Trainers killing a sport? trainer wars? clannish behavior is is worth it? - The Horse Forum
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  • 1 Post By jimmyp
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post #1 of 7 Old 01-27-2014, 03:01 AM Thread Starter
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Trainers killing a sport? trainer wars? clannish behavior is is worth it?

So in Minnesota and my discipline.... one trainer had national statistic and the rest do not. What is important to you? To be honest I am new, I bought a horse and they said use Monty Bruce to train him. So that is what I did! Now WOW, he rides like no other and 31st in the national level rider NRCHA. He is good and unbenounced to me I started with the "statistical" best in my area. Now to be honest he rides in Minnesota mainly and lives in Iowa. He trained my horses so well and being a six hour drive I did me and my horse an injustice. I switched to a new, closer, young very up and coming trainer who was a closer drive.

Now that said I like the young guy, his care, start, and opinions. We got to be friendly and I am a curious critter. He is friends with Monty Bruce (kudos!). We talked about the industry growth in our area. He talked about trainer wars and young trainers are needed to get new people showing. Point is this led to me saying... I said ya know Monty Bruce is the only trainer that ranks in the nation in our area. I said and HE took me and others as beginners because of open barn slots. How and what does that mean?

He blamed trainer wars and clannish beliefs. Well heck I am ninth in three years placings only showing twice.... HELLO new people needed in sport!!! To be honest when I went to the show... first question asked Monty or lance stall? Ahhhhh huh? Then only people who talked to me said what trainer barn? Then walked off.... after answered question. No one was super welcoming or friendly. (Add at time I had switched to pure rein neither new guy I use or Monty just super local guy who got my skills to par on Monty trained horse).

Everyone ignored me.... I took clinics from several... and floated to learn skills up my training and ability... and still stubborn as can be ignored all and showed. I will also keep showing and new young trainer has brightened my spirits as he really wants the sport to grow (helps him too). So does this trainer war problem hurt all? I think this young guy is on to something.

Personally the pure rein guy, best lesson giver I know, Monty holy molly can he ride and train, Lance (I took clinics)... best coach and clinic guy and a bit better at politics (president of NRCHA here), etc etc...

Trainers and beginners? Confusing posts but sum up question?

How do you feel trainer wars effect your business and if not a trainer... but a rider... what draws you in and what do you think about trainer wars and clannishness?

Last edited by tinyliny; 01-27-2014 at 04:18 AM.
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post #2 of 7 Old 01-27-2014, 07:59 AM
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Location: Oklahoma
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Nothing has ever changed. If anything, it was worse 40 years ago when there were fewer good trainers. I can remember when I was first showing big registered shows. (No NRHA or NRCHA shows back then.) When I first started hauling Youth and Amateur riders, I, or any of them, had to be 3 or 4 points better to win a class by 1 point. Why, because most of the big name trainers were also approved judges. Judges would 'gift' another judge or his clients 1 or 2 points -- sometimes more. 'Paybacks' were hell if he didn't. It was easier to do then because individual maneuvers were not scored. Complaints about judging is why individual maneuvers and individuals 'mis-steps' (like in cutting) had specific point deductions. It was complaints about the 'good ole boy' network of judges that brought on the changes.

The problem of clanish clients is just the same mentality as clanishness in high schools. You just have to deal with it for what it is. They laught at you when you make mistakes and hate you when you don't and beat them.

If you show for the camaraderie and for the fun interactions of the competitors, you have to get out of the big time shows and away from the nationally ranked riders and trainers. They have a dog eat dog mentality. They are full of hateful competitors and think you are great until you start beating them.

If you want to show for fun, go to the Foundation Shows. We used to get 500 - 600 entries at a show and everybody helped everybody else and everyone had a lot of fun. In our area, we have huge 'Stock Horse' clubs and shows. They are mostly a combo of NRCHA and Ranch Versatility classes with all breeds allowed including grades.

