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Maleficent 07-21-2007 05:49 PM

Trainer (boo)
So I moved Jazz to a new barn, and there's a trainer that comes around to train horses there. Jazz needs a bit of a tune-up so today I asked for her to get on him. She started telling me all about how he needed to be lounged before he was ridden, and then told me I was doing it all wrong...what the heck, people have different ways of running their horses around the roundpen, doesn't mean one way is better than the other! Then she wanted me to get on, and proceeded to tell me everything that I was doing wrong there, and wanted to get on the horse. I'd already explained to her that Jazz had had a very hard but also finicky mouth and it'd taken me years to get right, and said that I didn't want anyone getting in his mouth. She gets on and yanks the crap out of him!!! Lo and behold, he got mad and misbehaved. And the more he misbehaved, the more he yanked. She proceeded to tell me about how he needed a snaffle coated in rubber. What the heck, I've been riding that horse for 7 years in his bit and he has a great mouth, as everyone but her has agreed with. He HATES big fat bits like that, they hurt his mouth.

I didn't want to be rude, so I let her do her thing and paid her. The whole time she was on Jazz he kept looking at me as if to say "mom, make it stop, get her off my back!"

All I wanted was a simple tune-up and a little help with one of his trot-to-canter transitions, and I specifically asked that she stay out of his mouth. He's the kind of horse that you get on, tuck his nose and go. If you pick on him, he picks on you, but if you leave him alone he'll be good as gold and carry his head perfectly. He's a leg and seat horse. So what does she do? Proceeds to tell me I'm doing everything wrong, and yanks on my horse! Who, by the way, behaved much better for me than he did for her. By the time she quit poor Jazz, who usually has a very mild temper, was in a fury and seemed like he was going to take matters into his own "hands" if she didn't get off soon. She had no idea what she was doing!

She just had this egotistical "I know better than you" attitude, and it really annoyed me. I know that she calls herself a trainer and I asked for her help, but I wanted help with just one little thing, not for her to tell me everything I was doing wrong and yank on my horse's mouth. She had no idea what she was doing. I've trained with some of the best trainers in the country in the past, and had six figures put into my and my horses' training. My training is in saddleseat and not in hunt seat, so I needed help with a trot-canter transition, not to be told that I was all wrong and have her get in Jazz's mouth like that.

Maybe I just shouldn't have asked for her help in the first place, but I feel like she was disrespectful and went way beyond what I asked her to do. I told her I was happy with everything Jazz did but that transition, so she should have left it alone. I really don't have much intention to show him, at least not at big shows, so if I'm happy and he's safe, what difference does it make? Besides, he's already done well at the level of show I'd ever want to take him to, and gets a lot of respect from others. He just needed to be tweaked as did I, not totally insulted and yanked on.

From now on he and I will be doing our own thing, and if I need any help I'll be going to my sister, who was a national top ten hunt seat rider.

desperate horsewife 07-21-2007 08:46 PM

Let me apologize right up front for being blunt about this, but:

You did ask her to get on, didn't you? Did you know what kind of rider/trainer she was before you did that? If you're very particular about your horse, you ought not be asking a new trainer in the barn to get on your horse unless you're ready and willing to let them do what you asked them to do.

As for her telling you what to do first, hey...that's what trainers do. She needed to see what you do and how the horse reacts to you before fixing whatever it was you felt needed fixing.

Being the responsible horse owner you are, you already respected her opinion, or you wouldn't have asked for it, right?

I don't know your horse, but I can tell you that a lot of horses are spoiled by their owners and the reason they have problems is because their owners don't push. Instead, they give up and find something else to do that the horse stays happy with. Since you were having issues, the trainer asked to see you ride first, then did what she felt was necessary to get your horse to work properly.

Maleficent 07-22-2007 02:30 AM

I see what you are saying, but at the same time, I felt like she said things that were out of place. I'd told her that I was happy with most aspects of how Jazz works, and she went about correcting other things. Fundamentally she's a quarterhorse trainer and Jazz is an Arabian, and she was trying to make him work like a quarterhorse. Just doesn't square up - Arabs arch their necks and move faster. If there's a problem, get a quarterhorse and vice versa.

I think that I would have done better to watch her ride another horse first and get a feel for her style. I was referred to her by a trusted friend, but I see now that my friend and I have a different idea of how a horse should be trained. If I'd known that she was the type to get in their mouths, I wouldn't have put her on him. Also, she was telling me that the best way to keep a horse from bucking is to scream at it. Never have I had good experiences yelling at horses - it escalates the situation, frightens the horse, and in the show ring it's awful.

I do admit that I can be too soft with Jazz. I've had him for many years now, and it's hard not to cave when he doesn't want to do something. However, I strive to take a deep breath and make him do it anyway, even when I don't want to. I'm not perfect, but generally if I want to make something happen, it happens. In the future I'll get my sister to come in for whip cracking and hunt seat specialty purposes. She knows horses and knows Jazz well, and we tend to abide by a similar school of thought when it comes to horses.

