him around by the lead rope, and he starts smacking her in the cheek. Finally, she stops, and he pulls her into a very tight circle and starts slapping her haunches. Apparently desensitizing her. He then stops her, and like with the colt, gets up in her face, smacking her eyes, nose, pulling her ears. Again, "desensitizing". I asked my client what she wanted to accomplish with this filly, and she said "All I want him to do, is get her to pick up her back feet." You mean.. he was doing all this crap for her back feet? After she said that, about 5 minutes later he began to work on getting to her back feet. Every time she would move, he would begin "desensitizing" her face again. Can we blame her for moving? He just spent some 8 minutes turning her in a tight circle.. she was still stuck in that habit. This repeated itself for about 15 minutes before he shanked the heck out of her halter (pulled the lead rope repeatedly) and let her go -RUN- back to her stall.

I told my client that so long as she paid me the 5 dollar trip charge, I would train this horse for free if she promised me he would -never- touch her again. She laughed, and accepted. Even if I don't get paid, it is still experience. As a trainer, I am not going to shy away at another newish experience. Every horse encounter is different, and the more I handle the better I become.

--- Another "Trainer" that I heard about in Alabama (never met) told a client of mine that her daughters horse was completely out of control and a poor example of a TWH. It only trotted, it did not gate, and it was very spooky. The daughter was 13, and scared because her trusted trainer told her the horse was something to be afraid of. The trainer offered to train the horse for 500 dollars a month, but they couldn't afford it... so they called me. I came out, and heard about the last trainer and asked if I could get on the horse. I walked out to get the horse, put his halter on, and walked up. His owners had their mouths wide open. I asked if something was wrong, and they said "You just walked up and caught him.. how did you do that?" *blinks* apparently the horse was hard to catch? O_o; I saddled up the horse without a problem and hopped on his back. I walked him in a 20 meter circle in their field two times to get a feel for him. Then, I asked for a trot. I was prepared to post, but instead was surprised to feel that he gaited. I looked at the mother and she said "He has NEVER done that before! How did you do that?!" I said "Well, I asked him to go.. and he went!" lol! After 15 minutes of gaiting I walked over to the gate and asked if he had ever been out of the pasture and left his friends. They said he never had. So, I asked if it was ok if I could walk down their 1/4 of a mile driveway, over the cement portion of the driveway, and to the open hay field. She said "If you think you can, go for it, just don't get killed" I laughed and walked him through the fence. I had the 13 year old walk right beside me. The horse was walking just as calm as he was when he was in the pasture. We walked for a while until we approached the cement. He had never seen pavement before. I asked the 13 year old to step back. The horse eyed the cement and really didnt want to go over it. He kept looking at it, and without getting tense, I just kept asking, and saying "Its just pavement, its nothing you can't handle" in a very calm voice. He took his first step big, but the other 3 feet followed very calmly. I was now in the open hay field. I walked him around, then gated, then asked for a canter, and finally a gallop. As an act of good faith because the horse had been so good, I let go of the reins, put them on the horn, and rode with my arms straight out. I asked for a walk, picked up the reins and told them that this horse was PERFECT for her. And there is nothing to be afraid of. They kept the horse and I gave them lessons for about a year before I moved to SC. The 13 year old was not afraid of him anymore, and she was finally able to ride him on her own. Something she never thought she would have happen. Now.. why on earth would their trainer say this horse was horrible? I spent 15 minutes with him on my first encounter.. and in the first 5 saw he was a very NORMAL horse. Why? One thought I had.. was -money-. He wanted them to pay him to train a horse that didn't need training. All he would have to do is hop on it excercize it and get paid as if he was training it.


I am so appauled at how it seems that anymore, someone can read a book, and/or train one or two horses, and be a certified horse trainer. I remember back when I was still a real newbie to horses all these horror stories about sending your horse off to trainers just to have them beaten by bats, or come back with absolutely no training on them and/or 10 times spookier than they were when they left. I thought this was all just over-reaction or something.. but I really don't think it was.

For every sincere horse trainer, there are 5 posers.

In my opinion, a sincere trainer is one that has trained a multitude of different horses and has figured out what works, and what doesn't. A Poser is someone who, like I said, bought a book and trained their moms horse once.

I honestly never thought myself a trainer. I have handled over 200 horses of varying ages, breeds, sanity (lol), etc. And I never shy away from handling another. I worked with these little wiley buggers on the ground for 10 years, and in that process trained 50 different horses under saddle for english and western. After 8 years with horses, I noticed people asking me to ride their horse for them, people asking me for advice on how to correct vices or what not, people asking my opinion on how they ride... then it turned into people asking me to break their horse to ride for them, Riding Instructors asking me to teach my lessons for them when they were ill, and even judge flatwork english/western classes at horse-shows. It didnt hit me until one day someone approached me and said "Hey, I hear from _______ you are a good trainer, can you green break my horse for me?"

