Finding a Trainer who “Cares” - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 06-26-2020, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Finding a Trainer who “Cares”

As a young adult in the hunter jumper world, I have been constantly discounted by my trainers as a “flight risk” because of the transitionary stages of life.

First, my trainer as a teenager really cared for a year before she knew I would be leaving for college, so she stopped putting as much effort and attention into me and my horse about a year away from my leaving. That sucked. Then, I spent 4 years of college bouncing between my IHSA coach and whatever riding I could find in the summer. That was okay, but again, no one invests time in someone only there for a while. Now, graduated, I have a horse boarded with a trainer I’ve known for a while; but she too has been a bit hostile and distant knowing that I will be leaving for a job when I find one.

Why do so many trainers just give up the second they know you won’t be a source of income anymore? I’m aware that they shouldn’t have to invest everything in me when they know I won’t always be there, but I would still appreciate care put into my horses training until the very end. I have always been transparent about my situations and have never randomly left without warning. I like to think I’m a good student; I respectfully do what I’m told and get along well with boarders. It just makes me so disheartened as I head into the job market and thinking of wherever I move, if my next barn will actually care about me.

Maybe I’m also just not popular with trainers because I’m not wealthy to the point where I will just hand over a checkbook - I’m the type that checks bills and questions random charges that weren’t discussed. My horse is very young as well, so I’ve had some disagreements over training methods that I thought were too harsh or overkill for him. It’s not that I think I know more than anyone, I trust my trainers, but I will not sit back and have zero say in my horses training.


Has anyone else ever felt this way?
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post #2 of 9 Old 06-26-2020, 11:57 AM
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Think of it from their perspective - they have effectively been fired and they know it. You will learn soon enough, when you start working, that professional world has its own rules and youíve stumbled into one inadvertently. Sure, people working their notice period should keep themselves professional to the end but it is inevitable that their motivation will go down.

Hopefully you will start your career soon and get settled enough to enjoy a more permanent professional relationship with a trainer. Best of luck.
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post #3 of 9 Old 06-26-2020, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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^That is true, thank you for the perspective. I guess I am too used to the “Junior” way of things, still getting used to all the adult ways lol. It’s just a shame to me when I want my young boy getting the best foundation on him that I can, but I get it.
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post #4 of 9 Old 06-26-2020, 12:11 PM
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Gosh, yeah.

In polo I started on borrowed horses, borrowed track and mallets, borrowed everything. I did have my own boots.

Wait... that's how it was when I rode hunters, too.

So, yes, I have felt that way.

I came to not care. I wanted the experience. I wanted to wring every ounce of knowledge that I could get from coaches. I haunted the rings and fields to listen and watch.

Now, I could afford a basic string. I could travel about half the year playing. I won't. I value putting my money elsewhere. Now, I have people ask me to play a horse for them. Now, clubs waive fees if I'll jump into a game to fill a spot.

Do what you can. But not more.

I know a few people who have gone into debt to get the right trainer and coach and horses and travel opportunities. They end up so stressed, or the *acting* doesn't hold up and they acted odd. They end up out. And no one remembers them. All they got was debt and the insecurities never went away.
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post #5 of 9 Old 06-26-2020, 12:55 PM
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This is a very typical response...
As someone else pointed out, you basically fired them.
All of the training of you and your mount...the credit is going to go forward to the new trainer and how great a job they've done, when in essence the new has done nothing yet...the old is what gave you your foundation to build on.
Yes, the money-pit closed up and with that they have no need to sweet-talk you nicey-nice anymore either..
Being a adult sometimes is not nice nor pretty...
Having a real say in what is happening, controlling the purse-strings and ultimately the decisions on what and where you and the horses education takes you to....
A whole new world is opening up for you...one that takes some getting accustomed to.
Enjoy the adventure and get a slightly thicker skin as adults don't always talk sweet but with facts and a reality check given.
...
jmo...
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The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #6 of 9 Old 06-26-2020, 01:56 PM
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I can relate to a certain extent. I haven't switched trainers, but I do find that my trainer would rather put her time and extra resources in other students who either have more 'promise' or have more money.

There have been certain situations in the past which stuck with me - and maybe I was reading too much into it, but I did feel like I wasn't being treated the same way as some of the others.

Things got better for me for a bit when many of the boarders left; suddenly my trainer had more time for me. But now that she got back some of her old clients I feel like I am put to the bottom of the barrel again.

I don't take it too personally - I still want to learn from her, and will continue to try to book lessons when it works.
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post #7 of 9 Old 06-28-2020, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbar View Post
I can relate to a certain extent. I haven't switched trainers, but I do find that my trainer would rather put her time and extra resources in other students who either have more 'promise' or have more money.

There have been certain situations in the past which stuck with me - and maybe I was reading too much into it, but I did feel like I wasn't being treated the same way as some of the others.

Things got better for me for a bit when many of the boarders left; suddenly my trainer had more time for me. But now that she got back some of her old clients I feel like I am put to the bottom of the barrel again.

I don't take it too personally - I still want to learn from her, and will continue to try to book lessons when it works.
I have felt and have been treated similar in some situations, but for me that was few and far between.
@horseloving guy is very correct that controlling purse strings has a lot of power, and the transition to adulthood is really rough. I graduated two years ago and I'm still tiptoeing along because I grew up almost sheltered. I'm still trying to find my assertiveness..