It is just the way it is.
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post #3 of 7 Old 01-27-2014, 08:35 AM
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I totally agree with Cherie. Smile, nod and move on with those kind of people. Who cares... As long a he is doing right by you and your horse! IMO, unless it wanted to show at a national level, I wouldn't choose the trainer solely biased on hi better credentials. Who's a better teacher? Who's a better horse trainer (meaning no shortcuts, man handling, etc)? Of course distance and price come into consideration.
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post #4 of 7 Old 01-27-2014, 12:03 PM
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I agree with the others. That said, I don't show and probably never will because of the behavior the OP described. I can get really competitive and start to get frustrated with my horse and myself when we don't perform to my exact expectation. So, I don't put myself in that place. I have more fun trail riding and goofing off in the arena.

There are clannish people in all tracts of things. I have seen people who pushed their horses and kids much farther than was really necessary for a county fair ribbon. It is how you react to them and interact with that define your interactions. There are people who are not clannish in all walks of life. People can get stupid competitive over silly things, like how horrible their childhood was. There are good people at the high levels you just have to find them.

For the OPs trainer issue. Which one works for you and your horse better? As long as you avoid talking smack/trash about the other than I think you will be fine.
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post #5 of 7 Old 01-27-2014, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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I personally will stick with the trainer I have now.... so far so good, he actually calls if something is up with my horse, horse care is A+, still has the time to give full concentration to my particular horse, the training is way similar to the top point guy, he is friendly to all and doesn't talk smack about other trainers, I am impressed with his work, and last year even though I was a little concerned with picking the "new guy" he beat the top guys with his own horse quite a few times and his stats are shocking.... he already has a couple high dollar pro clients

It will be interesting to see what happens with his barn. Smart young guy, he has a lot going for him. With time and growth I am sure some of what I like about his barn will change. It is just the way it is.
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post #6 of 7 Old 01-27-2014, 02:26 PM
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I have never shown horses at a national level, but my wife and her family did, and did a **** fine job bringing home the bacon. I have hoqwever campaigned some fine bird dogs. Almost every one around here at the time was using the same 2-3 (horse) trainers and to be honest most people hated both of the trainers I am familiar with, but still used them. I would say that trainer wars are a necessary evil, I see it in Field Trial dogs. I feel like trainers competing through their clients pushes progress.

The clannish part of it is going to happen, I dont care if its horse trainers, bird dog pros, or engine builders, you choose who you think is the best and you tend to be around the other clients so you get to know them and since there is a natural pecking order (you know who yo can beat every week, and who wil beat you) among a partigular pros string. you tend to form relationships and a common goal of putting your stable, kennel or garage on top.

As as client we all want the best shot we can get to be on the podium, we hopefully have done our research and have chosen the best pro for us and our horse.

Im not sure if that answers your questions, but it is the way I see it.

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post #7 of 7 Old 01-28-2014, 02:31 AM Thread Starter
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I understand the pretty much expect it and cannot avoid it. What happens with time if new clients are not soaked in when this happens? I would expect burn out of sport some... I know you have the few high dollar clients that fuel the fire but as they eventually slow down with time?!?!?! Does a close to top up and starting competition gain moment and same process?

Our area it was rein clannish and cutting clannish... so people jumped ship to reined cow horse... newer people then the clannish hopped there. Now ranch versatility and ranch horse association are absorbing reined cow horse people there. It is interesting to follow. As a starter I started in ranch versatility and hopped to reined cow horse next... and quickly noticed the change but waved my hand and ignored the shannanigans. Everyone knows who I am.... me *shrugs*.... I just do my thing... problem being I find myself solo newbie... course helps me gain ground quick and in process some people are looping in with me... though they (ranch versatility) have choice the same new trainer I picked. CALL me curious... I am interested in how all this is playing out. When my new trainer said new trainers are what will bring growth to sport I thought he was off his rocker now.... pro pro give due credit he is seemingly correct... he is the reason new people may jump in and possibly later hop to the clannish slowing down barns. Hmmmmm possibly... be interesting in years to come.
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