I don't like my trainer but I the barn is the only decent option for my mare - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 07-09-2016, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
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I don't like my trainer but I the barn is the only decent option for my mare

I'm a novice, started riding 3 years ago at 37 and I bought my mare two months ago.

Before I carry on I would like to stress that I live in a non-horsey country and my options are severely limited in all aspects.

The mare is very forward and, it turned out, herd bound and barn sour. I tried her twice, both times out on the trails and once I hacked completely alone and she was perfect. I guess she knew the trails so she was relaxed.

The barn I keep her at is the ONLY barn within 50km with turn out. Horses here (except at my barn) are usually kept in stalls or tied down unless being ridden. I don't want that life for my mare.

The problem is that the style of riding this barn insists on is some sort of hippy-free-love idea where horses should want to do whatever it is you ask them to and if they are not doing it you should just carry on and try to ask them gently with your seat and legs. Hands are not to be used almost at all, we are not supposed to feel any pressure in reins. Also, the horses should always be treated gently, regardless of what they are doing. At this point I should mention that the BO is too scared of her horse to ride him...I wander why.

All well and good, but I'm a novice, I have no idea how to get my mare to bring her shoulder in and stop drifting wherever she wants just with my seat and legs. I'm not allowed to tighten the outside rein to stop the drift. Other than pulling my leg up and kicking her shoulder in, I have zero ideas. If I ride the way I was thought, with all aids, the mare tries it on but gives up her nonsense quickly. If I ride their way we drift all over the place.

So, my mare seems to have started taking the game to the next level. Today she drifted upto another horse and tried kicking him. She's never done this before and I tried stopping her with just my seat which she thoroughly disregarded. Well, I kicked up a fuss, growled at her, gave some very strong aids, including my hands and 10 seconds later she was on her best behavior. I carried on riding "normally" for the remainder of the lesson and she rode beautifully.

Both my trainer and the BO took offense and gave me a stern talking to. I bit my tongue because I don't want to move my mare. But, what do I do now? I don't want my mare to become dangerous before I can learn this style of riding (if I ever learn it).
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post #2 of 20 Old 07-09-2016, 07:22 PM
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I don't have any advice to offer....you did all the right things to correct your mare, and it worked. Your barn must, I would think, have a higher than average incidence of horse>rider/handler injuries with their fluffy unicorn approach to correcting bad behavior. Did you ask the trainer and BO what their reaction would have been had your mare succeeded in kicking the other horse? Kissing the injured horse's boo boos perhaps? Admonishing your mare with a few " bad, bad girl!' and letting it go?

You're in a tough situation and I don't envy you. Sure hope you can figure something out that works for everyone.
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post #3 of 20 Old 07-09-2016, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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They actually have a great safety record because they only have two horses on livery, mine and the trainers (people who disagree with them have been asked to leave). All the rest are school horses who have been thoroughly weeded out for any misbehavior. So, if the school horse shows any inclination at being a horse and not a been bag, it gets sold very quickly. These are some of the slowest, deadest, sleepiest horses I've ever seen. Also, they are not asked to do anything other than go around in circles so there isn't much space for misbehavior. I suppose it works for the BO.
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post #4 of 20 Old 07-09-2016, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, and the BOs horse who is a fire breathing dragon nobody can handle but she loves him.
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post #5 of 20 Old 07-09-2016, 08:01 PM
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Are you allowed to have another trainer on site? Some trainers will travel....

If not, do you HAVE to take lessons from her to board there? Is there the option of maybe riding your horse to a nearby barn (one of the ones you don't want to keep her at) to take lessons?
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Last edited by JulieG; 07-09-2016 at 08:11 PM.
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post #6 of 20 Old 07-09-2016, 08:10 PM
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sadly i would move. our horses have spent their entire lives living in stalls (so for one its been 23 years of her life). as long as you get her out alot and give her turn out time she will be fine. if you continue on this way of "training" your horse will put you or someone elce in the hospital. their way of training is great for old half dead school masters who are half asleep. our 31 year old would be ALL over the place if i ONLY used my leg. then he would likly get fed up with me and dump me lol!
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post #7 of 20 Old 07-09-2016, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JulieG View Post
Are you allowed to have another trainer on site? Some trainers will travel....

If not, do you HAVE to take lessons from her to board there? Is there the option of maybe riding your horse to a nearby barn (one of the ones you don't want to keep her at) to take lessons?
No outside trainers allowed, not even for the horse on its own, I asked.

I would have to drive her to my old barn, which isn't all that practical on work days. Maybe I could only take lessons at the other barn on weekends. That might be a good idea, actually. Continue with the unicorn lessons during the week to keep peace and get her tuned up over the weekends. I'll have to give this some thought. Thank you for the idea.
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post #8 of 20 Old 07-09-2016, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KigerQueen View Post
sadly i would move. our horses have spent their entire lives living in stalls (so for one its been 23 years of her life). as long as you get her out alot and give her turn out time she will be fine. if you continue on this way of "training" your horse will put you or someone elce in the hospital. their way of training is great for old half dead school masters who are half asleep. our 31 year old would be ALL over the place if i ONLY used my leg. then he would likly get fed up with me and dump me lol!
I will move if I see it's getting out of hand, definitely. I just thought I'd ask you lovely people for ideas so that I don't have to. I know, asking for miracles - seeing that I'm apparently riding a unicorn I'm allowed :)
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post #9 of 20 Old 07-09-2016, 08:25 PM
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I'm not a huge fan of lying, but if the owner is the type to get upset you could always tell her you're driving to the old barn to meet up with some old riding buddies or something... you don't have to tell her it's for lessons.
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post #10 of 20 Old 07-09-2016, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JulieG View Post
I'm not a huge fan of lying, but if the owner is the type to get upset you could always tell her you're driving to the old barn to meet up with some old riding buddies or something... you don't have to tell her it's for lessons.
Of course not, I got the mare for trail riding and that's what we will be doing. In an arena. With my old instructor. Who will be on foot. ;)

This might actually work out. My mare is not a bad sort. It took her two months to escalate to this point which really is slow, I think. I've ridden some horses which would have gone zero to sixty within the first lesson without hand aids.
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