I tell every single one of my clients that I have never bought a book on training. I did not get a degree in horse training. And I tell them my general experience with horses (the same stuff I said in the paragraph above) and I have never had a client turn me down, or ask me to stop training, or say they weren't interested.

What qualifies a person as a trainer to you? In my opinion:


---Honesty: Someone who isn't afraid to admit they don't know, and will never know everything. Someone who will not make tall tales of the "wild horses" they trained, when it ends up that the only horse they trained was their moms 4 year old, and all they trained it to do was set its head). Someone who will tell you exactly why they think they are a qualified trainer and why they think they can help you.

---Experience: Someone who has handled many different horses in their horse-career and handled them all with the mentality of "I can fix this". People who have "been there, done that" and seen a lot. I don't want someone to green break my horse, have the horse buck, and have them say "This has never happened before!" Unless it is something really spectacular and off the wall, I don't ever want to hear that phrase.

---Horsemanship: THIS IS KEY. A good trainer MUST understand all aspects of the horse. They must understand that a horse is a prey animal, and to handle it accordingly. To know when a horse is going to bolt if you are leading it, and know how to anticipate and prevent this. To see when a horse is about to bite, and prevent it. Good horse people can anticipate and prevent things from happening if they have had a lot of experience, People with good horsemanship often understand the body language of a horse completely and can see an accident before it happens.

---Dedication: Someone who will do the job even if they are fearful of getting injured (to a point.. if it is too dangerous they DEFINITELY have the right to refuse to train). People who will come out routinely and stick to their training methods and goals they set for themselves.

I just wanted to post this thread half to vent... and half to state my opinions on what makes a trainer, and see what you guys think a real trainer is. I think this thread can be a good resource to aspiring trainers to see what clientèle want in a trainer, and the things they should not do.

Im sorry for such a long-winded post, I have been writing this for nearly an hour, I think I started this at around 5:30 in the morning, LOL! I have a lot more to add to it, but for right now, I think I covered most of it. That last section in what I believe makes a trainer isn't completed yet, I think there was more I needed to add.

So... what do you guys think? What makes a trainer to you? Have you had bad experience with "trainers" like my little "friends" I met above?
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    01-24-2007, 05:43 PM
WOW you sure are long winded - lol

I give you props - you seem to have a level head and no horses and what it takes to be a trainer.

I have had a bad experience with a trainer. Here’s my story:

I was boarding at a facility (another EXTREMELY BAD experience and another story) and was introduced to a trainer. I saw what he had done for another horse and was impressed. Well now it was time to have my mare naturally I went to the only trainer that I knew in the area and after all I had seen his work, right...
Well she went to his place. I told him that I wanted 60 days on her and he said that in 60 days she would be trail riding, loading (she did that already), bathing (had never tried that, I bought her in the middle of winter), leading (did that), backing (did that), longing (I knew nothing of how to teach her to lunge), know all riding commands (walk, trot, canter), back while riding...I mean she was to do everything. I was so excited that my little girl and I would be out together on the trails and possibly competing in open shows together...what an experience we were going to have.....Boy was I wrong.....
She gets sick and her training most get put on hold for 2 weeks (right in the middle of her training). Not a problem. He then continues to work her on the ground. Finally he says it is time for me to ride her. GREAT how excited am I. He puts her on a long lunge line and we begin. I get on her. No problem, she just stands there. YIPPY. Then I ask her for movement forward, again no problem. We do not trot or do anything spectacular on this day. She did all that I asked her to (it was only a walk but I was proud. I had never ridden a horse that green before). The next day I come back to ride again. We trot this day. The location of the round pen is in the middle of one of paddocks and there were 2 babies out there playing, she kept getting distracted by the babies (normal in my opinion). Well be decided that he needs to turn me lose in the round pen after I ask him not too because of the babies running g past and her not 100% paying attention to me because of them. He does anyway. She walks around to the gate and wants out. She starts turning her head back and forth and WANTING OUT! Paying no attention to the fact that I am on her back. I ask her to go right and she just continues to go back and forth, he tells me to ask her to go left, again she just goes back and forth, visibly getting anxious. So he gets me off and instead of him getting on her and asking her to do the things that I could not get her to do (in my opinion this would have been the correct thing to do) he says you are both getting nervous, we are done for the day. I go over again to ride and another bad experience.

