Is it a trainer's responsibility?

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Is it a trainer's responsibility?

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    09-29-2010, 12:51 PM
Is it a trainer's responsibility?

To tell the owner (who obviously doesn't seem to care or didn't notice) that horse looks off (lame, tripping, moves strangely, etc.) and should NOT be ridden till the problem is ruled out? Should the trainer refuse to give a lesson even though he/she drove to the owner's barn?
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    09-29-2010, 12:55 PM
Is it my responsibility? No. But I have done it.
    09-29-2010, 01:14 PM
Green Broke
Yes, not all owners have a clue that there is a problem and what kind of a trainer would give a lesson on a horse that is having a problem!?

My horse came up lame 15 minutes before I was to have a lesson. Instead of a riding lesson, my trainer spent the hour with me figuring out what was wrong with my horse and how best to proceed with treatment. Now I knew something was wrong with my horse (limping and tried to kick me when I wanted to pick up her feet) so when my trainer arrived I told her what I had observed and we went from there. She would have flat out refused to give me a lesson if I had wanted one on my obviously lame horse!

Now trainers aren't vets, so you can't expect them to be able to diagnose or treat every problem but I can tell my trainer, my horse has a small sore here what do you think and she'll either suggest a treatment or tell me to go call the Vet. Same with poorly fitting tack, she'd flat out refuse to give me a lesson if I wanted to use something that was going to cause problems. If I buy any tack, I save the receipt and don't remove any tags until my trainer gives it the ok. She has no issues telling me flat out, that what I bought is inappropriate and why or that something I have needs to be altered. My trainer rode my horse on Mon. Didn't like the fit of my nose band and so she added more holes to it so it fit better.
    09-29-2010, 01:34 PM
Super Moderator
As a trainer I think it's ethically her responsibility to point out the issue and then offer suggestions as to what needs to be done about it. (i.e. Call the vet) As a trainer I think it's their decision whether to continue with the lesson. I've seen my trainer pull people off horses that were off and offer one of her horses for the lesson.....
    09-29-2010, 01:45 PM
I think ethically it's a trainer's responsibility to point out if horse is in pain/discomfort and if it looks too bad/too dangerous to ride explain it to the owner. I agree, trainer is not a vet and shouldn't act accordingly, but when something is very obvious I'd expect a respectable trainer would tell the owner and take one off the horse.

Now I've seen the trainer just ignoring definite problem and just keep going with the lesson. I guess money is all the trainer cares about.... :(
    09-29-2010, 02:24 PM
Thats really sad. I can see if a horse is a 'little' off and just may need warmed up...but if a horse is horrifically off, limping badly, the lesson should be stopped and the owner should be notified.
    09-29-2010, 02:30 PM
Originally Posted by corinowalk    
Thats really sad. I can see if a horse is a 'little' off and just may need warmed up...but if a horse is horrifically off, limping badly, the lesson should be stopped and the owner should be notified.
Yeah, but you as a trainer are loosing money then. And I guess that's where the greediness vs ethic comes in place. I'm not sure how it's supposed to be handled from there. Should the owner pay (at least partially) for the trainer's time? I can see trainer being unhappy as well - he/she wasted their time (and may be didn't get another student in) to come out and find that horse is "off".

I remember paying (although partially) the farrier, because he couldn't handle my horse (I just got her in, may be a month or so, she was completely unhandled and abused, so she basically didn't let him close even with the calming shot). Even though he stated he'll be able to :) . I'm not positive how it happens in rider/trainer relations though.
    09-29-2010, 02:31 PM
Originally Posted by kitten_Val    
Now I've seen the trainer just ignoring definite problem and just keep going with the lesson. I guess money is all the trainer cares about.... :(
Do you know the history in this case?

I hate to jump to conclusions.
    09-29-2010, 02:45 PM
One, do you personally know the horse, rider and trainer? Some horses have a chronic hitch in their giddyup and if it's cosmetic or they're being ridden after being vetted then that's a different story than riding a slightly lame horse and not knowing the cause. Some horses are trippy by nature, some are stiff through the hind and like to drag toes and leave their hocks out behind them, etc.

Two, I as a trainer have stopped lessons, refused to give them and sometimes toned them down if I have a lame or "off" horse. If I think the horse is stiff and sore and "off" but not lame I will generally have the rider do some easy stretching and suppling exercises. At the walk and trot either on the ground or under saddle, depending on the situation, to see if it can work out of it or if it gets worse but that is a case by case basis and the minute it looks worse in any way the lessons over and the student is off the horse and treating it or calling the vet.

Have I lost money that way? Heck yes. Have I pissed off some students? Heck yes. Have I gained respect in the industry for it? Some. Could I live with my decision the next day? Yes.

If you only care about the money then you only care about the money and ultimately it is the owner's responsibility to not ride the horse. If they are going to ride a lame horse anyways then you have the moral dilemma of teaching them to try to make it easier on the horse, pitching a fit about the rider being on a lame horse or just pretending that you don't see it since the rider doesn't and consequences be ****ed you're here to teach and they're willing so you better give them their money's worth.
    09-29-2010, 02:47 PM
Green Broke
I pay my trainer if she comes out.

I've had my trainer call a lesson halfway through because it's just one whopping disaster of a day and no point in torturing the horse or I any further and I still pay her the full lesson amount. I've also had my lesson go way, way over because 2 minutes before time ran out my horse got a bug up her butt and decided that she only goes in reverse or something and you can't end with that.

It all works out in the end, sometimes short, sometimes over and sometimes it just means someone who knows far more than I do assessing a situation, explaining the problem and possible solutions. I would rather keep my trainer well-paid and know that if I have a problem or a question that's she's going to be happy to spend a few minutes helping me.

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