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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When someone comes to you and pays you x$ to train their horse at your barn, what are your responsibilities as a trainer? Do you make decisions with the owners horse like what should be given during feedings, supplements, what disposition they should or shouldn't show, or do you give them advice and if the owners don't agree to it you just continue to train?

In an earlier post some may have seen I'm having troubles with my friend/trainer who seems to be "taking over" my horse and just when I thought all was fixed it went downhill yet again and I'm now seriously looking into other trainers and boarding facilities. My problem with her is she TELLS me what to feed my horse, what supplements to give her, what I'm going to show and than if I disagree she threatens me on finding a new trainer and tells me I'm not confident enough and don't trust her choices. I just want to know how other trainers run their business and if this is normal or is she just being a complete over powering b-word.
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
She also told me this is what her clients pay her for, to make these choices, but last time I checked when you pay a trainer to train YOUR horse... That's all they're suppose to do. Opinions can be given, but if not taken I don't think there should be a problem with this. Or am I wrong?!
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This should always be a business arrangement. It sounds like your trainer is having emotional and control issues.
I have not trained horses for other people, except for my lessons horses that I trained for others to learn to ride on. However, I want to send my QH to my Amish farrier/trainer for driving. I will discuss what I want and he will tell me what is possible for a time frame and for how $much money. Period.
I expect my horse to be fed while he is at the trainer.
I expect to discuss any grain and to supply whatever grain and/or supplements we agree upon during training.
I expect to discuss particular shoeing, as well bc he will take my horse on the road before he is finished with the training, per MY request.
I would look around for another trainer and draw up a contract with specifics. I would also have a thorough discussion as to what he/she can accomplish, and what you will expect as a result of the work given.
 

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I think it depends on the persons. Someone who doesn't know a lot about horses might want the trainer to change feed or add a supplement. My friend, for example, sent her horse to a trainer because she started to become a bit to much to handle. The first thing he did was revamp the horses feeding schedule. Turns out the barn owner was giving horse was getting 9 quarts of senior feed a day... To a 6 year old! It was like crack.

On the other hand if I were to send my horse to a trainer I'd expect my trainer to make a recommendation and me to approve them.

Either way the owner should be consulted. It easy to say your horse needs x, y and z when your not footing the bill!!
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I've seen and worked for trainers like that - who micromanage. I found it to be stifling. I would welcome suggestions on particular classes/tests for showing but to be TOLD, no not happening unless they're paying all fees.

I feel comfortable enough with my horse that I feel I should be the one calling the shots for him. No one knows him better than I do. However if a trainer thought something was up or had a suggestion I would absolutely hear it out.
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It really varies trainer by trainer.

We have a partnership with our trainer. She emails/texts me daily on my horse' s training and makes recommendations on everything regarding my horse's care. The final decision is mine and she respects that (she always tells me the pros/cons of each choice).

I know another trainer that basically controls everything and her clients have little say. It's her way or the highway. I do not work well with trainers like that.
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When I take mine to trainers, or the one who is currently free leased as a therapy horse there are certain things I will discuss, and some I will not. I typically discuss feed with them, since I trust them, otherwise my horse would not be there. Usually, I take a few days of whatever the horse has been getting, tell them what it is and how much….see what they are feeding and typically it is fine, because again-I do not take my horses to places I do not trust. If there is something one of my horses needs-we typically discuss it, and make a decision from there. I am pretty easy as a boarder, and usually will use their vet and farrier at least to start out, but, my guys are extremely easy keepers, and are barefoot. The biggest discussion we typically have is how long the grazing muzzle will be on and when we will start using it.

I have boarded at large (80+ horses) facilities that will dictate that you use Smartpak if you want supplements, but they do not tell you which ones to use, and they made that clear up front.

One thing recently that has been a bit of a bone of contention is the worming, since it is now recommended that fecals be done rather than rotation. That I DO insist on. Fecals WILL be done, and I deal with the worming.

It can be difficult, and I have no idea how many facilities are in your area now. From what I know, there are not all that many that will be convenient. That makes it a little difficult.

I also make sure I have a signed training agreement with them-even the ones who are friends of mine. I need to know how many times a week they will ride my horse and they need to know that on any given day I may show up.
 