I then move and can not go over everyday to see and work with her. He tells me that he will continue to ride her so that all the work he put in her is not gone. Fine whatever you want was my response (at this point I was disgusted - needless to say he never rode her while she was still there).

I have also found out since then that he only has one or two horse in training - he did it for the money and took advantage of me!!!

I move her less than 2 months later and start working her again on my own, and she was nuts. I have to start all over with her. I was not and am not happy with this.

Did I mention that before he put me on her he had only ridden her twice, and he said she was trained. AND I found out the first day that I rode her - she was DRUGGED!!!!!!!

I was so mad!!! So now here we are starting over. I have a friend that has trained, she shows and all that good stuff. She is helping me with her. She is slowly remembering what she learned and learning some things that she should have known.

In my opinion once a horse is trained that is it - they are trained! Yes, you have to keep it up and continue to work on things but I should not have to start over from the beginning. She is horrible when saddling, when you get on her she bucks. This is now what I paid for.

I paid for my baby to be taken care of and trained. Not put in the pasture and handled when needed. I feel that I was taken advantage of and definitely did not get what I paid for. I put well over a thousand dollars into her training. Not to mention the board for the extra time she was there.

Check out the trainer that you are sending your horse to. Make sure they have a good reputation. Watch them train other horses. See how they interact with other people's horses because that is how they will interact with yours. Call past clients. Please do not make the same mistakes that I did. I am paying for it now.

I never wanted her to be this big time show horse. All I wanted was for her to be a train horse and fun horse. What I got was a confused horse that does not know if she is coming or going. She is the sweetest thing but definitely in need of some good training. My friend has made amazing progress on her in the short time she has been working her. She will make a great hunter or hunter jumper. She will one day soon be a great child horse (actually a pony – she is only 13.2) when my friend is done with her. She trained a 2 year old appie not too long ago and after only 30 days was ready to put her 4 year old on him. She is incredible and can not wait to see the results on my horse.

Sorry - not sure if this was the correct place to vent but thanks for listening.

Again - I give you props - you seem to have it together and training for the right reason (the love of horses and what is best for them). Good luck and don't lose your honest and love of horses..

    01-24-2007, 05:51 PM
Good post Skip, well thought out.

As I was reading I began thinking of my reference towards trainers. I believe I have 2 unofficial catagories of trainers, but I'm not sure what to call each of them. I'll call them trainer a and trainer b.

Trainer A: I think of trainer A as trainers such as you and I and several others on this board. Very experienced for our age, have been around a multitude of horses and have learned by trial and error, education and sincere passion for the sport. .There is a girl around the same age as myself who is the daughter of the owner of the barn I board at. (what a sentence) She gives lessons to young students and very beginner riders. She has experience herself, cares for her own horses and has good horse skills. She was the Ohio State Barrel racer and has had her own form of success and accomplishment. She is intellegent when it comes to horses, I rely on her care for my own horse and believe she has the best intentions. She will also ask me a question without embarrassment (vise versa) and admit when she doesn't know an answer.
Trainer B: Trainer B is older and has made a good and well thought out carreer around or with horses. Trainer B is my instructor and coach, the one I would trust over Trainer A. Trainer B has more experience and age, more knowledge of the horse in general, has more secrets and wit when dealing with problematic horses, and is able to school very difficult movements or disciplines while being able to defeat difficult behavior. is a website refered by the USDF Dressage Manual. The message board is full of trainer B's that make me feel like a beginner student again. So intellegent. I think one of the biggest differences is the experience they have had with unique and individual behavioral problems over time. This leads to a broader knowledge of successful training and more capable of out-witting a horse due to their very intune understanding of the horse's thought process.

I have a tendency to believe that even a gifted YOUNG trainer cannot be trainer B due to inexperience. But I also believe that regardless the age, someone can still be trainer A. Age doesn't neccessarily mean someone is a great trainer.

I must say that for myself, books are very important to me. I don't have the ability to meet olympic riders and those of the like, BUT, many olympic and very successful riders do publish books. In my mind, if I spoke to such a successful horseman or woman, I would certainly listen, why not read what they say. Books have always been a wonderful source on knowledge for me.

