tricky situation... advice requested...
Warning - this is a novel. I apologize in advance...
I started with my trainer in January, and I really enjoy her company and have improved under her guidance. I have shown for many years, but hadn't competed on a breed level for over 10 years, and she has helped get me up to speed... we have had several successful shows and have earned 17 amt and open APHA points this year in all around events ... no small feat when showing solid paints, as the small class sizes makes gaining those points difficult. She is a young trainer, maybe 24, and so sometimes goes her own way...
I am running into a problem, and am not sure how best to handle it. Our last show was this past weekend... fri/sat/sun. I had to work the midshift on friday night, so on Friday morning I got my mare ready, (banded, washed, clipped, and put her slinky on) and got her to my trainers house so she could go up with my trainer's horse, another client's horse, and the trainer's mother's horse. They hauled up that afternoon, and I stayed home to work overnight, and we agreed I would race up there Sat morning as soon as I got off work. The show was 2 1/2 hours from my home, and the trail class started Sat at 8 am, with warmup at 7.
Saturday morning I got off work at 4 am, drove home, woke up hubby and the kids, got them ready, and then had hubby drive me up to the show. I dozed some, and we pulled in the lot at 7:15. My husband then drove himself and the kids back home.
I was surprised and distressed to see my trainer in her pajamas at the camper with my horse still in her stall, looking exactly how I put her on the trailer (down to the slinky). I pulled her out, groomed her, got her tail in, got her tack on and my clothes on by 7:50, just as they announced they were closing the trail warmup and doing the first call for the first class. I was the second class.
I got stressed, asked my trainer, who was busy getting her own horse ready and her mothers horse, if we were going to go over the pattern, and she sighed and said we would have to hurry and run through it ... and there was only going to be 2 horses in my class so it wasn't pointed anyway. I was upset and told her that I had expected my horse ready so I could do the warmup, that though I normally take care of my horse at the show, the day fee was in place and I expected some level of support in situations such as this one.
I ran over to our barn's other solid and asked if she would put her horse in the class to make it a pointed class, she agreed and I helped her get her horse ready and together we made it just in time to ride our class. I won the class under both judges and got 2 points in open trail...
The show continued on, and I didn't see my trainer for the majority of the show... she was riding her gelding in most of the green and junior classes, and riding her mother's horse in the senior and open classes, so she was warming up one or the other or tacking or untacking... we didn't go over any patterns and I maybe spent 20 minutes or less with her over the weekend. I placed very well, winning under both judges in horsemanship, trail, reining, and stake race and placing first under one judge in showmanship. I got high point amt and open solid paint bred horse. On Sunday, she hauled our horses back to her barn, then I got my trailer and picked up my horse and the other solid and took them to our respective homes.
Then I got the bill. $170.00 for dayfees and my share of the mileage. I am now in a situation where I feel that I did not have support that warranted paying a day fee, and with her showing her and her mother's horse she should be contributing to the mileage, the tack stall (I paid for), and the camper fees (the other solid owner brings a travel trailer we all sleep in - I buy the tack stall, she brings the trailer and we call it even) as well as food - she is of the "I am a trainer so I don't contribute" even as she rides her own horse, and frankly, I am put off by it. That said, I do enjoy riding with the girls, and riding as part of a barn at the show is much preferable to riding alone - so I am willing to suck up some of the costs.
Now there is a big show coming up 8 hours away, the world wide paint horse congress, and I want to go with a few other local girls I met at the breed shows. I haven't asked my trainer if she is planning on going, and I am not going as part of "the barn" simply because I don't want to pay for 5 days of day fees and fund her showing her own horse. I can save hundreds of dollars by splitting expenses with the local girls and forgoing the day fees...
How should I approach this without completely offending and severing ties with my trainer, whom I really do like? In the end I am doing congress without her, it's expensive enough already, and most likely wont do another breed show until Sept... and even then I don't want the situation to continue as is... but not sure what the solution is.
Any advice from those committed enough to read through this?? :oops:
Just go without her. She's young, she's focused on her own horses. Maybe she thinks you/your horse are good enough that you don't require all of her attention.
If you take me to paint horse congress with you, I'll help you and your horse for freeee. :P tehee.