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When we took horses in for training or as 'boarders' everything was discussed with the client up front to avoid situations like the one you're in.
When a horse is on your property there have to be rules that keep the place running smoothly for everyone that's there and if people wanting to bring a horse can't live those rules then they need to find somewhere else that works for them
I can see a yard owner wanting to make decisions on something like feed because they are usually the ones with the knowledge of that sort of thing - but it should still be discussed so anything that concerns you can be explained and changed if needs be.
If you aren't happy where you are then its probably time to move on
 

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You know I have been finding this more and more lately. The trainer MUST remember that they work for YOU and above anything else you OWN that horse. I have had bad trainers, who tell me when and what I can do with my horse, that they will be fed, that veterinary care they will receive etc, needless to say those people no longer train my horses.

As far as the trainers I have now, they are both great. They take care of my horses, make sure if they need extra things in their diet they get it, take care of farrier when it needs to be done. But if there is anything above and beyond that they ask me first. Things such as Chiro etc. I haven't said no to anything they have requested/suggested as they are always asking very reasonable things, however if I did decline their suggestions I don't think they it would affect our relationship.

I have seen trainers lately that tell they owners that they need to geld their stallions prospects (And weather they need it or not that is not the trainers decision to make, if they can't handle the horse than tell the trainer) what shows they will "school them at" and the owner is required to pay entry fee's of $2000-$3500. Trainers need to understand that while they may know the horse better than anyone else, they still don't own the horse and they need to listen to the people paying their bills.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
She keeps telling me its a trust issue and that I don't have trust in her, but that's not it at all. I trust her, but in the end it's my horse and I feel out of control with what I can and can't do with my horse, her diet, and so on.
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She keeps telling me its a trust issue and that I don't have trust in her, but that's not it at all. I trust her, but in the end it's my horse and I feel out of control with what I can and can't do with my horse, her diet, and so on.
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I really do suggest getting a new trainer, and explaining to your current trainer why you decided to leave.

Even if you tried to resolve this issue, based on what you are telling us about her, she won't handle it well and it will cause more stress on an already strained relationship.
 

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She keeps telling me its a trust issue and that I don't have trust in her, but that's not it at all. I trust her, but in the end it's my horse and I feel out of control with what I can and can't do with my horse, her diet, and so on.
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Have you told her she is not allowed to change anything without your permission?
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Have you told her she is not allowed to change anything without your permission?
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She pretty much already told me I'm not suppose to questions her and if I do it means I don't trust her and threatened me to find a new trainer and hopefully they will fix my confidence. I told her at our last meeting I feel out of control and there's things I do and don't want to do with her, she kept going on about how her clients pay her to make these decisions and I need more trust and if I can't "trust" her to move on.
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I'd pull my horse out of training right then and there. I'd call her up and tell her your taking her up on the threat. It's YOUR money, she should be catering to your needs. Maybe there are people out there who like her to do that, but she knows your not one of them.
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Time to pack your stuff up and leave I think
I don't see this as a trust thing at all - even if you trust someone that cares for your horse they still need to talk things through with you - I would be more inclined to not trust someone who didn't do that because it looks as if they have something to hide
Some pretty underhand things go on even in the top barns
 

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She pretty much already told me I'm not suppose to question her...
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REALLY?!?! Would you accept this from your mechanic?
You horse is YOUR property.
 

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I have to say-I am in total agreement…go search-I will also check with those I know there, altho that is not a ton. Time to take your checkbook (and your horse) elsewhere. This lady has issues.

Do you have any written contract with her? If so, that will dictate notice. But, if you don't-I would be out the door with out it. You are simply taking her up on her threat.

Contacting someone I know just south of you-he does trucking too….and may know someone. Hang in.
 

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To a point ,find show horse trainers do have a program they try to follow having their horses in training to be looking & performing certain ways. I've found this to an extent but they are open to change things if I see fit:). I've been told that I need such & such for blankets{barn & turnout blankets & hoods},farrier & worming usually on set schedule etc.They have set feeding programs but have found mine have fed what I want,but then I supply that:wink:. If horse is having performance issues it is discussed & appropriate care is decided upon be it trip to vet ,Chiro,change in training or management routine:D.They can suggest & usually we are on same page:wink: but Ulitmately I have always had last say on what goes on with my horse:D

If it was their way or the highway well sorry,yes i'd be finding fast road out:lol:
 
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