As far as considering myself a trainer, I do and I don't. Compared to trainer B I am only a novice. But compared to trainer A I fit right in. It would be ideal to me to only have trainer B's floating around, but when does someone ideal ever happen in the horse world?
    01-24-2007, 05:57 PM
Ya know in my venting session I did not address the "trainers" at your clients place. I would not work with "trainers" like that. I do not believe in treating horse like that. You have to have a structured training program. I do believe that you have to be firm at times (NEVER HURT THEM).
Here is what I do with my colt:
I get him from the pasture and put him in the round pen. For the first few minutes I let him run his heart out, first on way then the other. Once I see that he is ready to listen (not tired to the point of submission - just get the "kinks' out. I then work him on his cues (long kisses to canter, clucks to trot, and one kiss to walk), we work on stopping. This goes on for about 30 minutes. We then go to the arena and work on his showing - walk, trot and set up. Then we walk as a cool down (if he is not cooled down already). We then go back into the barn for his rewards - lots of kisses and a great grooming. He generally gets so relaxed by the grooming that his head is hanging to the ground while he is cross tied.

He KNOWS what is expected of him because we do the same thing (with a few variation) every time but for the most part he knows what we are going to do.

In my opinion these "trainers" have no clue what is going on therefore the horses have no clue what is expected of them. The do not need to be "desensitized: in the face when the back end is what he is working on. To me that is a crock.
Good for you for standing up for yourself with the one rein thing. Hello - SUICIDE!!!! He needs to get on a horse once in a while instead of running it in the round pen, walking out and screwing with their faces for no reason.....

Sorry once again me venting!

I hope that your clients see the difference between you and the other "trainers" and gets rid of them all together. It seems to me that you are the better person for them!!!

    01-24-2007, 06:29 PM
Check out the trainer that you are sending your horse to. Make sure they have a good reputation. Watch them train other horses. See how they interact with other people's horses because that is how they will interact with yours. Call past clients. Please do not make the same mistakes that I did. I am paying for it now.
This is very important. When I go out to visit a potential client, I offer to handle their horse free of charge (except for the trip charge) to give them a preview of my training method, and feel me out as a horse person. Offering these things up really make your clients happy because they can see that you aren't trying to just make money off of them.

Something else that really bothers me, is when people say they can green break your horse in a week, or even a month. Most trainers that take the horse's for the month do NOT work with them every day.. and in my opinion, to take a wild colt and expect to have them green broke in a month is ridiculous. The way I view green breaking, is that you are laying the foundation for the horse. To equate it to a house, you are laying down the foundation to build your house on. You need to make sure it is flat, level, and dry before you begin to build your house. Rushing the foundation will lead to your house collapsing in the long run. I take my time when it comes to green breaking, and I do it -right-. Because if you don't, the owners will come to regret it later. When Green Breaking a horse, I really implore that owners not look for "bargain" trainers. This is the most important stage in a horse's riding life.

((By the way, my definition of a green broke horse, is a horse that is completely 100% safe to walk, trot, and canter... as well as turn using a basic snaffle bit as well as using the leg. To equate it to the house foundation theory.. the foundation is level, dry, and ready for the owner to build the house of their choice on it. I.E. The owner of the horse can train dressage, or western pleasure, etc. and not have to worry about minuet problems like bucking or steering problems. Other trainers seem to think that green broke means you can saddle them, and sit on their back. If that's the case, of course that can be trained in 1 month.))

Things that trainers should really tread lightly on when visiting a client for the first time is:

1- Being too opinionated (Having a God Complex)
It's ok, and encouraged to have your own opinion, but if you see something your client is doing that you don't like, try to be careful about how you address your distaste in them. Don't just say "I'd NEVER do that" Don't be condescending. If you want to let them know about their problem say something along the lines of "In my past experience, this (insert what your opinion is here) has worked the best at addressing and getting rid of the problem" If you are too opinionated, chances are your clients will not want to use you. No one wants to pay someone to be insulted. Also, try not to offer your opinion when it isn't needed. Just like my little "friend" who told me the bit about pulling with one rein. Clients tend to think you are just trying to add words in edgewise to sound smarter. If you want to look smart.. then show them by working the horse properly.

2- Dropping too many huge terms (or breaking them down in Lamens): I've seen trainers that start dropping huge terms and training methods on horse owners, leaving them very confused. When you teach, make sure your clients understand what you are saying, and if you drop too many big terms, try to go back and break it down afterwards. Even terms like leverage can go over someone's head.

Blarg.. there is more but I am getting llllllaaaaazzzzzyyyy :)

Im glad this thread went over so well (at least so far) I was afraid of getting chewed out.. but im glad that it has stayed so civil :)

    01-24-2007, 07:21 PM
I think you did a great thing by posting this thread! I think sometimes people jump into the first trainer that they find without doing their homework and that is a bad thing (this is what I did). The more you talk the more I wish someone like you had my horse. I knew there would be work involved when she left after 60 days but I did not realize that after all the money that I forked out that she would be in worse shape. I hope all goes well for you.