More than anything it was just her attitude that rubbed me the wrong way. She was just generally rude and insulting.

firelight27 07-22-2007 05:10 AM

I hate trainers like that! I had a similar experience back when I was in 4-H. A couple in fact. I think the problem is that there are so many people who "think" they are trainers, because you don't need certification/degree to say that you are a professional horse person.

About halfway through my 4-H years, one of the kids fathers offered to let anyone in the club use his arena. I came over with my mare and was riding contently and he came in. He then proceeded to tell me how to ride, and started throwing rocks at my horse! (This guy had gotten in trouble for abusing his children, etc. so he was terrible. But his daughter was my friend so I had come to ride with her.) He walked up to me when I stopped, frustrated with him, and grabbed the reins out of my hands and started yanking. I was furious, yelled for him to stop, and left.

When I was about to graduate 4-H, I had a young bucksin QH mare who I was working at a 4-H meaning, and the self proclaimed "trainer" of our club, whom we all barely tolerated, decided to "teach" me. There was no way I was going to do the junk she was telling me, because I didn't want to ruin my horses training and have to go back. She noticed I was ignoring her and got upset. She said, "I'll get on and show you." I told her that I wanted to be the one to train my horse and I appreciated her help, but this was something I needed to do on my own, for personal satisfaction. She then started screaming at me, telling me that she hadn't gotten all of those buckles and awards by not knowing how to ride a horse. It was funny because she bought pre-trained horses, "push button" basically.

If I was you I would have asked the trainer to stop, and then politely asked if she wouldn't mind getting off of your horse. If she rode your horse in a way that was incompetent, or upsetting you and your horse, you have every right to ask her to dismount. In fact, since it is your horse you have every right to deny anyone the ability to ride it. I know it may have seemed rude to you if you had asked her to stop working your horse, but in this instance, if said in the most polite way possible, you had every reason to. Dont let this instance put you off of trying out other trainers, whoever. Its a chane you take trying different people, but you may miss a great person (and usually someone who becomes a good freind) if you are afraid to try people. I guess my advice would be to make sure you've watched them ride before and like their methods before asking them to get on your horse.

Sorry about your experience. I know how frustrating it can be when people act like that. I just recently moved my horses back from the neighbor's house, where she had been letting me stall them in exchange for cleaning. I found out she had been "raking" my gelding! And she had been throwing a big ball at him to "train" him. I had wondered why he was getting skittish. She then told me to be careful when going in the stall with MY horse because he had started kicking. Turns out, he only kicked at her because she tortured him. Needless to say, we don't talk anymore and my horses were brought home.

Flying B 07-22-2007 10:00 AM

Some trainer she said that you need to lounge before you get on, who wants to have to lounge there horse before they ride?

desperate horsewife 07-22-2007 10:17 AM

I'm glad you didn't take it wrong, Maleficent! :D

Maleficent 07-22-2007 02:08 PM

Today I just went out to give Jazz a groom. Sometimes I like to go out and not work him, so that he knows that I love him and don't just come because I want something out of him. I also groomed my mare Mattie's old friend Mariah, and put flowers on Mattie's grave. It makes me feel better to take care Mariah - I think that if she knows, she'd like to see her friend taken care of. Mariah's owner is over 80, and I know that he probably is too tired to groom and bathe her, so I've been doing it for the past week or so. They were friends for nearly 8 years, so I know Mariah took it hard. She and Jazz are now good friends, and when I have one of them out the other one stands at the gate to wait.

My friend asked me what I thought of the trainer, and I said that she was very nice, but I wasn't sure how often I could afford to pay her. No reason to spoil a friendship over a simple difference in philosophy.

Firelight, it's awful what those people have done to your horse! Throwing rocks at it??!! I can't believe someone would do that, but I guess people have done worse things than that.

kitten_Val 07-23-2007 07:06 AM

I throw big ball on my youngsters to train them. Nothing wrong with it. In fact they both surprisingly ignored it. But I do agree some "trainers" consider themselves being a trainer, but in fact just full of ***. Owner of the farm I kept my horse on was very pushing on using "her guy" to train my youngster. He was not nice to horses at all. Moreover, all horses really hated him. After watching him with other horses I said "no way he'll get even close to my horse".

firelight27 07-23-2007 08:38 AM

I think there is nothing wrong with throwing big balls as well if you do it right. My problem was that the lady was doing these things without asking. They weren't her horses and it made me mad. Plus, she was throwing them hard at him and hitting him with it. He is a very hot blooded horse and it freaked him out. There was no building up, no introducing the ball to him, no rolling it by. She just up and chucked it right at his face.

kitten_Val 07-23-2007 10:24 AM

He-he... I'v seen people doing lots of things with someone's horses without asking. :)

I came once to the barn and found out my horse's long nice flaxen mane was almost all gone (not like in pieces, but the whole thing with nothing left at all). In just couple hours (was there in morning and nothing left in evening). When I asked what happened the barn owner said "other horses ate it". What's the hell was that! First, she was boss of the field, second she doesn't like other horses bothering her, and third she'v been there for year with the same horses already. And later my mom said that when she was stopping by in the afternoon all mane was stinky and had something ugly on it (I guess, kids put something on her, and the owner tried to hide that by cutting the mane off). At some point my patience at that farm came to the end, so I moved both horses.

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