I would tell her that I planned to go and as I would be going trainer less I would be trying to get as much nailed down in training sessions at the barn as possible between now and then. If she asked I'd tell her that the show would not be feasible for you to do if you had to pay daily fees, and you had chosen to go alone.
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If I did that to my coach, I would get kicked out of her program and told to lose her phone number, plain and simply.
Part of having a trainer and showing is that you pay for it!! If I'm doing a show away from where my coach lives, I pay her day fee plus all her students split her hotel/meal costs. $170 for a 3 day show in coaching costs is relatively inexpensive (My coaching costs are regularly over $500 for 3 days). To go to a show 8-12 hours away you bet we would likely also be splitting transport costs for her too, plane tickets or gas.
Now, if she isn't going, then yes it's totally fine to go without her.
You like the coach, you're in the program. If you want out then leave her completely and don't disrespect her by disowning her publicly and still expecting lessons when you aren't at a show.
ETA: It is worth discussing with her what your expectations at shows are though.
oh vair oh - don't you have a solid around your place you could throw in a trailer, swing by my place, and we could head on over? :) It'd be FUUUNNN...
I agree, she's young and her horses are doing really well, so she is focused on them - we just need to have a chat about the finances - and truth is, I do my own horse, and don't want her hovering, I do want to review patterns, though, and if she is showing her own, I feel she should share costs... is that wrong?
And cakemom, your advice is sound and that is probably the way I'll approach it with her. I see her on Saturday to pay for this last show, so I'll address it then - and I really couldn't afford to go with the trainer fees, so that makes it easier :)
Thanks, I feel better to get that rant out...
Glad to help. Honesty is always best.
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anabel - does your trainer show her own (and her mother's) horse at the shows you go to, spending the majority of the time on her own personal animals?
I understand her day fees are fairly inexpensive, but day fees are for guidance and support at the show, correct? Tack stalls, living accomodations, and mileage should be shared by the competitors, correct? So what do you do when the trainer is also a competitor?
I appreciate your input and am trying hard to see both sides of this - although I disagree that attending a show without her is disprespecting her publicly, it is simply an admission of my financial realities.
I can understand cost of trailering to a show But from what you stated she did absolutely nothing else that normally a coach does. You hardly saw her the whole time.
Going to the big show I would just state to her that finances are a bit tight and that you want to compete at the shows but cannot afford at the moment the rest of the fees.
You did good on your own last show you cando it again. if shes any kind of a trainer she will understand.
Sharing costs with other riders is a great way to save money. Competeing is exspensive enough without having to induldge in a trainers taste for luxury. Be different if she was at the rail with you coaching you going over patterns etc etc But shipping your horse to the show and thats it shouldnt constitute coaching. JMHO
I would sit her down and talk to her about my expectations and what she's willing to do to meet them. Now, with my trainer, my fees included a daily lesson and warm up before my classes. He and/or a bunch of other folks were always at the rail to cheer me on or offer suggestions, though I pretty much tune out when I'm in the ring. His barn help took full care of my horses and groomed them and got them ready for the show, and pretty much all I had to do was get on, ride and get off. BUT!! for that kind of service, at a local A show, my share of the show fees would be closer to $2000 for a 3 day show. Regionals more like $5000 and Nationals $7500, and that's not including, entries, my hotel, meals or hauling. For $170 I would not expect much.
Holy Cow, Dreamcatcher, your fees are worth more than my horse trailer :)
My mare stays at home, I ride her 5 times a week, minimum, and have my trainer come out here for weekly lessons, sometimes we skip a week here or there, sometimes we throw a couple in when we are getting ready for a show -
I do not think she will be offended when I tell her I am heading to congress alone, she understands I am attempting to do the best I can on a budget. I support her in our cold colorado winters with regular lessons, and now she has a full barn of summer clients so I see her a little less. She is a local trainer, but has alot of talent and I think she's going to do well.
But the bigger problem is what is realistic about the show situation - what is the consensus on her showing her own... should she contribute to the expenses when she is showing her own in approx 5 classes a day? If the consensus is she is the trainer and she shouldn't contribute, I can accept that as part of the game - but only at the shows I can afford to fund her and her dayfees.. the others I'll go alone - if she has a problem with that I'll go on my own with no hard feelings.
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