One more thing that makes a good trainer and horse owner/rider/care giver - you have to know your limits - admit when you are unsure or if there is something you do not know and then find out the answer. I think it is key to not give up and to find out the things that we do not have the answers to.

    01-24-2007, 08:50 PM
One more thing that makes a good trainer and horse owner/rider/care giver - you have to know your limits - admit when you are unsure or if there is something you do not know and then find out the answer. I think it is key to not give up and to find out the things that we do not have the answers to.
Exactly! No person knows -EVERYTHING- there is to know about horses. Even after 50 years of working with them. One of the first things I tell my clients is I do not have the answer to everything, and I am not ashamed to admit it.


LOL.. where in Georgia do you live? >) I am in a neighboring state, LOL!
    01-24-2007, 09:54 PM
I live right outside of Warner Robins, if you are ever visiting Robins Air Force Base let me know. Do you know how far it is between Shaw and Robins??? One more question - do you live on base or off? I know that at Robins AFB they have a stable, do they are Shaw???

    01-25-2007, 10:48 AM
I wish there were more trainers like you! I've seen so many horses that we well balanace when left for the trainer's and crazy when they returned. I think that many trainers are good riders but don't understand horses so they just bully their way around. Since horses are generally obedient, they mostly just behave. The few that can't handle this rough treatment go crazy.

Of course, owners share the responsibility when they ask for quick results and don't participate in the training. An untrained horse needs more than 30 days from the day it sees it's first saddle to the day it's trotting and cantering under saddle.
    01-25-2007, 11:12 AM
I think that many trainers are good riders but don't understand horses so they just bully their way around.
From my experience in California (where I had started my training career, and learned the majority of the things I know) I have seen MANY trainers like this. I believe these trainers mean to advertise themselves as "Horse Exercisers" but don't get much of a response to their ads that way, so they call themselves trainers. From what I have noticed from these trainers, is they get very easily frustrated when they get horses to train because they already expect a certain level of knowledge. When I get a horse to train, I am -very- lucky if the horse even knows how to lead (My oh my do these horses take a while to completely green break).

I also think it is very easy for a Trainer to get in over their head. I try to keep my horse training down to a maximum of 3 horses (if they are still at the owner's stable) or 5 - 6 horses (if they are on my property) I want to extensively work with the horse two times a week (around 2 hours), and have 30 minute sessions daily. I have seen some trainers take horse's into their barn, and have their co-workers train the horse for them. I can't begin to describe how thoroughly angered I would be if I sent my horse to "Mr Trainer" to be trained, then find out that "Mr Stable Hand" that I had never met had trained my horse instead. I want to know exactly who is getting on my horse. And If I am paying "Mr Trainer" I want "Mr Trainer" to ride my horse. Is that so much to ask?! X_x

There are some training barns that at least notify you that their staff will also be working with your horse, and offer to let you meet them if you want. I really respect that.

Of course, owners share the responsibility when they ask for quick results and don't participate in the training.
Along those lines... A problem I commonly see is this:

Ms. Tammy buys a cute little baby horsie. Ms. Tammy quickly finds out that spoiling her baby was a bad idea, and now the cute little baby horsie has no ground manners. Ms. Tammy pays a trainer to take her cute little baby and train it to respect her. Ms. Tammy sends the horse off site for a month. When the cute little baby comes back, she coddles it, and spoils it even more since she missed it so badly, and after a week, the cute little baby is worse than ever. Ms. Tammy wants a refund.

As a trainer, I really cringe at this situation.. I cringe at all of the "Ms. Tammy's" in the horse world, and I cringe even worse at the trainers. When a horse is this terrible on the ground, and the owner spoils it rotten... as a trainer, isn't it obvious what the problem is? And isn't the solution even more obvious?

Train the horse, then train the owner. Fixing the horse is easy as pie. Fixing the owner is difficult (There is a reason I prefer horse training over Instructing.. I get along with the horses better than the people). After you fix the horse of the vices, invite them out to the barn and show them on either their re-trained horse, or one of your safe horses, how to properly lead, and handle horses. Tell them in a non-condescending way that coddling a horse is very dangerous, and if they want to spoil an animal.. maybe a horse is not for them. Or even before you take the horse into training, let them know you can fix the vice, but if they continue treating the horse the same way, the vice will come back.

Of course, there are times that owners buy horses that already have vices and put them into training.. but it is still a safe assumption. When I go to do the initial meet and greet with the horse and owner, I observe how they interact and see who is in charge.

Sorry for the scattered thoughts, im all sorts of scatter brained today! LOL!

Thanks for the comments guys!! :) *hugs* Ooh! Daveb is another state-neighbor to me! :)

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