I absolutely agree with @boots as well--you will come to stop caring what others have to say about you, and that- to me- is the first step in gaining some ground.

If you think your trainer(s) are treating you different, go to another one. I worked summer camp at my stable and was offered free lessons after camp. I at the time had a two hour bus ride to catch at around 6, so my lesson had to be at 5. My trainer at the time would frequently show up late or not at all even when this was explained. I was very upset, but I decided to do the most responsible thing and switch to someone who was willing to work with me and actually care about my progress. And trust me that is not too easy to find, as you are finding out. Even if you had lots of money, in this sport, someone with even more money will come along and take up your trainers time since based on what you wrote, she seems to gravitate towards a certain crowd. I've barn hopped and trainer hopped looking for some mutual respect. I understand the want for a client with more money, but don't give up- trainers that actually care about you will pop up. I tend to find trainers that teach lessons with everyday lesson horses are very delighted when a talented lessoner comes up, to say nothing of someone who has a young horse to train. Some trainers who are used to teaching owners imo and not lessoners will move on if you can't seem to do something. But this doesn't apply to everyone of course.

Quote:
But now that she got back some of her old clients I feel like I am put to the bottom of the barrel again.

I don't take it too personally - I still want to learn from her, and will continue to try to book lessons when it works

If the respect isn't there, I'm not sure if I would continue with a trainer like that. It's like training:---you have "taught" your trainer that as long as you book lessons with her, she will simply continue treating you the same. I think you will be happier with someone else.
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cantering on, into the familiar and unknown
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post #8 of 9 Old 07-04-2020, 03:10 PM
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Others have pointed out some things that could be problematic with this situation.

I've learned that sometimes it's better to wait until you are actually leaving to share that information.

You said they know you will be leaving once you find a job. Why do they need to know that? Do you know when that will be? Is this like a 30 day notice that you will be moving, or just something that might happen in the future x months from now?

Maybe it doesn't apply to you. It's something I learned trying to be an adult in the past 5 years or so I figured out that I shouldn't tell people I'm leaving unless I actually am, and know exactly when it will be. Then they don't anticipate you being temporary, and they don't need to know either.
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post #9 of 9 Old 07-06-2020, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huntjumpx View Post
As a young adult in the hunter jumper world, I have been constantly discounted by my trainers as a ďflight riskĒ because of the transitionary stages of life.

First, my trainer as a teenager really cared for a year before she knew I would be leaving for college, so she stopped putting as much effort and attention into me and my horse about a year away from my leaving. That sucked. Then, I spent 4 years of college bouncing between my IHSA coach and whatever riding I could find in the summer. That was okay, but again, no one invests time in someone only there for a while. Now, graduated, I have a horse boarded with a trainer Iíve known for a while; but she too has been a bit hostile and distant knowing that I will be leaving for a job when I find one.

Why do so many trainers just give up the second they know you wonít be a source of income anymore? Iím aware that they shouldnít have to invest everything in me when they know I wonít always be there, but I would still appreciate care put into my horses training until the very end. I have always been transparent about my situations and have never randomly left without warning. I like to think Iím a good student; I respectfully do what Iím told and get along well with boarders. It just makes me so disheartened as I head into the job market and thinking of wherever I move, if my next barn will actually care about me.

Maybe Iím also just not popular with trainers because Iím not wealthy to the point where I will just hand over a checkbook - Iím the type that checks bills and questions random charges that werenít discussed. My horse is very young as well, so Iíve had some disagreements over training methods that I thought were too harsh or overkill for him. Itís not that I think I know more than anyone, I trust my trainers, but I will not sit back and have zero say in my horses training.


Has anyone else ever felt this way?

I think there could also be a reaction to how and when things are brought up.



As a teen rider with college in your future your trainer would expect you to move on and most if they know you will be continuing to compete would want you to succeed as that reflects on them. They gave you your star and are a source of pride and future recommendations.



If your IHSA coach was not building you then he/she was impacting team performance. They are there to win same as you. Your/team success reflects on them. They know you will only be there 4 years. My experience is they put you where they know you can win and build. If that was different than what you had in mind and insisted on showing in a different discipline or level then I can see the disinterest. As for between term coaching - did your coaches not offer lessons? Here most instructors are welcoming college students as their younger students are taking time off for other activities and frankly the heat. Also time conflicts arise when schedule adjustments are made. They know you are going back and what you gain is a reflection on them as well. Staying with the same one summer to summer shows loyalty.



You've graduated and right now looking for a job that pays for your playtime should be top priority and furthering your status as a rider second. You can get serious about competing once you are settled in a job/career. This is a narrow window of time and not long term.


You say you are boarding your young horse with a trainer but that you want a say. You hired someone that hopefully you have confidence in to do what you need/want done and have not asked for something that isn't possible in the time frame. If that is the case then unless they are abusing your animal you leave them to their job. Otherwise you take over the training or find someone that works using methods you want used. You don't trust your trainer. That much is clear.

Some horse people change their horse, they change their tack and discipline, they change their instructor; they never change themselves.
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